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Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

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West Midlands
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Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Hi

I'm trying to organise a trip for myself and my husband to go from Delhi to Agra and Jaipur and am looking for advice on the best way to do this. I've read about tour operators and hidden charges and have already received a quote for approx. £560 for both of us for a 7 day tour.

Has anyone experienced a reasonable but good tour that they can recommend? or even tours to avoid? Any advice will be useful.

thanks

Elljaaym

Sydney
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1. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

I wouldn't use an all-inclusive tour at all; frankly, with the trains in India being as great as they are -- especially on those routes! -- I would just plan a triangular rail journey (maybe you would prefer a fast coach between Jaipur and Delhi... they're plentiful also).

When you get to each place, you can hire a driver for the day, or simply hail an autorickshaw.

If you want some names to take all the worries out of your day, I can give you two great ones for Delhi amd Jaipur... and I am sure either of these would be able to "pass you on" to an equally-skilled (and honest!) person to handle the Agra part of the trip, if you really think you needed one.

For Delhi: Sanjay Saigal. He is a travel agent who works from home and believes that making friends for India is more important than making profits.... his reward is the good karma that accrues from the nice things he does for his clients. You can contact him by email on . Rest assured, he will make sure your stay in Delhi is a memorable one, and, if you wish, he'll take care of everything for Jaipur and Agra also. I don't know how his all-in price will compare with the one you've been quoted (which seems high), but I can tell you that, with Sanjay, you get value for your money. I recommend him all the time on this forum, and people who use him often write to me privately and tell me what a great guy he is. Email him on indiaexpeditions@hotmail.com.

For Jaipur: Nikhil Pandit. I had never met him, except through this forum (he gives advice, but never promotes his own agency), but on our last trip to India he did so much "behind the scenes" to make our stay in Jaipur easy and pleasant (even to the point of putting himself at risk of losing money had we not kept faith) that I can highly recommend him to you. And then, just as we were about to step on the bus, he suddenly appeared, making sure that everything was okay for us. Just part of the service. Email him on tgsjai@gmail.com. He undoubtedly has contacts in Agra, also, but, to be honest, I have never actually asked him that.

Mumbai (Bombay...
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for Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kochi (Cochin), Chennai (Madras), India
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2. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Seven days will give you enough time to really see the Golden Triangle.

There are several companies recommended in this forum, if you search for past posts with 'tour operator recommendations' or 'trip report' or 'thank you' etc, then you will find several posts.

In general, going by the feedback for tour operators here over the past 3 years - most comments have been very positive and I am inclined to think the kind of services offered by the Indian travel industry is of high standard and very personalised.

The only problems reported on this forum are typically from people who plan their tours on their own, they have to deal with touts and scams and bureaucracy and all sorts of other unpleasantness. With someone doing the planning and pre-arranging cars, there are hardly any negative comments on this forum at least. So you should rest assured that you will have a good trip.

The price varies significantly depending upon the quality of the vehicles, the nature of the hotels, and the inclusions/exclusions.

Regards

Deepa

Mumbai (Bombay...
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3. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

On the road between Jaipur and Agra, there are three possible stops, all of them are interesting:

1) Bharatpur bird sanctuary (you can stay overnight here)

2) Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned city

3) The stepwells at Abhaneri

Between Jaipur and Delhi, there is the gorgeous Samode Palace and Samode Bagh, also a good choice for 1 night's stay.

Between Delhi and Agra, there is Mathura-Brindavan, one of the holiest pilgrimage places for Hindus, which is worth a stop for seeing the bathing ghats and the temple commemorating the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

I do not feel that train is necessarily the best way to do a 7-day tour of the Golden Triangle. But if you are on a somewhat tight budget the train is really perfect.

I believe there is real charm in driving through rural India, and seeing all the people and goats and farms and markets and tractors. If you are on an escorted tour, this sort of drive can give you amazing insights into agricultural India. Even otherwise, it is interesting, I have stopped often to photograph an interesting village scene or to just make an unscheduled stop to watch a wedding procession (you always get invited to dance!).

