itinerary

#1 Sep 10th, 2012, 23:45
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  • bowfin is offline
#1
hello there

we're planning our first visit to India this January. We have about 16 days or so. there are 3 of us travelling, my husband and my son (9) and myself. We all have different interests and so are trying to fit in alot of things over a short timeframe. to do this we figure we'll use a combination of flights and overnight trains.

Day 0 arrive late at night
day 1 spend in New Delhi

Day 2 take an early flight to Amritsar to see Golden Temple; then take late afternoon flight back to Delhi (added on as a day trip since its high on my son's wish list).

day 3 spend day in Delhi (a bit of cushion time in case we have troubles getting back) then take the overnight train to Varanasi

Day 4 Varanasi and Sarnath
Day 5 varanasi in AM and take the afternoon train to Agra

Day 6 arrive bright and early to Agra and spend day - leave on afternoon train to Augrangabad
(this is where i run into a hiccup as it looks like there are only 2 seats available on the AC2 class for the day is chose - so i might need to move things around)

Day 7 arrive in Aurangabad at 1130 and visit Ellora caves. stay overnight

Day 8 fly to Delhi

Day 9 take early morning train to Sawai Madhoput to visit Ranthambore natl' park

Day 10 take train to Jaipur
Days 11 and 12 in Jaipur

Day 13 fly to Kochi
Days 14-16 Kochi area

so that's it in a nutshell. does anyone see some major issues or have suggestions to improve things?

thanks alot!
#2 Sep 10th, 2012, 23:55
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  • Dave W is offline
#2
Amritsar is well worth the trip. You could get the early morning Shatabdi from Delhi to Amritsar then go to the Golden Temple for the afternoon and see dusk fall which for us was magical. Then get an overnight train back to Delhi. If you could manage another day there there is another temple worth seeing - the Sri Durgiana and the border ceremony at Wagah might appeal.

Make sure that day 6 isn't a Friday as the Taj Mahal is closed.

There has to be a way to cut down on the total travel in your trip but I'm not very clued up on internal flights in India. Where would you fly from on Day 8? Do you really need to go all the way back to Delhi?
#3 Sep 11th, 2012, 02:56
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#3
thank you. I'll watch to make sure i don't hit Agra on a Friday. I'll check the trains for Amritsar. I couldn't find an easy way to get into or out of Aurangabad. seemed that best way was via train from Agra but that was full.
#4 Sep 11th, 2012, 03:50
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#4
An option maybe the following:

Take a train to Jalgaon
Train 12780 (goa express) has a Foreign Quota of 4 seats in 3 AC see erail.in
Hire a car for the to bring yo to Ellora and then back to Aurangabad. The distance is nearly 200 km so it will cost, depending on car, something like 4000 rs.

Since you don't mention your travel dates I'm not sure of this works but it is worth a try.
#5 Sep 11th, 2012, 03:52
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#5
Regarding your Agra-Aurangabad train journey, I see this train starts very early in the morning from Amritsar. So delay due to fog is not completely out of consideration (in fact it is very much possible if your journey date falls in the first half of January). The scheduled arrival time of the train at Aurangabad is at 11-30 AM. For an Indian express train covering 1800 kms, a delay of 30 minutes to one hour is pretty normal (without delay caused by fog).

From Aurangabad, Ellora cave complex is around 30 kms, i.e. around 45 minutes to one hour journey. So even if you rush to Ellora straight from train station, its hard to see you people there before 1 PM and the caves closes at 6 PM.

Does this amount of journey, expenditure and exhaustion worth 5 hours (at best) of cave hopping (and that too with a 9 year old kid) in a complex that comprises of 34 caves? I will suggest you to drop Ellora this time and invest that time in the main circuit you are travelling in.

PS - But if you do go to Ellora, make it sure your 7th day isn't a Tuesday. Ellora remains closed on that day of the week.


CA Note: I have moved your thread to the Itinerary Advice forum.
"There is no happiness for him who does not travel ... Therefore, wander!" - Aitareya Brahmana, Rig Veda.

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Last edited by biman; Sep 11th, 2012 at 05:45..
#6 Sep 11th, 2012, 03:59
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowfin View Post ... does anyone see some major issues or have suggestions to improve things?...
Welcome to IndiaMike.

I read your itinerary to distaff. Her response: "Is she out of her mind?" My response is similar, except more profane.

This is way too much to take on. Can it be done? Perhaps. But you're going at such a speed and seeing so many monuments that you'll be out of your skulls with exhaustion while you're there and have to refer to your photos later to remember where you've been and what you've seen.

We think you've given far too short shrift to Amritsar, Varanasi, and Aurangabad. The likelihood of your seeing anything at Ranthambore on a quickie nip-in-nip-out is about nil. (I know, I know, some IM'er is going to post that he saw a tiger just inside the entrance gate, and it was tigers, tigers, tigers from then on. But it ain't gonna happen for you.)

I would suggest that you ditch Ranthambore altogether and gain at least a day. Day 8 might go away too – just fly in two legs from one venue to another. You seem strongly committed to Kochi, and no wonder: but it's way out of the way for you, and those three days might better be dispersed amongst the other stuff.

The important thing to remember is that getting around India is much more time-consuming and tiring than you probably anticipate. Much better to go slower and visit fewer places. You'll get more out of the trip and enjoy it more. The rest will all still be there for another trip.

sperehealfe
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Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
#7 Sep 11th, 2012, 06:48
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#7
Yes, regrettably my comments are in line with Dave W and hfot2.

