December 30, 2011

Two nodes of the Golden Triangle (Part-I) (Journey Begins)

We planned for a trip to the Golden Triangle circuit of Indian tourism sans Delhi, on long pending demand of our kids to visit some historical place. We planned to mature it this winter vacation of schools. I could not think of any other historical place better than the world famous 'Indian Golden Triangle Circuit' and place suitable for a week's holiday. As you might be aware that Delhi, Agra and Jaipur form the famous Golden Triangle of tourism, as depicted in following picture.
The Golden Triangle
Total 6-7 days are sufficient for exploring the Golden Triangle circuit if you want to see all the places with due detail and comfort. As we had already traveled Delhi, we excluded it and covered only Agra and Jaipur in this trip and added a day's trip to Vrindavan and Mathura on the last day, the reason being the unavailability of return reservation from Agra to Lucknow. Last two places are related to the Lord Krishna and are one of the sacred places of Hindus, however the whole Mathura Vrindavan circuit needs 2-3 days for a proper visit and feel of the place.

The itinerary for this trip was designed as mentioned below:
  1. 19 Dec 2011 : Departure from Lucknow at midnight 00:25 Hrs by Marudhar Express (Train No. 14863)
  2. 19 Dec 2011: Arrival at Jaipur at 12:00 noon (Stay at Hotel Arya Niwas)  and visit Jaipur
  3. 20 Dec 2011: Visit Jaipur
  4. 21 Dec 2011: Visit Jaipur
  5. 22 Dec 2011: Departure from Jaipur at 11:45 Hrs by Bikaner Kolkata Express (Train No. 12495) and arrival at Agra at 15:40 Hrs (Stay at Hotel Taj Plaza on East gate side of Taj)
  6. 23 Dec 2011: Agra/Fatehpur Sikri
  7. 24 Dec 2011: Agra
  8. 25 Dec 2011: Departure from Agra at 11:30 Hrs and visit Vrindavan and Mathura and board the train to Lucknow i.e. Patna Mathura Express (Train No. 14863) at 22:00 Hrs.
It is not possible to get train tickets and accommodation in good hotels in this region at the eleventh hour during November to February, as it attracts maximum number of tourist in this time period. Therefore, all the train tickets and hotel reservations were booked online, well in advance, to avoid any last time hassle, as this is a peak period for Indian as well as foreign tourists. As this time is peak winter in the north India, we preferred AC coaches in train to make our journey comfortable and  to reduce the size of our baggage by eliminating the  heavy blankets/quilts. I personally like sleeper class in long train journeys as this ensures maximum feel of the route in contrast to AC couches which gives you more comfort but isolation from the local feel.

A few days before our day of start, fog started increasing day by day, making the trains delayed by several hours including cancellation of few trains. This created a fear in our mind that if our trip will be matured or not? On the scheduled day we reached the Charbagh Railway Station, Lucknow and found that our train is just half an hour late. But our happiness could not continue longer as railway authorities started declaring further delay in arrival of train which rose up to 7 hours. Ultimately our train arrived at 0700 hours in the morning against the scheduled arrival of 0005 hours, making it late by 7 hours and we reached at our first destination Jaipur in midnight at 2355 hours of 19 December 2011, approximately 12 hours late than schedule. So our first day scheduled for Jaipur was spoiled in train journey. All we did was sleeping and praying for the train to reach Jaipur as early as possible. Fortunately this was the first and last hiccup in our trip and on the next morning of 20 December 2011, we found  weather at Jaipur very clear, sunny, pleasant and not so cold as in Lucknow.

Jaipur (20 December 2011):
Review of Hotel Arya Niwas, Jaipur:
Our booking for stay was in Hotel Arya Niwas (www.aryaniwas.com), which is a mid range hotel located at Sansar Chand Road, approximately 2 km from Jaipur Railway Station. Check in was quick and smooth and we were relaxing in our room within 5 minutes. It is a very nice, clean and comfortable hotel run by a family and has a pleasant and calm environment  everywhere. However if you are fond of non-veg food and a few drinks in the comfort of your room, this is not a hotel for you as they are vegetarian/no bar and have limited room service hours and that too for some selected items only. They have a  good hygienic restaurant (Chitra Cafe) which serve homely and healthy food from 0600 to 2200 hrs. In the night hours they run a small pantry which serves tea, coffee and some ready-made items for late night requirements. They have a big green lawn and a long corridor equipped with furniture to enjoy your meals in open air. Hotel also has a souvenir shop, small business center, Library lounge, WIFI Internet (paid) and  a travel desk, all these to make your stay and travel comfortable. We would love to stay again in this hotel as this was a safe and clean place for the kids to wander here and there in the hotel, to order a few things themselves and enjoy it. 
Enjoying Breakfast in lawn of Hotel Arya Niwas
My Younger Son Pradyumn
Enjoying breakfast in the lawns of Hotel Arya Niwas
A view of our hotel room
Rooms are neat and tidy, equipped with all amenities 
and with simple decor. One extra bed was provided 
for elder son and the room was big enough for accomodating it.
Kids enjoying their favorite channel on Hathway digital cable
Beautiful indoor lounge and mini library in the hotel

If you give importance to cleanliness, hygiene, calm and peaceful stay, this hotel is for you and worth the money. We got a good sleep quality in this hotel. I am recommending this hotel for those who prefer these parameters but there are many other good hotels on similar pattern, built on a heritage property, and you can search them on www.tripadvisor.com.

Next : Two nodes of the Golden Triangle (Part-II) (Jaipur day-1)


15 comments:

  1. good informative narration .pics are from new Niccon SLR,? very nice one, Akhilesh

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  2. Nicely illustrated blog with crisp picture.

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  3. any guidance on transport from agra to fatehpur sikri? pre paid taxi? bus? if bus then what is the frequency and timetable? both to go and come back. thanks uttam.

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    Replies
    1. We hired a full day taxi for showing us Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandara, Dayalbag temple, Eitmad-ud-daula and Mehtaab garden in the same sequence.It picked us from our hotel (0930 am) and dropped there in the evening (0630). The charge for this was INR 1600.

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  4. It looks more like a family album than a travelogue or photologue! We would appreciate if you could improve upon it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback, Will surely make some edits on your suggestions.

      Delete
  5. Hi,
    I like ur interesting travelogue with your family at its centre....it makes it more humane...
    thanks
    Sudhanshu

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  6. Your travelogue is most informative. We are planning to visit India and your blog has been a source of really good, personal experience information. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
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