3 weeks India in September (First Time)

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#16 Jul 10th, 2012, 19:18
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#16
Thanks guys, hm the car does not seem to be as cheap as I was hoping it to be. I am now just thinking of getting a rail pass for 15 days, which costs for First Class/ AC 2/3 Tier/ AC Chair Car 185 USD,
and for Sleeper Class/ Second Class (Non - AC) 90 USD.

http://www.indianrail.gov.in/international_Tourist.html

I guess for tourists it is better to travel first class rather than second class? I had a look at Dave's webpage, so I am aware that I still have to book the tickets in advance despite buying a railpass. I am from the UK, so I hope it is no problem to get this rail passes in time
#17 Jul 10th, 2012, 19:25
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I suggest that you get a pass that allows you to travel in 2AC (2 tier Air/conditioned) This gives you a decent amount of space. The First Class that this pass applies to is a very rare non A/C class that you are unlikely to find on the trains that you want to use.

You should check with the UK agent listed on the page that you quote that Indrail prices have not gone up recently. There was a substantial increase in AC rail fares earlier this year and Indian Railways are not the greatest at updating their website.
For example the UK agent is listed as having an 0181 phone number. This code for Outer London was replaced years ago by 0208. It was stated by one of our rail gurus recently that he needs a minimum of 2 months lead in time.

With a pass you can book to a plan but if you want to switch things about you might be able to do it.
#18 Jul 10th, 2012, 19:27
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xx cross posted with Dave xx

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bateman23 View Post I guess for tourists it is better to travel first class rather than second class?
First class (1A) always has the fewest number of seats in an Indian train. Most of the times it would be shared with 2A. I think 2A would be a better option than first class since you would have more seats in 2A compared to 1A.
#19 Jul 10th, 2012, 19:59
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#19
Thanks guys, just did some background reading about the trains on seat61 and I think there is a quite nice route that could be easily done with the train

Delhi 3 days
Take the Shiv Ganga Express leaving New Delhi at 18:45 arriving Varanasi Junction at 07:30 next morning.

Varanasi 2 days. The unmissable Hindu holy city on the Ganges. Make sure you stay in a local Indian riverside hotel such as the Hotel Alka. Take the Marudhar Express from Varanasi Junction at 17:20 (18:15 on some days) arriving Agra Fort at 05:55 next morning.

Agra - also visit the fantastic royal city of Fatephur Sikhri, some 30km away by bus or car. 2 days. Agra may be the most touristy place in India, but the Taj is well worth the tourist tout hassle. The fort and ‘baby Taj’ are also worth a visit.
Take the Marudhar Express from Agra at 06:15 arriving Jaipur at 11:30 the same day. AC2, AC3, Sleeper class.

Jaipur 2 days. The ‘Pink City’ is one of the most wonderful princely cities in Rajasthan, and indeed in India. Take the Delhi-Jaisalmer Express leaving Jaipur at 23:57 arriving Jaisalmer at 11:45 next morning.

Jaisalmer 2 days. This is Rajasthan’s fairytale city, in the desert close to the Pakistan border. It has no airport, so only those who make the effort get to see it!

This covers roughly 11 days, still 10 days to play around with. Considering 3 days in Mumbay, that leaves me with 7 days to explore the Rajasthan area.

Do people think Jaisalmer is worth a stopover of two days? So after Jaisalmer I could just spend 2 or 3 days days in the towns of Udaipur and Ahmedabad and maybe have another stopping point on my way to Mumbai?

Cheers,
Bateman
#20 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:08
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#20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bateman23 View Post Agra - also visit the fantastic royal city of Fatephur Sikhri, some 30km away by bus or car. 2 days. Agra may be the most touristy place in India, but the Taj is well worth the tourist tout hassle. The fort and ‘baby Taj’ are also worth a visit.
Also while visiting the 'Baby Taj' do not miss the evening view of the Taj from across the river from Mehtab Bagh.
#21 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:11
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#21
Udaipur is a lovely laid back place with lots to see and do - both within the city and in the country around.

If you are going all that way to Jaisalmer, just to come back, it might be worth looking at doing a desert safari/camel ride while you are there. For this you would probably want an extra night.
#22 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post Udaipur is a lovely laid back place with lots to see and do - both within the city and in the country around.

If you are going all that way to Jaisalmer, just to come back, it might be worth looking at doing a desert safari/camel ride while you are there. For this you would probably want an extra night.
Dave's right. I would personally skip it as it's taking you quite a way out of your route.

NB
#23 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:18
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#23
Someone who has been to India just told me that there is nothing special to see/do in Orccha, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur and Udaipur. It is always funny how different people have different views,
because Dave seems to like it there?

Anyway, let us just assume for a moment, that I will make my way directly from Jaisalmer to
Mumbai to finish the tour off. That leaves me with 7 more days, do people think it might be
worthwhile to go further north from Delhi at the start of the tour and explore this area for 1 week before continuing the tour in Varanasi all the way to Mumbai?

Alright, so at the end it will be either Jaisalmer or Udaipur for two days, in case
there is something interesting to do for a week up North of Delhi
#24 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bateman23 View Post That leaves me with 7 more days, do people think it might be
worthwhile to go further north from Delhi at the start of the tour and explore this area for 1 week before continuing the tour in Varanasi all the way to Mumbai?
I'll run the risk of being disagreed with again and suggest Amritsar. There are good daily trains between Delhi and Amritsar and the Golden Temple was just an amazing experience for us.


If you hang around long enough on this forum you will get every possible point of view about a place. At the end of the day you just have to balance it all up and take your own view. If you like India you will be hooked and go back to see more.
#25 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:34
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#25
I agree, that I have to make my mind up of what is worth seeing, but it is always good to have some more opinions . Golden Temple looks great, so I could spend then 2 or 3 days there. Maybe it is worth to spend another 3 days in Mcleod Ganj before making my way back to Delhi? It is just 200km from Amritsar. Another suggestion has been the Corbett Tiger Reserve, but not sure this is convenient and worth the stopover!
#26 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:38
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#26
Udaipur and Pushkar were both my and my wifes favourite places in the whole of Rajasthan. To go all the way to Rajasthan and miss these two would be a cardinal sin in my opinion!

NB
#27 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:44
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#27
Alright, so you NB would suggest to spend the extra week in Rajasthan and explore all the places and towns there instead of going up North.

Fair enough, I could do the "middle" part of India this time, and
then return two times more for a northern and southern explorer

Bateman!
#28 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:45
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#28
And nobody has even mentioned Kolkata yet.
#29 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:46
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Also, another point that we've neglected to cover is you! Your ages, the dynamic of your group (friends/family/partners etc), why did you choose India? What are you expecting? What do you like/dislike etc? Previous travel experience etc?

India is a mammoth country which has something for everyone. Buy the same token it has something that everyone will hate too!

Tell us a bit more about you/the group and we can probably help pinpoint/narrow down the choices!

NB
#30 Jul 10th, 2012, 20:47
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#30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post And nobody has even mentioned Kolkata yet.
Carry on in that vain and I'll bring The Andaman's, Hampi and Fort Kochi in to it!

NB
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