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More India Itinerary Advice, also Jodhpur vs Jaisalmer

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Oct 21st, 2012, 08:02 AM
  #1
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More India Itinerary Advice, also Jodhpur vs Jaisalmer

I'm trying to finalize our international flights for a mid February India Trip. I had planned to go either in this way or reverse: Delhi>Agra>Jaipur>Jodhpur> Udaipur then home (preferably this way as I wanted to end up relaxing in Udaipur).

I just realized we could also go : Delhi>Jaipur>Jodhpur> Udaipur , then fly from Udaipur and spend 2 nights in Agra. The first routing is a bit cheaper, but the second keeps me from a possible 4 hour layover in Bombay on the routing home from Udaipur to Hong Kong.

Also any thoughts on Jodphur vs Jaisalmer? We like scenery, architecture, relaxing is preferred to more crowded....it seems Jaisalmer is a longer drive away but I can't really tell. We spent time in the desert in Namibia which was amazing, but I don't expect something on the tourist track in India to compare, so I was going to skip Jaisalmer...but am rethinking. We don't have time for both, as our itinerary is as follows:

Delhi (just for transit, or maybe one day to see the main sights)
1 or 2 nights Agra depending on connections
2 nights Jaipur
2 nights Jaisalmer or Jodhpur
4 nights Udaipur (I know this is a longish time, but the surrounding areas look beautiful and I have my heart set on relaxing at Devi Garh for a few days).

Thanks in advance.
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Oct 21st, 2012, 08:14 AM
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Also we could cut Jaipur and go to both Jaisalmer and Jodhpur...not sure if it would be better to fly then from Delhi if we skipped Jaipur.
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Oct 21st, 2012, 08:40 AM
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We took the train from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer several years ago. The train windows were so dirty that we could barely see outside. I don't think flying to Jaisalmer was an option then--due to border problems at that time. I would skip Jaisalmer in favor of Jodhpur.
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Oct 21st, 2012, 08:46 AM
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For the short time you have I would definitely omit Jaisalmer. Remember that the drive from Agra to Jaipur is long so you certainly won't have two full days there. I would choose either Jodhpur or Jaipur and stay put until the long drive to Udaipur. The desert around Jaisalmer is very different from that in Namibia. We've seen both. Our desert experience in Jaisalmer was a real tourist trap. Nothing like joining 10,000 tourists, camels, and vendors for sundown. Enjoy your trip.
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Oct 21st, 2012, 01:20 PM
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I agree with Marija. Jaisalmer is a bit far from your other destinarions. Also Jodhpur has the best fort in Rajasthan.
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Oct 21st, 2012, 06:40 PM
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Thanks all for helping me go ahead with my itinerary as follows. I was a bit concerned about the tourist trap risk in India after Namibia, which was devoid of tourists and infrastructure.

How far is Jaipur to Jodhpur? JOdhpur seems "on the way" to Udaipur.

As for my routing, if I go fly back to Delhi to go to Agra, I also run into the closed Taj on Friday. Right now I'd arrive at Delhi very very late Thursday night, so Friday we'd have to either drive to Agra and see other things or spend the day in Delhi to see the Taj on Saturday. This is over Chinese New Year, so it will be packed with Chinese tour groups...oh well. I somehow feel the return routing, starting in Udaipur and ending up in Delhi is less preferable. I ended a trip in Egypt years ago in Cairo - not a great final impression!
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Oct 21st, 2012, 10:08 PM
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The route Delhi-Agra- Jaipur is the best. The road Delhi-Jaipur is in a mess right now with work that was supposed to have been done for the 2010 Commonweaalth Games still not complete

Jaipur has more to offer than Jaisalmer and Jaisalmer, being more dependent on tourism, has more of the touristy feeling you want to avoid. You can get a desert experience near Jodhpur at Khimsar or Osian

Including Jaisalmer means adding at least 2 extra nights as you necessarily have to go through Jodhpur twice or via Bikaner to get to Jaisamer from Jaipur and then from Jaisalmer too Udaipur

Devigarh will be the best end to your tour..dont worry the four hours during transit will just fly away
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 06:44 AM
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Thanks again...we've decided to have some extra time not to be rushed and now it looks like:
2 nights delhi (one is just arrival) > 2 Agra > 2 Jaipur >2 Jodhpur> 4 Udaipur.

If I cut the night from Delhi where to add it?
As we leave HKG on a Thursday night and arrive on a Friday morning...we could go straight to Agra on Friday and just see the Taj on Saturday and add a day elsehwere into the itinerary as Delhi sights don't seem as exciting. Thanks everyone for your opinions.

Also in Jodhpur, what hotels are recommended? Raas and Samara both look interesting, but obviously VERY different. The Umaid Palace is out of my price range.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 09:31 AM
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We stayed at the Taj Hari Mahal in Jodhpur and liked it. It's been rebranded as a Vivanta by Taj.

http://www.vivantabytaj.com/Hari-Mah...romotions.aspx

I liked Delhi and thought it had a lot of interesting stuff. For more details on the Taj Hari Mahal see
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...o-to-india.cfm
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 12:05 PM
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We will be at Devi Garh Feb. 21, 22. Then two days Udaipur. Do we overlap?
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 04:37 AM
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We will be at Devi Garh a few days earlier...oh well would have been nice if our days did overlap.

