3 weeks India in September (First Time)

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#1 Jul 9th, 2012, 22:40
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#1
Hi all,

We have planned to spend 3 weeks in India in September, from 3.9 to 24.9. It will be our first time to this (hopefully) amazing place and we are wondering which area might be the best for first timers like us and the time period when we are traveling.

Of course, the Taj Mahal is a must see on our journey, but otherwise we are opened for anything. We prefer to see things,
rather than being on the beach, so 1 day swimming and the sun is
OK in between, but we do not want to stay for 1 week in GOA lets say.

Through having a first look around the internet, it seems the Golden Triangle seems to be a good start, and this trip would also include the Taj Mahal. Apparently, 12 days should be enough for the route, now I am wondering if anyone has some good recommendations how to fill the remaining 8-9 days.

Thanks so much for your help,
Bateman!
#2 Jul 9th, 2012, 22:46
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#2
Hi Bateman,

Just a few questions;

1) Which Airport are you flying in/out of?
2) What sort of budget are you on?
3) Can you afford internal flights? (as India is a pretty big country!)

If you answer those we can probably give you a better steer!

NB
#3 Jul 9th, 2012, 22:59
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#3
Hi NB,

Thanks for the quick feedback and I am sorry for leaving out this information.

1) I have not booked any flights yet, but reasonably priced ones are going to Delhi and/or Mumbai. So would be happy to return back home from a different airport.

2) We are definitely budget travellers, however, when it is worth it we are more than happy to spend a bit more money. I was hoping that with a budget of 40$-50$ per person per day (we are two or three people) we can make it. Accommodation is for us just for sleeping purposes, but it needs to be clean and safe as well.

3) We could surely consider internal flights, but maybe it is better to focus on a specific region instead of going from north to south and east to west .

Thanks,
Bateman!
#4 Jul 10th, 2012, 02:49
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#4
Ok cool. Well the Golden Triangles a good place to start and you have a few options;

One, don't follow the golden triangle directly. This would mean you could travel Delhi-Jaipur and then spend some time visiting Rajasthan. Udaipur, Bundi, Jodhpur in addition to Jaipur before Agra for the Taj Mahal and Fatephur Sikri before returning to Delhi.

Option two would be to do the golden triangle and then spend some time doing a couple of journeys from Delhi. You could either head to Amritsar on the train to see the Golden Temple. You could also head up to Rishikesh or even get an overnight train to Varansi!

The third option would be to fly in to Delhi and out of Mumbai. The benefit here is that you wouldn't need to backtrack and could easily fit in Delhi, Agra (taj and Fatephur Sikri) and then some move south through Rajasthan (Jaipur, Bundi, Udaipur etc) before moving towards the Ellora Caves and Mumbai for your flight home.

Hope that helps!

NB
#5 Jul 10th, 2012, 06:48
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#5
Excellent NomadicBoo, found good flights to Delhi and then make my way back from Mumbai. So will do the Golden triangle route plus the bits and pieces from Rajasthan you are suggesting.

The route looks great, just wondering whether you could give me a rough estimation how much time I should estimate for the different destinations?

Many thanks,
Bateman!
#6 Jul 10th, 2012, 08:09
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#6
Nomadic makes great suggestions!! Bravo!!

I like #3. There's lots in Rajasthan, interesting small areas outside the famous towns and places.

There are many wonderful places in Rajasthan--i've seen only a fraction. So don't go out of your way for this, but IF Abhaneri is on the route you choose, don't miss it: the stepwelland small old palace(where an archaelogical survey is in progress) and the little village, where you will probably be the only tourists! (i was) Its' one of the best IM reccos i ever got!

Also, unless you are a MAJOR "birder" do not make a special stop at Bharatpur. there are so may interesting places .again, unless you have particular interest in birds.

You won't have trouble finding decent accom in your price range in the well known cities of Rajasthan.
#7 Jul 10th, 2012, 14:24
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bateman23 View Post Excellent NomadicBoo, found good flights to Delhi and then make my way back from Mumbai. So will do the Golden triangle route plus the bits and pieces from Rajasthan you are suggesting.

The route looks great, just wondering whether you could give me a rough estimation how much time I should estimate for the different destinations?

Many thanks,
Bateman!
Hi Batemean,

Sorry, I'm slightly confused, are you looking to fly in to Delhi and out of Mumbai now? I wasn't sure if you meant that or that you would go back to Delhi from Mumbai because if so it's simply too far without a flight!

