Hi all! Advice on my Monsoon season itinerary (and help with trains)?

#1 Dec 29th, 2009, 01:05
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  • RaptorNoises is offline
#1
Hello everyone! This is my first time posting but I've been reading through the forums for a month or so. This is a great community, reading everyone's stories has made me even more excited about my trip to India.

I've gotten a 4 month internship with an NGO in Jodhpur, starting in February and ending on May 29th. I've booked my return flight for July 1st, so I'll have a month to do some traveling before I come back home.

I'd like to be able to hit Goa, Bodh Gaya, Varanasi, Amritsar, and hike the Valley of Flowers National Park. I'm a little concerned the Monsoon might make things more difficult though, do you think my plans will work with the weather?

This is what I've planned so far:

I want to go to Goa before the Monsoon hits, so I plan to head down there first (starting on the 30th) and stay until June 4th or so. (It looks like I can take 4707 or 4847 from Jodhpur to Mumbia and any number of trains from Mumbai to Goa. However, the stations are different--is Bandara far from the other Mumbai stations?)

Then I need to get from Goa to Bodh Gaya. I'm having trouble finding a good route. Any ideas? I'd love to be able to stop in Hampi, but I can't figure out an easy way.

From Gaya, I planned to go to Varanasi. Does anyone know if there's a direct train, or do I need to go through Calcutta?

I haven't been able to figure out how to get from Varanasi to the Valley of Flowers, or from the Valley of Flowers to Amritsar. It seems Rishikesh is the closest station, is that right? I can't seem to figure out a route there.

It looks like there are plenty of trains from Amritsar back to Jodhpur, so getting back for my flight should be easy!

Thanks in advance for the help, and thanks to all the posters here for all the great stories! I can't wait for February
#2 Dec 29th, 2009, 15:42
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  • vikramkyy is offline
#2

welcome.

hi welcome to india
for varanasi to valley of flower first you need to take train from varanasi to dehradun .. there is direct train to dehradun:train no.3009 doon exp--dep time ..10:35.... ..
then dehradun to rishikesh is 43 km and then rishikesh to valley of floewrs is around 320km
but first you need to go to rishikesh to joshimath --then joshimath to gobindghat --then you can start trek to valley of flowers..

and then back to rishikesh/dehradun ... then you can take direct train for amritsar ---train no.4631 DDN ASR EXPRESS DEHRADUN dep. time from dehradun 19:40 and arr. time amritsar..7:30am

so route will be.. varanasi---dehradun/rishikesh---joshimath--gobindghat--valley of floewrs--joshimath--dehradun/rishikesh---amritsar...

for valley of flowers best time is for you is month of june...
Last edited by vikramkyy; Dec 29th, 2009 at 15:45.. Reason: need to change month
#3 Dec 30th, 2009, 09:47
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  • RaptorNoises is offline
#3
Thanks so much, that's an enormous help! I think I'll do Valley of Flower for a week or so around the end of June. It looks gorgeous
#4 Dec 30th, 2009, 10:16
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  • steven_ber is offline
#4
Jodhpur-Mumbai-Goa-Gaya-Varanasi-VOF-Amritsar-Delhi is possible in a month, but this is supposed to be fun, is a few days on a beach really worth it?

The beach will be far too hot to walk on, and there are better ways to relax, you will be so tired of the heat that you'll end up heading for the hills direct from Jodhpur. (train 4888A, Jodhpur 10.45, Saharanpur 07.05, 90 minute bus from Saharanpur to Dehra Dun.)

Or go Jodhpur-Amritsar. (Train 9223, Jodhpur 20.20, Makhu 11.03, Makhu it 60kms south of Amritsar with loads of busses)

Then train 4632, Amritsar 22:15, Saharanpur 05:00, Haridwar 07:30, Dehra Dun 10:05, a lot quicket to get off at Saharanpur and get a bus to Dehra Dun.

Maybe after the hills you may feel like trying Varanasi and Bodh Gaya.

By far the best timed train is 8104, it departs Roorkee (30kms from Haridwar) at 18.55 and gets to Varanasi at 09.30 (departs Roorkee on Wednesdays and Fridays only), book in advance, book a couple of trains and then cancel accordingly.

There are loads of trains from Varanasi (or Mughal Sarrai) to Gaya.

There are very good overnight trains from Gays to Delhi, try to book one of the Rajdhani trains.

Gaya-Delhi trains..
#5 Dec 30th, 2009, 11:17
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  • SitaParityaga is offline
#5
Hey there, Boston Boy! (my home town) Listen well to Steven's advice. I agree you're loading up your plate too much. IMHO, you're better off sticking to North India than adding Goa to the mix. Other than that, your wish list of places to visit seem more reasonable after deleting Goa, especially including the Valley of the Flowers.

Jodhpur is a fascinating place in itself. A great central location to wonderful spots close by. Rajasthan, all by itself, can keep a person busy for months. While its still cold at night, make sure to eat out at "The Hard Rock"....they had the best tandoori I've had anywhere in India, with the best ambience, especially in the winter, when you can eat dinner al fresco with nifty hot braziers set up next to your table to keep you toasty!
#6 Jan 2nd, 2010, 00:54
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  • RaptorNoises is offline
#6
Hey Sita, it's actually Boston girl Good to find a fellow Bay Stater on here!

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful advice! Now I'm thinking I might be better off with an itinerary more along the lines of Cherrapunji-Varanasi(I'd like to be there for the Ganga Dussehra Festival)-VOF-Manali. Afterall, I hope this won't be my last trip to India, so I'll be able to visit the South (everyone on here seems to rave about Hampi especially) another time.

Very glad to have found this forum!
#7 Jan 2nd, 2010, 04:50
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  • delhiwala is offline
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Cherapunji ? Are you sure about this ?

Goa will be unbearably hot in May/June, In my opinion AVOID.

I think you should do Varanasi - Gaya - VoF - Amritsar - Dharamshala - Manali.
I did not fully understand the dread term "Terminal Illness" until I saw Terminal 1 D of Delhi Airport.
#8 Jan 4th, 2010, 07:48
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  • ellieema is offline
#8
just reading this and when i went to india i loved (and will return to) both varanasi and dharamsala (actually McCleodganj just above) and would advise you to go there and not to go to Goa at that time of year, it will be unbearable. i dnt know about the other places you plan to go to, so will not comment other than to say that i was told by others that the VoF is worth a visit x

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