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We just got back from India--Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, did the whole "Oberoi" tour--so if you have any questions about this area--fire away!

We just got back from India--Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, did the whole "Oberoi" tour--so if you have any questions about this area--fire away!

Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 35
We just got back from India--Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, did the whole "Oberoi" tour--so if you have any questions about this area--fire away!

I'd be happy to give any info from our trip for you.
ladia is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I plan to Udaipur-Ranthambore around April end and May first week.
1.>Is this a good time to go to these places?
2.>Is the Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur) mainntained well? I have heard that there is not much of the lake left and teh hotel is not of that good standard as Udai Vilas of the Oberois.
Anna200401 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 07:02 AM
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We went to Ranthambhore and saw the tigers. April and May is an excellent time I hear, because it is hot and the animals go to the watering holes to drink--easier to find them this way. We stayed at Vanyavilas, which was lovely. We stayed at the Lake Palace in Udaipur. We upgraded our room, so we were in one of the original rooms of the palace. We really enjoyed it. I think the service must be better at Udaivilas for sure, but the location of the Lake Palace can't be beat. Also we had a romantic dinner on a pontoon, that was very unique. They brought each course by boat. I think the main restaurant could be updated, but our room was actually very nice. We stayed at Oberoi throughout, so this was a nice change. We also enjoyed the New Year's party there with great fireworks.
ladia is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:47 PM
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Anna, I stayed at Udai Vilas in Dec 2002. While there we went to Lake Palace for a meal. I have earlier stayed at lake Palace and was shocked at how run down the property has become. re lake experience, despite udai Vilas not being in the center of the lake u get some of the exp as they transfer u by boat the first time and any other time u want. If u would like to try 1 non Oberoi hotel consider Sher Bagh in Ranthambore or if your budget permits the new Aman property.
Sameera_Anand is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Love to. We're planning a similar trip ourselves. We only have twelve nights available, and are thinking about only treating Delhi as an entrance and exit point, and skipping the city as a destination. Thoughts? Also -- we need to weed out one other destination: Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Jaisalmer? (Incidentally, we are travelling with our children, ages 12 and 15.) We're really trying to balance sightseeing with having enough time to just get the feel of different places. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
maggiep is offline  
Jan 24th, 2004, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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ladia can you please post a trip report for us. We plan a trip in November. Our Indian friend from UK tells me Oct-Feb is the best time to visit most areas although he says one must research what weather is like in particular places of interest. He says we MUST visit Kanyakumari on the sthn tip of India. I'd love to hear of your experiences.
Lyndie is offline  
Jan 25th, 2004, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Did you get a discount on your Oberoi reservations? Did you have any problems with upgrades ie getting the room that you reserved? How far did you have to reserve in advance? Did you have a driver? Would you recommend him? Did you do any flying? How was that experience? How about rail? Are you going to post a trip report? Thanks for posting! We are planning a trip for early 2005 and will be redeeming FF miles shortly to fly from CT, USA.
Craig is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 04:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Here are my comments on the various posts:

Anna200401: April/May is really, really HOT in north India. Temps are generally in the high 80s and usually over that. I have been in Delhi in late April when it was 115 F. It was not humid, but the moment you stepped into the sun, it was quite unbelievable and not that enjoyable. I would suggest you think seriously about including Ranthambore in April. You could easily become dehydrated and get sunstroke. The morning rides would be cooler, but the afternoon rides would be brutal. It will be hot enough just walking around most parts of north India. You might consider including a "hill station" like Darjeeling to get some relief from the heat. (That is what the English did when they ruled the place. ) As for Udaipur, I don?t think there is any question that the Lake Palace is not as nice or as well maintained as the Udai Vilas. However, for the whole experience, I would opt for staying in the Lake Palace. It really is part of the history and charm of the place. I love Oberois and would recommend them virtually anywhere else in India, but think I would "rough it" at the Lake Palace over the Oberoi. (I would also have a tough time between the Oberoi in Jaipur and the Rambagh, as the latter has a better location and is so full of history.)

Magiep: What month are you planning on going? The time of year generally rules itineraries in India (or it should IMO). If you are going in the summer, north India is very, very hot so I would go to fewer places and take shorter hours for sightseeing and rest stops in between. I see you have not included Agra/Taj Mahal in your itinerary, is that correct? I would strongly urge you to consider adding it, esp as your kids are certainly old enough to enjoy and remember it for the rest of their lives. Also consider adding Varanasi/Bernaes, as it is a mind-opening experience for children and your seem old enough to be able to see the cremations, etc without being frightened. Getting to Jaislamer is not easy, I would drop that first. Tough choice between Jodphur and Jaipur. Jodphur is less touristy and breathtaking in its location, and you can do camel rides into the desert. Jaipur has lots of charming/interesting little bits and really excellent shopping. I think there have been several complaints here about the quality of even the best hotels in Jodphur, so run a search. I personally would do at least 2 days in Delhi, there is a lot to see and do, and you can use it to recover a bit from your long flight (assuming it is from the US) before venturing out to other destinations.

