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Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Sydney
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Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Hi all,

I'm planning a trip to India and/or Nepal for family of 4 (2 girls aged 22 and 19) as the start of our 5-6 weeks in Asia in January next year. I had a few suggestions for Itinerary. Please see for me if they are logical/ do-able or too hectic. We're a bit concerned with safety and general issues. We're not highly religious and mainly hope to see the Taj Mahal. We like to have a feel for India, through North Region and Nepal and hope to come back one day for a tour of South India and maybe another trip to trek Nepal. Many thanks

OPTION 1

Day 01: Arrive Delhi, Overnight Hotel – Delhi (B)

Day 02 : Delhi - Full Day Tour of Old Delhi and New Delhi. Overnight Hotel – Delhi (B)

Day 03 : Delhi - Jaipur (262km - 5hr), by car and Tour Chokhi Dhani

An evening excursion to Chokhi Dhani complex. Overnight Hotel - Jaipur (B)

Day 04 : Jaipur with Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds. Overnight Hotel - Jaipur (B)

Day 05 : Jaipur - Agra via Fatehpur Sikri (260 km - 6 hr) by car, seeing Fatehpur Sikri (Ghost Capital), then Emperor Akbar's Residential complex, Mosque & Tomb of Salim Chisti.

Overnight Hotel – Agra (B)

Day 06 : Agra

Today we visit Taj Mahal, symbol of eternal love, which stands on the banks of River Yamuna. It was built by the 5th Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in the year 1631 in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was completed in 22 years. Further we visit Agra Fort, taken over from the Lodhis by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century. The Fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city. It was built from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble & intricate decorations. We will also visit Sikandara, Akbar's tomb. His son Jahangir completed the construction of the tomb in the year 1613.

Overnight Hotel – Agra (B)

Day 07 : Agra – Jhansi (Shatabdi Exp @ 0815 / 1040 hours)

Jhansi - Orchha - Khajuraho (165 kms - 5 hr) by car with a visit to Orchha Fort complex. Later we drive to Khajuraho. Overnight Hotel – Khajuraho (B)

Day 08 : Khajuraho – Varanasi (SG 2395 @ 1455 / 1550 Hrs), a flight to Varanasi, In the evening, observe "Aarti" ceremony at the Ghats of Ganges.

Overnight hotel - Varanasi

Day 09 : Varanasiwith private boat ride over holy river Ganges then Varanasi ancient city. Visit Bharat Mata temple, Durga temple, Banaras Hindu University. Drive past the and local bazaars, brocades & you can also visit the famous Banarasi silk sari shops.

Followed by excursion to Sarnath, the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon about the basic principles of Buddhism..Rest of the time free to explore the holy city.

Overnight hotel - Varanasi (B)

Day 10 : Varanasi - Kathamandu (By Flight AI 251 @ 1230/1340 )

Flight to Kathamandu. Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight Hotel – Kathmandu (B)

Day 11 : Kathmandu - Full-day tour. Visit Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath Stupa, Overnight Hotel – Kathmandu (B)

Day 12 : Kathmandu - Half day tour of Patan. Also visit Krishna templeOvernight Hotel – Kathmandu (B)

Day 13 : Kathmandu - Pokhra ( 230 km / 5 ½ Hrs. )

Morning drive to Pokhara.

Overnight Hotel – Pokhra (B)

Day 14 : Pokhara

Post breakfast half day sightseeing of Pokhara valley.

Overnight Hotel – Pokhra (B)

Day 15 : Pokhra - Nagarkot (265 km / 6 hrs) by car

Overnight Hotel – Nagarkot (B)

Day 16: Nagarkot - Kathmandu (35 km - 1 hrs)

Kathmandu -Departure

After breakfast transfer to Kathmandu airport to board the flight for Dubai, which is our next leg of this holiday

OPTION 2:

12th Jan  Arrival in Delhi.

13th Jan  Delhi Sightseeing. ( Visiting Humayuns tomb, India gate, President house, Lotus temple, Lodi garden, Connaught place, Red Fort, Jama Mosque )

14th Jan  Delhi - Jaipur. 

15th Jan  Jaipur. ( Visiting Galtaji monkey temple, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, City Palace, Observatory, Nahargarh fort, Jal Mahal ( lake palace ), Birla temple and Albert hall.

16th Jan  Jaipur - Agra ( Visiting Abhaneri village stepwell and Taj Mahal at sunset from Mehtab bagh )

17th Jan  Agra - Orchha. ( visiting Orchha fort and Ram mandir ) )

18th Jan  Orchha - Khajuraho.

19th Jan  Khajuraho. ( Visiting Kamasutra temples and Raneh Falls )

20th Jan  Khajuraho - Varanasi. 

21st Jan  Varanasi. ( Walking around ghats and visiting Vishvnath temple )

22nd Jan  Varanasi - Delhi ( By Flight or by train )

23rd Jan  Arrival in Delhi - Drive to Haridwar for a village stay

24th Jan  Haridwar - Rishikesh. The best place for yoga meditation in India and maybe rafting on Ganges

25th Jan  Rishikesh with the drive around foot hills of himalaya. Visit Vashistha caves and maybe a bath in Ganges here as the river is very clean at this area

26th Jan  Rishikesh - Delhi drop to the airport for flight to Dubai.

This agency strongly recommend that we skip Nepal and do Rishikesh, which we have some reservations (but only by gut feelings)

Sorry for a bit long but I'm truly torn between the choices not so much because of the costs as I have not been quoted for Option 2. Thanks a million

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1. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Namaste

Both plan are good but depends upon your intrest.If you are intrested in yoga and sprituality then you should go for option 1 ,nepal doesnt offer any thing for that.If intrested in natural beauty then you can choose nepal but even rishikesh/haridwar offer natural beauty.

Thanx

New Delhi, India
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2. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Namaste!

1.) This option is better than the second, as Nepal offers more scenic beauty of Himalayas rather than the Rishikesh. If you are looking for scenic breathtaking views then go for option 1.

2.) This is another good option if you are more inclined towards culture & spirituality. But you the itinerary needs to be refined. You can add one more place.

:)

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Rishikesh
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3. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Both the itineraries looks good but i will go with the 2nd one as traveling will be less in 2nd Option and you will see more restfully. Separate trip to Nepal is recommended if you have less time.

Cheers !

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Auckland Central...
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4. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

I'd go for the second itinerary. Travel in India can be tiring and I think there is probably too much of that in the first one. There is so much to see and do in India that you want to cut down the travel time as much as you can. I can appreciate the comment about getting a "feel' for India as this is very much how I felt. You will get that feel more from the 2nd itinerary I think. I notice that there is a village stay in the second too....it's those sort of experiences that will stay in your memory forever and give you contact with 'real' people rather than just hotel staff and taxi drivers.

Nepal needs far more time than the first itinerary allows...probably about 2 weeks. As you have indicated that you wish to visit Nepal again at a later time I'd leave it out this time.

I wouldn't be too concerned about safety. I recently spent a month in India, and even though I'm female there was never one moment when I felt unsafe. I'm not sure what you mean by 'general issues' and what your reservations about Rishikesh are, but please message me directly and I'll give you the benefit of my experience.

India is a fabulous destination and I'm sure you'll love it, but I think the 2nd itinerary sounds far more interesting, especially if you are traveling with your two daughters.

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Rishikesh
Rishikesh
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New Delhi, India
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5. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Hi

Second itenary is a better option! It truly show zi the variety of india starting form delhi. You will get a difference of culture in different parts of city I will advise u to visit either of red fort or humayun tomb. Then when you head to Agra make sure your date to visit Taj Mahal doesn't come on Friday as it is closed on the day! Do check it with you travel company. Chill and enjoy the culture of india with friendly people around and while shopping consider bargaining it can happen at any point in the country!

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Agra
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6. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Hi visi8

Few Points:

- Delhi to Jaipur (by road) takes atleast 7 hours due to some ongoing construction work.

- We went to Sikkim in March and our friends went to Nepal in the same month. They didn't really cherish their trip. However, our trip to Sikkim was just amazing. If you can, try to include it in your itinerary instead of Nepal. BUT. you should check the weather conditions for your travel dates.

- Jaipur - Hawa Mahal is on the way to Amber fort and there isn't much to visit it. At max, both the places can be covered in 3 hours. Don't book the complete day for it. :) Infact, my suggestion would be: Full day sightseeing in New/Old delhi. Dont stay overnight at Delhi. Travel overnight to Jaipur. Its completely safe! :) Dont worry. Reach Jaipur early morning ard 5am. Checkin to a Hotel get some rest. Leave for sightseeing by 11am. Go to Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, some local shopping and Chokhi Dhani in the evening.

U'll save a day and money (spent in overnight stay at Delhi). Take an overnight stay at jaipur and leave for Agra early in the morning and again, All major places in Agra can be visited in a single day. So 2 days in agra don't make much of a sense.

- Never been to varanasi or Khajurao. So can't suggest!! :)

- Be careful about the food and water hygiene and I would recommend you to be back in your rooms Max by 9:30pm at night for safety reasons. :)

- Donno about rest, but overnight journey between Delhi-Jaipur is absolutely safe at night

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Gloucestershire
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7. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Hey! I agree with the majority in that the second itinerary sounds better - well when I say better both sound amazing, but I think you will get a better experience of India in the second itinerary, I also wonder whether you would want longer in Nepal to fully appreciate the country! In addition, I don't know about the visa application from Australia for India, but if its anything like the UK (a huge pain and expensive - I'm just applying for my visa now!!!) I would say maximise your time in India, as the country offers so many different sights and experiences.

As I just mentioned, I am in the process of planning a trip back to India after a brief visit back in December on a conference, I did the Golden Triangle and had such a wonderful trip but it was too short and I felt I wanted to see more of the 'real' India. I am hoping visit Rishikesh as well as have the experience of seeing some smaller villages in this area, I think this provides an opportunity to get a real insight into the area and people who live there, and friends who have visited before have always had nothing but high regard for this area.

In regards to safety, I am a female traveller and part of my trip was on my own. I never felt unsafe and I think as long as you are aware of your surroundings and act accordingly you should have no problems! Enjoy your trip, whatever you do will be fantastic! :-)

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Rishikesh
Rishikesh
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8. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Hi-

Your both itineraries are perfect. You can go on anyone.

Arun.

Sydney
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9. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

Thank you everyone for your insights. Do you think we would get a glimpse of the Himalayas from Rishikesh? Seeing the mountains without trekking them was our wish to come true in Nepal.

We'll probably need to do a bit more homework into Rishikesh. Our reservation was mainly due to the suggested visit to Vashistha caves which did get some bad reviews here in TA.

Village stay was what made we considered Option 2 seriously. Though not of Indian heritage, we love the rich Indian culture, the singing and dancing, and especially home-cook food. We don't easily get good authentic Indian food here in Sydney.

We'll be extra careful with food and water, my husband and daughter do not have a strong stomach and can easily get sick from various food.

Thank you all for your help. We so look forward to see the Taj Mahal.

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Rishikesh
Rishikesh
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Auckland Central...
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10. Re: Which itinerary is better? Please commend

A couple of points visi8.

If you have reservations about any part of your trip please let the company/ driver/ guide know. They will be completely flexible and change anything you want, even at the last minute. Their aim is to give you the most enjoyable experience possible and they'll move heaven and earth to do this for you. If there is anything you want to add or delete just tell them.... Indians sure know how to do 'service with a smile!'

Food....I spent a month in India and ate in many, many places including street stalls. I was sensible but not obsessive. Not one person in my group was sick. There is also a huge variety of food available and there are always plenty of choices if certain types of food don't agree with you. Bottled water is a fraction of the price it is here in NZ and in Australia and is cheap enough to use for everything e.g. cleaning teeth.

The Taj Mahal is amazing...and the Red Fort in Agra is pretty up there too.

India is different but if you go with an open mind you'll love it and its hard to come away untouched .

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Agra
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