Our Central India Trip in February

Old Dec 30th, 2019, 07:09 AM
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Our Central India Trip in February

We are nearing departure on our India trip. I promise a trip report on our return. But thought I would post our itinerary below for additional suggestions of Fodorites for enjoying our trip as much as possible. The “day” really means that “night” based on where we are staying. From departure from Delhi to arrival in Mumbai we are on arrangements through Ibex Expeditions. We had chosen them as they are a local Indian company and have experience with the itinerary we wanted as they run it as a small group trip from time to time, although we will be on private version. We chose this itinerary as having a mix of the cities and nature and a mix of the more common and the off the beaten path. And we prefer a trip with a few nights in the same hotel even if longer days in transit between segments.

Day 1 Early morning flight arrival in New Delhi, stay Haveli Dharampura https://www.havelidharampura.com

Day 2 Delhi

Day 3 Delhi

Day 4 early departure from Delhi for Agra, Taj Mahal and cooking class in home, evening train departure

Day 5 early morning train arrival, driver meets train for for Reni Pani Jungle Lodge at Satpura National Park https://www.jehannuma.com/reni-pani-jungle-lodge

Day 6 Satpura

Day 7 Satpura

Day 8 drive to Bophal, stay Jehan Numa Palace https://www.jehannuma.com/palace-bhopal

Day 9 drive to Maheshwar, stay Ahilya Fort https://ahilyafort.com

Day 10 Maheshwar (day trip to Mandu)

Day 11 Maheshwar (day trip to Omkareshwar)

Day 12 drive to Indore, flight to Mumbai, stay Abode Hotel https://abodeboutiquehotels.com/abode-bombay

Day 13 Mumbai

Day 14 Early morning flight departure for home
laurie_ann is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2019, 07:55 AM
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I would consider an overnight in Agra so you can see the Taj at dusk and dawn.

I take it you are seeing Sanchi while you are in Bhopal? I also found the Bhimbetka rock paintings interesting.
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Old Dec 30th, 2019, 08:23 PM
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I agree with thursdays. You need two days, one night in Agra. There are a handful of other sites there besides the Taj. The structure itself is gorgeous, and we were happy that we were there twice, at sunrise and sunset. Also, we found some of the inlay artisans there quite fascinating. I wanted to buy a small table there, but I was worried about the shipping.
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Old Jan 1st, 2020, 07:21 AM
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I agree with CL about Agra. There is much more to see there if you can alter your schedule.

We have never had anything sent home (US) form India though I have heard of others doing it. If it is sent insured, trackable and paid with a CC for protection and if the price is acceptable then I think its ok assuming that's something you are interested in.

Looking forward to your TR!

We leave for our vacation in three weeks which includes India BTW.

All the best.

Larry
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Old Jan 1st, 2020, 07:45 AM
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I once mailed a parcel of clothes home from India. It was an interesting experience that involved filling in forms and then having the package wrapped and tied with string plus the application of a lot of sealing wax. Things have likely changed as that was 2001. The parcel did arrive safely.
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Old Jan 1st, 2020, 01:04 PM
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Agree 100% with all above: overnight in Agra.

It may be even more important that you see others places there ( e.g. the Agra fort) because maintenance/clean up work at the Taj Mahal has been intermittent but ongoing. Hope it won't be the case, but prepare yourself for the possibility that will be covered in scaffolding while there. You can check with your travel agent, who might know the schedule. but it being India, little will be predictable.

Assuming you arrive the night before your tour of the Taj Mahal, I suggest you first see the Taj on arrival to the city, from the Mehtab Bagh garden. You'll get a great view without having to actually enter the grounds, which --again, if yo stay the night--you will do the next morning.
Re : seeing sunrise and sunset...don't expect a glorious sunset or sunrise. This may have been the case many yrs ago, but now (and when i was last there in 2010) the air is usually filled assorted particles of smoke and dusty construction debris>Even if you dont actually see it, it does affect the light. Often, the sun will appear as reddish disc surrounded by haze.

Looking forward to your report on Dharmpura in Old Delhi!!!! It looks fabulous, and is a result of long renovation work. You'll be in a veryintersting part of the city. If returning to Delhi, I'd like to stay there!
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Old May 17th, 2020, 10:35 PM
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Too late to add anything to the post. But for those of the future travellers intend on pursuing this Itinerary, some improvements could be suggested. As all the other posters have already suggested, a night in Agra should be taken, for you have of course the Taj Mahal and the beautiful Agra Fort steeped in history and Fatehpur Sikri, some 20 miles south-west of Agra.
Three nights in Satpura are fine. However, imo, Satpura may be a wee bit short on animals to see. Reni Paani is a great choice, though for a die-hard wildlifer, not too concerned with luxury, Forsyth will fit the bill! Bhimbetka can be done on the way back to Bhopal, for the caves lie some 25mi east. Two nights in Bhopal as then you could visit Sanchi Stupa & Udaigiri caves. The Tribal Museum in Bhopal is certainly worth a visit. Jehannuma Palace has lovely Imperial category rooms. The food is delicious.
The drive from Bhopal to Fort Ahilya is a long one, some 180mi, about 5 hours or a little more. The road is very good. There is a midway hotel at Ashta for refreshments.
Ahilya Fort is a very charming property, with the great advantage of an all-inclusive formula, and easily accessible guided activities. Mandu is excellent sightseeing, which is about 45 minutes drive from the fort. It is quite widespread. Writing about the Jehaz Mahal (Ship Palace), in his autobiography, Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, the mughal emperor describes opulent celebrations in vivid detail: “As the evening began, they lit lanterns and lamps all around the tanks and building… The lamps cast their reflection on the water and it appeared as if the whole surface of the tank was a plain of fire. A grand entertainment took place and the inebriates indulged themselves to excess.”
Happy travels!
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Old May 22nd, 2020, 08:10 AM
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Thank you vp singh. My dream of visiting India seems to get further away but those are just the sorts of tips which held to make for a memorable trip.
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Old May 22nd, 2020, 09:20 PM
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Many thanks annhig! India is grappling with the menace of Covid. I am quite positive that very soon we shall vanquish it, just as western Europe has put brakes on its march. I am also positive, India will be much different, cleaner and with a crisp air blowing!!
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Old May 24th, 2020, 12:43 PM
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Thank you for your positive words and attitude, v p singh. i hope that you and your family are managing to stay safe in these troubled times and that India will indeed pull through as you say.
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