Greetings from Delhi!

Nov 16th, 2005, 05:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 413
Greetings from Delhi!

Hello all! tHIS is Bonita and i am now safely back in India for the next six months! I have been back in India for a bit over three buys wonderful weeks now, and I have just completed leading a two week cultural tour program through jaipur, Agra, Orcha, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Kathmandu. fOR THIS program we stayed at mostly the Sheratons, Holiday INNS and Radisson properties. JUST for everyones info, the Radisson in both Varanasi and KATHMANDU are quite good hotels, not the best in town but definately up there and way upmarket these days! Also in Agra i usually stay at the Sheratons with this group called Gate1 but this time the program used the JAYPEE palace in AGRA, AND that is a lovely very high end property! I had an incredible Aruvedcic hot oil massage in the glorious Spa, and it was heavenly after a day in the thick of AGRA! @Now i have a few days r and r in the mad chaotic capital of Delhi until I lead a group of traveling Doctors through North India WITH many scheduled hospital visits en route. For my next tour of duty i will be staying at all the Taj properties, starting with Taj Palace in Delhi, JAI mahal in JAIPUR, tAJ vIEW in Agra, Taj Chandela in KHAJURHAO, so nice plush rooms to look forward too! A few things to mention for those comming to India this year! Tourism is absolutely booming in India these days, so those who are comming to town and have made advanced arrangements do make absolutely sure your program/hotel/flights/trains ARE confirmed, especially domestic flights and even Hotels. Hotel rooms are few and far between in Delhi,jaipur, Agra ,so do make sure you book early too!. IF ANYONE is traveling between Agra and KHAJuraho there are no more scheduled flights en route except for occasional charters so the best route these days is the train from AGRa (the Shatabdi express) to JHANSI and then the road to Khajurhao-about five hours by private car.(do stop in ORCHA for lunch and to see the PALACES-ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES!)iF anyone wants advice on were to stay in ORCHA, WHERE to eat, do contact me. IF U CAN, Stay there for a nite at Amar MAHAl tHE manager is a dear freind. next.. if anyone is traveling on the flight from Khajuraho to Varanasi do make completely sure you have confimred seats as this route serviced by JET air is heavily heavily overbooked and many people get off-loaded from this flight. The road option is not the3 best, although there is a train that u will need to first travel about thre hours from KHAJURAHO to catch. What else. Some problems at Amber Fort recently, as a very sad unfortnate incident occured with the elephant and someone was killed and others in jured. These days you must go very very early if you want to ensure the elephant ride., Something like 7am..Only about 45 elephants work now,(just the so-called fit ones) and they are only allowed to make three trips per day. so if you want the ride, go early! U can hire a jeep to come down. What else. Those flying from vARANASI to Kathmandu THERE IS no longer an Indian Airlines flight on this sector. If you fly IC U MUST BE ROUTED back to Delhi. However, there is a Nepalse carrier called cosmic air that now plies this route and it is quite economical! I just flew Varanasi KATHAMNDU and then Kathmandu-Delhi on cosmic! MID-SIZE planes of about 104 passengers. Thse flights are also heavily booked by tour groups so do book this early as well. There are two flights a day on Cosmic on each route! What else. Things in Delhi are back to chaos as usual, and the city rebounded within days after the horrific blast! MARKETS were buzzing within days! Delhi is, after all, a city of markets and resilient spirited people! Things in KATHMANDU NEPAL too seemed okay, the KING has taken full control in a sense. Tourism is slowly rebounding in that city, finally! Hopefully it will be a good year for NEPAL! aLRIGHT, my dinner of NAN, BUTTER CHICKEN, palak panner, and veg raita has arrived, so time to say Namaste. I will try to check in fodors from time to time, but very busy on the road. If anyone has any immediate questions about delhi or elsehwere India feel free to drop me a line on my e-mail, [email protected] take care, greetings from Delhi, Bonita!
Bonita is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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great overview....hope things continue to go well this year...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Namaste, Bonita! It's nice to see you back on-line. You helped make my 2005 trip to India the absolute-no-question-about-it-best holiday of my whole life, and I have been in love with India ever since. I will always be grateful for your friendly and wise advice. I hope many others on this site and on Indiamike (I think that's where I found you... or was it Tripadvisor?)are smart enough to ask you and take note of your answers!
Alan is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Bonita, How wonderful to feel your energy. I am heading to Delhi and surrounds in December for three weeks, and had been a bit nervous due to the terrible terrorist attack. Your breathless, enthusiastic description has done me a great deal of good.

