my girlfriend and i have just booked flights to india arriving in mumbai on the 2nd of october, we have nothing planned at all except for the fact we know we want to do south india. we have a month in india then we move on to china. we would love some of you to help us plan a rough itinerary to help us out, as neither of us have any travel experience apart from 2 weeks in thailand...
we really dont mind doing the touristy thing for the first couple of weeks just so we can get used to it. we dont mind taking a few internal flights which im guessing we'll need what with india being so vast. we also love beaches and chilling out more than the culture side of things. not ruling it out but no culture overload please a few of my friends have recommended some places to go...your views?
any kind of help would be greats guys
Goa is a good idea, a glimpse from the Portuguese colonial past of the place + beautiful beaches + Feni + Fun. Highly recommended
Bangalore is a big city, but why exactly do you want to go there?
Hyderabad, well you can watch the palace, Golcunda fort etc.
Madurai : Will do for your cultural part. Amazing temple and a beautiful Nayakar Palace.
Varkala : Err .. whats that ?
Allepey : In the middle of God's own country. Highly recommended. You will enjoy the immense beauty of the backwaters there.
Hampi: Ruins of an ancient city and a beautiful place. You can go if you interested in culture.
Few of your locations are very good. However, if you really want to enjoy India you need to move to atleast couple of places. Depending on howmuch you want to travel and your budget. You can check for flight options on makemytrip.com. They will help you to plan your tour as well.
If you are really keen on beaches then Goa is the best. Its on west coast of India. Hoever Puri/ Orissa is another beautiful beach.
If you land in Mumbai and willing to take flights.
Mumbai, except night life, Gateway of India/ Elephanta caves (island historic place in sea) nothing much. You should go to Jaipur - Rajasthan see some sand dunes in jaisalmer and then go to Agra and watch Taj Mahal - Must see one of the wonders of worldGo to orissa.
Else plan for Goa which is down and just half hour by flight
Then you can plan for south trip, which involves Kerala , Madurai and lots of hill stations in between. Coorg is another good option. But for south trip you should hire a Car and you will get a guide too and then you can plan your trip till the tip of India and then head back.
In 1984 I turned up at New Delhi airport with nothing booked and a Lonely Planet guide to India. I spent 7 weeks travelling the country (via railway and bus) and was back four years later for another 7 weeks. So maybe get an LP guide?
Sri Lanka is only a short hop by plane from southern India.
Mumbai is good for a couple of days. From there take the train to Goa. Great experience with great views. Palolem is a good place in Goa. Personally I prefer other beaches in India, but still worth a couple of days. From Goa Kerala is easy accessible. If you like beaches make a stop in Gokarna before heading there. Little less touristic and smaller.
If you go to Hampi, that is a nice historical place and might be what you refer to as a cultural overload. Worth visiting anyway. Personally I love Bangalore and have lived there. One of the reasons I love it is because it is not very touristic. There is not much to do there for tourist, except some very good shopping areas. Hyderabad I have been to only once for a very short period of time. I would not go there if I only had one month.
In Kerala you can go to some hill stations, for example Munnar or Kodaikanal. Personally I prefer these two places in front of fx Ooty. Go to Kochi. I did a backwater trip from there and thought that was good enough, but supposed to be better if you go further down in Kerala.
Varkala is a good place. Supposed to be the nicest beach in India.
If you know how to ride a scooter/bike my best tip is to rent one and take drives outside the towns (Goa, Kodaikanal...). Stop for chai and chat with the locals outside the touristic areas. Then you will get to see a totally different side of India.
One month is a short time in India, but you still get to experience alot. Dont bother going to Sri Lanka and north as suggested above. It is better to just focus on one area and then then see those places the next time. No need to rush it
orissa?????? no???do some research... www.orissatourism.gov.in
Here is a suggestive month long itinerary for you
DAY 01: MUMBAI
Arrive Mumbai. Check in hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay.
DAY 02: MUMBAI
Morning after breakfast, drive out for the local tour of Mumbai. Visit the Gateway of India, the Nariman point, the Marine Drive, the Prince of Wales Museum, the Juhu beach, the hanging gardens, the Chowpatty Elephanta Caves and other places of interest. Overnight stay.
DAY 03 : MUMBAI
Free, day in Mumbai or optional tours to Bollywood tinsel town or Dharavi where the famous Slum dog Millionaire was short. Return and Overnight stay.
DAY 04: MUMBAI - CHENNAI
Morning after breakfast, drive to Mumbai airport/railway station to proceed to Chennai.On arrival you are met and transferred to hotel. Check in and proceed to visit Fort St. George and Marina Beach. Overnight stay.
