My trip is set this August 2014. I only have 1 week to reach the above destinations. It may sound crazy, seem impossible, but I don't mind just dropping an overnight experience in each of the city. I just wanna taste and feel the beauty, heritage and literature of India. And so I would like to solicit ideas on where to go, which important not to miss tourist destination, what a must-experience in Kolkata, Varanasi, Agra and Delhi in a span of 1 and 1/2 days. Thank you in advance.
Visit Qutub Minar, LotusTemple, Red Fort, Connaught Place in Delhi. We can meet there if possible. In Agra, try to do Taj Mahal and then run away from the city, not a good safe place to spend a night there.
Ow, wow! Thanks for the tips. That means I would be spending 2 nights in Delhi... Sad, I cannot capture Taj Mahal at dawn or dusk?
Will arrive in Kolkata on Aug 17 and I plan to tour around the place until the next. Then take the train to Varanasi and stay there until Aug 20. Then head to Agra that same day, and as you hinted, I will stay in Delhi until Aug 22. If your offer stands, I can meet you there. Thanks again. Looking forward to that...
Your trip is too short to soak in the atmosphere at any of the locations. Also you are visiting bang in the middle of the monsoons, be ready for a lot of rain and a very hot and humid Delhi[july august probably worst time there]
But here is what you can pick up from
1. Victoria Memorial - Very beautiful memorial to a not so beautiful monarch
2. Kalighat Temple - Nice temple but more than the architecture would help you tap into the pulse of the city
3. Indian Museum - If you are the museum kind, has wonderful exhibits but badly displayed.
4. If you are the type that wont mind sampling the local food. Try the local 'mishti' [rosgulla/sandesh/kala jamun/langch...] or sweets probably the best desserts in India.
1. Vishwanath Temple - The pulse of Varanasi.
2. The Ghats [bathing/burning] - These 'steps' on the river bank will show you the whole cycle of life. Great photo ops. You can also see the ghats and the city from a different perspective of you take a boat ride.
3. For Indian food try Keshari restaurant and for some 'european' stuff try brown bread bakery
1. Taj Mahal ofcourse - best seen at dawn or on full moon nights. Agra is perfectly safe so stay the night and visit early morning or night [if full moon]
2. Agra Fort - beautiful, better than Red fort in delhi
3. Famous for a sweet called petha [I personally dont care much for it]
1. You would be spoilt for choices of historical monuments here. My top choices Humayums Tomb, Red Fort[if you haven't visited Agra fort], Qutub Minar, Nizamuddins Tomb [ More for the qawallis[a feisty type of devotional song] that happen there than for the architecture or historical value, Hauz Khas [more for the shops there than the ruins and quiet lake]
2. Lotus temple - A large marble wonder but has noisy picnickers jostling around, I would personally give this a miss if I am short for time
3. National Museum
4. Cannaught place - the centre of Luytens Delhi and Janpath nearby for shopping
5. Delhi is a great place for food, mughlai and kebabs. If you visit the Red fort also visit Jama masjid and then Karims [they also have a branch at Nizamuddin] for kebabs. Delhi is full of culinary wonders but if you can go to just one place go here
Wow! Thank you! I like the way you describe things, Max. Smile! I will surely note all these destinations. With the way you present them, I am now intrigued.
You have many things which you would like to explore during your trip to India and especially Varanasi. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India. The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the Ganges. The city has been a cultural center of North India for several thousand years, and has a history that is older than most of the major world religions
Varanasi is often referred to as "the city of temples", "the holy city of India", "the religious capital of India", "the city of lights", "the city of learning", and "the oldest living city on earth.
1 - Sarnath - Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon.
2 - Kashi Vishwanath Temple - An ancient Hindu Temple
3 - The Ghats (Total No of 80 Ghats) - All the Ghats in the Varanasi has its own story and specialty.
4 - Banaras Hindu University - one of the largest residential universities in Asia, with over 20,000 students
5 - Food - Well you can get to taste amazing food and sweets for which Varanasi is famous and you can carry some with yourself back if your country permits.
6 - Ramnagar Fort - You can experience the visit to Fort if its open for the visit to the tourist and can see the lavish lifestyle of the King.
7 - Silk - You can buy pure silk material in form of Sarees.
I Hope you will actually need a week minimum to see all these places and experience it by yourself.
Thank you vaibhavm23! You reinforce my desire to stay longer in Varanasi. Your tips of great help, definitely.
You have chosen very good places in India. But each place you will have to spend minimum 2-3 days to see all. In your span of days, Qutub Minar,Lotus temple,Taj Mahal,Agra Fort, Kalighat Temple,Vishwanath Temple are the main places that you should not miss. All the Best.