Two weeks in India, where do we start?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Mar 31, 2010 12:21 AM Last Post By: angadtalwar
Mar 29, 2010 4:38 AM
Two weeks in India, where do we start?Hi,
Me and the wife know we want to go to India, we'll have 2 weeks, but where do we start?! The country seems so vast and mysterious... we want to backpack, enjoy the food, scenery, culture, beaches, and seeing some wildlife will be important to us.
We're experienced travllers, but where do we start? Where do we go? Any help will be greatly appreciated!
Goa or Kerala looks like it could be quite good.
Do you know how much culture we would get to experience? How watered down / touristy will it be? Will we able to get off the tourist trail for a few days?
Oh, and if we buy flights, would we be able to turn up and find some accommodation? Love the flexibility of being to move around when we want to.
Mar 29, 2010 6:44 AM
2When are you planning to visit India? Till August/September, the Monsoon will strike and heat and humidity will be very unpleasant. I suggest this itinerary
Arrive in Bangalore and spent a night there before moving on to Mysore. Spend a few days there and continue to Bandipur via Bangalore. Also get to Mangalore after Bandipur (I guess via Bangalore) and choose either Kerala or Goa from there.
Mar 29, 2010 7:58 AM
Mar 29, 2010 8:03 AM
4Yes, you can.
Bekal Fort, Munnar and the Backwaters.
Mar 29, 2010 8:46 AM
52 weeks is a short time, and I suggest you don;t try and cramp too many things into it. My suggestion would be that you stick to a place or perhaps two with a week at each so that you get to experience each place a bit.
Kerala is a beautiful anytime the year. In monsoon you probably wouldn't be able to do some of the touristy things, but watching the rain pound down on the backwaters or the sea is amazing. The weather gets to be a little extreme now with humidity and heat reaching peaks it hasn't before... but that is true for all over the country.
There is tiger reserve in kerala called thekkady. There is a boat ride on the river that flows through the reserve but spotting the tigers doesn't happen much. However you can see elephants, deer, wild boar among a lot of animals.
Goa is also amazing. the beaches and the food in goa is pretty much beyond description but goa I feel has become too touristy..
Delhi, Rajistan and Agra is also a good trip.
Hope you have lots of fun..
Mar 29, 2010 4:36 PM
Mar 29, 2010 11:31 PM
7If you only have a couple of weeks, decide whether beaches are really high on the agenda. Sure, you'll see wildlife there, but it will be of the dreadlocked euro-backpacker and fat, sunburnt euro-package tourist variety. One day in Mamallapuram (Tamil Nadu) a month or two ago was enough to make us swear off beaches for the rest of the trip.
You'll experience the culture - good, bad, beautiful and terrible - everywhere, from the crappiest bus on the crappiest, truck choked, rubbish strewn highway to the throngs of tourists at the stunning Taj Mahal. Most tourists are Indians and except for some beach places, the westerners are usually lost in the crowds.
After winging it for a six week 2nd visit in Feb-Mar this year, covering more ground than we'd planned and generally enjoying ourselves, we'd do some things differently and some the same. The age of the internet and mobile phones, while seemingly giving freedom, seems to have encouraged other people to pre-plan and pre-book more than in the past. If others do it, it kind of forces your hand too at times.
The tourist triangle of Delhi - Agra - Varanasi (plus surrounds) has heaps to offer in spite of seeming like a bit of a cliche. Delhi's a giant construction site at present, Varanasi often seems closer to hell than to the divine and Agra is full of tourists, but don't let that put you off. Everyone said we were mad to have missed Rajistan, but you can't see everything...
Looking at some of the Goa / Karnataka recommendations, fitting Hampi in there and ditching a beach or two is recommended, in spite of its reputation as a backpacker/hippy ghetto. The town's very pleasant and the surroundings are stunning, both naturally and archeologically. It's a bit out of the way from some routes though.
Kolkata, then Darjeeling and Sikkim might be an interesting alternative. The roads can be sickening and scary though.
Don't aim to cover too much ground or try to be too spontaneous, as train seats can be hard to reserve in these days of everyone pre-booking months in advance, but don't discount the possibility of getting last minute tatkal tickets or getting a ticket through an agent. Buses can be a fine (or terrible) way to travel and inter-town taxis are an option, especially for shorter trips. Don't miss something worthwhile for the sake of a taxi fare that costs less than a meal back home. You'll lose bragging rights with the dread-heads and hard-core backpackers though.
Accommodation: Depending on the place and season, decent accommodation should almost always be available, but anywhere with a good recommondation in LP, Rough Guide etc tends to get pre-booked quickly, same with places with a good internet presence. It's not hard, but it takes time to wander around knocking on doors. To book ahead, a mobile phone would have been handy at times. Don't expect descriptions of "immaculately clean" to mean the same in India as the west. It's all relative. Prices tend to rise steeply between dive and OK, OK to pleasant, pleasant to luxury..
Don't assume you'll just wander around a city and soak up the atmosphere as you might in NYC, London, Paris or wherever. There aren't any footpaths in most, the roads are choaked, the fumes are bad and it can be just downright unpleasant to walk a kilometer or two. We went against our usual approach and moved on more quickly than expected after viewing the main attractions in a few places.
Don't expect great beauty everywhere: India's one big rubbish heap, with plastic waste getting worse and worse, environmental degradation worsening, rampant development eating into what's left of the built and natural heritage and pollution bad even in some small towns. It's interesting, educational but often ugly.
I hope this isn't too negative sounding as it's meant to be encouraging...
Mar 30, 2010 1:27 AM
8""Don't expect great beauty everywhere: India's one big rubbish heap, with plastic waste getting worse and worse, environmental degradation worsening, rampant development eating into what's left of the built and natural heritage and pollution bad even in some small towns. It's interesting, educational but often ugly.
Very true....something that many visitors to India dont expect after reading the fairy tale hype in guidebooks. Unfortunately much of modern India is as described above. To get away from the beaten track and be in the countryside esp. the Himalayas and foothills is imo recommended.Some Indian cities despite the chaos and pollution have some character and can be exciting places to be for a few days many are just grim and ugly.The only positive being that you know that you dont have to live there and are leaving soon.
Mar 30, 2010 2:09 AM
Mar 30, 2010 5:16 AM
10you can spend either 2 weeks in kerela or 2 weeks (1 week in goa and 1 week in mumbai)
if you want to do both the places, then you can spend around 6 days in kerela and take a train from there to mumbai and bus or train to goa ( a long train ride would be worth the experience and would give u time to relax and soak in the culture)
if you would be travelling in winter, i would have suggested other places like delhi , agra, or rajasthan, etc
Mar 31, 2010 12:21 AM
11For 2 weeks, you need to take your pick, either north India (Forts, Palaces, Caves, Hills) or South India (Temples, Beaches, Backwaters)
You cannot cover whole India in 2 weeks ( if you really want to enjoy your stay and not just "touch" different cities)
Kochi (Cochin)Book now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$4.89 per night
Bengaluru (Bangalore)Book now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$31.21 per night
Bengaluru (Bangalore)Book now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$55.53 per night