Replies: 20 - Last Post: Jun 16, 2012 7:07 PM Last Post By: ran7010
Jun 13, 2012 5:35 AM
Itinerary Advice??Hi everyone,
My boyfriend and I are off to India at the end of October for a month and I was wondering if you would mind advising me on our itinerary?
Chris has been to India before (just Delhi and Agra) but I haven't, so we're trying to see lots of places but also not be too stressed!
Delhi 3 days
Agra - 2 days
Jaipur - 3 days
Haridwar - 3 days
Rishikesh - 3 days
Kochin - 2 days
Munnar - 2 days
Backwaters Cruise - 2 days
Varkala - 3 days
Back to Delhi
We'll be travelling by train except for between Dehradun (near Haridwar) and Kochin and back to Delhi were we will be flying. Also, we've factored in a few days inbetween for travel.
Just a bit about us, late 20's, staying in mid-range hotels. I love yoga and Chris wants to go white-water rafting in Rishikesh and at the end of our trip we're looking to chill out in Kerala before heading home.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Jun 13, 2012 6:50 AM
1My only comment is that perhaps you are being too ambitious to attempt both the Northern state of Uttaranchal and Kerala, but, since you are only passing a little thru' Rajesthan you'll be OK if you fly. I would prefr to stay North though adding Varanasi, Udaipur and Pushkar or Jaiselmer.
Of course, every view is subjective but there is a tendency to try to do too much.
A month is not long in India - you can happily spend that in karnataka and Goa.
Jun 13, 2012 9:27 AM
2People on this forum tend to tell you to cover 1 place per week and not to go north and south in one trip. They’re not ‘wrong’ but they’ve maybe had the luxury of lots of money and holiday time to visit India time and time again for extended periods (lucky them, but it’s not the case for most of us) so I’d take it with a pitch of salt if you get a barrage of comments like that. Personally I strongly disagree with this. I think a first trip to India should be a whirlwind of exciting contrasts. You said you specifically wanted to ‘see lots of places’ so hopefully the advice on here takes that on board . Your schedule looks great to me but I’m surprised Chris, having been to Agra, thinks it’s worth 2 whole days- I’d say one day is plenty. People will also downplay Jaipur but it’s actually got an absolutely stunning fort (Amber) and is really good for shopping (if you like shopping!). The Pearl Palace is a lovely budget place to stay and eat, so good that 3 nights in Jaipur will be a great experience for that reason alone! Don’t cut out Jaipur, or if you do, at least replace it with another Rajasthani city like Jodhpur. Delhi-Agra-Jaipur will probably be the most hectic section of your trip so it makes sense to cover them first. If you’re flying I recommend Jet- a really good, reliable airline, amazing for the price really. I hope you enjoy your trip. If I’d had a month I would have done half north and half south too!
Jun 13, 2012 9:29 AM
Jun 13, 2012 5:01 PM
4Hi, As we have been to India about 8 times, maybe I can make a suggestion. India is huge and it takes a long time to get around by train or bus. I suggest you cut your number of stops in half at least. Stay in the north or stay in the middle or stay in the south. Take more time in each place or you will not remember anything when you get home! You are young - plan on returning again and again. it's super!
Jun 13, 2012 8:23 PM
Jun 13, 2012 8:24 PM
Jun 13, 2012 8:27 PM
Jun 13, 2012 8:31 PM
8A flight from north to south is just a few hours....the road / rail journey from Jaipur to rishikesh will take longer....and be more tiring. Easy to visit north and south in one month if you want to.
" its super" ..well, not always..
Jun 13, 2012 8:35 PM
Jun 13, 2012 10:16 PM
10The contrast from north to south is huge. And yes, you'll be exhausted after this trip. But how you like to travel is up to you.
As for yoga, Rishikesh will have lots of posters about yoga classes and you can stay at an ashram if you're there for 3 days. Some are more secluded than others. I also highly recommend the rafting if monsoon season has passed. Otherwise it can be dangerous. Train wise you might want to go Jaipur, Agra, Hardiwar and grab a car in Hardiwar up to Rishikesh. You can check http://www.ClearTrip.com for train ticket info.
Once you're in the south you'll be able to find yoga as well. Kochi has a few good places and wonderful places to stay along the main tourist roads for $10 US a night or less. It will be a much welcome shift after the north. Renting a bike is the fastest way to see the sights. A driver will also be the fastest way to get around to your other destinations, which can be arranged once in Kochi. Some of the swank hotels also have yoga.
Wrapping up in Varkala is a good idea and you can fly from Trivandrum up to Delhi. Also great yoga in Varkala if people are open by then. Always look for people carrying a mat and ask. And only eat the fish if there wasn't a storm overnight. If there was a storm, the fisherman didn't bring in a fresh catch.
Several people have found my posts on yoga and India helpful, http://www.BlissPassport.com/India. Enjoy your trip.
Jun 14, 2012 2:08 AM
11I would spend a day less in Haridwar & Jaipur and get to Amritsar and see the golden temple, in my opinion it's as impressive as the taj, as the place has a very special feeling to it.
You can also get to Haridwar on an overnight train easily from Amritsar.
If you were flying, then north and south is possible, but by train I don't think it's really worth it, you are young and will have plenty of opportunity to come back to India and see the other half.
India is incredibly diverse, and it's not simply split between north and south...you could have wildy different sights to see just staying in one of two states, let alone half the country.
If it were my first time, I would add Udaipur, Jodhpur & Jaisalmer, cut out the south for another time, and also include Varanasi, Khajerhou & Orchha....the beaches in India really aren't all that great...it's not like the carribean or south east asian beaches.
Jun 14, 2012 2:57 AM
12Didn’t want to suggest more stops but I agree you should visit Amritsar if at all possible. If you want variety in your trip, the Punjabi and Sikh culture there will definitely give you that, without having to travel far off your suggested route. Two days should suffice and you can see the Pakistan-India border ceremony too. The Golden Temple isn’t like visiting the Taj; it feels like a living experience rather than an ‘attraction’ as such, and surprisingly few foreign tourists go there considering how amazing it is.
Jun 14, 2012 3:34 AM
if you do not wish to get stressed, do not even think of going to Jaipur. The hassle there is enormous (I have not been to Agra, though). Why don t you go to Dharamsala (spiritual stuff), Chandigar (architecture) or Amritsar (golden temple) instead?
It is just an idea, but Jaipur has been the worst place to me during a one-month journey around northern India 5 yrs ago.
Jun 14, 2012 5:51 AM
14Wow thanks everyone for your advice! So much food for thought - I think it might be back to the drawing board for now!
We have taken your advice on board and decided to cut down to one day in Agra and also less time in Haridwar/Rishikesh.
I would love to add in Mcleod Gang and Amritsar to our itinerary, however just have to twist my boyfriends arm as he thinks we're travelling too far already (and part of me thinks he is right!).
Thanks for the tip on the Pearl palace in Jaipur - can you believe though it is already full for the dates we will be there (in October!), I've sent them an email so hopefully there might be a cancellation come through.
Thanks again :)
(3 star Hotel)
From US$29.30 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$65.36 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$154.81 per night