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Suggested Four Week Travel Routes for India
Suggested Four Week Travel Routes for India

Exploring India in four weeks!

Always wanting to visit India? The E-Visa or the Visa on arrival has made India a much simpler place to get to for travelers wanting to visit India.

They say ‘a life-time is not enough to explore all of India‘! But with so much to see, a month in India is the least time you want to spend to do it any justice. We have outlined a few month long travel routes/itineraries that you could follow when visiting India. Each outline includes an overview of the routes, the destinations, the highlights of each route, and the modes of travel.

We’ve also tried to explain the drawbacks of the tour. Compare different routes and what you should be prepared to miss out on. The suggested routes are moderate to fast paced trips. We’ve also tried to indicate a budget for each route from backpackers to luxury travelers.

Route 1 : The Classic North and South

Route: Delhi – Varanasi – Agra – Jaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Mumbai – Goa – Hampi – Kerala

One of the most popular month long routes for travelers, especially with backpackers. This route has you starting in the historically rich capital. Head east to visit one of the oldest cities known to civilization. Travel west to visit the Taj Mahal, and then loop around the Desert State of Rajasthan.

You’ll get to explore cities rich in culture and character in Rajasthan (Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur). You can also take part in the Camel Safari & the Desert Camp in Jaisalmer.  End the northern leg of your trip in Udaipur before taking a bus/flight to Mumbai.

Travelling in the south is more relaxing, as you’ll be travelling south along the same coast as Mumbai. Relax on the beaches in Goa. Explore the boulders and rice fields of the time-bound Hampi. Visit the beautiful state of Kerala known for its backwaters and its tea plantations.

Drawbacks

This is one of the most frequented routes by travelers wanting to visit India. If you plan on picking it, we suggest you ensure all your transport and accommodation is booked in advance.

Since all these places are popular among tourists, it’s likely you will bump into more than a few on this trip. While that isn’t always a bad thing, if you’d like to avoid the crowds we’d suggest you travel a little early (mid July – September). While the North would have great weather, the South would be wet, but beautiful.

Backpacker! Boutique! or mix and match, we can help you plan a well thought and cost effective month across India.

Cost of a four week tour across North and South India?

Backpacking, dorm beds, day and overnight trains, at the most one flight – You can do this tour in as little as 700 Euros/800 USD per head. Euros 1500/USD 1800 for comforts of a flight or two, private rooms with bathrooms, few small heritage hotels.

It can then just go upwards! you can stay night after night in gorgeous palace hotels that cost USD 500 and upwards a night. Have a chauffeur driven car and driver through most of your tour and take flights between many a bunch of destinations.

Route 2:  A glimpse of the mountains.

 

Route: Delhi – Dharamshala – Amritsar – Rishikesh – Delhi – Jaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Pushkar – Agra – Varanasi

Apart from being home to a billion people, a million gods, and a lot of weird rituals, India is also home to the divine Himalayas. This is the best possible route for people who only have a month in India and want to combine their trip to India with a trek in Nepal (Everest Base Camp/ Annapoorna Mountain Pass)

Your begin this trip in Delhi, a city extremely central to some of the most prominent locations in North India. Head north to Dharamshala (the home to Dalai Lama), followed by Amritsar (known for the beautiful Golden Temple) and Rishikesh (the Yoga capital of the world, also known for its adventure sports).

Post-Rishikesh, you come back to Delhi before heading south-west, this time into Rajasthan. Start with the state’s three gems -Jaipur, Jodhpur & Udaipur – before visiting Pushkar and Agra and then taking an overnight train to Varanasi. Varanasi is quite intense, it’s one of the oldest civilizations in the world and also a great place to end your trip in India. If you’re up for an assault on the senses, you can take a bus from Varanasi into Nepal.

Drawbacks

Like the first route, this is also extremely popular among travelers, so if you decide to take it, you might want to book your train tickets in advance. It is a hectic route, so we would recommend it to active travelers.

Apart from that, this is a good route to cover three regions (the Himalayas, Rajasthan and Varanasi) in the month you have in India.

Here’s what our guests who traveled to India with us had to say

Cost of such a tour?

Again if you if you plan to backpack, take train and buses you can do the tour for as little as 600 Euros/ 700 USD per head. You would want to double your budget to travel comfortably.

Route 3 : Exploring the South

Route: Mumbai – Goa – Hampi – Mysore – Bangalore – Chennai/Pondicherry – Trichy/Thanjavur – Madurai –  Munnar – Thekkady – Alleppey – Fort Kochi – Varkala.

 

India as a country has many facets and each region can be drastically different from the last. Exploring the south alone is a full trip in itself and entirely gratifying.

