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india route for march

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1. Posted by sacmike03 (Budding Member 60 posts) 6y

Is this way too much? My friend put it together but seems like we will be on a train almost every day. And i heard Manali is hard to get to because of snow in march and that darjeeling would be a better option...is this correct? Sorry for such a long list

>>>March 1st<<<
Fly into Kolkata (Calcutta)
>>>March 2nd<<<
Calcutta
>>>March 3rd<<<
Train to Bhubaneswar
>>>March 4th<<<
Explore the temples of Bhubaneswar, Puri & Konark
>>>March 5th - 7th<<<
Train to Hyderabad (sounds cool but can be skipped if short on time)
The next big hub is Chennai (Madras). Everything says there's nothing
there and can be skipped altogether but we will need to pass through.
Places of interest directly to the south are: a small village called
Mamallapuram, the site of a 7th century Shore Temple, a UNESCO World
Heritage site and Puducherry, a small city with a French bohemian feel.

>>>March 8th - 10th<<<
Get to and explore the temples of Trichy, Thanjavur & Madurai. There's
also an animal sanctuary here called Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary that
sounds cool.

>>>March 11th - 15th<<<
Kochi, Alappuzha & Varkala are all beach towns that are close to each
other. They all sound interesting in different ways and all three are
highly recommended.

>>>March 16th - 17th<<<
Train to Mysore.
Possible stops: 1.Nilgiri Hills/Coonoor (Blue Mountain railway), they
sound beautiful but I'm not quite sure if there is anything to do and
whether or not we can get there.
2. Mudumalai National Park. I don't know how many national parks we're
going to want to see & which ones we should opt for.

>>>March 18th<<<
Day in Mysore. Sounds like there's stuff to do. The market sounds
amazing & yoga is huge here.

>>>March 19th<<<
Train to Bengaluru (Bangalore). Cool city, great nightlife.

>>>March 20th<<<
Train to Hampi

>>>March 21st<<<
Hampi Temples

>>>March 22nd<<<
Train to Goa

>>>March 23rd<<<
Goa - Beach time (an extra day here to chill?)

>>>March 24th<<<
Train to Mumbai (sounds like a typical city - more than 1 day?)

>>>March 25th<<<
Train to Ajanta.

>>>March 26th<<<
Explore the caves & temples of Ajanta & Ellora. (It looks like this might
be a day trip out of Mumbai. We might have to take the train back to
Mumbai to continue.)

>>>March 27th<<<
Train to Ahmedabad.
Optional detour to Diu, chill seaside town/island.

>>>March 28th<<<
Train to Udaipur (India's most romantic city according to Lonely Planet).

>>>March 29th<<<
Train to Jaipur - check festivals, this city has a few in March. If not,
the city can be skipped altogether.

>>>March 30th<<<
Train to Agra.

>>>March 31st<<<
Agra - Taj Mahal.

>>>April 1st<<<
Train to Delhi

>>>April 2nd<<<
Day in Delhi

>>>April 3rd - 4th<<<
Train to Amritsar - Golden Temple.

>>>April 5th<<<
(Check the news for political unrest in Kashmir)
Train to Jammu (optional - some cool temples but the main attraction of
this town only occurs in the summer).

>>>April 6th - 7th<<<
Train/Bus to Srinagar (sounds beautiful).

>>>April 8th<<<
Train to Leh (Backpacker town).

>>>April 9th - 10th<<<
Train/Bus to Manali (tons of outdoor activities, might want more time
here).

>>>April 11th<<<
Train to Shimla (optional, great place to escape the heat).

>>>April 12th<<<
Train to Rishikesh (aka hippy-ville) the self-proclaimed 'yoga capital of
the world' sounds quite new-agey.

>>>April 13th<<<
Train to Corbett Tiger Reserve (Amazing!)

>>>April 14th<<<
Long train ride to Khajuraho (most likely via Delhi).

>>>April 16th<<<
Visit the Kama Sutra temples.

>>>April 17th - 18th<<<
Train to and wander around Varanasi.

>>>April 19th - 20th<<<
Train to & explore Bodhgaya.

>>>April 21st<<<
Train to Calcutta.

2. Posted by arif_kool (Travel Guru 1757 posts) 6y

Quoting sacmike03


>>>April 8th<<<
Train to Leh (Backpacker town).

>>>April 9th - 10th<<<
Train/Bus to Manali (tons of outdoor activities, might want more time
here).

>>>April 11th<<<
Train to Shimla (optional, great place to escape the heat).

>>>April 12th<<<
Train to Rishikesh (aka hippy-ville) the self-proclaimed 'yoga capital of
the world' sounds quite new-agey.

