2.5 months from Mid Oct 2012 to Mid Jan 2013 - Places in the south

#1 May 2nd, 2012, 16:10
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Hey guys,

So I'm flying to Ahmedabad around 17th October to spend a week with family and then free to travel for the rest of the period I'm in India for. I'm assuming that time is not ideal for travelling up in the mountains in the north like manali, dharamsala and surrounding places, so it'll have to be a trip to the south I guess, unless someone advises me otherwise.

I've never been to goa before, but love the goa parties in Melbourne so will definitely be going there, but not too sure what's the best time and for how long? - Any suggestions..(don't want to go when families are there and it's too crowded)..going there for the parties not necessarily the cockails on beaches

kerala is another place I'm thinking of but not too sure and so is Auroville.. i don't really know much about the south and so would dearly welcome some great suggestions to the 'not so popular' places in the south.

Basically, I'm free for 2 months and if you were too at that time, throw me all your suggestions that you'd like to go visit, or things you'd like to experience like any particular festivals or even music festivals of any kind?

Thank you very much for reading my post and I really do appreciate all your input on this great forum!

Abhi..
#2 May 3rd, 2012, 18:58
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#2
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Originally Posted by brownrabbit View Post
kerala is another place I'm thinking of but not too sure and so is Auroville..
Best time to visit Tamil Nadu and Auroville, from about dec 20 onward, due to monsoon possibly still active.

What budget are traveling with?
#3 May 3rd, 2012, 19:16
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Mountains are not really out in October and they have their own charm in winters as well (snow et al). 2 months is a long time and you can cover both south and north (very different weather though). I am not a south expert but Auroville, Goa and Kerala - you have covered all my favorite places, others can give you more detailed tips.
#4 May 3rd, 2012, 19:22
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Ocotober to Jan - Ideal time to visit Kerala. Do not miss it.
#5 May 3rd, 2012, 19:55
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#5
Thanks a lot for your replies guys.. looks like I'm definitely going to kerala then, do you guys have any tips for things to do there or places to go that aren't extremely expensive.. I'd call myself a budget traveller but wouldn't want to miss an amazing experience for saving a few dollars, so all your suggestions would be welcome also, how long is enough in kerala?
Atala, have you been to Auroville? What can I do there apart from just visiting? any suggestions or ideas?
Rajatsurey - Do you think i could visit dharamsala around nov.? or would it be closed?

keep those replies coming guys, i get very excited every time i see a new reply

abhi..
#6 May 3rd, 2012, 20:03
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Dharamsala is the right choice for early winter (other place is Sikkim) - due to good rains in these two places they are less cold at that time. I would say late Oct-early Nov. Although, even December is not bad but becomes snow time and cold temp.
#7 May 3rd, 2012, 20:12
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oh cool, that sounds great because i really didn't want to miss a chance to go up there.. thanks for that rajatsurey!
another place that has popped into my head is the andaman islands.. anyone with any experience there to give suggestions or recommendations?
#8 May 3rd, 2012, 20:19
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Originally Posted by brownrabbit View Post Atala, have you been to Auroville? What can I do there apart from just visiting? any suggestions or ideas?
Just seeing Auroville, that is getting an overview, can easily take a few weeks, even months. If you want to volunteer, you can do so at www.buddhagarden.org and stay for free (but pay a contribution for food). If you are interested in all kinds of courses, daily yoga, daily Chi Kung (with a very good Chinese teacher), you will get that at various places.

guest houses here
http://www.aurovilleguesthouses.org/gs-profiles.php

If Kochi in Kerala is on your list, I recommend you to stay with Kumar at his Green House Homestay
Quote:
... I'll describe here a recent experience of mine in Kochi (Kerala), for instance, which is a nice place to explore for a few days. There are people who are renting their houses, and live outside somewhere: I rented a room with Kumar (at his Green House Homestay), a fine 20-something Indian, for Rs 600 (1000 in high season), and he was there to help with everything required, advise for good restaurants, changing money, whatever. so, what I mean to say, between 600 and 1000 Rupees you can get quite a pleasurable situation.

