Itinerary 24 days North India, Rajasthan, Darjeeling - what do you think?

#1 May 13th, 2011, 10:48
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  • beckfish is offline
#1
Hi all,

Have been lurking and reading the forums for ages (thanks!) and thought it was time to come out into the open

Absolutely busting to get to India for the first time!! Will be travelling in November with hubby and daughter who will turn 18 during the trip. Have been working on the itinerary for ages,and thought I'd ask for some feedback. Specifically - how do-able is it? Not too rushed? Can I expect it to run like that or should I have more days up my sleeve for delays ect. Would it be ok to pre-book all travel and accom before we leave?

Ok, now I think of it, I have MANY questions! Some of them can wait...

Thanks in anticipation!

Day 1 Bne-sin-Delhi
2 Arr delhi
3 Delhi
4 Delhi (day trip Agra)
5 Delhi
6 Delhi-Amritsar (morning train)
7 Amritsar-Delhi-Jodhpur (overnight train)
8 Desert safari (3 days 2 nights) night 1
9 Desert safari night 2
10 Desert safari ends at Jaisalmer
11 Jaisalmer
12 Jaisalmer
13 Jaisalmer-Jodhpur (day train)
14 Jodhpur Udaipur via Ranakpur (car+driver)
15 Udaipur
16 Udaipur-Varanasi (flight)
17 Varanasi
18 Varanasi Darjeeling
19 Darjeeling
20 Darjeeling
21 Darjeeling
22 Darjeeling-Kolkata
23 Kolkata (full day or make-up day for delays etc)
24 Dep Kolkata for home
#2 May 13th, 2011, 11:00
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  • sagarneel is offline
#2
Welcome to India and the mike attached to it, beckfish

I am no expert on Rajastan (having been there only once on a road trip), however, I feel that you can cut a day short in Jaisalmer (may be Day12). However, the main point that I would like to make is - why do you want to spend 4 days only in Darjeeling? I know its a very popular destination, so the name comes up automatically on the top of the list, however, I feel 4 days in Darj is a bit too much. You can easily curtail a couple of days in Darj. and utilise them for a brisk trip to Sikkim, or spend an extra day in Kolkata. Personally speaking, I would have scrapped the entire idea of Darjeeling and would instead, dedicate all the 4 days for Sikkim (however, as I said, this is strictly a personal opinion, I somehow don't like the clutter of Darjeeling. Sikkim, on the other hand is much more tranquil, and arguably more beautiful). The other problem with Darjeeling is its suceptibility to fall prey to political agitations. There is an ongoing political agitation since quite some time now, and often the area experiences road blocks/ strikes (sometimes for days), which can dent the pleasure of a blissful and peaceful trip. This is however, not to discourage you against Darj.....infact Darjeeling at its best, is still one of the best hill stations in India. Just make sure that you stay updated on the recent political siyuations of Darj. and plan accordingly.

Have a great and safe trip!

Regards,
Sagarneel.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid Albert Einstein


Trip reports:

Syalsaur/ Deoria taal/ Chopta trip report, West and South Sikkim trip report , Puri/ Konark trip report
#3 May 13th, 2011, 11:04
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#3
Just saw this thread.. I had infact replied here:

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...think-t135028/

Regards,
Sagarneel.

PS: Guess the above thread has been closed. Anyway, my post remains.
Last edited by sagarneel; May 13th, 2011 at 13:06..
#4 May 13th, 2011, 11:49
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  • params is offline
#4
What is your plan for Agra? If you want to see only the Taj and Agra fort then a day trip is enough. If you plan to cover other places as well, then you might have to stay there for a night.
#5 May 13th, 2011, 11:58
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  • rebeccam is offline
#5
I cannot emphasize enough my recommendation: do NOT do Agra as a day trip from New Delhi.

instead, arrive in the afternoon, tour the Fort (amazing--get a good guide) cross over the river and see the taj from the Moonlight Bagh garden. Next morning, get up EARLY and be one of the very first to enter the TM grounds...BEFORE the day-trip people arrive form the train they've just taken from New Delhi.
#6 May 13th, 2011, 12:01
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#6
Better yet....delhi, THEN Amritsar (overnight--see Golden Temple both at night and in the morning)

return to Delhi, see what you want there...THEN head to Agra, stay overnight, and then proceed to the desert/Rajasthan. Otherwise, you are backtracking .

i ahve not been to Kolkata, but everything i know tells me that one day is NOT enough time there.
#7 May 13th, 2011, 12:05
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  • mountaintamer is offline
#7
Hi Beckfish,

Sagarneel is right, you can definately cut short a day in Jaisalmer and also for the desert safari be sure of the travel agent/tour operator that you will be using, it is not unknown for these people to take you around in circles and keep showing you the same villages yet again!! And also Darjeeling - 4days will be too many, I visited darjeeling quite some years ago and ven then i found it to be very commercialised and not the quaint little hill town i had pictured it to be. Try and include Gangtok in your list (see if you want to cut down a couple of days in darj) and if going to Gnagtok make sure u go and see Changu Lake which is about 40KM from Gangtok.
Hope it helps. Have a great trip!!
#8 May 13th, 2011, 12:06
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#8
I agree about Darjeeling, also, it will be cold.

