Rajasthan and Varanasi in 14 days

#1 Jan 25th, 2009, 01:55
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  • RobEloi is offline
#1
I visited India a couple of year ago on business and spent a couple of days in Delhi and Agra (Qutb Minar, Taj). I liked it so much I just have to go back and see more of it without rushing around. So what do I do? Produce an itinerary that, well, looks a bit like I'm rushing around. Is this itinerary possible? If not, what do you recommend I drop?

My logic is to travel very early or overnight where possible and to focus on seeing specific things. By the way, photography is one of my passions and I'll be on my own (my wife doesn't want Delhi belly and likes home comforts cleanliness etc) so I'll be travelling light and won't be looking in shops! I'll be in AC sleepers on the trains or flying. I'll pre book hotels in advance if I can.

Day Place Morning Afternoon/Evening Activity
18-Apr Go Go to Heathrow Fly to Delhi
19-Apr Udaipur Fly to Udaipur at 11am Udaipur Town
20-Apr Udaipur Udaipur Lake Palace Udaipur Town
21-Apr Udaipur Ranakpur for the day
22-Apr Jodhpur Fly to Jodhpur Look around Jodhpur
23-Apr Jodhpur Meherangarh Fort Look around Jodhpur
24-Apr Jaisalmer 5am Train to Jaisalmer Jaisalmer Town
25-Apr Jaisalmer Jaisalmer Palace Overnight Train Jaipur
26-Apr Jaipur City Palace, Jantar Mantar Nahargah Fort
27-Apr Jaipur Amber & Jaigarh Fort Pink City
28-Apr Agra 6am Train to Agra Taj Mahal sunset
29-Apr Agra Taj dawn, Red Fort 9pm Overnight to Varanasi
30-Apr Varanasi 8am Hotel Check in, Ghats
01-May Varanasi Ghats
02-May Delhi Varanasi Dawn Fly to Delhi (Jet), Jama Masjid
03-May Delhi Humayan, Sarfdajang, Lotus, Red Fort, Jama Masjid
04-May 6am Go to Delhi Airport - fly home

Is this too ambitious, also how do you recommend I get too and from Ranakpur?
#2 Jan 25th, 2009, 02:00
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#2
22 Apr- Fly to Jodhpur? Since you're going to have to hire a car to get to Ranakpur, the car might as well continue on and drop you in Jodhpur.

It looks OK to me but you're rushing Jaisalmer. Unless you take somewhere out I can't see how you can improve that, though. If you did take somewhere out, where do you think it would be?
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#3 Jan 25th, 2009, 02:05
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#3
Thanks Karuna

If I took something out it would be Agra and/or Delhi as I've seen them but the guide that took us round the Taj rushed it so I wanted to spend a bit more time there.
#4 Jan 25th, 2009, 02:18
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#4
Hmmm. Not really much room for cutting them out, is there? You've plenty still to see in Delhi.

My instinct is to say cut Jaisalmer because it's so far "out there" and too rushed to be worth it. You could use an extra night in Varanasi.
But Jaisalmer is nice and it would be a shame to miss it out completely when you're so close! So I think it's your call really- spend less time in more places or more time in fewer places!

By the way, I know nothing about trains so I am assuming you've researched them and are sure you can get trains at the right time between all these places.

I don't feel I've been much help, sorry!
#5 Jan 25th, 2009, 02:27
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#5
I'm sharing a few of karuna's thoughts . . . Jaiselmer is "out there", but it is there, sooooo close . . . personally, I'd skip Delhi, keep Agra (I'm a Taj-freak) and add another day to Varanasi . . . of the almost three years I've spent in India over five trips, almost half that time has been in Varanasi. My thinking is that you'll get a pretty good dose of forts/palaces/monuments/etc on your other stops. What happens in Varanasi can't really be seen, is less external than internal, truly one of the timeless, powerful places on earth.
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#6 Jan 25th, 2009, 02:32
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#6
Ha ha! Whereas I'm the Delhi freak! Can't cut Delhi, just can't!

I think it's back to the guidebook time, Rob!
#7 Jan 25th, 2009, 09:53
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  • Hal is offline
#7
I'd suggest if you're looking for a few more days, drop Jaipur. After Jaisalmer, Udaipur and Jodhpur, Jaipur may just be more of the same, and Jaipur is a big, crowded city. You could fly from Jaisalmer back to Delhi andd then do a slightly more leisurely Delhi-Agra-Varanasi leg.
#8 Feb 6th, 2009, 04:13
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#8

Cool

Thanks Hal Karuma Darmabaum

Over 16 days, I finally settled for

1 Arrive 6am in Delhi then Fly to Udaipur
2 Walk round Udaipur and see City palace
3 Taxi to Jodhpur via Ranakpur
4 Meherangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada then Night train - Jaisalmer
5 Jaisalmer Palace and Jaisalmer town
6 More of Jaisalmer or short Camel/Jeep Safari depending on how hot it is
7 Jaisalmer town then Night train to Jaipur
8 Amber & Jaigarh, Hawa Mahal etc
9 Pink City, Palace
10 Dawn train to Agra Taj Mahal sunset
11 Taj Mahal Red Fort then Night train to Varanasi
12 Ghats
13 Ghats
14 Ghats then fly to Delhi
15 Humayan Sarfdajang, Red Fort, Jama Masjid
16 Fly home

So, 2 days in Udapiur (Ranakpur), 1 day Jodhpur, 2.5 days Jaisalmer, 2 days Jaipur, 1 day Agra, 2.5 days Varanasi and 1.5 days Delhi. A combination of flying and early or overnight trains to make the most of my time.

Thanks for all your advice.
#9 Feb 6th, 2009, 19:24
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#9
Good looking itinerary; if it was a music CD, you'd have one volume of India's Greatest Hits on it.
#10 Feb 11th, 2009, 17:03
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  • gayed is offline
#10
I have just returned from 14 days visiting all the places you listed. If I was to do it again (which I hope to one day), I would definitely cut out Jaipur and spend an extra day and night in Varanassi. I agree wholeheartedly with everything 'Darmabum' said about Varanassi. Do yourself a big favour and experience extra time at this truley magical place.
#11 Feb 12th, 2009, 09:14
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  • albertoeggplant is offline
#11

Just back myself

Hi Rob,

I am just back from 9 days doing a lot of the places you want to see.

If you see my post (about 2 posts below this one I think) you can see the itinerary me and my wife did.

Overnight trains are easy and a good way to cover distance while avoiding hotel costs. But book ahead if you can. One of the websites I was recommended was www.cleartrip.com but I am sure there are others too.

I agree with earlier posts - Jaipur is nice enough but can be missed to be honest unless you want to shop - which you said you didn't. Take an extra day in Jaisalmer (MY personal favourite) or Varanasi instead.

I can tell you that it pays to have at least one stop where you can rest your head for more than one night. The travelling is fun but the prospect of no break over the entire trip can make it (especially towards the end) a bit of a flog.

Have a great time and tell us all how it all goes. Post a few pics too - again take a quick look at mine (search Albertoeggplant) to see what the weather was doing - it was fantastic the whole time!!!

Good luck.

AE
Believer in the 50-50-90 Rule: whenever there is a 50/50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

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