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India Itinery Advice

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1. Posted by blytonrtw (Respected Member, 20 posts) 13 Aug '07 10:00

blytonrtw has indicated that this thread is about India

Hi,

I will be traveling to India flying into Delhi on 29 Feb 2008 staying for 3 weeks and flying out of Mumbai on the 21 March 2008. I was hoping to fit in the following Amritsar, Jaisalmer, Jodpur, Jaipur, Agra & Goa. Can this be done in the 3 weeks or would you refine the journey?

As India is such a big place we are struggling to make the right decision for the right destinations. Can anyone help with their experience of visiting India.

Many Thanks,

Mark:)

2. Posted by Maneck (Budding Member, 30 posts) 13 Aug '07 11:42

Hey Mark
what r u interested in seeing?
whats yur budget like?

delhi/bombay n goa r the best to go clubbing n partying in.

Delhi,
its main monuments can be seen in say 3 days depending on yur stamina ... red fort, old fort , old delhi, jamma masjid (the main mosque),
lotus temple, humayuns tomb, qutab minar, India Gate & Rashtrapati bhavan (presidents house) Jantar Mantar these r a few of the monuments i can think of offhand

Agra
is a day trip from delhi or what makes sense is to go onto jaipur from agra instead of doubling back, again depending on time u can spend a day or at the most 2 in agra ....sights there include the Red Fort, Fathepur Seikri n of course the Taj.

Jaipur
i would recommend at least 2 days there are quite a few palaces, jantar mantar.. thats jus a few i can think off

Between delhi n jaipur there is a fort thats been converted to a luxury hotel (Neemrana Fort) if its in yur budjet highly recommend it!!!

Again depending on budget the best way to do agra n rajasthan is to hire a taxi.u should then fly down to goa/bombay

a few budjet airlines in india are Kingfisher, Jet, spice, deccan air.

hope this helps
Safe travel

regards
M

3. Posted by piyush (Full Member, 26 posts) 13 Aug '07 12:38

Hello,

As Maneck mentioned u need to make things a bit tight based on ur budget. U can trvel from delhi to Agra and then to jaipur using Taxi and its almost 5-6hrs ( every trip ) one side as the connecting highways are awesome.

Jaipur is my home town so i can suggest u lots of places. Apart from jantar mantar ..u must go to Amer Palace, Jai Garh ( both in one line of road ). Then go to City palace and Hawa Mahal. U can also go to the small museum in Jaipur....If u wanna shop in Jaipur do let me know....If u a religious person then some nice temples also there.

From Jaipur there are lots of cheap flights to Mumbai ( no direct flight to Goa )... cost around 50$ per person. From Mumbai it take 12hrs+ if u catch a Cab or Train, but flights also available. In Goa u must visit the Old Goa as they got some nice Church n museum. In goa u can get cheap bikes for rent. The north Goa is full fun place where as the South is natural beauty beaches....

If u a sweet lover i will suggest u must eat Agar's Peytha ( sweet dish ) and then in jaipur loads of things...;)

Let me know if u need more info :)

Piyush

[ Edit: Edited on Aug 13, 2007, at 12:51 PM by piyush ]

4. Posted by drneel1 (Budding Member, 7 posts) 13 Aug '07 15:03

Mark,
I completely agree with the earlier two replies. Since you are flying out of Mumbai, I can also suggest some interesting things you can do, besides the conventional night clubs, etc ( which I guess you can do in any city). Depending on how much time you have, you might want to check the Elephanta caves ( there is a ferry which takes about 1hour each way) from the Gateway of India. Also, Banganga is a very old temple and is near Malabar Hill ( south Mumbai).
Another completely off the beaten track thing to do is to go to Churchgate train station, and observe the exchange of lunch boxes ( there are professional 'lunch box couriers' in Mumbai; and they have an elaborate system of relays).

All the best.

Neel

5. Posted by aidni (Respected Member, 33 posts) 13 Aug '07 16:47

Hi!
There are thousands of great places to explore in India, the choice is difficult. But If I were you I would leave Delhi as fast as possible - 1 full day is enough (to compare to the wealth of things to see in other places the capital is poor). Rajasthan (Jaipur, Udaipur and especially Pushkar) is a good choice. Then I would go to Bombay and to Aurangabad for the Ajanta and Ellora caves (really, really amazing).
Best of luck
aidni

6. Posted by rajuindia (Budding Member, 22 posts) 16 Aug '07 01:22

Quoting blytonrtw

Hi,

I will be traveling to India flying into Delhi on 29 Feb 2008 staying for 3 weeks and flying out of Mumbai on the 21 March 2008. I was hoping to fit in the following Amritsar, Jaisalmer, Jodpur, Jaipur, Agra & Goa. Can this be done in the 3 weeks or would you refine the journey?

