Hey there seasoned travelers,
I am planning on spending 3 months or so in India beginning January 2010 after 2 months in Nepal. Any suggestions on how to manage 3 months in India?? I am drawn to the North, but really would like to plan for other parts of the country, I fly our of Bangalore to Bangkok later in the year. I can tell you that I am a photographer, a writer, love to trek, am Buddhist, and am on a budget.
Would love to know how others with similar interests have spent their time during this time of the year.
though i am not a seasoned traveler, still may have some useful info since i am an indian. 3 months should be good time to see india in bits and pieces. depending on where you land your trip itinerary can be chalked out. try to start your journey from new delhi and end it at banglore (as you plan to fly out of banglore). that will take you from the north all the way down south. secondly what months do you travel. north india in the summers can be a bit tricky for a person from a colder country. though the himalayas will be a great destination in the summer months. our summers start from may till about early august. for a writer, trekker, photographer and a Buddhist himalayas will be a good start. as you know the mountains are located on extreme north of our country. hence well connected to new delhi.
from the mountains one can travel down to the northern plains. spend some time in varanasi. travel to rajasthan and madhya pradesh. and slowly keep going south. using trains to travel will fit the budget as well as help you see the country at a gradual pace. on a train a person can see the transformation of ethnicity and cultures very well which you will often miss out while flying.
from north till south the people, their dresses, their language, their colour everything will be changing and one must witness those hues. once you are in south make sure you visit kerala, pondicherry, goa. and lots of other places depending upon you taste. if a person is having enough time in hand spending a couple of weeks in the east or north-east will be ideal. yet again a different ethnic group all together. the north-east more influenced by the west (as in the western world) than any part of our country. places like arunachal pradesh are still untouched and beautiful.
one can go on and on talking about india. the simple reason is it's diversity. one has to be hear to believe.
Since ur flying out of Bangalore it would be better to spend half the time in the North and then move on to South before catching ur flight out of India. The weather would be perfect for u to explore the whole of India.
North India I will advise you to not to miss Rajasthan ( 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, Amritsar( u can go upto the international border of India-Pakistan).
If u like the hills then head straight to Himachal pradesh which has beautiful hill stations like shimla, Manali, solang valley, Dharamshala, Mc Leodganj. The road to Leh-LAddakh would be closed due to heavy snow, but if u still want to visit it, u can catch a flight from Delhi.
Once north india is finished u can move to the South India
Travel down to Mumbai (which has numerous excursions available) 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.
Regarding internal transportation, where long distances are to be covered, it would be preferable to take the ariel route. Some of the domestic airlines are:
U can prefer train/bus for shorter distances. Train tickets can also be booked upto 90 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.
Do let me know if u need any specific information
Wow,, thanks for the great itineraries everyone. Very helpful information. Just speaking about Northern India for a moment, I need some advise on how to move through the country after I leave Kathmandu at the end of December beginning of January.. which way would be best to exit the country? Do I travel east to visit Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh regions, and then loop back around, or do I exit to the west in order to fully explore the Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal regions, or do I head south and hit Bihar first? I need some help planning how overall I will migrate through the country! Also, how much time to spend in each region, I know is a very subjective question, but maybe some suggestions taking into account weather and best time to trek/explore any given region over an other another.
I believe u can exit Nepal through Darjeeling and Sikkim so that u can explore these areas also before moving to the western side of North India.
U can also exit Nepal through Gorakhpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This is probably the easiest and most comfortable way to enter India. From Gorakhpur u can travel to Varanasi, Agra, Delhi and visit the state of Himachal Pradesh. Alternately u can also fly from Kathmandu to Delhi.
What all place u intend to visit in North India??