Planning a dshoestring trip to India, and need advice on good places to go. Interested in local culture, local food, beaches, and having a good time. Can anyone tell me good places to go? I'm in my 50s, so am not crazy about wild 20s sex and drugtaking (been there, done that). Still up for fun, though.
I would recommend a trip to any one of many religious places in India - they give you the essence of true local Indian culture which is very different from the lifestyles that travellers get to view in places like Mumbai or Goa.
Let me know if this sounds interesting - I can dig up some more info.
another option would be to backpack through kerala....
its a beautiful place with many rivers and the backwaters are simply amazing.....
Goa of course tops the list of placees to visit but believe me Kerala is also up there
Actually, if youre looking for culture and spirituality, Goa is the last place you should go to, goa is partyland.
If you want to travel in the north, hit McLeodgunj, which is near the town of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. It is where the Dalai Lama resides. There are many ebautiful temples, hermitages and monasteries in the area, of a variety of faiths. You can also try Rishikesh and uttar kasi, though the conditions are harsh and facilities are few there, they are the holiest of spiritual places for Hindus especially.
In the south, I suggest Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Lots of strange and beautiful thinga to be seen. if you are travelling in december, dont miss the city of chennai in tamil nadu, it is art season, where music and dance festivals run all month. The best of indian classical music and dance is available daily for a whole month, a true feast for music lovers.
Sorry cannot agree with the members who say Goa is only party time ,Goa is a big place in fact its state.I went to Goa last year after 15years living shoestring in so called spiritual India Rishikesh/Varanasi and found Goa heaven.Ii didn,t go to one party in the 2 months i was there even though i was stopped bya traffic policeman one saturday night and directed to the party as i was going in the opposite direction,he couldn,t understand for a short 2 seconds or more that i was going back to my bed to sleep at 10pm.One thing about india to catch a glimpse of the real spiritulal India you have to get up real early when most of the real people get up , not the indians who hang aroung westerners spouting this philosophy that philosophy and they are still crashed out at midday,so i would certainly recommend Goa as a starting point.I lived in the small vilage of Siiliom in a very grand old Portugese 18th century house and i paid peanuts for it ,there is a nice white beach 10 -15 minutes away where most of the time iand my wife had it to ourselves and you could see white sand as far as the eye couldsee,only on weekends the locals come out to have a dance and a cuddle salsa style ,these are middle age people enjoying there envirement,goa food is wonderfull a foot and a half fish for less than a pound Lots of small temples where they have never seen a westener, singing the praises to shiva krishna etc goa people are well educated and polite something that is very difficult in the north of india ,they have beeen exposed to bad westerner for so long that they copy them and there habits.mccloud ganj as some one mentioned is home to the delil ama and is ann ok place ith wonderfull scenery to walk aroung,butit is a bit of a scene with psuedo saddus western and indian and egotistical western buddhists who think they have foung nirvana,overall it is an ok place to stay althiough it has changed drastically since i first went there 15 years ago still hill people in general are laid back people,but beware many of the so called educated middle class trainnee doctor come to mccloud ganj at the weekend to oggle at the girls and make trouble..kerrella /tamil nadu great places oki,m rambling oni f you want to know more feel free to ask
jamie about chennai for the music that is correct but is not a cheap place to staya ty alland you get bitten alive by mosqitoes,most of the cheaper places are 17km from chennai in mahabalapuram ,herion a big problem in many places of india now namaste