Help with planning my itinerary

#1 Nov 24th, 2010, 20:36
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#1
Hello,

I'm Paola, from Chile, and my husband and I are very exciting about travelling to India next February (2011). We have roughly 3 weeks, and I been trying to figure out how many days we can expend in each city we chosen, so it would be great if you can help us trough the process.

Given we have some time constraints, it is possible you may think we don't have enough time for all we want cover. We also need help on travelling time, meaning how long will it take us to move from one place to another

This is our preliminary itinerary and we are very open to suggestions:
- Mumbai (visiting friends) 2 days
- Jaisalmer 3 days
- Jodhpur 2 days
- Jaipur 2 days
- Agra 1 1/2 days
- Varanasi 2 days
- Delhi 3 days
- Kerala (as long as completing 3 weeks)

Thank you for you help!
Cheers,
Paola.
#2 Nov 24th, 2010, 21:24
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#2
Hola Paola. Welcome to IM.

How are you planning on travelling? I presume mainly train and possibly a flight from Delhi to somewhere in Kerala? Are you then needing to return to Mumbai?

In any case, I would thoroughly recommend breaking the journey between Mumbai and Jaisalmer by stopping in Udaipur. This is a lovely city and shouldn't be missed in my opinion.

Also, I do not know when in February you want to go, so investigate the weather patterns a bit. Early March is getting quite hot down in Kerala.

Good luck with the planning!
#3 Nov 24th, 2010, 21:32
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#3
Hi,
I think that your plan is too ambitious, certainly if you travel by train.
Jaisalmer, Varanasi and Kerala are far away from each other.
To get an idea of the train system erail.in is very useful
#4 Nov 24th, 2010, 21:42
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#4

Smile

Thank you for your recommendations... actually I did my homework and weather seems fairly nice during all February in all regions we want to visit... the trip will take place from Feb. 5th and counting 3 weeks.

About the trip being ambitious... what would you recommend then? I though about Udaipur, but the list is just getting longer and longer and we only have 3 weeks to do all... at some point we though about dropping Kerala, but we would really like to spend a few days to relax and spoil ourselves... we are very organized and good tourists, meaning we wake up early, we tourist all day, and we go to bed early, so when you say 'ambitious' it does mean impossible or just that we really need to stick to the plan?

Thank you again!
P
#5 Nov 24th, 2010, 21:45
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I think your plan is doable but as Vonkla has hinted it depends on transport. Are you planning to take any internal flights?

Yes, I think you are basically right about the weather being OK everywhere in Feb.
#6 Nov 24th, 2010, 21:47
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#6

Smile

additional information:

we are thinking about travelling by train in the north region, and the taking a flight from Delhi to Kerala (or the closest city)... we do not need to come back to Mumbai, actually it would be better if we can head off from Kerala or somewhere near...

What do you think about our travel schedule? does it seems impossible? or, as I said, before, we just need to stick to the plan?

Thank you for your help!
P
#7 Nov 24th, 2010, 21:52
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There are no direct trains from Mumbai to Jaisalmer. You would need to change trains at Jodhpur. Mumbai to Jodhpur fastest train would take around 17 hours. From Jodhpur to Jaisalmer train would take around 6 hours.

I think it would be better if you could skip Kerala. If you skip Kerala then add Udaipur and Bundi to your list.

If Kerala is a must see then skip either Jaisalmer or Varanasi. Also Daciot Cheif has asked a good question, from where are you planning to leave India?
#8 Nov 24th, 2010, 22:00
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#8

Smile

and there is any possible flight from Mumbai to Jaisalmer?
would you recommend a flight to Varanasi as well? if we change the largest distance for flights, how would you accomodate the schedule? I mean, I do not know if Jaisalmer and Varanasi have airport, but maybe if we move from Delhi, it could work out better... suggestions?

we are leaving India from whichever airport is nearest to Kerala (Kerala is a must see)...

Cheers,
P
#9 Nov 24th, 2010, 22:03
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#9
cross posted with yours...

