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Rajasthan - 2nd Trip with Varanasi This Time

Rajasthan - 2nd Trip with Varanasi This Time

Mar 15th, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Rajasthan - 2nd Trip with Varanasi This Time

I am experiencing somewhat of a mid-life crisis in regards to our next trip. In addition to the aforementioned possibilities, we think doing Varanasi plus the outer cities of Rajasthan - Jodhpur, Jaiselmer, Udaipur and Ranakpur could be quite interesting. I have a pretty good idea of the fly/drive situation but don't have a good idea of how much time to spend in each place. Can anyone formulate an itinerary for me? We'll most likely be flying from Bangkok to Delhi and using that as a base for flying to Varanasi and flying to a circular route for the Rajasthan cities.

We have about 12-14 days to do this itinerary which is probably not enough time - what would you cut out of the Rajasthan trip? We do not want to visit India this time and not do Varanasi.
Craig is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 05:55 PM
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Oh, and the trip would be in February so weather is not an issue. We have no interest in the Camel Fair whenever that is.
Craig is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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That sounds great, Craig. Don't know about Jaiselmer, but I think you will have anough time to do it all. I don't think Varanasi is a place that you need to linger, and I found two days/one night were enough. I would recommend two nights in Jodhpur and two nights in Udaipur with maybe an overnight in Ranakhpur if you can find a nice heritage hotel in the area. One of our regrets is that we didn't get to Ranakpur, because of lack of time, but that is something we don't want to miss next time You can also save a lot of time by flying between Udaipur and Jodhpur, without missing too much, I think.

Hsvr you thought of South India and Kerala as an alternative since you have already been to Rajasthan?
CFW is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 07:19 PM
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Based on our recent trip here's what I would do, assuming you have to fly back from Varanasi to Delhi:

fly Delhi to Varanasi (2 nights was enough for us);
fly Varanasi back to Delhi and then fly Delhi to Jaisalmer (2 nights);
fly Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (2 nights);
drive Jodhpur to Udaipur stopping in Ranakpur (we spent 2 nights, 3 would have been good.) We flew Jodhpur to Jaisalmer to Udaipur and then drove to Ranakpur (3 hours each way). Since the drive Jodhpur to Udaipur is about 6 hours, I would just as well drive as fly and then not have to do a side trip. Note that the road from Udaipur to Ranakpur is under serious construction for a good part of the way and won't be finished for quite some time.
Marija is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 11:46 PM
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I went on a solo photography expedition through Rajasthan in March 2007 and used Compass Tours to craft and implement a customized programme. I was very pleased with the arrangements made by Compass (with input from me regarding hotels, driver, itinerary etc).

From Delhi I took the flight to Jodhpur. Was met by a driver at the airport and driven to Jaisalmer (6 hours). Spent 2 nights in Jaisalmer. I would recommend 3. Then drove back to Jodhpur (3 nights - 2 will suffice). Then to Pushkar - 1 night. I would recommend 2. Then on to Jaipur from where I took the overnight train to Bikaner (2 nights). Then driven back to Jaipur (1 night).

I had done Udaipur separately. Know that Rajasthan is areawise the biggest state in India and you need to cover lot of ground to get from A to B.

I used Compass again for a 3-nights trip to Varanasi. Craig, if you have specific questions about hotels etc I will be happy to answer them. You can check out my galleries at -




agtoau is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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Hi Craig,

