India & Nepal Tour

Aug 15th, 2004, 06:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4
India & Nepal Tour

Message: Hello,

we will stay in India and Nepal from 16.11.-9.12 (24 days).

We want to visit Delhi, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodpur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Chitwan National Park, Pokahara and Kathmandu Valley.

What is the best way to do this trip ?

Is it possible to drive from Delhi to Bikaner by car, or is the way too long ?

Are there busses from Varanasi to Nepal ?



MichaelaW is offline  
Aug 15th, 2004, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Explore either the Indian Airlines or Jet Airways 2 or 3 wk travle pass - in case they fit in your budget they will be very time effective. Tho it is possible to transfer by road distances are long. Find out if the carrier you are using will fly you into Delhi and out of Kathmandu. This will save you some time. Assuming you spend 1 wk in Nepal that gives you 2 in India (cutting out down time). Land in Del. Transfer Del-Agra by train. Then do Agra-Jaipur and the rest of rajasthan by road. Fraom Udaipur train transfer to Varanasi. From Varansai I think train transfer to Kathmandu - check the Indian Railways website to see if there are trains.
hobbes is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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hi there. looks like a wonderful diverse and colOrful trip, including many of my favorite locales in both NDIA and NEPAL. The way a trip like this is generally done these days, is to both begin and end in Delhi, (as not many International airlines will have routes that can begin in Delhi and leave from Kathmandu). *many foreign carriers had pulled out of the kingdom in the few years. There are many places you would like to visit on this trip, whcih can be done in 24 days with careful planning that will include car, train, a few flights, etc...A good way to do this trip is to start in Delhi, travel and cover all the places of interest in Rasjasthan by a combo of transport-car-train-flight, etc (udaipur, jodphur, jaisalmer, bikaner, pushkar, jaipur)**not the exact order, depending on tranport factors...After Rajsthan proceed to Agra by car and then on to Varanasi by either flight or overnite train. From Varanasi to kathamndu u have a few options. There a no trains that would ply this route, from INDIA TO NEPAL, but you can take a train from Varanasi to gorakaphur, and then a bus/taxi/jeep to the border at sonauli, and from there a bus/taxi to kathamndu or Pokhara..Other easier/more direct options from Varanasi inlcude a direct flight to kathamndu on either indian airlines or a nepalese carrier like either Royal Nepal or neccon, or you can take a tourist bus from Varansi to kathamndu( a few agents around VAranasi will offer a through tip!) For NEpal, at least a week, including a few days in the kathamndu valley(so many places to visit!) and then with car/driver can drive to chitwan for a few days, can drive to Pokhara for a few days, and then drive back to kathmandu..*note, there are also domestic flights that will cover all this drives, of roughly 6 hours each..I suggest returning back to kathmandu, and then you can fly back to Delhi, to end the big beautiful loop and return home, alas and fufilled!...OKAY, i have written alot, but am quite familiar, as i have done this route countless times both independently and leading various groups in India and NEPAL. feel free to drop me a line if have some more questions or want some other adivce, etc. take care, namaste.
Bonita is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 37
I traveled three weeks in Rasjasthan by hiring a car and driver from the Imperial hotel in New Delhi. I highly recommend this instead of flying. We saw so much. Our car was wonderful with leather seats (Tata Safari)and our driver(Raj) spoke excellent English and was able to joke as well.
We did fly back from Udaipur to Delhi--that would have been somewhat long. We would travel about every third day and travel for 6 hours. Now, 6 hours in India is like driving for 12 hours AND having a car accident in the US. But, the sights that we saw would have been missed in a train or a plane. If you would like additional info, please email me at [email protected]. Have a great trip! --Kris
irieblue is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 492

We did almost exactly the same trip last November. We hired a car and driver and drove from Delhi, Mandawa, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, train/driver to Khajuraho, flew to Varanasi, flew to Kathmandu.

A car and driver is definately the best way to see India, but the drive from Delhi to Bikaner is too long - besides, Mandawa is a cute, small town experience. Also, with only 24 days it's worth it to fly to Kathmandu and spend the "on the road" time in the Kathmandu Valley. After the rigors of India, Nepal is a relief.
jahlie is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 01:39 AM
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Irieblue and Jahlie,

