1st time travel advise

Aug 12th, 2002, 02:02 PM
Luis Ortiz
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1st time travel advise

I am traveling to India in March of 2003. My interest is to experience the culture of the country such as seeing the religious bathers in the Ganges and cremation. I am also interested in staying in a hotel which previously used to be a palace. Of course i will visit the Taj Mahal.

Thus - what highlights would you recommend to the first time traveler staying in the northern part of the country.

Please advise what agent to use for travel arrangements withing India. Thanks

Luis G. Ortiz - Florida
Aug 12th, 2002, 06:41 PM
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I was in India last Jan/Feb and my parents were there the last summer. What you will see depends on how much time you will have.

You could add Khajuraho to Varanasi and Agra (My parents loved Varanasi and Khajuraho)with parts of royal and rustic Rajasthan like Jaipur, Jodhpur,Bikaner, Kishangarh, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, etc (may not be in the right order). I even visited a few small villages like Narlai and Bijaipur.

Agent in India - I used the compass in Delhi as they handle full north india and gave good service. I was a little worried that the tour seemed quite repetitive, ie one Palace after another. However, each day was a new and exciting experience. What is more, Compass provided us with excellent service both in amending the proposed tour to suit our needs (we also wanted to see a cricket game and to finish our holiday in the Maldives) and in providing assistance when the inevitable problems occurred (one of our internal flights was diverted due to Fog and Compass made all the arrangements for overnight accommodation and to get us back on our original tour schedule). They also provided us with excellent transport (safe, clean and reliable vehicles with good drivers) and superb tour guides - in particular, Bhawani Singh who accompanied us in Rajasthan

their email id used to be [email protected] (it changed once while I was planning my vacation) and i am not sure whether it is still the same. If not let me know and I will dive for the phone contact. the guy's name is durjai.

all the best for your vacation...one point though - try to make it end February or beginning March as weather is better.


Aug 16th, 2002, 06:12 AM
Posts: n/a
Dear Luis

I know of this very good agency in US called Above and Beyond Travels. The company is owned and managed by a lady called Alice Benkley. This is a small agency run by Alice herself and each and every guest gets very personalised attention. She is not into mass selling of tours but makes the program after a detailed assessment of the needs and wishes of the guest. Again being a small agency she can devote more time to each guest and that results in a most satisfying tour.

Her contact details are as follows-

Ms. Alice Benkley
(800) 729-3076
San Jose Area (408) 729-0343
Fax (408) 729-0344

E-mail Address : [email protected]

I am sure she would help you design a great tour of India.
Aug 16th, 2002, 07:10 AM
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If you go to Delhi, the city of Haridwar is not too far from there, and you can seeing thousands of people bathing in the Ganges. It's an incredible experience.
For a hotel which used to be a palace, you must visit the Lake Palace in Udaipur... unbelievable. I don't know how long you are planning to visit for, but the whole region of Jaipur and Udaipur is incredible, with many palaces. Have a great trip!
Aug 17th, 2002, 09:42 PM
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Hello Luis,

As Robin has mentioned it would be better if you could add Khajuraho to your program on your way to Varanasi.

Well ofcourse you can visit Rajasthan then to Agra (Taj Mahal)and continue towards Khajuraho either by flight or a train and a private taxi and then take a flight to Varanasi.

If you need any help in making your itinerary,just let me know.

Sep 18th, 2002, 06:54 AM
Indian and Book reviewer
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There is a nice book I have read recently about India. This guy- Robert Arnett- went through experiences similar to what you are interested in. Here is the link I got from one of the websites


Hope you have a wonderful and safe trip to India
Oct 1st, 2002, 06:13 AM
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If you are interested in temples, which you almost must be to visit India, then I recommend the Jain Temple in Ranakpur. I have been 5 times to India including part of Rajastan as well as the South (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, etc.) and Ranakpur was the most beautiful temple I have visited. Here is an excerpt:

"The tranquil pilgrimage town of the Jains renowned for some marvellously carved Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is one of the five holy places of the Jain community. 60-km from Udaipur; these temples were built in the 15th century AD during the reign of Rana Kumbha and are enclosed within a wall. The central 'Chaumukha' or four-faced temple is dedicated to the venerated Tirthankara Rishabhji. Open on all four sides, it enshrines the four-faced image of Adinath. The temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars - all distinctly carved."

Other places are indeed Agra as well as Udaipur - famous for the Lake Palace Hotel, Jaisalmer for the fort, Chittorgarh for a fort and many other places just to name a few.

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