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Naive questions

Mold, United Kingdom
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Naive questions

We hope to visit in the 1st quarter of next year for 15-18 days flying into and out of Dehli. We are interested in history and buildings and culture but not trekking, cycling, sport etc and not particularly in tigers, elephants or birds.

What would be a good itinery? We would prefer to stay say 4 days in each stop rather than constantly repack. Also we live in morocco for part of the year and notice that people on TA tend to try to put too much into their trip and miss the pace of life so we would not want to fall into that trap.

For what part of the trip would we need a driver? Is it feasible to drive oneself? (We do in Marrakesh)

Also do you have to book hotels ahead (other than the first nights in Dehli). I am concerned about cleanliness and also generally prefer to see a room before agreeing a price.

Also in morocco and egypt it is possble to get hotels cheaper using an agent than booking yourself but in europe it is usually slightly more. How is it in India?

San Diego...
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1. Re: Naive questions


We went in mid February. The weather was generally good that time although the nights were chilly in Delhi. My advice is not to go in January because the weather can be unpredictable but wait until mid Feb or early March. Definitely book hotels ahead of time. I dont advice anyone to drive in India unless you absolutely have to. I have been to Morrocco and while the driving in Morrocco can be hectic. its nothing like India. Please do not drive in India. We used a driver we were very happy with. You can reach him at Darasinghin@yahoo.com. He gave us a very good price and was the perfect gentleman. He speaks good English but his writing in English is not good so dont let that put you off. Make sure you have your hotel iteneraries with you when you arrive at the hotel. Once we had booked a double room and the hotel tried to get us into a room with a small single bed. Another time they wanted to charge us at check out even though we had prepaid.

As far as an itenerary, you could chose North India, South or a combination of both. Jaipur is one city i really liked because it had alot of sites and great bazaars. I thought it was a fun place with some pretty good sites. Three nights is good for Jaipur to see almost everything. Delhi has amazing sights but its not an enjoyable place to be. Again the maximum for Delhi would be 3 nights in my mind, so you could use the fourth day to head to the Taj Mahal via the expressmorning train . We stayed for two nightsin Delhi and couldnt wait to leave. Agra is a must for the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful spots on earth. But dont spend alot of time in Agara, it is even worse than Delhi. It is very dusty, dirty and polluted. One or 1.5 days max in Agra. From Agra take the train or drive to Jaipur. Jaipur has good connections to other airports in India.

I loved Mumbai because of the cosmopolitan feel and the amazing architecture. It doesnt have any must see sights but the all the victorian buildings in the center of town are so beautiful and the sea is nearby. From Mumbai we went to Aurangabad to see the Ellora caves. In my opinion this is one of the wonders of the world with the mighty and elaborate rock cut temple and the mysterious caves. You can spend a few nights in Aurangabad if you also want to see the Ajanta caves, which we didnt have enough time for. I love India and would want to travel there again, but after 10 days couldnt wait to get back home. We have travelled alot and always feel a little sad when the trip ends but this is the only time where we were looking forward to our vacation getting over. I have been to places like Morrocco and less developed places but life in India is so harsh and hectic. I wouldnt recomment spending too much time there in your first trip. In my mind 10 days is the most one can handle in first time one comes to India. We saw all those cities within then days and managed a trip to Udaipur as well but we didnt spend more than two nights at any one place, which worked for us because there wasnt anywhere that was pleasant. I didnt think I would like Mumbai because ther were no famous forts or monuments but it was the one place i liked the most in India. I think two weeks or more in India is a bit much for the first time. Hope you have a good trip and tell us how it went.

Mumbai (Bombay...
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2. Re: Naive questions

Hi themaevequeen,

Sitarlover has given good estimate of number of days for site seeing and a proper advice not to drive in India.

But please do not get upset with his remarks re harsh life etc. I am sure you can enjoy each and every minute of your tour in India.

Since you love history, I will suggest you the following :

Delhi 3 nights

Jaipur 2 nights

Agra 2 nights

Varanasi 3 nights

Khajuraho 2 nights

Mumbai 1 night

Aurangabad 2 nights

and back to Mumbai or back to Delhi to fly back home.

