Help planning time in India

Old May 27th, 2007, 02:41 AM
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acj
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Help planning time in India

Hello. I will be meeting my brother in Delhi near the end of July. Neither of us has been to India before and we will only be able to stay for 7-9 days on this trip. We would like to start in Delhi and travel to Calcutta then we will be departing from Delhi. I feel like visiting the Taj Mahal is also a must. Any tips on planning this would be greatly appreciated. I felt a little overwhelmed when trying to come up with a sort of itinerary! Thanks.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:52 AM
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im not sure why u feel the taj is a must. im not saying its not beautiful - but make sure your seeing it for the right reasons, not just to tick it off your list. personally, i was a little underwhelmed by the whole experience - but i think that had to do a lot more with the touristy nature of the town, and the attitude of some of the locals towards us.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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Having been to India 5 times and having seen the Taj 4 I would agree that it is a must. You are correct. It still is the most awesome structure I have ever seen. There is a reason why its one of the wonders of the world. Interestingly the original plan was to build an exact duplicate of it in black marble for Shah Jahan. It was to be symmetrically opposite the Taj across the river. You can actually see an area which was cleared there for this "other" Taj. However Shah jahan was ousted by his son and ironically never set fot inside the Taj until he was interred with his wife. Nearby the Taj other sites to see include Agra Fort and Fatephur Sikri (spelling). BTW cell phones are not allowed inside the Taj FYI. Cheers, Larry
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Old May 27th, 2007, 07:22 AM
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Why Calcutta? It's the other side of India and not a lot there for such a short trip as you have (many pass through on the way to elsewhere).

Try Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Delhi. Maybe Bombay for a day or so if you feel ambitious.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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Definitely plan to see the Taj if you're in Delhi - Agra's not that far and the Taj is just breathtaking. Try to see at dawn and dusk - i.e. spend the night in Agra, although the town is full of hustlers.

Second the question about Kolkata, I found it interesting but I was there during Durga Puja. But I would suggest Varanasi rather than Rajasthan, Varanasi is a magical city, the Rajasthan cities are very touristy.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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Suggest you contact a good agent and let them know your interests, etc. Also, a bit of independant research would be helpful.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 03:29 AM
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acj
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Thank you for the suggestions! I have been doing independent research, but there are some many places/things I would like to see, that I thought it might be nice to have some input from others. We are not set on Calcutta, it was just one of the places my brother wanted to visit. As for the Taj, I have always been fascinated by architecture and it is something I have always wanted to see!
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Old May 28th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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Disagree about Calcutta.

Fascinating place though not normally on the list for first time visitors.

Travel in India is full of possibilities. I don't have train or plane timetables to hand - and can't recommend the route I took as it would eat up far more than 9 days.

But do yourselves a favour and make it nine days not seven.

Some thoughts:

If you are set on Kolkata:

Train to Agra - maybe a day trip to Fatephur Sikri. Then to Khajuraho by way of Orchha - I honestly can't remember the best way to do this.

Then to Varanasi (two - even better three - days there).

Train to Kolkata - fly back to Delhi.

You need to have a peek at the Indian Railways website and get hold of a good guide book for independent travellers.

It's really all about where you can get to from where.

So ideas above are for you to check out.

If you want to fly everywhere - ignore the whole post.

happy travels.
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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Another vote for the Taj AND FATEHPUR SIKR
also another aye for Varanasi.

Not to quibble but on the Taj being one of the wonders of the world ...

I am sure we know the original Seven Wonders of the world are all gone except for the Great Pyramid.

There is a site that encourages a vote for the New 7 Wonders
new7wonders.com

of course the Taj is on there and I think it should be #1.


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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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If you come back from seeing the Taj w/o being awed I suggest having your thyroid checked.
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