Thank you.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 10:38 PM
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HELLO ALL! Thanx Bob, Alan and Boston for the warm [email protected] Yes, I am alive and well and enjoying my days back in Delhi. I have been shopping non-stop, loading up on my new Indian-wear collection for the fall-season. I am staying at a cute guesthouse temporarily near one of my favorite markets, GK1., and upper middle class residential neighborhood, so very convenient for shopping, specifically at my favorite stores of FabINDIA and Cottons, and great resturants too . A few more days in Delhi and i will hit the roads of Rajashtan again with another program. *Then I WILL SHIFT my lodging from my cute guesthouse to the lovely Taj PALACE and the subsequent Taj PROPERTIES IN ROUTE. looking forward to the JAI Mahal in JAIPUR! i have yet to find an apt for my HOME-base in Delhi for the next 7 months, and am not so sure that i will take that route this year. I do love Delhi, but it is certainly not the most relaxing place to recharge after my tour programs. I may shift base to JAIPUR or i may just continue to stay in differnt locales between tours such as JAIPUR,bOMBAY, Goa, Cochi and fly alot to BKK! YES, alot of traveling but i did this type of movement last year and it was alot of fun! I always have my summers in NY to relax..So yes, yes,tourism is booming, booming, booming in INDIA and theRE is certainly a general excitiment in the air! aS noted, the city of Delhi bounced back to its feet within days, and tourism really was not affected. These days people have sadly grown to understand that these terrible events happen everywhere, and we all have learned to move on and carry on with our life and our dreams. So yes, things are looking up and up in INDIA, although as noted, there is a serious room shortage in the high level, and on the flights and trains. IF you are traveling low budget and without major planning, there is always a simple bed to find, but those in the high market who want the best of the best need to plan carefully!The flip side is that there are also a building boom in hotels, oh, and there is a new very vey expensive SHANGRILA in Delhi, just up the block from the IMPERIAL. JAIPUR has a few new properties as does many of the major cities. Also, there are many new domestic airlines now in India TOO, so hopefully the prices will come down on the domestic sectors, which are generally very high. There is KINGFISHER air, Spicejet, Air Deccan, and JET and Sahara AND OF COURSE, the standbye option, Indian airlines. so by all means, things are moving on in INDIA, the country is forever fascinating and eye-opening and yes, do come visit INCREDILBE INDIA! I will be here for the next 6/7 months so anyone with questions, seeking some advice on their trip or even comming to town and wanting to say hello, please feel free to drop me a line. take care, namaste Bonita.
Bonita is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 12:30 AM
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hi from Delhi! Just thought to add that the big talk in Delhi these days is about the future problems envisoned at the airports during the high-season, foggy CONDITONS, ETC. Todays saturday newspaper was all about the thought of the incapacity of the Delhi airport handlinG all the new flights WHEN IT comes to the inevitable dElAys under fog conditions, domestic and international, and the fact that there is simply not enough toilets, resturants nor seats in aiRport, OR even nearby hotels to handle all delayed paSSENGERS. wHAT A [email protected]! tHE TITLE of the article,'tHIS WINTER, FLY ONLY IF YOU MUST! it shall be an intersting tourist season in INDIA TO SEE how Delhi deals with its tremendous increasse in flights arrivals/departures and huge surge in passangers under present conditons. IT IS said that 100 flights have been added this year! so, by the way, anyone now planning a trip to NORTH INDIA, i WOULD probably suggest the months oct/november and or Febuary/march and try to avoid the crunch of december/january. IF YOU are comming in those months, just plan a little more lesiurely, to account for delays and good luck, let Ganesh be on your side! anyways, i myself will indeed be in/ourt of the airports constantly, so i can live the chaos too! namaste bonita.
Bonita is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Hello Bonita, are there any domestic flights from Agra to Varanasi? I am worried that I may not be able to catch a train. Many thanks.

BTW, thanks for all your suggestions and valued advice posted in other forums.
periwinkle is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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Tricky question! there used to be flights by INDIAN AIRLINES FROM Agra to Varanasi via KHAJURHAO(CALLED a hoping flight), and i used to fly this alot with groups, but right now they are not operating, may COME BACK. Indian airlines has pulled out of many of these sectors AND NO longer flies many of these routes, so there is a back-log for sure. There is a night train from Agra-Varanasi, about 13 hours,(OUCH) OR U CAN get back to Delhi quickly via the Shatabdi train and fly from Delhi to Varanasi! Delhi has the most flights to Varanasi. There is however an operating flight a day via jet airways from KHAJURHAO TO Varanasi, so perhaps make your way to KHAJUraho FROM aGRA VIA car/bus or train/bus/car combo. will keep u posted with the ground happenings..
Bonita is offline  
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