Where to start?

#1 Aug 22nd, 2014, 22:04
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#1
Hi all,

I've already made a few posts here and can't even begin to say how much of a help everyone's been. I'm planning to travel to India at the end of September/Start of October for around 3 months and have budgeted around 3000 for the entire venture. I have very little travel experience outside of my own country (the UK) and am well aware that this is going to be an extreme shock.

I'm struggling a bit when it comes to putting together an itinerary; it's an extremely daunting task and I haven't even begun to look at navigating the train booking system yet. I know at the very least that I want to visit Goa, Darjeeling, Varanasi and Dharamasala. I was planning on basically taking as it comes and formulating my itinerary loosely around the Lonely Planet's six month 'grand tour' itinerary.

My question is: Where should I start?

I had originally planned to get a plane ticket to Delhi (as it's the cheapest destination) but having read so much about it i'm wondering if it might be an idea to try and start somewhere a little quieter that isn't going to be such a system shock right off the plane. Having said this, Delhi does seem like the ideal starting point and an unmissable experience.

Any suggestions?


Thanks!
#2 Aug 22nd, 2014, 22:08
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#2
Why not start from Goa? You could fly out from Delhi or Kolkata. The only reason for starting from Goa is because the season would not start till mid October and expenses would be bit less compared to season time. During end of December Goa tends to be super costly.
#3 Aug 22nd, 2014, 22:14
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#3
Let India tell you where to start. Maybe look at weather in the places you're considering. You might want to avoid the mountains in winter, maybe you don't . . . Dharamsala is at 6000 feet, might be something to consider. I've spent some time in Varanasi and will say that the months of October and early November are my favorite months there, hands down.

I would say that Delhi would be as good a place as any to start. Flight, as you said, is cheaper, it also seems to be a fairly central place to the few places I've seen on your itinerary. I always land there, spend a day or two getting over the flight, and you're right - there's plenty there to see.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#4 Aug 22nd, 2014, 22:43
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#4
I vote starting in Goa too - it's a more relaxing introduction to India. Although if you are visiting for the party beaches instead of more relaxing beaches- then finishing there in December would be a good end to a trip too - but probably more expensive.

You could fly Goa - Calcutta (see Darjeeling) and work your way west towards Varanasi, (wherever else you wish to see), and finish in Delhi.
#5 Aug 22nd, 2014, 22:49
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Have you made a list of the things that you want to see, do and experience while you are in India? If you do that you might find that an itinerary starts to appear. Taking it as it comes sounds great but you do need to think about transport. Trains are a great way to get around and offer good value for money but for a long trip you can't just walk up and expect to get a berth.

I second DB's suggestion that Delhi is as good a place to start as any. In north India it is the major transport hub and you can move on from there to anywhere else quite easily. For your first night or two look at pre booking a decent hotel that offers an airport collection service.
#6 Aug 23rd, 2014, 00:15
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#6
yeah Delhi it is good point to start. After two, three days most people want to go anywhere

3000 pounds its enough for 3 months - and my tour suggestion Bhuj and around + Mandvi (no "white faces" beach)
stay low, stay budget, stay veg
#7 Aug 23rd, 2014, 02:48
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#7
I've got my Lonely Planet guide to India and I keep trying to sit down with a pen and paper and work through everything that I definitely want to see but there's so much! It's a really daunting task.
#8 Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:06
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#8
good luck
and happy travel
#9 Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:16
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#9
We did several trip of a month of three, a description of these you can read in the journals in my signature.
Maybe these give you some guidance.
#10 Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:25
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#10
Daunting!?! . . . oh yeah . . . and you aren't even there yet

Just a general thought - try to keep long distance traveling to a minimum. Three months is a good amount of time, except when it comes to India (especially when your Wish List is BIG). I see people zig-zagging all over the country, seemingly spending more time in trains, buses and on planes than on the ground. And travel alone can be exhausting. Many people choose to concentrate on a particular part of the country, Rajasthan say . . . all that being said, we all have our particular ways of travel, mine just happens to be a little s l o w e r than most, I enjoy Be-ing somewhere than getting somewhere else.

And as for me, no matter where I've gone I've never been disappointed. It is an amazing place . . . pound for pound, dollar for dollar, the most exquisite travel experiences I have ever had. Happy planning
#11 Aug 23rd, 2014, 04:06
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#11
right answer
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