4 weeks in India
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Nov 8, 2012 8:34 PM Last Post By: zoltan
Nov 6, 2012 1:25 AM
4 weeks in IndiaCamels to tigers, bazaars and curries... what is authentic and must-see and what isn't! I need your help fellow travellers!
I am getting a little overwhelmed with all the options for India! I meet my Mum in Delhi mid Dec and we leave mid Jan from Goa.
Where to go in Rajasthan? I've heard mixed reports on Jaipur and even Jodphur... where to go and how long to spend? Agra is obviously a must do, but stay overnight? Amritsar was on the list... Do we train it everywhere? Should we book in advance? How long do we need in Delhi itself? You can see I am confused! Perhaps there is a little place that is relatively off the beaten track worth a trip...
Then Varansi was suggested... fly there? Stay how long? Is there anything else over that way worth a visit?
Then I was planning on heading south... Kerala etc. Where to? How long? Then finish with a relax in Goa for 3 nights.
I have to take into account where we will be for Christmas (not so bothered) and New Year... We def won't be in Goa till 9 Jan so probably somewhere in the south...
And lastly, elephants... I am obsessed with them. Where's a good place to spend the day with them?
Thank you in advance for your help; it's much appreciated :)
Nov 6, 2012 2:51 AM
1The only thing you forget to say (besides elephants) is what you're interested in.
If you don't like forts, miss Jodhpur. But you'll be missing one helluva good fort (4 hours to see it pretty well). Most of us don't like Jaipur, and most with good reason, but you can ride an elephant up to their poor excuse for a fort.
You didn't mention Udaipur. Get it on your radar.
Nov 6, 2012 3:00 AM
2Thanks Pirate... good tips and good point! Love food, experiencing the 'real' culture, not just the standard tourist traps. Enjoy sight-seeing including forts... Udaipur and Jodphur added. How many days in each do you suggest?
Nov 6, 2012 3:49 AM
3You want to experience real culture,you must stop this shot gun mentallity about going everywhere and pick 3-4 places,if you want to taste India..It makes me dizzy what you plan to do.Can't be done.You must do some serious planning.
Nov 6, 2012 4:06 AM
4I'll agree with fivejacks. "Real culture" doesn't pop out into the tourist areas on a 2-ay stay.
Jodhpur, arrive in the afternoon, stay 2 nights and leave - the fort and the Clock Tower marketplace is about all you need to see.
Udaipur? I go nearly once a month for a couple days for the last few years. Not done yet.
Nov 6, 2012 7:45 AM
5I agree with Fivejacks comment as well ... he said it well. "you must stop this shot gun mentallity about going everywhere"
In another post you want to go to Ladakh - in December? Are you mad?
Calm down and focus. FOCUS on a plan. Quit spouting about loving Elephants - this is going to do you no good when your boots hit the ground in India and it's Show time.
Nov 6, 2012 8:47 AM
Stay overnight in Agra and also see the Agra Fort and nearby Fatehpur Sikri.
Skip Varanasi for now. Too far from Delhi and not an easy place to travel and visit if you are new to India.
Weather will be delightful in Kerala/Goa in Dec/Jan and Kerala is also a good place where you can meet your elephant friends !
Nov 6, 2012 1:05 PM
Where to go in Rajasthan?
Agra is obviously a must do, but stay overnight?
Amritsar was on the list...
Do we train it everywhere?
Should we book in advance?
How long do we need in Delhi itself?
Then Varansi was suggested... fly there? Stay how long?
Then I was planning on heading south... Kerala etc. Where to? How long?
Then finish with a relax in Goa for 3 nights.
(Elephants). Where's a good place to spend the day with them?
1) A good move to fly into one area and out of another (arrive Delhi leave from Goa).
2) Given your tight time frame, fly Delhi => Jodhpur (55 minutes), and spend 1 day there to visit the fort and the market. From Jodhpur, take a train /bus to Udaipur for 1-2 days.
3) You could take a train from Delhi, arrive in the evening. Stay for the night. Next morning, go to the Taj for the sunrise (it opens at 6am but is closed on Fridays). Visit the Taj for the morning, get your bags from the hotel and take a bus /taxi to Fatephur Sikri. Visit there for a few hours and either take a train /bus back to Delhi or, go to Jaipur for the night. From Jaipur, fly to Jodhpur. Jaipur is not worth staying to visit.
