First time in India - what do you think of my itinerary?

#1 May 12th, 2017, 17:56
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  • alexandraindia is offline
#1
Hi!
I'm going to India (and Nepal) for the first time this Summer for 5 weeks. Here's my itinerary:

25th July - arrive in Delhi
26th July - Delhi
27th July - Delhi to Varanasi flight
28th July - Varanasi
29th July - Varanasi
30th July - Varanasi to Delhi flight, then Delhi to Agra train
31st July - Taj Mahal in morning, leave Agra for Jaipur by bus
1st Aug - Jaipur
2nd Aug - Jaipur to Jodhpur
3rd Aug - Jodhpur
4th Aug - Jodhpur
5th Aug - Jodhpur to Udaipur
6th Aug - Udaipur
7th Aug - Udaipur
8th Aug - flight from Udaipur to Goa. Night in goa
9th Aug - Goa to Hampi
10th Aug - Hampi
11th Aug - Hampi
12th Aug - Hampi to Bangalore train
13th Aug - Bangalore to Kochi flight
14th Aug - Kochi
15th Aug - Kochi to Munnar
16th Aug - Munnar
17th Aug - Back to Kochi
18th Aug - Kochi
19th Aug - Kochi
20th Aug - Kochi to Kathmandu, then to a week long yoga retreat!
27th Aug - back to Kathmandu
28th Aug - day in Kathmandu
29th Aug - flight back home from Kathmandu

Please let me know if there's anything I can improve on!!

Thanks
#2 May 12th, 2017, 18:02
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  • aarosh is offline
#2
Take a train from Varanasi to Agra on 30th July. Train # 13237 / # 13239 is well timed to ensure that you see Taj Mahal in the morning.

There are no direct train connection between Jodhpur and Udaipur. There are bus connections between the 2 cities. However most tourists hire a car and see Kumbhalgarh and / or Ranakpur on the way to Udaipur.

How do you plan to go from Goa to Hampi?
#3 May 12th, 2017, 18:20
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  • jigneshgohel is offline
#3
As you will be in Kerala for around a week:

14th Aug - Kochi
15th Aug - Kochi to Munnar
16th Aug - Munnar
17th Aug - Back to Kochi
18th Aug - Kochi
19th Aug - Kochi
20th Aug - Kochi

I recommend below modification:

14th Aug - Kochi
15th Aug - Kochi to Munnar
16th Aug - Munnar (go for trekking - grassland or meesapulimala). State forest department arrange trek for meesapulimala require prior booking.
17th Aug - Munnar to Allepy (Stay in house boat)
18th Aug - Allepy to Trivendrum (Kovalam beach)
19th Aug - Kovalam / trivendrum (both are nearby)
20th Aug - Trivendrum to Kathmandu

You can skip trivendrum if you want to spend more time in Kochi but I personally feel Trivendrum has beautiful beaches as compare to Kochi.
My travelogues - Dwarka / Haridwar - Rishikesh
#4 May 12th, 2017, 18:32
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  • alexandraindia is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post Take a train from Varanasi to Agra on 30th July. Train # 13237 / # 13239 is well timed to ensure that you see Taj Mahal in the morning.

There are no direct train connection between Jodhpur and Udaipur. There are bus connections between the 2 cities. However most tourists hire a car and see Kumbhalgarh and / or Ranakpur on the way to Udaipur.

How do you plan to go from Goa to Hampi?

I was planning on taking the train?
#5 May 12th, 2017, 18:34
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  • aarosh is offline
#5
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Originally Posted by alexandraindia View Post I was planning on taking the train?
The connecting trains do not run daily. See https://erail.in/?T=VSG::HPT. No train on Wednesday 9th August.
#6 May 12th, 2017, 18:36
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post The connecting trains do not run daily. See https://erail.in/?T=VSG::HPT. No train on Wednesday 9th August.
Is it an OK bus journey?
Thanks!
#7 May 12th, 2017, 18:40
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  • aarosh is offline
#7
There seem to be 2 buses operated by KSRTC (Karnataka State Transport). See http://www.ksrtc.in/oprs-web/. I checked for Panaji to Hospet. The second one goes to Hampi.
#8 May 12th, 2017, 23:24
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#8
If you do a bus journey on this leg (Goa - Hampi), use only the government bus and not the private one (paulo?) - there are some horror stories. Also, have you factored in the monsoon - Kochi and Kathmandu will be quite rainy, the streets in Varanasi get flooded. Most of Rajasthan is fine - Ranakpur, and Kumbhalgarh will be at their best.
#9 May 12th, 2017, 23:46
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  • alexandraindia is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post If you do a bus journey on this leg (Goa - Hampi), use only the government bus and not the private one (paulo?) - there are some horror stories. Also, have you factored in the monsoon - Kochi and Kathmandu will be quite rainy, the streets in Varanasi get flooded. Most of Rajasthan is fine - Ranakpur, and Kumbhalgarh will be at their best.
Hi - I was thinking of getting the state bus which leaves at 20.00 and arrives at 6.50 in the morning.

