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Day trips to Mysore and hotel recommendations in Delhi

Day trips to Mysore and hotel recommendations in Delhi

Aug 29th, 2008, 12:11 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Day trips to Mysore and hotel recommendations in Delhi

I am travelling to Bangalore in October for work and going to try and sneak in a few days of touristy stuff. Can you recommend any bus tour companies in Bangalore? I wanted to go for a day to Mysore.

After Bangalore, I am planning 2-3 days in Delhi/Agra area. Do you have any recommendations for a hotel in Delhi? I am mainly looking for safety since I am travelling alone, and heard all these horror stories about western women travelling alone in India.

Any advice is appreciated!
Vera
verazee is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 12:31 PM
  #2  
Amy
 
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I found Delhi Bed and Breakfast to be very comfortable and safe for a solo female in India. (Not that I had any trouble anywhere, except a spot in a Himalayan monastery. But that's another story.)

It's www.delhibedandbreakfast.com .
You could arrange your car and driver or train (recommended!) to Agra from them. They can take care of picking you up at the train or airport as well, which is always nice. The B&B is close to many of the main sights and sites, as well.

If you're not on any kind of budget, the Imperial is quite a dream of a hotel!



Amy is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 07:40 PM
  #3  
 
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Hmm, I am a Western woman who has been traveling alone in India about once a month for most of the last 15 years without any issues, not sure what “horror stories” you have heard…it is hard for me to think of a safer place in Asia (a generally safe place to begin with). Yes, a woman traveling alone perhaps second class on a train may get some looks and some comments, and you will find that people may want to have their picture taken with you, but in terms of being robbed, raped, or just hassled generally I personally have no bad experiences to relate and think this is very,very rare indeed, and rarer than for women travelers in many other parts of the world. I really would not have any concerns on that point. (Of course crime does occur and of course you should take normal precautions with purse and wallet just like you would anywhere in the world.)

For Mysore, if you can I would try to do an overnight, just because the drive/train down is so long (3 hours or so) that a day trip is a long day. I would either hire a car/driver (more expensive but more convenient) or take the train down and then get a car/driver/guide once there. I am not a fan of bus tours as the very few I have taken seem to be longer on stops for lunch and shopping than actual sightseeing. Hiring a car and driver even from Bangalore is not expensive relative to US terms, but the train is very cheap and then hiring locally in Mysore will be even less expensive.

For Delhi, hotel prices are all over the map. I love the Imperial and it is in an excellent location, but may not be in your budget. If you have a range that may help, otherwise the Imperial is a very good choice, the Oberoi as well (perhaps not quite as well located for exploring on foot), the major chain hotels in the Connaught area are good, the Mughal Sheraton is a good hotel. The Shangri-La also in about the same area as the Imperial is a good choice, I like the Park hotel in the Connaught area as well (http://www.theparkhotels.com/). Get a copy of the Sawday book Special Places to Stay India (or see his website) for other more budget ideas in other areas of Delhi and for the Mysore area.

However, with only 2/3 days in Agra/Delhi you really won’t have any time in Delhi, IIMO, as you need an overnight in Agra and you need time to get down and back. Personally, if you only have 2/3 days to do this, I would skip Delhi and just do Agra. You can fly from Bangalore to Agra on Kingfisher via a change in Delhi in an afternoon quite easily. You can arrive in time for sunset at the Taj. You can spend 2 nights there, seeing Fatephur Sikri as well. There is actually a good bit to see in Agra, and some national parks in the area as well. I think you go do a day trip to Barataphur for birding if you wanted, it’s not a bad drive. Delhi/Agar in that time frame would be just too rushed. Or skip the Taj Mahal (although I understand that most visitors to India feel that they cannot do this.)
Cicerone is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 08:30 AM
  #4  
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Thank you both Amy and Cicerone for the inputs and also for the itineray advice! I'll definitely check out the hotels you have suggested. My trip is not finalized yet, and I will most likely extend it to be able to see more. It's also reassuring to hear that you both had a good experience when travelling in India. 'Horror stories' was a bit of an exaggeration. I was mainly referring to disrespectful men. From what a gather, people's expereinces vary and also largely depend on what area of India you are in. Some women have no trouble at all, and some get groped and followed to their hotels.

You are right, I can't skip Taj ! I am total sucker for big names. On the bright side, it looks like I'll be travelling to India a couple times a year for work, so should be able to cover other places next.
verazee is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 08:44 AM
  #5  
Amy
 
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Just for reference for you, here's an account of my time in India:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=35147706

Although you can do Agra as a daytrip from Delhi, I'm glad that I stayed overnight.

Happy planning! Are you familiar with www.indiamike.com ? I found that to be a very helpful site as well.
Amy is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 11:34 AM
  #6  
 
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Verazee, the stories I hear/read about in India tend to involve a lone woman who has been drinking and then takes a taxi or rickshaw after becoming intoxicated.

Stay sober, stay alert. Build time into your itinerary to SLEEP at the hotel so you're not in a fog, etc.

Don't get overly friendly with strangers, don't hesitate to shoo pesky people away, and just take the same precautions you would in any unfamiliar location.

Jaya is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 07:22 PM
  #7  
 
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Verazee

I just got back from India (see my posting from today). In Agra, the Sheraton is an incredible deal and close to the Taj Mahal. We stayed at the Taj Delhi which we very much enjoyed but after the stay in Agra probably should've checked out the Sheraton in Delhi.

In Mysore - do not stay at the Lalitha Palace!!! It is billed as a top pick and could be an incredible facility - but it is mold infested and the a/c and hot water often don't work. You might want to consider the Metropole - we had lunch there and liked it. I agree with the other posters to get a car and driver - from Delhi to Agra would make sense - then take the train to Mysore and have a driver waiting - they're not that expensive and often more informative that the tour guides. We used Raju India and they were awesome!! If you could get a driver named Kapil you would be very fortunate.

If you want more information you can email me directly at [email protected]
Merrisr is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 12:33 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Vera,

Since you are traveling to Bangalore for business, have you contacted your colleagues there for advice yet? They will be thrilled to help you see and learn about India and will give you the benefit of their local knowledge. I would not hesitate to contact them. They can arrange reputable car/driver for you, probably the same who picks you every day to the office. Just give them some guidelines about what you want to see and prices for hotel.

garybear is offline  

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