Feedback on itinerary needed! Kerela, TN, Karnataka & Goa

#1 Jan 8th, 2018, 01:37
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  • fromthecold is offline
#1
Hi everyone,

I am 24 years old female traveller from northern Europe and I will be discovering South India through march and april - solo!

I have done fair amount of research, but it is my first time to India, so please help. I have made this rough schedule below. I will be including two yoga retreats (one outside of Kochi, one outside of Mysore). I like to travel slowly and chilled, take time to settle down in the places I'm staying in. I would like to stay near nature as well as visiting some cultural sights. At the end of my stay, I will include a bit of beach time in Gokarna og Goa.
I will fly into Kochi Airport and I think it makes sense to fly out of Goa (I will continue my travel in Bangkok).

11-13 March: Landing in Kochi, staying in Fort Cochin
13-15 March: Alleppey
15-21 March: Kochi (a bit outside), one week Yoga retreat
21-25 March: Munnar
25-27 March: Thekkady
27-30 March: Madurai

1-3 April: Kodaikanal
3-7 April: Ooty
7-10 April: Mysore
10-17 April: Yoga retreat a bit outside of Mysore
17-22 April: Hampi
22-26 April: Gokarna
26-1 may: Goa, fly to Bangkok around 1. May

Questions:
1) I know the weather will be very hot, but I handle heat fairly well, so I'm not to worried. But will anything be open and up and running in Goa at the end of April?

2) How will the weather be in the hill stations in the end of march-April? What kind of clothes should I bring to this?

3) I mentioned, I prefer a slow and easy travel pace.. Does my itinerary seem reasonable throughout in terms of dates and travel times? Anywhere I will be in a rush and completely bored?

4) Does the chronological order seem right or should I switch it up somewhere to save time?

5) I believe I will travel mostly by bus. And train between Kochi-Alleppey , Mysore-Hospet/Hampi , Gokarna-Goa... Seems right? So mostly shorter distances.. Is there any of these journeys where I should book weeks ahead or is the fairly easy to get a ticket a few days in advance?

6) Any other suggestions are more than welcome: Like, am I missing something super essential or have I packed to many similar destinations? And I have considered Varkala instead of Gokarna for chilled beach, still a bit in doubt here.

I have the luxury of both time and flexibilty, so please make suggestions. The only thing I know for sure is that I will fly into Kochi (or Tri.) March 11th.

- Thank you in advance!
#2 Jan 8th, 2018, 02:12
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  • vonkla is offline
#2
Your trip looks great and I hane not much to add.
For your trains, you must reserve the tickets will in advance.
You can do this online, follow the steps as described here.

For traveling to Ooty have a look at the Nilgiri train, a great ride.
#3 Jan 8th, 2018, 14:27
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  • aarosh is offline
#3
Goa should not be a problem end of April. It is vacation time for school / colleges, so you can expect many Indians at Goa at that time. South Goa will be more quieter than North Goa. Most shacks are shut during monsoons.
#4 Jan 8th, 2018, 14:41
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthecold View Post Like, am I missing something super essential or have I packed to many similar destinations?
You could drop Ooty, do the narrow gauge train ride from mettupalayam to coonoor and stay put there for a bit.

Add the remaining time to Kodaikanal, it's smaller than ooty.

Also, although you'd have missed the Mahamastakabhisheka - http://mahamasthakabhisheka.com/ - consider a two or three day visit to Sravanabelagola, Halebidu and Belur (ex - mysore with overnight in Hassan).

Other than that, quite good.
#5 Jan 14th, 2018, 03:24
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#5
Thank you all!
#4 would you say Coonoor is better to stay in than Ooty?
#6 Jan 18th, 2018, 17:01
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#6
April 1 st - May 30th timeframe is peak season for ooty and kodaikkanal and the entire place will be bit crowded. April 1- 7 is bit manageable But April 15th until May end it's Big NO-NO.

After visiting Thekkady and Munnar , Kodaikanal/ooty might not be so impressive but Ooty/Kodaikanal will have "Really pleasant/Cold climate" (For indian standards) in April when compared to Munnar/Thekkady.

In Ooty the main limelight is the "Toy train" which goes up from plain to the hills, and this circuit definitely needs "Reservation".

Your overall itenary is good and is doable.

