Help with traveling in Rajastan

Aug 30th, 2009, 03:59 PM
  #1  
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Help with traveling in Rajastan

Hi. We are a family of 4 adults traveling in the Rajastan area for 7 days out of a 20 day trip. My plan is to fly to Udaipur and spend 2 nights; drive toward Jodhpur and spend night on way (recommendations?); drive rest of way to Jodhpur and spend 1 night; drive toward Jaisalmer and spend night along the way (recommendations?); and drive rest of way to Jaisalmer and spend 2 nights. Do you know if flights will start to Jaisalmer this Dec/Jan? It would make getting there so much easier. I need to get to Jaipur and my thought was to take the overnight train from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur and catch the 4pm flight to Jaipur. Is there any easier way to get there and to travel around Rajastan in general? Thanks!
lisasiegel is offline  
Aug 30th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Well, the train from Jaisalmer (17:15) gets to Jodhpur in the evening (21:45). Why don't you stay on it until it gets to Jaipur (04:50)? Schedules at www.indianrail.gov.in. Rather than spending a night on the road on the way to Jaisalmer I might take the train both ways. See seat61.com for lot of info on Indian trains.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 30th, 2009, 10:29 PM
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It certainly would be less expensive to take the train from Jaisalmer to Jaipur. It does cut my time in Jaisalmer since I would leave at 17:15 vs 23:15, but I don't think that will be a problem. It is a long time to be on a train, but it is a more simple itinerary. Why do you feel I should take the train from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer instead of driving and spending the night on the way? Is there not much to see on this portion of the drive? Is fog a real problem in Dec/Jan?
lisasiegel is offline  
Aug 30th, 2009, 10:41 PM
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thursday loves Indian trains with a delicious passion.

The road from Udaipur to Jodhpur is dotted with wondrous heritage/boutique/horse-riding/homestay/crumbling hell-holes. Sometimes all of the above in a single venue. lol.

I can't recommend, 'cos I haven't driven this yet, but in my research I selected these places as most likely contenders for what you want: i.e, a night in rural Rajasthan.
dogster is offline  
Aug 30th, 2009, 10:49 PM
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continued...

Fort Rawla [Rawla Narlai]
http://www.rawlanarlai.com/
Karni Kot
www.karnihotels.com
Deogarh Mahal
www.deogarhmahal.com
Rawla Jojawar
www.jojawar.com
Sardar Samand Palace, Pali,
http://www.welcomheritagehotels.com/...alace_pali.htm
Rohetgarh
http://www.rohetgarh.com/wilderness.htm

Look on a map to find 'em.
dogster is offline  
Aug 30th, 2009, 10:58 PM
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I don't know your preferred budget, tho'.

To me, pick of the bunch for a unique experience would be Sardar Samund, Rohetgarh for a boutique, smooth and easy money-tourist experience, Rawla Jojowar for wonderful horses
and Rawla Narlai 'cos it looks nice.
dogster is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 02:40 AM
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My recollection is that the drive from Udaipur to Jaipur is about 6 hours; however you could break this up by stopping on the way in the area around Ranakpur/ Kumbhalgarh, and an overnight stop would let you see both. Both are quite impressive. I think the only good hotel in the area is the Adohi in Kumbhalgarh, but I myself have not seen the inside of it. (I am going to Udaipur this weekend and have plans to go to Kumbhalgarh again, so will let you know if I see the Aodhi, take a look at http://www.eternalmewar.in/User/Trav..._Retreats.aspx, they do seem to have a hotel in Ranakpur as well). There is also a wildlife preserve at Kumbhalgarh which might be of interest. These are not really halfway as they are closer to Udaipur, but they are quite interesting and worth the stop, IMO. Look at a map and see if that makes a logical stopping place. I personally have always wanted to try the tented camp on the reservoir at Chhatra Sagar near Jodhpur; but don’t know how this would fit in with seeing Kumbhalgarh or Ranakpur (which I think are worth seeing) and/or drive time between Udaipur and Jodhpur if you go via a stop here, see http://www.chhatrasagar.com)

I think the flights between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer are iffy because flight schedules into Jaisalmer change so frequently. (It has something to do with the fact that the airport is a military one that is closed to commercial flights from time to time.) That is why I would suggest the train as well. However, you could wait and see if Kingfisher has the flights going for your dates and then make bookings as things firm up. (I just checked their website and they are not showing flights from Jodphur to Jaisalmer at this time for December.) The train is only about 6 hours. And an Indian train is part of the overall expertise of being in India. You could also fly between Udaipur and Jodhpur and then drive or train to Jaisalmer if you wanted. There are many trains between Udiapur and Jodphur, the travel time is about 5 hours. 5-6 hours is actually quite a short time on a train and it will go quickly. It would be hard to fly door to door in a shorter time when you add in travel time to the airport, security, etc. There are daytime train options which would let you see something of the countryside.

