I'm wondering whether i can make it from mumbai over to delhi and back with a few stops in 13days! i'm currently studying and so have no more time than this (booo i know!) but want to see the taj mahal.....dont really know what else. flying into dehli or mumbai is the same price - which one is better for a short trip??!
Any recommendations??? Im a lone female traveller which doesnt really bother me much as i've done similar places alone eg morocco, most southern african countries etc....but are the sleeper trains ok for just little old me?? or should i attempt to buddy up along the way???? i have max 40$ a day budget so im gonna try and hop on the cheapest train possible...unless someone had/heard of bad experiences happening.....
any info or recommendations would be appriciated.
thanks guys and girls x
Ps. i'm not good with over priced touristy things so taj mahal will be one photo day max! and am i ok with a fairly large camera or best off with little descrete one??
1st Try to understand india is not only Delhi and Mumbai, But also beautiful places in the south which are not marketed, but with lot of culture and art forms with beaches, forests and backwaters.
13 days are enough for a good plan.
1. Always go for decent accomodation where you get clean food.
2. Some places are not good for woman travellers going alone etc, so need to be careful where ever you go and kindly avoid travel in late nights. (Cities and towns are okey)
3. In some areas local transports would be very disturbing and difficult. you know almost all the cities are extremly crowded in India.
$40 including food would be very tight but please try,
Plan your trip in this way
1 Day arrival at Delhi visit old delhi,
Day 2 Move to arga in the morning, Visit taj mahal in the evneing, over night stay at Agra
Day 3 Morning go to Jaipur - See all the palaces of jaipur. Overnight stay at Jaipur.
Day 4. Morning be at Delhi, enjoy delhi... Overninght Stay at Delhi
Day 5 After delhi please proceed to the souther end of India (cochin) - Kerala 3 Nights on the train ( I guess) which would cost you $ 20-30 on non A/C reserverd compartment. or u can fly with $ 120-130.
Day 9 You can proceed to a beach , visit fort cochin, chineese fishing nets, cultural dance and fusion show at Cochin
Day 10 You can proceed to Cherai beach and spend time in the beach.
Day 11 Proceed to Kumarkom - enjoy the backwaters.
Day 12 Proceed to Kovalam - Enjoy Kovalam beach.
Day 13 Get a connection flieght from Cochin, to Delhi or mumbai for departure..
This is a sample tour, you would enjoy the whole of india.
1. have some contacts with the hotels / serviced apartments in Delhi and Kerala - so try to get some good deals for you if you want. Or why cant you do some kind of english training while u do the tour and make some money for your stay ...
It depends what you like as to which is "better".
Mumbai is bigger and more crowded, theres more rich but also more poor people, a very intense place in good and bad ways - I'd say even Morocco and Africa countries are unparalleled to Mumbai in this respect, but I'm sure you'll handle it easily.
Here you can see the Gateway to India/Taj Mahal hotel, take a short boat trip to see hindu sculptures in Elephanta caves, Chowpatty beach to see the beach life, watch a Bollywood movie to get in the spirit of it! If you're daring and have time to spare you can try the metropolitan train system
Delhi is a bit more green, less crowded (but still very crowded!). Here you can see the Lotus temple, Qutub minar, Paharganj markets, and the novelty of seeing cows in the middle of the streets. I'd recommend the Akshardham temple, which is a modern temple (was still being carved when I was there this year!), it was quite amazing and had a nice little show that explained the religion quite well, all very modernised.
Delhi is also about a 5 hour trip to the Taj Mahal (Agra)...I would try recommend you try do this either to or from Delhi if possible, rather than as a trip there and back!
For places inbetween, I only saw Mumbai/Delhi, but many people I met went on about the Rajasthan area - Jaipur, Udaipur, Pushkar, etc. so perhaps do some research on these, and they are pretty much in the middle
My opinion would be to use a more descrete camera as you will get hassled a fair bit by people trying to sell you things, but I guess they will be able to pick you as a tourist anyway.
You should be okay with $40 a day!
As for the sleeper trains - I didn't do this so someone else should be able to answer.
Hope that helps!
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 10, 2008, at 5:07 PM by Erik85 ]
While I think Mumbai is a much nicer city than Delhi on it's own, I think on a short trip, you can make better use of your time flying in and out of Delhi, especially if Taj Mahal is on your priority list. Mumbai doesn't have too many other interesting tourist attractions really close by, so you'll end up doing long journeys to get place. From Delhi on the otherhand, you can do a great loop of a few very interesting cities in Rajasthan and see more in only 13 days.
