October 2013 Southern India

#1 Jan 17th, 2013, 03:37
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#1
Hi,

After route suggestions and travel advice please for a first timer.

Date/place: October 2013. Nothing booked yet but thinking of arriving at Chennai (from UK) and Departing Bangalore (to NZ)

Flexible with Duration looking at around 3- 4 weeks with a flexible itinerary as first time.

An Itinerary for a 30 year old female solo backpacking traveller on a Low budget ()

Dorm Accommodation is fine or overnight train journeys. Appreciate heritage sites can be expensive to enter so happy to go off the beaten track.

Preferred mode of transport. trains, buses. I can drive but know that is expensive solo.

Daytime or overnight travel between places: scenic route.Would you be prepared to take a 2nd Class if safe for women??

Travel background: First time to India. I have travelled (AUS,NZ, Europe, America) but would say Shanghai / Hangzhou would be the more appropriate benchmark for people. Any advice would be gratefully received.

Many thanks
#2 Jan 17th, 2013, 04:37
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#2
Hi Saffy,

Why Southern India? With four weeks (and an internal flight) you could split your time between North and South. What do you think you are interested in seeing or doing? Forts and Palaces? Temples? Ancient Ruins? Big Cities? Bazaars? Beaches? Hill Stations? Boat Trips? Art? Mountains? Wildlife Safaris?

That aside:

Fly into Mumbai;
Ellora and Ajanta caves
Hampi
Bangalore
Mysore
Kochi
Alleppey
Varkala
Trivandrum
Kovalum
Madurai
Trichy
Thanjavur
Chidambaram
Pondicherry
Fly out of Chennai
#3 Jan 17th, 2013, 22:42
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRudi View Post Hi Saffy,

Why Southern India? With four weeks (and an internal flight) you could split your time between North and South. What do you think you are interested in seeing or doing? Forts and Palaces? Temples? Ancient Ruins? Big Cities? Bazaars? Beaches? Hill Stations? Boat Trips? Art? Mountains? Wildlife Safaris?

That aside:

Fly into Mumbai;
Ellora and Ajanta caves
Hampi
Bangalore
Mysore
Kochi
Alleppey
Varkala
Trivandrum
Kovalum
Madurai
Trichy
Thanjavur
Chidambaram
Pondicherry
Fly out of Chennai

Wow, thanks for responding. Good question about what to see. Temples, Ancient Ruins, Food and Markets, Hill Stations, Art and Mountains.

I'll have a look at the destinations you have suggested. If you think doing north and south wouldn't be too expensive then I'm open to suggestions that cover the above list. Can you WWOOF in India?? humm
#4 Jan 18th, 2013, 04:26
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#4
WWOOFing isn't my thing, but there are a couple of threads around:

WWOOFing

https://www.facebook.com/IndiaWwoof

http://www.wwoofindia.org/
#5 Jan 18th, 2013, 19:30
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#5
Even if you are on a tight budget, I would strongly recommend 2nd class a/c on trains. If not for the weather then for safety. Since you have much time between now and the date of travel, you can easily estimate the cost of 2nd a/c trains and thus plan your itinerary. There are 2nd a/c 2-tier and 2nd a/c 3-tier. The latter would be cheaper but just as safe and as convenient.

As for buses, most long distance buses do not allow standing passengers, that means the bus will be less crowded, allowing enough privacy, hence, security. Then a/c or non-a/c is your choice.

If you are travelling at night, scenic or not does not matter:-))

By a/c I mean air-conditioned.

Good luck
i
#6 Jan 20th, 2013, 06:17
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by iseeking View Post Even if you are on a tight budget, I would strongly recommend 2nd class a/c on trains. If not for the weather then for safety. Since you have much time between now and the date of travel, you can easily estimate the cost of 2nd a/c trains and thus plan your itinerary. There are 2nd a/c 2-tier and 2nd a/c 3-tier. The latter would be cheaper but just as safe and as convenient.

As for buses, most long distance buses do not allow standing passengers, that means the bus will be less crowded, allowing enough privacy, hence, security. Then a/c or non-a/c is your choice.

If you are travelling at night, scenic or not does not matter:-))

By a/c I mean air-conditioned.

Good luck
i
Thanks, that's great advice.

After both your comments and speaking to a relative that has been over to India and Nepal I think I will open the trip up. I think it may be easier to speak to a travel adviser to see the best options for arrival and departing airports.

Lots to think about and in a bit of a spin.
#7 Jan 30th, 2013, 04:55
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRudi View Post Hi Saffy,

Why Southern India? With four weeks (and an internal flight) you could split your time between North and South. What do you think you are interested in seeing or doing? Forts and Palaces? Temples? Ancient Ruins? Big Cities? Bazaars? Beaches? Hill Stations? Boat Trips? Art? Mountains? Wildlife Safaris?

That aside:

Fly into Mumbai;
Ellora and Ajanta caves
Hampi
Bangalore
Mysore
Kochi
Alleppey
Varkala
Trivandrum
Kovalum
Madurai
Trichy
Thanjavur
Chidambaram
Pondicherry
Fly out of Chennai
Do you have a suggestion for the North/ North East too? I have two months and taking your suggestion to see South and North.

I'm keen to see from Himachal Pradesh (hiking etc), darjeling over to Kolkata, West Bengal.