There is no real time difference between train and road except in the Delhi-Agra leg, where the express train is shorter by 2 hours. But if you do two segments of the golden triangle by car, and one segment by train, you'll still likely be charged 'garage to garage' for the entire triangle since the car must return to its original starting point. Also the express train from Delhi to Agra leaves really early, so you have to be up before 5 a.m.

warwick, England
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4. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Hi

I planned and booked my own Golden Triangle tour and it made the holiday much more fun! We took the train from Delhi to Agra - New Delhi Station is definitely part of the whole India experience. Hotels are really easy to book on this site. We took a car from Agra to Jaipur and then the train back from Jaipur to Delhi. We travelled in tuktuks and took Local guides in each of the three cities.

Enjoy your trip - we had an absolutely wonderful time!

New Delhi, India
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for New Delhi, India
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5. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Yes ! Yes !

Plan your own tour. Don't fall for touts.....

We have many on this forum also, they try to sell their packages in the garb of advice or fake reviews.

Go ahead plan your trip, ask any questions here, member will provide you all the info for a smooth travel.

Enjoy !

Agra, India
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6. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Dear KY,

I am not amused by your comment

"Yes ! Yes !

Plan your own tour. Don't fall for touts....."

You know very well all travel agents are not touts....I am sure most would agree that organised travel is better than on the spot bookings....and in practicallity if you see I am sure a Proffessional can do a better job than one himsef/herself.....that is why proffessionals are used all round the globe....I don't deny that things can't arrange thing on own for the Golden Traingel or for any place to travel for that matter but I feel it's more secure and hasslefree if you have someone who knows about it doing it for you....it's a personal choice but if travelling (specially in India) I would make sure I use a proffessional travel agent to arrange things for me rather that trying to so it myself and if things do not work out well have only myself to blame for being greedy.....

I understand that there are so many people here acting like a genuine poster but are touts....I think a person who is wise enough to take opinions and views on Tripadvisor before travelling would be wise enogh to know that these people who act to be helpful actually solicit buisness.....

anyways...

elljaaym, you have both the options you can use a proffessional which might cost you a bit more....560 pounds is not an unrealistic price.....it totally depends on what hotels the agent is offering you and what all is included in the price and also on what time of the year you are taking the quote for.....as things get more expensive from october onwards in the golden trianngle circuit.....alternatively you can save some money by organising things on your owm.....but would have to worry aboyut all the things.....my way to travel would be.....a Proffessional Travel Agent....

which ever way you use....I wish you a great trip....

cheers....

Sunil

New Delhi, India
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for New Delhi, India
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7. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Dear Sunil,

I do not post to amuse anybody, so can't help it.

You yourself have echoed my words "I understand that there are so many people here acting like a genuine poster but are touts...."

Agra, India
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8. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Don't take it personall KY.....

May be I used the wrong words to say the right thing.....

my thinking is only a proffessional can do a proffesional's job....I am sure you would agree....and regarding the touts here at Tripadvisor....I would once again say posters here are wise enough to figure out who is genuine and who is a tout....

All the best....

Sunil

Mumbai
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9. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Tour operator / travel agent or independent travel. It is a personal preference. Each has its own place and to each his own. I am not saying that there will never come the day when I use a tour operator.

However, I like to plan and book my trips myself. I do research. Some things turn out to be not so great - I can live with that, but by and large I have enjoyed doing things myself. So much more fun IMO. I did this before I discovered TA forums, although I have used TA hotel reviews for some trips. Here you have the additional help of TA forums too.

There are scams and touts all over the world. I have always taken sensible precautions.

There have been enough people who have posted trip reports here who have had succesful trips to India, travelling around and enjoying the country on their own, doing their own planning. It is possible to accomplish IMO.

I do not think Cyberhippie ever used a travel agent. He now is able to give great advice and tips to travellers to India. Certainly not Infoaddict, whose trip reports are priceless. I have seen travellers here being more intrepid than I have ever been in places I have called home at some point in time.

It is possible, but it is all down to personal preference. Me - I find planning a trip on my own more rewarding. Great sense of satisfaction and the knowledge that I am seeing and doing things I want to do. But who knows? There may come a day...

New Delhi, India
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10. Re: Golden Triangle Tour advice needed

Dear Sunil,

No issues !

I agree that it's a personal choice to go or DIY or a packaged tour. For me it's very satisfying to plan my own travel.

Soon, I'll be going on my first foreign visit and I am planning it on my own. I will use taxies / Professional Guides at some places and some I'll explore my own. I am booking all my travel tickets and hotels on my own and I am getting immense pleasure out of it.

Needless to say, I am saving a wad too.......