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Varanasi to Agra the easiest way?

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Apr 20th, 2008, 08:12 AM
  #1
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Varanasi to Agra the easiest way?

We're in the midst of planning a complicated itinerary---including flights to Bhutan and then direct flights Bhutan to Varanasi via Kathmandu (thanks Cicerone for this suggestion). Now wondering about the quickest way to get from Varanasi to Agra. Can we take a night train? ( hard to figure this out on the India Rail website). We could fly to Delhi to meet driver at the airport to drive to Agra---but Ive read that driving is more time consuming than taking the train--so should we fly to Delhi then transfer to the train station to take a train to Agra? The Agra stop will begin a 12 day tour of Rajasthan--I'll post some other questions about that separately. Thanks for suggestions...
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Apr 20th, 2008, 11:21 AM
  #2
 
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This is an excellent site to get info on all types of India travel:

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...d-around-f116/

and the page for air travel:

http://www.indiamike.com/india-artic...ghts-in-india/

The problem with flying when going from Varanasi to Agra is that you get into Delhi in the afternoon. Most of the trains are faster than driving, but the schedules didn't work well in teh afternoon, especially if you take into account late flights and traffic getting to the train station.

On my trip next month, we will be taking a night train TO Varanasi. One overnight is enough, so coming VNS to Agra we will fly into Delhi around 2 pm, have our driver meet us at the airport and go straight to Agra. I know we won't see sunset at the TAj that night; I just hope traffic is such that we get there before dark though.
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Apr 20th, 2008, 01:16 PM
  #3
CFW
 
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Another alternative is to fly from Varanasi to Delhi, stay overnight in Delhi & take the 6:00 a.m. express train to Agra.
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Apr 20th, 2008, 09:33 PM
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I just saw that you can now fly into Agra, as the airport recently reopened to commercial flights. You could fly from Varanasi on Kingfisher, via Delhi. I am not totally sure that Kingfisher would let you do this connection, as it is less than an hour, but it is very much worth asking. They are an excellent airline. You could take #334 departing Varanasi at 1:30 pm and arriving Delhi at 2: 50 pm, then connect to #2301 departing at 3:30 to Agra. Delhi domestic airport is tiny and the gates would literally be next to each other (there are maybe 8 gates at the terminal), so I think this connection should be possible. If possible, I would go business class, as if the Varanasi flight is late they will give you better service in making the connection, IMO. See http://www.flykingfisher.com/

If you fly to Delhi and then decide to go by land, I would agree the by the time you get into downtown Delhi for the train it is just as fast to go by car from the airport instead. The only caveat to this is that I would never do the Agra road at night, see sunrisensunet.com to figure out when it will be dark for your trip. From Delhi airport, figure about 3.5-4 hours for the drive. The last 30 minutes of the drive while you are in the vicitinty of Agra or in town itself, would be OK in the dark, but I would not do any other portion in the dark. This road is not safe, IMO, too many trucks, cows, people, etc. Its not true highway.
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Apr 20th, 2008, 10:05 PM
  #5
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Thank you Icuy,CFW and Cicerone for your thoughts on this. Its very helpful to have comments from some who have been there (as I'm sure you can appreciate, planning from guidebooks alone doesn't give you a sense of what the logistics of one's travels really entail).
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Apr 22nd, 2008, 05:07 AM
  #6
 
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Hi,

Bhutan to Paro - is possible Via Kathmandu. But please do remember that the Paro to Kathmandu flights are not daily flights - in the sumemr schedule they operate on Mondays, Thursday, Fri and Sunday only.

Also please take into account that the Kathmandu / Varanasi flight is not daily and operates only on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday - (ic 752 - 1410/1450 HOURS).

So for planning purposes if you have the exact dates of travel - it shall be possibel to advise if the connections are possible or not.

Now about your next phase of travel about which you are bothered - that is from Varanasi to Agra.

There are no direct flights here.
You can either fly to Delhi and than drive (4 hours) to Agra. Delhi to Agra flight leaves at 0755 hours - so it is not possible to fly Varanadi/Delhi and than Delhi to Varanasi on the same day.

Flight option -
Varanasi / Delhi - you can take 9W 724 - 1440/1600 hours and than drive to Agra from Delhi - 203 kms / 4 hours.

Train Option - Varaansi / Agra
On of the better Trains here is Magadh Express - 2225 hours from Mughal Sarai station near Varanasi to Tundla (near Agra).
***However I must caution that Trains here are not like you have in Europe or US - they are basic and you shall have to share the comparment with 2 or 4 people (depends on if you are travelling in first of second class) - + bathrooms are sharing not private.

--------
I am curious to see what your programme is like - rest of the places. It shall be easy for me to suggest the best schedule / modes of travel.

Travelling is my passion and helping others realise their dream (of perfect travel) - is my endavor.

Take care....Ajay

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Apr 22nd, 2008, 05:36 AM
  #7
 
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I believe the above poster is wrong, and that my advice is correct that you CAN fly from Varanasi to Agra in one afternoon on Kingfisher via a change in Delhi. This is if Kingfisher allows the short connection time. I have the most recent version of Kingfishersí schedule loaded into my PC and that is what I am basing my comment on. I donít believe that the schedule has changed yet. It may of course be slightly different in the fall, which you should of course confirm with Kingfisher.

I believe the morning flight referred to above is the Alliance Air/air India flight which to the best of my knowledge is no longer operating to Agra.

