Hiya I'm Sophie and will be 20 when I go travelling in India for 1 month.
I will have been in Nepal for 3 1/2 months before I go there but am getting myself a bit muddled for what to do in India!
I really want to travel from Delhi to Mumbai and visit Agra, Varanasi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur but am getting a bit frustrated as everyone I speak to keeps saying I need to go on a tour etc...but I think they're such a rip off!
I have previously travelled around South East Asia with two girlfriends for 4 1/2 months and had no problems but obviously I'm aware that India is a different cuppa tea!
I am planning to get to Delhi around the 21st/22nd November and then fly home to London around 21st/22nd December from Mumbai...is anyone else planning the same kind of trip? If I do do a tour I would only really want it for the first week, if that, cos the travel never costs as much as they charge you - especially for India...principles and all that...
Alternatively I am contemplating doing 2 weeks worth of travel and then 2 weeks volunteering in either an elephant sanctuary in Sri Lanka or a wildlife conservation park near Bangladesh. Does anyone know of any other NGOs who offer short-term wildlife volunteering for free/just living costs in India?
I am basically wondering if anyone can give me any advice on where to travel in this month, whether the volunteering is a good idea, whether anyone else is planning the same kind of route, any travel agencies they may recommend & if I'm stupid to go by myself really!
Also is the North or the South cheaper to travel?
Thanks a lot,
i would advice you travel northern part of india (if you are there for 1 month). Nov/dec is the perfect month for travelling north. You may start your travel from delhi-agra-Jaipur(capital of Rajasthan state). You should spend more time in the state of rajasthan, as there are so many wonderful places in that state. You must go to Pushkar Fair 2012 : 20-28 Nov. 2012( Pushkar is a town in the state of rajasthan and its very famous among westerners). If you like wildlife, then you can visit Ranthambore National Park (in rajasthan state) and very famous Jim corbett National park (from delhi its not more then 300 kms). I will be there in Rajasthan for pushkar fair!! So if you like to join the party, you are most welcome..
Lastly, i would urge you to go with someone!!
Thank you for your post that's very helpful of you. To avoid going by myself would you recommend doing a tour? If so, do you know of any that aren't ridiculously priced?
My route was going to be KTM-Delhi spend a couple of days there, then to Varanasi (do a 3 day intrepid tour there) then to Agra (poss varanasi & agra opposite way round), then to Bandhavgarh National Park (safari), Udaipur, Jaisalmer (camel safari), Jodhpur, Pushkar, Jaipur then back to Delhi.
This is only my first trip to India and I definitely definitely want to travel more of it...how long do you think it would take to travel the places I've stated/how long should I stay in each of them? As I will have been away from home for about 4 1/2 months I would quite like to end my trip on a beach! Do you think then flying to Kochi would be too much for the itinerary?
I'm not really a person who loves having things mega mega organised but I am booking my flights soon so need to work out where to fly back from...I'm thinking I might fly back from Mumbai so if i'm still in the North I can just get a train there and if i'm in the south I can just fly there or something? Any suggestions?
I think I will book the Intrepid Varanasi tour (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/trips/HHAV-B#overview) and they also do day tours around Delhi which I might do for the first day or something (http://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/delhi_tours)...
Any information or suggestions would be amazing!
I have never taken any tours to be honest. So i can't able to tell you which one you should go for. Although i know that most of the tours are fairly priced.
Ok here is the plan...
Arriving Delhi(stay there for like 6-7 days)-- take a local tour for first 2-3 days (its cheap). Avoid roaming around delhi at dark. As it is not safe!!!!
2nd stop Varanasi (3-4 days)-- You can take a train from delhi to varanasi(in between you will also cross agra by train while going varanasi).
3rd stop agra(3 days)-- i was working there in a hotel for 6 months..So all i liked is astonishing TAJ Mahal..(its mindblowing )..there are several others forts there to watch.
4th stop Jaipur (4-5 days)--Beautiful pink city...Jaisalmer(4-5days) (camel safari), Jodhpur(3-4), Pushkar (go for pushkar fair), Udaipur(2-3 days). All n all 21 days in the beautiful state of Rajasthan.. Then from jaipur you can go to beautiful GOA( amazing beaches everywhere around and very very cheap drinks..lol) Easily stay there for 15-20 days..celebrate xmas, new yr thr...its awesome..i was there for 3 yrs..awesome place..
From there either u can go to mumbai(by bus or train(by train its very beautiful, coz u cross so many long tunnels around 90) or delhi(if u already got return tickets)
Lemme know if you got any probs.
Train is the easiest way to get around. It has been some years since I was last in India but then women just walked to the front of the queue. I went first class. It cost three times second class but don't let anyone tell you there's almost no difference. If doing lots of travelling, consider a 30 day rail pass, available from Delhi station.
I thought India safe (in the daytime anyway), though the locals do tend to pester you to buy things in some places and taxi and rickshaw drivers all cheat you.
I popped over to Sri Lanka from southern India. it's only a short hop by plane.
Consider buying a Lonely Planet guide to India (check one out in W H Smiths, etc). Travel Insurance is not expensive (look online), especially when you consider that some people have taken out second mortgages when something serious does go wrong on holiday.
Thanks very much, I did buy the Sep 2011 India guide but like hearing from other people as well as don't necessarily like getting all of my ideas from guidebooks!
Thank you so much Deppak for how long I should spend in these places, I think I will book my flight home from Mumbai and then depending on where I am/what I'm doing, decide when I'm out there whether to visit the south. I will take a train to Mumbai wherever I am though and am sure I will end up on a beach at one point or another!
I was thinking of doing Rajasthan (as you said) then flying from Delhi to Kochi (much quicker to get to Delhi from Jaipur than Goa) and then spend a bit of time around Kerala (backwaters etc) then go to Goa for like 4/5 nights or something before going to Goa and then on to Mumbai...do you think this is a good plan or is it unfeasible as India is so spread out?
Also, do you think I would have time to visit Bandhavgarh National Park while I am there?
Thanks so much for your help, I really appreciate it!
Also, I would love to visit a national park - with my route which would anyone recommend and how long for/where would I be able to book an excursion? I am going to visit Chitwan National Park in Nepal so if the excursions are quite expensive or will take a lot of time I can save it for the next trip...
Great! There are many places in India to visit. You can enjoy different regions, places in India...
Hey Sophie, what are plans for Nepal ???
Well, the south of India is a bit cheaper to travel. As for the place India has a lot of places to see. You need to be aware of taxi drivers who can cheat you. Also be aware of pestering shopkeepers in some areas.
You can roam about on your own, but try avoiding all by yourself at night except if you are in metropolitan s like Delhi and mumbai. (Delhi is still unsafe for women travellers who travel alone at night though)
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]