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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Please Help India First Timer with Itinerary

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I am struggling to finalize my itinerary for a trip to India this fall (30-33 days) -- and am hoping that you Fodorites can help me sort it out as you have so often in the past.

A bit of background: we are 60ish retirees who have traveled extensively on our own. We prefer a slow travel mode, and while we are anxious to see the major sights, we prefer small towns and really want to learn about life in India.

I plan to use a travel company to hire a car and driver for at least some of the trip. It is tempting to let them handle it all, but I would like to handle at least some of the touring myself. Any suggestions on which parts of the trip would be best done on my own?

I am not sure how the car and driver thing works. Is the car available to us anytime -- i.e. if we wanted to drive somewhere for dinner at night or take a day trip one day? Also, I have seen recommendations to go with the Toyota Innova. It looks awfully big for just 2 people -- is it that much better than the Tata Indigo?

Here is our rough itinerary:

Delhi -- 3 nights
Red Fort, Chandni Chowk (rickshaw ride) Ghandi Smriti, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutb Minar Complex, Sulabh International Museum of Toilets (DH choice -- don't ask!)

Overnight train to Varanasi (want to experience one of these)

Varanasi -- 3 nights
Banaras ghats, Golden temple, Dasaswamedh ghat, dawn boat ride, Sarneth

Flight to Khajuraho

Khajuraho – 2 nights
Temples

Drive to Orchha – 2 nights

Evening train to Agra – 2 nights
Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, Agra Fort

Drive to Jaipur -- 4 nights
Stop at Fatehpur Sikri, Amber Fort, palaces, astronomical observatory

Drive to Bundi -- 3 nights

Drive to Udaipur -- 4 nights
Stop at Chittorgarh, palaces etc. day trip to Kumbalgarh Fort

Drive to Jojowar -- 2 nights
Visit small villages

Drive to Narlai -- 2 nights
Splurge on dinner at step well

Drive to Jodhpur -- 3 nights
Meherangarh Fort

Fly to Delhi -- 1 night

Possible variarions to this plan would be to carve out two days (maybe delete a day from both Jodhpur and Bundi) to add Gwalior (after Orchha), or I am also intrigued by the possiblity of staying at Bhainsrorgarh. But, I hate to shorten our stays since I already have a lot of 2-nighters. Any stops that you would suggest I eliminate?

Thanks for your help!

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