Spiritual India in May

#1 May 2nd, 2005, 10:34
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  • global415 is offline
#1
This has got to be the most useful travel site I've ever seen. Appreciate the volumes of information, including thoughts on hotels, $ and tranport.

I am an adventure seeker with a day job and unfortunately cannot get away more than 2 weeks for my first trip to India. I've travelled throughout Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, but never made it to India. Not sure if those experieinces will be similar or not.

I arrive at the Delhi airport at 7 a.m. on May 23. My departure is June 3 at 2:15 a.m.. I am thinking of heading toward Rishiskesh and it looks like Delhi will be an oven. I am planning on taking the Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Hardiwar, but the first train of the day leaves just before 7a.m. so the next train I can get is the 10:15 p.m. train.

My question is should I stay in Delhi for the day to tour around or should I head for Agra via bus? It looks like the Taj is a "must see". I don't have to go to Rishikesh if anyone has other suggestions? . . .

I am not traveling on a tight budget so time is more of an issue. I do plan to return to India several times, this time will be just enough to get my feet wet. I am mesmerized by the Ganges and would like to see a bit of the Spiritual side of India. Also, I've rafted class V rivers around the world, is the rafting the Ganges a "must do" for an avid rafter?

Looking for advice from San Francisco. Thanks again for the killer information on this site!
Last edited by global415; May 2nd, 2005 at 12:08..
#2 May 2nd, 2005, 12:00
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#2
Hi
Since you are landing Delhi early in the morning I would advise you to stay in the capital for a day and then proceed to Rishikesh which is no doubt a wonderful city. Rafting in Ganges is a great fun. You should surely try your hand in this. You will not get Grade V rapid here but will get good Grade IV rapids. If you are really interesed you can use this time for some good trekking in the Himalayas. And cover Taj Mahal at the end of trip. For Haridwar there are three trains which are: Shatabdi Express at 6:55 am, Jan Shatabdi express at 15:30 pm and Mussoorie Express at 22:15 pm. You can use Jan Shatabdi as it suits you most but the best is Shatabdi Express.
#3 May 2nd, 2005, 12:12
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#3
Thanks for your reply. Do you have any recommendations on what I should see for the day in Delhi?

I didn't realize there was a train at 3:30. Sounds like its not as good as Shatabdi Express. Do you think I should take the 22:15 train and then get to Hardiwar in the early a.m. and proceed to Rishikesh?

Also, do you have a rafting operator you would recommend?
#4 May 2nd, 2005, 21:21
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For sightseeing in Delhi there are lot many things. I would recommend India Gate, National museum, Red Fort & Chandni Chowk (very crowded and oldest market but one should not miss it to feel real India). The train at 15:30 hrs is as good as Shatabdi Express the only difference is that this train have the Non AC Chair car also apart from the AC Chair car which Shatabdi Express have. Night train will be good for you as you have to proceed to Rishikesh.

All the rafting companies have the same standard of service as far as guide and equipments are concerned. Most of the guides here are well trained rafting guides from Nepal. You will find a number of companies in the Lakshmanjhula area. You can take the service of "Venture Himalayas" which have their office in Kailsah Gate. BTW where you are planning to stay in Rishikesh.
#5 May 2nd, 2005, 22:12
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#5
Shouldnt miss Humayun Ka Maqbara (Humayun's Tomb) & Qutab Minar in Delhi.
Keep Varanasi/Benaras in your itinery if you'r mesmerised by Ganges.
For Rafting in Ganges go to Kauiyala around 40km from Rishikesh, has some Grade IV rapids, for Grade V you'll have to go to Devprayag.
The day you land, go to Agra and comeback the same night to Delhi, next day visit Delhi local and leave delhi by the night train to Haridwar and proceed to ishikesh early morning.
You havent mentioned what kind of traveller r u, looking for spiritualism, or adventurer --- r u going to Rishikesh for Yoga and spiritualism or heading for some treks from thereon ???
Here's a link for you for rafting in Uttaranchal -
http://www.gmvnl.com/rafting.html
#6 May 2nd, 2005, 22:27
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  • AvidTrekker is offline
#6

Wink Rishikesh

Hotel Ganga Darshan in Rishikesh comes before the main town. It is opposite the River Ganga and you can ask for a "facing river view" balcony room. If you are lucky, you might see wild elephants on the opposite bank having come to drink water / have a bath / both. Brinhg your binocs/telephotos.
The Universe is an ellipsoid?... or a Spheroid?? If the sphere smiles... it becomes an ellipse. This IS Creation.
#7 May 3rd, 2005, 14:52
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#7
I have not decided on where to stay in Rishikesh yet, I was going to peruse the hotel thread section and take some of the common winners. Hotel Ganga Darshan sounds like a good spot. I'll check it out on the hotel thread.

As for the type of traveler, I am looking for some yoga, meditation and adventure (like rafting). The reason Varanasi was not on my list was due to the heat. I usually like heat, but everyone I know that has been there has told me it is hotter than they have ever experienced so I took Varanasi off my list.

Should I visit Agra on my first day or upon my return to Delhi? I've read that it is best to see the Taj at dawn. If I see Agra on the first day, what is the best transport to the city?

Thank you for the rafting link. That is very useful!!

Namaste

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