I would recommend visiting Delhi (2 days), Agra (1 day), Jaipur (1 day) , Pushkar (2 days) and Udaipur (2-3 days) at least, and Jodhpur if you have time. Jaisalmer is probably the highlight in Rajasthan, but unfortunately it's also the furthest away. But if you can work it into a 13 day itinerary, then try to get there. If you want something a little quieter and somewhat off the main tourist trail, I recommend Orchha (south of Agra). It was probably the quietest and most relaxing town we visited in the country.
Sleeper trains are generally safe, and my girlfriend and took them almost exclusively, never having a problem with theft or safety. However, there were a few nights that we felt a little bit uncomfortable with the amount of people coming and going while we were trying to sleep and couldn't always be paying attention to what was going on. I know I would still be willing to take sleeper class alone, but I'm pretty sure my girlfriend wouldn't. Going one class better, you'll find fewer people wandering around the train car at night and you'll have a better, less worrisome sleep. During the day however, I think there is no need to upgrade at all.
On $40 a day you should be fine with money. Our budget was less than $20 for two of us together. So you can probably afford to take the occasional 2nd class night train.
Since ur running short of time i would recommend u the following:
1. If the price is same why not try to fly in Delhi and out of Mumbai, this will save u time and money in getting back to Delhi.
2. If the above is not possible, then fly in Delhi and after spending a couple of days in Delhi, move to Agra and Jaipur for a day each. Moving on from Jaipur u can visit Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer for 2 days each. There are overnight trains from Jaipur-Udaipur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer which will save ur time and money. From Jaisalmer u can head to Mumbai and spend a couple of days exploring the town and u can make short excursions to Elephanta caves and to the quiet hill town of Matheran which can be accessed by a toy train.
3. The train timings, days of operation, fare can be checked on www.indianrail.gov.in . On the home page click on the “Train/Fare Accommodation” link and type in the details are required. For online booking of train tickets use www.irctc.co.in , booking of tickets open 90 days in advance. Sleeper class travel is also safe but u can check the fares and if it suits your budget, try travelling in AC-3tier coaches in trains, the fare of which is slightly more than the ordinary sleeper class but you will have a comfortable and safe journey.
Take the following precautions:
1. Dont hang out too late at night, especially in isolated places
2. Dress modestly
3. If ur lost and need help avoid middle-aged men, seek help from women or elderly people
4. Try to book ur train/air tickets in advance.
Regarding Agra and Taj Mahal i believe ur OK with one day as both the Agra Fort and Taj Mahal can be done in a day and it is okk with a big camera. I believe it is not very big
Do let me know if u need more info
thanks everyone...massive help - flights just got 100£more expensive so heading for the delhi option as it will save me some train fares across the length of india......any more info welcome - i'll check the website everyday before i leave!!!
thanks again x
Here are few suggestions to visit some tourist places in India and spend your vacations happily. In the world map of tourist spots, India adorns an outstanding place. There are too many wonderful places in India under various categories such as hill stations, beaches, backwaters, gardens, preserved monuments, shrines, historical places or pilgrimage centers, temples, churches and mosques and so on.
DELHI: Delhi is the third largest city in India. It has huge unmemorable monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and exotic shows, truly representing India. Many glittering and bustling bazaars are there, where you can find all kinds of wares and items. You can start from Old Delhi area and visit Red Fort, Qutub Minar to study the minaret closely, India Gate, President House, Parliament House and Lotus temple, Lakshmi Narayan temple, National Zoological Park, etc.
AGRA: It is one of the famous tourist destinations of India. Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Words are not enough to describe the beauty of this graceful structure, which exceeds all comparisons. You can also visit other tourist places like Agra Red Fort, Ram Bagh, Sikandra, Mariyam's Tomb, Jama Masjid and list goes on.
MUMBAI: It is the economical and financial centre of India. It has a plenty of cultural, religious and other interesting sites that are worth visiting for the tourists. When you are planning to visit Mumbai, the Chowpatty beach is unquestionably a must-visit place where you can surely enjoy an evening leisurely by walking along with your loved ones. Apart from this, you can visit Juhu beach the most frequently visited beach of Mumbai, Essel World, Marine Drive, Gate way of India, Mani Bhawan (Gandhi Memorial), Jain temple, Hanging Gardens, Prince of Whales Museum and so forth.
