Extended Solo Backpacking Trip in India - October 2014 to February 2015

#1 Jul 25th, 2014, 16:56
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  • ctrl-j is offline
#1
Hi all,

Firstly, just to introduce myself, I'm Jared, 26 years old and currently living in London.

And let's cut straight to the chase, India is calling me.

I am currently looking into leaving behind the London life for a while and embarking on an extended solo backpacking trip of India between October 2014 and February 2015 (as this, as I understand it, would be a good time to visit) on a 6 month tourist multi-entry visa (hopefully!)

I could however use a little help and guidance as, whilst I have done a fair bit of backpacking before, I have never been to this part of the World before and I get the feeling it's going to be a little different to what I have experienced in the past!

I am very much in the planning/researching/figuring out if this is actually feasible or not stage and I wanted to share my extremely tentative/flexible plans to see if it sounds like a good/terrible idea!

To start, I was thinking of firstly flying into Kathmandu in early October and then making my way (travelling mostly overland via trains and then using buses, rickshaws and any other means of transport where necessary) across to Goa for Christmas/New Year. From there, I would head down to Chennai and make a trip over to Sri Lanka for around 1 month before returning back to Chennai and then flying onto Kolkata around February time before crossing the border to Bangladesh and continuing on my travels.

I have created an initial draft map of the route I was beginning to formulate which I'm hoping I'll be able to paste below -

.

If that doesn't work, the Map can be found at the following link - https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ed...8.kHd1c7QCpYg4.

A list of potential places to visit can hopefully be found on the left hand side and this is the chronological order I was thinking I would visit them in.

I'd be doing this trip solo and would be looking at staying mostly in budget/modest hostels/guesthouses. Speaking of budget, I have no real clue really, but I can be quite flexible and was in the back of my head thinking that this might cost somewhere in the region of 5-6k (not sure if that's realistic or not?).

As I say, I am very much open to ideas, suggestions, changes, guidance, recommendations and abuse (ok, well, maybe not abuse ) and if you could help me out I would really appreciate it.

Thanks everyone

Jared
#2 Jul 26th, 2014, 04:52
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  • vonkla is offline
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctrl-j View Post Hi all,
To start, I was thinking of firstly flying into Kathmandu in early October and then making my way (travelling mostly overland via trains and then using buses, rickshaws and any other means of transport where necessary) across to Goa for Christmas/New Year. From there, I would head down to Chennai and make a trip over to Sri Lanka for around 1 month before returning back to Chennai and then flying onto Kolkata around February time before crossing the border to Bangladesh and continuing on my travels.
At first sight I thought you planned a well timed itinerary. And up to the Goa part I still think it is.

But the second part looks somewhat tricky.
I assume you plan to arrive in Kolkata around 15 February. Counting back, with a month in Sri Lanka, you have just 2 weeks for the Goa - Chennai leg.
This cannot be done.

I have no idea if you any knowledge about the Indian railway system. Unless you accept to travel the cramped unreserved trains it is not possible to go to the station and buy a ticket.
Good information about these you can read in this thread.
And this article gives a good overview of the railway system A Guide to the India Railway System and the Indian Train.
#3 Jul 26th, 2014, 05:32
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  • captain bruce is offline
#3
Jared
Welcome
Too much planning and not enough turn up and see what happens
Vonkla is right that that the train system doesnt allow easy transit in upper class without a lot of advance planning but you can get anywhere in India with a mix of transport. Even taxis are surprisingly economical for the next city along.
Dont discount flights on budget airlines for distance travel.
Take more money and underwear and you will be fine
#4 Jul 31st, 2014, 22:17
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Jul 2014
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  • ctrl-j is offline
#4
Thanks for the recommendations all.

Any other thoughts, tips or comments? All are very much welcome!
#5 Aug 1st, 2014, 17:56
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  • Drews60 is offline
#5
Jared, I'm about six shades of green with envy. It looks like the trip of a lifetime. See if you can squeeze I'm Amritsar for the nightly border closing ceremony and the Golden Temple.

Check into Jaisalmer, an old fort city. It's unique in that the fort is still lived in and very vibrant.

Have a wonderful time.

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