Mumbai, Goa, Kerala 13 days
HannahJ
India > India Travel > India Travel Itinerary Advice
#1
| Member

Mumbai, Goa, Kerala 13 days

Hi,

Im after some itinerary advice for my friend and I! We have about 13 days leaving from Dehli and wanting to see Mumbai > Goa > Kerala in that order as we fly out of Trivandrum.

We intend on travelling between destinations by train, can anyone suggest any timeframes for these areas? Things we absolutely must do and see particularly in kerala? We are very keen on seeing the backwaters - where is the best place to do the houseboats?

Thanks in advance :)

27 Replies

#2
| Maha Guru Member
Lees than 2 weeks is a too short period for such a trip. You will spend to much time on trains.
See here at erail to get an idea about the travel time.

For the backwaters in Kerala is Alleppey one of the main centres.
#3
| Senior Member
I would suggest day 1- sightseeing in Delhi.
Day 2 -Travel to Mumbai by Rajdhani, this will give you half a day in Delhi as train usually leaves at 4.40 P.m or 5 in the evening & you reach Mumbai next morning by 8.30 approx. Mumbai doesn't have anything to see though.
#4
| Member
Alleppey is the main tourist spot for backwaters. You can also consider Kumarakom (Kottayam dist) which is near alleppey.
Its the time of festivals in temples across Kerala but I suggest you to visit mid part of Kerala( Kochi, Trichur..) where the festivals are lot more colorful with lots of elephants and stuff.
Out of 13 days almost 3 days will be spend for train travel alone. Spend atleast 3 days in Kerala.
#5
| Eto Demerzel

Originally posted by: HannahJ View Post

Hi,

Im after some itinerary advice for my friend and I! We have about 13 days leaving from Dehli and wanting to see Mumbai > Goa > Kerala in that order as we fly out of Trivandrum.

We intend on travelling between destinations by train, can anyone suggest any timeframes for these areas? Things we absolutely must do and see particularly in kerala? We are very keen on seeing the backwaters - where is the best place to do the houseboats?

Thanks in advance :)


Let's start with the trains:

Delhi - Mumbai, the fastest train is the evening Rajdhani Express (train #12952, leaves New Delhi 16:25, arrives Mumbai Central 08:15 the following morning, food's included in the train fare). Alternatively, flights take 2 hours, but you'll end up spending another night in a hotel that way.

I don't personally think Mumbai's the most exciting city in terms of touristy things to do, but that's just my opinion and many differ. Nevertheless, unless you tend to want to see everything interesting in the city, I'd suggest two days there given your overall timeframe.

Mumbai - Goa is a fairly scenic route (see picture) and if you'd like a slightly lazy day journey with good food, the Mandovi Express (train #10103, leaves Mumbai CST 07:25, arrives Madgaon Goa 18:45) is a good bet. If you'd rather save time and money travelling overnight, you've the fast option of the Mangalore Express (Train #12133, leaves Mumbai CST 22:00, arrives Madgaon 07:05) or the slower option of the Konkan Kanya Express (train #10111, leaves Mumbai CST 23:05, arrives Madgaon 10:45). Expect a delay arriving at Goa of 60-120 minutes for all these three trains. If travelling between June 1 - October 31, trains run to a different (slower) timetable because of the monsoons.

Goa - 3 to 4 days, more if you really love beaches.

There are many interesting things to do in Kerala depending on your interests. For forests and hillstations, there are the options of Wayanad, Munnar or Silent Valley (though the last option requires some planning). Fort Kochi is peaceful, albeit touristy, and definitely worth a visit. If you're looking at houseboat-renting, Alleppey (90 minutes south of Kochi) is probably the best place - there's also the cheaper option of taking the slow Alleppey - Quilon ferry service. For a luxurious holiday, Kumarakom is worth checking out. For beaches, Varkala and Kovalam are the most popular, though I'm sure Kerala experts have more (and better suggestions) for beaches there.

Also, if you're visiting Goa, you should consider visiting Hampi as well - spectacular place. How you'll manage adding that to your holiday in the time you have is another matter...
#6
| Member
I know! It doesn't feel like enough time at all! At most we will have 16 days leaving from New Dehli on day 1 as we will have already spent a couple of days there. Given this small amount of time and I realise travel will take up quite a bit of time, but any recommendations at all on things that I should include or ways to make the most of such a small time?

