I’m going traveling towards the end of this year (leaving in early October sometime) and I’m currently planning on spending four months in India and then a similar amount of time in South East Asia. My original plan (admittedly very loose) was to fly into Delhi, head east via Agra and then north up towards Himashel Pradesh. After this my intention was to head south via Rajasthan, onto Gujarat and then all the way down the west coast finishing up in Kerala, before heading back to Mumbai to catch a flight out to Bangkok.
Basically my concern is that my plans for India might be a little ambitious based on the fact that I’ll only be there for four months or so (like to take things reasonably easy) and I wonder whether I would be better off flying into Mumbai and concentrating my travels on the South (for example heading up to Gujarat and then working my way down from there). I've not traveled in the past (for any extended period of time at least) and I'm someone who likes to take things quite slowly...if I found somewhere I liked for example, I would be happy to stay there and chill out for a few weeks.
In short my question is this (apologies for the long post by the way…!). Is it a case of less being more do you think, or should I go with the original plan (and therefore book flights to Delhi rather than Mumbai)...?
It would be great to hear any advice/opinions you may have to offer.
If you could be a little more substantive about your itinerary and interests then it would be possible to provide relevant information.
However, as I notice you being from UK, to give you some pointers, a comparison with Europe is the best way to map/reference India.
1. Rajasthan and Gujarat put together are the size of France.
2. Maharashtra and Karnataka put together are the size of Spain.
3. UP (where Agra is) is the size of Britain (UK, including northern Ireland).
4. Himachal is larger than Denmark
5. Kerala is the size of Switzerland
So you can get an idea how long it would take to travel through a region the size of countries I just mentioned.
Moreover, in Europe the road travel can be accomplished at an average speed of 100km/hr. In India, on the other hand, your average travel speed is going to be no more than 40km/hr (unless you like to live life with some risk ). So you must budget 2.5 times the duration for your travel for the same distance as you would in Europe. (I have assumed you would use public transport or private taxis. Do tell the taxi driver to take it easy, if you hire a day taxi. For buses and trains, the average speed stated above applies.)
So 4 months to do France, Spain, UK, Switzerland and Denmark with sufficient time to chill out may be stretching it a bit, I'd think.
HOwever, if you want to go to specific places in these states and not tour the entire state, then it may work out.
Climate wise, December and January would be perfect for South India. October and November would be getting cooler for north India though not cold.
Hope this is of help.
30+ years in India and i have not explored what you want to do in 4 months...j/k
I would suggest you go according to your plan, Start North & move down south.
Delhi- Himachal & then Agra (else you would be goin a bit down n east and then heading back up north)
Himachal to Rajasthan, rajasthan has a lot to see so you need to zero on what you would like to see, rajasthan can itself take 4 months (u could do jaipur/udaipur/jodhpur/jaisalmer), If you there in November u must go to PUSHKAR, a fair, animal trading and much more, dont miss that.
Rajasthan - gujarat...dont think you should spend too much time in gujarat.
Then head to mumbai..just a couple of days...and then head to GOA ..beaches an more
GOA to south...again south..what do u want to do ...its full of temples..but then u have kerala..back waters n more..also some other beautiful places like coorg..kind of a hillstation and coffee plantations...
India is a planet on its own...so it gets difficult to suggest..what to see ..hope the above helps....however, if be a little specific on what you like to see..may be i can add more..
but however, just go do it..ams sure you will enjoy...
where in the uk r u? currently me in london n doing a bit of Eu
Good afternoon/evening chaps,
Thank you for your swift replies, very helpful indeed...although I had obviously realised that India is a very large country, comparing the specific regions to the countries in Europe has certainly given me a better idea of exactly how big each region actually is. The point regarding the average speed of travel was also very interesting and along with my earlier doubts, made me come to the conclusion that I will have a more enjoyable experience by focusing my attention on a smaller area than initially intended.
Anyway my thinking now is to fly into Mumbai and then head south from there...it's difficult to be more specific about what I want to do exactly but the south seems to have everything I would be looking for in terms of beaches, hill stations, coffee plantations and temples (if forced to, that is the order in which I prioritise those activities/places, obviously more to it than that though!?)...no the general plan is take it as it comes (i.e. have no plan) and see where I end up, possibly fly onto Bangkok out of Bangalore or maybe Mumbai again, but I've yet to make a decision on that (will have to soon as I need to start booking flights...!).
Anyway thanks again for your advice guys, appreciate your opinions...!
the best plan is . . no plan . . enjoy ur trip