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India Itineary...looking for cultural/spiritual angle...??

India Itineary...looking for cultural/spiritual angle...??

Old Sep 11th, 2017, 10:03 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 9
India Itineary...looking for cultural/spiritual angle...??

Hi everyone,

Firstly, thanks so much for the very interesting trip reports that I've been reading over the past few days...very inspiring and informative.

I'd love to know what you think of the following itineary that was proposed to us by a tour company and how do-able it might me. We sort of want a spiritual focus to this first trip and to take it slowly...my initial reaction is that it seems a bit hectic and too travel-centred....we might be prepared to sacrifice some stops to go at an easier pace....would love to know what you think...

Thanks.
Liz x

Day 1Thursday, 26 October 2017 Arrival / Delhi
Day 2 Friday, 27 October 2017 Delhi
Day 3 Saturday, 28 October 2017 Delhi
Day 4 Sunday, 29 October 2017 Delhi / Amritsar by train 6.5 hours
Day 5 Monday, 30 October 2017 Amritsar
Day 6 Tuesday, 31 October 2017 Amritsar / Dharamsala by car 5-6 hours
Day 7Wednesday, 01 November 2017 Dharamsala
Day 8Thursday, 02 November 2017 Dharamsala / Chandigarh by car 6-6.5 hours
Day 9Friday, 03 November 2017 Chandigarh / Rishikesh by car 6-6.5 hours
Day 10 Saturday, 04 November 2017 Rishikesh
Day 11 Sunday, 05 November 2017 Rishikesh / Haridwar / Rishikesh by car 2 hours round way
Day 12 Monday, 06 November 2017 Rishikesh / Delhi by car 4-5 hours
Day 13 Tuesday, 07 November 2017 Delhi / Agra by 4-4.5 hours
Day 14 Wednesday, 08 November 2017Agra
Day 15 Thursday, 09 November 2017 Agra / Jhansi / Khajuraho by train 2.5-3 hour and by car 03 hours
Day 16 Friday, 10 November 2017 Khajuraho / Varanasi by flight
Day 17 Saturday, 11 November 2017 Varanasi
Day 18 Sunday, 12 November 2017 Varanasi / Delhi by flight
Day 19 Monday, 13 November 2017 Delhi / Exit
LizValido is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2017, 05:26 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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That's not as bad as some TA itineraries we see.

I would take an overnight night train to Amritsar and give it one full day (although I skipped the border visit).

Equally I would take the train from Delhi to Agra. Make sure you see the Taj at dusk and dawn.

I might skip Khajuraho in favor of more time in Varanasi. The carvings are beautiful and interesting, but they get repetitive fairly quickly, especially if you are a woman.

I haven't done the Dharamsala etc. bit, but those are some long driving days and I don't know how accurate the times are. And if you are going to Dharamsala for spiritual reasons, isn't that a bit short?
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2017, 06:28 AM
  #3  
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Thanks, thursdaysd, for your advice, it's very helpful.
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Old Sep 12th, 2017, 09:06 AM
  #4  
 
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that is indeed a hectic schedule. my suggestions:

29 Oct - take early morning train to Amritsar to reach by 12:30pm. See the jallianwala bagh around 4pm and golden temple at night (best time to see). early next morning go to border (if you are interested) else leave for dharamshala. this will save you an extra day to spend in dharamshala which you'll need.

Dharamshala to Rishikesh should be easily done in a single day - no need to stop in chandigarh and waste another day travelling.
Spend the 2 extra days in Rishikesh.

Again there are direct trains from Rishikesh to Agra. So no need to stop over in delhi for half day. Use this saved day in Varanasi.
aman_arora is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2017, 01:23 PM
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Aman_arora, thank you so much that it really helpful as we've been trying to think of ways to improve this schedule and you've made some great suggestions.
LizValido is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2017, 03:21 PM
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I thought , when we went in June 2010, two nights in Amritsar and three in Dharmsala was more than adequate. Drive time from Amritsar to Dharamsala- (i.e. likely Upper Dharmsala/ McLeod Ganj "McLo") --is about what it took us, with stops.

You say there is a spiritual angle. Please clarify. Do you perhaps need more time in McLo for that?

NB: What aman-arora would not work for the border ceremony at Wahagh -Atari. NO point going in the morning-- the ceremony (which is the only reason to go) is in the evening. Arrive late afternoon into Amritsar settle into hotel, THEN go to border (about a 45 min drive if i recall right) then return and see Golden Temple at night. Next morning, go back to Golden Temple to see the "village" within and around (coking food for thousands, etc) , walk around old part of Amritsar, then Jallianwallagh Bagh. Relax at hotel, leave next morning for McLo.
CaliNurse is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2017, 12:20 AM
  #7  
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CaliNurse, thank you for the really helpful advice. Regarding the spiritual angle, just that we are more interested in ceremonies, chanting etc than the more historical, archaeological angle....I realise they sometimes go hand in hand but we needed a cut off point. Thanks again.
LizValido is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2017, 05:15 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I thought you meant you wanted to participate, which is why I recommended more time in Dharamsala. Otherwise there is a fine line between interest and voyeurism. You should be aware that unless you are a Hindu you will not be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum in the vast majority of active Hindu temples, and a handful will not allow you to enter at all.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2017, 06:40 AM
  #9  
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I'm open to participating in most things in the spiritual, cultural line...never fear thursdaysd, voyeurism is not on the cards. I am aware of that, thank you for poiniting it out though...
LizValido is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2017, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
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Dharamsala has many Buddhist temples. The Dalai Lama's Temple Complex is in Upper Dharmsala (McLeod Ganj). We felt comfortable and welcome, along with other tourists (yes, that "bad" word!).
I 've heard from Nepalese friends who moved there, that it is even more "touristy" now. Still, Liz...go!
Don't miss the Norbulinkga Center,on the road between Dharmsala and McLo --lovely, peaceful, and educational.
CaliNurse is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2017, 10:34 PM
  #11  
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CaliNurse, thanks once more for the valuable advice...oh yes, we do hope to go... touristy or not! The Norbulinkga Centre sounds really good too, I'll look up some more info. on it. Thanks again.
LizValido is offline  
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