Delhi-Shimla-Delhi-Kolkata-Sikkim-Kolkata-Dhaka.. Late August to early October

#1 Mar 17th, 2006, 09:21
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  • sedm2019 is offline
#1
Hi Friends!

I'm really excited! I've chalked out a provisional itinary. Any comments/suggestions as to places of interest/answers to my questions would be much appreciated. I'm planning to fly into Delhi on the 28th of August from London.

OK here goes:

1)29-31 August: Chill out in Delhi (not literally!) for a couple of days.

2)1-8 September- Take train to Simla. Maybe go up to Srinagar and Leh (where else would you recommend around this region?). Would it be too rainy? Is it feasible for me, a lone traveller, to explore these regions myself? Have I left enough time to do so reasonably well? What worries me is that Kashmir is right there, slap bang in the middle.. the whole region doesn't sound safe... am I right to be worried?

3)9 September - Fly(?) back to Delhi (can get a cheap flight back?)

4)10 September - Take a day trip up to Agra.

5)11-12 September - Stay in Delhi

6)13-14 September - Train to Calcutta (Would you recommend the Rajdhani Express?).

7)15-21 September - One day in Calcutta and then moving on to one or more of Assam / Darjeeling/ Sikkim/ Manipur? Which place(s) would you recommend? Is it easy to get there from Calcutta.. are there any scenic train journeys you'd recommend? I am the least certain about this part of the trip. I've heard its pretty bad weather wise (rain/humidity, etc)- some people have advised me against going- would you agree?

8)22 September - back to Calcutta

9)22-23 September- Bus into Dhaka (Bangladesh).

10)23-30 September - Dhaka. Stay with relatives for a week

11)1-2 October - Bus from Dhaka to Kolkatta

12)2-3 October - Fly to Delhi by one of those low c ost airlines

13)3-4 October - Fly back to london just in time for uni!!

I need to be in delhi from the 10-13 September and I need to spend atleast a week in Dhaka, which I guess makes me quite inflexible.

Can I also ask: I am a cash strapped student, so will be requiring cheap but clean and comfortable accomodation (ie. with hot water, etc.). How much can I expect this kind of accomodation will set me back in each of the places Ive mentioned thusfar?

Many thanks in advance,

sedm2019
#2 Mar 17th, 2006, 15:07
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#2
Shimla, Srinagar, Leh in a week isnt practical. You may think of Shimla & Manali. There is no train connection with Srinagar. You can take a train upto Jammu & then take a bus to Srinagar. Since you have limited time you may consider flying to Srinagar from Delhi.
Why additional stay in Delhi from 11th. to 12th.?
For going to Kolkata from Delhi Rajdhani Exp. is the best choice. You may consider Delhi - Varanasi - Kolkata. Check train connections.
The toy train ride to Darjeeling is recommended.
Check out the posts on hotels for an idea of the costs.
#3 Mar 17th, 2006, 17:24
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  • SHIMLA is offline
#3
Agree with jyotirmoy about Shimla, Srinagar and Leh being impractical to cover in a week. I suggest you spend the week at Kasauli(3 days) and Shimla(4 days).

For a cash strapped student, flying even on low cost airlines isn't really an option. I would even rule out the Rajdhani Express(though its the best train between Delhi and Kolkata). You'd be better off travelling by sleeper class on trains.
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#4 Mar 17th, 2006, 18:30
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#4

Thumbs up tour in august-sept-oct 2006

Assam,darjeeling,sikkim in 6days sounds impossible. It is raining heavily during your visit in Dhaka, please carry raincoats,umbrella.
Last edited by Dilliwala; Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:18.. Reason: removed full quote
#5 Mar 17th, 2006, 19:07
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#5
Jyotirmoy and Shimla: Thanks for your advice. Well I suppose I can fly into Delhi slightly earlier, perhaps four days. I mean I would really like to see the best places in Himanchal Pradesh; would you say its worth the effort to go up to Srinagar and Leh?

Shimla, thanks for recommending Shimla and Kausali; where else should I not miss? Yes I am poor but I don't think the Rajdani Express is extortionate in price... I mean from my point of view, I'm getting an amazing deal flying into Delhi- it would be far more expensive to get a return to Kolkatta from London. The saving I make is far more than the cost of the Rajdani Express fare, so I don't mind splashing out just that once!

Jyotirmoy, how many days should I allow for Varanasi, is it uncomfortable there heat and humidity wise around mid September?