How much did you pay for the vehicle?
Rajhelp50 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 06:19 AM
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I actually booked everything - transportation, hotels, and some sightseeing - as a package through a travel agency in Delhi, so I don't know exactly what the charge was for the car and driver. I was given the name of the agency by a friend who travels in India quite a bit and the whole thing cost around $3200 for my husband and I. Next time I will book on my own because the travel agency didn't deliver some things as promised. Without going into details about that, the driver they provided was top-notch. He was a fabulous driver, a delightful person, and convinced me it is the best way to see India.
jahlie is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 08:31 AM
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HI there. YES, i agree,if you have three weeks to travel exclusively in RAJASTHAN, then having a car and driver is a great way to go. (though i do love the occasional train!).However, the poster questioned about a trip that goes through Rajasthan, UTTAR PRADESH, AND NEPAL, in three weeks! alot of territory. If you have three weeks and are planning to cover the places listed, Rajasthan, a few places in UTTAR PRADESH, (agra and Varanasi), and then save at least a week for three destinations in NEPAL(Kathmandu, chitwan and Pokhara), you are going to have to pick up your pace somewhere, and u might have to cut a few places from your list if you opt not to fly at all in your trip. ***note**, you can definately do your whole time in Rajasthan exclusively by car, (i would say/maybe give 12 days in raj), and then leave about 12 days to cover the rest of the places of interest on your journey/route in the other two regions u mentioned. u can still continue by car to Agra, but then to get to Varanasi it will either be a overnite train or a domestic flight, and then to get to KATHMANDU,again, many options,(but time will be a factor as the road journey to nepal is long!! u can take a train/taxi combo to the border at sonauli, but it will take u about 9 hours, and then another 6/7 to kathmandu..ouch! an option here is to fly varanasi-kathmandu...once in nepal, u can cover all the three destinations mentioned with car and driver in about a week..again, u will probably have to fly back to delhi from KATHMANDU,unless u are lucky enough to have a flight that flies u home directly from NEPAL..okay, happy travels.
Bonita is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 11:04 AM
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Hello to all,

thanks a lot for the realy good tips. They are very helpfull for us.

Nov 16: Arrive Delhi. Transfer to hotel. Morning tour of Delhi
visiting Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana - the cremation sites
of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, Jama Masjid and
drive past Red Fort and Chandni Chowk.

Afternoon visit Qutub Minar built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek
in 1199, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate (War Memorial Arch ),
Lakshminarayan Temple - a modern Hindu Temple. Also drive
past President's House, Parliament House, Government
Secretariat Buildings and Connaught Place shopping
centre. Overnight Delhi.

Nov 17: Morning free. Check out at 1200 hours. Later transfer to
rail-station to board train for Bikaner. Night on board.

Nov 18: Morning arrive Bikaner. Transfer to hotel. Afternoon tour
of this desert city. Bikaner is bolstered by imposing
walls and has a 16th century fort housing old palaces,
temples and a mosque. Founded by Raja Rai Singh, the
fort is distinguished by its long range of 37
pavilions, a line of balconies and aerial windows of
varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to
the Joramal Temple. The royal chapel is Har Mandir
where royal weddings and births were once celebrated.
Overnight Bikaner.

Nov 19: Drive to Jaisalmer. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight

Nov 20: Morning visit Jaisalmer. Visit the Fort, bazzars and the
old mansions known as "havelis". People still live in
these ancient buildings dating from 12th to 15th century.
Every house has exquisite carvings and filigreed work.
Overnight Jaisalmer.

Nov 21: Morning drive to Jodhpur.

Afternoon visit the Meharangarh Fort, situated on a low
sandstone Hill, including Moti-Mahal and Phool Mahal.
Also visit Jaswant Thada, an imposing Marble Memorium
built in 1899 and the museum located in the Umaid Public
Gardens. Overnight Jodhpur.

Nov 22: Morning drive to Udaipur visiting Ranakpur Temples
enroute. Ranakpur - 98 kms from Udaipur, the Jain
Temples built in the 15th century are situated in the
lovely valley of the Aravali. Its surrounding is quiet
and picturesque. Ranakpur has grand structures and
beautiful sculpture. There are 1444 pillars in the temple
and none of them are similar. The magic of light & shade
is really awe inspiring. Surya Temple and other Jain
Temples are side attractions. Overnight

Nov 23: Morning tour of Udaipur. Visit the city palace, Jagdish
Temple, drive around Fatehsagar Lake, Sahelion ki bari
(Queen's resort for her friends) and Bhartiya Lok Kala
Mandir (Folk art museum). Afternoon free. Overnight

Nov 24: Drive to Ajmer/Pushkar. Afternoon visit the Tomb of the
Sufi Saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the Dargah Sharif.
The city was founded by the Chauhan ruler, Aiaipal,
during the 11th century & is dominated by the Taragarh
Fort built by Prithviraj Chauhan. In Pushkar, visit the
holy Lake and also the famous Brahma Temple. Pushkar is
one of the holiest places for Hindus. Overnight Pushkar.

Nov 25: At Pushkar.

Nov 26: Drive to Jaipur. Free time. Overnight Jaipur.

Nov 27: Full day tour of Jaipur. In Jaipur visit the Amber Fort -
the ancient capital of the State. Visit the Sheesh Mahal
or the Hall of Victory glittering with mirrors.

