Mumbai--Himalayas--Calcutta

#1 May 4th, 2009, 01:16
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  • Algara is offline
#1
Hello everyone,

I am traveling with my boyfriend leaving Mumbai 14th June for the Himalayas and then Calcutta. Or, Mumba --> Calcutta --> Himalayas and then back down to Bangalore/Mysore area.

We just changed our plans and have yet to get into the nitty gritty of the train travel research.
My questions are:: which path makes the most sense? Mumbai to Himalayas to Calcutta? Or Mumbai to Calcutta to Himalayas?
Also we don't care much for the tourist attractions but are more interested in seeing smaller towns/villages and the interesting parts of their tradition or landscape. Any advice on which less traveled areas have great spots to explore?

We need to get back down to Bangalore/Mysore after our travels up North. (we plan to travel around for about 2 weeks giving each area 1 week of time and then taking about 5 days or so to head back down south) Should we plan on traveling by train leaving from Delhi back down to Mysore/Bangalore? Is that the most convenient route?

My boyfriend has been in India before but lived in the south and didn't do a great deal of traveling (I think just up to Varanasi and around Southern India Bangalore area where he was living)
We are planning to stay in inexpensive hotel/hostels and take the over night trains as much as possible.

Thank you for all the help you can offer! I appreciate it.
Last edited by Algara; May 4th, 2009 at 01:30.. Reason: make more clear
#2 May 5th, 2009, 20:54
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  • indracal is offline
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Algara View Post My questions are:: which path makes the most sense? Mumbai to Himalayas to Calcutta? Or Mumbai to Calcutta to Himalayas?
Hi Algara, Welcome to IM!

Himalaya spreads from the Kashmir side till West Bengal, so I guess a direction from your side will help fellow IMers to reply.

Mumbai-Kolkata has direct train services - 2 nights journey on most of them. It's the same in reverse direction as well.

If by Himalaya, you mean Himachal Pradesh/Uttaranchal side, then probably your trip would change to:

* Mumbai -> Delhi
* Delhi -> Himalayan destinations -> Delhi
* Delhi -> Kolkata
* Kolkata -> Bangalore/Mysore

You might want to go through www.erail.in or www.irctc.co.in (Official Indian Railway online bookings - free registration needed) for train routes.

Obviously you have flights between all major cities.

FYI, you can reach Himalaya through Kolkata - New Jalpaiguri - Darjeeling/Sikkim way also, albeit on a different side of the majestic mountain.

For railways, IMer steven_ber is the king and quite a few other IMers as well!
Did you wear the other person's shoe today?
#3 May 5th, 2009, 22:13
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  • vko is offline
#3
Hi Algara, as indracal explained well, Himalayas stretches west to east, from the Indus river valley to the Brahmaputra river valley, forming an arc 2,400 km (1,490 mi). Following Indian states have direct access to Himalayas (West to East): Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand (aka Uttaranchal), Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh.

Any particular area in Himalayas that you wish to visit? There are excellent articles and threads in IM for all these states that may help you decide. Best of Luck!
#4 May 7th, 2009, 03:05
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  • Algara is offline
#4
Hello Vikaskumarojha & Indracal, we were planning on going to Dharamsala. After reading your reccomendations we think we'll go Mumbai to Kolkata then Delhi (where we have friends) then to Dharamsala. From there probably back through Delhi to Bangalore/Mysore. Does that seem reasonable?

Thank you for your help!
Last edited by Algara; May 7th, 2009 at 03:05.. Reason: spelling. :-P
#5 May 7th, 2009, 15:58
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  • indracal is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Algara View Post we think we'll go Mumbai to Kolkata then Delhi (where we have friends) then to Dharamsala. From there probably back through Delhi to Bangalore/Mysore. Does that seem reasonable?
Hi Algara,

Given the skeleton - I would say achievable but a little tight - for the reasons below.

Quote:
We need to get back down to Bangalore/Mysore after our travels up North. (we plan to travel around for about 2 weeks giving each area 1 week of time and then taking about 5 days or so to head back down south)
If I sum up, you have 2 weeks time for Mumbai -> Himalaya / Kolkata / Delhi (must as u have friends) and back to south again.

My personal opinion is it might be little tight for you to travel so much in so less a time.

One option may be to consider going to Delhi, proceed to Himalayan destinations (Dharamsala) and on return, mingle with your friends there and then back to Bangalore/Mysore.

Quote:
don't care much for the tourist attractions but are more interested in seeing smaller towns/villages and the interesting parts of their tradition or landscape
Given your intention of looking at non-touristy things, it may be very tough in fast-paced tours to mix with locals in the Himalayan destination, whichever part of India it may be.

Dharamsala/McLeodganj is a good choice for sure - and Delhi is a good starting/end-point for that.

If you are using Mumbai just as the spring board, it would be important to find out the days you going to spend at Delhi with friends. Also work out the days you need to travel from Delhi to Bangalore/Mysore - 2 nights journey at least (http://erail.in?T=NDLS:New_Delhi:BNC:Bangalore_Cant.)

Based on the days, you plan to put Kolkata in your itinerary, work out the places you want to go. Rest of the days, plan for Delhi-Dharamsala-Delhi.

Though it is easier said than done, but am sure you can work the basics out. You may want to use the Himachal and Calcutta based forums on IM for further info.

Best of luck!

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