A tour guide must be aware of geological conditions, local hotels or restaurants, history of the tour place as what Faraz Khan, a certified tour guide quoted.
We spoke to him recently about the experience of other travellers – those who come to Agra in particular – he’s been working with since 2008. He shared with us his observations on how they make the most of their trips.
Q. When did you decide to become a tour guide? What led to that decision?
A. I am a people’s person, love being around them and can’t sit in a cabin and work on excel sheets all day long. In India, Agra is the most popular destination for international tourists and it offers a feasible platform for the aspirants trying to make a mark in the field of Tourism. After completing my graduation, I decided to take up a diploma in travel and tourism management to be a professional Tour Guide as it is one of the most dynamic professions to take up in a tourism-friendly city like Agra. It also goes well with my aptitude, I am very good at storytelling and, being a guide, you have to be an extremely good storyteller to keep your guests entertained.
Q. For how long have you been providing guiding services?
A. 10 years.
Q. Where do you get the information you share with tourists?
A. I collect information from various sources, but mainly from books, which can be adapted to suit modern tourists and personal interactive experiences with people.
The Internet is a readily available source of information. I like to hear and read stories about traditions and beliefs. And the visitors themselves constantly inspire me with their questions, which then motivate me to research further.
Q. What is your approach as a tour guide to make your tour standout?
A. I take every tour as if it is my first tour and I deliver my best to excel in the business.
Q. What is the most challenging part of the job?
A. The most challenging part of this job is to keep every member of the tour involved and interested, making sure none of them feel neglected or tired. To overcome that, I always try to include some popular quips and jokes in my conversation to lighten up the mood.
Q. What is the best time of the year to visit the region where you operate?
A. Months between October to March are the best time to visit Agra because of the cooler weather. You can even plan a visit to Agra with Mathura a week before Holi, which is usually the best time to experience the fun filled celebrations. This will help you to enjoy the best of the two cities, cultures and great weather too.
Q. We bet you love the entire country, but which areas or regions would you most highly recommend to travellers?
A. There are so many beautiful places in the country, I recommend a few to every traveller:
- Agra – trip to India is incomplete without seeing the iconic Taj Mahal
- Delhi – a city within several cities
- Rajasthan – rich culture, colourful costumes and the legacy of royals
- Kerala – beautiful beaches, age-old temples, backwaters and tranquillity in its scenery.
- Leh and Laddakh- One of the world’s most beautiful landscapes.
These inputs are shared by Faraz Khan, a Ministry of Tourism certified tour guide with 10+ years of experience. You can book him via the Odigos app, where the best travel guides of India are registered.