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A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Buckinghamshire...
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A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Hi,

It's my first visit to India, I'm a 34yr old female travelling alone. I've put together an itinerary and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions/thoughts on it, particularly in regard to the number of days in each place and whether any can be missed on a first trip.

I've travelled all over South East Asia and Latin America and I consider myself an independant traveller, I am quite happy getting off the beaten track and being really active but I also love a bit of down time to savour a stunning beach or a secluded shack up in the mountains.

Things I want to see / do:

Cooking lessons, something in depth

Watersports: Diving / Rafting

Tigers!

Amazing photography opportunities

Yoga - Beginners course

The classics, Taj Mahal, The Ganges, The backwaters etc.

Arrive: 28th Dec Delhi, Depart 28th Feb Bengaluru

Budget: Approx $2300, excluding flights

Style of travel: Boats, Trains, Some flights if they make sense and don't send the budget over the edge. Long journeys preferably overnight, but if the journeys worth seeing, no problem sitting on trains for hours, I've been to Sth America after all!

So here's the itinerary:

DELHI 2 DAYS

JODHPUR 3 DAYS

JAIPUR 2 DAYS

AGRA 2 DAYS

ORCHHA 2 DAYS

KHAJURAHO 3 DAYS

BANDHAVGARH 3 DAYS

VARANASI 3 DAYS

BODHGAYA 2 DAYS

KOLKATA 3 DAYS

ANDAMAN 8 DAYS

CHENNAI 3 DAYS

KERALA 12 DAYS

KARNATAKA 4 DAYS

BENGALURU 1 DAY

This allows for 9 days contigency and days for lingering longer, however I need to book my Andaman flight so I need to know how many days I should spend in the North of the country.

Many thanks for your help.

Fiona

Agra, India
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1. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Hi Fiona,

The above mentioned itinerary seems to be fine since it is designed as per your interest, and it is covering the most important places of India but can't deny the fact that there is lot more to see !!

I just went through the no. of days you are spending in each city/state and would recommend to cut short your nights in Andaman and Kerala and you can add other interesting places though, the ones which I would recommend are Aurangabad (Ajanta& Ellora Caves), Mumbai -

If any further info required do let us know.

Regards

Summit

Travel Blitz India

Udaipur, India
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2. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Surprise to see Udaipur is not in tour . A class opportunity for top photography in the city and around the city. Its known as one of the best city of north India.

Suggest you to fly udaipur and drive Jodhpur enroute kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur.

chennai
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3. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Hi Fiona H,

I will give the itrenery and transport suggestion from Chennai to Bangalore

After covering 3 days at Chennai fly/train to Trivandrum

cover Kovalam beach, Varkala beach 2 n/1day

Alleppey backwater houseboat stay 1n/1d

Proceed to Munnar by taxi2n/3d

Proceed to Kochi by taxi 2n/3d Fort Kochi sightseeing, cherai beach etc.,

Then by train go to calicut (kozkikode) 1n/1d and wayanad by taxi 2n/3d and proceed to Bangalore

Any queries revert back

regards,

Alen_10

Buckinghamshire...
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4. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Thank you all for taking the time to reply, great suggestions.

Agra
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5. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

2 days at Varanasi and 2 Khajuraho would be good ..u can add Udaipur in your plan as Udaipurmagic mentioned in his post.

agra india
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6. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

For few of those long distances travels between cities. If you plan to travel by train then you need to book tickets in advance as it becomes difficult to get tickets at last moment. Tain tickets can be booked 4 months in advance and train travel is very popular with the locals.

.

deepak

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7. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

In Jaipur you could go to Choki Dani as they have an open kitchen and you could get some impromptu cooking lessons.There could be rafting opportunities in Orchha. You could consider Pench instead of Bandavgarh because of a Kipling connection.

http://begumskitchen.com/ and bedana.roy@gmail.com. are two other options for cooking classes in Kolkatta.

You have many options for your Chennai Kerala Karnataka section. Since you have considered only 4 days in Karnataka, Hampi or the Badami area would be too remote.So you travel from Your last point in Kerala( which could be Calicut )to Mysore and think of Somnathpur, Srirangapatnam and a day excursion to Coorg before heading for Bangalore.

Regards Prem

Mumbai (Bombay...
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8. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Currently tours to tiger sanctuaries are under a big cloud because the Supreme Court has banned safaris in core areas of forests. Your Bandhavgarh itinerary may become infeasible. There is supposed to be some announcement by the end of this month, you can wait and see what happens. Otherwise you need to skip Bandhavgarh and go from Khajuraho to Varanasi.

Your budget is what I would describe as "shoestring" for 2 months. The Andamans are expensive to get to and dive. I highly recommend you see http://www.goneindia.com/ for how to make this trip on this budget. You are going to have to take overnight trains and save on the costs of hotels. You are going to have to pick an itinerary that can be done with a rail pass or with connecting trains everywhere. That will work. You should expect and cope with some depressing moments as a solo woman roughing it out in budget lodges.

I just answered your other post about where to do cooking lessons. That was before I saw this post with your long travel plan. Given what you are doing, it would be best to take local lessons in each place you go.

Some more comments:

1) Add time in Delhi and learn Punjabi cooking. 2 days is very little for Delhi anyway. At least 3-4 days would be good.

2) It is fine not to attempt multiple cities in Rajasthan, according to me. Udaipur is lovely but you can't go everywhere, so if you can add it do so otherwise not. Jodhpur is home to the best fort in Rajasthan, and the gateway to the Thar desert. What's more it is an opportunity to learn the desert cuisine of Marwar, locally we call this Marwadi cooking and it is a style with unique characteristics as it takes into account the lack of water in the Thar desert area, the lack of fresh vegetables all year round, etc. Very innovative cuisine in many respects. Go to a Jodhpuri home and learn it. I especially loved learning the various preserves that they made and dried, and how they reconstituted them into dishes, and also the desert shrubs that they used in the food.

3) You can learn yoga in Varanasi but even a beginner's course worth taking at all is 7 days. In a constantly moving itinerary you cannot take lessons

4) For diving Andaman is the only option. See if you can get someone to teach yoga there. I doubt it will be cheap. Drop it if you have to. There are probably other places in the world you can dive and snorkel.

5) In Bangalore/Mysore, learn South Indian cooking. There are a variety of styles, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

Actually I have a lot more but here's what I suggest as a practical first step - take the initial segment - DELHI / RAJASTHAN / AGRA / ORCHHA / KHAJURAHO / VARANASI and do the math. See what it costs you. These are the must-see sights for most travellers. Once you budget that, you will get some sense of what you can afford after that. The other part which you can also budget, given that you are flying into Bangalore, is maybe a bit of Mysore area and Bangalore.

Buckinghamshire...
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9. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Thank you all again for taking the time to reply, I love Tripadvisor!

And particular thanks to Deepa, that's fabulous insight and a great idea to do lessons all over the country to get a real flavour of the different styles of cooking. I have 9 days contingency so I can use this to base myself in one place for a weeks yoga course. And I've managed to find a great package for diving at Barefoot diving (not the hotel!), the accommodations basic but when you're somewhere that beautiful who cares! Thanks again.

amsterdam
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10. Re: A 2 Month Taste Of India: Itinerary Critique Please

Hi Fiona.

Did you make it to India and if yes, how was your tour?

In April I am planning a trip there for 2 months also and am really interested in the same types of places as you.

Could you share any advice and the best itinerary you took?

Namaste.

Stephie