DAY 05: CHENNAI – KANCHEEPURAM – MAHABALIPURAM
Breakfast and drive to Mahabalipuram. Enroute visit Kancheepuram the land of thousand temples, also renowned for world famous silk saris. Mahabalipuram was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kancheepuram. Visit shore temple and Arjuna’s penance. Overnight stay.
DAY 06: MAHABALIPURAM- PONDICHERRY
After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville. Overnight stay.
DAY 07: PONDICHERRY – TANJORE
After breakfast drive to Tanjore. Tanjore is “Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu” and famous for the Brihadeeshwara Temple. Also visit The Palace and the Art Gallery, Overnight stay.
DAY 08: TANJORE – TRICHY
After breakfast drive to Trichy. Trichy was a citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallava’s. The most famous land mark of this bustling town is the Rockfort Temple .Overnight stay.
DAY 09: TRICHY-MADURAI
Breakfast and drive to Madurai. Visit Meenakshi Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Mahal. Evening again visit the temple to watch the night ceremony. Overnight stay.
DAY 10: MADURAI- PERIYAR
After breakfast drive to Periyar. Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks. Evening Boating at Lake Periyar to watch the wild life. Overnight stay.
DAY 11: PERIYAR – KUMARAKOM
After breakfast, depart for Kumarakom. Arrive & check in the Resort. It is a beautiful village situated on the banks of a serene palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the Western Ghats on the east. Evening go for a sunset cruise. Overnight stay.
DAY 12: KUMARAKOM -KOVALAM
After breakfast, proceed to Kovalam. Sparkling blue waters, silvery white sands, swaying coconut palms- Kovalam is a dream. Stroll through the Samudra Beach, Chowara Beach, Vizhinjam beach or Poovar Beach and enjoy the facilities of the resort. Overnight stay.
DAY 13: KOVALAM -KANAYAKUMARI – KOVALAM
After breakfast proceed to full day excursion to Kanyakumari. Enroute, visit to Padmanabhaswamy temple and Sucheendram Temple. At Kanyakumari local sight seeing which includes Kumari Amman Temple, Gandhi Memorial & Swamy Vivekananda Memorial. Overnight stay.
DAY 14: KOVALAM - VARKALA
After breakfast you are transferred to Varkala the beach destination to chill and relax.
DAY 15: VARAKALA
DAY 16: VARKALA
DAY 17: VARKALA– HOUSEBOAT
After breakfast drive to Alappuzha -The most interesting area in the backwaters. After check in the houseboat will start sailing enjoying the village life by the sid eof Vembanad lake and later in the evening it will be anchored on the lake as the backwater will be closed for fishing. Overnight stay.
DAY 18: ALLEPPEY – COCHIN
Breakfast and disembark at Alleppey. Drive to Cochin. Arrive and check in at your hotel. Kochi has one of the finest harbors of Kerala Visit Jewish Synagogue, Dutch Palace, St.Francis Church, and Chinese Fishing Nets. Overnight stay.
DAY 19: COCHIN – OOTY.
After breakfast drive to ooty. Check in and relax for the day. Overnight stay.
DAY 20: OOTY
Breakfast and proceed for Ooty sightseeing. Visit tea Gardens, Tea Factory, Rose garden and Botanical Gardens. Overnight stay.
DAY 21: OOTY – MYSORE
Breakfast and drive to Mysore through the very popular wild life sanctuaries in India, Bandipur and Mudhumalai. You can witness the animals stroll around if you are really lucky. Arrive and check in to your hotel. Visit Mysore palace, Museum and Brindavan Gardens. Overnight stay.
DAY 22: MYSORE – HASSAN
Breakfast and drive to Hassan. Enroute visit Srirangapattam. Visit Belur and Halebeedu. Overnight stay.
DAY 23: HASSAN – BANGALORE
Breakfast and drive to Bangalore Enroute Visit Sravanbelagola. Visit Lalbagh, Bull Temple and Vidhan Soudha and High Court Buildings. Overnight stay.
DAY 24: BANGALORE - HOSPET
After breakfast you are transferred to Hospet in in Hampi. Check in and relax.
DAY 25: HOSPET -HAMPI- HOSPET
Full day sightseeing of the ruined city of Vijayanagara Empire, the largest UNESCO heritage site in India. Return and overnight stay.
Day 26 : HOSEPT - BADAMI -HUBLI
After breakfast proceed to visit Pattadakkal, Aihole and Badami. Later proceed to Hubli, check in and relax at the hotel.
DAY 27 : HUBLI - GOA
Drive to Goa. Check in and relax.
DAY 28: GOA
DAY 29: GOA
Day 30: GOA - MUMBAI
After breakfast proceed to Mumbai by flight to take the connection for the onward flight
Nice holiday package by Mystical Holidays. I really like it. Still 45 days to go for marriage so I am not in hurry to buy package but I am interested to know about Value of the package. Please provide some good offers too.