Trip of a lifetime help: South to North, Jan-March 2011
emptyman
India > India Travel > India Travel Itinerary Advice
#1
| Member

Trip of a lifetime help: South to North, Jan-March 2011

Hi all and Namaste!
I am a Canadian and I have been in love with India all my adult life. Finally I am seizing the opportunity of a life transition to go "home".
I am a mature male student, healthy, fit and going solo.
Leaving early-mid January (comments?) and staying for about 2.5 months. I can't afford any longer, and I will be trying to keep my budget to a minimum. I don't need shopping and I don't care if I see all the major tourist sites. I am a deeply spiritual person (no, not into hatha yoga though)and I though I know it is wise to plan a trip, I really do want to be able to be flexible and go where the wind takes me (to some degree).
The places that I need to go to are Tiruvanamalai, which would be my first destination (though I don't mind flying into wherever and have a train adventure getting there). I want to see a bit of old Delhi, and then the other very important place for me is Srinagar, Kashmir.
Yes, I am very aware of the history and recent dangers of Kashmir. But, it just so happens that I feel a deep connection to the place, and more than anything I need to get there.
In Tirvanamalai I will hopefully be staying at the Ramanasraman. In Kashmir I prefer to rent out a room at a local home- not a houseboat necessarily (though that might be cool for a night or so, but it is not important).
I am writing my thesis about advaita vedanta and how it might inform Western psychotherapy. I will be meeting up with a professor for three weeks in late February as we go on a little trip in central/West India.
I would like to travel light: just my back pack (are external frame packs oK?) but I will have my netbook with me for work. I read a lot and I don't know how the heck I am going to bring the books I want: anyone have experience with an ebook reader? I am thinking about getting one if I can find one cheap. will it be worth it? There are at least 6 important books I will need my whole time there...
I am vegetarian and have some food sensitivities (no wheat or sugar, mostly).
I am pretty active and though I want a lot of meditation time, I will also like to find good places to hike and enjoy the natural beauty of India.
I am much more interested in spending time in Northern India than south, and I would enjoy going to the Darjeeling area if it works out.
Also, I will be spending a week with my Aunt in London, UK on my way there. What should I do about my flights in this regard? A friend in Amsterdam wants me to visit as well - what is the best way for me to do this? (she is going to pay for my European travel!).
OK!

So, given these things about me, I would love some suggestions. I want to spend at least a few weeks each in each of Tiruvanamalai and Srinagar - everything else on top of that is going to be just extras.
I am hoping to find your thoughts, comments about many things such as :
Should I stay the full 3 months allowed? Will I be able to live fairly cheap so I can actually afford to stay these few months?
Any connections or recommendations for lodging at these places?
Suggestions for how to plan my itinerary and what domestic travel I should choose?
Given my 2 important places, what else should I consider?
Do I need to pack boots for Srinagar in March?
Best dates to fly for best rates?

I know this is an earful but I just wanted to be thorough. I have been planning this forum contribution itself for a month or so! If I have forgotten something important, please ask me.

Thanks in advance to everyone who read this and will offer any help! Any thoughts are appreciated, including both encouragement or discouragement, as the case may be.

Thanks again.
Peace to all.

rob
My Indian Travels: www.goingwithindia.blogspot.com

5 Replies

#2
| Member

Books and other things

6 books you really need...okay, I do this all the time when I don't have permanent access to an important book, it involves patience, but if you photograph your pages manually using a simple digital camera (and that does not take too long, I do 200 pages in ten minutes) or if you have the patience to scan them/ have them scanned, you can just have all the books stored in folders as page-by-page pictures.

The South is more rice-friendly if you want to avoid wheat. North Indians love their wheat but rice is easily available too.

You could plan a journey up one of the coasts. From Tiruvannamalai you could could go to Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Bengal and then to Varanasi and Delhi. If you still have time, you can go to Himachal from Delhi and then make your way up to Srinagar.
#3
| Seeker
I would say:
-fly to UK first, visit your aunt
- budget-flight or train to Amsterdam
- or vice versa
- then flight to Chennai, from there by bus to Tiruvannamalai
- there are many cheap accomodation possibilities around Ramanashram, you probably will not pay more than 300 rupees/night, and as you want to stay long you might get it even cheaper

I personally would do a bit more travelling in the south before heading north. Tamil Nadu and Kerala are really nice.

can't comment on the North, as I have only been to the South so far.
#4
| Member

Tiruvanamali booking advice.

Well, thanks to girlfrom venus. I have been able to secure lodging for a week at the Ramanasrmaman in Tiruvanamalai.

Can someone please suggest a good place close to Arunachala where I can stay for another week? I want to be there for at least a couple weeks.

thanks.
My Indian Travels: www.goingwithindia.blogspot.com
#5
| Traveller (when I can)

Originally posted by: emptyman View Post


I want to see a bit of old Delhi, and then the other very important place for me is Srinagar, Kashmir.
Yes, I am very aware of the history and recent dangers of Kashmir. But, it just so happens that I feel a deep connection to the place, and more than anything I need to get there.

SRINAGAR

Srinagar is OK just check on the situation nearer the time you want to go there.

You only need really good boots if you intend to do some trekking.

Houseboats are good accommodation.


I would like to travel light: just my back pack (are external frame packs oK?) but I will have my netbook with me for work. I read a lot and I don't know how the heck I am going to bring the books I want: anyone have experience with an ebook reader? I am thinking about getting one if I can find one cheap. will it be worth it? There are at least 6 important books I will need my whole time there...


Most ebooks can be read on your netbook, look to see what you can buy or download in a format you can read in this way.

Keep looking at sites like Travelocity for internal flights.

You can stay as cheap as you wish, your choice of standards. I find budget is OK
Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death... (Hunter S. Thompson)
#6
| Member

Thanks Mike Cork!

Thanks for reassuring me about Srinagar. I can't wait!!

Still looking for a good recommendation while there - i am hoping to rent a place in a local's home.
My Indian Travels: www.goingwithindia.blogspot.com

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