Hi /trv/ going to india in march/april, and looking for some advice, i plan to start from goa, and end up in delhi, possilby going through the following places (mumbai, ahmedabad, udaipur, pushkar, tordi sagar, jaipur, agra) I have a budget of about 40,000 rupees (excluding flight fees) for about a months worth of travelling, just any general advice on places to go, best way to get around etc would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
The Delhi Belly meme is really exaggerated. Don't eat off the street if it wasn't cooked right before your eyes, and don't eat at really dingy looking restaurants. Guts need time to acclimatize it's true, but having some fucking standards of hygiene goes a long way.
Anyway, I'd not visit more than one city in Rajasthan/Gujarat. They're all the same ... desert scrub scenery, camels, skinny Indians with turbans.
Consider adding Amritsar (Golden Temple is cool, Sikhs are based, Punjabi food is fattening and delicious) and Aurangabad (Ajantha and Elora are amazing).
Don't spend any longer in Agra than you need to see the Taj Mahal. If you can, plan it so that you arrive early in the day, hustle over to the Taj Mahal, spend a few hours as necessary, and then get the fuck out.
Yea, i wont be eating anywhere but the high end resturants, even then ill take caution, probably wont be eating much meat, if atall, will make sure to buy bottled water that hasnt been tampered with, apart from that, i have probiotics and some charcoal tabs, chances are ill get sick anyway, but eh
Yea, Taj mahal, i do want to see, i heard there were seperate queues for foreigners at most big attractions, hopefully if i do fuck up time wise, i can go about a VIP option of sorts (i hear they do queue skip) just to get in a look around.
I'm considering backpacking around India next year with a detour to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and ending my journey in Nepal.
What is train travel like?
How easy is it to communicate in English?
I might be traveling with a female so is there any advice on what she should wear?
How would I go about navigating myself around Bangladesh and Nepal?
I'm sure I can catch a ship to Sri Lanka, but where?
I haven't begun doing any real research which is the reason for so many questions. Thanks KS for any input
train travel - book in advance if you can, take first class (cheap and less crowded)
Your female friend should dress conservatily (maybe even consider getting a sari over there)
Indian guys will stare (they have certain reservations about foreign women), itll happen, she needs to just make sure she doesnt stare back (it looks as if she is being flirtatious)
Danger level, aslong as you are avoiding the far far north, you dont need to worry as much, just need to ensure you are cautious and aware, as if you were when travelling to any foreign destination.
Actually alot of people who speak english there, you can find tour guides to take you around places at your destination.
sri-lanka, i have no idea sorry, havent been there.
are you stupid.
most bacteria is found in the water used to clean vegetables. also you're most likely to get sick from shit people don't eat everyday, street food that people eat everyday will be fine.
I was in India in October and developed my itinerary upon arrival but it ended up being the best month of my life so far and I went into it with less money than you are. I will tell you where I went and will add a word or two to have you understand why it appealed to me.
I flew in to Kolkata because I traveled from Thailand and it was closest and naturally cheapest. The pollution had some bad effects but it was neat to see the slums and poverty as I had never seen.
From there to Parasnath for a sort of pilgrimage that the Jain undertake: a 27 kilometer hike that takes you up to what I can best describe as a sanctuary in the sky.
Bodgaya from there to walk along the same ground that the Buddha did and to see the descendent of the tree beneath which he came to be enlightened.
Varanasi was next for its singular religious and cultural customs (funeral pyres along the Ganges and pagan rituals at night) also the structure of it all is beautiful. Get your hands on some 'special' lassi if you go and if you seek a wild ride.
From there to Rishikesh where I spent the majority of the trip due to the sheer beauty of it. I stayed in an ashram and I would recommend for anyone to do the same not only because it is dirt cheap or because there are free yoga classes or even because you get a stillness that you cannot find in commercialized hotels or guesthouses, but because the people you will meet there are top of the line. If there is anyone in India that I would return to, it is here; the city is beneath the himalayas and along the Ganges so the natural beauty is beyond anything I have ever seen.
Finally, from there to Delhi because that's where I was flying out from. I did not like this city and cared very little to spend much time outside as the pollution and general filth was a little more intolerable than usual after having come from Rishikesh.
That was my trip and I maintain that it was the best travel experience I ever had. Good luck.
>avoid the Pakistan border
I think it's just the Jammu and Kashmir border that's really dangerous right? I'm planning to see the border closing ceremony as a day trip from Amritsar and I've not read any warnings for the area.
