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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.