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Suggestions for first trip to India. Please help!

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My wife and I are planning our first trip to India in 2012 (her first time out of the US- I have been to Europe).

So far, we have this rough itinerary:

August 25(ish): Fly to London to travel around England for the week
August 31: Fly to New Dehli and stay for 2 weeks

We are somewhat flexible with our dates but I wanted to do late August because of the nicer weather in England as well as being able to use a free day off of work on labor day later on in September.

While in India, we plan on doing the typical Golden Triangle route and possibly visiting some friends for a few days in Chennai (I think that is pretty far from where we will be so might not be possible).

For the record, we are both mid-twenty's white Americans. We are both very adventurous but haven't had the time/money to travel extensively. We want to visit India because of the unique culture and great sights. We both love to meet new people from different cultures.

These are some questions that we really need help on:

1. Is there any preference to the kind of luggage to bring?
I have a 50 liter backpack from REI that I was thinking about using and we havent bought anything yet for my wife. Im not sure if we should do a duffle, backpack, rolling bag, etc? I was hoping to leave our luggage at the hotels and just use a small daypack when we venture out. Thoughts?

2. What is the typical weather pattern for late August/early September? Will we need any rain gear or cool clothing?

3. What other areas would you suggest we HAVE to see while we are there?

4. Packing suggestions on things that we should definitely bring with us?

It is a bit tricky on figuring out what to pack since England and India have such different climates.

Thanks so much in advance for your time!! Any suggestions for new travellers to India will be very much appreciated!!

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