north india trip, June 30 - July 14. choosing best route.

#1 Jun 9th, 2008, 10:29
Join Date:
Jun 2008
USA, now bangalore
  • qwerty56789 is offline

I have been in India since Feb. and am currently planning a trip for me and three friends (who are in US/Europe right now)before I return home. I have been using this website for a while, and thought it would be great to get direct advice.

So, we will be traveling June 30 - July 14 ish in India, then 14ish -20 in Thailand. then back to Delhi to catch flights. We are all in young 20's.

I am having a hard time trying to decide exactly where to go during the India chunk of time. I have come up with three different itineraries, each has its own pros and cons and i was wondering if you can add more insight to help me make this trip great for me and my friends.

itineray 1: delhi, maybe trek in dharamasala, back to delhi, agra, varanassi, darjeeling, calcutta, thailaind, delhi

itinerary 2: delhi, maybe trek in dharamasala, back to delhi, agra, jaipur, udaipur, mumbai, thailand, delhi

3. or perhaps something like: dharamasala, delhi, varanasi, agra, udaipur, mumbai (because i don't think it is possible to get from varanasi to udaipur after reading through previous posts, right?)

things to consider:
1. flight to thailand is cheaper from calcutta

2. the monsson (which i think heavily affects darjeeling region -- so much so, that treks are not available?? i was thinking of skipping initial trek in dharamasala and doing one frome there, but not sure if this is an option?? would appreciate an answer to this!

3. i would love to be able to go to varanasi -- would be disappointed if i have been in india for this long and havent been there (could get over it though, if need be)

4. gujar situation -- predictions if trains will be affected first couple weeks of july? and i guess, related safety

5. time limits -- want to go to thailand so must be in calcutta or mumbai on 14th; and don't want the whole trip to be too rushed and hectic in general

ALSO -- i am kind of nervous about booking trains. how far in advance should they be booked. when i have been traveling alone, i would wait till last minute, but i don't want this trip to not work out because of train conflicts.

ANYWAYS, thanks for your help -- I would appreciate any suggestions and advice! basically, i just want to choose an itinerary that will be most enjoyable.
#2 Jun 9th, 2008, 18:38
Join Date:
Jun 2008
USA, now bangalore
  • qwerty56789 is offline

new option, too rushed?

not to make this confusing

i am now considering this route: Dharamasala --> Delhi --> Udaipur --> Agra --> Varanasi --> Calcutta

with the following breakdown (see below). For my three friends who have just arrived in India, do you think this will be too rushed? and that we should take something out? please help!

June 30 - delhi

July 1 -- delhi

2 --delhi ---> overnight bus to dharm

3 arrive dharm in the morning -- hang out

4 do hike

5 in dharm take overnight to delhi

6 --arrive delhi in morning, take train to udaipur

7 arrive udaipur in the morning -- hang out

8 hang out -- leave udaipur for agra

9 arrive agra in morning -- see taj

10 rest, leave for varanassi

11 -- arrive varanasi in morning - hang out

12 in varanassi take overnight

13 arrive calcutta -- hang out

14 ---> thailand

20 ---> back to delhi

21/22 -- fly home
#3 Jun 10th, 2008, 10:38
Join Date:
May 2003
Northern California
  • wonderwomanusa is offline
It's certainly a whirlwind tour! It seems as if you will spend as much time on trains or buses as in any of the towns you mention; I think a longer time in fewer places will give your friends a better taste of what India has to offer.
#4 Jun 10th, 2008, 10:43
Join Date:
Sep 2005
  • jyotirmoy is offline
Remember that it is monsoon time in north India and heavy rainfall is expected. So I wouldn't plan such a whirlwind tour.
#5 Jun 10th, 2008, 11:27
Join Date:
Mar 2007
  • Aishah is offline
Certainly raining at this time up in Dharamsala - McLeod Gang area. If you're prepared to risk this I would stick to 3 choices and cut your trip down a bit and spend more days in some places -maybe consider Dharamsala, Delhi and Varanasi or Delhi Varanasi Calcutta only. It's monsoon time as Jyotiji has pointed out to you, so longer stays in one place where you can get out between the downpours are probably the go here. Of all places, Dharamsala will be the wettest.
Every cloud has a silver lining!

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