Delhi- Varanasi -Khajuraho- Agra

#1 Nov 7th, 2017, 21:17
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  • Heulwen Jones is offline
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Hi
We're a couple on a worldwide cycling trip and we'll be in Delhi in December. We have a friend joining us so we want to plan some trips without bikes.

1. Delhi - Varanasi - Khajuraho - Panna National Park - Orchha- Jhansi- Datia - Gwalior - Agra - Delhi.

We thought of an overnight train to Varanasi although even having checked your site I can't work out if 2nd C A/C will allow us any sleep but it's considerably cheaper than flying. then a flight from Varanasi to Khajuraho.
For the rest of the itinerary we thought perhaps hiring a car or should we just get a car and driver.
How many days does justice to each destination? Are they all worth visiting - happy to remove or insert depending on recommendations.
And any advice regarding reasonably priced accommodation welcome. Any thoughts on visiting Panna National Park.?
BTW we're travelling eary January.

2nd trip Delhi - Jaipur - Udaipur - Delhi
I haven't looked at this leg at all so I have no idea what the 'must- see' sights are en route so all input welcome. As is any advice regarding accommodation. For Delhi to Udaipur my partner and I want a vehicle so we can transport our trikes and travel on from there. So we need a man with a van from Delhi - is such a thing possible? Our friend will return to Delhi. We heard that Krishna Ranch, Udaipur is excellent - has anyone had any experience of it? It's rather expensive.

3rd cycling related question.
If all of the above goes to plan we should resume cycling from Udaipur mid January. Our intention was to cycle to Kerala, nip over to Sri Lanka (poss 2 weeks) and then cycle up to Chennai to fly out of India by 31St March. The problem with this - too much mileage and not enough time. If anyone has thoughts on areas that really aren't worth cycling or flip side areas not to miss so we can maximise the best bits, it would be really helpful. From India we're flying to Japan for spring blossom so the exit point is definitely changeable and perhaps we could fly out a bit later.

Hope you guys can help.
#2 Nov 7th, 2017, 21:27
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  • aarosh is offline
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Read http://trainstuff.in/classes-of-travel to understand the different classes of travel in Indian trains. 2AC should be comfortable.

Train to Varanasi and then flight to Khajuraho seems right and then car for the other sights is the right way to go. Can not help you with Panna, however for Orchha and Gwalior read my trip report. What is your budget for stay? I would recommend staying at Bharatpur instead of Agra. Do keep in mind that during December - January fog will create a havoc with train and flight schedules.
#3 Nov 7th, 2017, 23:28
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To get a serious advise tell us how many days you have in mind for the first leg.

Instead of flying from Varanasi to Khajuraho another option is to hire a car+driver in Varanasi and spend a day in Chitrakoot, half way Khajuraho.
#4 Nov 8th, 2017, 10:40
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Time for trip 1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vonkla View Post To get a serious advise tell us how many days you have in mind for the first leg.

Instead of flying from Varanasi to Khajuraho another option is to hire a car+driver in Varanasi and spend a day in Chitrakoot, half way Khajuraho.
Our friend arrives on 30th December. We thought 3 days to see Delhi and celebrate New Year. so we'll probably get overnight train to Varanasi on 2nd Jan. We're a bit concerned the sights of Delhi will be closed over this period.

She flies out of Delhi back to UK on 19th Jan. So we have about 16 days (2nd to 18th) to travel from Varanasi back to Delhi and then do Udaipur trip and get her back to Delhi for her flight. Is this enough time for both? Obviously we don't want 2 hectic trips so how she would divide our time?
#5 Nov 8th, 2017, 11:59
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What sights (sites?) did you have in mind that you fear will be closed? The Archaeological survey of India's regional museums are closed on Fridays. Their National museums and select other places are closed on Mondays. The Taj is closed on Fridays.
This is not christmas country - that'd be Goa. And oh boy is Goa open on the new years
I've never heard of Krishna Ranch. A nice place in Rajasthan would be a former palace converted to a hotel, with the older staff still in attendance and a dead tiger sprawled on the wall. In Udaipur the nicest place is Udaivilas, followed by Lake palace, followed by the Leela. You can go to Panna except there are no tigers. For an out of the way experience try Kalinjar (100 km off Khajuraho) -the route takes you through very pretty countryside. If you want tigers that'd be bandhavgarh or Kanha but given that it's for this year, chances of getting a safari booking are low.
As cyclists (I have some sympathy for them), I'd urge you to carry hi-vi gear, cycle as near the edge as you can on major highways and avoid anything after dark. Welcome to India.
#6 Nov 8th, 2017, 18:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heulwen Jones View Post She flies out of Delhi back to UK on 19th Jan. So we have about 16 days (2nd to 18th) to travel from Varanasi back to Delhi and then do Udaipur trip and get her back to Delhi for her flight. Is this enough time for both? Obviously we don't want 2 hectic trips so how she would divide our time?
I don't think that you have enough time for both legs.
Maybe this combination is an option:
Train to Varanasi (3) - fly Khajuraho(2) - car Orchha(2) - train/car Agra(2) - Jaipur(3) - Udaipur(3) - fly back to Delhi. Number of days between brackets including time for traveling.

