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suggestions on North India this March...


Jan 18th, 2003, 11:23 AM
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suggestions on North India this March...

Hey, I'll be travelling alone in the North of India for the month of March. I'd like feedback on my tentative itinerary ideas. In general, I think I want to head out from Delhi, to Agra, to Jaipur, then to Rajasthan, and up to Punjab. After that, I was thinking of heading up to Dharamsala and then I don't know what next. I may have to head back down to Delhi since I only have a month. Any feedback? Is this too much for a month?
Any replies are appreciated. Thanks so much, Christine
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Jan 19th, 2003, 02:25 AM
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Greetings...I am an American who has traveled extensively in India over the past 12 years and also who also presently lives and works in New Delhi...I actually have been leading American tour groups through the Subcontinent, and also, consult others on there travel plannings...First off, one month is a great chunk of time for a Northern India trip..The weather in march is still excellent for traveling in the region, but the heat is slowly buildong up...So my first suggestion is to cover Rajastan first,(my favorites are udiapur, Pushkar and Jaisalmer) athen perhaps a few stops in Uttar pradesh, such as(Agra and Varanasi)--then back to Delhi/....Then, from Delhi you can now head into the Himalayans where the weather will be much cooler and delightful...Himachal Pradesh(HP) is a great region...There you can visit Dharamslala, Kulu Valley(Manali), Simila, places like that.....Ok\\\..Please feel free to contact me with any questions, advice or help with itinerary planning..warm regards..bonnie [email protected]
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Jan 19th, 2003, 02:14 PM
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So if a month is plenty of time, do I have time to spend perhaps the last week in Kerala, or somewhere tropical like that if I catch a flight? And, are the flights from say, Delhi to Kerala wicked expensive, or what?
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Jan 20th, 2003, 02:52 AM
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A month will go very quickly! I think 3 weeks in the north and a week in Kerala would be a great mix. Remember that even when flying, transportation from various places will take time, so plan this into your schedule. Trains and buses will take longer than flying, but will be much cheaper. Intercity flights are not that expensive relative to intercity flights in the US. Delhi is a major hub, and would have flights to various cities in Kerala, perhaps not non-stop however.

Jaipur is in the state of Rajasthan, so I assume you mean other places in Rajathsan like Udaipur, Jaislemer or Puskar, etc. All worth a trip, however the latter places are only reachable by train or bus, and are long journeys in and out. I am also a big fan of Ranthambore National Park, about 4 hours drive from Jaipur, for tiger viewing and lots of other wildlife.

You should also seriously consider Varanasi (Bernares) which is a fascinating city. You can fly there from Delhi or take a train.

Some useful websites (can't vouch for their total accuracy however)

www.indianrail.gov.in. - state railway of (India)
http://www.jetairways. - private airline in India, very good
http://indian-airlines.nic.in - state-run airline, domestic schedule
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Jan 21st, 2003, 04:58 PM
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Hi, just thought I would add a comment although it has been many years since I travelled to India, but as I also travelled for about 4 weeks I wanted to let you know this was an ok amount of time (we also spent time in Kathmandu as well).

Our itinerary included Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodphur, Jaisalmer and we liked Jaisalmer so much we spent about a week there alone. If you do get there make sure you do a camel safari. We did a 3 day trek out to the dunes and to some of the surrounding villages and although daunting at first became one of the most memorable experiences of the entire trip. Our camels were not lead so if you do not have any riding experience (ie. horses) this may not be your cup of tea. But sleeping out under the stars with the camels bunked up next to you really is a joy.

I did not like Delhi at all so spent as little time as possible there, but Agra (Taj Mahal) is beautiful as is Jaipur and Jodphur.

I don't think I would have liked to squeeze any more in as I would not have had the opportunity to spend so much time in Jaisalmer which I loved with a passion.

One note, we did not plan our trip or book anything at all except our air travel there and back. And found that making up each day as it came and having the flexibility to stay on or move on as the mood took us was the best way for us to travel. We had absolutely no trouble getting accommodation anywhere and the accommodation was all really good despite the average of $12 per night that we paid per room (ha ha). Now as I said this was quite a while back . . . (cough, splutter) 14 years ago so things may have changed.

I hope you have a wonderful time - I think I'm jealous.
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Jan 21st, 2003, 05:02 PM
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Hey Christine, I just noted that you will be travelling alone - in regard to the camel thing - if you do decide to do it make sure you deal with a very reputable camel tour operator (your hotel should be able to recommend one) as there were some instances of girls being raped while travelling alone on these tours. Having said that we had 2 girls who were travelling separately alone on our camel safari and they were perfectly safe.
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Jan 22nd, 2003, 05:04 AM
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Kumbulgarh Fort - an hours drive from Udaipur - fantastic location in a National Park (maybe it is Ranthambore?)with great scenery and guides that do not jump on you for your business. Supposedly has one of the longest walls in the world. Not a real fighting fort, it was more decorative, but great sight nevertheless.
I liked the buildings at Agra (TAj Mahal. other religious uildings, Red Fort and Fatepur Sikri - definitely worth the drive from Agra) but as a town itself, it is a total dump (as everyone I know who has been there also thinks), so Danielle's comment may need qualifying. Udaipur is a very nice town which was not so pushy re:tourists were concerned. But if you go to the bar there that shows Bond's Octopussy everynight (set in Udaipur)- get them to open any bottle in front of you (they gave me a dodgy one where the top of the bottle fell away and insisted I pay) and do not use the toilets - totally dísgusting.
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Jan 27th, 2003, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You may make another trip to India or you may not. Let us presume for the moment that you will not – if you do you can always revisit the places where you think you have much more to see.

Tourism in India is mainly

(A) - Rajasthan – 2 weeks
(B) - Delhi – Agra - Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi – One week
(C) – South India – one week
(D) – Goa and the Himalayas – the next time!

Rajasthan is best seen in a car. You do not need to make your reservations far in advance. The many family hotels in Jaipur are always willing to suggest hotels in other cities and book them for you, usually at a discount. You will be surprised when they bargain down the rates for you and then ask you to make all payments yourself! The reason is that most of the families that own family hotels in Rajasthan are Rajputs, mostly former feudal chieftains, who are inter-related in some way or the other and in their community it is bad form to ask for commissions from each other. They help each other but also make sure you receive a good deal because their primary interest is Tourism, which has provided them a new life style after their landed properties were taken away!

The places I would personally recommend are
Jodhpur – do not miss the Ranakpur temple while driving from Udaipur to Jodhpur

One family hotel I can suggest is Jasvilas in Jaipur – a Fodors recommendation, by the way!

For (B), take the air route. Agra has theTaj, Khajuraho has the erotic temples where you will experience another form of enlightenment, and Varanasi is perhaps the oldest still thriving in the world. Some hate it, some love it, but it is a place without pretensions, and perhaps comes closest to the foreign vision of India as it was.

For (C), I do not have first hand experience, the Fodors guide will be a far better source.
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