3 weeks Mumbai to Bangalore - - North and South, or South Only ?

#1 Nov 19th, 2008, 08:51
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  • Cranjekka is offline
#1
Hi All,

I feel lucky to have stumbled upon such an incredible resource and thank all posters for the huge amount of information i have already absorbed from this forum.

I have never been to India. Me and my wife are booked to go from 12th december 2008-4January 2009 (3 Weeks).

Landing in Mumbai (booked instead of delhi by mistake - BA are very inflexible !) - departing from Bangalore

I want to soak up and see as much as I can, but am conscious that trying to do too much in India will end up being stressful.

I have two proposed itineraries - and nothing booked. time is getting short but I am racked with indecision. I Have placed 2 suggested Itineraries below to start, but am open to suggestions, and will be flexible on days etc as we don't want to be too regimented with our time.


Itinerary A - Mumbai (0 Days) - Jaipur (1 Day) - Agra (1 day) - Delhi (0 Days)- Kochin (2 Days) - Allepy/Backwaters (2 Days) - Varkala (3 days),Gokkarna (3 Days) - Hampi (3 Days including New Years Eve) - bangalore (1 Day)

In this Itinerary we would be flying most places, and trying to see some of the great sights of the North, while leaving ourselves some time to travel around Kerala and Karnattaka. We do not wish to be too rushed and constantly travelling, and this is the main thing that is troubling us.
Shall we just forgo the North and travel at a more leisurley pace around the south ? Although we enjoy the hippy, beach experience, we want a little more out of India, and do not wish to search for the hippy trail which can be found in so many other countries where beach life is more suited.


Itinerary B - Mumbai (2 Days) - Kochin (2 days) - Munnar (2 Days ) - Varkala (3 days) - Allepy/Backwaters (3 days) - Gokkarna (4 Days) - Hampi (4 Days)

In this itinerary we forgo the North and try to travel through Kerala and Karanattaka.
Are we trying to do too much even in this itinerary - or does it seem like a good balance ?


So, My main question is :-

Shall we try and see a little of the North before coming South, or just go South and travel.

Other questions I have are :-

How busy will the places like varkala and gokkarna be around the new year period and will booking be essential everywhere ?

In The North, if we were to go to one other place besides Agra, would you recommend Udaipur or Jaipur ?

Any advice is most appreciated, and any other suggested itineraries would be most welcomed.

Many Thanks
#2 Nov 19th, 2008, 11:00
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  • snonymous is offline
#2
Itinerary B - Mumbai (2 Days) - Kochin (2 days) - Munnar (2 Days ) - Varkala (3 days) - Allepy/Backwaters (3 days) - Gokkarna (4 Days) - Hampi (4 Days)

In this itinerary we forgo the North and try to travel through Kerala and Karanattaka.
Are we trying to do too much even in this itinerary - or does it seem like a good balance ?


If you want to visit Varkala, that is furthest south on the coast, so do that first from Mumbai. You could even skip Varkala as you are spending 4 days at Gokarna - another beach.

I would suggest Mumbai 1 day or not at all, Gokarna - as is, Hampi 2-3 days, Belur / Halebid [exquisite carved temples] 1-2 days, Munnar [2-3 days], Allepey, Cochin or something along those lines. It depends on your interest and where you want to spend Christmas /NY eve.

You will get more practical suggestions from others, Im sure. Also have a look at the Kerala and Karnataka forums.
#3 Nov 19th, 2008, 11:31
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#3
"Although we enjoy the hippy, beach experience, we want a little more out of India, and do not wish to search for the hippy trail which can be found in so many other countries where beach life is more suited."

Have you been to countries with other beautiful, stunning beaches?

The reason I ask is this: while contemplating an itinerary (mine is 15 days only) we decided to limit the trip to Kerala and Karnataka. Then I had to decide if South India "beach time" was essential. I've been fortunate in visiting incredible beaches in other parts of the world. Lots of questions and reading (including IM of course!) helped me determine that none of the Kerala coast beaches were different enough to justify precious time. I wanted to chose places on this trip, that couldnt be duplicated in other places.

