Hey there people!
I'm moving on to India in a couple of days time and i haven't had much of a chance to sort out an itinerary! I'm flying into Chennai and out of Delhi, so my rough plan is to travel down the east coast, up the west coast then spend some time up in Rajisthan maybe getting up as far as Leh and across to Varanasi. Is that too much for just over two months?
Has any one got any hints, tips, recommendations or general words of advice for me??
All comments greatly appreciated!
Don't miss Udaipur or Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan. Ranthambhore is fantastic (we saw four tigers there in two days), I can't recommend it enough. We staying in a great place there too called Ranthambhore Bagh in luxury tents (not too expensive though!), and the owners are brilliant.
I also loved Fort Cochin in Kerala (and recommend a hotel called the Fort House there) and Varkala in Kerala (and recommend Villa Jacaranda). Both brilliant places, esp. Cochin.
As emma mentioned Rajasthan is certainly not to be missed. It has beautiful cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer which have lovely palaces and forts . Also the places in North india which are not to be missed are Agra(Taj Mahal), Varanasi, Delhi and if u like the hills then Himachal pradesh which has beautiful hill stations like shimla, Manali, solang valley, but it will be snowing during winter.
Since ur interested in visiting Leh, there are two options to reach there, either u can fly from delhi or go by the land route via Manali or Srinagar, but both these routes are open only from July till mid-october. Even though the journey is long and tough but it passes through spectacular landscape. Moreover Himachal Government tourism runs a daily bus service from manali to leh with an overnight halt in a tent in a beautiful valley called Keylong. The bus has more foreigners than Indians. I highly recommend that. Then if u wanna fly, there are daily flights from Delhi to Leh which operate round the year.
The road journey from manali to leh of 470km, passing through spectacular landscape is worth the pain. Once u reach Leh u have 2 important excursions....one to Nubra Valley and other to Pangong Lake.. the road to Nubra valley passes through Khardung-La, the highest motorable road in the road at almost 6000metres. Pangong lake at an altitude of 4200m is a beautiful lake which is 120Kms, half of which is in India and the rest in China. Apart from these there are numerous trekks available ranging from 4 days to a month.
Once north india is finished u can move to Mumbai(which has elephanta caves) and visit Goa which is an overnight journey from mumbai. Goa is famous for the beaches and typical Goan cuisine.
Then moving on to South india, which is famous for the beautiful temples,places not to be missed are Madurai, Mysore, Chennai, Tanjore, Hampi. What i recommend the most is to visit the State of KERALA, which is called the God's own country. This state has a number of backwater cruises to suit every budget. In Kerala, the triangle of Munnar(hill station), Thekkady(wild life reserve) and Alleppy(Centre of backwater activites) are not to be missed.
Do let me know if u need more info
Cheers and have a nice trip
Way too much to do in two months. That's almost the whole itinerary I did in 6 months. I would say pick two of the following regions - each for one month:
Tamil Nadu and Kerela
Kerela, Karnataka, and Goa
Personally I would say head straight to Kerela from Chennai and visit Kerela, Karnataka, and make a quick stop for a bit in Goa. Then head up to Rajasthan and do a quick jaunt over to Varanasi before you fly out. It will make for a very busy itinerary, but I think you can do it.
With such a short time, Tamil Nadu doesn't have too many "must sees", so you can safely save your time for Kerela. This time of year I would say heading up to Leh is out unless you plan on flying.