Can you tell us the sorts of things you're interested in seeing / doing / experiencing on the trip?


Generally, I think there is too much going backwards and forwards to Delhi as a series of day trips; try and figure a way of keeping on the move.

Amritsar - as Dave says, it's great to see the Golden Temple by day, and lit at night; I'm sure your son would enjoy the border ceremony at Wagah.

Aurangabad - shift this to later in the trip; from here fly to Mumbai and then to Kochi.

Ranthambore - maybe not this trip




There are experts on train travel here - and you may want to maximise your overnight train journeys as a daylight-efficient means of travel, and fly to cover long distances in short periods of time.


Delhi (including Agra day trip) 3 nights /

Amritsar 2 nights /

Varanasi (via Delhi) 2 nights /

Jaipur (via Delhi) 2 nights /

Aurangabad (via Mumbai) 1 night / you may need to overnight in Mumbai, depening on flight connections

Kochi (via Mumbai) 3 nights
#8 Sep 11th, 2012, 08:03
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#8
thanks for all your comments. yes i know its lots to cover but there are so many tempting things to see and not likely that we'll be back. i'll keep working on the itenary. oh and thanks for moving the post to the proper spot. cheers
#9 Sep 11th, 2012, 10:26
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#9
so second try. i think we'll fly into delhi but out via mumbai which might make room for aurangabad and/or kochi. we're planning at staying at the nicer hotels to help keep up with the schedule.

day 1 delhi
days 2 and 3 morning train to amritsar as recommended by Dave but we'll stay overnight here and take the afternoon train #12030 back to delhi

day 4 recoup in day in delhi (nice hotel) and then take the afternoon traim to Jaipur #12916

days 5 and 6 in Jaipur take the evening train to sawai madhopur #12968

day 7 in park (and no we're not counting on seeing tigers really just want to do a couple of trecks in the bush, a tiger is a bonus - this is more to take a break from monuments and we all like nature)

day 8 possibly trek or just relax and take the afternoon train to Varanasi #13238 (overnight)

day 9 arrive mid day to Varanasi
day 10 varanasi day and then overnight train to Agra
day 11 agra and overnight train to delhi

here we take a break for a several days with family that just moved to india in Banglore.

after that we'll have another 5 days and might try to swing in kochi and/or caves but we'll fly home from Mumbai so makes things are little closer to that side. but i realize we might need to cut something out or of course could make the trip longer
#10 Sep 11th, 2012, 10:39
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#10
Flying out of Mumbai should help you squeeze a bit more into your trip.

If you take an afternoon train out of Amritsar you will have to miss either the Golden Temple at dusk or the Border ceremony where the timings are linked to sunset, but I can't remember the exact detail.

Days in Delhi seem to be considered as time wasted by some but there is plenty to do. If you get a hotel somewhere near a Metro station it will be easy and cheap to get around.
Quote:
or of course could make the trip longer
Go for it!! And as for not likely that we will be back - beware. If India gets its hooks into you it becomes a very hard habit to kick.

Interesting handle. Are you by any chance of Scottish descent?
#11 Sep 11th, 2012, 10:40
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Kochi is an international airport - can you fly out from there?
#12 Sep 11th, 2012, 15:16
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#12
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Originally Posted by bowfin View Post days 2 and 3 morning train to amritsar as recommended by Dave but we'll stay overnight here and take the afternoon train #12030 back to delhi

day 4 recoup in day in delhi (nice hotel) and then take the afternoon traim to Jaipur #12916
It depends on the days that you are traveling but four days in a week there is a direct train from Amritsar to Jaipur.
#13 Sep 11th, 2012, 18:27
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#13
thanks Dave

if the train works out from delhi we can hit up the closing ceremony that night but we'll play by ear.
No don't think we're scottish

thank you both, i'll check out Kochi that might be much easier.

i saw a train from Jaipur to Amritsar - i think it only offers AC3 tier. the seat61 doesn't list that as one of the 'safe' options. what are the opinions on taking that class as an overnight?
Last edited by aarosh; Sep 11th, 2012 at 20:04.. Reason: Merged Posts
#14 Sep 11th, 2012, 18:45
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#14
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Originally Posted by bowfin View Post i saw a train from Jaipur to Amritsar - i think it only offers AC3 tier. the seat61 doesn't list that as one of the 'safe' options. what are the opinions on taking that class as an overnight?
It's a perfectly safe, somewhat luxurious (compared to sleeper only) option. You get a bedroll (pillows, sheets, blanket, etc) and the windows are glazed and there's air conditioning (often too cold but better than getting dirt inside the compartment) Can you share that link from seat61? I'd like to have a look ....
#15 Sep 11th, 2012, 19:12
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#15
thanks, see in the paragraph i pasted below they mention AC1 and 2 as being safe etc... so made me think that the other classes may not be so good....

http://www.seat61.com/India.htm

Quote:
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best way to see India is not on a plane at 35,000 feet, but at ground level on the incredible Indian railway system. In fact, no visit to India is complete without experiencing the bustle of Indian railway stations and a safe & comfortable journey on an Indian express train with the tea seller's welcome cry of 'Chai, chai, garam chai' coming down the aisle. You can safely forget media images of overcrowded suburban trains with people sitting on the roof. On a long distance express in an AC Chair car or an AC1 or AC2 sleeper, all seats and berths are reserved and it’s a safe, civilised, cheap & comfortable way to get around India.


CA Note: Please use the quote function while quoting from other sources. I have done it for this post.


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