Hope this question helps you perhaps narrow your choices.

What time is your outbound flight from BLR? Do you really want to plan one day (Itin A) in that city? You can avoid the city altogether, and arrive directly to the airport from your previous stay.

I had a heck of a time finding a place to stay quite near the new airport, to get organized and "psyched" before our early a.m. long flight (like yours, on BA) out of BLR airport to LHR. This place looked to be a fun, purely r&r place for our last day in South India--and it's only a 15 minute ride to the airport!

http://www.fantasygolfresort.com/

I'd send you a review once we're there--but we'll be in So India at the same time as you (arrive Dec 11th, depart Dec 26). Perhaps all our paths will cross during our trips.
#4 Dec 2nd, 2008, 07:19
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#4
Many thanks for your thoughtful replies, I have been hunting through the forums based on your advice, and we have decided to do the South alone as recommended by both of you.

I have booked a couple of somewhat extravagant places - the green valley treehouse in Vythiri 18-19 Dec, and the highly recommended Le Royale hotel in Cochin upon my arrival.

I am currently planning the rest and will post updates.

Thanks for the info on Bangalore too - I may well try to avoid the city completely - so perhaps a quick stay at the hotel you found may be a good idea.

Thanks again for the info
#5 Dec 2nd, 2008, 14:12
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  • rebeccam is offline
#5

have fun planning!

Glad to hear you're finding some useful information here. i did and am so grateful to IM for that.
Enjoy the anticipation, and continue to update IMers (for feeedback or advice) with your choices.
We're "outta here" next week to India.
On way home, we're breaking up the long journey with three days in your hometown of London--one of the most incredible places on earth!
#6 Dec 3rd, 2008, 00:59
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#6
I am excited too - we leave next friday and cant wait.

I'm sorry we wont be in London to greet you upon your arrival - but if you want any advice I'd be happy to give it to you (perhaps by e-mail).

Anyway - I have been changing my mind so often, and have been proposed an itinerary that I am considering - what do you think of this ?

4 Days Agatti Beach Resort
2 Days Cochin
2 Days Munnar
2 Days Periyar
3 Days Varkala
1 Day Houseboat/Aleppy
2 Days Vythiri
3 Days Mysore including New Years Eve
1 Day Hassan
Home to the gloom !

I am missing out on my originally planned trip to Hampi, and not sure if I should forgo this and some time in Gokkarna to spend more time in tea plantations/hillsides and Mysore. The reason this has been suggested to me is that Hampi is far, and difficult to get to, but I am not sure I should miss out on Hampi to see Mysore ?

What do you IM'ers think ?

Thanks
#7 Dec 3rd, 2008, 01:49
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#7
As this is your first trip to India, I think this is a good itinerary as it is. You will need lots of 'stand and stare' time if you are anything like us, and covering too much ground in too short a time takes away much of that opportunity.

Hampi is on our list for our next trip, so I can't comment on it directly, but we plan to spend 3/4 days to see it properly. If you add on the extra travel time to get there, I think you'd be really pushing it to see it properly. We've rushed through too many places in the past and Hampi looks as if deserves serious attention.

We like Mysore - it's a nice place to poke around, great market, spectacular palace (get there early and avoid the weekend as it gets very busy).

Thanks to rebeccam - we've just started to look for a hotel near BLR airport and you've now saved me the time!
#8 Dec 3rd, 2008, 04:59
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#8

odds 'n ends and thanks

Sue, I think Trident is buidling a large hotel right at BLR--originally supposed to open in January, 2009, but..?? It might be worth checking for when you arrive, although I suspect it'll cost lots more than Fantasy Golf Resort.
Besides, how can you NOT chose a hotel with "fantasy" in its name, and a web site that mentions "for you party animals" (-:

The wonderful **IM-recommended **travel agent who helped plan part of our itinerary, had not heard of FGR, so she asked some of her Bangalore-based team, who said the place is usually used for corporarte/family events, but is fine for individuals as well.

