Im not even home yet from Vietnam (well lm in Heathrow with a 3 hour wait for our Belfast flight!) but when one trip ends l gotta start thinking about where next!
India keeps springing into my mind - so l know we have lots of members who have been to India - lm thinking l will have about 3-4 weeks again - probably later into 2008 - anyone suggest itineraries? But the time isnt set in stone.
Also internal travel within India - whats the best way, flights, trains or buses? Whats the average cost of a room for the night. I mean when in Vietnam - after flights were paid l took £500 to pay for all trips internal travel and accomodation/food for almost a 4 week period - l didnt scrimp or wasnt tight with cash and l have brought cash (quite a bit enought to have kept me out there for another 2 weeks l think!) home, bought keep sakes and didnt use my credit card. Can l expect India to me more or less expensive - ie whats the cost of a beer!
Im just starting out and l will buy a travel guide soon too see what interests me but personal recommendation is always best!
Well 2 weeks in Rajastan would be where I'd start..next going to Agra to the Taj and then on to Varanassi. From there I'd head south to see a totally different, wealthier and more relaxing part of india that has a different culture too. Personally I tend to skip the overly touristy places like Goa and go to smaller towns and cities to really see the culture.
I will advise you to not to miss Rajasthan(which has famous 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 head straight to Himachal pradesh which has beuatiful hill stations like shimla, Manali, solang valley, Dharamshala, Mc Leodganj. If ur visiting India during july-October and are of the more adventurous i would advise u not to miss Leh-Laddakh and its surroundings.
The road journey from manali to leh of 470km, passing through spectacular landscape is worth the pain. 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. 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 long, 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 traingle of Munnar(hill station), Thekkady(wild life reserve) and Alleppy(Centre of backwater activites) are not to be missed.
Though i have not detailed Eastern and Central India if u have time, u can explore these also.
Regarding internal transportation, where long distances are to be covered, it would be preferable to take the ariel route. Various low cost airlines have come up during the past few years. Some of these are:
U can prefer train/bus for shorter distances. Train tickets can also be booked upto 60 days in advance at www.irctc.co.in
Regarding accommodation, India has a host of options from budget to expensive ones and the rate depends on the season when ur visiting.
Kingfisher beer is the local and widely popular brand in india which is available cheaply. I am in mumbai, if u happen to be in mumbai, i will throw a beer party for u
Do let me know if u need more I would be more than happy if u come to India, enjoy and leave back refreshed carrying fond memories of India
If u stay in Mumbai what about staying at this place.
Somebody gave me this link a while ago. The hotel looks like very good value and with a good location too.
Apparently it is popular so if u want to stay there try to book in advance.
I don't quite understand why people tend to ignore/neglect/forget about the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand while talking about India.
(Probably because they are in the lower reaches of Himalayas)
Apart form what Arif and Doc have advised, I'd strongly recommend the Kumaon and Gharwal Hills of Uttarakhand - There are places like Nainital (along with Bheemtal, Bhowali, Saat tal close by), Ranikhet, Baageshwar, Haridwar, Rishikesh (also has white water rafting in the wild Ganges), Badrinath, Kedarnath etc.
In Southern India, too, there's quite a bit to see.
You can enjoy the train ride along the Western Ghats (Coast) of India from Bombay to Goa or further South to Kerala on the Konkan Railways. The scenic beauty along the route is breath-taking.
Once in the region, you can choose among the numerous options available to you -
- The Nilgiri Hills in Kerala & Tamil Nadu are home to a variety of Tea, Coffee, and Spices Cultivation estates.
You can choose from a host of hill stations - Munnar, Ooty, Kodaikanal to name a few
- You can take a safari in the forests in - Wayanad, Coorg, Nagarhole, Periyar, Bandipore forests
- You can enjoy the beaches in - Goa (apart from the reminiscence of the Portugese past and amazing food), Kerala, Pondicherry (apart from the French Heritage of the place and the Auroville Ashram)
- There are various Temple cities in the south - Madurai, Udupi, Hampi to name a few
Depending upon how long do you intend to be in India, divide your time. I think North India deserves a greater share of your time.
As for expenses -
- Hotel & Food expense is entirely your call - there is not limit to how much you can spend.
- Travelling cost can be optimized - Mix trains/buses/airplanes well.
Train travel in India is cheap and places are well connected by the Railways network.
Not all bus routes are good - pick your buses well.
In line with the Indian hospitality:
If you happen to be in Banglaore - Beer is on me
Have a good one!
hey if u r comin 2 india then never give up d chance 2 see orissa d most cheapest place of india.tribes,golden beaches,ancient temples r d main attractions here.if u intreted den send me message
As an Indian Its my dream to make my way up north on a Royal Enfield... The Himalayan belt is definitely not one to be missed. I would skip all the crowded touristy cities and towns If I were you, Just so I could get a feel of the majestic Himalayas. Not having visited this region myself, I'm not the one whom u should seek specifics from. Although I do know that Delhi - Shimla - Kullu -Manali - Ladakh- Leh- is a great route to try out.