From Delhi you can take the train to the starting point of the cycling trip.
In general you need to reserve train tickets well in advance, see man on seat 61 for details.
Taking the bicycle with you seems to be no problem according to this discussion.
#7 Nov 10th, 2017, 07:55
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Road trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by vonkla View Post I don't think that you have enough time for both legs.
Maybe this combination is an option:
Train to Varanasi (3) - fly Khajuraho(2) - car Orchha(2) - train/car Agra(2) - Jaipur(3) - Udaipur(3) - fly back to Delhi. Number of days between brackets including time for traveling.

From Delhi you can take the train to the starting point of the cycling trip.
In general you need to reserve train tickets well in advance, see man on seat 61 for details.
Taking the bicycle with you seems to be no problem according to this discussion.


Thank you so much for your advice. Based on your comments regarding time we've thought of doing the following.
Varanasi - Allahbad- Chitrakoot - Khajuraho - Orchha - Datia - Gwalior - Agra - Jaipur - return to Delhi.

Is this still too much in too little time? So from Varanasi back to Delhi we have 16 full days. How best should we divide our time? Are we missing places or should we remove something?



The only travel idea so far is the overnight train Delhi to Varanasi. We did consider a flight from Varanasi to Khajuraho but it's about £100 each. We thought of hiring a car - self drive but this doesn't seem popular in India. So that leaves more trains or car and driver? What are your thoughts?

Thanks
#8 Nov 10th, 2017, 17:05
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Over 1 years ago we did the Varanasi - Khajuraho leg, by car, in the opposite direction.
We did not stay in Allahabad but just visited the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna.
During another trip we wanted to stay in Datia but the hotels were full. We ended in Gwalior and did visit Datia as a day trip.
Since the town is halfway Orchha and Gwalior you can visit it en route.

Based on that my suggestion is
Varanasi (3) - Allahabad- Chitrakoot (2) - Khajuraho (2) - Orchha(2)- Datia - Gwalior (2) - Agra (2) - Jaipur(3)- return to Delhi.

If it is within your budget take the same car+driver from Varanasi up to Agra or Gwalior.
You must always pay for the return trip to the base of your driver, these destinations are the nearest ones to Varanasi.
Of course, another option is to hire a car for each leg.

See this discussion for more details and prices.
For the last legs you can take separate cars or the bus.
#9 Nov 10th, 2017, 17:40
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If you do consider visiting Datia then you could consider Sonagiri also. However do leave early from Orchha or Gwalior so that you could see both the places.
#10 Nov 12th, 2017, 08:55
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Vonkla,
Thanks so much. We will follow your recommendation. The travel doc is very helpful so we'll see if a car and driver is financially viable. You suggest getting a separate car or bus for the last legs - why? I thought a car and driver from Varanasi to Delhi would be good and based on your travel doc we think it'll be about 520 for 16 days but we have written to a car company for a quote. Can you recommend any hotels?

Thanks
#11 Nov 12th, 2017, 09:22
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What is your budget for the hotels? I had asked this earlier also.
#12 Nov 12th, 2017, 17:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heulwen Jones View Post You suggest getting a separate car or bus for the last legs - why? I thought a car and driver from Varanasi to Delhi would be good
If you van afford it a car for the whole trip is ideal.
My suggestions for separate transport is just that, certainly by bus, it is a lot cheaper.

Quote:
Can you recommend any hotels?
The only hotels that I can remember and recommend are Temple on Ganges at the Asi ghat in Varanasi. And in Chitrakoot the Tourist bungalow, but that was in 2005 the only decent place.
We don't find hotels that important. We search on the net for one in our price class and phone them the day before we arrive if they have a room. This works fine.
#13 Nov 13th, 2017, 15:39
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Aarosh
Yes sorry for not answering sooner. In Nepal we're used to spending $10-$20 (650rs to 1300rs) per night for a double room. At the lower end we'd expect a basic but clean room with ensuite bathroom. For top end breakfast included and nicer facilities. I don't know whether to expect more or less from India.
#14 Nov 13th, 2017, 15:46
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In India you can get places to stay from anywhere from Rs 1000/- to Rs 10000/- per day.

For example in Orchha you can consider Friends of Orchha, in Udaipur you could consider Kotra Haveli, in Jaipur you could consider Arya Niwas, in Agra you could consider Hotel Sheela.

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