I am going to india from tibet during mid april (i know it is gonna be roasting, but it is the only time i could do it!) and have not done a lot of planning as to where i am going. My first port of call will be varanasi, and from there i plan to hit:
dharmsala, in no particular order.
I will have a month to do all this and am flying out of delhi. Can anyone suggest any good places to visit either inbetween these or in northern india generally where i could also stop off?? Or will i have enough on my hands as it is?
If you can, do spend an hour or so at the Ranakpur Temple. It's a marvellous marble structure that has to be seen before 5:30pm. I say before 5:30pm because after that, photography is prohibited & the temple isn't well lit from the inside. Just a few candles are lit that's all. It's a huge temple with hundreds of marble pillars. Ranakpur is en route from Udaipur to Jaipur. The temple is the only sight worth stopping for if you're driving via that route.
I went from Jodhpur to Udaipur, via Ranakpur and I found the drive absolutely fascinating... It is very scenic!
Another place I really liked was Sikandara, Emperor Akbar's resting place near Agra. Fatehpur Sikri, enroute from Agra to Jaipur was also interesting. Try Santhosh restaurant in Jaipur, for some delicious Rajasthani thalis, located close to Maharani Plaza and close to the famous Kanji Sweets shop.
In Delhi, I guess my favourite sites were Qutb Minar, followed by Rajghat (Mahatma Gandhi's samadi site).
Pushkar is worth a visit too, and maybe a day or 2 at the Ranthambore National Park if wildlife interests you. I wouldn't waste too much time on Bikaner - i think if it wasn't for the rat temple the place would have nothing there that makes it stand out from anywhere else in Rajasthan.
Thanks for the suggestions - i will look in to them.
Can anyone suggest places to visit up near dharamsala or en route there?
Some of the places other than those I went to up in the northern area of India that were worth a visit are Haridwar and Rishikesh. They are a lot less frantic than the hell hole known as Delhi. You can get a train from Delhi-Haridwar and then you get a bus from Haridwar to Rishikesh. It was so nice to sit up near the top of a mountain without anyone near getting in some fresh air in Rishikesh instead of the disgusting air that is in Delhi. I was in Delhi in June and that was HOT!!! It reached 50C on some days, so April hopefully wont be as bad as that.
Mussoorie was also really nice and had fresh mountain air, but to get there from Rishikesh you needed to get a bus to Dehra Dun and then another bus to Mussoorie.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2007, at 2:24 AM by aharrold45 ]
The day temperatures do start to rise in April and sometimes touch the 37 degree Celcius mark. But since the humidity in land-locked areas such as Delhi is still -at that time of the year- less, one does not feel uncomfortable, if one keeps alternating between the sun and the shade every couple of minutes.. The evenings are pleasant .. ..and you can surely manage without an air-conditioned room.. ..but try and find a room with a desert cooler rather than a room with just a cieling fan..
Dharamshala, as you must be already aware, is in the hills and is cool in April - or for that matter round-the-year.
Rishikesh is on the foothills of the Himalayas and is a must visit just for the feel of it.. ..stay at the GMVN guest house (govt. accommo.) for the place is a little removed from the highway and is thus more peaceful.. ..and has a nice garden. And again, take a room with a desert cooler.. ..my advise.
With that I finish with the weather report