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Best Way To See India

Discussion in 'Itinerary' started by Anna, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Anna

    Anna New Member


    I have recently joined this forum as I am planning a holiday in India but dont have a clue where to start. I know I would land at New Delhi and then start from there but after reading lots of posts on this forum and others I am more confused then I was initially.

    I am looking to get some guidance on how to do this. I would appreciate if some one could help me put together a good plan.

    Duration of holiday : Two months

    Places I want to go to : Goa, Hampi, Rajasthan, Varanasi, Kerala, Leh, Ladakh, Manali and Milam if possible.

    Besides these tourist places I am also planning to stay a few days at Bangalore and Mumbai to check out the local night life and hopefully make some friends to go out with in the days I am there.

    These are not the only places I want to go but these are the ones I dont want to miss. Your suggestions to add to this list are most welcome. I am not too sure about Kashmir even though I initially planned to go there but recent terrorist attacks are not helping my resolve.


  2. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    Milam is not accessible by roads which I am sure you already know as you have picked it as one of your destinations. You need atleast 10 days for Milam and a couple of days to get to Mumsiyari and back. The trek to Milam is not something that you can do solo, you would need a local guide and a couple of guys to carry tents and rations as there are only 2-3 villages on the way with no shops. They do let tourists stay over night but you are better of carrying your food with you unless you want to risk the local stuff.

    Rajasthan is a very big state and there are dozens of holiday destinations there including wild life hot spots. You need to narrow down the places you want to see. Rajasthan has so much to offer that your two months will be consumed in that very state with a lot still left to see. It would be better if you picked a few destinations that have airports if you have the budget for that or train stations if you want to save on transportation.

    Goa is easy to get to by air and also by train. Buses run from major cities across South India to Goa which are also a good option. Goa needs a week of your time if you want to spend some time chilling on the beach and also want to explore the old town.

    This is again a big state and you need to pick the destinations you want to cover. You are probably after house boats or back water resorts but you need to know where you want to go.

    Leh is going to be very cold in a months time and it is no fun when it gets very cold. You have not mentioned when you are planning this trip. If you are coming in winters then keep it to Manali and skip Leh. Manali is going to be cold aswell.

    There are many ways to do this and also include a few more destinations but it would be helpful to know if you are planning to take a flight between these destinations where ever possible or you want to keep it to trains and buses. It would also help to know what time of the year you going to start.

    For more suggestions on destinations to include it would be good to know what interests you the most.

    I hope this helps.
    Anna and Nik like this.

  3. Nik

    Nik New Member

    How long are you planning to be in India for and do you have any particular interests?
  4. DhongiBaba

    DhongiBaba Active Member

    Anna has already mentioned that in the initial post : Two months.
  5. Sramana

    Sramana Member

    Hey @Anna ,

    I think two months is a great interval to travel to all the places you want to go to. However, you did not mention which two months these are going to be. You might have to take a lot of factors into account - the winter, the monsoons, and of course, your own schedule etc. before deciding what the best season for traveling would be.

    I put together a map for you here with most of the places you wanted to cover. This is only a rough idea, of course. While the map lists driving directions, it may be better to drive/take the train/fly/bike depending on where you are.

    If I were you, I would land at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport in Kerala. I would spend about a week in Kerala (you can fine tune where you want to go). Travelling within Kerala is best done by hiring a car, or if you are adventurous, by the local bus. When you are done, I strongly recommend taking the Konkan express trains to Goa. It is very scenic! You could spend 2-3 days in Goa, and head to Hampi in Karnataka, either taking a train or a rented car. From there, you could go to Bangalore, spend a few nights, and fly to Mumbai. From Mumbai, you could go to Rajasthan, after deciding where in the state you would like to go. Jaipur is nice, but Ajmer-Udaipur is even better. You could take the train to Varanasi, but be sure to book this in advance, and be safe. All this would take you about a month.

    After this, you can head to Leh/Ladakh, and go from there to Milam. Like @Chahal said, Milam is going to take a while, so plan accordingly. If I were you, I would plan the trip for April-May, and spend April in the south and head northwards in May. It is going to be hot in April, but the trip to the Himalayas would be more manageable.

    Hope this was useful. Please ask if you have more questions!
    Admin, ChaiNashta, Anna and 1 other person like this.
  6. turtledove

    turtledove Member

    Two months sounds like a good amount of time to get a good feel for the country. It will be quite a pain to plan out your journey, but it should be well worth it!
    First try and map out where you want to go around India (all the places you've already mentioned) and then work out which destination is closest to the next, and work your way around each destination like that. Most of your journeys would probably be best by car or by train, depending on which leg of the trip you're on. I hope you enjoy your holiday to India!
  7. susieqanderson1

    susieqanderson1 New Member

    What is a good amount of time to plan to spend in India. I see people mentioning two months but I don't think we can get away (or afford) to do so for that long. How about 2 weeks? Thoughts?
  8. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    Same with me, that 2 months seem to be a retirement already. The most we spend in our touring is 5 days, that's due to our jobs. Even 2 weeks is pretty long for us because my wife works in a bank and she would not be given a vacation that long. We call our foreign trips snapshots because like explorers, we cannot go deeper and the only thing we touch is the surface, so to speak. Our main objective is just to see the usual tourists spots of the country although we would appreciate if we can see some other places that are not popular with tourist.