Ok - how would you get the most out of South India at this time of year?
#10 May 13th, 2017, 03:56
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#10
Looking at it gives me a headache. Its what my sis in law likes, keep on the move see the checklist move on. I go see something I like and meld with the atmosphere stay awhile. I actually appreciated Agra this way. Still, illness and travel disruption should civilize this endurance run..
#11 May 13th, 2017, 04:32
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post Looking at it gives me a headache. Its what my sis in law likes, keep on the move see the checklist move on. I go see something I like and meld with the atmosphere stay awhile. I actually appreciated Agra this way. Still, illness and travel disruption should civilize this endurance run..
I agree. I'm the same but not all people are like us. I could care less if I see it all. I like to just find a comfortable place and roam for a bit. But the OP's itinerary isn't crazy. It's actually pretty decent imo. Maybe too much in Kochi? For a first time visit I think it's very doable and an ok option. The south India to Kathmandu is what throws me a bit. Maybe start in the south and head north.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#12 May 13th, 2017, 06:08
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post Looking at it gives me a headache. Its what my sis in law likes, keep on the move see the checklist move on. I go see something I like and meld with the atmosphere stay awhile. I actually appreciated Agra this way. Still, illness and travel disruption should civilize this endurance run..
Agree, except that the only thing I have appreciated in Agra is Fatehpur Sikri.

Some people are right at home with this sort of thing, though. To each his own. I would have slowed down a bit, though.

Only other comment- too much Kochi, too little Hampi and Delhi.
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#13 May 13th, 2017, 08:33
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#13
Personally I would concentrate on the first 10 days only then see where your nose and enthusiasm takes you. Why commit to a set itinerary even before you set foot in India? To me it doesn't make sense but first timers may feel compelled to cover as much territory as possible which although ticks lots of boxes may not provide the best experience.
#14 May 13th, 2017, 12:22
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  • Newworld is offline
#14
I'm guessing you've already fixed a few dates (week long yoga retreat in Kathmandu), and that'll be a real shame, although I'm not commenting on the weather, I would have switched the whole tour around, especially for a first timer with time on your side.

A week long yoga retreat would remove your western stress and slow you down to the south Asia speed of life, you'd then change your itinerary a little....

25th July Kathmandu, week long yoga retreat
2nd August till 29th August.....wherever the wind blows me.

Anyway, hippy thoughts over.

Hampi is amazing, and so chilled, but I don't think it's worth dominating your itinerary (because of the struggles to get there/away), remove Hampi and see what it does to your itinerary, how much more could be included instead, if it is to be included, then maybe Agra-Udaipur (overnight train), Udaipur to Jodhpur (taxi ++), Jodhpur to Jaipur, then a flight from Jaipur to either Hyderabad or Bangalore, and overnight train to Hospet.

17th to 19th should be at a backwater resort rather than Kochi.
#15 May 13th, 2017, 12:53
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexandraindia View Post
Ok - how would you get the most out of South India at this time of year?
Skip the coast that bears the brunt of monsoon. Focus on plateau - hampi, badami, and towards the south karnataka - halebid and belur are great in this season.

In Kerala, I'd pick munnar (tea gardens and hills) over anything watery ... the monsoon is not a uniformly rainy time - you may hit a dry patch of several days but what if you do not?

In Agra, there's more to see than the Taj - the fort is a great experience for example (pick up the audio compass) as is the newly restored ait-mad-daulla. I was there in November, so this is recent. Also you can book Taj tickets online, just show your mobile and you're through - much smaller queue as well.


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