Travel within and around Anand & India

Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby HammockGuy » August 12th, 2011, 12:00 am

Place-holder...

This will be a discussion for getting around town, including upon arrival and how you got to your hotel. I imagine tuk tuks or motorized rickshaws being mentioned a lot. Also, domestic flights, and how you went about that... We lost some really, really good content that was on the old forum. I remember a fair amount and will try to add some over time.

Please, others, share what you can... Thanks.
Four cycles with Dr. Nayana Patel, with the first and fourth giving us two beautiful, healthy baby girls! Persistence and determination are often rewarded, so stay the course...
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby Beagle » August 17th, 2011, 4:10 pm

Ok from memory :D

Easy to walk in and around Anand however wear good shoes - as HG pointed out the streets are very dusty,undulating or broken paths - I did a lot of walking and loved watching how they lived. I was told that part of Anand is known as the Pakistan quarter so you get a great cultural perspective.

Tuk Tuk - easy to get and easy to use and very very cheap compared to Aus transport :) all my drivers spoke enough English to get me where I wanted to go, however I believe some people didn't have this luxury.

I was able to get a tuk tuk outside of Dr Patels for 350 and for 4 hours use. He took me to some of the local churches and they are amazing if you get the time.

Dr Patels driver is also available for trips in and around Anand if you want to hit out, I didn't have the nerve to try the train system, however will pluck up the courage if I have time on my next visit.
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby kiddo » August 20th, 2011, 6:05 am

anyone tried going from Mumbai to Anand by car (either driving yourself or having a Indian driver)? I'm curious what is the drive time considering the road conditions are not good around Mumbai. I heard roads are in better condition in Gujarat. Is it really doable in 7hrs as indicated in Google Maps?
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby HammockGuy » August 20th, 2011, 10:11 am

I've heard of some contemplating a train, but not doing so. Not aware of anyone driving... That said, send an email to Indu just to see if he'd do it, and the costs involved. Probably wouldn't save much money, but that is probably not your intent. There have been recent articles that concerns regarding babies flying were over-blown... Our little girls flew at 1 week of age, and slept the entire way, including the vast majority of the 20 hours home...
Four cycles with Dr. Nayana Patel, with the first and fourth giving us two beautiful, healthy baby girls! Persistence and determination are often rewarded, so stay the course...
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby Beagle » August 20th, 2011, 7:44 pm

Sleeping for the entire flight sounds great :D

http://www.ivfcharotar.com/plan-your-trip.php

Found this on Dr Patels site re train/transport
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby HammockGuy » August 20th, 2011, 9:25 pm

Wow, I have not checked her website in quite a while. Nice find.
Four cycles with Dr. Nayana Patel, with the first and fourth giving us two beautiful, healthy baby girls! Persistence and determination are often rewarded, so stay the course...
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby kiddo » August 20th, 2011, 9:26 pm

Thanks guys. I just wanted to consider different travel options for what is best for the babies. (Being a first time parent, I think I worry too much :oops: )
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby HammockGuy » August 20th, 2011, 10:05 pm

I now remember some thoughts I had shared on the old forum...

In our many trips to Anand, we encountered, on average one couple each time that wanted to travel India while there. For us though, any travel we did within was focused on the task-at-hand only. We just didn't want to risk anything whatsoever. And, I recall 2 couples that wish they had not. One got quite ill and the other had some serious traffic issues and while they made it back to Anand on time, the stress level was way up. That is the last thing we want when cycling.

So, while this thread exists, when asked about seeing the Taj or other sites while cycling, I cannot in good conscience advocate site-seeing on these trips. Local trips around Anand, in Gujarat, to where you are back in the hotel every night, is much safer. Just can't seeing taking any unnecessary risk that might compromise what is for most of us, if not all of us, the most important trip of our lives...
Four cycles with Dr. Nayana Patel, with the first and fourth giving us two beautiful, healthy baby girls! Persistence and determination are often rewarded, so stay the course...
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby anchau » August 24th, 2011, 6:12 pm

On our first visit last year, we took the Golden Triangle Tour from Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi for 5 days. We arrived in India a week early to go on tour. Since we already paid for the flight to get there so we decided to might as well get to know India a little. I enjoyed the tours especially the Taj Mahal in Agra and elephant ride in Jaipur. We paid $270/person that include hotels for 5 nights, transportations ( a driver drove around all day every day for 5 days), some free breakfasts, a tour guide person at each of the three locations to take us around the city all day. We paid for food, tips, and some addmission fees. I think we ended up spent around $500/person in total. I enjoyed the tour, but my wife didn't since she is not the walking type when on Vacation. Tour in India is not for everyone since most things here are a lot different from US or where you're from. Like HammockGuy said, watch what you eat. Stay with bottle water and cooked food, then you'll be ok.

Pro.
- You have chance to see many places.
- Taj Mahal is a great place to visit.
- Elephant ride was interesting.