GOA: It is a perfect place to spend your time joyfully and enjoy western life style during your vacation. Physical beauty, culture, tradition and history of Goa admire a lot of visitors. It has exotic beaches where scenes of youngsters in love, grandparents lovingly holding hands and looking back at the past, people enjoying at shore, people taking sun bath and playing children are common. Apart from this, it has waterfalls, lakes, wildlife sanctuaries, forts, seminaries and caves.
KERALA: Greenest place of India is Kerala which attracts tourists looking for natural beauty and refreshment. It has wonderful beaches, sun kissed beaches hill stations, waterfalls, huge temples and so on for spending vacations gladly. Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kayamkulam, Munnar, Alappuzha, Kumarakom, Kannur, Wayanad, Thekkadi, Kollam and Varkala are some of the nice places to visit.
13 days is short but you can get a wee flavour of India.
What would you like to see?
Beaches or Deserts or Mountains?
A few people hav suggested itineraries...which i agree with in principle but then i reccon you should modify it as per what you wanna see n do...
By the sound of your budget it seems you a backpacker.....so accomodation may be slightly tricky
In Delhi area like PHARGANJ and KAROL BAGH are a haven for budget travelers.
Delhi has some nice monuments and shopping areas.... the night lifes pretty good as well, though if you wanna go clubbing
a few places can be as expensive as clubs in London.
Things to do in Delhi
Visit Old Delhi (Jamma Masjid) It will remind you of Souks in Morroco Fez n Marakesh
Qutab Minar (A Minerett ),
Jantar Mantar (Ancient Observatory)
Old Fort (The light and sound show is quite nice)
Dilli Haat (its a sorta crafts village were artisans sell their Handicrafts)
Museums - Gallery of Modern art is nice n there are quite a few private galleries in the city
If theres anything specific you wanna do drop me a line n can suggest where n what.
Delhi Tourism/Government organizes trips to Agra and Jaipur with a guide etc
They pretty economical and you have the other random travelers as well
I would suggest Sikandra (A beautiful tomb) and Fathepur Sekri (Old abandoned town in stone built bu Mughal King)
Also if you get an opportunity see the Taj from Across the River
WOW I didnt realized i had typed in so much....
gotto bounce rt now but if theres more info you need on anything jus drop us a note or put out another post...
Take care n safe travel....
Oh ya jus 1 quick thing... avoid ice in most places can 1 cantnot be 2 certain of the water source!!!
Take it easy
13 days = delhi, agra, jaipur, ranthambore national park, pushkar, deogarh (or somewhere similar) udaipur, fly back to delhi with jet airways and fly home
try to book 2 nights at Saubhag Homestay in Delhi at the start of your trip - it's pretty cheap and is absolutely fantastic!! will help 'break you into' your time in India and limit culture shock.
if you feel like one absolutel splurge a night at Devigarh an hour or so north of Udaipur would be amazing! its very expensive but is incredible and the experience of staying there will never be forgotten.
Mumbai is my favourite city in India (I have been to India 4 times and sell tailor-made holidays there for a living) but for this trip you may as well stay in and around the golden triangle/rajasthan.
Fatephur Sikri nr Agra should not be missed - not many good places to stay but plenty of cheap guesthouses.
General tips - don't try to cram too much in, don't over do it physically as India is one of the most hectic places you will ever travel (this doesn't become easier really) and always keep an open mind. smile!! Indian people are very very warm and genuine - if theyre staring at you its just because they are interested. haha.
if you had a few quid you could afford to spare then you should fly from Delhi to Varanasi for 2 nights and then fly back. Not the cheapest option if you are on a budget but smelly, bustling, colourful, crazy Varanasi is a fantastic place and was the city where I realised that out of all my travels I loved INida more than anywhere else.
Get into it and have a cracking time!!
flights are booked....flights are booked....flights are booked....flights are booked....flights are booked....flights are booked....flights are booked....!!!!! yeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyy....
thanks for all your wonderful help guys, heading to delhi for 13days keep the tips coming if poss! i arrive at 3 in afternoon, thinking of heading straight into the centre and looking for accom (like usual) if this is a bad idea let me know!!!
and prices of taxi/buses from the airport would be gratefully recieved.
oooooooooooo i'm gonna burst with excitement!!!