I'm thinking of taking a trip to India this November. Can anyone suggest an itinerary for a maximum of three weeks, taking into account the expected weather conditions at this time.
Ideally I'd like to get a taste of 'the real India' incorporating one or two of the must see cities i.e. Varanasi, as well some more rural, out of the way areas. I certainly don't intend trying to see too much in such a short time - I think the 'less is more' approach is definitely the way to go!
What would conditions be like in Rajasthan at this time of year?
Finally I'd really like to travel between some destinations by train. What are peoples recent experiences of Indian train travel - I'm thinking specifically of reliability as I'll only have two and a half to three weeks in total due to work.
You haven't got that little time Mikey, although I guess it's not ideal.
I absolutley loved the trains in India, they work on a class system starting from just seated up to sleeper 1st class where you get linen and they stop all the beggars and sellers wandering through, I travelled generally 2nd or 3rd class sleeper cos most of the trips I took were long, but it's really pretty cheap, like chennai (madras) to Kolkata (calcutta to you and me!), the worst trip I got bed bugs the best was totally magical, I learnt to play indian rummy (cards) met loads of fascinating characters, defo reccomend getting the train to varanasi if you can, when you go over the bridge you through a coin out of the window and make a wish for when it hits the holy water, all of the locals do it!
The only thing about the trains is take a good chain and padlock for your bags to secure it to something. Theives are rife! but if your'e really sensible you can avoid any trouble! I had none
If you go to Rajasthan, i think the weather will be quite good by then, I can also really reccomend doing a camel trek for three days from Bikaner, that takes you into some really rural parts of Raj, I guess most people will reccomend Goa and Bombay and that, to be honest I didn't fancy it first time round Goa sounds like a bit of a tourist trap.
I absolutely loved Calcutta but you have to be ready to get on your feet and get lost in a truly dirty city!
Let me know if there's anything else you wanna, ask your welcome to PM me too I'm a travel helper for some regions of India
I'm going to INdia in October and I've been doing a bit of research on this. Here are some links you might find useful
Also, if you go to www.roughguides.com - type in India into the search box. Then select Basics on the side menu, then Getting Around, then Rail.....you will find most of what you need to know there.
Hope that helps,
Thanks guys, some useful info.
yr right about the bag security thing Mim. I've always used a decent bike lock on my bag when I've been travelling on trains. At least you know you've taken reasonable steps to keep it secure. Makes going to sleep that little bit easier. And if someone still manages to nic it, what more could you do?
Weather should be good in November
Also the reliability thing...
It is sometimes difficult to get a train in some of the larger cities,patience is well rewarded in these situations, it helps to be a little flexible and buying a ticket, well thats an experience you'll just have to look forward toteehee
November is the best time to visit Rajasthan. Not much heat but more tourists. You should try a camelsafari for in Jaisalmer/Bikaner. Go and take a look in Jodhpur, just great.
I had never problems with thieves on trains in India (travelled the whole subcontinent). Just use your backpack as pillow. You will easily notice when someone is trying to steal something,
Its really easy to arrange traintickets. Indian railway has special tickets for foreigners. take a sleeper, this is third class but is good enough and cheap (like 2 dollar for 150 kilometers). I travelled during low season, in high season its probably harder to get tickets due to more tourists. Good luck, wouter
It depends what you want from your trip... If you want a huge culture shock, stay in the north...fly into Delhi and hit small towns in the north. The South of India is great too. Kerala (sp?) is georgeous...it is a popular tourist spot so it isn't as down and dirty as teh rest of Inida. The beaches are fantastic and the food is excellent. I stayed in Kovolam Beach. Also Mallamallapurm (again sp?) and that was fantastic as well.
I travelled on sleeper trains all through India and for the most part it was fine. I felt safe and it was very cheep.
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