You can fly into Mumbai and first head south to the beach state of Goa. Next catch a bus or train to the evergreen Hampi and then spread out across Karnataka from royal Mysore to urban Bangalore before moving south-east to Chennai. Take a long break in francophile Pondicherry or break it up with the southern spice of Trichy and Madurai. End the trip on the beach in Varkala or carry on to the stunning hill station of Munnar, and the backwaters in Alleppey.

Drawbacks

South India is a beautiful region to explore, but it is slightly more expensive compared to the north. Flying into Mumbai and staying there quite expensive and there aren’t too many budget options in the south, even though there has been a rise in the number of hostels. It’s also sometimes convenient in the south to hire a car to get from one place to another, which racks up a higher bill than buses.

Route 4: Down South, mixing it up

Route:  Mumbai – Goa – Hampi – Mysore – Wayanad – Calicut – Fort Kochi – Munnar – Thekkady – Alleppey – Varakala

This route, like the previous one, is all about exploring South India. However in this route, you will not be travelling south-east. You’ll fly into Mumbai and head south to Goa, Hampi and Mysore before crossing into Kerala and spending the rest of your days exploring God’s own country.

This route is more relaxed and moves at a slower pace than the others, giving you time to soak in the beauty of the South without dropping dead from exhaustion. Getting from Mumbai to Goa to Hampi by bus is not tough, but if you throw in a few trains and maybe a car hire, it’ll be easier.


Drawbacks 

Limited to the south alone, and includes all the same drawbacks as the previous route.

Route 5: North and North East


Route
Delhi – Bagdogra – Gangtok – Ravangla – Pelling – Namchi – Darjeeling – Kolkata – Varanasi – Khajuraho – Orchha – Agra – Jaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Pushkar – Delhi

 

The Himalayas, the Taj Mahal and the serene backwaters are a few things that people associate with India, however India is also home to the divine but underrated North-east, a virtual paradise nestled in the out-flung arm of the country.

This is another route you could take, if you like going off the beaten path. Travel through Bagdodra, Gangtok, Rvangla , Pelling, Namchi and Darjeeling, then make your way west to Kolkata; one of the oldest metros in the country. From there you can catch a train to Varanasi, then move thorugh Khajuraho (known for it’s erotic temples), Orchha (the quintessential Indian town), Agra and Rajasthan, before heading back to Delhi.


Drawbacks 

Apart from being diverse, India is also simply large, you may have to take a few flights, Delhi – Badgogra , or Bagdogra – Kolkata to save time, since there is only have a month and so much to see and do in it. Travelling in the North-east could be slightly more expensive as the local transport, though very economical, is inconsistent with its timings and you may want to trade some of your other luxuries on the trip for a comfortable car ride.

Places like Khajuraho and Orchha are beautiful places to visit, make sure you’ve made travel arrangements in advance, because of the lack of options and not very great connectivity.
Don’t have a month? Here are a few two week itineraries you could follow.


Getting from Goa to Hampi
Getting from Goa to Hampi

How get from Goa to Hampi

You are in Goa, the land of sun, sea and inexpensive alchol, an ideal life for a hedonist like myself. Where do you go next? What can possibly keep up with the beautiful life that is Goa?  Where could still hold your interest? You should go from Goa to Hampi.

Our practical guide explains the different travel options between Hampi and Goa, the pros and the cons of each mode. It is not exactly a hop-skip and jump away, but Hampi is truly worth the travel effort.

A village in the Vijaynagara city of North Karnataka, Hampi means champion. It is located in the ruins of the ancient city of Vijaynagara. The ruins of Hampi are a UNESCO World Heritage site. A place unaffected by time and the onward march of civilization, Hampi is a delightful, picturesque idyll. It’s stuck in the 16th century and positively oozing with old world charm. There are a lot of things for a young backpacker to do. It should definitely be on your itinerary if you are not willing to end your vacation in Goa.

By flight

The distance from Goa to Hampi is 344 kilometres. There are no flights from Goa to Hampi. You can either take the train or bus.

By bus

There are state transport buses that run from Goa to Hampi, we have not tried them. They tend to take much longer and can be uncomfortable.

We frequently use Paulo Travels which provides bus services to and from Goa and Hampi. They provide two buses a day. You can choose between a Volvo Sleeper and a Non AC bus. Both buses are scheduled for the evening. One leaves at 18:55 PM IST and the other leaves at 19:04 PM IST.  It takes between 7 to 8 hours to reach Hampi by bus and should not cost you more than INR 600-800.

Tickets can be purchased directly in Goa, or purchased online.

Side note: Paulo Travels is usually a reliable bus in terms of punctuality and comfort. They frequently ply between Goa and Mumbai too. VRL is our favourite and Neeta is another good bus service.

By train

Getting from Goa to Hampi by train is our preferred option. We suggest you take the Howrah Express (does not run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays). You can board this train from Vasco De Gama station at 7:20 AM in Goa and reach Hospet (closest station to Hampi 20kms away) at 2PM. From there you can take a rickshaw. We suggest this train because it’s fast and you reach Hampi by noon which leaves you with an extra evening to spend in Hampi.