>>>April 13th<<<
Train to Corbett Tiger Reserve (Amazing!)

>>>April 14th<<<
Long train ride to Khajuraho (most likely via Delhi).

Except the above, other sections of the trip sound reasonable though you will be spending quite some time on the trains:)

Coming back to your schedule, there is no train from Srinagar to Leh, there is a bus route which is a tough 2 day journey and im not sure whether the roads would be open in early April. The other way of course is to fly into Leh !!
Then again going from Leh to Manali involves a long 2 day journey on the bus with an overnight halt. U have to give sufficient time for urself in Leh to rest and get used to the conditions !
From Manali to Shimla again there is no train but the distance can be easily covered by bus, so that wont be a problem for u !!

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 6y

Thinking of visiting India in March as well, but just for a few/several weeks, concentrating on some parks and cities.

I just read your itinerary and I really have to say it sounds tiring already reading it. I know it's tempting to explore more once you are there, but even with the 7 weeks you have it is best to either visit the northern half or the southern half, or do smaller parts of both, connecting with the occasional flight or so.

Also, for an impression of train length check this website
It's easier to use than the official indian train website.

Also, March will be the start of the warm (read hot) season, though March is not as bad as April. And this is especially true for the northern parts (except the mountains of course): temperatures close to 50 (and not with dry conditions like deserts, but higher humidity) wouldn't be my season to travel.
So, if you do decide to go, try and visit the north first in March and stay in the southern areas in April, where temperatures are about 10degrees lower.

Have fun..we might just meet eachother..;)

Mike

4. Posted by smmb (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

I'm just back from 4.5 weeks in South India so can comment on that section.

Calcutta is definitely worth a day. Agree Madras is a hub only, I got there late and did a night train straight back out, don't see any reason to stay, you're going to need those days somewhere else.

Manallapuram is worth a visit, nice town, on seafront, good temples, can do a cycle tour. Good food. Really liked it.

Again Pondicherry is worth a visit, nice town, quite large, some interesting things to do, very French in feel.

Madurai, don't miss the temple! A complete highlight of my trip. You need a few hours to see it properly. It opens early in the morning so I'd go back the next morning as its very different in the light.

Did Periyar, really good trek there, again very early morning so headed there from Madurai, its a few hours by train. If you are going to do jungle / trekking I'd concentrate and do it in one place as opposed to trying to squeeze a few places in.

Kochi is lovely - not a beach town as such but quite a large seafront town. Go to the Jewish quarter and the fishing nets.

Mysore, not a lot to see / do really other than the Palace (its lit up on Sunday nights if you can time it that way) and the Gandhi Museum.

Re the Blue Mountain railway - there were really really bad floods in October last night and a section of the track around Ooty (which is one of the best parts) was completely destroyed and is not expected to be open again for some time. So I'd check pretty thoroughly before you leave this this in.

Mudumalai National Park - did that as well, has an elephant 'home' in Masinagudi. I stayed in Jungle Retreat in Masinagudi, pretty cool but I wouldnt bother going all up that way if the railway isnt running as to be honest there isnt much else to do in Ooty (you can do tea factory but the tea plantations further down south are better)

Goa - you need much more time here ! Its the best beach part you will see and at the speed you've been moving, you will need some down days. I'd say at least 2/3 days in one of the resorts. Its cheap to fly from Goa to Mumbai, the train again will be an overnight, the flights were maybe 30 euro back in November and very regular.

Re Mumbai, I really liked it, 1/2 days would cover if you decide what you want to see and are organised.

Best of luck with the plans, its an amazing country, I loved it and would adore to be going back in March :)

5. Posted by sacmike03 (Budding Member 60 posts) 6y

Thanks for the input everyone...it will really help narrow things down! Cant wait for march!

6. Posted by Phani (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

Quoting sacmike03

>>>March 5th - 7th<<<
Train to Hyderabad (sounds cool but can be skipped if short on time)

hi,
Try not to skip Hyderabad due to ur tight schedule. Infact, Hyderabad is a great city and absolutely a safe place to visit. It is one of the major and prominent cities in Andhra Pradesh and is the Information Technology Hub in entire South India. It has several cultures and traditions in it with an enormous history and glory. Also, Hyderabad is a home for some of the best delicacies in the country. Not all five star hotels and restaurants serve all kinds of local dishes. You can find them like pani puri, samosa chat, cutlet chat, dahi puri, mirchi bajji etc only with the street vendors and small stalls. They are fresh, decilicious and mouth watering.

-snip-

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