Friday, July 27, 2012

Incredible Solo to New Delhi - Jaipur - Agra in 1.5 days

2nd trip outside my 2nd second home country... jai-ho!
May 18-19, 2012 friday to saturday

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
 -  Mahatma Gandhi

My 13th country to visit, 17th solo backpacking trip, 2nd visa-on-arrival (VOA) encounter outside Southeast Asia and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure. An incredible land with incredible culture and tradition for an incredible itinerary and adventure... that is Incredible India, Jai-ho !

Golden triangle tour of India is one of the most popular and well-received tourist circuits of the country. The tour basically covers three of the most famous cities of New Delhi- the country capital, Agra- home to the spectacular Taj Mahal, and Jaipur- the Rajasthani Capital.

The aim of this trip why I could not wait to extend it to other month are;
1. to see and explore Taj Mahal - the jewel of Muslim Art in India
2. to experience the Indian style haggle madness in train escapade
3. to conquer the golden triangle tour in limited amount of time
4. to just get-out of my country of work for stress relieving purposes

golden triangle tour of india (new delhi - jaipur - agra)

7,000 rupees pocket money for 1.5 days solo backpacking india

This another race against time, very short backpacking researched in somehow detailed manner has a compressed itinerary designed as follows: 

may 18 Friday:
0600H ETA New Delhi international Airport
1200H ETD New Delhi train station
          1st train joyride (AC 2ER)
1800H ETA jaipur
          Jaipur pink city by night tour (amber fort, jal mahal, hawa mahal)
2200H ETA hotel

may 19 Saturday: 
0400H ETD Jaipur train station
          2nd train joyride (sleeper)
0830H ETA Agra
          Agra morning city tour (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort)
1030H ETD Agra Cantt train station
          3rd train joyride (AC 2ER)
1400H ETA New Delhi
1500H ETA Airport (missed flight)
1720H ETD New Delhi IGI Airport (new tickets availed)

TOTAL BUDGET : PHP48,807 = USD1,135
(84.67% of budget went to roundtrip ticket due to missed-out flight)

india gate during sandstorm in the morning

backpack relax in humayun's tomb

1st rickshaw joyride in new delhi city

India is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. Four of the world's major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism—originated here. The Indian economy is the world's tenth-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity. India is considered a newly industrialized country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, corruption, and inadequate public healthcare.

India experiences at least three seasons a year, Summer, Rainy and Winter. November to January is the winter season and April and May are the hot months when everyone eagerly awaits the rains. There is also a brief spring in February and March.

timezone - +0530H UTC
capital - new delhi city
currency - india rupee (inr) 1INR = PHP0.80, 1USD = 54 INR
language -hindi
basic phrases - Namastey! (Hi!), Shukriyaa! (Thank you!), Suprabhaat (Good morning!), Accha (Good!), Such mein? (Really!)
requirements of india airport immigration on visa-on-arrival;
1. return plane ticket
2. confirmed hotel accommodation
3. 1-pc passport photo
4. visa fee $60 = 3,040 inr

After the huge success of dubai - abu dhabi 2-days solo journey last april 2012 via ID90 availed plane ticket, this time I purchase regular roundtrip ticket to Oman Air (booked less than a month before the flight sked), just to have a follow-up to this travel itch feeling I had. Another spontaneous decision via random booking on possible destinations that can fulfill on 2 days weekend getaway madness only. Though the round trip plane ticket cost around more than php14,000 (96kwd), it was the cheapest fare offer among the all standard airline websites I researched on my preferred date. Yes, the flights date and time exactly worth it the price. As part of my travel adventure, I have to maximize the 2-days weekend without sacrificing any vacation leaves on my new work. Nothing beats the adrenalin rush of my backpacking madness.

red fort gate

rickshaw joyride in agra

agra fort in the morning

taj mahal

I tagged this trip as the vicious, heinous and most incredible adventure I have ever made on my entire solo backpacking escapade because of the following reasons;

1. shortest length of stay - at 33-hours stay (almost 1.5 days) with 2.5-hour time difference from my country of origin. Surpassing the 34-hours stay in united arab emirates.
2. departures in haste - i arrived late on the 2 train departure times with only 10min difference before it actually leave. i always run as fastest as i could be to be able to beat the time and reach the train platform.
3. very "race against time" itinerary - wherever i go and whatever i do i have to set specific and very small amount of time just to conquer what i wanted. though i easily felt temple-out, i have to cherish somehow my stay on every tourist spot.
4. most expensive budget of all time - due to missed flight, i have to avail new flight ticket within that day only. i could not imagine myself if I don't have credit card that time.
5. best shortest itinerary i had - though its the most expensive, priceless accomplishment gave so much fulfillment. indeed I'm proud to be a solo backpacker. on the hierarchy list includes singapore-malaysia followed by abu dhabi-dubai.

Anyways, i divided this wonderful journey into different set of posts to be more specific on its content;


  1. congrats on your india trip tay! at least nakarating yung bag tag na ginawa ko sa taj mahal. sana next time yung gumawa naman haha

  2. dun sa PHP48,807 na budget mo kasama na ba doon yung last minute plane ticket na nabili mo?

  3. animals on the streets of India which i like most. :)

  4. Whoa! 48.8k in just 1.5 days! But awesome adventure :-)

  5. Ouch on the pocket...but I guess, worth the experience.


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