My priliminary India plan

May 9th, 2005, 02:32 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,448
Hey ssachida

Glad you mentioned Fatehpur Sikr! I loved that place. It was ALMOST as amazing as the Taj. I hate when people take the bus up from Delhi, see the Taj and go back in the same day.

waynehazle is offline  
May 10th, 2005, 05:09 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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ssachida, why would you drop Varanasi? I am going back to India in October and was planning to spend two or three days there as it is always so highly recommended in the guidebooks.
misspashmina is offline  
May 10th, 2005, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Varnasi is a vibrant buzzing pilgrimage spot, but is rather far away from Delhi. I can not suggest a substitute for Varnasi (there isn't one), but that doesn't mean there are many other, just as wonderful, places, nearer the rest of your route. Personally with 12 days, I'd go to Delhi(2 days), Agra(1), Fatehpur Sikri(1), Jaipur(2), Ranthambore(2), Udaipur(2) and Jaisalmer(2). Even that is a rushed itinerary, but you get a busy modern capital city(delhi), the Taj (agra), a deserted ancient royal capital(fatehpur sikri), the exotic element generally associated with India (Jaipur), 'exotic' wildlife esp tigers (Rathambore), gorgeous man made beauty and luxury (udaipur), the untouched desert scene with sand dunes as far as the eye can see, a stunning sunset and nature at its finest (jaisalmer). If you don't have the appetite for desert scenery and prefer the mountains instead, give one of the hill stations around delhi a try. Or better yet, drop both jaisalmer and the hill stations and enjoy the rest a little better.

Varnasi would be great on a trip to the east of India.
ssachida is offline  
May 10th, 2005, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The flight from Delhi to Varnasi is just over an hour and costs about $130 each way. There is also an overnight train from Agra to Varnasi. We just returned from India, and Varnasi is NOT to be missed. I think it's worth the effort and time.
JaneB is offline  
May 14th, 2005, 11:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 80
I could recommend the Imperial Hotel in New Delhi and the Amarvilla in Agra - make sure you book a room with a small balcony and overlooking the Taj (the relatively small extra cost is well worth it). You can sit on your balcony and watch sun rise and sun set!! and it is not too far to go to visit the Taj. Re Udaipur - I was there in January and you need to be prepared for the lake having dried out to a large extent. There was still just enough water to take a boat to one side of the Lake Palace Hotel but no water on the other!! For this reason, I stayed at Hotel Amet Ki Haveli (good car parking) - perhaps not a "glorious hotel" but I had a suite which had a lovely window seat overlooking the lake bed and the Lake Palace Hotel. It is an easy quick walk to the latter which has excellent food. A few miles from Udaipur is a place called DUNGAPUR - the Udai Bilas Palace Hotel there is, in my opinion, a "wonderful" hotel. You need a car - but you say you will have one. If you stay there you must visit the 13th century Juna Mahal (old palace) - the hotel will issue you with a permit to view. This 600 year old palace has the most wonderful frescoes, paintings, etc.

Have a lovely trip - I did (apart from the very cold nights in Dec. and Jan).

Pat i
01pat23 is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 05:01 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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I stayed at the Mughal Sheraton in Agra. That is those who want to put out a bit more cash.

They are a great observation deck. I sat there are watched the sun go down by the Taj. In the foreground were local children playing. It was the greatest evening of my life.

waynehazle is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 81
I am also putting together a similar itinerary for the two weeks preceding Christmas. The flight I am looking at from the UK arrives in Delhi at 2310 so I am thinking of just driving straight to Agra for 1 night, but having seen the recommendation for Neemrana Fort, I thought about going there for the first night. I can't work out if I should drop one place on my itinerary and if so which one?