In terms of how much time to spend, it's always the most difficult question to answer. It really depends on the 'vibe' you get for any given place. As an example, I know plenty of people who HATE Delhi and just want in and out. I however could spend my entire 3 weeks there. Then there's places like Bundi which some people rave about - I enjoyed it - but found it a little boring so it really depends on your personality and what you're looking for.

My best and most honest advice would be allow 3 nights per destination but on the caveat that if you like something stay longer and if you're not enjoying somewhere move on. I always work on the basis that I know when I arrive and I know when I leave - so as long as I'm back at the airport in time for my flight home everything in between is flexible.

Obviously it's important to have a route and a list of things you want to see but don't waste your adventure in places you don't like and don't speedily leave the places you do! In terms of your route, absolute highlights for me would be;

Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur and Mumbai! But that's just me!

Any other questions let me know.

NB

P.s - Most people agree that Agra is not even remotely enjoyable. It's basically been built around the Taj Mahal and my advice is to get in, see that Taj and get out. Don't waste more than one night here IMHO.
#8 Jul 10th, 2012, 16:19
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#8
Guys,

Thanks a lot for your comments, helpful as always. Route #3 is the one I want to do, and I will book my return flight from Mumbai, so no traveling back to Delhi, apologies for the confusion.

In this case we will skip Agrar more or less and just make a stopover at the Taj Mahal, which apparently is closed on Friday, so I should keep that in mind. I guess I will start with booking 3 nights in Delhi, there seems to be a lot to see. Should I allocate roughtly three days for Mumbai too, it is the final destination of my journey.

Rebeccam, watchting birds is the last thing on my agenda, so I will happily skip Bharatpur, and not wasting my time there.

Delhi (3 days) - Agrar with Taj Mahal (1 day) - 14 days still to plan - Mumbai (3 days)
#9 Jul 10th, 2012, 16:43
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#9
I would suggest Delhi (3 days) - Agra (1 day) - Jaipur (3 days) - Jodhpur (2 days) - Udaipur (3 days) - Ahmedabad (2 day) - Mumbai - Goa - Mumbai.

Or if you want you can reverse it.
#10 Jul 10th, 2012, 16:52
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#10
Another option is

Delhi
Jodhpur
Jaipur
Agra
and from there to Mumbai

In this part you can make your choice out of stops like
-Jhansi to visit Orchha
-Bhopal for Sanchi and Bhimbetka
-From Jalgaon or Manmad it is possible to visit Aurangabad for the Ellora and Ajanta caves
#11 Jul 10th, 2012, 17:45
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#11
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Originally Posted by aarosh View Post I would suggest Delhi (3 days) - Agra (1 day) - Jaipur (3 days) - Jodhpur (2 days) - Udaipur (3 days) - Ahmedabad (2 day) - Mumbai - Goa - Mumbai.
Thanks for the suggestion, this is essentially a 3000km road trip, should be around 50h of driving. I have then 1 week in Mumbai and Goa, which is a 1000 km round trip. Maybe I should book me return flight from Goa?
#12 Jul 10th, 2012, 18:03
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bateman23 View Post Thanks for the suggestion, this is essentially a 3000km road trip, should be around 50h of driving. I have then 1 week in Mumbai and Goa, which is a 1000 km round trip. Maybe I should book me return flight from Goa?
Road travel in India can be pretty nerve-wracking. Have you thought about using trains for some of your trip?
#13 Jul 10th, 2012, 18:41
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#13
I have heard about that. I am more than happy to do the whole trip on the train if this is possible, but of course you are more flexible by car.

Could anyone give me a rough estimation how much the car hire plus driver is for 3 people? I read somewhere that drivers can be hired for as little as 3 USD per day, that sounds ridicilously cheap!
#14 Jul 10th, 2012, 19:01
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#14
The estimate would depend on the car. A non AC Indica would be around Rs 7 per kilometer for around 300 kms in a day. For example if you take a car for 7 days then the charge would be (7 * 300 * 7) = 14,700. In addition to that there would be additional charges such as night charges for driver which would be Rs 200 per night, taxes, tolls and parking on actuals.

You would also need to pay for the return of the cab from where you hired it. So if you plan on using it for 14 days it would be around Rs 29,500 (14 * 7 * 300) only for the car mentioned above.

Last year in October I covered Bharatpur, Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi and Orchha in 6 days and I was quoted Rs 16,000/- all inclusive for an AC Indica.

You can read through my trip report in the signature.
#15 Jul 10th, 2012, 19:01
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#15
Trains are a pretty good way of getting around, and an overnight train will save you time and a night's hotel bill. You do need to plan ahead as some trains get fully booked weeks in advance. There is more info here

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...012-a-t165379/
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