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trip to north India

Phoenix, Arizona
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trip to north India

Hello,

I will travel to North India for 20 days in Octomber.

The plan is to cover Delhi, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Jaipur, Agra, Gwalior, Orchha, Khajurano and back to Delhi. We intend to rent a car from Delhi.

1. I will appreciate any advise in regard to rent a car companies to hire

2. Is the distance too much to cover on this time frame

3. Should we hire a travel tour company or we would be OK on our own

4. What is the custom of payment for the tour company: pay upfront , pay on arrival or pay half at the beginning and half at the end.

Thank you in advance for your advise,

Monica

Mumbai
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1. Re: trip to north India

Well, 20 days and 11 places... It is doable, but 8-9 places would have been more ideal. In terms of spacing it out and having it more relaxed

You have a few Long Drives

Delhi to Bikaner is a long ride (450 km... 8-10 hours)

Bikaner to Jaisalmer (340 km - 7-8 hours)

Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (260 km 5 - 7 km)

You certainly should not do Khajuraho to Delhi (650 kms).

If you decide to book a car for the entire journey, leave the car in Khajuraho and fly to Delhi... you would be tried.

It mean paying extra on two accounts

1) you'd pay for the car for the Khajuraho to Delhi stretch

2) flights

but well worth the price.

The best way to rent a car is get in touch with multiple travel agencies and get the best quote. There arent any out and out car hire companies.

It is a touch more than comfort. You would be spending alot of time on the road. (will recommend an alternative plan at the end)

Again get a quote, you would have to use the services of one to get a car. Admistratively it might be easier to have a travel agency book all your hotels.

If you wish to save money, insist you only want the car and hotel bookings and not the whole hog services of a guide everywhere you go and meals etc.

Usually either pay upfront, or pay half at begining and half at the end.

Alternative trip route.

So I would skip a place or two.. and include a couple of train journeys.

I'd skip Bikaner... nothing against the place. Just that it does not fit well, travel wise in what i propose

Take a train between Delhi to Jaisalmer (you skip two of your longest road journeys)

Book a car between

Jaisalmer to Jodhpur to Udaipur to Pushkar

Then let this car go back to Jaisalmer

Take a train between Pushkar to Jaipur (plenty of connections)

Book a second car between

Jaipur to Agra to Gwalior to Jhansi to Khajuraho

Let the car go back to Jaipur

Fly to Khajuraho.

India
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for Shimla, Manali, Kashmir, Shillong, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Puri, Darjeeling, Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh, Srinagar, Dalhousie, India, Ladakh, Leh
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2. Re: trip to north India

One of the TA friend have furnished all the pros and cons of the itinerary in details. So, I am replying to the other part of your query.

I can recommend the name of Mr Pradip Chopra / 09868210740 (delhi) and Mr Arun Jindal / Mr Devi Singh ( 09414220963) of Crown Tours Ltd of jaipur and other places of Rajasthan.

Both are reliable and competent. I have used them in several occasions.

You can pay them partly at the starting point.

Edited: 12 August 2010, 13:29
Phoenix, Arizona
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3. Re: trip to north India

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I will give your advise seriuos consideration. Is Khajurajo worth the effort of traveling so far? I know they have some unusual and beautiful temples, but because they will be at the end of the trip, I would like your opinion about how much consideration we should give it.

Also, if anybody used Ganesham Tours and travel, please let me know your opinion. They are not registered with the government of Jaipur.

Again, thank you.

New Delhi, India
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4. Re: trip to north India

I will just add to what Abbas advised:

Divide your trip in two parts:

1. Take a train between Delhi to Jaisalmer (you skip two of your longest road journeys)

Book a car between

Jaisalmer to Jodhpur to Udaipur to Pushkar

Then let this car go back to Jaisalmer

Take a train between Pushkar to Jaipur (plenty of connections)

Jaipur to Agra by train

2. Agra>(train)Gwalior> (train+bus/car)>Khajuraho> (train+bus)>Varanasi> (train/flight) Delhi

Considering you are making such a long trip, you must visit Varanasi.

Happy planning

Vivek

India
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for Shimla, Manali, Kashmir, Shillong, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Puri, Darjeeling, Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh, Srinagar, Dalhousie, India, Ladakh, Leh
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5. Re: trip to north India

Try to get the tour operator through RATO.

RATO is the Registered assocoation of tour operators of Rajasthan. That will be safe.

The recommended oprator (Crown Tours) is regd under RATO.

Edited: 13 August 2010, 12:09
Phoenix, Arizona
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6. Re: trip to north India

Thank you very much.

If I were to chose between Varanasi and Khajuraho, which one would be better.

Alo, can you advise if I should use a travel agent, or I can make the train/ airplane and car arrangements by myself. Is it better to make the arrangements from home or while in India?.

I realy appreciate everybody' help.

Thank you,

Mumbai
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7. Re: trip to north India

Personally, I would pick Khajuraho over Varanasi. The temples are truly stunning.

Varanasi can get a little overwhelming since it is extremely touristy and touts hound you.

On the other hand Varanasi is more a theatrical experience. It's a city that is still alive, still one of the most sacred citues in India... you experience the sadhu's all around.

Hope this helps.

India
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8. Re: trip to north India

If you are interested in Indian Art, then you must visit Khajuraho.

In Varanasi, you will get the flavour and colour of Indian heritage. The ancient city on the bank of holy Ganges. You will see so many type of people on the Ghats of Ganges.

Sarnath, the famous touris spot, is on the other side of Ganges.

If you ask me, I will vote for Varanasi

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: trip to north India

Thank you very much for your detailed response. It was very helpful.

We are planning now to take the train to Jaisalmer.

Since our trip is subject to last minute changes what would be our chances to fail in case we want to make arrangements on the go, or as we go (like train and plane tickets or hotels )

India
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for Shimla, Manali, Kashmir, Shillong, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Puri, Darjeeling, Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh, Srinagar, Dalhousie, India, Ladakh, Leh
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10. Re: trip to north India

Getting train tickets in the last moment is out of question, as far as AC classes are concerned. You may get the tickets of flight, but you have to pay more,for the last moment buy.

Edited: 16 August 2010, 11:25