Lyndie: I am assuming your friend is from South India, hence the recommendation for a part of India which is relatively untravelled by Western tourists. I have not been there, but would be curious to read you report if you go. My thoughts are that (1) this may be a long way to go if the main focus of your trip is north India and (2) this place is not heavily touristed and if this is your first trip to India you may find it does not have all the tourist services you expect or need, esp with regard to hotels and restaurants. Pluses are that you would experience a whole different culture and climate from north India. If you do this trip, you might want to focus the itinerary on South India, places like Goa and/or Kerala (West coast), Chennai (East coast), or even the island of Sir Lanka rather than Delhi and parts north. I agree with your friend that Oct-Feb is generally the best time to visit India, EXCEPT most of South-east India (Chennai and points south including Sri Lanka) which get very heavy rains in October and November. October is also pretty rainy in Kerala.

Craig: In my experience, it is generally not possible to get discounts at the Oberois. If you are staying at a number of their properties, you might get some kind of package rate, take a look at their website or enquire by e-mail. I love Indian trains, but probably the longest I would go is 12-14 hours on one. Look at the train schedules at www.indianrail.gov.in. (IMO is it actually Indian railway stations that make the trip interesting, bar none the best people-watching in the world. . .) For longer distances and/or if you have a short time, it is better to fly. Jet Airways is a private air carrier in India and is excellent, much better service and crew than Indian Air. Website for Jet Airways is jetwairways.com. Website for Indian Airlines is http://indian-airlines.nic.in/ (Not to be confused with Air India, which is international flights only.) I know that Jet Airways offers an air pass that lets you combine several flights at one price. Indian Airlines has flights to more destinations, so you may end up taking it if you want to fly to a place like Agra. Be advised that morning and evening fog is a problem in Delhi, Bernares and Agra and some other northern cities in the winter months. This can mean delays in air travel. Try to take late morning or afternoon flights to avoid fog delays.

Cicerone is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 05:00 PM
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Topping so that Ladia might actually come through on her promise to respond.
Craig is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 02:17 AM
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We too will be going to Delhi - Agra - Jaipur in early April.

Can you tell me more about the Oberoi in Jaipur vs. Rambagh? I would choose to be pampered over the "history". Is the service and accomodation nicer at the Oberoi? This is where we were planning to stay.

Are there things - markets/food/products/sites that I should not miss (other than the obvious - red fort, taj, etc)?

Someone has warned me about eating meat in restaurants. I cannot believe this would still hold true? Do I really need to avoid eating meat in order not to get "dehli belly"?

Thank you!
stargazer is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 12:00 PM
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It is not necessarily meat that will give you Delhi belly; you can also pick that up from unwashed fruits and vegetables, etc. If the meat is well-cooked it would actually be a somewhat safer choice than raw fruits and vegetables, so I wouldn't stop eating meat. I wouldn't be too concerned about illness, just take the same precautions you would take in any other part of Asia. Bring some Imodium or another over-the-counter medicine so you will be prepared if necessary. I have travelled in India for over 10 years and have never been ill; but did get dysentery in Bangkok (from stupidly eating mussels that did not look good), so it goes to show that if you don't take sensible precautions, you can get ill anywhere. For the most part, you would have no worries eating in 4 and 5 star hotels in India (even from buffets there), and actually most restaurants in the larger cities which cater to other than backpacking western tourists would generally be safe as well.

As for Oberoi vs Rambagh, you can't really compare them. The Oberoi is a 5 star luxury hotel with all the expected bells and whistles. The Rambagh just squeaks into the 4 star range (and some of its rooms are distinctly below that). However, the Rambagh's grounds are much prettier, IMO, and the location is more convenient for sightseeing in Jaipur. However, if you want luxury and pampering, you want the Oberoi. They have a very good spa. The villa tents are quite special, something out of Out of Africa, but their regular deluxe rooms are beautiful as well.
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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regarding 'delhi belly'... be careful with the ice in your drinks. it does not matter if you stay in 5 star deluxe hotels. the best rule: don't take any. also don't buy ice cream from places that have frequent power cuts. in those places, the ice cream melts during power outages and to cut their loses, the merchants freez them again. i lived and worked in delhi for 3 years (left in late 2001) and got sick almost once a week. it seems to me that you can get sick almost from anything - airborne, from foods, etc. it depends on how hardy you are. just bring a lot of immodium and drink plenty of bisleri water (bottled water). make sure that the bisleri bottles are sealed properly before you buy them. in agra. don't forget to see the agra fort. good luck.
fate_golfman is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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obenr is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 06:56 PM
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Tks Cicerone, for the info. Yes he is from Sthn India near Goa. My husband & I want to visit places our friend Arindam recommended as he was an excellent travelling companion in Laos and on many nights we talked about the delights and the challenges of travelling in India. I think Ladia's trip may be a little out of our league (budget-wise) so will do a bit more research after our trip to Myanmar Turkey and Greece in Apr/May. India looks so enchanting-I'm attempting to not over-romanticise the place. Tks again.
Lyndie is offline  

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