No, lol you are the fucking stupid one, veg harbours much less harmful bacteria than meat, and ofc street food is shit to eat, the standards of people cooking out on the street with food thats been left out all day.
Parasnath looks incredible, has a railway station too, so i guess its an easy stop and do.
Have you ever been down to goa/kerala? im unsure whether even to bother, as i doubt its the 'real' experience of india so to speak, and more of a tourist destination.
>booking Indian train tickets
>need Indian address and phone number
>look online to see that I have to make one up then send a photocopy of my passport to fix it.
Holy shit that's roundabout. I'm in the process of doing it but surely there's an easier way to reserve.
Should note that Amritsar itself (outside of the temple) is dusty boring shit and not worth anything more than a day. Also it'll be FUCKING hot in April. But the temple itself is beautiful and the atmosphere is great
You can go to the Wagah Border from Amritsar to see a cool ceremony that they do during the evening. But be prepared for a lot of discomfort if it's hot out (it will be). It takes five hours of roasting on asphalt neck and neck with Arjun and Kareem just to get through security. The stands are made of solid concrete that has been baking in the sun all day, and the guards yell at you if you stand so your ass will be on fire. Pretty miserable looking back on it actually but I guess the ceremony was alright
You sound like a hippy but regardless your story makes me wanna go back to India.
India is fucking magical and I recommend everybody to go there. Not everybody will like it, but I rely on it as a filter for people who I respect.
I traveled in India for two week and ate street food fairy regularly. I never had a problem with diarrhea (surprisingly).
I recommend checking out haus khaz (sp?) village in New Delhi. It's a pretty modern location for the area and I regret finding out about very late in to the trip.
I'm going to fly into Delhi to go to the open Mooji Satsangs from the 17th of Feb to the 20th of March. I've been following Mooji's teachings for years so this is the main purpose of my visit but I will be in the country until the 13th of April so I have some extra time to do some things.
Do you have any recommendations for a certain Ashram to stay in?
Do I need to do work in the Ashram or can I just pay for a bed and a bath? Do you know what the best way of getting from Delhi to Rishikesh is? I'm thinking of taking a train to Haridwar and then a bus from there to Rishikesh.
Do people speak English?
Five days, I suppose. It is certainly an experience to order tickets as a foreigner in India. On the bright side, there is a separate office just for that. On the not so bright side, it is way too time consuming.
Just hope you get the tickets right the first time.
Isn't that big of an issue? Cause I'm currently try backpacking in Europe and just had to show up at the ticket office whenever I want a ticket. No booking needed.
A separate question. What is the atmosphere situation like? Instead of bringing cash I want to just withdraw money so I don't lose as much when I exchange
I fucked a girl from Varanasi who was out of state. Great in bed, but I needed to spend more than one night with her before she let me hit it. Ended up getting really clingy and went crazy when she saw me with another girl, lel
Chennai - Red lollipop hostel, fort, national museum. I recommend going and buying groceries and making your own food, they also have a mall. WiFi the best I've had in India.
Mamallapuram - random guest house 3 blocks from the beach, nice rock temple, OK food. Attached is a really cool taxi drivers card, he knows the area well and knows where and what to do/eat. Bad WiFi.
Pondicherry - homestay LA Maison Radha, its super nice and the guy who runs it will give you a map of the city with places to go/see. Madame Shanthes is a really good restaurant. WiFi was mediocre but it worked.
Trichy - stayed at the Royal something hotel it was a 7 minute walk to the stairs that go up to the hill fort, not much to see but once you get to the top the views are excellent. India's largest temple complex was awesome took a ton of pictures there. Bad WiFi at hotel try and find a place with WiFi in the room.
Other than that I don't know many other places on the east coast. Gokarna is nice on ohm and kudle beach, but thats west coast, food is mediocre and so is the WiFi, I recommend staying at the sunset cafe or the place right next to it on kudle beach.
Goa was meh, I hated Delhi because of the smog. Kumily is nice in the western ghats. Madurai was cool had temples and what not.
Figure on a budget of about 1000 rupees a day for food/lodging go by train or local bus. I hear varkala is nice. I am in kochi right now until the 11th then I go back to Chennai and go on a tour of the Royal Enfield factory on the 13th. After that I might buy a motorcycle and tour around towards Varanasi. I have been here since the 7th of January.