Itinerary - Practicality

#1 Jan 9th, 2016, 12:36
Join Date:
Jan 2016
  • pacman99 is offline
I've gotten the chance to visit India for 3 weeks in March. It's unlikely I'll be able to visit again for another while so wanted to get the most out of my trip this time. Accompanying me will be my wife.

There is a few things we'd like to get out of the trip:
1) Natural scenary, including snowy environments, but not a huge emphasis on trekking + backwaters
2) Houseboat experiences
3) Architecture
4) Some shopping
5) Experience Holi if practical

The following is a short list I've been able to come up with but I'm not sure how practical it really is given the time constraints:

1) Arrive in New Delhi
-Architecture: Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Mandir
Q = Any recommendations for shopping? In particular, we'd be interested in a) traditional craft, b) traditional clothing, c) scents/perfumes, d) glasses

2) Possible Via Manali or Shimla?
Q = Would there be a significant change of scenary between here and J&K? Or would it be worth just skipping this and spending this time in J&K (below)

3) Kashmir
-Srinagar - including Dal Lake, traditional boat, etc.
-Pahalgam - I hear this is not the best time to go and I should just skip this in favour of more time in Srinagar
-Gulmarg - Other than skiing, anything else of interest here?
Q = Do I need a special permit to enter the above areas? We'd be coming in on a Tourist Visa. At the time, we didn't indicate that we were thinking of visiting J&K as it wasn't in the itinerary.

4) Back to Delhi to go onwards to
5) Agra
6) Jaipur
7) Ajmer

8) Mumbai to go onwards to Aurangabad area for Ajanta +/- Ellora Caves

9) Kochi to go onwards to:
Alappuzha OR Kumarakom OR Alleppey
-any recommendations towards one or the other? Main idea is to visit the backwaters

?10) Not sure if there's any reason to add Coorg, Karnataka into this.

11) Leave from any major airport (flexible) to UAE for our onward flights home.

Q: Which area would be the best to experience Holi safely keeping in mind I don't really know anyone in India. Also, does religion matter when it comes to experiencing Holi? Would it be an issue if we weren't Hindu?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
#2 Jan 9th, 2016, 14:32
Join Date:
Dec 2008
In the land of awesomeness
  • aarosh is offline
For shopping you could consider the state emporiums in Baba Kharak Singh Marg.

Don't know if there would be a significant change in scenery in Shimla / Manali compared to Kashmir since I have never been to Kashmir. However getting to Shimla / Manali from Delhi is easier (direct bus connections) compared to Kashmir as the fastest way would be to take a flight to Srinagar or take a train to Jammu and then a bus / flight to Srinagar.

There is no need to go to Mumbai and then backtrack to Aurangabad. There are a couple of trains from Ajmer to Jalgaon (closer to Ajanta). However these trains run on on specific days. See

Alappuzha and Alleppey are the same place. To go to UAE you can get direct flights from Cochin, Trivandrum, Calicut etc.

Holi is on the 24th of March. Vrindavan / Mathura should be a good place to see the festivities of Holi. Holi is celebrated through out the North India.
#3 Jan 9th, 2016, 15:51
Join Date:
Dec 2008
  • vaibhav_arora is offline
Kashmir is significantly different from Himachal. Its actually more romantic and ive never figured out why. Himachal peaks are more 'raw' but not the ones near Shimla or Manali.
3 weeks is not a lot, try distributing about a week plus in delhi-jaipur-agra belt, 5 days to a week in Kashmir. March is early but not a bad time to go. Try to read some older reports in j&k subforum.
Remaining time, decide between Maharashtra or Kerala. Travels a bit slow here so keep that in mind. Also Kerala gets very hot in march.
#4 Jan 26th, 2016, 06:02
Join Date:
Jan 2016
  • pacman99 is offline
Thanks for the advice everyone.
Given it'll be quite hot in Kerala and we're looking to get away from the heat in our home country, seems like Kerala will have to be reserved for next time when it's cooler.

In terms of shopping in Delhi, Baba Kharak Singh Marg is definitely on the list, but does it have casual attire available there as well? For example, shalwar/kameez, kurta/pyjama, and western wear?

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