Im considering travelling to India for 3-4 weeks in Aug/Sept 2006. I have a budget of about £400 (excluding flights), but hoping not to spend any more than £250. I will fly into mumbai, and definitely want to see goa. Iv had kerala, jaipur and varanasi recommended, and i wud like to c taj mahal. However, i dont think i will have time, should i limit myself to either travelling north or south india?? and if so which one should i go for?
I personnally recommend the south more. As you probably know, travelling in India can be sometimes hard especially the first days because a lot of times you get begged for money. It took me a while to learn to deal with that, so if you have 3-4 weeks, I recommend the south because from my own experience it was a lot more relax, less touristic, and the people friendlier. If fact the Tamil NAdu province was the most relax place we saw. If I were you (and presently I wish I was because I'm spending the winter in Canada and it's getting cold !) I would visit these places :
First 2 weeks, Bombay then - Goa (beach and party)- Hampi (very ancient temples in a desert of rocks) - then Mamallapuram (through Madras)
3rd week : Pondicherry (a very chill city , you can rent bicycles and ride near the ocean...)- then Auroville ( a kind of commune with nice people and a spiritual feel)- then Madurai (amazing temple)- -
4th week : Kerala backwaters (just need one day to see the backwaters near Kochi)- then Mysore (a nice city)-then if you have time, back to Goa (for a last party!) then back to Bombay.
I don't know what currency is 400 (euros I guess), but the places I told you are by far cheaper than North places like Taj MAhal or Rajastan... and you'll be able to make it for less than 500 $ (american), even a lot less, it depends on you...
If you still go north I suggest Delhi - Jasailmer (camel safari) - Udaipur - Varanasi (Ganga ,very spiritual) - Rishkesh - Kajuraho - and if you go see the Taj Mahal in Agra, be careful of people trying to make deal with you to sell you jewels... I almost got riped off 1000 $.
So have a nice trip lucky Nikki !!! and if you want more info just email me and tell me what kind of trip you`re looking for ...
[ Edit: Email address and loose snippet removed... ]
I have to agree with siphon with regard to south india being less touristy and probably a little more relaxed. That being said, I find the north way more fascinating. I guess that is because I am of south indian origin and everything there seems way too familiar. The only downside I see to travelling through North India in Aug/Sep 2006 is that Rajasthan (Jaipur etc.) may not be such a great place to visit at that time. It will be pretty hot at that time. It is a great time to visit the Himalayas though. Here are my recommendations for North India:
Manali and the neighboring towns
If you want to party, Goa is the place to be at. Nights out in Bombay can get prohibitively expensive at times so I would not make that your party base.
As far as South India goes, I strongly recommend visiting the backwaters of Kerala, and the Mysore area. Feel free to contact me if you need more information. You may also want to take a look at this website: www.indiamike.com
Hope this helps,
As it will be bit on the hot side during August/ September, so you may consider avoiding Rajasthan. I think the following itinerary is workable for you, but consider that India is vast country and you should choose destinations based on your preferences:
Mumbai-Delhi-Varanasi-Agra- Khajuraho -Delhi (6 Days)
Delhi-Rishikesh-Manali - Rohtang Pass- (Ladakh?)- Delhi (6 days)
Chennai (Madras) - Trichy - Madurai - Periyar - Cochin - Bangalore - Mysore - Hassan - Hospet - Badami - Goa - Mumbai. (16 Days)
I am from North India but I feel like if u come to India in Aug and sep it will be Hot.Its start of monsoons so it may be raining at lot of places.
We start from North,
1)Shimla,Manali,Dalhousie,(these are in Himachal Pradesh),Leh-Ladakh will be pleasent and u will like the weather.I am from this place.U may enjoy seeing snow in Rohtang Pass.
2)Rajasthan will be hot but u may travel towards end of sep.Here u may see Forts and enjoy desert Safari.
3)Agra is place u should visit just to see Taj Mahal.Be carefull while buying things and dealing with people.Just go to watch monument and forget evrything,there is nothing else of importance there.
4)U may got to varanasi,Hindu Pilgrimage place,but beware of thugs.
5) Delhi will be damn hot,I work there but there are historical places to visit for u.
1) Goa is for Beaches,if its not raining u may enjoy the sea.and it will be off season so u spend less money.this place has good night life.
2)Mumbai:Again it may be raining.but place is worth visiting.
Everbudy have explained south so nicely so no repetition.
I like OOty ,Mysore,Kodaicanal(spell may be diff) weather will be cold here,bangalore and Kerela back waters.
So plan accordingly and enjoy the trip....U R welcome to God's own country. DO mail for any help.
My primary advice when visiting India is not to squueze in too many destinations. It takes a long time to move between cities/regions. While part of the India experience is the act of traveling on (mostly) trains and interacting with the locals, it is exhausting. So, don't try to visit too many different areas so that you can absorb India while minimizing stress, especially since you have just 3-4 weeks. Remember India is a huge geographic mass.
Depends what you are into but my primary suggestion is to choose either south from Mumbai or north from Mumbai, don't try to do both.
here are a couple of my favorite places in the southern part of the country:
Hampi (kilometers of cool ruins to walk around)
Ajuna and Ellora caves (amazing caves)
The state of Kerala has some neat beaches and great food
Good luck and have fun.
I hope you will accept it . I would like to offer one suggestion for you. As you are visiting India and that too to Varanasi, why donnt you visit the State of Assam , the land of Famous Assam tea and one horned Rhino with beautiful lush green, virgin beauty everywhere. even you can visit one of the famous temples of India here is the temple of Maa Kamakhya where you will meet the Tantric .You can contact me in this regard. My email is -snip-
With Best Wishes,
[ Edit: Sorry, no email addresses please... ]
August/September eh? I do think that Ladakh will be a bit iffy with the budget constraints.
Regarding Goa - yes, definetely worth a visit and you should have a blast there. Apart from the beaches, don't forget to visit some other less "touristy" spots there - real gems waiting to be discovered - viz., the churches of old goa and the old hindu temple circuit near Ponda.
Wish you all the best for your visit - may you take back lovely memories of it!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please... ]
In my opinion north-India is the real India, with its colours, chaos, smells. I would go for the north (incl. Rajasthan, Simla, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, Kolkata and Darjeeling). But I should say that India is not for everyone, especially the north (the south is by far more relaxing and you will face much less hassle). But for me the northern part is addicting!!! Once been there and used to its chaos you only want to get back.....
I spent most of my two months in India in the south and while it was fascinating, I'm sorry I missed out on seeing the north. But I wouldn't recommend trying to cram too much into two or three weeks. Take your time and soak it up. It doesn't matter where you are in India, you will experience total immersion in exotica that can surprise, elate and appall you moment to moment. Travelling around in a heat to get to a prescribed number of monuments, in my opinion, is not where it's at.