It is often believed that India is not accessible for travellers with restricted mobility and in particular for Wheel Chair travellers. But those who have travelled once would confirm that despite some hurdles, it is the only country in the world where they would have found each and everyone ready to give a helping hand to them!
Wheelchair visit of the Taj Mahal, Agra, India
To some extent, issue of inaccessibility is true but for quite some time Indian Government has taken steps to ensure that all public areas (including monuments, stations, hotels, restaurants etc) are accessible to all… So you could see ramps made for wheel chair travellers...
UNESCO monuments which are managed by Archaeological Survey of India are accessible for Wheel Chair users. So one can enjoy the sights depending on the time with them - prominent ones recommended due to time constraints could be Qutab Minar and Humanyun’s Tomb in Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri and ravishing Taj Mahal!
Rajasthan, the most visited part of India from travellers around the world, is famous as the land of Kings and Queens ; mighty Forts and Palaces.
Wheelchair users can travel to SHEKAWATI region to visit beautifully painted havelies (old mansions of businessmen), BIKANER to visit mighty Junagarh Fort, JODHPUR to visit massive Maharangarh Fort, RANAKPUR to admire the craftmanship of working on marble, UDAIPUR to visit beautiful City Palace on the bank of manmade Lake Pichola, PUSHKAR to experience the spirituality and JAIPUR to admire the mighty Amer Fort, the City Palace and the Royal Observatory.
Though one may not be able to visit these forts and palaces completely from deep inside due to stairs but you can still reach to a point from where you can admire the beauty of these historical monuments still preserved in a beautiful way..your knowledgeable guide can portray the areas that you can not visit in such a way that you can visualize it...
At each of these sites, you can always find a helping hand to push your wheelchair...
During your travel, not to forget to spend quality time in company of mighty Elephants that could be a memory for life time..
No travel in India is complete without experiencing local life and being a part of hustle and bustle of Indian local market... You can always be a part of these local markets, temples and visit the families for a meal and lesson on Indian cooking.
While traveling, adapted and accessible toilet are crucial so your program should becarefully designed in a such a way that you know about enroute toilet stops, your restaurants have to have adapted toilets for wheel chair users.
In terms of hotels, in Delhi – Agra and region of Rajasthan, most of the hotels with 4-5 star category have 1 or 2 wheel chair friendly rooms... These rooms could be twin bedded or with large bed.
As mentioned above, you will always find a helping hand in India. It starts from your driver who should be there at airport to receive you and will accompany you throughout your journey. He will always assist you with your wheelchair and getting on and offer your cars. It is important that your driver has valid commercial driving license!
Your driver may not be very fluent in English but he would be able to converse well with you as they are used to travel frequently with foreigners. As their profession is driving, it is important that they drive well, safe and are in time.
You can always hire an accompanying guide for the full tour. Benefits of accompanying guide are numerous including an additional helping hand along with driver.
Since his profession is guiding, an accompanying guide will always add value to your travel. He will not only be your guide in different cities and in monuments but during intercity travel, he will be able to give you more insight into Indian life.
You can always find guides who can speak well in English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese etc.
Though not all the vehicles would be completely modified but you can always find comfortable and suitable vehicles!
India is a vast country, known for its huge population, multiple religions, spirituality, centuries old rich heritage, UNESCO monument sites, amazingly beautiful palaces, colorful local markets full of color & life, spirituality and delicious Indian cuisine… One should explore it as it is accessible for wheel chair users.