First Timers in India!

Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 05:21 AM
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First Timers in India!

Would India be dangerous for 2 girls? We are planning to go in August, and we have 4, 5 days tops. I am fascinated by the mysticism, where would you suggest we should go? I know it is too little time for such a magnificent city, but still.

Would love any advice!
If you have any more suggestions other than India, that would be greatly appreciated, such as Nepal, Sri Lanka?
Dennise79 is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 06:01 AM
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Five days is really too little for any of these countries, although all are worth visiting! I suppose you could do Delhi and Agra, although I really don't think they are the best intro to India - Kolkata and Varanasi would be better. There are plenty of trip reports here - do a search and some reading. August is not the best month, either.

Oh, and no, not dangerous, but you should dress modestly - no shorts or bare shoulders - and maybe avoid packed commuter trains, which you have no reason to ride in the first place.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 06:10 AM
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@Dennise79 - it is absolutely safe! Try reading up on Ladakh which has some magical qualities with its monasteries and monks! Or you could try Varanasi and/or Haridwar that has Hindu influence and you can have some great moments of "insight" into the thought process of the "holy" men there. Like thursdaysd mentioned - 4/5 days IS too little as you will have to spend time at Delhi as arrival/departure points.

Hope my info is of some help.....
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 08:32 AM
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You really need more time to travel to India for the first time. If you are spending a chunk on the air fare, then a huge chunk of time traveling so far, it is really good idea to have at least 7 days, 10 days are even better.
You will be jet lagged, the food and the environment is different, thus you need a good 24 hours to just get used to the new place.
But it is fun and exciting in every way.

You will truly enjoy it so do more research, read guides, read all the trip reports on Fodor's and learn as much as you can and plan everything in advance to get the best experience.
Good luck
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 10:19 AM
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With only 4 or 5 days in India, you are not going to find much mysticism or insight into the thoughts of any holy men!

However, India is is pretty safe if you use common sense. You could fly into Delhi and take a train or driver to Agra, or fly from Delhi to Varanasi Or take an all night train to Varanasi or Hardiwar, but that will eat up even more of your time.

August is extremely hot, but fairly dry heat as the monsoon has passed.

Are you just flying into India? Or is this an add on to a longer trip? Are you traveling deluxe or on a tight budget?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 10:22 AM
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Read Indiamike.com it will give you some ideas. It is way too little time to even get a sense of India. Where are you coming from and where are you going to? I think we need to know a little more before any useful suggestions can be offered.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Dennise, as others have already said, 4-5 days is just not enough for India. If you have your heart set on it, I would just pick one city to go to -- especially if you are flying in and out of Delhi. Maybe do Delhi and Agra (if you want to see the Taj) or for a spiritual experience, fly from Delhi to Varansi.
Actually 4-5 days would probably be a good amount of time to go to Kathmandu. Kathie on this forum has posted a great info on the Kathmandu valley -- hopefully she will see this and re-post it.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 05:46 PM
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It's safe for 2 girls, BUT...don't drink and go out intoxicated. The mysticism you're looking for is generally bogus and more the fascination of Westerners. If you appear gullable and naive, you will be taken advantage of both monetarily and possibly worse.

Stay off the public city buses. Even Indian women try to avoid them because of being touched and harrassed by men on the bus. They're usually packed also.

Be smart and know what you want to do when you are there. Have a pre-planned itinerary. It's safe to visit India, just don't let your guard down around the "friendly" strangers. Use the same common sense you should use visiting any unfamiliar place.
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Old Dec 10th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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It would indeed be a better idea to go when you have more time to spend on India - it's such a vast country and there is so much to see - also if it's your 1st time it can be overwhelming at times. My recommendation is to take your time so that you can adjust to your surroundings and then start to enjoy India. If you are looking for the more 'magical' side of India you also need time to get to the smaller, charming places, away from the big cities and this takes time.

If you really want to go for 5 days head for Varanasi and to save time you can fly into Delhi, have 1 night there and fly onto Varansi the next day. Find a hotel and arrange a dawn boat trip down the Ganges and take a walk along the ghats. It's an ancient and fascinating city, perhaps more spiritual rather than mystical.
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