Thanks!
#7
| Maha Guru Member
If you have indeed 16 days out of Delhi you have some more possibilities.
Unless you have special reasons skip, as others mentioned, Mumbai.

An great stop between Delhi and Goa is Aurangabad. From there you can visit the caves of Ellora end Ajanta. See here for the train timings. Three days is sufficient.
Aurangabad has a goo bus connection with Ahmadnagar (about 2 hours) where you can get the train to Goa.
#8
| Eto Demerzel

Originally posted by: vonkla View Post

If you have indeed 16 days out of Delhi you have some more possibilities.
Unless you have special reasons skip, as others mentioned, Mumbai.

An great stop between Delhi and Goa is Aurangabad. From there you can visit the caves of Ellora end Ajanta. See here for the train timings. Three days is sufficient.
Aurangabad has a goo bus connection with Ahmadnagar (about 2 hours) where you can get the train to Goa.


Might be better to fly to Aurangabad, considering the train takes almost a full day to get there from Delhi. The flight is quite expensive though, so if the OP's travelling on a tight budget, the flight might not work here.

Another Aurangabad-Goa train connection is to take the Tapovan Express from Aurangabad to Thane (dept. Aurangabad 14.35, arrl. Thane 21.03) and transfer to the Mangalore Express (dept. Thane 22.35, arrl. Madgaon 07.05)...
#9
| Member
Im not super caught up with necessarily doing all the touristy things, Im mostly keen to immerse myself in the culture and explore what I can in the small amount of time I have. Is mumbai not recommended because people feel its not touristy enough? I don't have any special reasons for going to mumbai except I have been quite interested in it for a very long time. In this case would 2-3 days be enough? Too much or not enough?

Is Goa worth a few days? I have seriously considered checking out hampi or mysore, but from what I have read a couple of days in either of them wouldn't do them justice?

I wish I had 6 months not 2 weeks!
Thanks in advance!
#10
| Eto Demerzel

Originally posted by: HannahJ View Post

Im not super caught up with necessarily doing all the touristy things, Im mostly keen to immerse myself in the culture and explore what I can in the small amount of time I have. Is mumbai not recommended because people feel its not touristy enough? I don't have any special reasons for going to mumbai except I have been quite interested in it for a very long time. In this case would 2-3 days be enough? Too much or not enough?

Is Goa worth a few days? I have seriously considered checking out hampi or mysore, but from what I have read a couple of days in either of them wouldn't do them justice?

I wish I had 6 months not 2 weeks!
Thanks in advance!


If Mumbai interests you, do visit it. Since you have just 16 days ex-Delhi, I'd suggest not more than 2 days there.

Goa means entirely different things to different people (see this excellent thread). If it's just the beach that interests you, three (full) days should more than suffice - again, given your time budget constraints. Hampi can be done in two days but it'll be rather rushed - I'd recommend three days there as it's great fun to just wander around the ruins. There are overnight buses from Goa to Hampi as well as a day train (7 hours, very scenic route climbing the mountains and passing a big waterfall).

I've never understood the fuss around Mysore having visited it several times. The palace is very nice when lit up on Dussehra nights - otherwise, though interesting, it's crowded and super bureaucratic. I'd recommend heading from Hampi to Bangalore, spending the day there and then travelling overnight to Kerala. You could spend 2-3 days in Fort Kochi and then head to the backwaters.

The itinerary would then read something like this:

