India planning help

Jul 16th, 2010, 12:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5
India planning help

I'm planning a low-budget trip to India for 2 college students in August. About 25 days. Here's the tentative plan:

I'm most interested in good hiking and good architecture. Prefer to stay in hostels/tents (on the cheap)! Would welcome any tips, especially for hiking guides in the Nubra valley region, and tips on hiring drivers/how to cheaply get from place to place. Also, how much needs to be set in stone before we go? I want to be able to make some decisions there and not have all hostels, etc. booked, as I have on trips elsewhere.

2-3- Jaipur
4-5- Jodphur
6-7- Agra
8- Gwalior
9- Orchha
10-11- Khajuraho
12-13- Varansi
flight to Chandigarh* (or to Delhi, the drive to Chandigarh?)
14-15 Chandigarh
(maybe Corbett Tiger Reserve?)
16-17- Shimla
18- Leh (via Manali)
19-22- treking around Leh, Hemis, maybe rafting in the Nubra?
23- Srinagar (via Kargil)
24- Amritsar
25- back to Delhi (what's the best way to get back?)
26- Delhi

Thanks so much-- sorry so many questions...
redtulip is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,110
I think you have too many destinations in too short a period of time. I made that same mistake. See if you can eliminate some locations.

You can fly back and forth from Amritsar on Jet Airways from Delhi -- about a two hour trip. I'd spend two nights instead of one. It's wonderful to see both the Golden Temple and the Wagah border ceremony at sundown.

Many have gone to the Rajasthani locations you have listed, so I won't comment. I really enjoyed Gwalior, but only spent one night there. Don't make the same mistake. It's worth at least two.

If you are looking for a driver and tour planning, please contact Ramesh Meena did a wonderful job for us as well as other Fodorites. I'm sure he will do so for you.

Good luck!
indianapearl is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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Posts: 2,924
How will you manage food and eating while roughing it without getting sick in the summer heat?
Jaya is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 01:21 PM
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Posts: 25,153
You can also get from Delhi to Amritsar and v.v. by night train. While you can arrange a driver ahead of time, you can also do so after you get there - either from a local travel agency, through your hostel/hotel, or by discussion with any taxi driver. Depends on how price-sensitive you are - arranging locally is likely to be cheaper.

I agree that you need to slow down a bit - India is sensory overload and shouldn't be rushed. Add travel times into your itinerary and see how much time you actually have in each destination.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 01:42 PM
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Remember that it will often take a full day to get from point A to point B. Thus, two nights somewhere is a mere one day.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 03:22 PM
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Posts: 371
You may want to look at the Indiamike website; it has a great deal of information about hostels and inexpensive ways to travel through India--and a lot about trekking.

good luck.
520 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 04:19 PM
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Thanks for the advice. We may drop Jodphur or Varanasi because they are further out of the way, but I'm told Varanasi is a good stop for first trip to India.
redtulip is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 08:25 PM
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I'm sure you've found the site if you tried, but realized I hadn't included the link just in case--
520 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 02:18 AM
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I would recommend this site for india travel advice:
johnbarry1978 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 54
Hello Dear
2- Jaipur
3- Jaipur
4- agra
5 agra
7- orchha
8- khajuraho
9 take flight or overnight train to Varanasi
10 Varanasi
11 take train or flight to delhi
12- drive to Chandigarh
13- drive to simla
14- drive to manali
15 manali
16 drive to sarchu
17 drive to leh
18 leh
19 leh
20 drive to Srinagar but that is to much driving so you can stay in kargil
21 drive to Srinagar
22 Srinagar
23 Srinagar
24 drive to jammu that is also very long drive
25 drive to Amritsar
26 take fast train delhi or flight
You have to drop of jodhpur don't drop Varanasi because that so nice very good
Ramesh Meena
ramindia is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 09:25 AM
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sorry just one night in agra
ramindia is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 11:19 PM
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Posts: 678
You need to be very careful on the hill routes, even in fair weather. The monsoons are at their best this season & therefore one needs to be extra cautious. Some of the drives recommended in some posts are downright impracticable.
The Manali >> Leh road, beyond Sarchu, has been washed away & one needs to drive via Tso-moriri, an additional distance of about 60 miles & several hours. This sector, at places, is dangerous & your driver needs to be well rested. It is advisable to break this entire journey, for acclamatization as well,as: Manali > Jispa o/n; Jispa > Sarchu camps (o/n) this place is bleak & windy; Sarchu > Tso-moriri (o/n under present conditions); Tso-moriri > Leh. It will be advisable to do this sector sometimes in September, due to the recent floods in Leh. The sceneries are breathtaking!!
vp_singh is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,153
And I hadn't noticed the inclusion of Srinigar the first time round. What's the security situation there right now?

I answered my own question... From the UK Foreign Office travel advisories (I ignore the US ones as overly alarmist):

We advise against all travel to rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir other than Ladakh; all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah; and all travel in Manipur.

We advise against all but essential travel to Srinagar and Imphal. If you do travel to these areas then you should only do so by air.

And: The city of Leh in northern India and popular trekking routes to the west were severely affected by flash floods on 6 August. Power, communications and road networks have been seriously affected and will take weeks, possibly months to restore. The Leh-Manali and Leh-Srinagar roads are currently closed and you should not attempt to drive them.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 08:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 678
The situation in Srinagar is not conducive to happy & safe travel, for the time being atleast. The armed terrorism has reduced to a great extant but there is risk of being caught in crossfire or a grenade attack on security forces, while out sightseeing. The new strategy adopted by the separatists is to incite violence through street protests. They are succeeding in good measure as well.
Be safe!
vp_singh is offline  
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