The days on which the Katmandu flight operates to Varanasi have already been noted in my original e-mail and are also quite apparent on the IC schedule.
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Apr 23rd, 2008, 06:30 AM
  #8
 
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Hi Cicerone

I appreciate your contribution to the forum however please do note that I do not try to give wrong information to people and my observations about Varanasi to Agra flights are accurate. I MAINTAIN that it is NOT possible to fly and connect - Varanasi / Delhi / Agra in one day since flight timings do not allow this connection.

For your info the flight of Kingfisher from Varanasi to Delhi is - IT 622 - 1720 / 1835 hours and thus after it reaches Delhi - there is no flight at all to Agra. The Delhi to Agra flight on Kingfisher as per the present schedule is IT 2311 - 0755/0855 hours -so it is quite apparent that Varanasi / Delhi / Agra is not possible in one day.

Even in winters though the timings of flights changes slightly - connections on this sector have never been possible.

Further let me also advise you that - Only kingfihser airlines flies to Agra - and has only one flight. No other airlines - be it Jet or Indian Airlines or Jet Lite etc flies to Agra from anywhere.

There used to be a time many years ago when Alliance air / Indian airlines used to fly to Agra and had a shuttle flight - Delhi-Agra-Khajuraho-Varanasi and back - but that was dis-continued many years ago - as Agra airport is basically an airforce airport and commerical flights are strictly regulated there. Only KingFisher has somehow managed to get permission now to fly to Agra.

The days of operation of the Paro to Kathmandu and Kathmandu to Varanasi , I mentioned are as per the summer schedule - however in winters this changes too. So JGR22 and others who are planning have to refer to the Winter schedule in caes they are planning to travel; after October.

It is advisable to block Paro / Kathmandu seats in advance since October onwards this sector is heavily booked due to the Festival time in Bhutan.

Let's be in touch


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Apr 23rd, 2008, 12:34 PM
  #9
 
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What a wonderful trip!

I will be very interested to hear about your flight to Bhutan via Katmandu. Can you book as an individual or do you have to book through a Travel Agent in Bhutan.

Also, does anyone know the best time to visit Bhutan (not too cold, please)!

Any recommendations re travel agents in either the UK or Bhutan would be appreciated.

Thanks

Pat
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Apr 24th, 2008, 04:42 AM
  #10
 
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Hi 01pat23

The flights to Bhutan are operated by their national airlines Druk AIR.

As of now it is possible to fly to Paro - from Calcutta, Delhi , Bangkok (Thailand) - Dhaka (Bangladesh) - , and also from Gaya (ahead of Varanasi - near Bodhgaya - a Buddhist pilrimage site in India).

Most of the flights Delhi tp Paro or Vice versa are Via Kathmandu - Nepal (Stopover).

Druk air has seasonal schedules - so the exact flight timings and details can only be known if you have the exact date or the month of travel.

Tickets on Druk Air can be booked through one of the agents of the airlines - one of the links to the agents is given below -
http://www.drukair.com.bt/reservation.php

Since Druk air does not feature in the international reservation systems like amadeaus,Galileo, Sabre - seats have to blocked directly with ther airline.

Best is to book directly through the link I have mentioned above or just let your local agent - who is bookign your trip in India / Nepal to handle the booking - as they are better equipped and connected to get you a confirmed seat by pulling strings in Paro their headquarters.

Baet time to travel to Bhutan is March, April, May, September , October and November - when the weather is the best and most of the festials in the monasteries take place.

Best agents to deal in Bhutan - is BTCL - Bhutan Travel corporation Limited or any of the tour operators in India or Nepal. Normally operators in USA and UK also have good deals for Bhutan.

Let me know what trip you are planning so that I can suggest more precisely.

All the best



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Apr 24th, 2008, 08:34 AM
  #11
 
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jgr22, Here is the info from the Kingfisher website on flights from Varanasi to Delhi for 28 October 2008, a random date I picked as I believe your trip is in the fall. You would depart Varansi at 1:30 pm and arrive in Agra at 4:30 pm. This reqiures a change in Dehli. But Kingfisher's website seems to view this as a legal connection, but of course check on it.

View fare rules
Fare Basis: N2IP*N2IP
1 Adult: 3875.00 +Additional Charges: 4350.00 = 8225.00 INR

Depart:
13:30
Arrive:
14:50
Friday, 24 October 08
Varanasi , IN (VNS)
Friday, 24 October 08
Delhi , IN (DEL)
KINGFISHER AIRLINES
Non-Stop / IT 334
Cabin: Kingfisher / Airbus A320-100/200
Connecting Flight

Depart:
15:30
Arrive:
16:30
Friday, 24 October 08
Delhi , IN (DEL)
Friday, 24 October 08
Agra , IN (AGR)
KINGFISHER AIRLINES
Non-Stop / IT 2301
Cabin: Kingfisher / ATR 42/ ATR 72
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Apr 25th, 2008, 06:47 AM
  #12
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Thanks to Cicerone, Holikurry for your thoughts and the specfic information on flights/train schedules. That flight from Varanasi to Delhi to Agra appears to be possible---but a bit too tight for my travel style. The tension about whether we'd make the connection vs have to rescehdule all our reservations for a day later would dampen our spirits for the day. So I'm going to pursue the train option, or just arrange for our driver to pick us up at the airport and drive to Agra directly.
And 01pat23---we're working with Snow White tours in Bhutan to make arrangements there. This agency has been highly reviewed here on this site--and so far we're pleased with the assistance given
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