Amritsar-Delhi-Kerala November 2 week itinerary - sanity check please!

#1 Jan 2nd, 2011, 01:36
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  • MrsC_772 is offline
#1
After consulting my Delhi based friend as to her plans, looks like I'll be travelling in November and not in India for Diwali (this time at least)

This will be my 2nd trip to India (last time was Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Ranthambhore).

Grateful for people's views on whether I've made any idiotic mistakes in the itinerary I'm now putting together. Have I overlooked something blindingly obvious?

Day 1 - catch evening flight from London
Day 2 - arrive late morning Delhi on overnight flight from London, stay overnight at friend's apartment in Gurgaon
Day 3 - catch 07:20 Shatabdi from New Delhi, arrive Amritsar 13:25;
drop bag at hotel (was thinking RS Residency);
taxi to Wagah border ceremony;
possibly late evening visit to Golden Temple (e.g. book ceremony - I'm guessing this would be around 9.15 or 9.30 i.e. the winter time, rather than the summer time in November)
Day 4 - visit Golden Temple, possibly (depending on jet lag) get up for 5 am book ceremony, have lunch in langar;
visit Jallianwala bagh;
EITHER stay again Amritsar e.g. RS Residency OR catch Golden Temple Mail departing Amritsar 21:25
Day 5 return to Delhi - either arriving H Nizamuddin 07.05 if I'd caught overnight train from Amritsar OR catch 05:10 Amritsar Shatabdi arriving New Delhi 11:15
shopping Delhi
overnight Gurgaon
Day 6 catch orange Metro line to Delhi city centre - Red Fort, Old Delhi, getting lost and eating paranthas;
overnight Gurgaon
Day 7 Bahai Lotus Temple and/or Akshardham Temple
overnight Gurgaon
Day 8 JetLite flight departing Delhi 12:30, arrive Kochi 15:50;
taxi/car & driver arranged through Cochin accommodation (my friend recommended Stanley Wilson's Jasmin Villa - I know Le Royale in Ernakulam has rave reviews but she said Ernakulam is not so convenient for visiting Fort Cochin);
maybe a tourist Kathakali-lite show in the evening - although I'd rather see kalarippayat;
Day 9 explore Fort Cochin, maybe Keralan cooking class in homestay;
Day 10 car and driver to Munnar, via Kodanad early morning elephant wash in river;
stay Rose Gardens, Munnar;
Day 11 tea and spice plantation visit/trek round Munnar hills (the 4 hour trip led by Tommy at Rose Gardens gets good write-ups);
stay Rose Gardens, Munnar
Day 12 car and driver to Alleppey area
either splurge on Raheem Residency, or go for Greenpalms homestay outside Alleppey - former sounds more comfortable; latter far more interesting
Day 13 backwaters canoe trip, village visits, possibly cycle ride (if staying at Greenpalms)
stay overnight Greenpalms or Raheem Residency
Day 14 houseboat cruise on backwaters, sleep on boat
Day 15 leave boat Alleppey around 10 am;
car and driver to Kochi airport;
JetLite 16:40 departure to Delhi, arrive Delhi airport 19:55;
taxi to friend's flat and spend night in Gurgaon
Day 16 fly back to UK

Any thoughts on the wisdom of the slow overnight train back from Amritsar to Delhi v the daytime Shatabdi? I want at least one train ride this trip as I'll be flying Delhi to Kochi. I've not done an overnight train trip before - just daytime Shatabdi, 2AC and 3AC journeys. Would be looking for 2AC if overnight.

I know there's a fair amount of toing and froing from Delhi airport and Gurgaon, but I didn't want to book connecting flights and trains for the days of the international flights, just in case of delays. Particularly for the return leg, I wanted a spare night in Delhi, just in case. If the JetLite flight is cancelled, I think there's a later (20:00) Indian Airlines departure from Kochi to Delhi.
#2 Jan 3rd, 2011, 16:11
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#2
The plan looks quite ok. Good luck.
#3 Jan 3rd, 2011, 16:56
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#3
The plan looks good, but I would fly home direct from Kochi instead of going back to Delhi.
#4 Jan 3rd, 2011, 17:10
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#4
Thanks for the votes of confidence.

I didn't think any airlines flew directly from Kochi to the UK, so I'd have to change somewhere on my return. One of the Gulf state carriers flies out of Kochi to the UK with a stop/plane change in the Gulf (I think it's Qatar airline via Doha). However, a travel agent I spoke to said that it's much more expensive to fly to and from India on with different airlines (he said single fares are about 3/4 the price of return fares). As I'd rather fly directly to Delhi from the UK (e.g. on Virgin, Jet or Kingfisher), I think I'm going to have to change either in Delhi or Mumbai on the way back from Kochi.
#5 Jan 3rd, 2011, 17:34
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#5
I don't know the prices of the carriers your mention but we use Emirates for our last trips. Indeed you have to change in Dubai.
Their website is http://www.emirates.com/uk/english/index.aspx

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