1. Arrive in Delhi and spend two nights (Qutub Minar, Red Fort-Old delhi -Chandni Chowk (gurudwara, etc.)
2. Overnight train to Varanasi. Spend two or three days there.
3. Overnight train to Agra. See Taj Mahal. Anything else to see in Agra? Should we spend the night, another day, or leave the same night?
4. Take a day train /drive to Jaipur. 2 days in Jaipur: (Amber, Jaigarh, Nahargarh, also Gaitor. Old city - Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, City Palace, etc.)
5. Overnight train to Udiapur. Spend two or three days there. What are the most popular sites in Udaipur?
*****Someone mentioned that Khajuraho is not to be missed. Is this place place worth a visit and where would it fit into the itinerary mentioned above? Is a drive to Chittorgarh from Jaipur on the way to Udaipur worth a visit? What about Jodhpur or Jaisalmer?*****
I have 3 weeks, is there anything else worth visiting in proximity? I would like to enjoy my vacation and not run around on train every day. Also I dont want to go crazy and see a million forts, temples, etc. I'm in my late 20's, I'd rather get a taste of a little bit of everything. Any comments or revisions to this itinerary would be greatly appreciated!
I will not comment on the Rajasthan and Khajuraho part as I have never been there. Certainly Khajuraho is a place not to be missed. But in my opinion, if you can't fit it in comfortably in your itinerary then leave it for yor next trip.
In Delhi try to accommodate Humayun's Tomb in your plan.
Varanasi, I think deserves more than three days. And beside you can have a trip to Sarnath (12 km from Varanasi).
In and around Agra, there much to see than Taj. Beside Agra Fort, Itmad-Ud-Daula's Tomb (or Baby Taj) deserves a visit which is on the opposite bank of Yamuna. And Fatehpur Sikri, (40 km from Agra) you can consider too, during your stay in Agra.
There is a direct train connection between Varanasi - Khajuraho and Khajuraho - Agra, running 3 days a week.
If you want to visit Chittorgarh do it as a day trip from Udaipur. Some sites near Udaipur are Ranakpur, Kumbhalgarh, Jaisamand lake, Haldighati. Sites in Udaipur are City Palace, Sajjangarh, Fateh Sagar Lake, Doodh Talai (take the cable car to the top of the mountain amazaing view of Lake Pichola), Ahar Cenotaphs, Saheliyon ki Bari, Rana Pratap Memorial.
You can include Jodhpur, Jaisalmer would be too out of the way.
I've heard Agra Fort is cool, & quite near the Taj. I didn't go as Mom was sick the day we were in Agra, but it looked interesting from outside.
Also, Humayan's tomb was designed by the same guy that designed the Taj and has been called the mini-Taj. Some friends who I went with just after they'd seen the Taj said it was pretty boring after having just seen the real thing. It's a cool place, but you may keep that in mind.
Definitely check out Jamma Masjid, and having a cycle wallah take you into Chandni Chowk is well worth the time. Connaught Place is nice for lunch or walking around, but not that exciting to go see. There is a Sikh temple, near Old Delhi, that gives tours & a free meal. I've heard it's really cool -- that might be worth checking out. Also, Qutab Minar is nice but Mehrauli Park (outside of it, an archeological park) is a really great place to explore. Those together would make it worth the trip across the city. Then stop by the really nice mall at Saket for coffee. :D
Mini Taj or Baby Taj is the local name of Itmad-Ud-Daula's Tomb (But it's in Agra, not Delhi). It is actually 20 year older than Taj and is considered to be followed to some extent by the architect of Taj. If I am not wrong, in Mughal architechture Itmad-Ud-Daula's tomb is the first instance of having four minarets at the four corners of the main mausoleum (please rectify if I am wrong). This was closely followed during the making of Taj and interestingly these Minarets are the only part in Taj without any ornamentation on the walls. Conversely, in Itmad-Ud-Daula's Tomb the minarets are, well have a look at it -
Ah, per wikipedia, H's tomb "created a precedent for future Mughal architecture of royal mausolea, which reached its zenith with the Taj Mahal, at Agra." So not built by the same guy, just the same style. Oops! :p
PS. I's tomb looks like it's worth a look-see next time I'm in Agra, though!
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