Travelling OCT & NOV 2013 so starting North and heading South. May flip your south itinerary and fly out of Mumbai but would like to see Rajastan too.
#8 Feb 1st, 2013, 10:47
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#8
Off beati n Rajasthan..go for Bundi and Jhalwar(and jhalarpatan). Also check Orchha(not exactly offbeat,but less visited), then you have Patan,Modhera and Palitana in Gujarat, places which dont receive international tourists,but are beautiful. Binsar(or kumaon) in the north(Uttarakhand state) is great,and OCt-Nov is a good time to be there. And dont miss out Rajasthan,at all. And no place(site) is really expensive(if you compare with China or Egypt or Turkey). You dont need dorms,single rooms are cheap enough, you can get a decent room for about 500 INR.
check this:
Trip report- Binsar villages and chaukori.
#9 Feb 1st, 2013, 11:28
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saffy View Post Do you have a suggestion for the North/ North East too? I have two months and taking your suggestion to see South and North.

Himachal Pradesh (hiking etc), darjeling over to Kolkata, West Bengal ...but would like to see Rajastan too.
Hi Saffy, that's getting slightly more ambitious in terms of time available, and I certainly wouldn't attempt all of this in one month.

Mumbai to (Rājasthān)
Udaipur
Jalore
Jodhpur
Jaisalmer
Bikaner
Jaipur to

(North and Central)
Agra
Ochha
Khajuraho
Varanasi
Delhi to

(Himachal Pradesh)
Sairopa
Sharchee
Basheer
Sarthi
Khanaag
Shimla
Delhi to

(West Bengal)

Kolkata
Darjeeling
Pelling
Yuksom
Ravangla
Gangtok
Kalimpong

This doesn't get you into the real north east, nor does it take you McLeod Ganj for example, but it could.

Any travel always includes an element of what to leave out.
#10 Jun 1st, 2013, 04:55
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#10
I've done a little more research in to places I'd like to see and wondered if this was realistic in a month?

1. Delhi, India
2. Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
3. Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
4. Pushkar, Rajasthan, India
5. Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
6. Orchha, India (3 days)
7. Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India
Dhuandhar (waterfall), Chausat Yogini Temple Indian Sculptures
8. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
FLY/Train?? Varanasi to Kolkata (Day or Night train)
9. Kolkata, West Bengal, India
FLY Kolkata to Bagdogra - RTN
10. Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Darjeeling, Gantok, Pelling
11. Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Many thanks

Sarah
#11 Jun 1st, 2013, 10:39
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#11
pushkar is a very small town that can be seen in a couple of days, unless you want to hang out at the camel fair (specific dates for this).
3 days is too much for orccha, 2 is good enough. unless you want to relax in the middle of an hectic trip. If you don't go out of town, you can see all the local attractions in a day or two. Or you could add some other places nearby like gwalior, shivpuri, datia etc. do not go camping in open spaces in orchha.
You might need to get some more detail planning in terms of days, but it is doable.
#12 Jun 2nd, 2013, 14:59
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#12
That's really helpful, thank you. I roughly plan to be in the south by the time of the fair so unfortunately will miss that. I was looking to chill at a home stay in Orccha so no camping, promise.
Glad something is coming together and can start looking at trains / planes.
The south im looking to do by motorcycle but again all working progress.
#13 Aug 31st, 2013, 21:48
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#13
Check out the weather in Chennai or on that coast in Oct- could be very wet.

Mahabilipuram is a great place to spend some time but difficult if it is wet. Good beach, town is filled with sculptors, rock carvings, ancient temples. You can get there directly by bus from the airport without going into Chennai which is just big and boring - ask anyone/ we got directions from the money changer at airport

Pondicherry - is a little more upscale and westernized. great to rent a bike and ride around

The ancient ruins Mysore, southwest of Bangalore and around Hampi - Vijayanagar civilization- fascinating

Bus travel is fine
Train travel is great- 3rd class sleeper is good and cheap- air con classes 3rd and 2nd is always very cold but but much quieter.

You will get physically harassed - they call it "Eve teasing".....it is not! Scream and punch. Don't let them get away with it. Attach yourself to a family on the overnite trains if you can.

You'll love it and hate it both sometimes on the same day. Go slow- don't try to do too much- don't hurry or you will get impatient with people not enjoy it or get sick. For example, I would do some of the south and leave the north for another trip. Good luck!
#14 Sep 3rd, 2013, 00:17
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saffy View Post That's really helpful, thank you. I roughly plan to be in the south by the time of the fair so unfortunately will miss that. I was looking to chill at a home stay in Orccha so no camping, promise.
Glad something is coming together and can start looking at trains / planes.
The south im looking to do by motorcycle but again all working progress.
Hi Saffy,

I was in Orcha a long time ago, maybe 12 years.A very offbeat place.As far as I can remember there was only one Hotel run by the State government's tourism department. It was an old palace converted in to a hotel. One or two days are sufficiant for Orcha.Reaching Orcha could be a bit difficult. The nearest rail head is Jhansi, 10 km away. THere is a forlorn melancholy feeling attached to this place, I found.
#15 Sep 3rd, 2013, 00:31
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#15

Re: October 2013 Southern India

That is some great advice, thank you!

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