As India is such a big place we are struggling to make the right decision for the right destinations. Can anyone help with their experience of visiting India.
Many Thanks,
Mark:)

Dear mark,
Your best route can be as follows:-

ROUTE NO. 1
29 Feb - Arrive to Delhi
01 March - Delhi and visit Delhi
02 March - Train to Amritsar - fastest train takes around 6-7hrs
03 March - Amritsar
04 March - drive to Bikaner 500km so almost all the day by car
05 March - Bikaner
06 March - Jaisalmer
07 March - Jaisalmer
08 March - Jodhpur
09 March - Jodhpur
10 March - Udaipur
11 March - Udaipur
12 March - Pushkar
13 March - Jaipur
14 March - Jaipur
15 March - Ranthambhore National Tiger Park
16 March - Agra
17 March - NIght Train to Varanasi
18 March - Varanasi
19 March - Varanasi
20 March - Mumbai by flight or by night train
21 March - Mumbai & departure according schedule

ROUTE NO. 2
29 Feb - Arrive to Delhi
01 March - Delhi and visit Delhi
02 March - Train to Amritsar - fastest train takes around 6-7hrs
03 March - Amritsar
04 March - drive to Bikaner 500km so almost all the day by car
05 March - Bikaner
06 March - Jaisalmer
07 March - Jaisalmer
08 March - Jodhpur
09 March - Jodhpur
10 March - Udaipur
11 March - Udaipur
12 March - Pushkar
13 March - Jaipur
14 March - Jaipur
15 March - Ranthambhore National Tiger Park
16 March - Agra
17 March - Agra
18 March - Delhi
19 March - Flight to Mumbai
20 March - Mumbai
21 March - Mumbai & departure according schedule

I hope this will help you.
Thanks.
Raju India.

7. Posted by arif_kool (Travel Guru, 1757 posts) 16 Aug '07 01:59

i believe the itinery suggested by Raju looks good but it will be quite hectic.

I would suggest you to spend a week in the Golden triangle area i.e Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

Next week visit the remaining areas of Rajasthan like jodhpur, ajmer, Udaipur, etc

the last week u can visit Mumbai and Goa

Arif

8. Posted by vipingoyal (Full Member, 16 posts) 19 Aug '07 09:01

Please dont rush and touch the places.Dont travel by taxi.You will lose touch of india.Relax at places like pushkar and jaisalmer sand dunes.You can still cover all the places.Dont make itinery too long.
vipingoyal

9. Posted by joey22 (Travel Guru, 561 posts) 21 Aug '07 01:53

in my opinion dont spend a week in the so called golden triangle... its way overrated.

the best of delhi can be seen in one whole day... check a guidebook but red fort is coolest sight...

you dont' even have to stay in agra.. just go there from delhi or jaipur and see the taj mahal and then go to fatephur sikhri and stay there. thats what my gf and i did anyway. agra is a shithole and the people there on the whole were pushier than anywhere else we went in the 3 months i was in india. but thats only my opinion ok.

goa was superb.. we were there way out of season so partying wasnt as full on as can be but still fun. palolem beach was beautiful and rivalled anything in thailand or even cook islands for me. the food here is wicked too... the steak was so welcome after being veggie for 2.5 months!

jaipur is a strange place.. lots to see but i wouldnt stay too long there. the peacocks are cool in rajasthan.

pushkar is ok for a day or so and easy to get to by bus.

jodhpur was cool

ranthambore kicked ass although was hell to get to from pushkar through japiur and all over the place haha. seeing tigers was ace though. we booked the 4wd there by the way and had no probs just turning up and going but that was low season.

mumbai was a great city... leopolds cafe made famous by the book shantaram (read this if you can) by gregory david roberts, is a cool backpacker/local cafe/bar and good for meeting people. the food is good and safe and clean too.

travelling in india isnt as hard as you might think although it can be tiring and stressful... less really can be more, but i think you have time to see delhi, three cities in rajasthan, goa and mumbai comfortably... you might even squeeze in two or three parts of goa, or add in a place called pune in between goa and mumbai.

take some spray on hand sanitizer, lots of patience and have fun....

joey :)

10. Posted by travelligh (Budding Member, 2 posts) 7 Nov '07 14:27

I have done some of the cities you are planning. So, here are some suggestions based on my experience.