Thanks for your tips on Mysore's sites. We wont be there long, just part of two days, one night, but will make the most of it with the palace and market and "poking about" which you mentioned--the most fun part of a trip!

Cranjekka, I LOVE London and have been fortunate to have lived there, many yrs ago. BIggest prob now is packing for both the warm weather of So. India, and the "gloom" as you call it, of winter in London! So much for just a "carry-on" bag!

I too faced the decison about Hampi, and decided, as you have, and Sue confirms, that it'd add too much time on this trip. Like you, we'll go to Hassan, to see the nearby temples at Belur and Halebid.

Mysore: is three days perhaps too much, if it means taking time from somewhere else? Of course not having been, i dont know from personal experience, only guessing from internet feedback. Re: the Palace, it's lit at night, ONLY only Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. routinely? I 'd guess it will be at New Years Eve as well.

Your itin sounds wonderful and well thought-out to this future traveler!
#9 Dec 3rd, 2008, 07:20
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  • vandy is offline
#9
Doing the South(Itinery B ) is a good choice,
The North will be getting cold and as you are
Leaving behind the cold of the UK I am sure the tropical warmth of the south will be appreciated.
However please note that Munnar will be quite cool at Night at the time you are going.

You mention a place called Vythiri, is that the same as place called Vayittiri in Wayanad District

My only Query is your intention for Varkala which is a Considerable road journey from Periyar.If you
were continuing from Varkala to Trivandrum further south then Varkala is a good stop off point.I suggest maybe skipping Varkala and spending an extra day in Thekady and/or backwaters and possibly another extra day at Allepey beach area or maybe even spend another couple of days back in Cochin Area such as Fort Cochin and recharge the batteries before heading off again towards Mysore.

Jenny & Jose at Le Royale will take good care of
you and can also assist with your onward travels.
I showed Harry the cook how to make a good mango
milkshake with Icy cold Milk so give it a try.

I have just recently returned from another visit to Kerala last month(2 weeks) and was pretty tired after just going Cochin - Munnar - Periyar - Allepey and back to Cochin, that was without Varkala and other places you have in mind.

Make sure your car has A/C for your travels,Have
a Great Time and please pass on my rgds to all at
Le royale.

rgds

vandy
#10 Dec 8th, 2008, 04:53
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#10
Thanks Vandy,

I am once again thinking of changing my itinerary as I really do want to see Hampi, and am willing to forgo some other planned stops for that.

Do you think the following itinerary is manageable and interesting ?

4 Days Agatti Beach Resort
2 Days Cochin
4 Days Munnar and surrounds
2 Days Aleppy/Houseboat
3 Days Mysore
3 Days Hampi (Including New Years Eve)
1 Day bangalore
Home to the Gloom.
#11 Dec 8th, 2008, 08:21
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#11
Your revised itinery looks OK, When you say Munnar & Surrounds, does the surrounds incorporate Periyar - Thekady area and then down to Allepey.

If not going to Periyar then 3 days in Munnar is
Ample and Keep in mind you'll still need one day for travel to Mysore.

On way to Munnar you can stop at Kodanand and watch and also help wash some Elephants,and then head up to Munnar after that.Kodanand is about 1hr
out of Kochi and you will need to be there by about 9am for the elephant washing,great experience
Also if no Periyar,go for day excursion to Chinnar
Wildlife park, north of Munnar and past a Town called Marayoor,need to leave Munnar by about 6-7am
to get to Chinnar and have chance to see any animals, the scenery on way is also quite spectacular.Another day excursion is Matupetty Dam
and Top Station Lookout at the same time.Between
the Dam and Echo Point Lunch area on the main road you can have an elephant ride, left hand side
of road.

2 questions, How do you intend getting to Mysore?
and where in Munnar will you be staying ?

rgds

vandy

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