5+ Month trip, September + Nepal, suggestions?
tmyG
India > India Travel > India Travel Itinerary Advice
#1
| Member

5+ Month trip, September + Nepal, suggestions?

Hi all, first post here.

I've booked my trip to India, starting September 12th, until feb 21st. Flying in and out of Delhi. I'm 24, traveled solo in Europe for 5 months, also been to Thailand, China, Japan, Korea. This trip I'm going solo again, my budget is $20-25/day (Aussie dollars). I'm extremely flexible, don't mind trains/buses or cheap accommodation. I'm trying to figure out my itinerary. Here's a brief list of the places I'd like to visit :

Delhi
Agra
Jaipur
Arimastar
Manali (depending on safety issues)
Dharmasala
Leh
Rishikesh
Varanasi
Kolkata
Mumbai
Goa
Cochin/Alleppey

I also want to jump across to Nepal for a few weeks in between to break it up. My rough plan was to start with the golden triangle, Rajasthan, Arimistar then hit a few places in the north, head into Nepal, back to Varanasi and Kolkata. Then fly to Mumbai and head down south along the coast until I get to Kerala.

Is this too ambitious? :confused:Any help or suggestions on a route or places to go see would be great. :)

13 Replies

#2
| Omnipresent

Originally posted by: tmyG View Post

Manali (depending on safety issues)


Can you elaborate?

Read http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...india-t157517/ which will help you prepare for your first trip to India.

What are you must see places?
#3
| Maha Guru Member
I have described several of our longer journeys in the journals in my signature. Maybe these can give you some ideas about your itinerary.
#4
| Gone.
Hi TmyG,

With a few weeks off for Nepal, 4 months is ample for your itinerary. Did you have any specific questions?
Gone.
#5
| Member
I guess I'm just a little unsure of the order in which to visit these places. I'm trying to plan a route that will allow me to see as much as possible without zigzagging across the country too much. I also want to make sure I'm in the right place at the right time (I hear the north gets abit cold later on in the year).

Would it be good idea to start in the north in September/October and then head south around Dec/Jan as it warms up?

I heard from a friend Manali can be abit sketchy, also Jammu/Kashmir.

Also if anyone has a sample itinerary that includes the north and south that I could have a look at, that would be much appreciated.

Thanks guys :)
#6
| Omnipresent
#7
| Gone.

Originally posted by: tmyG View Post

I guess I'm just a little unsure of the order in which to visit these places. I'm trying to plan a route that will allow me to see as much as possible without zigzagging across the country too much. ... Also if anyone has a sample itinerary that includes the north and south that I could have a look at, that would be much appreciated.


I'm prescribing some DIY. You know how Google Maps work? Then list all your destinations, hit "get directions" and then re-order them until you're not backtracking. Take that as a start.

Also, visit a travel agent and get some brochures on India - not to go on a tour - but to see how (in which direction, in which order) the professionals move large numbers of people around.

Alternatively, a number of tour companies have itineraries on the web - go searching. (look at WendyWu and Scenic Tours for example). All the hard work has been done.

Or, as Aarosh has done for you - have a search through the website for suggested itineraries.

The rough plan in your first post I don't think is too far off the mark.


Originally posted by: tmyG View Post

I also want to make sure I'm in the right place at the right time (I hear the north gets abit cold later on in the year). Would it be good idea to start in the north in September/October and then head south around Dec/Jan as it warms up?


All these things are relative - there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Have a look at this article, and in particular the link to climate averages, to see for yourself.

http://www.indiamike.com/india-artic...ography-basics


Originally posted by: tmyG View Post

I heard from a friend Manali can be abit sketchy, also Jammu/Kashmir.


I certainly haven't heard of any problems (do you mean safety and security?) in Manali. Ladakh region, Jammu and Srinagar are good to go, with whatever precautions you can muster. Anywhere else in Kashmir, forget it.


