« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2009, 06:40:14 PM »
Sorry to hear about the family and that your India trip will have a delay.
I made an India trip last October, which was a little more extensive than yours, but it included most of the stops you had planned.
If you at some point do make it to India with these travel plans, feel free to contact me for information and personal experiences on (budget)hotels, trains etc.
IndiaMike is a good source of information, but don't take it all too much for granted what they write,... India does smell, but not unbearably. It's a busy country, especially cities but London city is as well. If you are genuine and relax, people will just be nice, even very nice, and helpful to you, they are curious and many want a talk with that obvious tourist, especially in smaller cities.
Photo opportunities are abound, overload sometimes.
Don't make any donation to a person, but always go for donation boxes, if you feel like giving something to the greater community, they are always there at religious places like ghats, temples etc. My personal experience is that peopel in Sikh temples were friendliest of all.
Touts can be very persistent, definitely in Agra, around the Taj, and in Pushkar, around the ghats, stand firm, wave them away, ignore them, they have no right to charge you money. In other places just be firm and they'll soon give up. I haven't experienced any physical harresment from any tout.
If you're interested in the pictures, there's a small selection on the website.