Ooty has lot of stay options when compared to Coonoor and between two, Coonoor will be less impressive (Stay at coonoor is Good only if we book the high end resorts/hotels) whereas Ooty has many a options for all budget.

Velu
#7 Jan 18th, 2018, 18:09
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#7
Thanks a lot pmvelu!

I thought Thekkady was "only" the national park and in my revised itinerary I have actually erased it. I might reconsider this.
I have also been thinking of adding Pondicherry in between Madurai and Kodaikanal. But I don't know if it would be worth the de-route?

Also, I have heard a lot of different opinions on Mysore. Some love the city, some are really unimpressed. I'm thinking of adding a few nights in Mysore, up to 4 nights.
Have would you guys rate an extended stay in Mysore compared to Kochi and/or Madurai?
#8 Jan 18th, 2018, 18:43
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  • pmvelu is offline
#8
I have shared a 4 day sample itenary over here for Thekkady. Please have a look. If it impresses you,you may stay in any of the many homestays and explore ( For single traveller, you can get decent enough room for 600 INR/Night in thekkady)

http://www.indiamike.com/india/keral...enary-t250136/

Hmmm, I lived in Mysore for close to 6 years and I might have a biased view. I love Mysore either for permanent living as well as for tourist visits. For sure you may spend 3-4 days in mysore and you wont regret . Mysore is green, calm, clean City and local folks are used to Foreign tourists and hence no one will pester you and you can be at ease in mysore. Mysore especially have nice climate all though year BUT Feb/March will have a bit warm Days and anyways nights will be comfortable. Mysore is the yoga capital of south india. There are lot of international tourists visting mysore just for yoga. There will be very decent accomodations available for yoga "tourists" nearer to the centre itself (Gokulam / Vijayanagar II stage is the place for yoga) and you can get decent stay option for as less as 4000 INR / week ( Yoga retreats will arrange gearless 2 wheeler for cheap rent for the commute)

Also if you have a private vehicle, in Mysore you can Visit Talakkadu ( Cluster of temples buried in sand. This will be unique and off-touristy), Somanathpur ( Excellet Architecture similar to Halebedu,Hampi), Mysore Palace, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (seasonal for birds ) at the minimal apart from standard tourist places like KRS gardens and chamundi hills.


Pondicherry can be a hit/miss depending on your interests as except Auroville (international Village) and "aurobindo Ashram" nothing much to see . Also it's a long de-tour in your current plan.


If you need more info, please post.

Velu
#9 Jan 18th, 2018, 22:18
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#9
Thanks a lot again, Velu. Very helpful information on both Thekkady and Mysore. It sounds very promising!

Have you (or others) visited Varkala in the end of march?

I am considered traveling by train from Kochi to Varkala before heading back up to Munnar.
Another option that I have stumbled across which could be interestering is traveling (maybe by ferry, maybe train) from Alleppey (or Kochin?!) to Kollam --- and exploring some more of the backwaters in more undiscovered areas like Munroe Island. Just to chill in nature for a few days. From there I could continue further down to Varkala for a few days and then make my way to Munnar. Any insights in this regard?
#10 Jan 19th, 2018, 09:10
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  • pmvelu is offline
#10
Nice to know you got some useful information.

I am not much inclined to beach tourism and hence on varkala front , lets wait for some expert IMer to share their opinion. Same is the case with Alleppey-kollam ferry service (I never had a chance to do the same) But based on the limited time spent on Alleppey/ kumarakom backwaters/ vembanad lake, Any amount of time on the area and surroundings will definitely be a worthy spent.

Happy Planning

Velu
#11 Jan 19th, 2018, 19:41
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#11
I'm neither a beach fan, so just some remarks about the backwaters.
The best experience we had was a six hour trip with a rowing boat through the small canals around Alleppey.
The KTDC organizes trips out of Kochi, see here.
We liked this trip. At that time it was a full day, the nowadays half day trip covers the best part of that.

Munroe island offers more or less the same experience.
The Kollam Alleppey ferry is good as an alternative for the train/bus ride.
It takes mostly broad canals and lakes, we found it somewhat boring at the end of the day.
See also this discussion http://www.indiamike.com/india/keral...ollam-t124898/.

A total different experience are the public ferries around Alleppey, we once did Kottayam - Alleppey and found it a great introduction to the backwaters.

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