Udaipur to Goa Transport Advice + 19 days in South India

#1 Jul 25th, 2018, 11:58
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  • Wilfko is offline
#1
Hi guys,

Im due to land in Delhi 26th September for have 6 weeks before I fly out from Kochi. I plan on spending around 3 weeks in the north and 3 in the south.

My question is, I don't want to be hamstrung by booking a flight from (possibly) Udaipur early, I like the freedom of deciding during my travels.

With that in mind what is the most cost effective way to get to Goa from the North? I plan on doing the Delhi - Agra - Varanasi then doing a loop of Rhajastan. I don't have any set city I NEED to depart from.

Im ok with the idea of train travel. How far in advance do flights/trains need to be booked before they sell out or get too expensive? Whats my best city of departure to Goa in both cases?

Is it even worth going to Goa mid october?

Thanks alot!
#2 Jul 25th, 2018, 15:07
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#2
If you end up on the western end of Rajasthan, then there are 2 trains that start from Bikaner and pass through Jodhpur and Abu Road while on their way to Goa and Kerala.

If you're on the eastern end of Rajasthan, then there are about 10 options from Kota and a few more from Delhi. There's also 1 train that starts from Ajmer.

The bookings for October have already started. Train travel in India rarely gives one the pleasure of deciding on the spot.
#3 Jul 25th, 2018, 18:53
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  • OldandRambling is offline
#3
Trains in India often run full, and it is tricky to find last minute tickets. You could visit the "foreign tourist office" at New Delhi station when you arrive... They can look for tourist only quota reserved seats on some trains, but you would still have to specify your dates at that time.

Never flown within India, but I see for example that a flight to Goa from Udaipur costs about £80, inc. baggage. At that price, I would tend to make a booking, and if nothing better turns up, at least you have that to fall back on.

Hard to say if any place is "worth" visiting, if you spell out what you would like or expect, folk here will respond more easily.

Have a look on youtube also, many videos posted of Goa visits...

Ed.
#4 Jul 25th, 2018, 20:07
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  • Mannanan is offline
#4
If you want quick, efficient and relatively cheap transport from the North down to South, flying wins. Goa and Kerala are well served. I normally use Indigo or GoAir. If you fly from Delhi these flights are normally around £40 one way if you have booked in advance. Why not pick a day you think you might like to go South and book before you go to India. Like Ed says, itís there if you want it but you donít have to use it.
#5 Jul 26th, 2018, 01:08
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#5
Thanks for the replies guys.

Ive booking a flight from Delhi to Goa half way through my trip for £55 so not too bad.

Whats the reality regarding booking trains? Im going to need to take quite a few and a few overnight trains too. I've been told frustratingly I need to book in advance (shame as it ruins spontaneous travelling), how far in advance would you recommend and whats the best qay to do so?
#6 Jul 26th, 2018, 01:34
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  • aarosh is offline
#6
If traveling in unreserved class is no problem you can always get on a train provided there is one to the next place you are intending to go on that day.

If you are not comfortable traveling in unreserved class then it could be difficult to get a confirmed seats.

Regarding how far in advance is booking recommended, it would depend on the route and when you are planning to travel. Dussehra is in mid October. High traffic times. Advance booking for most trains start 120 days prior to departure days. Most trains on popular routes are already full. You can try FTQ as mentioned by OldandRambling. However they are not available for all classes and all trains and can not be booked at all stations. Read trainstuff.in/ftq for stations from where FTQ tickets can be booked. Nowadays FTQ can be booked online also however the charges are 1.5 times higher.
#7 Jul 26th, 2018, 02:02
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  • vonkla is online now
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilfko View Post I plan on doing the Delhi - Agra - Varanasi then doing a loop of Rhajastan. I don't have any set city I NEED to depart from.
A better idea is to change this and do Delhi - Varanasi - Agra since these are the longer distances. For the Agra Rajasthan part busses are a good alternative for trains.

As Aarosh mentioned FTQ tickets are not available on all trains. On a site as etrain.info it is possible to find them.
On the left top panel fill your stations and select Foreign tourist as quota. On the right panel select train and class.