In case you wish you can enjoy Goa for 3 nights.

November, December is good season. Please Avoid January and early February. 2nd week of Feb and March are again good months.

You can do Delhi Jaipur and Agra by car. Agra to Varanasi by train.

Varanasi to Khajuraho by air.

Khajuraho to Mumbai fly by air via Delhi or Varanasi.

Or you can do Delhi- Jaipur-Agra and Delhi.

Catch a flight at Delhi for Khajuraho and then from Khajuraho to Varanasi. and Take a direct flight from Varanasi to Mumbai.

Mumbai to Aurangabad by air or by train depending upon the time factor.

You can enjoy fabulous Indian food culture, classical dance and art performances, temples, architecture etc. India is rich with culture with great variety.

For rail journey info please try


Have a wonderful journey.


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3. Re: Naive questions

You can't drive yourself in India but finding a car and driver won't be a problem.

From Delhi, fly to Varanasi, then get the overnight train to Agra, from there hire the car and drive to Jaipur, stopping off to visit Fatehpur Sikri on the way, from there Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jalsaimer before returning to Delhi.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Naive questions


As others have said it's best to travel closer to the end of March for more comfortable weather as it can be quite cool in Delhi January and into February.

On our first trip to India some years ago we pre booked everything so that we didn't have to waste valuable holiday time mucking around with a situation we didn't understand once we were there. We're interested in the same things you've mentioned. We travelled through Rajasthan, also to Agra (which is not in Rajasthan) to see the Taj Mahal and booked everything through a very efficient smalll company run out of a tiny boutique hotel in Karol Bagh in Delhi which we came across accidently.

Everything they put together for us was fantastic and we thought the price was very reasonable indeed. We didn't have to worry about accommodation, transport or entry fees into places of interest as it had all been pre arranged.

We went to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodphur and udiaphur (I've misspelt this one, sorry) and the itinerary wasn't rushed at all.

I completely agree with you about not rushing about from place to place and spending a decent amount of time in each new place.

Anyway, please send me a PM if you'd like any further information. I'd be happy to help with the name of the company and a rough suggestion of itinerary.

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5. Re: Naive questions

Hi maevequeen

You have been given some great advice by all of the previous posters. Like sanjivmulye I would suggest that you are not put off by SitarLover's comments re the harsh life. Each of my 4 trips has been for at least 4 weeks. My first trip was almost 6 weeks. However, India can be intense, so your idea of a number of days in each place is a good one. I also like to include some smaller towns in my trips as they provide a different view of life in India

India is an amazing country to visit and it gets under your skin. I had 3 trips many years ago, and just had to return again. I visited Rajasthan in early 2011 and was sad to leave. I am hoping to visit the south next year. Having said that, I do know that when I first arrived I found it all a bit daunting - very different from Australia. Then I just went out and "met " India, and that was the beginning of my fascination with the country.

Enjoy your research and have a great holiday

Edited: 01 April 2012, 13:32
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6. Re: Naive questions

Hi themaevequeen,

How are you ? I suggest you a Itinerary for your trip to india.

Route - Delhi - jaipur -Udaipur-Jodhpur- Jaisalmer-jaipur-Agra- Orchha -Khajuraho-Varanasi-Delhi

16Night/17Days : Nights stay in cities - Delhi -2,Jaipur -2 ,Udaipur -2,Jodhpur -1,Jaisalmer -2 , Jaipur -1,Agra -2,Orchha -1,Khajuraho -2 Varanasi -2 .

Day 01: After breakfast pickup from hotel and full day local sightseeing by a/c Car,Visit to delhi red fort , Lotus temple,Lunch after lunch free for market.Overnight stay at hotel in delhi.

Day 02: Morning after breakfast drive to Jaipur.Lunch Enroute .Arrive at jaipur,Check in the respective room.relax.Night stay at hotel.

Day 03: Morning after breakfast local sightseeing of Jaipur Monuments – City palace,Jantar mantar.Lunch –after lunch depart to visit amber fort.Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 04:Morning after breakfast drive to Udaipur,Enroutre lunch & sightseeing of Ajmer/Pushkar .Late evening arrive at Udaipur. Night stay at hotel.

