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Planning a trip to India

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This is my second attempt at planning a trip to India… we (self and partner) will be going in October / November 2012, staying for 6 weeks.

This is our first trip so we’ll be visiting a lot of the usual places, but would like to include a few less touristy and quieter places to relax a bit along the way. I have spent quite a bit of time reading your comments and trip reports and exploring other people’s itineraries and suggestions which has been a huge help, however we are still not quite decided… (what gets left out…)

We plan to do this trip as assisted independent travel through one of the Indian agents. We have a budget which basically fits into 3 star accommodation. We’d like to do a combination of village / homestays, budget & heritage hotels / havelis and at least a couple of nights in one of the more upmarket hotels eg, Dungarpur, Narlai, and maybe even a night under the stars… We plan to use a combination of car & driver and train travel (at least 1 day trip, one overnight trip) to get around, flights if necessary.

The trip is basically broken down into 3 parts – Rajasthan, Varanasi and a taste of the Himalayas. Here is where I am up to so far…

Arrive Delhi (stay 3 nights to acclimatise and look around)
Agra (1)

To Rajasthan:
Bharatpur ? (is it worth it?)
Jaipur (3)
Pushkar (probably not, but haven’t dropped it off the list quite yet)
Jodhpur (3)
Chandeleo or Osiyan (2) experience of rural India and desert
Pali (2) nature & birdlife
Jojawar (3)
Ghanerao / Narlai (maybe)
Kumbalgarh & Ranakpur (3)
Udaipur (3)
Dungarpur (2) or maybe Bundi

To Varanasi: (8 nights)
Gwalior (1)
Orchha (2)
Khajuraho (1 or overnight train)
Varanasi (4)

Himalayas: (5-7 nights)
Kathmandu (fly over Everest) or
Haridwar, Rishikesh, Rajaji, Mussoorie or
Nainital or
Sikkim – Darjeeling, Rumtek

Back to Delhi (1)

Still not sure how to join it all up as there seem to be numerous ways, I guess that’s where the agent comes in…

Would appreciate any comments and suggestions at this stage

Thanks in advance

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