Are long(ish) distance taxis an option on your budget?

Forget Agra for now......

Delhi-Amritsar
Amritsar-Jodhpur (you don't need to go through Delhi)
or
Amritsar-Bikaner/Deshnok (Rat Temple), then a taxi to Jaisalmer (passing a great spot for a cup of tea in an old Maharajas hunting lodge)

Then Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur

then an overnight train to Agra
then an overnight train to Varanasi
Then on to New Jalpaiguri for either Darjeeling or Sikkim

and so on
#9 May 13th, 2011, 12:08
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#9
[I]absolutely you can book all accoms and travel before leaving home. For a first trip, it certainly provides peace-of-mind before arrival.
I see you are in Australia. Lincoln a travel planner there who's highly recommended, and is affiliated with Faith Pandian, and Tim Hawley, the travel planners who have helped twice on trips to India

Faith is at Indianpanorama.in

Lincoln is at http://www.indiaunbound.com.au/

I would defintely ask your fellow Aussie's help in planning and pre-booking your trip.

ANd mkae sure to rquest an INnova for transport--far safer and more comfortable for three of you. Your daughter is going to LOVE India--mine did11!
#10 May 13th, 2011, 13:14
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  • sagarneel is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaintamer View Post Hi Beckfish,

And also Darjeeling - 4days will be too many, I visited darjeeling quite some years ago and ven then i found it to be very commercialised and not the quaint little hill town i had pictured it to be.!!
Exactly identical thoughts here! My personal opinion about Darjeeling is - an over cluttered, over commercialized, extremely unplanned and chaotic place, which offers great views of Mt. Kanchenjunga on a clear day (which again is a matter of fortune)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaintamer View Post Try and include Gangtok in your list (see if you want to cut down a couple of days in darj) and if going to Gnagtok make sure u go and see Changu Lake which is about 40KM from Gangtok.
Right! However, for a mountain bug, nothing can beat the beauty of North Sikkim.
#11 May 13th, 2011, 15:17
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#11
Hi and thanks for the quick reply!
Why Darjeeling/4 days there? Well we have fallen in love - on the internet - with Glenburn Tea Estate that is in the area. We figure it will be a nice place to chill after our adventures, the host offers day trips etc; plus my daughter wants her birthday there. Less days would have been ok, but I couldn't work in the trains to be there on her birthday. Yes, I have heard of the strikes etc, just hopeful that it doesn't affect us then (after all my fingers WILL be crossed!); I suppose I should look at a plan B though? Thanks for your comments!
#12 May 13th, 2011, 15:20
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#12
Params and Rebeccam - great points about staying at Agra. I had considered it - I think it was on my original itinerary but I needed to tweak it for some reason. I would love to see the Taj at sunrise. Hmmm, food for thought, back to the drawing board methinks! Thanks
#13 May 13th, 2011, 15:27
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#13
"Sagarneel is right, you can definately cut short a day in Jaisalmer and also for the desert safari be sure of the travel agent/tour operator that you will be using, it is not unknown for these people to take you around in circles and keep showing you the same villages yet again!!"

Hi Mountaintamer,
Thanks for that advice - I had visions of going round in circles and being just as excited as we saw the same village over and over - the funny thing is I think they would get away with that with me I've seen really good reports of HACRA, so we are going to go with them - they sound very reputable - assuming I am reading reliable reviews! Thanks again for that tip.
#14 May 13th, 2011, 15:38
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post I agree about Darjeeling, also, it will be cold.

LOVE the cold, looking forward to that! (Weird I know...)

Are long(ish) distance taxis an option on your budget?


Forget Agra for now......

Delhi-Amritsar
Amritsar-Jodhpur (you don't need to go through Delhi)
or
Amritsar-Bikaner/Deshnok (Rat Temple), then a taxi to Jaisalmer (passing a great spot for a cup of tea in an old Maharajas hunting lodge)

Then Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur

then an overnight train to Agra
then an overnight train to Varanasi
Then on to New Jalpaiguri for either Darjeeling or Sikkim

and so on
Haven't really considered the long distance taxi; will do some research. The rest of your suggested itin. is interesting, its more along the lines of my first draft....can't remember what led to changes, will re-look at it. I did feel that my Rajasthan section didn't flow as well as it could. Thanks for your suggestions - more food for thought!

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