Cons:
- A lot of driving and walking.
- Traffic in some places can be a nightmare.
- Tour guides like to take tourists to expensive shopping places. I think they get commission if you buy things. Just don't buy anything or you can tell your tour guide that you don't want to go to shopping.
- Watch out for retails store when you go shopping for gifts. We got cheated. We bought a gift and they wrapped it in a nice box, but a much smaller size than the one we paid for. So watch out !

More details on the Golden Triangle Tour here:
http://www.travelogyindia.co.in/goldent ... -tour.html
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby snv1979 » September 4th, 2011, 10:53 am

HG is absolutely right. While you are in Anand for the Cycle, better not to go to far off places. You can always go around after the retrival. Though it would have been greatly convenient for us to reach Anand on the 5th of 6th day, we chose not to play around the usual routines. What usually is a 1 hour drive, according to distance, can easily become a 3-4 hour trip due to traffic / monsoon and several other unknown variables... A holiday trip to India is only a 9 - 13 hour trip away (depending on where you are).

I dont want to sound pessimistic, but, in case some of us unlucky ones have to come back again to Anand, it would be wise to be frugal with our expenses to retain our financial stamina till our dreams are realised. It pays to be focussed. Though India sounds cheap because of currency conversion, the costs of most things are on par with the costs back home.

Most of the eateries & restaurants are hygenic. The problem all of us have is because of spice levels. It is usually acidity. It would be soothing to have yoghurt after eating Indian food. Ask for Curd, as most people dont understand yoghurt. If you are taking injections, then don't eat (PS: I am not saying avoid) Papaya at all. It is nice of Rama to start serving Fruits at Breakfast, but, once or twice a week they serve Papaya. Hot cooked food is always ideal. While drinking bottled water, dont use the glass provided by the restaurant. Most people pour the bottled water in the restaurant glass....!

While shopping for handicrafts, touristy things - better stick to the Government sponsored shops - almost all the other shops would cheat you. Whichever shop you go with your tourist guide, he will get a cut, except in the Govt. shops. For eg., there is a small shop Gurjari opposite to Amul Dairy main gate, which is a Govt sponsored Handicraft shop. Cost of things here a marginally higher than those elsewhere, but the quality is excellent and they are genuine art works and are what they claim to be.
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby snl51 » September 16th, 2011, 7:04 am

Hello everyone.

My wife and I are on our way back to Anand on Sept 26th. We will be flying to Ahmedebad this time, but I wanted to share some info on car rentals.

When we went to India in January for our retrieval, we rented a car in Mumbai with Avis. Getting to the Avis lot was the most difficult part. I did not include our flight information on my rental reservation. I was told we would have been picked up at the airport if I had :( We were gouged a little by the taxi driver who had to get directions a few times, but we arrived at 11:30PM and started the process. Things move a little slower at that time of night and we finally departed at 12:30AM.

Navigating Mumbai in the middle of the night is not for the novice traveler. The gods were on my side that night and I somehow drove straight to the NH8(highway to Anand). We drove through the night and arrived in Anand at 8:00AM. The highway might be better now, but the first half was intense. Tractor trailers don't always have tail lights. They are also building overpasses every couple of miles. This means that with 200 meters warning, they put a sign out that say DIVERSION(or something close) and the highway ends. You veer left for a 1/4 mile(.4 KM :) ) and then back on the highway. This goes on forever, but it becomes more fun as it goes on.

When we got closer to Vadodara, we realized we wouldn't have enough rupees for the upcoming tolls. Unless you bring a GPS with the India SD card, GET LOTS OF RUPEES BEFORE YOU LEAVE MUMBAI!!!. We must have stopped at a dozen shops to ask for an ATM. They seemed to understand our question, but understanding the responses was impossible. We finally stumbled upon one, but I couldn't find it again if my life depended on it.

So the sun is finally up. We're almost to Anand. We have plenty of money. And.....the traffic starts.
Camel drawn carts, water buffalo wandering, mopeds everywhere, buses, tractor trailers, tuktuks.......and no traffic signs or signals. Through all this chaos, we found La Casa Inn and checked in. Needless to say, it was a very exciting half day after we landed in Mumbai.

So if your going to drive here are some pointers.
1. Think of your car as a fish in a school. Traffic is very fluid and you must go with the flow.
2. Your horn is your friend. Indians use the horn at every intersection. It means a few things.
a. I'm taking the right of way.
b. I'm coming through the intersection.
c. I'm coming into traffic.
d. I'm overtaking you.
e. I have a pulse.
I followed Hitesh(Dr Patel's Husband and also a Dr Patel) and he said I wasn't using my horn enough. Honk at every intersection and every time you need to pass and you'll catch on.
3. Be assertive, but have patience.
4. The rules you learned at home do not apply here.
5. Get insurance. In 3-1/2 weeks, I had no dings dents or scratched until the second to last day. I tried squeezing through some traffic and was gouged by the fender of tuktuk. It was a new car and I felt bad, but Avis only charged me $70 for the repair. I would have tried to get VISA to cover it, but I don't think it would have been worth my time.
6. Take a GPS with an India Maps SD card. I didn't have it last time, but I'm taking it this time and I don't even plan on driving.
7. Pull in your mirrors when you park. I saw many cars missing a mirror or two.
8. DO NOT RENT A CAR unless you are very comfortable in traffic. A car gave us a great amount of freedom, but taxis are cheap and with daily injections(retrieval trip) or a newborn in tow, it may be easier to be a passenger.

