First time to India!

#1 Jul 31st, 2014, 04:53
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#1
Hi everyone!

I'm off backpacking on my first solo trip in October and was looking for some advice on an itinerary.

The areas I was looking to cover where the Golden Triange + Pushkar (the camel fair 30th-6th!), Amjer, Jophpur, Ranthambore & Keoladeo National Park.

Then Himachal Pradesh: I was planning Delhi - Chandigarh - Shimla - Manali - Dharamsala - Amritsar and back to Delhi. I would love to get up to Leh but I hear the road closes in October due to snow.

I was also thinking about Hardiwar & Rishikesh, but otherwise across to Varanasi and then up into Nepal for a 4/5 weeks.

I also want to do the West coast with Mumbai - Goa - Kerala and then onto Sri Lanka.

I was really looking for some advice on a few things, firstly is there any amazing places I've missed off the list that I need ot visit! But also with what do do first as i'm getting into Delhi on the 6th October and the Pushkar Camel Fair begins on the 30th, so whether i would have enough time to do Himachal Pradesh first and then head back to Delhi and do the Golden Triangle, or whether to take more time on the Golden Triangle/go further into Rajasthan before the Camel Fair? I've heard that the main things in Jaipur and Agra can be covered in a few day each and I aware that I might end up going around in circles if I want to get back to Pushkar and then up to Himachal Pradesh if I head to far into Rajasthan.

I am planning on doing this over 3/4 months with an extra 4-6 weeks in Nepal inbetween.

If anyone has any suggestions or advice on this it would be a great help, and sorry if that all sounds a bit of a ramble/disorganised!

Thanks!
#2 Jul 31st, 2014, 05:55
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#2
Whoooooooaaaaaa big fella . . . I can tell your'e bustin' at the seams, goin' off like one of those pinwheel fireworks . . . so, let me get this right: 3/4 months India (let's say four months) 4/6 weeks, Nepal (let's say four weeks) So, that leaves you with three months in India. To begin to figure this out roughly - I'd say an average of two places per week (just so we've got a number to work with), 24 places if our magic number.

You've got about three weeks between your arrival and the camel fair . . . why not just stay in Rajasthan. Golden Triangle, and five/six other places. You're going to be going in circles as it is, nothin' wrong with that By the way, might be best to book trains and possibly accomodation (particularly in Pushkar, for the fair) if you can (accomodation is an "if", trains are a Must, gonna be busy that time of year)

Then maybe head toward Amritsar, Rishikesh, etc. Back through Delhi to Varanasi, where you can get a bus to Kathmandu, or Varanasi to Mumbai . . .

Takin' a look this, I get real tired. You're covering lots of ground. While I know nothing of your particular travel style, this wears me out. Most likely because I did more or less the same thing on my first trip. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but having done it myself, I worry some about the time spent going versus the time spent seeing and Being.

A couple questions that when answered, might help some others who stop by to share advice: What's you budget? Do you plan on flying any (if you stick to this schedule, you might consider that)
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#3 Jul 31st, 2014, 22:35
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#3
Hi Jsears, with weather in mind here is my thought on the order of your trips in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

1. Do this trip first: Delhi - Chandigarh - Shimla - Manali - Dharamsala - Amritsar - Delhi.
starting on your arrival in India on the 6th October and returning to Delhi around October 28th (just before travel to Puskar for the camel fair)

2. Stay in Rajasthan for : Golden Triange + Pushkar (the camel fair 30th-6th!), Amjer, Jophpur, Ranthambore & Keoladeo National Park for about three weeks with Udaipur (closer to Mumbai) as your last stop in Rajasthan.

3. One week (or less) in Mumbai

4. First three weeks of December in Goa
Goa is very busy in the last week of December for the holiday period and if you are OK with the crowds you can plan to be in Goa for the New Years time but accomodation at that time is very hard to arrange and the room rates are about three times the normal rates and it is upto you (based on your budget) to be in Goa at that time or to avoid the holiday period madness.

5. Three weeks in Kerala (Kochi, Alleppey, Munnar, Varkala, Periyar etc.)

6. Three weeks in Sri Lanka

7. Return to India and one week in Tamil Nadu in south India in places such as Madurai and Chennai region and then slowly make your way to North India by trains travellng by eastern part of India to see that region and arriving in Haridwar.

8. Hardiwar & Rishikesh and Varanasi

9. Nepal in March as Nepal will be quite cold in the months December to February.
#4 Aug 1st, 2014, 00:01
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#4
Wooooh looks like you really need to slow down a bit, so many places wow
#5 Aug 1st, 2014, 09:23
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#5
One other thing to keep in mind, travel in India is slow unless you fly and even then there's time spent getting to airport, waiting in airport, getting to hotel from airport. Same with train but you may not need to arrive at the station as early as for a flight before your departure.

We travel with car and driver and consider ourselves lucky if we average 50k/hr drive time. On our last trip (our tenth) we had a section of road where we averaged 5k/hr.

So even if distances appear short on the map, they are not. You want to see where you are going - you do not want to spend all of your time going there.

I'm with Darmabum - and he stole my line - I get tired just reading your plan.

distaff
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

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