Day 05: After breakfast full day singseeing of Udaipur - Ahar Museum, City palace,evening at Lake pichola. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day : 06 : After breakfast half day sightseeing of udaipur city, After lunch drive to Jodhpur.late evening reach at Jodhpur . Night stay in hotel .

Day :07 : After breakfast half day sightseeing of jodhpur ,After luch drive to Jaisalmer 8 hrs drive.Late evening arrive at Jaisalmer.Night stay in hotel.

Day 08 : After breakfast full day sightseeing of jaisalmer. Overnight stay in Hotel.

Day 09 After breakfast drive to Jaipur ,Lunch enroute ,late evening arrive Jaipur ,Night stay in hotel.

Day 10:Morning after breakfast drive to Agra 5 hrs. journey lunch enroute ,Chek in the respective room. Night stay at hotel.

Day 11 : Morning after breakfast sightseeing of Taj Mahal.After lunch depart for red fort. Evening free for market.Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 12: Morning after breakfast drive to Orchha. Arrive at Orchha- Check in the hotel –sightseeing – Night stay at hotel.

Day 13: Morning after breakfast local sightseeing after luch drive to Khajurho. Night stay at hotel in Khajuraho.

Day 014: After breakfast full day local activity in Khajuraho. Overnight stay at Khajuraho.

Day 15: After breakfast drive to Varanasi –Lunch enroute – Arrive at Varanasi ,Check in the respective room. Night stay at hotel.

Day 16: After break fast full day sightseeing of Varanasi. over night stay in hotel.

Day 17: Early morning flight to Delhi.

Tour End

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7. Re: Naive questions

Here is what I recently did for what it is worth. I wold maybe do more train overnight and a little less driving as the drives are hard, long, and often not interesting after awhile.

Udaipur- 2 nights

Jodpur via Rankanpur

2 nights- 1 day is plenty in Jodhpur, but you need 2 nights given the drive time

Jalismar- 2 nights- wish I had stayed longer 3 nights at min I say

Gagner near Bikaner- 2 nights- 1 would have been enough but again I was only there 1 1/2 days so 1 day Bikaner, 1/2 day relaxing

Samode- should have skipped- 1 night

Jaipur- 2 nights, 2 1/2 days- 1 day too long for me, but it was useful to relax at hotel pool, before 18 hr train to Varanasi

train- very very good

Varanasi- 1 night, 2 days

overnight train to Agra

Agra 6 hrs- this was enough, except I did not see FS-

should have added an extra 3 hrs to do this

Delhi- 3 days- was just right as I was wanting to relax part of the day at this point

Make sure you do at least one Old delhi market tour- I did two and both were great

I would suggest in Delhi car and driver for a 3/4 day city tour

then one or two old city tours on foot or rickshaw

I was there about 19 days, just back.

I had all my hotels and trains booked as well as car and driver ahead of time. Glad I did, and all worked out well.

any questions please pm me or read my trip report once i get it done

Udaipur, India
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8. Re: Naive questions

you got the answer in detail from all contributor would like give a short itinerary and can done by tain flight & car CAN spend 4 nights at each cities but maximume nights allocate by me for each station as:

Delhi- varanai (3 nights)

varanasi- khajuraho (2 nightS)

kajuraho- orcha (1 night )

orcha- agra (2 nights)

agra- jaipur (3 nights)

jaipur- jodhpur (2 nights)

jaipur-ranakpur-udaipur (3 nights)

udaipur-mumbai (2 nights)

Mold, United Kingdom
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9. Re: Naive questions

Thanks for all your comments; much to think about. This is a side trip to a trip to New Zealand we intend to stop on one leg and in Hong Kong/southern China for the other. We need to be in NZ in February or it will get a bit cool there and need to be in UK over Xmas so we have limited choice as to timing but will think about things.

San Diego...
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10. Re: Naive questions

If you are going early January. maybe you would want to visit Mumbai first since its always hot and humid there (if Mumbai is one of the places you want to visit). I am not sure how Aurangabad would be at that time. so you may have to do some research. So one option could be.

Mumbai 3 nights

Aurngabad 3 nights

Jaipur 3 -4 nights

Agra I night

Delhi 3 or 4 nights