Day 1: Leave Delhi for Mumbai by the Rajdhani Express in the evening (or take a flight)
Day 2 and 3: Mumbai (if you don't want to take the day train to Goa, leave on the night of day 3)
Day 4: Day train to Goa (or, if you're taking the night train, half the day in Goa)
Day 5, 6, 7: Goa (Leave by bus on the night of day 7 if you want to save time on travel)
Day 8: Day train to Hampi (or full day in Hampi if you take the previous night's bus)
Day 9 and 10: Hampi (take the night train/bus to Bangalore)
Day 11: Bangalore (take the night train/bus to Kochi)
Day 12 and 13: Kochi
Day 14: Head to Alleppey for backwater cruise (approximately a day if you take a houseboat)
Day 15: Free (you could add this day to any of the previous destinations, depending on which one you'd like to see more of)
Day 16: Fly back
#11
| Member
Thank you so much! Ah you have made my tiny amount of time look doable! Is it best to plan my itinerary and book trains with specific dates? I was thinking of booking trains in advance up until Kerala and then just seeing how we go once we are there? Is that reasonable or is Kerala difficult to get around in? Our trip isn't until October/ November but I just want to have a rough plan of the best ways to organise things!
#12
| Eto Demerzel

Originally posted by: HannahJ View Post

Thank you so much! Ah you have made my tiny amount of time look doable! Is it best to plan my itinerary and book trains with specific dates? I was thinking of booking trains in advance up until Kerala and then just seeing how we go once we are there? Is that reasonable or is Kerala difficult to get around in? Our trip isn't until October/ November but I just want to have a rough plan of the best ways to organise things!


I'd say this is a good idea. October/November is tourist season and trains on popular tourist routes will get booked out early (bookings open 4 months in advance, read the threads on setting up an IRCTC account for booking in the Railways subforum, it's surprisingly complicated). Once you get to Kochi you can play it by ear; distances within Kerala aren't that great and if you don't get train tickets at short notice, you can just take a bus or taxi. The other trains (especially overnight ones) are best booked in advance; you'll also get decent seats/sleeper-berths.

If you later need to change dates and trains are booked out, you can try the foreign tourist quota which often has seats until quite late, but given your limited time in India, spending time at the railway reservation office once you're here will be rather a wasteful endeavour.
#13
| Member
I know this question is probably covered in other threads, but I was wondering what is the best way to get from Hampi to Kochi? What I have found is that ill Need to catch a night train from Hampi - Bangalore and then another night bus - was thinking of maybe just bussing it to munnar and from there I understand its relatively easy to get to Kochi? Any advice would be so helpful, as Im struggling to find train/ bus information. The websites I've looked at seem very complicated!
Thanks in advance
Hannah
#14
| Eto Demerzel

Originally posted by: HannahJ View Post

I know this question is probably covered in other threads, but I was wondering what is the best way to get from Hampi to Kochi? What I have found is that ill Need to catch a night train from Hampi - Bangalore and then another night bus - was thinking of maybe just bussing it to munnar and from there I understand its relatively easy to get to Kochi? Any advice would be so helpful, as Im struggling to find train/ bus information. The websites I've looked at seem very complicated!
Thanks in advance
Hannah


The train station for Kochi is Ernakulam. As you've mentioned, there's a night train from Hampi (Hospet) to Bangalore leaving at 9.05 pm and reaching at 6.10 am. From Bangalore, you have the following train options:

Intercity Express (#12677) at 6.15 am, reaching Ernakulam Junction at 4.55 pm (very tight connection, avoid unless you really dislike Bangalore) - as somebody who lives there, I can say it's worth visiting for a half-day;

Kochuveli Express (#16315) at 5.00 pm, reaching Ernakulam Junction at 4.25 am;

Ernakulam Express (#12684/22608, Monday/Tuesday/Thursday only) at 6.45 pm, reaching Ernakulam Junction at 6.05 am;

Island Express (#16526) at 8.00 pm, reaching Ernakulam Town at 7.25 am (recommended);

Garib Rath Express (#12257, Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday only) at 9.00 pm, reaching Ernakulam Town at 8.22 am.

From Ernakulam it is a short auto ride to the ferry point, where a 20 minute ferry ride will drop you to Fort Kochi.

There are many buses from Bangalore to Ernakulam as well, of which KSRTC is one of the best operators (www.ksrtc.in for tickets - 'Airavat' refers to their AC deluxe buses).

I'm a little confused about the Munnar bit - do you want to go to Munnar directly from Bangalore, or is Kochi your next destination?
#15
| Omnipresent
Another option could be to take a train from Guntakal to Eranakulam. Guntakal is around 120 kms from Hampi. The train departs at 8:40 am from Guntakal and arrives in Eranakulam at 4:45 am.