    From my browsing in this thread, it looks like Agra is the most popular spot and if I'm not mistaken, Taj Mahal is located in Agra.
  9. susieqanderson1

    susieqanderson1 New Member

    Thanks Alexandov,

    I am thinking two weeks would probably only scratch the surface. India is big place. I do agree the Taj Mahal is a MUST. I was also thinking Kerala somewhere. Any suggestions?
    Alexandoy likes this.
  10. Sramana

    Sramana Member

    I think people were suggesting two months because the original poster had said that she had two months to spare. Not like it's an ideal duration to take in all of India :) India is so diverse with a rich cultural history going back millenia. I don't think even two years of sustained travelling is enough to take in all of it!

    That said, most of us don't have the luxury to travel for that long and we have to make do with what time we get. Personally, I work outside India, and when I come home on vacation once in a couple of years for a month, I get to spend only a week or two on travelling. I think a preliminary question might be to introspect: why travel in the first place? Do I want to get the general measure of a culture? Do I want to visit popular spots and tick off a monument on a bucket list? Do I want to just unwind and relax? Do I want too see how people live halfway across the globe? Do I want to visit friends? Do I want a set of cool new pictures to impress my friends with? None of them are non-valid reasons to travel IMO but honestly answering them gives us way more control on how best we spend that precious week-long vacation.

    Even with the usual tourist spots of a country, it might be more rewarding to learn a bit about why a certain tourist spot is as popular as it is. The Taj Mahal is indeed a popular monument. It's a mausoleum, but it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. I imagine its appeal comes from its iconic structure and that fact that it is now a symbol for eternal love. Personally, I don't understand the appeal, because I can think of older, more prominent, more interesting historical monuments that I'd rather visit. I think this is partially also because the period the taj was built falls outside the ambit of my current historical interests. Perhaps when I get down to learning more about Mughal history, I may be convinced!

    Here is a list of popular places that you may be able to cover in five days to understand the local history. India is a large country, so you may only be able to cover one small section. For five days, going to Agra and Kerala might end up being tiring, for example.

    North and Central India:
    1. Agra: Taj Mahal/Agra fort
    2. Delhi: Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun's tomb
    3. Khajuraho: temples
    4. Varanasi
    5. Sanchi

    Western/ North-western India
    1. Mumbai: chill out at Colaba
    2. Gujarat - Ahmadabad - Gandhiji's Sabarmati Ashram
    3. Jaipur-Udaipur-Ajmer (this is an entire 5-day itinerary!)
    4. Ajanta/Ellora caves (near Aurangabad)

    South India
    1. Brihadeeswara temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram (Thanjavur)
    2. Mahabalipuram (Chennai)
    3. Hampi temples (Hampi, Karnataka)
    4. Belur, Halabedu

    This is just a small list. In addition, there are natural parks, beaches and other heritage monuments that you could check out. For a five day vacation, I recommend making one place as a centre piece (the Taj Mahal for example). Using that as the base, you could include a couple more places around.
    Chahal likes this.
  11. Chrisanswer

    Chrisanswer New Member

    I always travel through India by train. For me, travel in any country is best by train, but especially India, as trains as so cheap. As I've mentioned on another post; you should avoid sleeper trains for long journeys because there is very little air conditioning so it gets quite hot at night. You should get multiple hits on a Google search for trains through India and this is how I started. I should mention that I'm a rucksack on my back type of guy who likes adventure and going off the beaten track so to speak. Other people prefer more comfort in their journey, and while Indian trains can be comfortable they can take time, so maybe you might prefer plane travel. You don't get the feel of travelling through a country when you do it by plane, but it is more convenient.
  12. Danny Luke

    Danny Luke Member

    You are going to spend two months in India? Wow, that's a lot of time to roam around. In hindsight though, I think it's a good idea to spend time in the country that long because of the availability of so many things to do and see. Since you have mentioned New Delhi as your drop-off point, I highly recommend that you build your travel itinerary based on the regions surrounding New Delhi. This way, you get to see more places in less time. As you should already know by now, commuting around India can be a bit frustrating considering the state of the country's public transportation system. One last advice, consider getting a guide with you. Or find a travel partner. Two months is a long time. You don't want to be spending 60 days alone, do you? :)
  13. gamer2x

    gamer2x New Member

    From your list, it seems like you have mostly given the Uttarakhand state a skip. However, there are some quite good destinations there like Mussoorie which is known as the queen of hill stations and also, you can opt for Nanitaal as well and kausani which is at the foothills of the Himalayas. All of these are quite good destinations when you are going to Uttarakhand and if you like the mountains. So do give a thought to these places.

    All of these places are around 5 to 6 hours away from the national capital of Delhi and therefore, are easily accessible.