Arrive Delhi- car/driver to
Agra (1 night) - car/driver to
Jaipur (3 nights) - train/car?? to
Jaisalmer (2 nights) - car?? to
Udaipur (2 nights) - fly to
Varanasi (2 nights) - fly to
Delhi (4 nights)

I have wanted to visit Varanasi for years, so don't want to drop that, if anywhere I think I would drop Udaipur. I would appreciate your thoughts on if you think this itinerary is overdoing it (sorry to hijack your thread starstruck, but it seemed sensible to tag onto the end of it).
LouiseUK is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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LouiseUK, your itinerary is so good that it seems carping to try to improve on it, so don't think I'm griping with these few suggestions.... it'sd just that you're making my mouth water, and I am doing the whole trip in my mind.

If you're arriving in Delhi at 2310, this means getting into your hired car, if you're lucky, no earlier than 2330, and by the time you got to Agra you'd just want to fall in bed until at least the middle of the morning. Presumably you want to see the Taj, and I can tell you that the middle of the morning is NOT the time to see it, because the crowd at that time will exceed the entire population of some of the smaller European countries. Spend the first night elsewhere, and have your driver take you to Agra in time to get a good night's sleep there and be up at 5:15 a.m.. If you are at the Taj ticket office at about ten to six, you can be in with only about a dozen other people, as the sun rises over the Taj. Now THAT'S the way to see it. By 8 a.m., when the place is starting to look like Grand Central Station at rush hour, you can happily leave and have breakfast back at your hotel.

While Jaisalmer is much smaller than Jaipur, I think if this were my itinerary I would shorten Japiur to two nights and lengthen Jaislamer to three; it's an amazing place, my favourite city in all India, and what's especially good about it is that in three days you can get to know it really well; also, this will give you a chance to spend a day and a night on a camel safari into the desert-- as soon as you arrive, you will be inundated with offers of trips ranging from three hours to a week.

If you are going to fly to Varanasi, would it be possible to extend your flight to take in Khajuraho? This is one of the great sights of India, and I know that the Jet Airways flight from Delhi stops at both cities, so you may be able to do this as an add-on for very little extra money. One night in Khajuraho is enough, as it is a compact little place easily seen in a day (though you probably won't want to leave!)

Alan is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 81
Thank you for your reply Alan. I have spent nearly two whole days trying to work out the perfect itinerary and have so many screwed up bits of paper in the bin that it is overflowing!

I did wonder about cutting Jaipur down and increasing Jaisalmer, so I think I will go with that idea. We are quite restricted time-wise as my partner is self-employed and works on large conferences and awards dinners and his last job is usually about 8th or 9th Dec, so we usually go away for two weeks then and get back literally just before Christmas.
LouiseUK is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
Dear Louise,
I typed out a reply to this thread a while back and when I hit "Post my Reply" I lost it all when my web connection went down which drove me crazy!Anyway here are my two cents!

We spent a month in Rajasthan and Delhi last years and reall enjoyed it. I didn't particularly enjoy Jaipur and I wouldn't hesitate to cut nights there for almost anywhere else.

We loved the freedom of travelling by car and enjoyed the opportunities to stop along the way. I posted our trip report on fodors which may be helpful.

We loved the small family run historical/fort hotels, particularly Ravla Khempur and Bassi Fort outside of was just so fascinating to see rural village life and to talk to the hotel owners who are essentially reformed feudal landlords.

I highly recommend Parul tour (Ramesh Dashora) who provided a great Ambassador car and a wonderful calm freindly driver Ombrigash. He was so helpful when I wanted to book a couple of extra hotel nights and really knew the various heritage properties. We didn't send any money but sure enough the car and driver were waiting for us when we arrived in Udaipur.

I liked Jaiselmer but it's a fairly long drive there and back and I would consider leaving it for another trip and adding one of the smaller country hotels into the mix. This way you'll have a more relaxing trip...which is hard to achieve in India.

Have a great time...I hope this helps.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
May 17th, 2005, 04:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 81
Thank you welltravelledbrit! I will contact the company you recommended as another one I contacted yesterday, which is recommended on this forum, replied back to say that they can't help me with a car and driver as they are too busy in December!
LouiseUK is offline  

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