Personally, if I had to drop one of the 3 most out of the way places then it would be Varanasi. Also, your international journey in and out becomes significant. I seem to get the idea that you may consider some sort of a "Y" ticket. (i.e. Flying in into Mumbai and out from somewhere else). In which case, have you considered maybe just Flying into Delhi, and work your way through Rajasthan and down via Mumbai where you can meet your friends before going down to Kerala?

i.e. Delhi -> Agra -> Jaipur -> Jodhpur -> Jaisalmer -> Jodhpur -> (Udaipur) -> Mumbai -> Kochi, etc.
Last edited by Dacoit Chief; Nov 24th, 2010 at 22:04.. Reason: cross posted
#10 Nov 24th, 2010, 22:08
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Jaisalmer has an airport but I do not think there are flights any more. Even when there were flights, they were not very convenient (always needing to also land in Jodhpur to pick up more passengers) and were always very expensive. As it is you want to visit Jodhpur and the train from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer is quite convenient if you do it overnight. Jaisalmer is really worth the effort to get to in my opinion.
#11 Nov 24th, 2010, 22:09
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#11

Smile

that sounds like a good idea Dacoit Chief!

Just to be absolutely sure dropping Varanasi is the only choice possible... how long does it take to get there from Delhi or Agra by train?

Other questions regarding distances:
- Could we make a day trip to Agra from Delhi or Jaipur? How much time does it take to get there?
- Are there other cities (from the already mentioned) close enough that we could visit by day trips?

This is being really helpful. Thank you so much!
P
#12 Nov 24th, 2010, 22:16
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paola_ View Post Just to be absolutely sure dropping Varanasi is the only choice possible... how long does it take to get there from Delhi or Agra by train?
See: erail.in. It really is a great site. There is a convenient overnight train from Agra to Varanasi.

Quote:
Other questions regarding distances:
- Could we make a day trip to Agra from Delhi or Jaipur? How much time does it take to get there?
- Are there other cities (from the already mentioned) close enough that we could visit by day trips?
Delhi to Agra is possible as a day trip but you have to wake up early. There is a very fast early morning train. The train takes less than 2 hours. It is called the BHOPAL SHATABDI leaving Delhi at 6.15Am and reaching Agra at 8.12.
#13 Nov 24th, 2010, 22:22
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paola_ View Post Other questions regarding distances:
- Could we make a day trip to Agra from Delhi or Jaipur? How much time does it take to get there?
- Are there other cities (from the already mentioned) close enough that we could visit by day trips?P
Check for Shatabdi to Shatabdi tours in Indiamike. These can be done as a day trip from Delhi. However your original plan of 1 1/2 days is good for Agra.

For other sites to see near the cities mentioned Osiyan (Near Jodhpur), Ranakpur or Kumbhalgarh (Near Jodhpur), Tanot (Near Jaisalmer)
#14 Nov 24th, 2010, 22:29
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#14

Smile

so, after all these very helpful comments, the re-organization of the trip would be something like this:

Delhi -> Varanasi -> Agra -> Jaipur -> Jodhpur -> Jaisalmer -> (Udaipur) -> Jodhpur -> Mumbai -> Kerala

and the time distribution would be something like this:
- Delhi (2 1/2 days) + overnight train to Varanasi
- Varanasi (2 days) + overnight train to Agra
- Agra (1 1/2 days)
- Jaipur (2 days)
- Jaisalmer (3 days)
- Udaipur (?)
- Jodhpur (1 1/2 days)
- Mumbai (2 days)
- Kerala (4 days)

That gives me a total of 20 days aprox. you think we can make it?
#15 Nov 24th, 2010, 22:37
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#15
Looking good, but remember you need to come back from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur first. Unfortunately, Jodhpur to Udaipur by train is a bit of a pain. The last time I did this journey, we hired a taxi between these 2 cities and managed to see a lot on the way as well. Ranakpur Temple and Kumbalgarh fort are on the way, and the rural scenery in this part of Rajasthan is very nice!

Another thing I sometimes advise people who are visiting Jaisalmer, is to not do what most people do which is to visit Jodhpur first in order to take the overnight train to Jaisalmer. The problem is that the overnight train journey from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer is just far too short for a decent sleep.

A better option is to take the long overnight from Jaipur to Jaisalmer as a single journey, and instead plan your visit to Jodhpur on the way back from Jaisalmer. As you board late in Jaipur (midnight), you will hopefully be able to wake up late the next morning, then have a relaxed breakfast on the train and you will be in Jaisalmer before noon.

The train is the 4059 "Delhi to Jaisalmer Express", leaving Jaipur 23.57 reaching Jaisalmer at 11.45

It is worth saying that if you plan to sleep on Indian trains, always make sure you reserve the top bunks on the train. If you do don't, the vast majority of early risers down below will make sure you do not sleep any longer than around 6:30AM!

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