Also, is it me, but isn't there a conflict taking place in Kashmir, which almost lead to nuclear war between India and Pakistan, two years ago? Am I right to assume that this region is, on the whole, not the safest place on Earth?
#6 Mar 17th, 2006, 19:09
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by holiday Assam,darjeeling,sikkim in 6days sounds impossible. It is raining heavily during your visit in Dhaka, please carry raincoats,umbrella.
Thanks for your advice. I thought that much. Where specifically would you suggest I go around this region?
#7 Mar 17th, 2006, 20:34
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sedm2019 Jyotirmoy and Shimla: Thanks for your advice. Well I suppose I can fly into Delhi slightly earlier, perhaps four days. I mean I would really like to see the best places in Himanchal Pradesh; would you say its worth the effort to go up to Srinagar and Leh?

Shimla, thanks for recommending Shimla and Kausali; where else should I not miss? Yes I am poor but I don't think the Rajdani Express is extortionate in price... I mean from my point of view, I'm getting an amazing deal flying into Delhi- it would be far more expensive to get a return to Kolkatta from London. The saving I make is far more than the cost of the Rajdani Express fare, so I don't mind splashing out just that once!
You're welcome, sedm2019.

Please do not misunderstand me - I suggested you travel by sleeper class on trains and avoid flights only so that it would help you stay within a reasonable budget; as you yourself mentioned that you were short on cash. On no account did I mean to say you were poor. If you do not think the Rajdhani is too costly for you, then do use it by all means - its a wonderful train and you'll enjoy the experience.

Now to your queries. In my opinion, if you plan to visit Himachal, then I do not think its necessary for you to go all the way to Srinagar. You can thoroughly enjoy your week(or more!) in Himachal itself; at Kasauli and Shimla.

You are right about Kashmir not being the safest place on earth. This is another reason why I did not suggest your tearing off to Srinigar in the limited time that you have. Certainly not worth it, in this context.
#8 Mar 17th, 2006, 21:24
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#8
I would certainly recommend travelling to Kolkata by the Rajdhani Express - and I am sure you would enjoy the experience. You have to stay somewhere overnight anyway, and you might as well be travelling and fed whilst you do so!

Sure, it's more expensive than other trains, but well, well worth it.
It is better to light a candle than complain about the darkness.
#9 Mar 17th, 2006, 21:34
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#9
Considering the exhorbiant train fares in UK the Rajdhani fare is nothing.
You should allocate 2 days for Varanashi at the most when u r in hurry. But in that case you are not travelling by Rajdhani. Try to find a railway connection Delhi - Howrah with a break journey at Mughal Sarai(Close 2 Varanasi) or Varanashi itself. Contact Steven_Bar for expert advise.
#10 Mar 17th, 2006, 21:52
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#10
Thanks again Shimla. Yes I'm definatly short on cash, being a student and all, and by obvious extension, poor - so its pretty much budget travel/accomodation for me all the way! Its just that I've heard so many good things about the Rajdhani Express (thanks Judi), I'm really inclined to travel on it. I'm just a little bit dissapointed it doesn't stop at Varanasi (thanks for letting me know Joytirmoy) - maybe I can't take in on the way back to Delhi. I think I will spend my time solely in Kasauli and Shimla- can you briefly list the highlights in these places.

Can you also give me some advice about the second part of my tour - ie. to Andra Pradesh (Sikim, Darjeeling and the rest)?? Ie. whats nice and doable in one week?

cheers,

sedm2019
#11 Mar 17th, 2006, 21:59
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#11
If I were you I would stay away from Srinagar. That region is infested with idiots who feel harming innocent people helps them make their point better. Don't get me wrong I am not stereotyping the whole region. Leh would be fine (mostly buddhist I believe) but your time frame it might be hard to cover all these spots.

Sounds like a hell of a plan though . Makes me wanna get out of my cube and pack my bags!!
#12 Mar 17th, 2006, 22:09
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sshekhar If I were you I would stay away from Srinagar. That region is infested with idiots who feel harming innocent people helps them make their point better. Don't get me wrong I am not stereotyping the whole region. Leh would be fine (mostly buddhist I believe) but your time frame it might be hard to cover all these spots.

Sounds like a hell of a plan though . Makes me wanna get out of my cube and pack my bags!!
Thanks for the advice Sshekhar

I would love to visit Buddist monastries... I'm really interested in spirtual elements in Buddism; it just seems so mystical and for want of a better word, cool.

Do you know whether I can get a taste of this sort of thing in Kausali and Simla?
#13 Mar 18th, 2006, 00:37
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#13
I believe you can visit Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. Thats where Dalai Lama and the Tibetan govt in exile are located. Haven't been to Himachal myself but I hear Dharamshala is really beautiful. I am pretty sure there must be good Himachal maps/travel guides (just google it)!

Good luck and have tons of fun.

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