India in 6 weeks. North, West and South...possible?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2012 4:12 AM Last Post By: paulputt
Nov 15, 2012 4:56 PM
India in 6 weeks. North, West and South...possible?Hello All,
Myself and 5 others have 6 weeks Jan-mid feb. We desperately want to experience as much as we can including culture, beaches, nature, cities, religion etc over this period but we dont want to push it so much that we dont actually enjoy it.
We have planned.....
19 FLIGHT Allahbad - Mumbai
23 ANJUNA MARKETS
11 FLIGHT kochi-delhi
Any advice??? we want to see it all but we are getting the feeling that its just too much and that it takes a fair while to get everywhere in India so maybe we should cut out the south/varanasi/the north/mumbai who knows any help appreciated! :)
Nov 15, 2012 6:05 PM
Nov 15, 2012 8:26 PM
2I don't think you've factored in the travel time between locations - if you have, it's not clear to me.
Have a look at this site, to help you work out distances and estimated travel times http://www.mapmyindia.com
For the train network, have a look here http://indiarailinfo.com/. Put in your From and To stations in the top left boxes and click the Search button.
Maybe drop Varanasi. While on the west coast, have a look at Ajanta /Ellora /Dalautabad.
Consider flying Delhi => Jodhpur to save time and /or Jodhpur => Mumbai.
Nov 16, 2012 1:16 AM
3Hey Paulputt, We are flying China Southern.
Thanks for the advice Zoltan. Dropping Varanasi seems like a good idea as it is far out of the way. Although do you think it is worth going out of our way for? we have heard that its pretty special.
Also does anyone know if basic sleeper trains need to be booked well in advance (or any trains for that matter)??
Nov 16, 2012 1:17 AM
4Drop Varnanasi.Yes you can do it But do you want to?.If you come here just to "see" sights..Do IT.!...But if you cane to see India cut that trip in half of places to go.............
Nov 16, 2012 1:51 AM
5thanks fivejacks we will probably drop it then, we are not to fussed about sights, we want to experience India and the Indian way of life. Would you recommend a certain route/cutting certain places?
Nov 16, 2012 5:55 AM
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Nov 16, 2012 10:25 AM
I think train travel is an excellent way to experience India and the Indian way of life as in a train not only you get a chance to see the country between the destinations but also get an opportunity to chat with fellow train passengers to learn about life in India.
I would recommend the Rajdhani train number 13422 starting in Delhi from the Nizamuddin station to Goa in south India which skips Mumbai or the same Rajdhani train coming back (#12431) from south India (Trivandrum, Ernakulam, Goa) to Delhi.
Don't be worried about skipping Mumbai. You will never be away from the best of Mumbai as Mumbai is most of all music and you will hear Indian music (Mumbai) everywhere.
Varanasi is special but is also a difficult travel for many and best done after you have developed some comfort level with stay in India.
Nov 16, 2012 11:03 PM
Nov 17, 2012 3:51 PM
9Cheers fivejacks, that sounds like the best plan. Do you think we have enough time to do it all using the train system?? will we be able to rely on trains being available/do we need to book ahead for all trains?
Also, you included Allahbad, but i assumed the reason you suggested we drop Varanasi is because of time it will take to get there and Allahbad is very close to Varanasi. Do you think we would be better off just staying away from that area and making our way down the west coast?? or is Allahbad too good to miss?
Edited by: johnkitchener
Nov 18, 2012 7:27 AM
Allahbad is not too good to miss unless you want to go to Allahbad for the famous religious festival of Maha Kumb Mela.
Nov 18, 2012 12:37 PM
11There are many regions in India, each with their own "special" appeal.
You would be well advised for a short journey to focus on one section (eg. NE; SE; NW; SW; etc.) and plan to come back on another journey to visit other areas.
I've been there eight times since 2000 and still uncovering places that are worth spending time to visit.
As for trains, you may want to get a 3A during the Jan /Feb months, as it may be cooler in SL there are no blankets provided in SL and, there are open windows. 3A provide blankets and permanently closed windows.
Nov 19, 2012 2:53 AM
Dont't drop Varanasi! Really! Yes, you heard right, it is special! :)
I was doing north India last year and I am doing south India this year - but I flew to Varanasi (though it was completely out of my way) because I just had to. It's my favourite place in India (so far even after second visit) and it's as crazy as India gets.
I was there last year for 14 days and this year (in the beginning of november) for 9 days... and I would go again. But give Varanasi at least 3 days or better 5. You need some time to get used to the craziness and all.
Sipping best lassi (Blue lassi) ever while watching people carrying their beloved one (and chanting) to the burning ghats... that's only possible in Varanasi. Don't miss it!
Give Agra just a day to see Taj - it's enough and drop something else maybe... cause for me it;s better to see less and to really experience and feel the place where I go. And for that you need more than 2 days. Every move is challenging for the whole body and the nerves, so if you''ll be just hopping from place to place in the end you can hate the India experience.
Sleeper class is hard to get these days cause yes, they are booked in advance. There's a tatkal system when you can book tickets 2 days before (www.cleartrip.com is good for that) the date of the train but even that is not easy to do. There is also a foreign tourist quota where a few tickets are hold for foreigners... but just a few.
Sometimes it's easier to get 3A class, but that's more expensive and it's a different experience. You should definitely do at least one or more sleeper rides and maybe then along the way you treat yourself with a more comfy 3 or 2A class - there's AC and curtains in these classes so you actually get your berth and your privacy. But in sleeper coach you get mixed with Indians and experience everything that goes along with that. ;)
Right now I'm in Madurai and the Meenakshi Amman Temple here is the best temple I've seen in India (and I'm totally not into temples). This year I've been in Varanasi, Kolkata, Puducherry and now Madurai. Now I'm going to Kochi, then Mysore, Goa, Hampi, Mumbai.
These are my advices for now, if you have any questions, just ask. :)
Nov 19, 2012 4:12 AM
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