http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Revi...in_Kerala.html
source: http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...7/#post1397442
#9 May 4th, 2012, 10:47
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This sounds great Atala.. I read your post in the other thread too and is also very helpful. Certainly will be going to Kumar's green house and auroville.. doubt if i'd be volunteering though, so will probably stay in a guesthouse.. do you recommend any over the other? Seems like you've been there many times and would know a few people too..
#10 May 4th, 2012, 11:22
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Originally Posted by brownrabbit View Post This sounds great Atala.. I read your post in the other thread too and is also very helpful. Certainly will be going to Kumar's green house and Auroville.. doubt if i'd be volunteering though, so will probably stay in a guesthouse.. do you recommend any over the other? Seems like you've been there many times and would know a few people too..
Auroville, like everywhere else, depends on your budget. And the time of your visit of course. What's special about Auroville, is you need your own transportation.** Bikes are readily available, but require some logistics to get to. How much time would you alot to a visit there? Less than a week hardly makes sense, although better than nothing. Ideal would be a month, or 2-3 weeks at a minimum, but I doubt that you have that much time in your relatively short journey with all of India in view (or at least North and South.

The question of sojourn-time arises due to the vastness of the area that is called Auroville. All in all I have spent several years there, but besides the constant new developments, with new communities/settlements and new pojects and implemented ideas arising, I have not covered it all yet.

So tell me first, how much time you have for Auroville and how much you want to spend at a maximum, before I dive into the pool of the many options available there.

**An exception to the transportation problem (this as info for other readers who might see using a bike on an Indian road as a daunting challenge, although these are mostly dirt-roads in a forest area, with just one major tar-road which can be a bit dangerous, because it is only one lane, and Indians using it are often suicidal drivers) would be a stay in the Centre Field area, where a number of guest-houses are and some action is happening, like regular weekly events in the auditorium of Bharat Nivas, access to a good library, the large Matrimandir area to be visited, shops and meeting places at the Visitors Center, and all of this in more or less feasable walking distance.

Another aspect of this is that one can also opt to stay in just one place, like Verite where some events (it has a course center for all kinds of different classes) are happening, if one is not much interested in external exploration of the area called Auroville.
#11 May 4th, 2012, 11:45
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Atala, at the moment, I'm thinking between 1 and 2 weeks for auroville, but nothing set in stone, might stay back longer if i love the place. My only concern is what are the activities you can do there. Since i'm not so much into yoga or meditation, do you think there are still things to do for me there?
Re budget, as I said earlier, I can't say exactly how much will I have for Auroville, but i'm planning to have about 5K - 6k AUD for my whole trip to india.. hope that's enough oh and i can ride motorbikes, I used to live in India before and so can navigate the suicidal driving! haha..
#12 May 4th, 2012, 11:57
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The "doing" part in Auroville will be mostly covered by your transportation, by biking from place to place to see what is there. If exploration, finding out what other people are doing there and what their projects are about, is not part of your interests, Auroville would be the wrong place for you. Besides, in one to two weeks you cannot do much, obviously.

Auroville is more for the inquisitive, not for the common tourist who seeks action and entertainment and excitement, although that's there too, but in a more subdued kind of way.
#13 May 8th, 2012, 12:46
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Atala, I didn't mean to project the impression that I was looking for entertainment or adventure in Auroville, so I'm sorry if that's what it came across as. I was just curious to find out how do people actually spend their time in Auroville, especially if they're not volunteering or assisting with any projects? I'm still keen to go to Auroville and will be in touch with you for sure closer to the date of departure to get some more advice and suggestions
in the mean time, can you recommend any other places that I should visit around the time of November, December and the first half of jan?
#14 Jun 7th, 2012, 00:20
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#14
Traveling during day with public transport systems will help you with economy while giving you lavishness of experience with Indian life.
Auroville is a great choice. While at Pondicherry, you can visit destinations like Mamallapuram, Chidambaram, Fort Gingee etc.
Temples at Tanjore, Darasuram,Kumbakonam, Madurai, Rameswaram provide a travel to past. Danushkodi near Rameswaram will give you the beauty of two seas.
I suggest a travel from Kanya Kumari to Goa visiting Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam, Varkala, Kollam, Tenmala, Vallikkavu, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kumali, Munnar, Ernakulam- Cochin, Thrissur, Palakkad, Calicut, Kannur, Bekal, Mangalore, Hassan, Halebid, Belur, Sringeri, Karkala, Udupi, Murudeshwar and Gokarna. Most of Kerala and coastal Karnataka can be covered. Some of the above are not very popular. But Will give you a wonderful view of Kerala life.

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