India, so many places, so little time

Jul 25th, 2005, 08:34 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 60
India, so many places, so little time

Me again,I have 14 nights but I dont want to be rushing from one site to another, so here are the places I would like to go, but I have to cut out some..please help me "cannot miss"
Delhi - Imperial
Agra - Amarvilas
Jaipur -Rajvilas or Samade Palace or Haveli
?Jodhpur- Umaid Bhawan Palace or Ajit Bhawan
?Varansi- Taj Ganges or Palace on Ganges
Udaipur - Devi Garh
Ranthambore - Vanyavilas
?Jaisalmer - Fort Rajwada
I know my hotels range in price but I would prefer atmosphere to super luxury which we can get anywhere. I might be able to get another two nights but would appreciate your help. thanks!
soobloo is offline  
Jul 25th, 2005, 06:07 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 142
IMHO there are definitely too many places on your itinerary. I haven't been to Ranthambore or Varanasi so can't comment, but I would have thought that with 14 or 16 nights, maybe stick to Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan locations and keep Varanasi for another trip.

I will say that if you can afford to stay at Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur, go with that. I have stayed also at Ajit Bhawan, which is okay, but not a peg on Umaid Bhawan. Two nights there would be enough, 1 in Agra, so that leaves 11 or 13. Maybe 3-4 in Delhi, keeping your shopping time for there and some in Jaipur. Then you have Jaisalmer, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Udaipur - 4 cities in 7-10 days. And travel time between each, assuming you are not going to be flying between all locations.
Whew!

I can't comment on the other hotels except Imperial in Delhi is excellent.

Sorry, not much help, but hope it gets the ball rolling.
Cheers
Fenno is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 55
Soobloo,

I've visited India twice and have been to each of the places you mentioned except Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. The one place on your list that I would think twice about is Ranthambore. I found it to be a nice break from the chaos of the cities, but if your goal is to see lots of game, you'll probably be disappointed. Unlike say an African safari, the animals are few and far between.

I highly recommend Varanasi. The early morning boat ride on the Ganges and the evening religious ceremony (the name of which escapes me) are the two greatest travel memories I have. That being said, the city itself isn't very "nice," even by Indian standards. But if you're prepared for an amazing spiritual and cultural journey, you'll be so happy you went.

I stayed at the Taj Ganges, which is supposedly the nicest hotel in town. It was a little out of the way, but a perfectly fine hotel by Indian standards.

I stayed at the Alsislar Haveli (sp?) in Jaipur, which I believe is the hotel you mentioned. It was a very nice heritage hotel. You'll feel like you've gone back in time. The Amarvilas is a magnificent hotel. If it were in Europe it would probably be one of the most expensive hotels in the world. (Ditto the Udaivilas, which I stayed at and the Rajvilas, which I didn't.) I haven't stayed at the other hotels you mentioned.

Udaipur is probably the most tourist friendly city. Boat rides on the lake can't be beat. Plus a drive out into the countryside to visit the Jain Temples is a huge can't miss. The Amber Fort outside of Jaipur is another huge can't miss. Be sure and do the elephant ride up to the top. If it were me, I would only do a day or two in Delhi to get acclimated.

Wherever you decide to go, you really can't go wrong. Just travel with an open mind and allow yourself to go with the flow.

Hope this helps.
TravlinFool is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 05:02 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,430
That's a lot in 14 nights! They're all wonderful places, but Jaisalmer and Varanasi (for instance) are half a continent apart.... how were you proposing to travel betweeen them?

One place that you can afford to cut down on -- down, but not quite out -- is Agra, which really only has one feature which is on everyone's must-see list. The problem with the Taj, I hear, is that you can spend precious hours waiting in queues. And, in your case, those hours ARE precious! So my advice here is to spend a day in Delhi, then travel (hire car or train) to Agra after 9 p.m.. Check into a hotel that is as close as humanly possible to the ticket office, and be at the window ten minutes before opening time, at 6 a.m. It's a great time to see the Taj, with all the changes in colours as the sun rises, and you won't have to stand in line at any time. By 8 a.m. you will have seen all there is to see, and by that time the Taj is literally swarming with tourists anyway, so you can be on your way to Jaipur or Jodhpur straight after breakfast.

I think the advice to leave out the Tiger Sanctuary is probably very wise, as interesting a place as it might be. We ended up crossing it off our list -- and we had twice as much time as you -- because there was just too big a chance of spending days in travelling just to see a bush where a tiger usually sits and rests.

Don't leave out Varanasi or Jaisalmer, however. As far apart as they are, they are two of the most fascinating places in India!

Good luck with your planning!
Alan is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 10:43 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 26
Planning a very similar trip....

On Ranthambore - our philosophy was including it was: seeing a tiger, hey great. Otherwise, I'm sure there are lots of other wildlife and we think we might be tired of temples and forts by the end of our trip. We thought a day at Ranthambore would nice. of course that means 2 nights - the day you get there, a full day of safari and the day you leave.
nypintha is offline  
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