I also will be in India in Feb for 5 weeks, then off to Nepal/Tibet for 3 months. Wee Joe I don't know your chances of meeting the Dalai Lama in person....?!
But as u know, his Holiness is a busy man. However he will have lectures during Feb. More details as follows:
"Upcoming Teaching Schedule of His Holiness The Dalai Lama
23 - March 9 His Holiness will give His annual public teaching.
For further information on His Holiness' teaching programmes in India, please contact: Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, P.O. Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala (H.P.) - 176219, INDIA Tel: [91-(0) 1892] 221343/221879, Fax: [91-(0) 1892] 221813 E-mail: email@example.com "
Wee Joe: How long is your holiday?? I only ask because if u are travelling to a time frame your Itinerary will be hard to meet... Its hard to travel to schedule especially where Nepal is concerned..(blockades and strikes). However if uve got a flexable time frame, u got nothing to worry about..
Just to add my tuppence worth, I would recommend Rajasthan, although it's over 10 years since I was in India. Jaiselmer, Jodhpur etc. etc. are wonderful, it's an amazing place.
The other place I really enjoyed was Darjeeling.
perhaps a less visited place that I liked was the orissa coast on the bay of Bengal, although what the situation will be in the light of the awful events recently I couldn't say.
I heard a great quote about India once along thelines of "India will teach you more about yourself than it will about India", and i reckon that's fairly close to the mark. great place to travel.
Thanks for your concern IlandTrekr, i will have plenty of time and flexibility in my travel plans.
Could you give me a little advice here, i have heard from a few people that meeting the Dalai Lama can be done, that if he is in Dharamsala, people line up to recieve a blessing from him, is this not the case? I'm happy to see from the dates that you have shared that i'll be in Dharamsala when he is addressing the public there so i should at least get a chance to see the man.
Yerman, is it definitely worthwhile going so far out of the way to see Jaisalmer? I have heard only good things about it but it is a bit of a jaunt there and back, is it more unique than the other Rajastani cities?
WeeJoe, yes I think it is possible. However Private audiences are harder to come by (but possible).
My travel partner is very close to a Tibetan woman who organizes student exchange programmes. She knows more about this than I do, So I will get back to you on that.
I'll Pm u when I get more info.
Just returned from 3 weeks in India (yep, short time), but I absolutely loved it and have some tips for you, I guess.
I flew to Delhi and came back from Mumbai.
If you're planning to go in November and arriving in Delhi, you can't miss going to Pushkar and stay a few days during the Camel Fair. It's absolutely fantastic, magical and full of people, very colourful and intense, specially if you like taking pictures - you can check mine in the photo gallery, I just uploaded it.
The whole of Rajasthan is very beautiful so if it's your first time in India I think it's worth spending 2 weeks or so in this area.
With your 6 weeks, I think I would do Delhi-Varanasi-Kajuraho-Agra-Jaipur-Pushkar-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Udaipur, and then one week resting in Goa!
Have a wonderful trip!