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lyntay Jan 11th, 2017 03:37 PM

Itinerary feedback please :)
Hi there,

Well, after lots of reading, I've put together an itinerary for northern India and would appreciate, very much, your feedback on it. Specifically, your overall thoughts on the itinerary, what would you eliminate and why, it's probably too rushed so what would you change, and anything in particular I should check out (other than the obvious tourist attractions)? Also, I have another 5 days I could add on to this trip, would you add those extra days to this itinerary (if so, where?) or would you add in Amritsar? I think I need more time in Delhi at the beginning, but let me know. So, here it is:

Day 1 - arrive in Delhi
Day 3 - Delhi to Varanasi (flight)
Day 4 - Varanasi
Day 5 - Varanasi - Khajuraho (flight)
Day 6 - Khajuraho - Orchha (drive)
Day 7 - Orchha - Jhansi (drive) and train to Agra
Day 8 - Agra
Day 9 - Agra - Jaipur (drive)
Day 10 - Jaipur
Day 11 - Tordi Sagar (drive)
Day 12 - Tordi
Day 13 - Tordi - Jojawar (drive)
Day 14 - Jojawar - Udaipur (drive)
Day 15 - Udaipur
Day 16 - Udaipur - Jodhpur
Day 17 - Jodhpur
Day 18 - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer (drive)
Day 19 - Jaisalmer
Day 20 - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur (drive)
Day 20 - Flight to Delhi8
Day 21 - Delhi

Thank you in advance for your time and your thoughts :)

julies Jan 12th, 2017 05:07 AM

My first question is what time of year will this trip take place because that will impact your enjoyment (or lack of enjoyment). Also, is this coming up quite soon? We really wanted to visit India again (we've spent four months there) this winter but gave up on the idea after hearing about all of the huge problems with the currency crisis.

We've taken several trips where our flight into Delhi arrived in the evening and we left the next day. It worked for us, and we have seen Delhi in half day doses which was plenty for us. You can easily get a taxi driver at an inexpensive rate and spend half a day sightseeing before you leave for another destination.

We really liked Orchha and would have liked two full days there.

I am not familiar with Tordi Sagar. What is the attraction of this place?

If you are interested I have two trip trip reports that include some lesser known heritage stays in Rajasthan. Bundi is a smaller, less chaotic and very enjoyable town in Rajasthan. If you are interested in a taste of the raj experience and are interested in wildlife. We have visited Castle Bera twice for leopard safaris that were a much better experience than visiting one of the national parks.

If at all possible I'd add in Amritsar as it is supposed to be fascinating; it is definitely on our need to get to list some year. Haridwar is another holy city north of Delhi and on the Ganges that we were pleased we had time to visit. In Varanasi make absolutely certain to stay right on the river.

Normally we are people who like to slow down and stay in a place maybe 4 nights, but we have found that there just aren't all that many places in India where we felt we'd want to settle in for this amount of time.

thursdaysd Jan 12th, 2017 05:19 AM

I, too, have never heard of Tordi Sagar.

Unlike julies, I think this is too fast paced, and although Amritsar is well worth seeing I would not add it without eliminating somewhere else. Travel in India is slow and exhausting (and sometimes infuriating). I would also look at taking a night train to/from Jaisalmer rather than driving (see for info on trains in India).

julies Jan 12th, 2017 07:04 AM

I was only suggesting adding in Amritsar if the extra five days were added to the trip.

Kathy--We must think alike because the first thought that came to mind for me was the overnight train to Jaisalmer. But, I did not know if this person would be up for that. Our first trip we landed in Delhi about 20:00, spent the night at our B&B, had them arrange a driver for the afternoon to take us around Delhi and to the train station for our ?? 17:00 departure on the train. We arrive in Jaisalmer the next morning. When leaving Jaisalmer we took the train to Jodphur, spent a couple nights there and then had a drive meet us there.

CaliNurse Jan 12th, 2017 10:10 AM

Hi Lyntay.

I understand the desire to see as many places as possible, when all are intriguing, in three weeks time. That said, this itinerary seems quite rushed, especially as there are many "travel" days." Amritsar is a great place, but I'd spread those extra five days out in the itinerary you already have.

I'll add more feedback after you say when you are going.

lyntay Jan 12th, 2017 12:25 PM

This is exactly what I'm looking for - thanks. I'll be heading there July 24th. Now I realize that this isn't the most ideal time of year, but it is the only time of year I can do it. I also know it will be hot!

I will be looking through your trip report tonight Jules. Thanks for posting the links. I'm am open to the overnight train as well. I look forward to hearing more of your feedback.

CaliNurse Jan 12th, 2017 07:28 PM

Yes, hot hot hot! I was in Agra and Delhi in June, temps well over 100 (supposedly a heat wave) and survived tot ell the tale!