Glad you are going back to India. I think your 12-14 days in the cities you mentioned are completely adequate. As you well know, just came back of my trip to India (Feb 8-28). My itinerary included 3 days in Varanasi, 2 days In Jodhpur, 4 days in Jaisalmer and 4 days in Udaipur (the rest of the trip included Jaipur, Agra and New Delhi). Varanasi was my favorite place. I took a place from New Delhi at 13:05pm (kingfisher Airlines) and arrived at Varanasi at 14:15pm. Stayed at a small hotel near the most important Ghat where I spend a lot of time watching the goings-on of the devotees. I loved every minute of my stay in this very old city. You wont't need a guide. Just wake up early in the morning and walk the Ghats. Don't miss the Burning Ghat. I'm sure Jean will take lots and lots of pictures. From Varanasi you may fly to Jodhpur. For us two days was enough. The Mehrangarh Fort is a must. Won't need a guide either. You could rent a very good recorded player with all the details you need to know. From Jodhpur we went by car to Jaisalmer (about 6 hours/170 miles/I think you could not fly from Jodhpur to Jaisamler without backtracking to Delhi). Not too much traffic but very interesteing roads. You could see a lot of Camels and small African like villages. Jaisalmer was my second favorite place. Stayed at a smal but very nice Hotel in the Fort (Killa Bhawan Hotel). Walking the small streets and mingling with the people, specially women in their colourful Saris was an experience. By the way, you will be in India in what they called "the wedding season". We had the opportunity to see some of them. February is the Desert Festival Month. There is the Camel Fair, different from the Desert Festival, where you could see Sari's competitions, Camel Races and Folklore music. From Jaisalmer to Udaipur with spend a night at a very nice place called Fort Rohetgarh. Next day visit Ranakpur to visit de Jain Temple. Amazing! Spend the last 4 days In Udaipur, maybe the most pretty and easy paced city of all. Even the vendors were not so pushy. 3 days will be enough, but being the last place for us, we wanted to relax and take a complete day for doing whatever we wanted. Hope this helps in planning your next trip.

gilawi01 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 04:36 AM
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What a wonderful dilemma. The world is a big place. Wouldn't you rue the day you didn't have to agonize over where to go next?

It's been a while since I was in Rajasthan but I like CFWs plan the best. I could look up my notes later, but we stopped at the Jain temple in Ranakpur enroute to another city . Was there more you want to see in Ranakpur besides the temple? If not, it's not worth spending the night.

I was also happy with just 2N/1D in Varanasi.

Once again, our itinerary was put together by a travel agent/tour company (Nino Mohan/ Worldview Tours). It was very well done, and the pace was at a steady clip but not overwhelming. We drove around Rajasthan, and flew to Varanasi (took the train between Delhi and Agra).

Nino likes to use Singapore (and Singapore airlines) as the base for his trips. I mention this because I know you use the Star Allinace team a lot.
Femi is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Craig - have you already been to Rajasthan? If so, why not consider visiting a different part of India altogether? Varanasi would fit well with flying into Kolkata instead of Delhi, and visiting Darjeeling and Sikkim, and/or Orissa and the Sunderbans reserve.

Plus, I'd vote for three nights and two days in Varanasi, or two nights and an overnight train. That gives you time to visit Sarnath as well as Varanasi, and to really soak up the atmosphere. And do stay on the river!
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Loved your photos -- they really captured the feeling of the places you visited.
CFW is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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To those who which to see the pictures of my recent trip, you can go to Flickr Photo Sharing and on the Yahoo ID type: [email protected]
Password: Awilda

Alert: The photos are not as good as Agtou (which were great), but still was what I saw through my lens.
gilawi01 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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Hi Craig,

I thoughtyou would be interested in this note I just got from my travel agent at Yatrik when I inquired about new flights in Rajasthan, particularly if you are planning on going to Jaisalmer:

Yes, you heard right - Kingfisher now has flight between Delhi and Agra - IT 2311 - 0755/0855 and also between Agra and Jaipur - IT 2315 - 0930/1030 hours. They also have flights between Udaipur and Jaisalmer - Jodhpur and Jaisalmer etc.

Connectivity has increased over all since many new airlines have come up and they are widening their coverage.

New Hotels are coming too and there shall be many good ones by next year. Some are slated to open by October this year as well. We need more hotels of International standards - since demand is huge and it shall also lead to a reduction in costs and overall package rates.

BostonHarbor is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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We flew Kingfisher Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi. Short easy hops, new comfortable planes (prop jets), good service, and all were on time. Highly recommend them. Flying allowed us to visit more places, and we were still able to see the countryside and villages on day trips in each place.

Patricia, Hope your travel agent was right about hotels. Are you planning another trip to India?
CFW is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 02:20 AM
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agtoau, your photographs are breathtaking. What an amazing eye you have for composition and color. Thanks for the links.
BostonHarbor is offline  
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