So many places, so little time. Help!

#1 Jun 12th, 2008, 03:09
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First some background: In late October / early November I'll be visiting my partner for about three weeks, he will have been working in Delhi for a couple of months by then. During my visit he is hoping to have a week off, so we could explore further afield.

Until recently I had very little idea of what India has to offer. The pendulum has now swung the other way, and I am now overwhelmed by the sheer choice of fascinating places to visit, but rushing around and trying to do everything in does not appeal to me. Trouble is, I really do not know where to start, I'm like a kid in a sweet shop!

How did you whittle down your itinerary to something more practical than "I WANT TO SEE EVERYTHING"?
#2 Jun 12th, 2008, 03:21
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Originally Posted by Haylo View Post How did you whittle down your itinerary to something more practical than "I WANT TO SEE EVERYTHING"?
First think of what you would like to see most. Natural beauty? Culture? Architecture? Peculiar things? Lonely Planet been-there recos?

Then think of India as three broad regions, the south, the Hindi heartland, and the Himalayas. If you are in Delhi for a week, go to Jaipur and Agra and nearby places, and you would've got a taste of the Hindi heartland. Go for a week to the south. And another week to the Himalayas. In each of these broad areas, use the first criteria to sort which places to see.
#3 Jun 12th, 2008, 03:37
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Originally Posted by mazha View Post First think of what you would like to see most. Natural beauty? Culture? Architecture? Peculiar things? Lonely Planet been-there recos?
Good point, though my interests are so wide it doesn't help that much.

Natural beauty definitely. Culture, as far as it's accessible to tourists, yes. Certainly, I love the idea of photographing some characters. Architecture yes. LP recos, nah not really.

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Then think of India as three broad regions, the south, the Hindi heartland, and the Himalayas. If you are in Delhi for a week, go to Jaipur and Agra and nearby places, and you would've got a taste of the Hindi heartland. Go for a week to the south. And another week to the Himalayas. In each of these broad areas, use the first criteria to sort which places to see.
That is an idea. I will be in Delhi with my parter for most of my visit, one way to handle the potential week away could be to firstly choose an area such as Himalayas for that trip and only look at what I want to do in that area.
#4 Jun 12th, 2008, 04:05
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#4

so many places

When facing a similar dilemma I read LP India cover to cover, leafed through a few other guide books and read some travel blogs. That gave me a short list. Then, with that short list in mind I viewed countless India photos on Flickr. That did it!
It will be difficult but stick to your plan to not try to fit in too much. Have fun!
#5 Jun 12th, 2008, 04:13
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Originally Posted by twalnut View Post When facing a similar dilemma I read LP India cover to cover, leafed through a few other guide books and read some travel blogs. That gave me a short list.
You are obviously more restrained that I am - that is the process that gave me a LONG list!
#6 Jun 12th, 2008, 04:13
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Originally Posted by Haylo View Post That is an idea. I will be in Delhi with my parter for most of my visit, one way to handle the potential week away could be to firstly choose an area such as Himalayas for that trip and only look at what I want to do in that area.
Yes, that would be your best approach, definitely.

I strongly suggest against going to Agra. If this is your first time in India (not clear on that), you'll want to avoid the biggest tourist places. Agra has about the worst touts in India, and unless you're obsessed with seeing the Taj (or good with a billy club), it's just too much for a first trip. I've heard numerous people forever turned off to India because of just that trip.

Try himachal for something a little more laid back, or madhya pradesh if you want to see old stuff. Neither are too far from delhi to make a week of it.

Fatepur sikri is an interesting site, but that's just because I appreciate the off the wall character of it's builder.
#7 Jun 12th, 2008, 04:25
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Originally Posted by grikoo View Post I strongly suggest against going to Agra. If this is your first time in India (not clear on that), you'll want to avoid the biggest tourist places. Agra has about the worst touts in India, and unless you're obsessed with seeing the Taj (or good with a billy club), it's just too much for a first trip. I've heard numerous people forever turned off to India because of just that trip.
Actually, Agra was one of the things I had considered doing as a brief overnight trip during one of our "in Delhi" weekends. I hoped that if we stayed nearby the night before, then arrived at the Taj Mahal at dawn, I might beat some of the crowds and get some good photos.

