DEL/Agra/Rajastan in 7 days

Feb 19th, 2010, 07:56 PM
  #81  
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 37
People keep telling me not to walk on the street alone. They say the beggars etc will surround me and it'll be overwhelming. This came from a woamn who lived in Bangalore and another who traveled there last year. I am very independent but do not want to be swarmed. Never having been there I am trying to figure it all out. Ram is supposed to pick me up in U. I was just wondering if I need him on the first day while sightseeing in U. and getting clothes made.
The second day I would like to go out into the countryside ans the third we drive to Jodhpur. When we arrive Jodhpur do I need Ram to drive me around the city. The hotel Ratan Villas will take me to the airport the last day I am there.
Hope this is not too confusing. I'm trying to figure out how many days i need to use Ram.
I would just as soon not use a guide unless it is necessary or advisable. Thanks!
lisa_m is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 08:43 PM
  #82  
 
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The ability to say "no" does have survival value in India, lol! Willingness to bargain is useful, too.

I found Agra easily the most annoying place I visited in India when it came to badgering from rickshaw drivers, would-be guides and people selling things, but I walked the streets anyway (Rajasthan in general was second most annoying). I did hire a rickshaw driver for one day, which reduced the hassles from the other drivers.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 20th, 2010, 04:56 AM
  #83  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Still don't where your hotel in U. is located. Ram can drive you to various places in U., but he's not a bodyguard. You'll have to fend for yourself once you're out of the car.

Ratan Vilas is located a bit outside the main part of Jodhpur, which is a fairly large city. Be sure Ram takes you to Gypsy for lunch of dinner while in J.
indianapearl is offline  
Feb 20th, 2010, 06:42 AM
  #84  
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Pretty sure Mewar Haveli is on the east shore of the lake.

Thursday: Thanks. I can certainly say no. Guess there will be no way to tell until I get there. If Ram only drives spot to spot and then stays in the car he will not be providing a "buffer" which is what these women are saying I need to walk to shops, sights etc.
Guess I will figure it out when I get there. It's going to be an adventure and I can not wait. So sounds like when I leave the Gateway Hotel to go to the Taj I would hire a rickshaw driver to take me to the Taj. Doesn't sound like I need a guide. Can I get an autorickshaw at the Gateway to go to the Taj?



Any other recco's for eating in Udaipur or Jodhpur? Also a place to grab dinner near the Gateway
lisa_m is offline  
Feb 20th, 2010, 06:49 AM
  #85  
 
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My experience with rickshaws was that they found me, lol. Especially in Agra. Finding one when I wanted one wasn't a problem, the problem was shutting them up when I didn't want one, and wanted to walk. My advice for India is to embrace the chaos.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 20th, 2010, 06:23 PM
  #86  
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So your suggestion is to hire a rickshaw outside the Gateway when I head to the Taj?
I suppose they are there at sunrise as well?
Is there a preferable gate to go to for sunset/or sunrise?
lisa_m is offline  
Feb 20th, 2010, 06:46 PM
  #87  
 
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I found that saying 'no thank you' with a smile and keep walking worked for me. I would just keep saying it and keep moving,not getting mad or upset, just being firm. I never had any problems.
You will have to get your ticket to the Taj first. You can take an auto rickshaw to the ticket place and have them wait for you and then take you to the East gate. THat is the only way i know of, we did this a few days ago and it worked well.
I just posted a report on my trip, if you click on my name you can read about Agra and our experience.
live42day is offline  
Feb 21st, 2010, 11:46 AM
  #88  
 
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This is a three-step process: (1) go from the hotel to the ticket office in any kind of vehicle, (2) go from the ticket office to the entrance gate (only in a non-gas powered vehicle), and (3) pass through the entrance gate (on foot).
If Ram is driving you while you're in Agra, he will take you to the ticket office. Once you have your ticket, though, he can't take you to the entrance as his car has an internal combustion engine. Get the rickshaw once you have your ticket. If you get a guide, he will perform all these functions for you.

If you want someone to run interference for you, I'd get a guide, although none of the guides we had did anything else other than dispense information. If you hire a guide and you have that expectation, just tell him that's what you want. India is the only place I've been where beggars/touts actually touch you to make a point or to be insistent. They don't necessarily latch on, but they do tap lightly on the arm. I found that quite alarming, frankly, but didn't shriek or scream. Perhaps I should have!
indianapearl is offline  
Feb 21st, 2010, 12:06 PM
  #89  
 
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sometimes what we did was carry around bunches of bananas and when children and women would ask for money for food we would give them each a banana which seemed to work really well.
live42day is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 10:00 AM
  #90  
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I love the banana idea. It would be nice to help in some small way. Thanks for the info. Would it not be a free for all if I gave bananas to one child and not a hundred others? How can you handle that?
In Cambodia I changed a $20 bill and handed out small amounts to each child that came by. Someone said that was not a good idea in India.
lisa_m is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 10:18 AM
  #91  
 
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I think that the best idea is to pick a charity and give money to that, rather than to random individuals. Maybe one working on educating girls. If you give to one person on the street in India you are likely to be mobbed.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 09:20 AM
  #92  
 
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Many guides will not only "not run interference", but will pretend not to notice. Chances are that your guide lives in the town and comes to those sites on a regular basis. He does not want to be seen by his peers as someone who interrupts their business.

Try to ignore the touts and beggars. Smile and shake your head or say 'no thanks" if you want, but any conversation just encourages them. Just keep moving. It really gets easier once you realize how it can get bad if you start giving things in public.

I also give to a charity before my trips. Eases my guilt for not wanting to deal with the issue on an constant basis, and it insures the money actually benefits the poor.

I'm a little confused with the above comments about getting tickets at one spot, then going to the entrance. I've only ever entered from the gate near the Amarvilas, but you travel first through the no car zone (a few hundred yards) then when you are AT the gate, you line up at the gate for your ticket and security screening. (If you have a guide, he'll get the ticket while you stand in the screening line.)

Do they have a ticket office elsewhere at the other gates?
lcuy is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 10:17 AM
  #93  
 
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Don't know if it's a different gate. For those who don't stay at the Amarvilas, there's a different procedure. She's staying at the Gateway where we stayed. Our driver took us from the hotel to the place to purchase tickets. We then took an electric vehicle to ticket taker and security check. A little more complicated, but lots cheaper . . .
indianapearl is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 10:41 AM
  #94  
 
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There is an East gate & a West gate it is a different procedure at each gate so both the procedures above are correct. It is not just for the Amarvillas as we went in this way just a few weeks ago. J
jules39 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 02:37 PM
  #95  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Two gates?? This is interesting info.
indianapearl is offline  
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