There is fog quite frequently in Delhi in Dec and Jan. It generally is OK in the desert cities like Udaipur and Jodhpur. However if you have any flexibility I would avoid early morning or sunset flights, as that is when the fog is worst (as temps are rising and falling). You may as well avoid any fog delays if you can. Driving at that time can be dangerous as well. (Driving on Indian roads in darkness generally is not something I enjoy or recommend outside of major cities.)

A very useful website for hotels in India is http://sawdays.co.uk/, click on the book for India. You can also buy the book, Special Places to Stay India, but the website will give you a very long list of hotels to start with. A lot of these hotels are in the budget range, and all seem interesting (that is where I found the Chhatra Sagar hotel) and several, like the Imperial in Delhi, are outstanding (but it ‘s not a budget hotel by any means). See if there are any in towns along your route. There is a small Indian chain called Neemrama which operates a number of unique hotels in palaces and other old buildings and could be something to consider if you want a different experience. Go to http://www.neemranahotels.com.

I believe at least one poster on this board has stayed at Rohetgarh, mentioned above, so run a search and see if it comes up.
Cicerone is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 06:16 AM
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It's true that I think that Indian trains are a great way to experience the country - in safety and reasonable comfort.

But I was also thinking you could slow this itinerary down a bit. You don't have a lot of time for just strolling around the towns, especially in Jodhpur. And I think that dogster and cicerone are recommending places to stop between Udaipur and Jodhpur, not Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. I spent one night in the country in the Shekhawati region, but that's between Jodhpur and Jaipur.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 11:25 PM
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You could drive to Jodhpur via Kumbhalgarh Fort (45miles from Udaipur), perched up high on the hill with fine views of the western plains of Jodhpur. Buy yourself lunch at Aodhi & thereafter drive to Ranakpur. The Jain temples open for visitors at about 12 pm & you could do your sight seeing till about 4pm. Now you have some fine hotels in Ranakpur viz. Fatehbagh, a translocated haveli. The rooms are nice & the garden full of rose fragrance. The persian wheel used for irrigation adds to the novelty & do ask the ox driver to explain the mechanis!
Jodhpur is about 120 miles from Ranakpur; evening tour of Umaid Bhawan Palace & a cup of coffee at 'The Pillars' will refresh you.
Jaisalmer is about 4 hrs from Jodhpur but if you wish to stay short of Jaisalmer than Manwar Resorts will be a good choice. They have fine deluxe rooms, December / January could be too cold for the tents.
Hiring of luxury cars in Jaisalmer proves to be a pain in the neck. Only taxi jeeps ply there. Avoid long overnight journey in the train, it could be cold & uncomfortable.
Very best for your plans!
vp_singh is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 07:34 PM
  #10  
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Thank you everyone for the wonderful feedback. You have me some great ideas. However, I am confused on the drive time from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer. I had heard times ranging from 4-7hrs. Which is correct? If the drive is 4-5hrs i would drive str8 there. Any longer in the car and I would probably want to break the trip up.
lisasiegel is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 09:15 PM
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The exact mileage is 175 miles (280 Km). Unlike other Indian roads where you have slow traffic & moffusil towns or even villages on the way, the road to Jaisalmer is surprisingly straight, well built & the traffic but a trickle. Allowing for about 45 minutes at the Pokharan midway hotels for grub, 5 hours should be a rough estimate.
Jodhpur >> Jaisalmer road is a military highway. Sometimes the convoys of lorries, when the army exercises are underway, may delay normal traffic, though.
Imo, you should drive off to Jaisalmer directly from Jodhpur. Do visit the royal cenotaphs for the declining sun casts it's last rays, making these look very attractive.
vp_singh is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 03:49 AM
  #12  
 
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Best way to Travel in Rajasthan - especially if you wish to visit Jaisalmer - since flights to Jaisalmer do not operate now and neither they are showing up in winters schedule.

Best bet for you would be to fly to Udaipur (from Delhi or Bombay) - stay for 2 nigts than drive to Jodhpur - enroute visit the fabulous Ranakpur Jain Temples.

If you wish to break the journey between Udaipur and Jodhpur than my pick would be Kumbalgarh. (stay at HRH Property Aodhi Hotel) or Rohetgarh http://www.rohetgarh.com/ from where it is easy to see the Bishnoi Tribes as well.

Stay in Jodhour and drive to Jaisalmer - easy drive of about 5 to 6 six hours - you can visit the Osian cluster of Jain and Hindu temples enroute.

If you have extra time than you can break the journey at Manvar Hotels and Desert Camp - http://www.manvar.com/camp.htm
here the dunes are nearby and you can visit them as well as see the nearby villages - (potters, weavers etc) - and also where in the winters thousands of migratorty birds come from October to March.

Since there is no flight back from Jaisalmer - you can either drive back to Jodhpur and take the flight to Delhi or Jaipur or Take the Train option back to Jaipur.

all the best [email protected]
holikurry is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 09:47 AM
  #13  
 
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What is IMO please?
lisa_m is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 10:03 AM
  #14  
 
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IMO = in my opinion. Sometimes IMHO = in my humble opinion (not always so humble)
thursdaysd is offline  
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