As example for Delhi Varanasi the 12562 Swatrantra EXP has these seats, see here.
#8 Jul 26th, 2018, 03:37
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  • OldandRambling is offline
#8
Sadly, the idea of just turning up and buying a ticket at the station on the day, or the day before, does not work in India.

Most of us like to "go with the flow" and not be pinned down, but that is simply not an option with reserved trains in India.

If you want to reserve trains in advance, then you have two options.. Try to register with IRCTC to book trains online. The best website guide seems to be:

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

Lots of folk have problems to even get registered, let alone book tickets, but you may be lucky.

Otherwise try to use the agents mentioned on the seat 61 website...

Final option is to visit the New Delhi Station Foreign Tourist office when you arrive in Delhi at the start of your trip.

I do not advise this last option, there is no guarantee that any tickets will still be available for your trains or dates.

The more expensive Rajdhani and Duronto Express trains seem to have more late availability, but don't cover many routes, and you will pay a premium fare.

Best advice is to book now, as early as possible for best train travel availability!

Ed
#9 Jul 26th, 2018, 13:14
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#9
When I first travelled to India for 3 months back in 2008 I didnít get a single train, not once.

The reason for this? Flexibility. I wanted to wake up and decide I was ready to leave a place.

So if thatís the priority and the way you want to go, buses and long distance coaches are the answer. Have a look at sites like Redbus.in to get an idea on routes although itís just as easy to book the day before at a local travel agent.

Theyíre not as comfortable as the trains (and the bum jingling trip from Goa to Hampi was a Ďmare as was the bus from Hyderabad to Chennai with acute Delhi belly) but theyíre cheap, cover most routes and nearly always available on the fly.

Ps agree on Vonklas point visiting Varanasi then back to Rajasthan makes little sense.

NB
"See the World, then see India - because the World is an anti-climax"
#10 Jul 26th, 2018, 14:58
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#10
Thanks for the advice everyone, this seems like a great site!

I have decided on my Northern Route and have booked three overnight trains in AC3 for the main legs. Delhi > Jaisalmer Agra > Varanasi and Varanasi > Delhi for flight to Goa the following day.

The route I intend on taking is Delhi > Jaisalmer > Jodhpur > Udaipur > Pushkur > Jaipur > Agra > Varanasi > Delhi > Goa. I have 19nights for this leg so approx 2 nights in each destination with a night spare and an extra day in Delhi at thr end to make sure I make my flight. Does this timeframe seem reasonable to you? Any destinations you would swap out?

Would it be necessary to prebook the inter city journeys in Rajasthan or is it easier to book trains or buses later for these legs?

Do I need to prebook for Southern India also? I plan on going Goa, Hampi, Kerala, Kochi (my departing city).
#11 Jul 26th, 2018, 15:05
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#11
These are well trodden paths and firmly on the tourist circuit so just book a few days in advance as far as a bus is concerned. Well in advance if you want a train.

I'd leave Jaipur out of this, too many touts and nothing much to see.
#12 Jul 26th, 2018, 15:53
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  • OldandRambling is offline
#12
"I have decided on my Northern Route and have booked three overnight trains in AC3 for the main legs".

That is good news. Were you already registered with IRCTC, or just registered now, or did you use an agent?

(The info can help others when they are considering booking...)

Ed.
#13 Jul 26th, 2018, 16:04
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  • Wilfko is offline
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post "I have decided on my Northern Route and have booked three overnight trains in AC3 for the main legs".

That is good news. Were you already registered with IRCTC, or just registered now, or did you use an agent?

(The info can help others when they are considering booking...)

Ed.
I Registered with IRCTC no problems, but paying with an international credit card just wouldn't work. The website says there is an option for it but God knows I couldn't find it.

Booked then all through ClearTrip in the end, again, payment was occasionally failing but got there in the end.
#14 Jul 26th, 2018, 16:50
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post These are well trodden paths and firmly on the tourist circuit so just book a few days in advance as far as a bus is concerned. Well in advance if you want a train.

I'd leave Jaipur out of this, too many touts and nothing much to see.
Interesting you say that. Anywhere else on my loop you'd recommend visiting? Or I could just keep the days in hand incase Im particularly enjoying sonewhere I guess.
#15 Jul 26th, 2018, 17:26
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#15
Give more time to Varanasi - I'd say three days minimum. Also same for Jaisalmer.

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