6 Days in India; Help!
I am soon to embark on a 30 day,"circle the globe" trip with stops in Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, India and France. I will arrive in New Delhi April 24th and depart on May 1st, so that gives me only 6 full days. I want to make the best use of the little time I have without running around like a madman. Agra and Jaipur (the Golden Triangle) are my priorities. While I realize that an orginized tour would be easiest, I really dislike them, much preferring to travel on my own. I'd rather not to fly as I would see none of the countryside. Ideally, I'd spend 2 days in Delhi, then take the Shatabdi to Agra for 2 days, then go to Jaipur for the remainder of my time, flying directly from there to the Delhi Airport for my departure. Would the reverse be better, training to Jaipur first, then go to Agra and from there, fly back to the Airport? Which train ride is more scenic? The bigger problem seems to be getting between Jaipur and Agra. What are my options? Would I actually be better off taking the Shatabdi to Agra, then back to Delhi, then the train to Jaipur then fly back to the airport?? Is this total madness??
I am booked into the Star Palace Hotel for my first 2 nights in Delhi. Any recomendations for clean, moderatly priced hotels with dependable a/c in Agra and Jaipur?
All suggestions and comments welcome! David
You CAN do the Golden Triangle in six days but you will have to plan VERY carefully. Under your circumstances, I would say to forget the overnight stay in Agra. If you take the early express train you can see the Taj, Agra Fort, and a couple other not too distant sights in a day and still make it home (via express train) to Delhi before 10 p.m. Spend your extra time in Jaipur and environs.
I would also suggest flying both into and out of Jaipur. Unless you take an overnight train, the trip is going to eat up another six or seven hours of your precious time. Yes, you miss seeing the countryside but it is not terribly scenic in the Triangle anyway. If you want countryside, hire a car in Jaipur (not too expensive for a day) and get out in the country a bit.
Still, this may be bordering on, as you say, "total madness." At this late date, you might not be able to get a flight either to or from Jaipur. There aren't that many flights and they fill up quickly. Also, it may be hard to get on the Shatabi Express to/from Agra on short notice. There are lots of trains to and from Agra each day but many take three to four hours for the trip. You might have to take a (gasp!) bus tour to pull off Agra as a day trip.
Still, I must say that India is a terrible country in which to try to do a rushed so-called "blitz tour." You can do it, but it will probably cost you - a lot. You may be better advised to just skip Jaipur and come back to India when you have a bit more leisure. Good luck!
I know many people who have done the Golden Triangle in four days, or even three, so you have enough time with maybe a day or two to spare!
Here is a suggested itinerary
Day 1 - Arrival Delhi. See some sights
Day 2 - Delhi
Day 3 - Take the Shatabdi to Jaipur. Afternoon sightseeing
Day 4 - Jaipur
day 5 - Take the morning A/C bus to Agra. See the fort
Day 6 - Taj Mahal in the morning. Take a taxi to the Delhi airport.
You are welcome to stay with us in Jaipur - the A/Cs work and we have a pool too! (www.jasvilas.com).
For Agra, we could suggest a hotel depending on your budget.
Eek! I wish you well. Plan carefully and best of luck.
outrageous- around the world in 30 days- please post your expeeriences back for us. best ov luck- 6 days should be enough to do the triangle-have fun.
Just got back myself.
Just got back myself two weeks ago, basically I was in the same boat. I flew into Bombay and out of New Dehli and had only 8 days. For me it was enough, I saw lots and did lots. But I flew from Bombay to jaipur to save time, then to dehli, the day thing in Agra, back to dehli and I flew home to Toronto.( I also spent two weeks in Thailand sailing) . I would recommend only a day trip to Agra. Stay in New Dehli anywhere around Connaught Circle (it's in most tourist guides). There is lots to see everywhere in India, and it's hard not to get side tracked. So get to Dehli, relax you'll need a day or two to get adjusted, see the red Fort in Dehli, spend the day crawling the streets, set up your train ticket to Agra. I would not waste my time staying overnight in Agra, changing hotels is a time drain anyway. Take the day express to Agra from Dehli and back. I beleive there are two trains, they leave from different stations, but you'll figure it out. They leave early in the morning and return back late at night. (the day in Agra is enough) On return to Dehli then travel to Jaipur and back, flights are $55.00 each way and the train is cheap, I think it's about $10.00. There are some great accommodaton deals in jaipur, so I would plan most of my time there. Dehli , Agra and Jaipur is the right call for 8 days. You'll have lots of time, plan your travel around meal time if you can, that should help you get the best economy of scale out of your trip. If it's your firs trip to India, gear yourself up for being harrased, you won't escape it. But it's not that bad if you walk tall and are bold. It's not dangerous just annoying, and ultimately part of the experience.
Also if your going to Thailand, and you get to the Phuket area, plan to stay in Phi Phi Don. It's the Ios of asia, beautiful Island, lots of night life, great place.
Have a great Trip.
Oh Yeah, dave. if you haven't got a hotel in Jaipur. The one I stayed in was real nice, clean, people were great, cheap, it had a pool etc. There are lots of good places, actually I can't think of the name of the place I stayed, ....????? I beleive the name was Megalawas???, it was a lonely planet recommendation, but if you need it I'll look it up, when I have a chance. It was 850 rupees, about $20US for a single.
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