Afternoon tour of Jaipur. Jaipur - the capital of
Rajasthan was given a colour coat of pink a century ago
in honour of a visiting Prince. Built by Maharaja Jai
Singh, the notable astronomer, this city is 260 years old.
Visit Maharaja's City Palace, the Observatory & Ram Niwas
Gardens. Drive past Hawa Mahal & through the pink rose
residential & business areas. Overnight Jaipur.

Nov 28: Drive to Agra visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute. Fatehpur
Sikri is 40 kms from Agra and built by Emperor Akbar in
1569 and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of
water. See the graceful buildings including the Jama
Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal and other
Palaces. Overnight

Nov 29: Morning visit the world famous Taj Mahal built by the
Moghul Emperor Shahjehan in 1630 for his Queen Mumtaz
Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Later visit the
Agra Fort containing the Pearl Mosque, the Halls of
Public and Private Audience. Also visit the Tomb of
Itmad-ud-Daullah built by Empress Noorjehan in memory
of her father. Check-out at 1200 hrs. Late evening
transfer to rail-station for Varanasi night train. Night

OPTION "B" HOTELS - Using Delhi - Hans Plaza or Oberoi Maidens
(first class), Bikaner - Basant Bihar Palace or Heritage
resorts (first class), Jaisalmer - Himmatgarh or Heritage Inn
(first class), Jodhpur - Ranbanka(heritage), Udaipur - Paras
Mahal or Quality Inn or Rajdarshan, Pushkar - Pushkar Resorts
(first), Jaipur - Shahpura House (heritage), Agra - Holiday Inn
or Howard Park Plaza or Ashok or Clarks (first class),

2 persons US$ 800 per person US$ 51 per person

Cost includes
- Room
- Breakfast at all hotels except at Pushkar Resort it is with all
- All transfers & tours as per program with non aircon transport
- Second class aircon train sleepers for Delhi Bikaner, Agra Varanasi
- Assistance

Cost does not include airfares, meals, entrances, guides & all
other expenses like laundry, phone calls, etc.

Cost of transport for the above program will be US$ 234 per
person(based on 2 people) by private chauffeur driven non aircon
car is US$ 234 per person.
MichaelaW is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 11:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4
Sorry I was to quick.

This is an offer we got from a travel agency. We have already booked our flights and will start the tour in Delhi and fly back from Delhi. I think from Varanasi to Kathmandu the best way for us is to fly, because we have not enough time. And we also fly from Kathmandu to Delhi.

With hotels the offer is too expensive. But what do you think about the option with train from Delhi to Bikaner, then Jaisalmer, Jodpur, Udaipur, Puskar, Jaipur and Agra with car and driver, then use the train to Varanasi. The rest we will do individuell. The travel agency wants to have 468 $ for the train tickets and the car with driver for 2 people.

What do you think about the tour and the price ?

Thanks a lot to all

Greetings from Germany

MichaelaW is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 492
MichaelaW, You might be interested in my trip report on this website. If you click on my name, it's #18 and above. It has my asessment of the Hans Plaza and other items you will be interested in. Take care and have fun planning.
jahlie is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,753
Price for the transportation eems ok. Hope in Nov-Dec weather u are using a non a/c car - that will be much cheaper. On the other hand non a/c train tends to get very dusty so stay with a/c - esp because u will need to sleep on the journeys to get right into your sightseeing the next day. Pl ensure that no driver supplements, taxes, etc are levable in addition. On acco. In Delhi look at master guest house. Pull up a few posts and u will find the link. Reasonable and very well located for your sightseeing, the train station and the Connaught Place shops (Janpath, Cottage Industries). IMO you are packing too much into your trip. Car journeys in India are not entirely predictable, highways are not the 4 or 6 lane variety you are used to in the west. This may be a trip of a lifetime for you hence you want to do as much as possible so cannot really advise on this.
hobbes is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 245
1.I agree with hobbes that you may be rushing it all a bit too much. While travelling by car, do not count on more than an average of 30km/h. Maybe you should ask your travel agent how much time he foresees in his programme proposal for the resp. car transfers. You may be able to assess from there how realistic his proposal is. You really want to have time to let the atmosphere and the sights to grab you. Better skip one or another place, rather than rushing them all beyond what you can humanely absorb and enjoy.
2. I have not been to Nepal, but am planning something for Jan/Feb, as an extension to a new India-trip. In guides I have been reading about Nepal, there seems to be a consensus that Pokahara is actually only worthwile if you are into trekking. If not, you seem to be better off concentrating on Kathmandu Valley. I do not know how true this analysis is. Anybody in this thread conversation with an opinion or an experience on that? It is also useful, I suppose for Michaela's trip preparation to take into account.
cram is offline  
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