3 weeks in Kerala / South India

#1 Jul 29th, 2011, 03:49
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  • Danorak is offline
#1
Hello,

We're a well traveled, young(ish) couple who have 3 weeks in South India from Mid-December to Jan 5th.

We love culture, wildlife, stunning views, meeting local people, getting off the beaten path, a bit of time on some stunning, isolated beaches (who doesn't?) and love the actual journey so travelling by train and the odd bus will be one of the highlights of the trip.

We've plotted a rough route and really just wanted some advice as to whether we're trying to cram in too much.

Any advice on transport (practicalities/tips for the plan we've put together).

And also if there are any hidden gems you can steer us towards or any glaring omissions e.g. why are you planning on Mudumalai when all the tigers are in Wayanad!?? Or some such.

We fly into Mumbai night of Dec 15th and are thinking something like this:

Mumbai - 1 day
Fly to Kochi
Kerala - 3/4 days homestay somewhere in backwaters (Kuzhupilly Beach House ?) + potential overnight barge trip
Train/bus to Coimbatore-Mettupalayam to get the Nilgiri Express
3/4 nights in homestay in hill country (Devashola?)
Travel (private taxi/bus?) to Mudumalai National Park on the wildly optimistic hope of seeing some wildlife - is it worth it?
1/2 nights Mudumalai - any budget tips of where to stay in the park or nearby in Theppakkadu?
Head to the coast, maybe Gokarna - how best to travel?
2 nights Gokarna
Train to Hospet
2 nights Hampi
Train to Goa. 3/4 nights Agonda Beach
Train to Mumbai

So many questions. Any thoughts, tips, comments or two pennies on the above would be gratefully received.

Many thanks,

Dan
#2 Jul 29th, 2011, 05:19
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  • IndiaSimona is offline
#2
You may want to spend more days in Gokarna, if you like peace and beautiful beaches. I recommend 4 days. Also you may like Varkala (a few hours from Kochi) and in my opinion Varkala is nicer than Kochi because it has a beautiful cliff and the beaches are clean. In varkala there is a beach where foreign people tend to hang out (with bikinis) and a bit further down Indian people hang out.

In Goa I recommend staying in a hut in Palolem beach. It's one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa. I've never been in Agonda beach so cannot comment on that. There's is a totally empty beach in the very north of Goa, only accessible by private transport, like a scootie.

I think to cramp all these destinations into three weeks would be exhausting and you won't get the feel of the places. But if you are after doing as many things as possible within your stay, then go for it. I hope that helped!
#3 Jul 29th, 2011, 12:18
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  • steven_ber is offline
#3
Hello Dan and welcome to indiamike.

I'm short of time, so just a few quick questions.

Are your air tickets booked?

What's your budget per couple per night?

Isolated beaches? where there's other tourists, or homestays with own beach?
#4 Jul 31st, 2011, 19:34
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#4
Thanks for the advice, IndiaSimona. I think (with regret) we're going to take Hampi out of our itinerary - sadly can't do everything

Lots of people are suggesting Gokarna over South Goa - especially at this time of year - so I think we will take your advice and stay longer here.

Any Gokarna guest houses / home stays you would recommend? We're trying to travel on a fairly tight budget (around 1000 INR per night) and are quite happy with basic accommodation (beach shack etc).
#5 Jul 31st, 2011, 19:47
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#5
Cheers steven_ber

Our air tickets are not booked yet. Cleartrip has flights from Mumbai-Kochi for around 3800 Rs which seems reasonable.

We're trying to travel on a fairly tight budget, but realise it's peak season and will vary between hill country and coast.. but hopefully around 1000 Rs per night for beach shacks on the coast, with budget for a few treats around 2000 Rs.

We don't mind a few other tourists on beaches, but definitely not up for rammed beaches like I imagine much of the main resort beaches (Goa, Kovalam etc) will be.

So any hidden gem homestays with own beaches you'd like to share would be much appreciated.

Thanks
#6 Jul 31st, 2011, 22:46
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  • Yourfriend is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danorak View Post Any Gokarna guest houses / home stays you would recommend? We're trying to travel on a fairly tight budget (around 1000 INR per night) and are quite happy with basic accommodation (beach shack etc).
I assume when you are talking about Gokarna, you actually mean "Om beach" which is near Gokarna and different from "Gokarna beach". Om beach has few beach hotels...there they call it "Cafe"..which are basic and budget. One that is bang on the entrance is Namaste Cafe as I recall from memory ..as I traveled long back.
#7 Aug 1st, 2011, 00:56
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#7
You're absolutely right, Yourfriend - it's Om Beach and also Kootlee, Half-moon & Paradise we've heard are very nice.
#8 Aug 1st, 2011, 16:24
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#8
Both Om beach and Moon beach have more than one Cafe(s)and very popular among foreign tourists.
#9 Aug 1st, 2011, 18:46
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  • gokarna is offline
#9
Hi,
Gokarna gets very busy over Christmas and New Year, if you do decide to go at this time be sure to book ahead! Lots of people with rucksacks asking for rooms at the beach shacks on Kudlee, we were told to come back every day to see if someone had moved on. We still go to Gokarna but not over the festive period.
Regards,
Gokarna

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