Has anyone Travelled to India in May

Apr 5th, 2011, 05:59 AM
  #21  
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Thanks once again. Based on recommendation from Thursdayd, we will keep Goa in the loop and we will use the opportunity to explore the hill country. YES, it is this MAY; next month.

Just wondering, can you do all the place in Agra in ONE day?, i.e., Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Itmad-dul-Daulah, Jami Masjid, Chini Ka Rauza, and Fatehpur sikri?

Also, how much could it possibly cost if we were to hire a driver who will take us to Agra from Delhi early in the morning and spend with us the whole day and come back to Delhi in the evening?

Also, how much could it possibly cost if we were to hire a driver to take us from Bombay to Goa?
mabiasha is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 11:39 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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I cannot emphasize enough my personal opinion that you should NOT do Agra as a day trip--especially in the heat of May. Allthat rushing to me defeats the purpose of absorbing teh beauty and atmosphere of the place.
My suggestion is to arrive afternoon, see Agra Fort (wonderful place!!!) after heat of midday has passed a bit, then see Taj Mahal from the Mehtab Bagh across the river. Spend the night, and get up early the next morning to reach the Tm just as it opens, and before the crowds arrive. We wandered 'round far longer than we'd expected..not place to rush through for sure! then perhaps add Fathepur Sikri on your way back to Delhi
CaliNurse is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 11:51 PM
  #23  
 
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The del-agra-del trip is very commonly done. The place where you stay in (New) Delhi (have you booked hotel yet?) should have info on hiring a driver for (see above advice) an overnight trip to Agra.
It is NOT a good idea to wait for booking plane tix, IME. Why? B/c it's like the US and European carriers like SWA (minus the cracked fuselages, i hope!) or Easyjet i.e prices are lowest when booked farthest out from the date.

May i ask why you have included Hyderabad? Is it as just a change-places airport stop, or do you intend to spend time in the city? Not a criticism , just curiosity. It is not on most folks' "must-do" India touring list.
CaliNurse is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 11:51 AM
  #24  
 
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If you are going to do Agra as a day trip, you should take the train. Traffic between Delhi and Agra is very unpredictable. We have made the trip in as little as 4 hours and once it took 8 hours. The trains are faster, even if behind schedule.

You should never do a long drive on Indian roads after dark. The Grand Trunk Road between Delhi and Agra is like the south to north super-highway of India. There are lots of big, fast trucks, as well as pedestrians, camel carts, dogs, motorcyclists, cars, buses, and the occasional cow on the roads. there are homes and businesses along the road and few barriers. At night, the potholes, lack of decent lighting and tired drivers make driving a risk many are not willing to take. We were once running late to Agra, and even our driver said he was very uneasy that our last hour was in the dark.

if you want to be driven to Agra, do it in the morning. Enjoy the ride, no matter how long it takes. Spend the night there, then head out the next day once you've seen what you want in Agra.

If you really need to travel in the evening, take a train.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 12:29 PM
  #25  
 
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What lcuy said about driving! Plus, you should really see the Taj both at sunset and sunrise, which requires an overnight. The pictures don't do justice to the way the marble changes as the light changes, or to the pietra dura inlays.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 02:51 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Did Northern India in April and it was amazing. Weather was just fine.
waynehazle is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 04:02 PM
  #27  
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Thanks a lot CaliNurse, lcuy, thursdaysd, and waynehazle.

We have decided based on the your advise, going to spend at the very least one night in Agra in order to enjoy the Taj at sunrise and at sunset, and enjoy the other attractions a slower pace.

It's encouraging to hear that April was great in the north.

In terms of Hyderabad, we don't have any particular liking except that we like big cities, and the hustle and bustle. And lately with booming IT industry and film industry, it's getting bussier. In other words we want to cover all 5 major cities - Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. Chennai was in our list before but due to good advise from this forum, we took it off. After all, we only have one month.

And yes, we have booked a hotel near the Delhi Railway station. And we would use the train or planes in all our commuting. The only place that we would probably use a car and driver is that hill country drive that thursdaysd suggested, between Mumbai and Goa or Goa and Bangalore.

Thank you kindly.
mabiasha is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 12:53 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Don't come here in may. The heat of places like Delhi and Bombay will most certainly give you north latitude people a heat stroke. India in may only suits us citizens of the country. So you might want to go to Australia or Nuevo Zealanda.
Vihan is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 09:07 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Having grown up in India, I have to say the worst time to be in India would be the month of May. The heat is unbearable and oppressive. Dont put a single morsel of street food or water in your mouth. Carry water at all times. Buy water from a supermarket or decent looking store.

Since you dont have a choice and are booked to travel in May- please please travel by air as much as possible. The hotels that you stay in will be able to arrange air conditioned private taxi service for you to take day trips in. As romantic as trains may sound...they are a difficult experience. The bathrooms, the crowds, the cockroaches etc are not for the faint of heart.

In Bombay, go to Crawford market and Chor Bazaar.

Remember one golden rule in India -Bargain and negotiate for everything.
Subina_Desai is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 01:28 PM
  #30  
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Thank you Vihan and Subina and the rest for your inputs. Unfortunately we have already purchased the tickets and this is the only convenient time we got after waiting to do a trip to India for a decade. If that is the case, I suppose places like the Taj Mahal will be less crowded or probably empty and we would have more time to absorb this masterpiece without having to worry about the crowds. We would just need to worry about the heat. And I hope that also means getting very cheap accommodation.
mabiasha is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 07:31 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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The taj mahal thing. It won't be any less crowded. It is going to be the same. You should visit Sikkim. It's going to be cool over there. And it's a nice place. If you come to Bombay, try and stay in downtown rather than the suburbs.
Vihan is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 03:04 AM
  #32  
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Vihan, thanks a lot for all the tips; much appreciated.
mabiasha is offline  

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