Best way to travel between cities is “discover India 21 day pass”, the current price $895, will be cheaper than total of individual tickets. 15 days is cheaper, $650? It works this way, fly in a circle, never coming back to the same city except to transit and to end the journey. Indian airlines flies to all these cities. Will save to time and hassle of buying train tickets. Go from Delhi to Amritsar to Agra to Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bombay, Aurangabad, and so on. The bus / taxi leaves you about 1/4/mile from the Taj and you must take electric car or tonga or rickshaw from there. You may be duped by very cheap rickshaw. Don’t let them “take the short cut” through the market. It is actually the long way through the shops of their contract.

Hotels: you are better off booking on your own. If you have the courage to go without reservations, it will save you money. Have their phone numbers available and you can negotiate the prices on the phone the day before or on the day of your arrival. In my experience, the 3-4 star hotels reduced their price anywhere from 30% -50% of their intial asking price. Last thing in the negotiations to ask for is “no service charge or tax on top of already agreed number”. These two items alone are 20%. Make sure to get a description of the room that they are offering for that price. Then when you get there, see the actual room they will give you not just a room before paying. One hotel reduced my price from 2800 to 1800 but when calculating the tax and service charges calculated 20% of 2800 instead of 1800, so make sure you have that already figured before signing.

If you hire a taxi for the local travel, be sure to negotiate that they will be at your disposition from early AM to at least 9 PM or so otherwise you will be spending extra on transport for dinner etc. Also you can afford to see sights for longer time. Whoever you hire for guide, be sure to tell them up front that you don’t want to go shopping, otherwise they will waste lot of your time taking you to out of the way places contracted by them. There will be plenty of shops on the way to all your destinations and you can stop your taxi anywhere you want and look around.

Based on my experience, From the list of things to see in Lonely Planet Guide I can tell you must sees and not worth etc:

Agra: 1 day enough, Taj, Agra fort may be. If you are driving you may wish to stop in Mathura, only for the temples. Get out early so you you can see some temples before the closing, all temples there close I think 11-4 or something, not sure exact time.

Fateh Pur sikri: on the way to Jaipur if driving. 1/2/day.

Jaipur: 2 days, Hawa Mahal is a wall with Windows rather than a palace, but a nice frontal view, it’s hard to even find the entrance. City palace. The jantar Mantar is a bigger version of the one in Delhi, so if you have seen it in Delhi you can skip this one or vice versa. Amber fort. Jal Mahal was in decay, no water in the lake, so no boats, so saw it only from distance.

You should have lunch at the “Chokhi Dhani” (ask the hotel about it). It is a place is set up like a traditional village, food is excellent for Rs. 200 per person and the whole place is worth. Takes few hours to really enjoy. Lots of picture taking.

Must try Kachori and Poori of several types in Jaipur and may be Daal Baati.

Ranthambore National Park: we planned one day but had to do it in two. The Jaipur Ranthambore drive was (3 years ago) arduous took almost ¾ day, unless they have fixed the main road by now. The tours run by the Park service go in the morning. Don’t bother going to their ticketing office, they will not sell one to you. Get it at the hotel you are staying at but they will charge you individual rate but issue a group ticket (they don’t actually give you a ticket). Every body gets a cut in this system. Don’t let the hotel charge you a service fee on top. We stayed at a hotel with “garden hotel” in the name, I don’t remember the exact name, but for Rs 400 a night it was a very good deal, clean spacious rooms good lawns / gardens. Don’t expect to see a tiger. If you want to see a tiger, hire a private tour jeep from the park service which takes only 3-4 people and is able to go into the interior, better chance of seeing one. We were disappointed. The vegetation is dying. The forest is all eaten by termites. You will see some of the common animals though.

Pushkar is temples and Ghats. The fair time is perhaps the only time worth going. The Pushkar fair is in Nov. Any other time you can get hotels in Ajmer for very cheap. The Jain temple is worth seeing.

Jaisalmer: I have not seen, but time your visit for the Desert Festival, Feb 19-21.

Jodhpur: Mehrangarh fort, not much else.

Bombay: Elephanta caves, If you go to ajanata ellora, you can skip.

Aurangabad: Ajanata Ellora caves, 2 days must see.

If you buy any cotton clothes in Rajsthan, expect it to loose color. Don’t buy “Gems”, most likely fakes or poor quality. Do buy fake jewellery. Beautiful rajsthani style jewllery can be had for Rs 300-500 per set. They call it silver but it is not, only cheap metal with white polish on it but still worth just for the beautiful designs. The puppets made of wood and fabric ar3e beautiful, I bought few from the Pushkar fair for as cheap as Rs. 25 each.