Travel Routes through India: Explore India in 4 weeks

travel routes through india

This article will explore some outline routes for anyone looking to travel through India in one month. Often people say that ‘a life time is not enough to explore all of India’. Therefore, we suggest that a month is the least amount of time you would want to spend to here! Each outline includes an overview of the routes, the destinations, the highlights, 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.

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

Plan your trip

route 1: the classic north and south

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

This travel route through India is 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.

For a more detailed explanation on the best things to do in North India and South India, visit our blogs.

Drawbacks

Depending on when you are looking to travel, this route can be quite busy. 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?

In terms of backpacking – dorm beds, day and overnight trains and potentially a flight – you could potentially do this tour for as little as 700 Euros. Together, we can cater to your budget when booking hotels and modes of transport. India isn’t extremely expensive in regards to spending money, for example food.

Kerala, India

Plan your trip

route 2: a glimpse of the mountains

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

As well as being home to a billion people, a million Gods and plenty of wacky rituals, India is also home to the incredible Himalayas. This is the best possible travel route for people who have only a month in India and want to combine their trip to India with a trek in Nepal (Everest Base Camp/ Annapoorna Mountain Pass)

You will begin your 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).

After 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.

Plan your trip

route 3: Exploring the south

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

As a country, India has a myriad of facets and each region is often drastically different from the last. This travel route through the South of India will be extremely gratifying – a full trip in itself.

Fly into Mumbai and head south to the fabulous beach state of Goa. Next, you can 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.

For more detailed information about the best things to do in the South of India, read our blogs.

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 can be quite expensive. 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.

Plan your trip

route 4: mix it up down south

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.

Plan your trip

ROUTE 5: THE NORTH AND THE NORTH EAST

RouteDelhi – 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. And rightly so! However, India is also home to the divine but underrated North-east, a virtual paradise nestled in the out-flung arm of the country.

If you are looking to go off the beaten track, this is a great travel route for you to take. 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.

Further, depending on the time of year you are planning to travel, the North and North East can get pretty cold, especially in the mountains. For more information, contact us or check out our blog. Don’t have a month? Here are a few two week itineraries you could follow for North India or the South

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4 responses to “Travel Routes through India: Explore India in 4 weeks
  1. Hey.
    My name is Callum and I found your blog through Hippie in Heels. Me and my girlfriend are heading to India for a month is September so this article is super interesting and helpful.

    I was wondering if you think that if would be possible to see some of Kerala (flying in from Sri Lanka), before heading north to Mumbai eventually flying to Delhi to explore the surrounding area and some of Rajasthan? Having not been to the country I wouldn’t want to rush it or overlook certain areas by fitting too much in.

    Any feedback would be appreciated 🙂

    Thanks

    1. Hi Callum, We are so sorry we missed this comment. If you travel for one month you can certainly combine the south and north of India but it might be a little rushed. But that depends on how many destinations you visit in each region and how you travel in between the regions. Be in touch and we can figure it out together: thinkingindia@indiasomeday.com

      Best,
      Your India Someday Team

  2. Hi. Route 1 lookjs great. Is this based on pr8vate transport or public. Also, woukd going to pondicherry after kerala be doable. What cities would fly into and out of?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      We can plan any transport and according to any budget you like. Pondicherry after Kerala would only be possible with another domestic flight to Chennai, everything else would take too long. Get in touch with us to plan your trip and we figure something out for you.

      Your India Someday Team

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