overnights in Udaipur or Devgarh?

Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 11:44 AM
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overnights in Udaipur or Devgarh?

Hi. I am flying into Udaipur and I have 2 nights before I make the drive to Jodhpur with a stop over night in route. I can't decide whether to spend the nights in Udaipur, or to take a look around Udaipur and head onto DevGarh which is 40min north. I love the mountains and the countryside so the appeal is toward DevGarh but everyone goes on and on about the beauty of Udaipur. I wanted to hike, do something outdoors. Another option is to head to Mt Abu area. Which area would you recommend for two nights and any hotel in particular? Thanks.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 12:48 PM
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I love Udaipur, so I would stay a night at Udaivilas. Go up to the Monsoon Palace for sunset, take a 1/2 day horse ride out into the country
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 09:57 PM
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Hi lisa: in your last post you were talking about saving money on airlines - in this post you're talking about Devi Garh which is gonna cost you $425 a night for the cheapest room.

Udaivilas is US$490 + 10% for the cheapest room. Gawd. Yup, it's reputed to be the greatest hotel in the universe. Me? I don't wanna pay that money. There are many other options in Udaipur

So it'd help if you let us know your rough budget. I kinda got the feeling you weren't heading into the luxury market. If you are, well and good - but you don't need to faff about in here. Just book the rooms, let them handle the transfers and tours - easy. You can pretend you are in India.

But I don't think you want to do it like that.

Me, I don't quite get why you'd fly to Udaipur and then not GO to Udaipur - unless, like Cicerone, you have been there before, many times. She will be able to tell you the practicalities of airport to Devi Garh, having just done it.

What time does your flight get in? That'll determine your plans, really. From memory, downtown seemed to take about an hour from the airport [including traffic]. It's a very easy, new airport. No drama.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 10:13 PM
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Mt. Abu is four hours away BTW. Everywhere is interesting, that's the problem. You only have 48 hours in the area. You have, really, to choose ONE of your three options. Not a one and a half, not two and a bit - just ONE. lol.

Despite what I've said above, I can see merit in going straight off to Devi Garh from the airport. That gives you two nights there and another night on the way up to Jodhpur. You can drive the side roads, stop, walk and have three nights and four days in the countryside. Tempting, the more I think about it..

[A favorite trick of mine on a tiny country road is to stop the car, tell the driver to have a break and set off, on foot, along the road ahead. After the designated period of time - ten minutes, one hour, whatever, driver and car sets off and picks you up somewhere along the road. Try it.]

Again, obviously Cicerone should be your guide here. Rural India can be SO delicious to see. It's just what you think it should be. Maybe not so delicious to have to survive in - but that's another story.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 07:38 AM
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I have to first comment that I cannot say enough good things about my first stay at Devi Garh about 2 weeks ago. Its setting and service are unmatched. It may now be my favourite hotel in the entire world, it certainly is in the top 3. But aside from the hotel itself, one of its equally attractive features is that it is located in a very interesting small village that sees very few tourists, none probably other than guests from the hotel. Walking opportunities into the fields and the even smaller villages near the hotel are very good, and you can also make a trip by car for other trips. The hotel has bicycles which you can use as well to get a bit further afield. The rolling hill views from the hotel and surrounding areas are just gorgeous. (If you send me an e-mail at [email protected] I can attempt to send you the few photos I took. I am not a techi and this would involve transferring them from my phone camera, and I am not sure I am equal to the task.) The hotel is also close to Eklingji which has an interesting temple in town and several smaller/older ones on the outskirts.

That being said, I can see that a first-time visitor to Udaipur may want to be actually in town, with its lovely lake aspect and of course the City Palace museum and other sights. It has some very beautiful hill views as well, you won’t feel like you are stuck in a large city (the industrial parts are on the outskirts, not near the old town areas down by the lake where the sights and bulk of tourist hotels are located.) It is also one of the few towns in India in which it is possible to really walk around and wander the old town, so again it is pleasant to stay there. On my first trip to Udaipur I stayed in the Lake Palace, which I have to say was quite a magical experience as well. You could of course stay at Devi Garh and go into Udaipur for the day, and perhaps that is enough. Or vice versa, stay in Udaipur and go out to Devi Garh for a day. You could certainly get out to countryside areas from town with little trouble. Or save the walking for the overnight you plan to do between Udaipur and Jodhpur.

I have not been to Mt Abu, but would say that the temple at Delawara, the village in which Devi Garh is located, was the model for the more famous temple at Mt Abu, so perhaps a visit to Devi Garh would be sufficient.

But I would agree that you will pay a fairly high price for Devi Garh. Udaivilas is going to be in the same price range and most likely more. I think Udaivilas is quite lovely, but would not put its location as a huge plus. It is on the opposite side of the lake form the old town. It’s a short drive into town, but it is not walkable. (It probably is OK as a bicycle distance, I have not done that.) If the hotel is running boats over to the old town (which assumes several things like sufficient water levels), that is fine, but otherwise it has nice views, but I would not say it is well located from a sight-seeing standpoint. You can look at Sawday’s website http://sawdays.co.uk/, which I have mentioned to you in a previous post. However, if money were no object and you wanted to stay in Udaipur, I would probably take the Lake Palace over Udaivilas. If budget is more of an issue, then consider the Trident next door to the Udaivilas (and also run by Oberoi), it has lovely gorunds as well, no lakefront location and the same distance issues from downtown as the Uadivilas, but is quite a nice hotel for the money. But there are other options in town that are probably in the same range as the Trident and would offer a better location.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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I wish I had a year to see more of India, but unfortunately, this is not an option. Dogster, I was looking for cheaper flights so that I could spend more money on hotels or food. The price for a plane ticket can really vary for the same seat, but hotels you get what you pay for (usually).

