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It's not what you know, but what someone you dont know knows

Travel Forums Asia It's not what you know, but what someone you dont know knows

1. Posted by Ge0rge G (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

Ge0rge G has indicated that this thread is about India

Hello everyone.

I’m just trying to plan my few precious weeks in North India with my wife, and looking to tap into the information super-highway that is ‘Travellerspoint'.
If you are taking the time to read this .. THANK YOU, and I would truly appreciate you reverting with your expert opinions ;] !

We are flying into & out of Delhi.

Ladakh (first choice) is not an option anymore having looked into it and realising that it’s just a little too early in the year to truly enjoy the experience.
So I was thinking of trying to squeezing in some of the popular sights around Delhi....

The current thought was to take the train down to Varanasi for about a week, then head back and possibly dip into Rajastan for another week (this depending on how we find it in and around Vanarasi!).

So, my questions are as follows:

  • Is March considered a ‘busier’ or a ‘quieter’ time for foreign tourists in and around these areas?
  • Is there an important Indian holiday / festival that lands in the 2nd half of March, that might influence availability / ease of travel?
  • Should I pre-book the train ticket to (or buy a return ticket) between Delhi and Varanasi? If we wanted a simple sleeper cabin (doesn’t have to be private), what class would we need to book???
  • Recomended accommodation in Varanasi... cheap, cheerfull & CLEAN (I've read that Asi Ghat is a good area to stay in)?
  • Does anyone know of a small, quiet village that is accessible from V where we could spend a night or 2, doesn’t have to have a temple, specific attraction (in fact better if it doesn’t). Would just be great in our brief time in the country, to be able to experience a snap-shot of local village life - away from the cities and queues of tourists (like you and I) jostling to get the best angle for a photo...
  • If we had the time to visit one place in Rajastan, what would you suggest (that is within a night’s train ride from Delhi).

Many thanks again
George

2. Posted by mayaroy (Full Member 22 posts) 6y

Dear George!

Yes indeed Ladakh is too early to visit in March. On the other hand it will be interesting to see how the locals survive the cold with none of the homes being heated and how they depend on local fire. But it is cold and cutt off by road from the rest of the country until the month of June.

Varansi is good option but you may not require so long to stay there. Nevertheless if you want you can stay on one of the Guest houses on 80- assi Ghat- coast where the main rituals take place.

Rajasthan on the other hand is very interesting and colour ful.
You can take overnight trains and visit Jaipur Jodhpur Jaisalmer and Udaipur.
Or via the sekhawati region to Bikaner Jaisalmer jodhpur Jaipur and Udaipur.

At Delhi you can stay at one of the many Guest houses, "At Vasant Kunj" is highly recommended.

You can also take a day off to visit Agra and see the Tajmahal.

If you need to stay in a village near Delhi or Gurgaon let me know!

3. Posted by Ge0rge G (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

Thank you so much for your reply.

Would you know of a few names of guest houses 'on 80- assi Ghat' that you mentioned??

In Rajasthan, I looked on a map briefly but could not located the 'sekhawati region', is there any difference whether we go via there or just directto Jaipur, jodhpur, etc.

I would appreciate if you could give me a few names of nice villages near Delhi or Gurgaon where we could spent a night or 2.

Many thanks
George

4. Posted by danish_ali (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Days in Ladakh in March is quite sunny and warm but nights are really cold. Generally march is not very crowded in respect of tourist density in Ladakh. You must book all your train tickets and hotels at least 1 month prior to the day of your visit as in India its not very easy to get tickets. You can get guest house ( Rahul guest house, varanasi guest house and the martui guest house). If you are looking for the real Indian village, you may take a car or train and go to a village, its no far from Delhi, near about 100Kms.

5. Posted by random0786 (Budding Member 34 posts) 6y

Always book tickets in advance. Tickets in sleeper class are really cheap, and in case you plan to make any changes to travel 2-3 days before the travel date you can always cancel tickets as the cancellation charges are really very less (between 20-50 bucks). delhi to Varanasi train ticket cost only Rs300 (USD 6) one way.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Feb-2010, at 04:47 by random0786 ]

6. Posted by Ge0rge G (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

Thanks for your thoughts random786.
Could you tell me what class is the 'tickets in sleeper class are really cheap' and the best website to book them??
Thanks

7. Posted by traveler1 (Full Member 190 posts) 6y

hey

So, my answers are as follows: below each question of yours

  • Is March considered a ‘busier’ or a ‘quieter’ time for foreign tourists in and around these areas?

march would be quieter, not only foreign tourists but also bec of indian ones, as most schools n colleges are open n most have exams in march /april...so less travel

  • Is there an important Indian holiday / festival that lands in the 2nd half of March, that might influence availability / ease of travel?

HOLI festival of colours is on 1st march, and happens to be a long weekend, indians usually travel to their city of origin so may be a little packed in bookings, so book earlier

  • Should I pre-book the train ticket to (or buy a return ticket) between Delhi and Varanasi? If we wanted a simple sleeper cabin (doesn’t have to be private), what class would we need to book???

yes pre-book...3rd AC or above, avoid sleeper class

  • Recomended accommodation in Varanasi... cheap, cheerfull & CLEAN (I've read that Asi Ghat is a good area to stay in)?

you will fine loads of info online, havnt been persoanlly, tho planning to....its KUMBH mela this year...so would be a bit packed
at haridwar, varnasi, rishikesh i assume

http://goindia.about.com/od/festivalinformation/qt/haridwar-kumbh-mela.htm

  • Does anyone know of a small, quiet village that is accessible from V where we could spend a night or 2, doesn’t have to have a temple, specific attraction (in fact better if it doesn’t). Would just be great in our brief time in the country, to be able to experience a snap-shot of local village life - away from the cities and queues of tourists (like you and I) jostling to get the best angle for a photo...

sorry, no clue

  • If we had the time to visit one place in Rajastan, what would you suggest (that is within a night’s train ride from Delhi).

tough one, but i guess visit jaipur.....its a couple of hours from delhi...will be worth it

have a lovely trip n keep us updated
cheers!

8. Posted by random0786 (Budding Member 34 posts) 6y

Tickets for all the classes in Indian rail can be booked through irctc.co.in (you can also pay by credit card). However as the official website is not very user friendly you can check the availability first in indianrail.gov.in or cleartrip.com

Sleeper Three Tier is the name of the class

In Indian Rails you have First Class (AC), Two Tier (AC) , Three tier (AC), Sleeper Three Tier (Non AC) and General class. General class does not require any reservation and is not recommended for travellers.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Feb-2010, at 02:54 by random0786 ]