March 2018 itinerary advice

#1 Jan 14th, 2018, 22:13
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  • korovamilky is offline
#1
Dear friends of IM forum,
we are pretty experienced backpack travellers but as this is our very first travel to India we would like to plan as much as possible in advance.
Our trip will start in Nepal (Kathmandu) at the end of Februar 2018, then after around 10 days we will head to India for little more than 20 days.
Our plans/must see in India are so far: Varanasi (3 days), Agra/Taj Mahal (intraday) then Rajasthan (Jodhpur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, about 2 days each), then chill out in Goa (Agonda and surroundings) for about a week, then our flight back is scheduled from Mumbai (2 or 3 days there).
We originally wanted to do Kathmandu - Varanasi overland with bus, but now it's clear to us that we have not enough time to get traditional indian visa and also the bus trip looks a bit complicated. So we tought we could better do as follows:

Fly from Kathmandu to Varanasi (with one stop flight Kathmandu - Delhi - Varanasi; e-Visa request with Delhi as "Port of Arrival" - right?. Is it possible to catch our connection with just 1,5 hours stopover?) then after 3 nights in Varanasi move with night train for a stop in Agra to visit Taj Mahal and then (train, bus or taxi?) to Rajasthan and then from there to Goa (also with night train - not sure from where exactly in Rajasthan and how long would it take- or flight? - not sure from which airport is more convenient). Goa to Mumbai looks pretty straightforward (train).

Another option could be to fly from Kathmandu to Delhi and move directly to Agra and Rajasthan (trains or rent car with driver?) then to Varanasi (flight? or train?). Then flight from Varanasi to Goa (but it seems there isn't any direct option).

Which would be in your opinion the most convenient mean of travel for the above plans, in terms of time and less-stress?

I would also kindly ask which airlines would you suggest to stick to as per security standards and reliability.

Many thanks in advance
M&C
#2 Jan 14th, 2018, 22:49
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  • vonkla is offline
#2
Some general remarks
Quote:
Fly from Kathmandu to Varanasi (with one stop flight Kathmandu - Delhi - Varanasi; e-Visa request with Delhi as "Port of Arrival" - right?. Is it possible to catch our connection with just 1,5 hours stopover?)
I would not take that risk. Furthermore, Delhi has two airports.
If you arrive on a different one than you depart, you certainly cannot make it.

Train tickets you have to reserve in advance. Herefore you need to register at the IRCTC, see here for the procedure.

The different modes of transport are described here http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...s-bus-t238488/
#3 Jan 15th, 2018, 22:23
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#3
Hi vonkla and thank you for your info.

we just decided to book a Kathmandu - Varanasi flight with a 5 hours stop in Delhi, both flights operated by Jet Airways.

We are now looking for tips and advices to how to plan our trip after Varanasi, also:

Agra (Taj Mahal)
Jaipur
Jodhpur
Jaisalmer
then
Goa
then Mumbai

Help is appreciated
#4 Jan 15th, 2018, 23:10
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#4
Jaisalmer to Goa is rather complicated.
In my opinion it is better to visit Jaisalmer after Jaipur by train or plane.

After Jodhpur fly to Goa..
#5 Jan 18th, 2018, 21:09
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#5
As we prefer no-stop flights, we would prefer to flight directly to Goa and so far I have found options only from Delhi (we were not yet so would maybe be worth to take the chance to also stop a day there,).

We are probably going to do the following Rajasthan tour (with car/bus/train), then we will head to Delhi and from there direct flight to
Day 1. Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur
Day 2. Jaipur
Day 3. Jaipur - Ajmer/Pushkar - Jodhpur
Day 4. Jodhpur
Day 5. Jodhpur - Jaisalmer
Day 6. Jaisalmer
Day 7. Jaisalmer - Udaipur
Day 8. Udaipur
Day 9. Udaipur - Delhi
Day 10. Delhi
Day 11. Delhi - Goa (Air India or IndiGo)

Dear experienced friends, do you think this is a too stretch schedule? Where would you add/remove some time?

Thanks in advance
#6 Jan 19th, 2018, 20:36
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#6
I think you are too ambitious, you spend nearly half the time on the road.
Most destinations deserve at least 2 days of sight-seeing.

Look if this idea works for you:
Fly Delhi - Jaisalmer, see here.
From Jaisalmer continue to Jodhpur - Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra - Delhi.
You can do this by car or bus, these options give you more flexibility then trains.
#7 Jan 19th, 2018, 21:03
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#7
Hi vonkla,
thank you again for your time!

Maybe my previous post was a bit unclear (couldn't edit it, sorry).

Fact is that we already booked a night train from Varanasi to Agra as we would like to reduce flight-hassle (check-in, go to airport, etc) to a minimum where possible.
So we will arrive in Agra at day 1 in the early morning (6AM). We would just like to enjoy the Taj Mahal, then move (by car or whatever) on the same day to Jaipur, where we will sleep night of the day 1 and day 2.
On day 3 we will move from Jaipur to Jodhpur via Ajmer/Pushkar. Sleep in Jodhpur
Day 4 sleep in Jodhpur
Day 5. move from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer - sleep in Jaisalmer
Day 6. sleep in Jaisalmer

Day 7.
Option A) From Jaisalmer to...Udaipur. Then night 7 and 8 in Udaipur. On day 9 leave to Delhi. on day 10 8or 11) direct flight Delhi - Goa
or
Option B) From Jaisalmer to... Bikaner. Then night 7 and 8 in Bikaner. On day 9 leave to Delhi. on day 10 8or 11) direct flight Delhi - Goa

Still too ambitious? :-)
#8 Jan 19th, 2018, 23:06
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#8
Jaisalmer - Udaipur, Google learns that it is a long day (about 10 hours) drive, there are no trains
Bikaner will not add much after Jodhpur and Jaisalmer
Pushkar, I doubt if it makes sense for just a few hours

My suggestion
Day 3 fly from Jaipur to Jaisalmer, you have the afternoon and the next day to explore.
Day 5 to Jodhpur
Day 7 to Udaipur by car, visit Ranakpur temple and Kumbalgarh fort en route.

Enjoy your trip.

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