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Would like comments on itinerary and hotlel

Would like comments on itinerary and hotlel

Old Jul 9th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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Would like comments on itinerary and hotlel

My college roommate and I have traveled together for years. We are two women, very fit and avid travelers. We did China and Cuba last year, want to do India this year.

We have used "Absolute Asia" to set up our tour and have been happy with their responsiveness and flexibility. Having never been to India, however, it would be invaluable to get the input of those of you who have Indian travel experience. We can change any of the itinerary that we want within reason and the fact that we are there at peak, peak season. We are traveling for 22 days.

Here is what our itinerary looks like:

December 16 2005: Newark 9:00 PM flight arrive Delhi 9:30 PM Jan 17
Non stop flight NYC to Delhi (the new Continental non stop starting in November 05--and we were able to use miles for business first--Yay!)

We fly between each destination with a backup plan for driving/train if problems with flights. We have a driver and guide at each location.

December 17-19: Delhi –Imperial Hotel

December 19-21:Varanasi –Taj Ganges Hotel

December 21-23: Agra—Oberoi Arnavilas

December 23-26: Jaipur—Oberoi Rajvilas (Christmas day is a spa day)

December 26-28: Jodhpur---Taj Hari Mahal (I've heard the Hotel Umaid Bhawan Palace might be a better hotel, but have been told that is will be under major renovation when we're there--any preferences?)

December 28-Jan 1: Udaipur—UdaiVilas Palace

Jan 1-:Mumbai—The Taj Mahal Palace

Jan 3-5: Aurangabad—Taj Regency (are the caves worth the trip or should we go somewhere else? )

Jan 5-6: Delhi—Imperial Hotel (for a full day of shopping)

Jan 6 11:30 PM Return flight to NYC

Any suggestions, modifications, "do not miss this" or general comments on the itinerary would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much in advance. I have been so impressed by the knowledge of the travelers that post on fodors.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 02:56 PM
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Way too many flights. half your trip will be spent at airports.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Sooo....what is the alternative? Should we drive? Take trains? Fewer places?
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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Confine your trip more to one area . Focus on Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra and if you must go to Varanasi. Add other places or place in Rajasthan instead of Mumbai and Aurangabad. Keep it to two -- absolute maximum of three flights and have a driver/guide for the rest.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 05:08 PM
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I think the ground you are covering is OK but agree with Gloria that many of these places are best covered by road or train. Specifically, plan Varanasi-Agra by train and Agra-Jaipur-Jodhpur-Udaipur by road.

If you are not keen to see Mumbai (as you ahve just the night there) I would suggest you stay at a hotel near the airport and avoid the 1.5 hour drive one way into the city. You can still get a flavour of the city by being in the suburbs. Options are the Leela, ITC Grand Maratha, Hyatt. Ajanta Ellora are gorgeous But IMO you may have had an overdose of "sights" by now esp after Delhi and Rajasthan. In any event 1 night there is enough if it gives you 1.5 effective days (do not know flight times)

Do you want to consider spending a couple nights in Goa instead? Gorgeous hotels, great character, very different from Rajasthan, good down time. You could fly Udaipur-Mumbai-Goa then back direct from Goa to Delhi.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 05:10 PM
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Re hotels. Jodhpur look at Ajit Bhawan as well - www.heritagehotels.com has it. Goa you can look at Taj Aguada, NIlaya Hermitage, Marriott.

Another option you could consider instead of Ajanta-Ellora if you are safari people is Ranthambore.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 09:35 PM
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Mumbai is a fabulous city and if I was you I would not miss it. Cut a day off maybe Agra, Udaipur & certainly Jodhpur and add a day or two to Mumbai. The Taj Hotel at Gateway of India is glorious. Mumbai is everything Delhi is not! It is unmissable imho! Have a magic time in India, you lucky people!
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 05:15 AM
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What great advice! Thank you to all!

Hobbes and Lyndie, we are actually in Mumbai from Jan1-3 (I cut off the exit date).

We were considering Goa as well in place of Aurangabad as my friend thought the "taste of Goa" would be fun.

Regarding Ranthambore, we have both been on Safari in Africa and thought that it would not be our best use of time while in India. Do you agree?

I will take the suggestion regarding taking the train between Varanasi and Agra. Should one stop at Khajuraho to see the temples there?

Again, many, many thanks for all your great input. How generous of all of you.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 06:39 AM
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Are you going to drop Aurangabad? I would say between Khajuraho and Aurangabad choose one. Sorry - my mistake not seeing the gap between Mumbai and Aurangabad. Even 2 nights in Mumbai is short and you could easily spend 3 but I am glad you are at least getting the 2. Agree with u re ranthambore not being unmissable. Goa is an experience, think you will enjoy it. How will you fit it in?
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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We would drop Aurangabad if we decided to add Khajuraho. Has anyone been to both? Have a favorite?

If we go to Goa we would not attempt Khajuraho and drop Aurangabad. It would be easiest to just drop Aurangabad and head to Goa as it it at the very end of our trip and would not change the rest of the itinerary. That is, of course, if we could get reservations in Goa. January 1st is a very busy time. The entire question might be moot.

I cannot wait for the trip. From what I have gleaned from everyone comments about India thoughtout the many threads on this forum, that it is a special time not matter what you do. I am so looking forward to it.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 07:37 PM
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My wife and I stayed at the Taj Residency in Aurangabad last year.

It was the most expensive and least enjoyable hotel we stayed at during our trip to India.

They rented out the central courtyard to incredibly loud parties every night. The hotel guests were not invited. It was nearly impossible to get any sleep before 4 AM. And I got food poisoning from eating in their restaurant.

The caves at Ajanta and Ellora are great, but try to stay elsewhere.
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Old Nov 15th, 2005, 10:21 AM
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I agree that Ranthambore is missable but my preference between Auragabad and Khajuraho is the later. The Son et Lumiere show here is fascinating. Besides you can drive 250kms south from here to Bandahvgarh Natinal park and see Tigers in plenty from open Jeeps, something you do not see elsewhere.

Sharad
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Old Nov 15th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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We stayed at Taj Ganges om Varanasi and Taj Hari Mahal in Jodhpur and liked both of them.
The TG in Varanasi gave us a room as soon as we arrived in the morning on the train from Agra.
THM in Jodhpur packed up a huge box of goodies for our early departure on the train to Jaisalmer.
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