India - 2 Days only

Old Aug 20th, 2014, 09:13 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
India - 2 Days only

I am currently arranging a business trip to Mumbai (my first visit there) and timing wise, I can create a weekend stay there before moving on to the rest of my itinerary. I wondered if folks would have recommendations on what one can do with only two days. Also, as I am a woman and travelling alone, can anyone recommend any reputable private tour companies who might arrange a private tour. Happy to spend more to feel confident and safe and let someone else do the planning. Is it worth flying up to Agra to see Taj Mahal and back? Am I better off staying put in Mumbai. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
JEStraveler is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2014, 12:48 PM
  #2  
cwn
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We will be in Mumbai next year and have just a day. We have a car and driver arranged with Mumbai Magic for a day of touring. I know several people who have used them and they were very satisfied plus the tour was very reasonable. The company is popular with people cruising since that is usually only a one or two day stop.

As far as seeing the Taj, fly from Mumbai to Delhi then drive on to the Taj. There is a new expressway that makes that leg an easy trip...takes 2 1/2 hours. Don't know if there is a direct flight Mumbai - Agra...there wasn't several years ago when we were looking into it for our first trip....had long layovers in Delhi which wasted touring time. Driving in India is half the experience anyway!!

Ask the agent to give you a plan for two days in Mumbai and one for the over night trip to the Taj. I am guessing that you would have a early flight to Delhi and drive to Agra for the night, see the Taj at sunrise...best time...drive back to Delhi for pm flight back to Mumbai. It would be a fast trip, but worth it since you have never been there. You probably would have time to make a couple of other sites in Delhi/Agra depending on flight times. But with a private car and driver it is easy to cover lots of ground in a limited amount of time.

People do this type of trip often from cruise ships docked in Mumbai so you won't be the first person asking. But you will have the advantage of not having to worry about being back before the ship sails on the second day!

India is wonderful...try to see as much as you can especially since you are going there anyway!
cwn is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2014, 01:39 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,578
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
"But with a private car and driver it is easy to cover lots of ground in a limited amount of time"

Depends on where you're going! In much of India the opposite is true.

Another, closer, option would be Aurangabad for the Ajanta and Ellora caves.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2014, 02:15 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,897
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having been to both Agra and Aurangabad, I will chime in. The caves are great but if this is the only trip you will ever take to India, then you need to do the quickie trip to the Taj. I have heard differing opinions about the new highway from Delhi to Agra. If it takes 2-1/2 hours, that's great but I've also heard that it takes longer. Either way, seeing the Taj at sunrise is the best time. Sounds like you are going on a weekend, so it should not be closed. And yes, depending on your flight times, you may have time to see one or two other sights in Agra. The fort is relevant to the Taj story and worth your time. If you can get a reservation and can afford it, Amarvilas is a great place to spend the night. I cannot recommend a tour but Castle and King is frequently recommended on this forum. They are based in Delhi, I believe and will customize the weekend to your needs.
Craig is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2014, 09:46 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks all. Looking into the options and will report back if I get there!
JEStraveler is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:25 AM
  #6  
cwn
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Craig, I totally agree with your comments and suggestions. The Taj is worth the short trip!

We drove the Delhi - Agra expressway April 2013. I had also read here on Fodors that it took up to 4 plus hours. Our agent assured us that was no longer the case and was a much more efficient option than the fast morning train....he was right!

I can't imagine how it could take that long many more. There was no traffic approaching the toll gate. It was a very nice, fast drive through the country. We left the Delhi hotel about 8:30. Traffic to the expressway was the usual Delhi mess. In Agra 2 1/2 hours later, we visited the "Baby Taj" then braved the Agra traffic mess to the Fort. We were walking into the Fort before noon (we had been told go early or late, oh well)...it was very crowded and hot(April) on the walk to the Fort and I thought WOW are we crazy!! But once inside the crowds disappeared, it wasn't too hot and well worth the mid day stop. We were at the Amarvilas before 2 for lunch and had a beautiful room with a Taj view...worth ever penny to stay there...the grounds, food and pool are fabulous!! (Our rate B&B was less than half the published rate so be sure to let your agent price it for you before you reject it.)



thursdaysd, I have only been to the Golden Triangle area, the part the OP is asking about and, yes, I felt that we did cover more sites (ground) with enough time to enjoy our visit using a car and driver than we would have using the train of flying between cities.

We did not have to waste our limited time working around train and plane schedules and the attendant checking in etc to move from one city to another. The roads in that part of the country were basically decent to good. Especially the one between Delhi and Agra. Agra to Jaipur was long and just OK, but worth the drive for what we saw! Jaipur to Delhi was good and took less then three hours.

We had 6 full days on the ground in India, two full days in Delhi and two in Jaipur then two days that were the travel days - Delhi to Agra and Agra to Jaipur. Our visits to the Taj Mahal both at sunset and then sunrise, Baby Taj, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and the Chand Baori Abaneri Step Well took place on those middle two travel days.

The exciting experience of the huge traffic jam on just outside of Agra on the way to Jaipur and the Hindu funeral procession crossing the highway were an added plus. In fact watching that traffic jam unravel was one of the more memorable things about the whole trip!

So assuming that early morning and late afternoon/evening flights can be found...it is a very doable worthwhile experience for the first time to India. If you fall in love with India as we did you will try to go back as we are.
cwn is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:55 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,578
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
@cwn - as I said, the roads in India are very different depending on where you are. The Golden Triangle is a very small part of a very large country, and clearly efforts have been made to improve the roads there. i can assure you that the roads in much of, for example, Karnatake are something else....

And while the Taj is magnificent, and I'm very glad I've seen it, it is a product of the invading Mughals, and not exactly native to Indian culture.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2014, 09:08 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Personally, I would stay in Mumbai, get a guide for a more thorough Mumbai tour (do see the townhouse where Gandhi lived and worked) and go see the caves the next day. Having done business travel much of my professional life, the stress and jet lag of an international flight plus business trip and culture shock plus a hurry up trip to see the Taj...I don't think I'd do it. Yeah, you can check it off your bucket list, but there is so much more to India. You don't say how long you will be in Mumbai, though. I was only there for 2 days and one night (although we left late at night, so we did get a second night "out on the town") and wished we had had at least one more day/night. It is a huge city.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lisa_m
Asia
94
Feb 26th, 2010 03:37 PM
margotlynn
Asia
14
Jun 6th, 2007 07:53 AM
adwinn
Asia
4
Feb 17th, 2006 04:30 PM
RandO
Asia
11
Feb 21st, 2005 09:10 AM
anapipitrips
Asia
5
Aug 8th, 2004 04:59 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -