Route planning for India – February 2012

Posted: October 6, 2011 in India, Preparation
  • Fly to Delhi
  • Delhi 1-3 days.
  • Take the Shiv Ganga Express leaving New Delhi at 18:45 arriving Varanasi Junction at 07:30 next morning. AC1, AC2, AC3, Sleeper class.
  • Varanasi 2-3 days.  The unmissable Hindu holy city on the Ganges. Make sure you stay in a local Indian riverside hotel such as the Hotel Alka. Western chain hotels are all in the new town, away from the action.
  • Darjeeling?
  • Take the Marudhar Express from Varanasi Junction at 17:20 (18:15 on some days) arriving Agra Fort at 05:55 next morning. AC2, AC3, Sleeper class.
  • Agra – also visit the fantastic royal city of Fatephur Sikhri, some 30km away by bus or car. 2 days.  Agra may be the most touristy place in India, but the Taj is well worth the tourist tout hassle. The fort and ‘baby Taj’ are also worth a visit.
  • Take the Marudhar Express from Agra at 06:15 arriving Jaipur at 11:30 the same day. AC2, AC3, Sleeper class.
  • Jaipur 2-3 days.  The ‘Pink City’ is one of the most wonderful princely cities in Rajasthan, and indeed in India.
  • Take the Delhi-Jaisalmer Express leaving Jaipur at 23:57 arriving Jaisalmer at 11:45 next morning. AC1, AC2, AC3, Sleeper class.  On the day of departure from Jaipur, negotiate a rate to keep your hotel room until you leave for the station.
  • Jaisalmer 2-3 days.  This is Rajasthan’s fairytale city, in the desert close to the Pakistan border. It has no airport, so only those who make the effort get to see it!
  • Take the Jaisalmer-Delhi Express leaving Jaisalmer at 16:30 and arriving at Delhi (old Delhi station) at 11:05. AC1, AC2, AC3, sleeper class.  Spend the day & night in Delhi.
  • An early start! Take the Himalayan Queen leaving Delhi Sarai Rohilla at 05:40 arriving Kalka at 11:10. AC Chair class & 2nd class seats. Change onto the toy train leaving Kalka at 12:10 arriving Simla at 17:20. The journey to Simla by narrow gauge ‘Toy Train’ is a delight.
  • Simla 2-3 days.  Cool relaxation and colonial charm in this Himalayan hill station from the days of the Raj. The ideal final destination for your trip!
    Take the Shivalik Deluxe (AC Chair class, meal included) leaving Simla at 17:40 arriving Kalka at 22:20. Change onto the mainline Kalka Mail leaving Kalka at 23:55 and arriving Delhi (this time old Delhi station) at 06:15. AC1, AC2, AC3, Sleeper class.
  • Delhi
  • New Delhi – Bombay Central, depart 16.30 arrive 08:35 next day.
  • Bombay (Mumbia) 2- 3 days. ‘London on acid’ – a wonderful sub-tropical parody of 1950’s London, with colonial banks, offices and red double decker buses!

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