A whole bunch of links for you to explore:

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...broad-t165379/

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...guide-t192751/

http://www.indiamike.com/india-artic...e-indian-train

http://indiarailinfo.com/
<...el/index.html#


http://erail.in/
Gone.
#8
| Member
Thanks for all the info! Really appreciate it.
#9
| Gone.

Originally posted by: tmyG View Post

Thanks for all the info! Really appreciate it.


Don't be shy to come back and ask some more questions when you have them.
Gone.
#10
| ElderS
Welcome to IndiaMike, tmyG.

You've received some great information above, no need for me to put in my 2 paises worth.

I do want to add just a few additional points, however.

If you try to search for Amritsar the way you are spelling it (Arimastar) you may run into a dead end - or not - Google sometimes can be creative in its interpretations but it didn't bring up Amritsar for me when I put in Arimastar.

Another good site for planning routes is shortest distance between two cities though their information sometimes can be a bit whacky. One thing to remember is that travel in India takes waaaayyy more time than you might expect and you need to build that in as you plan. We feel lucky if we get 50 k/hour with car and driver. Trains, I don't know too much about. Planes, you have to figure drive time to the airport, getting to the airport early, and spending some time waiting for the flight then collecting baggage and getting to the city from the airport, which is often out of town. Our preferred method of travel is car and driver, but we use planes to cover the long hauls.

The number of cities you've listed seems doable in the time you have. I hate to see folks come here with a wish list that entails a city a day. You haven't done that and are to be congratulated.

Don't forget to check with a travel clinic/ travel doc about shots well before departure time (Dr Rudi often mentions this, but I'll do it for him). Since you have traveled elsewhere in Asia, you may be uptodate on most of your shots anyway.

You will find that India is unlike any place you've been - least of all like Japan. (Japan and India are our two most frequented destinations)

As you get further along in your planning come back with questions and I'm sure you'll get plenty of answers.

distaff
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
#11
| Maha Guru Member
Hello tmyG,

If you have a week off, you can drop by Meghalaya after your Kathmandu trip, then fly to Kolkata from there.
#12
| Member
Hi guys, back again, thanks for all the responses earlier. Got a couple of quick questions;
Any suggestions on how I should keep my money? cash or card? I don't want to get destroyed by ATM withdrawal fees.
Also I heard from a friend that Paharganj is a good area to stay in Delhi, I don't have any accommodation booked for my first few nights, would it be safe to just get there and find a guesthouse or better to book ahead?
#13
| Gone.

Originally posted by: tmyG View Post

Hi guys, back again, thanks for all the responses earlier. Got a couple of quick questions;
Any suggestions on how I should keep my money? cash or card? I don't want to get destroyed by ATM withdrawal fees.
Also I heard from a friend that Paharganj is a good area to stay in Delhi, I don't have any accommodation booked for my first few nights, would it be safe to just get there and find a guesthouse or better to book ahead?


Hi TmyG,

I only just noticed your post tonight - hope I'm not too late.

1) Money. Have some cash with you, $AUD; $US. It is illegal to take INR into or out of the country, however plenty of people do it. I did, just to make sure I had local currency when I landed. DO NOT change money at the airport - it's a complete rip-off.

Check what your bank are going to charge you for international ATM fees, and any currency conversion fees.

Generally speaking, the maximum single withdrawal from an ATM is 10,000 INR - take out the maximum every time.

The absolute best option for Australians is the GE Money 28 Degrees (Master)Card. http://www.28degreescard.com.au/usin...rd/travel.html Now, NB, this is a credit card - so set up an automatic payment for the whole amount from your existing transaction account, otherwise you'll be dead on the interest charges.

2) Paharganj is where all the backpackers stay; it's near the New Delhi Railway Station. Please, for your first night, or even two, stay somewhere nice. Get picked up at the airport by your hotel. You will avoid so much drama if you do.

After that, choose somewhere.

http://goindia.about.com/od/wheretos...tels-delhi.htm

The other backpacker enclave is around Connaught Place.
Gone.
#14
| Member
Thanks Rudi, I've now booked in to a good hotel for the first 2 nights and have airport pickup too.

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