4) forget it - too far out of your way for a short visit.
5) No. Flights for your journey will be necessary in order to minimise your transit times.
6) Some flights, trains and hotels should be booked in advance.
7) Go for 2 days to get a feel for the city. You'll only start to see the highlights, but it's a start.
8) Forget it - too far out of your way on this journey.
9) Go from Jodhpur => Udaipur => Mumbai => Kerala. There's a lot to see there and worth your time to have a week there.
10) Depends where you're staying as to whether it's going to be "relaxing".
11) There's a place outside of Cochin (about 1 hour by taxi), where elephants are washed in the river, and you can join the mahouts to help with the washing (no charge but donations would be gratefully received). I can't remember the location but it is mentioned on this forum within the last 2-3 months - do a forum search.
Nov 7, 2012 3:11 PM
Nov 7, 2012 3:13 PM
Nov 7, 2012 5:23 PM
10From your wish list and time constraints, your itinerary could be Delhi/Varanasi/Agra and after sightseeing continue to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. You could take a train from Bharatpur to Sawai Madhopur for Ranthambore.Game reserve.You will need at least 2 nights in Varanasi, maybe a night in Agra based on your travel schedule, 2 nights in Bharatpur as you can see Fatehpur Sikri enroute. 2/3 nights in Ranthambore. If you want to visit Amritsar, best to do it from Delhi and return to Delhi.Delhi is quite good for sampling food and from the Kashmiri Wazwan at Chor Bizarre to Bukhara and Dum Phukt for Northwest Frontier cuisine, To Punjabi by Nature, and South Indian cuisine at Swagath and Sagar, besides the amazing variety in Hauz Khas village, you would be spoilt for choice.
One of the places for elephants is the Dubare Reserve in Coorg. You can bathe,feed,ride the elephants here and stay at the Jungle Lodges and Retreats property. Kerala would be the other option but the experience at Dubare is in the company of forest naturalists who are quite good.
In Kerala the food at Brunton Boat Yard Kochi is outstanding.
But if you are a serious foodie, Faiza Moosa's Aeziz Manzil in Tellicherry maybe a splurge you can consider.
Nov 8, 2012 7:07 PM
11Thank you all for your views and opinions. Some of you are more helpful than others, so after a barrage of abuse about not being focused enough and some great tips, I have come up with this itinerary!
Delhi-Agra-Udaipur-Jodphur-Jaisalmer-Delhi or in reverse...
I am trying to confirm best transport options for this:
Delhi - Agra: train
Agra - Udaipur: bus
Udaipur - Jodphur: bus (ony option)
Jodphur -Manvar camp - any ideas? driver?
Manvar camp - Jaisalmer: ?
Jaisalmer to Delhi: train
I could do Agra as an overnight trip from Delhi then fly to Udaipur to save a ltitle time as another option...
Constructive advice about best train types/times/routes gratefully received!
Nov 8, 2012 7:27 PM
12I could do Agra as an overnight trip from Delhi then fly to Udaipur to save a ltitle time as another option...
Depending on your budget this could be good or bad. The Udaipur airport is a long way from town, and flights to the, ahem, unimportant places cost more and/or route with waits through other airports. Check Jet Airlines, likely one of the only ones flying there.
In Udaipur, you can book a bus ticket to Jodhpur anywhere - but you will meet for the bus at Kamlesh Travels. kitty-corner from the municipal bus stand (everyone knows where Kamlesh is). Kamlesh will also have the most current timing information, all the signs in town are a bit wonky on timing. so even buying a ticket there works (I buy tickets there, don't like most ticket agents in town).
If you really want a driver in Jodhpur for that other side trip, PM me.
Nov 8, 2012 8:34 PM
13Not sure about the manvar camp area. But in case you decide not to do that, you can go from Udaipur => Jaisalmer by bus (it used to be 2 separate buses but may now be a single bus journey).
From Jaisalmer, go to Jodhpur.
Delhi => Agra, take the very early morning train or, get an afternoon train and stay there overnight. See the Taj in the very early and then get out of that city.
Given you are there during the peak of the tourist season, you would definitely need to book some of the train /bus journeys to ensure that you get a seat.
As far as train information goes, have a look at http://www.seat61.com, which will give you the best information about travelling around various countries (including India), by train.
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