a little help or advice is always appreciated:
Jan 22: Arrive Cochin (evening)
Jan 23: Cochin
Jan 24: Bus to Kollam
Jan 25: Backwaters to Alleppey
Jan 26: Alleppey
Jan 27: Bus to Cochin
Jan 28: Coast to Kannur
Jan 29: Coast to Kannur
Jan 30: Coast to Kannur
Jan 31: Kannur to Mysore
Feb 01: Mysore to Bangalore
Feb 02: Bangalore-overnight to Hospet/Hampi
Feb 03: Hampi
Feb 04: Hampi-overnight to Goa
Feb 05: Goa
Feb 06: Goa
Feb 07: Goa
Feb 08: Goa
Feb 09: Goa-Mumbai overnight
Feb 10: Mumbai
Feb 11: Mumbai
Feb 12: Mumbai to Udaipur
Feb 13: Udaipur
Feb 14: Jodhpur
Feb 15: Jodhpur
Feb 16: Jaisalmer
Feb 17: Jaisalmer-overnight to Ajmer
Feb 18: Ajmer
Feb 19: Pushkar
Feb 20: Pushkar
Feb 21: Jaipur
Feb 22: Jaipur
Feb 23: Agra
Feb 24: Delhi
Feb 25: Delhi
Feb 26: Delhi-Fly to London.
Is there anything here you would ommit or change?
Should i drop a day or 2 in Goa?
On the long break between Goa and Mumbai or Mumbai and Udaipur, is there anythere you would suggest visiting?
Thanks in advance,
Your general route/plan is fine but my suggestion would be to simply use it as a very general suggested route and to throw the day-by-day schedule into the garbage.
India is so incredibly diverse and to get the most out of the experience you must be flexible. If you're open to new experiences - some of which might be out of your comfort zone - then India really is a remarkable destination.
Bottom line: Don't tie yourself down to such a strict and restrictive itinerary.
That's my two rupees... No matter how you decide to do it, travel safe and have fun.
This is a guide rather than a strict regime, i just wanted to get it down on paper, i normally travel without set constraints however on this trip i have a certain timescale.
I appreciate your input and for my two rupees worth i most certainly am open minded and ready (ish) for whatever India can throw at me.
I guess everyone has their own style of travel. Having been to India, your itinerary is the worst I could possibly imagine or wish on anyone. One month to get around that much of India and seeing almost everything on route! I'm not sure how you plan to get to those places. If it was in private car then maybe it's doable, but traveling by bus or train in India is an exhausting and time consuming process in itself. I'd say the only way to make that itinerary work is you'd have to have every accommodation booked and every mode of transport booked. Just buying a rail ticket can take a whole day in India.
If it was me and the flights were already booked into Cochin and out of Delhi, I'd probably spend about a week in Kerala, a week up in Goa including Hampi, then fly or train straight up to Delhi and spend the remaining time depending on how exhausted you are by then going around Rajasthan.
Actually on looking again at your itinerary I guess I'm being a bit hard, you almost do have what I suggest, but you need to drop out Mysuru, Bangalore and Mumbai and either take the train up from Goa to Delhi, or fly. I think if you take the train you can go straight to Jaipur
[ Edit: Edited on 23-Jun-2012, at 13:58 by Dodger ]
Thanks for the input Dodger,
I understand its very hectic, which i don't mind too much, there is a rest inbetween for Goa, but its by no means a settled plan, I'll have a look again and see what tweeks i can make-so much in India to immerse yourself in.
I really only included Mysore and Bangalore as breaks in transport, however i can certainly by-pass them if there isn't much to see, I would like to see Mumbai.
Again thanks buddy.
Whoops, I'm going to take back my ill advised, "... your general route/plan is fine..." comment above. To be honest I didn't look at your dates closely. For some reason I thought you were there for a full 2 months, not just one month and and few days.
Ditto Dodger completely... you're trying to cover waaay too much real estate.
That said, if you want to try and stick to your original plan go for it... India has a way of almost immediately self regulating "hyper" travellers... you'll see what we mean when you get there... ;-)
Right then, thats me told!
I've never done a planned route before so i guess i'll revise it and post again when i have a better idea.
This is a pretty rushed route for sure. I would cut a few things out if you can, and as others said, don't plan to actually stick to an itinerary. It's India, and anything can happen with bus and train schedules. I went to Rajasthan this Easter for only 16 days. Because it was so short I wanted to have a pretty good idea as to what we were doing, and planned out a schedule. Of course once we arrived in Delhi, the trains were booked up solid for the first town we wanted to visit (Jodhpur) and so had to scrap it from our plan and start from scratch.
A couple changes I would suggest:
Scrap Kannur. I've never actually been there, but I'm assuming it's all about the beach. So much to see in India and so little time, and you are going to the beach in Goa a week later. This will give you time to actually spend a day or two on the backwaters rather than just travel through them.
Scrap Hampi, unless you can find a faster way to get there. Hampi is awesome and was one of my absolute highlights of a 6-month trip to India. But you're taking 3 days just to get there. Mysore was nice, and I hear ok things about Bangalore, but are they worth adding to your itinerary just to hop off a bus to check them out for a couple hours before getting back on the bus/train? Maybe it would make more sense to take an overnight train from Goa back and forth if possible. You would waste less time.
Your Rajasthan bit is really rushed. You have a single day in Udaipur (worth 2 or 3), and then the next day you are suddenly in Jodhpur. Jodhpur isn't next door, and it will take you a pretty solid day to get between the two. Then after one day you are in Jaisalmer. Again, it's not next door, and what is supposed to be a 4-5 hours drive can very easily turn into an entire day. Then you have one day in Jaisalmer before are you on a night train to Ajmer. Again, you have a single day in Agra (all you need), but no travel days scheduled. Jaipur to Agra is surprisingly slow, so plan on an entire day. Agra to Delhi can be very quick if you plan right and catch the faster trains. But, don't forget that the Taj Mahal is a pretty amazing sight, and worth spending several hours admiring. You will want to be there for the best times - either sunset or sunrise. Don't just plan to hop off a bus from Jaipur and see it for a few minutes, and then hop back on a train to Delhi. I would also say that on such a short trip, Ajmer probably doesn't need to be in your itinerary. Pushkar is close enough that you can just go straight there, and leave from there.
What I would recommend is something like Udaipur - Johdpur - Pushkar - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi. It sucks to cut Jaisalmer as it is a magical place, but it's too far out of the way to go just for one day.
Another thing I would consider, is skipping Goa, Hampi and Mumbai all together. See if you can find a cheap flight that goes from Kerela to somewhere in Rajasthan. That way you could spend an entire 2 weeks in Kerela and actually see something. Visit the beaches there instead of Goa. I would recommend Varkala. Then fly to Rajasthan for two weeks and follow a cropped itinerary based on where you fly into. I know it's tempting to try to see everything, but I really think you will appreciate India more if you take it slowly.
I'm going to revise this plan, think i can add a couple of weeks and cut some places too.
I like your idea of maybe spending more time in Kerala at the expense of the middle part, its very hard to cut some things though .
I was supposed to be in India last year for 5 months, but had to cancel due to a family ilness, so i guess now, as pointed out by you and the others i am trying to cram in too much because of my time constraints.
Back to the drawing board then.
Again thanks all for your input.