Does this India itinerary Look Good for a First Time Solo Trip?

#1 Oct 19th, 2018, 23:53
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  • Michael221 is offline
#1
So I'm flying into Mumbai on Saturday, Nov 17th at 2:30pm.

I have a friend in Mumbai I'd like to see...and in general would like to take in the city and all it has to offer for a few days.

Then, on Tuesday, Nov 20th, I'm flying to Varanasi.

I'm very spiritual and want to experience one of the holiest places on Earth. Plus, since I'll be solo, I can really just enjoy the experience the way I want to.

I'll stay there until Friday Nov. 23rd, which I will then fly to Bangalore.

I'm actually performing in Bangalore at a comedy festival that Saturday night, Nov 24th, which is the main reason I'm coming to India.

Then I fly out on Sunday, Nov 25th back home to New York.

I know I allotted myself enough time for all of these places, but my friend in Mumbai thinks I should skip Varanasi. She thinks I should visit Delhi, Agra, and Jaiper instead. She thinks that's the better India experience for my first time. That said, she hasn't been to Varanasi...

But yeah...I'm torn, since I'm more inclined to enjoy the spiritual aspect, Varanasi is pulling me more. But Delhi/Agra/Jaiper seems like the more classic experience?

Ultimately, I figure I'll definitely come back to India for future trips since it's impossible to experience all of it...even if you had a lifetime. But for this first trip, since I'm solo...(and if I don't ever get to come back)...I should do Varanasi.

But, any thoughts or advice from seasoned India pro's?
#2 Oct 20th, 2018, 00:11
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  • vonkla is offline
#2
Apart for your traveling days you have just 2 full days between Mumbai and Bangalore.
This is barely enough for one destination.
Giving your interests stick to Varanasi.
#3 Oct 20th, 2018, 00:23
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#3
Ok, I'll stick to Varanasi for my first trip to India, considering my interests and time. Then on my second trip back, I'll visit Delhi, Agra, Jaipar.

Thank you!
#4 Oct 20th, 2018, 00:37
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  • vkswamy is offline
#4

I agree with your friend

Since it is your first trip and its very short, I agree with your friend.

I would skip Varanasi and go frpm Mumbai to Karnataka - go to Mysuru, Somnathpur, Srirangapatinam - all close to Bengaluru and will definitely give you a true spiritual experience.

Just my humble opinion......
#5 Oct 20th, 2018, 01:06
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  • skids ghost is offline
#5
Welcome to IM.

I'd prefer 3 sunrises in Varanasi over the run around between Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. However fog and haze is prevalent that time of year, so the chances of clear skies in morning are less. Your friends suggestion is reasonable in that is a prescriptive and well know introduction to India that will be easier to explain to your parents.
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#6 Oct 20th, 2018, 03:42
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#6
I would skip Varanasi and not add Delhi, etc. Focus on Mumbai, Bangalore and nearby attractions. Travel in India is a hassle - and you are overdoing it in a short first trip. Spiritual is more inside than outside in any city.
Last edited by kmalik; Oct 20th, 2018 at 06:35..
#7 Oct 20th, 2018, 05:30
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  • lismoresimon23 is offline
#7
Fuck me I am knackered just reading your post,that really is an awful lot of travel in a short time.
I understand you only have a limited amount of time and wish to see as much as you can ,but travel in India can be time consuming and ,well ,irritating,particularly if you have never been before.
Personally I would just head to Bangalore with maybe a side trip to Mysuru thrown in.
Varanasi is amazing and needs more than a brief glimpse.
Happy travels all the best Simon.
#8 Oct 20th, 2018, 13:50
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#8
Agree with the previous posters to limit intercity travel. Also a good idea to avoid places whose names you're not really sure of how to spell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael221 View Post , Jaipar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael221 View Post Jaiper
#9 Oct 20th, 2018, 14:21
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  • theyyamdancer is offline
#9
Agree that it is too much for a first trip. In your place I would skip Varanasi and go to Jaipur!
#10 Oct 20th, 2018, 20:02
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#10
Thank you all for your wonderful advice! Haha especially on going to places only if I can spell the name.

So it sounds like:

1. Stay in Mumbai from Saturday Nov 17th (fly in at 2:30pm) until Tuesday Nov 20th.

2. SKIP VARANASI. Instead fly from Mumbai to Karnataka and go to Mysuru, Somnathpur, Srirangapatinam. I can do this all Tuesday through Friday?

3. On Friday, head to to Bangalore from Karnataka. Perform my show on Saturday night.

4. Fly out of Bangalore on Sunday.

Does that sound a little more doable?

I will say, I was really looking forward to visiting Varanasi. I'm the type of person who would sit in one place in Varanasi and watch people worship in the ghats from morning til night. That's exponentially more enjoyable to me than shopping, eating in restaurants, and visiting large architecture. I want to observe spiritual life, both within myself...and the reflection of reality outside of me.

So that's why Varanasi, coined as the most holy city in India, really grabbed my interest.

But being that this will be my first time in India, I'm of course open to suggestions.
#11 Oct 20th, 2018, 20:21
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  • lismoresimon23 is offline
#11
This sounds a lot less hectic,but having not been to this part of Karnataka I cant comment with any authority.
Were do you plan to fly to Karnataka ? By looking at a map Bengaluru seems to be the closest airport as well as the state capital.
#12 Oct 20th, 2018, 20:28
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#12
I see...yeah looks like I'd fly from Mumbai to Bangalore. Then from Bangalore, drive into Mysuru, Somnathpur, and Srirangapatinam.

From what I can tell, Bangalore is supposed to be the tech capital of southern India. Which is cool...but living in NYC, I kind of wanted to get a more traditional experience of India. That's why I wanted to limit my time in Bangalore. There are other towns/cities in India which seemed vibrantly different.

But that said, I didn't realize that flying internally within India was a hassle. I thought it'd be as simple as showing up to the airport a couple hours early, then flying to the next destination. Good to know that there's a bit more to it than that.

Thanks again!
#13 Oct 20th, 2018, 21:27
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  • vonkla is offline
#13
I think that the Mysuru option is more hectic than it looks. To visit the places mentioned you need to hire a car+driver.
This no problem but you are on the road for several hours. And that for visiting temples, which is not your first choice.

The Varanasi option is not so difficult as it looks.
You know your travel dates so you can book your flights at this moment.
Take a flight around noon, there is not much change on delay due to fog.
On cleartrip you can see the schedules.

In Varanasi take a hotel at Asi Ghat,this is reachable by car.
We stayed at Temple on Ganges, they have a pick-up service from the airport.
#14 Oct 20th, 2018, 22:26
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#14
Hmm yeah I was kinda thinking that too...the more I looked into the Mysuru option. But thank you for the renewed confidence in Varanasi! Ok, Iím gonna go with that and get my flights booked beforehand. Hereís the final itinerary:

Sat thru Tue - Mumbai
Tue thru Fri - Varanasi
Fri thru Sun - Bangalore

If I only get to come to India once in my life...I have to go to Varanasi. I mean, come on...itís where Buddha gave his first sermon, right??

Heehee thanks everyone. I will take into account that this will be an intense experience for my first trip to India and will prepare myself accordingly.

Much love,

~Michael
#15 Oct 20th, 2018, 22:31
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  • aarosh is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael221 View Post If I only get to come to India once in my life...I have to go to Varanasi. I mean, come on...itís where Buddha gave his first sermon, right??
Around 12 kms away from Varanasi at Sarnath.

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