So good luck to anyone who rents a car. It is an adventure in itself. Not for the faint of heart, but an experience you will not soon forget.

Steve

PS I don't check this post very often. If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at captainsjt@hotmail.com
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby Beagle » September 16th, 2011, 3:38 pm

Nice post Steve, sounds like my DW would fit in perfectly as a local driver :D

From memory Rama had parking in the front of the hotel.
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby bgBoston » August 10th, 2012, 11:10 am

As most of the hotels except Madhuban do not have in-house gym. LaCasa has mentioned in their web site but they do not have gym, welcome to India!. I did not join gym, which was about a mile from hotel. For first few days, I tried walking around the town in early morning but it was not pleasant. I do not recommend doing this. VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT run in streets, stray dogs tend to bark, follow and attack you.

After few days I found that the field in middle of universities of Vidyanagar has very big and nice multi-purpose field, there is running track around this. I think it is little over one kilometer in perimeter. Lot of people flock into this in morning, you can see all sort of sports being played here - soccer, cricket, badminton, basketball etc. You will also see group yoga and meditation. I enjoyed being here in morning for workout.

This is very nice specially from just before the dawn till 7 am. As the field is surrounded by trees, bird chirping makes it very pleasant, highly recommended.

I contacted a local auto (tuk-tuk) driver to pick me up from hotel at 5:30 and drop off at the field and then pick up me up at 7. I was staying at LaCasa and he demanded Rs 100 every day.

See map below.
http://goo.gl/maps/Gxyca

Make sure to use mosquito repellent spray.
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby snv1979 » August 13th, 2012, 8:29 am

For people staying in Rama, there is a ground right behind.

http://goo.gl/maps/Eg1QO
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby bmkoss » October 28th, 2013, 7:07 am

We were in Anand for one purpose. Ivf. We didn't want to do a lot of traveling and risk getting sick. The climate is humid and the air is dusty and can be challenging to do a lot of walking.

We took just a couple day trips to get a change of scenery and escape the everyday mundane routine. Dr Hitesch gave us his driver's phone number. We hired Uday to take us to Vadodara to see the Laxmi Vilas Palace. It took about 4 hours of our day and got back to the hotel by 4pm. He charged 2000 rupees.

A couple days later Uday took us into Ahmedabad to see the Gandhi Ashram and also a temple. Again, it took a few hours of the day, leaving after the injection around 11am and returning around 4pm. This trip was 3000 rupees.

Other than the day trips, we stayed in Anand. We used the security guy at the Rama to hail us a tuk tuk when we wanted to go to Big Bazaar or DMart. For round trip and 30 min wait, they charged 150 rupees

The driving situation in Anand is organized chaos. This was a culture shock. After a couple days, we got use to it.
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Re: Travel within and around Anand & India

Postby anandfans » December 18th, 2013, 10:23 am

I guess it all depends on people and their attitude. We also came to India only for one reason, however we did not want this becoming our obsession either and we tried to enjoy a bit more the town and the country, where our baby might be born.

So our routine was not confound to the hotel and clinic only. We tried various restaurants in town, because we like Indian food and my husband is vegetarian. He really enjoyed food and choices in restaurants, which tend to be mostly vegetarian. We walked every day especially through residential areas where there is much less traffic and more greenery, in old Anand and also in Vidhyanagar, a university town attached to Anand. The latter is especially nice as it is much less trafficked and in general more laid-back and quiet being a student town. We would go for lunch (our preferred one is Sunkalp next to the Big Bazaar with Southern Indian cuisine such as dosas) then take a walk, sometimes stopping to talk to people and drink garam chai (hot Indian masala chai) or coconut water.

We also took few trips by bus and train to Vadodara and Ahmadabad usually leaving straight after visiting the clinic in the morning. It turned always a bit hectic and overwhelming, which made us appreciate Anand better. However it is a nice break from routine. Ahmadabad has a few nice sights to visit, including its old town area and water well.

We then organized a car for a trip to Champaner and Pavagadh. Champaner is a complex of ruins from 14-15 century of what used to be the capital of Gujarat and is now a World Heritage site. the ruins a very impressive. Pavagadh is a temple on the top of a hill and is worth of a 1.5 hike up, alternatively there is also a cable road. Both sites are the main reason why tourists come to this area of Gujarat so it may be silly not to try to visit them while in Anand. We left straight after the injections around 11am, and the rest of the day was enough to visit both sites including the hike on foot.

Ah, we also did a meditation course of Art of Living which is very active in Anand. It was also a nice way to meet and mingle with local people. We made few friends who then invited us to their houses. We learned how to make roti :)

So enjoy your stay! Anand really has much more to offer than it seems at the first sight.
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