I think it is wise to stay in Udaipur for 2nts and spend another night near Ranakpur or Kum. fort. My plan is to drive onto Jodhpur for a night and drive to Jaisalmer for another 2 nights. I have an extra night I can spend either on the way to Jaisalmer, or add another day to Jaisalmer or Jodhpur or elsewhere on the trip.

My trip is as follows:

Day 1: fly into Delhi arrive 9:30pm, spend night
Day 2-3: fly to Udaipur arrive 3pm, spend 2nts
Day 4: drive toward Jodhpur and spend 1nt on way
Day 5: complete drive to Jodhpur, spend 1nt
Day 6: drive toward Jaisalmer, stop overnight or drive onto Jaisalmer
Day 7-8: regardless of choice above, 2nts min in Jaisalmer
Day 9: overnight train to Jaipur
Day 10: 1nt in Jaipur
Day 11-12: drive to Agra, 2nts
Day 13-14: train to Delhi, 2nts
Day 15-16: fly to Varanasi, 2nts
Day 17-18: fly to Khajuraho, 2nts
Day 19: fly to Delhi, 1+nt
Day 20: fly to home at 12:55am

I know I'm covering a lot of ground but it is so difficult to visit India and not see some of these places. Any suggestions on hotels in Kum. fort area, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, place between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer?

Thanks everyone for you help.
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Old Sep 26th, 2009, 01:41 AM
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In Kumbhalgarh, I would certainly say to look at the Aodhi, see http://www.eternalmewar.in/User/Trav...dhi/index.aspx. This is literally yards from one of the approach gates to the fort, and is in a charming valley setting. The hotel is not overly luxurious, but the rooms I saw on a stop there for tea there about 2 weeks ago seemed quite pleasant and comfortable. You can do horseback rides into the national park here as well, which I would like to do on a return trip. The fort has a sound and light show in the evening which would be easily accessible from this hotel. The fort is one of the most impressive in India, IMO.

I don't think I would stay near Ranakpur, only because I don't think there is much in the area in terms of other activities, unlike Kumbhalgarh. They are about 45 minutes apart by car, so you can do a stop in Ranakpur on the way out or in to Kumbhalgarh. However, the same group which operates the Adohi also has a hotel near Ranakpur (I have not seen), check their website.

I would look at the Sawdays book or website for hotels between Jaislamer and Jodphur. See http://www.sawdays.co.uk/ For Jodphur I think that the Taj is quite good, there are more budget options however. I would check the Sawdays book or website as well as the Lonely Planet books.

If I may just add an editorial comment: in my opinion, going to Khajuraho is not worth the trip. The temple carvings are not any finer than you can see in other places; they are just more famous because of their erotic nature. I have to say that in all my repeat trips to places in India, Khajuraho never makes the cut. I have no interest in returning, and I think that you could better use the time elsewhere, like Jaipur or even in Delhi which offers so much to see and do. If you want to see erotic temple carvings, you can see a few at the main temple in Eklingi oustide Udaipur, near the Devigarh hotel (can also make a stop here on the way up to Kumbhalgarh.). Or just buy a good edition of the Kama Sutra and you will have a souvenir without having to go all the way to Khajuraho.

You can take a night train between Agra and Varanasi. This may be easier than flying via Delhi. You could then do Delhi in one go at the end.
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Old Sep 26th, 2009, 07:20 AM
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Thanks Cicerone. I was looking at the Aodhi too. I was also considering Deogarh Mahal, but it looks like it may be a bit out of the way. Rawla Narlai looks nice as well. I really just want to break up the drive. I was also looking at camp/hotel between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, but I can't remember the name right now. I will look at the website you listed above.

I wasn't going to include Khajuraho, but after reading so many positive reviews on the temples as well as the area, Khajuraho made the cut. Personally, I feel after the 10th fort, 10th temple, everything will probably begin to look the same to me. I am much more into nature and beautiful countryside. I want to do the horseback riding but I think the family will have other thoughts. I may just have to leave them behind!

The kids have friends in New Delhi, so they want to be there for New Years Eve. Also, I was trying to limit the number of overnight trains because I doubt we will really get any sleep.

Thanks again for all your wisdom!
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 12:32 AM
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Well, one thing I will say for Khajuraho is that the countryside is quite pretty. I think it would lend itself to biking (I have never done it, but check Lonely Planet and see if they mention it). Certainly walking as well. It is flat with some rolling hills.

I am fairly positive that you can also take jeep trips into the national park at Kumbhalgarh (I saw signs) so perhaps the family can compromise on the horseback riding. Or just leave them for an afternoon and go yourself.

Deogarh may be too close to Jopdhur to break up the trip. I think it is only like 60-80 km from Jodphur, check their website. That would mean a <ii>very long day coming up from Udaipur with a stop at Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur. Look at distances and see what you think. I have always wanted to try the tented camp at Chattra Sagar, but that may be out of the way too. See http://www.chhatrasagar.com/

Perhaps you could consider skipping one of Jodphur, Jaiselmer or Jaipur, as I think you realize that they do all start to run together at some point; and time at something like a tented camp may offer more interesting things to do, like local village life (which I am just am love with in India; I am almost giving up on cities entirely, so that may be my prejudice.) I believe that the Deogarh Mahal also has a tented camp option, check their website

I can see your point on the night trains.
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