How realistic is that plan?

As for touts, yes I had heard they can be persistent at Agra. If so, yes I am good with blunt weapons, not least of which is my attitude.

On a lighter note, I did read with some amusement on multiple Agra threads, that the Taj Mahal touts sell bullwhips! Unfortunately, as the touts are unlikely to helpfully stand at least six feet away, the potential for their being of any use is sadly limited!
#8 Jun 12th, 2008, 04:30
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If you really want to see it, go for it, but it's a harsh intro. At least give yourself some time in India before going there. Fatepur is also a day trip from delhi.

And don't miss the toilet museum in delhi.....that's a must see.
#9 Jun 12th, 2008, 04:53
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Originally Posted by grikoo View Post I strongly suggest against going to Agra. If this is your first time in India (not clear on that), you'll want to avoid the biggest tourist places. Agra has about the worst touts in India, and unless you're obsessed with seeing the Taj (or good with a billy club), it's just too much for a first trip. I've heard numerous people forever turned off to India because of just that trip.
Totally disagree!

You can't possibly go to India for the first time and not see the Taj Mahal. The touts are no worse than elsewhere in India, and a great deal less troublesome than in some cities (such as Jaipur).

Go in the early morning, before the sun has risen and before it gets too hot and too crowded. Just don't foget that it's closed on Fridays.
#10 Jun 12th, 2008, 04:57
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Thank you for the advice grikoo.

Anyone else have tips on how to go about ploughing through the countless options?
#11 Jun 12th, 2008, 10:31
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I didn't see the Taj until my 3rd or 4th visit to India, and I'm not all that fond of it. I'd take the Golden Temple in Amritsar over the Taj any day!
#12 Jun 12th, 2008, 10:53
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I'm in the same boat. 2 weeks business in Hyderabad, followed by about 8 days of travel time. I think I've settled on 4-5 days in Leh and 3 in Delhi, but I'm just going to wing it and may change my mind once I spend 2 weeks in Hyderabad.
#13 Jun 12th, 2008, 12:48
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Originally Posted by wonderwomanusa View Post I didn't see the Taj until my 3rd or 4th visit to India, and I'm not all that fond of it. I'd take the Golden Temple in Amritsar over the Taj any day!
The reasoning for seeing the Taj Mahal is that we will be in Delhi together for the majority of our time, on this and future visits, as he will be working and his leave allowance is nowhere near as generous as mine. The idea of travelling on an Indian train appeals to me, but as I suffer severe motion sickness, anything over a couple of hours means either flying or being somewhere for enough time for me to recover from the medication I need to take.

All of which makes Agra a nicely do-able short trip to take by train during our "Delhi time", so that one is a done deal.

The time that is confusing me is the week when we would be free to travel further afield. Wonderwomanusa, the Golden Temple does look amazing, it is one of the myriad of things I want to see.

Any more tips about how to whittle down the options? Already, I would need to be in India for a YEAR, and I've hardly scratched the surface of travel resources!
#14 Jun 12th, 2008, 12:48
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October is a good time in N India, so I would suggest stick around there.

Can't you make a weekend trip to Agra during the additional two weeks you are there and outside his week off?

In Agra, Taj and Fatehpur Sikri would be my advice, even though I am not (like grikoo and wonderwomanusa) too fond of the Taj.


As for the week, suggested options considering your stated interests

1. Rajasthan- except Jaipur OR

2. Uttaranchal, Himalaya-- a week driving through.
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This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#15 Jun 12th, 2008, 12:56
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PS And if going South, suggest Hampi/Mysore/Coorg (you really don't have time for Coorg too since travel will take up a bit) with more time in Hampi.

Assuming flying from Delhi to Bangalore and back, of course, or something like that.

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