To India in April

#1 Dec 15th, 2015, 13:56
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  • RockinTally is offline
#1
Hello everyone, I am relatively new to the board but have been looking around when I have internet to get some ideas. I can't wait to go to India, but I was hoping you could look over what I am thinking and let me know what you think.
So I currently am a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia. I finish my service in April and i am heading straight to India for about 25 days. I want my trip there to be pretty loose. I was planning on setting a few specific destinations and letting the rest of the time fill itself in with whatever comes up. My idea was to budget about three days per site and leave a few unplanned. Obviously if I wanted to spend less or more time in an area I would do that. So far my problem has come down to having too many places planned and not leaving any days left over. Right now I have eight places I wanted to visit, with an estimated 4 days of travel by train for the whole trip.
I really want to visit more rural areas, I figured if I just got a bus instead of a train I could stop in a random town for a day or two, then catch another bus to get back on track. Have any of you tried this approach and had good luck with it?
So my specific itinerary is: New Dehli, Jaipur, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Khajurah, Varanasi, then back to Dehli to fly out. Does this sound realistic? Are all these areas really worth the trip etc?
Thanks for any help you can give. I have very limited access to Internet usually, but hopefully for now I will be able to check regularly.
#2 Dec 15th, 2015, 14:05
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#2
This is quite doable in 25 days. Be aware though that it starts warming up in April - Jaisalmer would get quite hot and Delhi would not be pleasant without air conditioning for the most part. Rajasthan's bus system is good and for the most part, if you're flexible with the time of the day you want to leave you can get a seat. Here's the search engine for querying state transport buses (Rajasthan) - https://rsrtconline.rajasthan.gov.in/busenquiry. To get an idea of what buses look like from the inside here, see my kinnaur trip report (in signature) - it's in another state but the condition of buses is similar, roads are better in Rajasthan though.

Crossing state borders using a bus is not as pleasant. For Udaipur-Khajuraho you may try an overnight train - erail.in for connections. Tickets can be booked via IRCTC online but being a foreigner it's complicated and I don't suspect April to be so bad. You may try FTQ tickets when you're here - use the search function for relevant threads on setting up IRCTC account and also FTQ.

Personally, I'd limit my time in Ajmer to a day or drop it altogether. Also, If you're OK to drop one extremity - say Jaisalmer, you could fit in Rishikesh for a marked change of scenery from Rajasthan.
#3 Dec 15th, 2015, 14:22
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  • old india hand is offline
#3
April is HOT .. forget rubbernecking every desert sight and head to the mountains.
#4 Dec 15th, 2015, 14:42
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vaibhav_arora Thanks for the great info. I was planning on trying to get the online booking system going before I leave, but I read the thread about it and know it can be difficult. As far as the bus system, I seriously doubt it could be worse than Ethiopia so I am not really worried about that at all. I also am from the south so the heat is a limited concern for me. That being said, old India hand recommends the mountains, anything specific?
vaibhav_arora I was thinking of visiting the "Happy Valley" in Ajmer. Is that not worth the trip? As for Jaisalmer I know it is out of the way but the Architecture looks crazy beautiful. Have you visited it? How was it? Any specific reason why NOT to visit there other than the travel time?
Thanks again for all your help guys.
#5 Dec 15th, 2015, 16:19
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#5
With so many destinations in India and with the probability this will not be your only trip to India .. pick to suit the season.

The usual backpackers places are in Himachal Pradesh .. can detour to Amritsar on way.
#6 Dec 15th, 2015, 17:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockinTally View Post vaibhav_arora Thanks for the great info. I was planning on trying to get the online booking system going before I leave, but I read the thread about it and know it can be difficult. As far as the bus system, I seriously doubt it could be worse than Ethiopia so I am not really worried about that at all. I also am from the south so the heat is a limited concern for me. That being said, old India hand recommends the mountains, anything specific?
vaibhav_arora I was thinking of visiting the "Happy Valley" in Ajmer. Is that not worth the trip? As for Jaisalmer I know it is out of the way but the Architecture looks crazy beautiful. Have you visited it? How was it? Any specific reason why NOT to visit there other than the travel time?
Thanks again for all your help guys.
Jaisalmer is very pretty- yes I've been there (trip report in signature). No other reason than the travel time and the heat. I've never heard of the happy valley - which implies it's not of historical importance. Ok, I googled it, rocky scrub country like that can be found in a number of places in Rajasthan. Try visiting one of the Bishnoi villages near Jodhpur or even the Khuri dunes near Jaisalmer for a more authentic experience. In Jaipur area, go to the back side of Nahargarh or climb up a bit from Sagar to Jaigarh and you'd find more than enough views that are similar. I thought you were keen on Ajmer Dargah as that is unique (and more than that the soni nasiyan in Ajmer). However, Amer is crowded, dirty, even by Rajasthan standards.

April is nowhere as bad as May and June is decidedly worse. I think you can benefit by having an open itinerary - one for the mountains and one which you already have. Once you land, decide.

Ethiopia is on my bucket list, might bother you for some tips sometime on how to save dosh.
#7 Dec 15th, 2015, 17:17
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#7
Again thanks for the info. I will look those places up.
Feel free to PM me about Ethiopia. I know mostly about the south since that is where I live, but I can easily get information about North.
#8 Dec 15th, 2015, 18:28
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vaibhav_arora I have been trying to open the links on your signature but they keep saying the webpage is unavailable. Is it a problem on my end or yours?
#9 Dec 15th, 2015, 18:32
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#9
Which link specifically? I just checked a couple and they're opening just fine at my end.
#10 Dec 15th, 2015, 19:51
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Well that's weird. I can't get any of them to open.
#11 Dec 15th, 2015, 19:58
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That's worrying, and not so much for you as for me as if you can't perhaps no one else can as well. Could someone else reading this thread click and report back here if they're opening. I've used a google URL shortner, but apart from that they are just links on this very forum.
#12 Dec 15th, 2015, 20:29
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#12
I tried two - one new and one old.
Could open both without any problem.
#13 Dec 15th, 2015, 20:32
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#13
Thanks Nayan.

Rockintally - maybe clear your cache and try again or just open in another browser (I'm using firefox here).
#14 Dec 16th, 2015, 13:16
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#14
I can't get firefox on this computer but I tried it with IE and it still isn't working. It still says the page can not be displayed. Honestly though I wouldn't be surprised if it is just blocked from Ethiopia's end.
#15 Dec 16th, 2015, 13:27
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#15
Just opened a signature link from arupratan ghosh and it went right through.

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