My daughter (15) and I are taking an overnight train from Mumbai to NDLS, arriving something like 10:30 in the morning Friday (19 September), and returning the following Wednesday.
I've never been to India but I'd be perfectly OK with any of the hostels and one/two-star hotels I've stayed at in Europe.
Using the various Web reservation systems seems like a complete gamble -- there's very little in the way of user reviews on most of the inexpensive options. And when I do find reviews, half of them seem to be written by the proprietors. Seriously.
My experience traveling has been that there are always lots of options that don't show up on the Internet.
So ... would it be crazy to arrive Friday morning without reservations, and go looking at hotels in the area?