The journey is pretty beautiful, full of ghats and the mesmerizing Dudhsagar waterfalls. The Mandovi river making a leap in all its grace (looks like milk flowing from a mountain) hence named Dudhsagar waterfalls (sea of milk).

By Car (and driver)

One can hire and a car and driver and drive from Goa to Hampi. It is a long drive and on the expensive side. Expect the drive to take seven to eight hours (even upto nine). A car and driver would cost you anywhere between INR 9000 to INR 11000 (including fuel costs).

Some tourists opt for Hampi as a day trip. They rent a car to take them to Hampi and back. Honestly, we think that is tortuous amounts of driving and stunning Hampi deserves more time! A sunset or a sunrise in Hampi may well be one of your most memorable Indian experiences. The entire red granite city glistens in the soft rays of the sun.

Getting from Hampi to Goa

You can use the bus services of Paulo travels or The Howrah Express to travel from Hampi to Goa. When travelling from Hampi to Goa we suggest you take the bus. The reason we suggest the bus over the trains is the trains originate from Kolkata (36 hours away from Hospet) so they often late and at times can be very dirty too.

If you have reached Hampi and wondering where you should go next we suggest you give ‘Gods own country’–Kerala a try.

Here are travel options between Goa and Kerala.


Ten Adventure Activities in India
Ten Adventure Activities in India

In this land of culture and creations, travel and tradition, have you done enough to feel your pulse race? Here’s rounding up in a beat, 10 adventure activities in India that we at Indiasomeday recommend.

Chadar Walk in Leh

This is one unique trek. If you are a lover of treks, it’s time you make it a little extreme. Take this excursion along the frozen Zanskar River in temperatures as low as -20°C! At an altitude of more than 10,000 ft and on a blanket of ice, you will witness unusual scenery, weather conditions, camp sites and a walk to remember.

Heli-skiing in Gulmarg

The Himalayas are mighty and Kashmir is pristine. What can be more exciting than gliding down the snowy slopes here? Untouched terrain, remote slopes…this is an exceptional site to indulge in some serious skiing! Try Heli-skiing in Gulmarg, where you’ll fly to the top and slither down the mountains in an unimaginable frenzy!

A Trek in Uttaranchal

This state is an absolute paradise for adventure activities in India! The mountains and valleys here offer breathtaking, enthralling trekking opportunities. Don’t let go of any chance to rush to the Himalayas and spend some time trekking through the panoramic beauty and de-stressing in some of the most blessed hill stations in India.

River Raft in Rishikesh

Apart from how spiritually refreshing Rishikiesh is, it has now become an unmissable adventure destination. Rafting down the voluminous white waters of the meandering Ganges and its tributaries gives you a rush of adrenalin like nothing else. Whether amateur or seasoned, the speedy rapids around Rishikesh will not let you down!

Bungee jump in Rishikesh

For an exhilarating adventure, gather your guts and jump down Mohan Chhati in Rishikesh, harnessed of course. With all safety standards met, you will have a plunge in the valley and a rush you will never get over! Time to take the leap already? Yes!

Mountaineering in Sikkim

Sikkim can be dramatic with its rugged mountains, deep valleys, rivers and waterfalls. It also is one of the best locations to release the spirit of mountaineering inside you! The mountains are known for their steep altitude and extreme adventure. Go for a climb in Sikkim, it’s sure to leave you high, among other effects!

Zip-lining in Rajasthan

Become a flying fox as you zip down steel lines. Let gravity take care of everything as you zoom across lines, harnessed to safety and lost in awe. It’s an adventurous game and it’s time you played it! Zip-line at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, or Neemrana Fort, it’s a adventure you won’t forget and Rajasthan like never seen before.

Skydiving in Dhana

For one of the most visually stunning adventure activities, jump out of a pane in Dhana, MP. If you are an adventurer at heart, you just need a little push and a free fall like never before. With a little training here, you’ll experience a thrill that won’t leave you!

Scuba dive in the Andamans

There’s a world underwater waiting to be explored and this is one sport you can’t stay away from! The Andamans offer some of the best scuba diving locations in India. Dive into these worlds of stunning marine life, emerald waters, and depths beyond your reach, be assured you’ll be left captivated!

Kite surfing in Rameshwaram

Professional or first-timer, you have to give yourself up to the winds in Rameshwaram, let them sweep the kite as you glide over the waves on your surf board. Kiteboarding is the best mix of surfing, paragliding and wakeboarding and the waters at Rameshwaram are as good as it can get! Here’s one sure shot adventure activity you shouldn’t miss.

Once you fill your bucket list with these, Indiasomeday will gladly help you with everything you need to tick them off. And once you tick them off, try them again! One can never have enough of adventure, India…or adventures in India!