As for Jodhpur, thanks Marija for the recommendation. I looked at some photos of the Vivanta Taj and will consider it. It's a drop more $$ than the Raas for our dates. I also am thinking about the Ajit Bhawan - some of the rooms look dated, but it looks like an interesting hotel. I'm trying to strike a balance by managing to stay in interesting boutique hotels in India while also saving $$$ and using starwood points where possible. I really like the Raas but all the reviews about the loud sermon from the mosque make me hesitant to book. We won't be there on a Friday night though, but I don't know what other Muslim holidays may be going on.

I just booked the ITC in Jaipur on cash & points - the reviews aren't great and with so many other amazing properties in Jaipur, I might reconsider.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 04:56 AM
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We also stayed in the vivanta taj in jodpur and liked it. The taj was running a nice deal - 3 nites for the price of 2 when we were there.

I also concur that Delhi is worthy of 2-3 days. I was surprised at how much I liked it.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 03:08 PM
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Tans, save your Starwood points and cash. YOu are right, with so many great places in Jaipur, at very reasonable costs...better to save the Starwood point in India for some of the great ITC hotels (eg Maurya in New Delhi, Mughal in Agra) or for another Starwood property around the world that does cash and points.
I agree with Marija, Dgun, and others about Delhi "deserving" of 2-3 days. Don't shortchange yourself there. And it's GREAT for shopping. (I love the set up t Haus Khaz Village--problaby the only outdoor "shopping mall" next to an beautiful historical site!!!

In an "I miss India" frame of mind, this from TGS Tours had me laughing. One of those "shrug, it's India" statement:

"The road Delhi-Jaipur is in a mess right now with work that was supposed to have been done for the 2010 Commonweaalth Games still not complete "

Well, at least the Delhi metro finished in time!!
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 08:44 PM
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Hi,
Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately Starwood is claiming there are no "standard" rooms for the ITC Mughal in Agra for February, and not letting me use points for some basic room wtih a "fruit platter on demand". As if that's what one wants to eat in India! (my husband and I both got sick in Thailand from fruit). Using points in Delhi is a poor value, while for the ITC in Jaipur it's a great deal. All of these reservations are cancellable, so I guess i'll pick the best deal at the last minute
We will have 1.5 - 2 days in Delhi, partially because the Taj is closed on Friday. There is a lot of stuff to do everywhere - looking forward to it.
As for Delhi hotels we are waiting on rates from a friend of ours who has access to very good deals...otherwise we might try the Le Meridien.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 08:49 PM
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Any luck with le Meridien?

YOu can get a lovely and "atmospheric" small hotel in Jaipur, so again, even with the great deal in Jaipur , recommend saving your Starwood points

When i was there using cash and points Maurya came to about $100. Has that changed?


YOu will not regret 2 days in Delhi, esp'lly as much of that will be physically recovering from long flights, getting used to new time zone, etc
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Nov 5th, 2012, 04:54 AM
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Hi Cali,
The Le Meridien is about $250 USD a night our dates, or 10K starwood points - no cash & points available. I'm still waiting to hear back from our contact on corporate rates, so hopefully I can get something good that way. Sometimes sales for Delhi hotels come up on last minute travel websites (Jetsetter, etc) so I might look for something on those. None of the Delhi Starwood properties offers C&P for our dates.

I think we will book Raas in Jodphur, it seems like an interesting place, and we won't be there on a Friday or a Muslim holiday hopefully!

I think we will probably have 2 days in Delhi. We won't be recovering from jetlag as we are based in Asia, but I definitely want to take it easy the first day! It seems like any hotel in Delhi should have an ok location as I assume we'll just have a driver picking us up anyway.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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We loved our guesthouse in Delhi - large rooms, great home-cooked food, very reasonable, in a walkable, residential neighborhood next to Humayum's tomb. B19 http://www.bnineteen.com/
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Nov 5th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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We stayed at Ratan Vilas in Jodhpur in 2009 for $64/night including breakfast. It's a heritage hotel with a large bedroom and a spacious bathroom. It's not within walking distance, whatever that means in India, of the main part of town, but we had a car and wonderful driver. Lovely grounds and secluded . . .


We had a mediocre dinner at the Hari Mahal, a Taj hotel in Jodhpur. Waiters were excellently caparisoned in brocade tunics and turbans, but I'm glad we didn't waste our money on a room there.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 04:31 PM
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Indianapearl - thanks for the tip. I just checked and unfortunately Ratan Vilas are not available for our dates.
Chandelao Garh is for about $60 a night, but it's far from town...I paid $290 or so for RAAS for a cancellable rate, which seems to be fair. Hari Mahal was a bit more than this.
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Nov 8th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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Tans, check Kothi Heritage in Jodhpur. Friend stayed and loved it. About $50/night.
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