I'd add two nights at least to New Delhi. Unlike Julie (see above) I love that city, although--as in any large Indian city ( including Agra) air pollution can be a problem for sure. I'd also add a day in two of your Rajasthan destinations.
Of the latter, on your itin, I've so far been only to Jaipur. Just outside town (easy drive) is the Monkey Temple (Galta ji). Very"local" and when I was there, no other tourists. my hands down fav store for block print women'ss clothes and gift shopping is called Soma.
I hadn't heard of Tordi either, but looked it up---looks lovely, with some great heritage places to stay! Always good to learn about a new intriguing destination!
On drive between Jaipur and Agra, consider a stop at Abhaneri for its stepwell and small local village.
I havent been yet to Udaipur (will be there three nights/days in late Feb) but you might want to add a day there. Ideas that might appeal to you, as they do to me, in addition to wandering the town and seeing the well known beautiful sights:

A half-day trip out to nearby Delwara village for the Delwara Heritage and Community Walk; also a cooking class in Udaipur.

lyntay Jan 12th, 2017 09:20 PM

I'm just curious. Did you take a tour, a custom tour or did you navigate India on your own?

ileen Jan 12th, 2017 09:33 PM

India will be hot during July, but am exciting about your trip and the fun you will have.
I am also thinking about a trip some time soon, although still in planning stages, thus enjoying reading about your trip.

A question about the visa for India? Have you gotten yours? The website of Cox and King seems to be so complicated. I need to just print the application and then mail it in.

Wondering if you applied on line and how long did it take for you to get your visa?

Any tips will be helpful. Enjoy your planning.

CaliNurse Jan 12th, 2017 09:43 PM

Lyntay, I nearly always use a very trusted travel agent for my trips to India, combined with some "DIY" segments. For example, the three days in Udaipur will be on my own, ppbut the vast majority of my upcoming trip to Gujurat was assisted and booked with the travel agent/planner's assistance. He hasn't steered me wrong yet, in five trips to India.
I believe Thursdsysd and JulieS go mostly the DIY route.

thursdaysd Jan 13th, 2017 04:13 AM

I have done two DIY trips to India, one for ten weeks in 2001 and one for six weeks in 2010. However, I am a solo woman traveler, and with the increasing incidence of rape and gang rape of tourists in India, I suspect that if I return I will either go with a small group tour or with one of the agencies recommended here. (Note that traveling with a male partner is not necessarily a protection.)

lyntay Jan 14th, 2017 11:51 AM

Hi again,

When you are on your own, how do you find a driver to take from one city to another? Is that through the hotel you stay at? Do you pre-book through word of mouth?


thursdaysd Jan 14th, 2017 01:34 PM

Depends. The first trip I used the trains almost everywhere. I did go into a travel agency to arrange a car and driver for the Shekhawati area, and used the same agency for a couple of transfers. I also arranged a car and driver through my hotel a couple of times for day trips, and took a few government tours - not sure they are still available.

The second trip I had one bad experience with a car and driver booked over the internet. I also booked through my hotels and with agencies a few times, but long distance was otherwise trains and one plane.

julies Jan 14th, 2017 01:46 PM

I will be honest with you; at the time of year you will be going I'd eliminate most of Rajasthan and instead head to the Himalayas (where it will be a little bit cooler) as do many of the people who live in India.

We were in Varanasi the middle of March, and it was so hot we arranged to go north as a way to get away from the heat. That trip we flew out of Delhi on April 2. It was 104 the day we left.

We do DIY trips, and I have an agent in Rajasthan I highly recommend--TGS. We used them for drivers on two different trips and were very pleased. They will do as little or as much as you want as far as arranging your trip. I got some great help from them in figuring out how to arrange our itinerary, and they will also tell you if it is better to do the train than to hire a driver (honest opinions which I appreciate).

However, on our last trip to India (6 weeks in Kerala) we just used the hotels to arrange onward transportation. Everyone in India knows a driver and easily arrange one for you.

lyntay Jan 21st, 2017 05:54 PM

Hi Jules, Thanks for your reply. When you used TGS for drivers, did you contact them prior to getting to India or once you were there? Did you hire guides for specific sites?

vp_singh Mar 29th, 2017 10:45 PM

Tordigarh is a small village destination, some 60 miles south-east of Jaipur. The accommodation is clean but basic. The owner Hemindra Singh will personally look after you. The activities include a village walk through the potter & gurjar habitations, a camel cart & jeep ride etc. It is a wonderful experience for foreigners to understand local cultures and a clever use of land systems developed over generations of work. The meals are home cooked Rajasthani cuisine with great flavour and a delight.
Enjoy your travels!

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