We will be travelling to North India in December. We plan to visit Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Simla and Manali in 12 days. Will this be sufficient time to see all the interesting sights or will it be too rushed? We are wondering whether it would be better to travel on our own or take a tour package? Is it easy getting from one place to the other by train or bus? By the way, what will the weather be like in December? Do we have to bring winter clothing? Would appreciate any advice that you can provide for a first-timer. Thanks!
North India (especially Jaipur) will be pretty cold in December so you definitely want to bring warm clothes. 12 days is not a lot but it's not too little either. If I were you, I'd pick either Simla or Manali instead of trying to squeeze both in. I have not been to Simla so that is going to hard for me to advise on. Manali, on the other hand, is packed with tourists, shops, and restaurants. It is a base for some gorgeous places in that area. I would definitely recommend staying in Old Manali when you visit there.
As far as your tour package goes, I don't think that is quite necessary. What you might want to do is get a pre-paid taxi for Delhi since it is a city of large distances. You may want to do something similar for Agra. Jaipur and Manali do not warrant a tour package at all.
I hope this helps. Have an awesome trip!!!
The following break up can help you-
Delhi-Jaipur - 2 days ( By bus- Excellent Bus service by Rajasthan tourism from Bikaner House (india gate round about)every 1/2 hour from 6am -11pm.
Delhi -Agra - 2days (By Taxi preferably as roads are bad. only 200 km from delhi.
Delhi- Manali- 4 days
Delhi- 4 days By pre paid taxi for shoping and moving around and for sightseeing just take a conducted tour by Delhi tourism bus from Delhi Haat (Very famous place near INA Market and AIIMS )
Manali will be very cold and you will get snow all over so get heavy jackets and pullovers. Check the weather at WEATHER UNDERGROUND.COM
The best itinerary that I can suggest to you immediately is something like this: Delhi - Chandigarh - Manali - Shimla - Rishikesh - Kuchesar - Agra - Jaipur- New Delhi.
However, this is just a skeletal itinerary & needs to be given a very hard look.
December will be very cold especially in Simla & Manali. You will definitely need heavy woolens.
The best way to travel is by your own taxi cab, though you may also travel by train/bus, as also mix the three means of transport for economy & efficiency.
Thanks you guys, for the tips. Will certain bring lots of warm clothing. I'm really excited just thinking about the trip!