You could spend a year in India and not see it all. India is a colourful and vibrant country full of spicy food, interesting religions and beautiful architecture. It is a country that travellers tend to either love or hate. Lucky for me, I fell in love with India.
Even if you are among the fortunate people who has their heart stolen by India – it can still be difficult to spend more than a month here. Given this piece of advice by my friend – and because it was easier to get a one month visa – I decided to spend one month in India. The following is the jam-packed itinerary that I created- and highly recommend!
We used the first day to adjust to this new country, get over our jet-lag a bit, and plan out our trip. We walked around the main Bazaar and got our bearings and soaked in the local cultures sights, smells, an noises – and there are a lot of them in Dehli. We didn’t spend to much time exploring Delhi because our driver picked us up in the evening to drive us to Agra.
We definitely started our trip with a bang. Agra doesn’t have much to see except for…THE TAJ MAHAL!
We woke up bright and early in the morning to be the first in line. This was perhaps the most memorable day of the trip.
Pushkar is a smaller city…well, for India. Since Varanasi was too far for us to make it to on this trip, we were recommended Pushkar since it is also a Holy city. I really enjoyed this city and am glad that we fit it onto our trip.
We spent another Day in Pushkar because we liked it so much. This day we spent visiting the beautiful temples around the city.
This is a must do when visiting Rajasthan. This city definitely has the most to offer in terms of things to see. You could spend a week here an still not see it all. Side note – make sure to check out a Bollywood film at the theatre!
With so much to see in this pink city we definitely needed a second day here (if not more). If you have more time to spare you should seriously consider spending an extra day here. The Amber Fort alone can take up a whole day!
* We said goodbye to our driver and jumped on the night train to Jaisalmer and arrived at the awkward hour of 5 a.m. Luckily our accommodation let us check in early – like SUPER early, and get some much needed sleep.
If you thought Pushkar was in the desert, think again. Jaisalmer is really out there – sitting about 100 km from the Pakistan border. This place has a lot more to offer than just the desert heat. Jaisalmer is famous for it’s beautiful fort and even more so for their camel safaris.
We took the first day here to chill and re-coup from the night train and the busy days spent touring Jaipur in the intense heat. You will soon come to find that India is a place where you will want to take things slow and will do a lot of napping because the heat can be exhausting.
Camel Safari Day! This was a fun day with a relaxing morning since the tour didn’t start until the afternoon – to avoid the unbearable heat. The safari had a lot more to offer than just a camel ride – I really had no idea what I had signed up for. We ended up getting a dinner and a show in the evening.
The best part -above the camels, dinner, and show – was sleeping out in the open in the desert under the wide sky, glistening with stars.
We took another night train back to New Delhi. This time we weren’t jet lagged and had more time to really explore the bustling city. Spend some time here enjoying the food the Delhi has to offer. As well, visit the spice markets and bazaars to bring home some unique gifts for your friends and family. Remember to practice your best bargaining skills!
Day 11- 17
Once the North of India becomes too much for you to bear, treat yourself by heading to the beaches of Goa. Here you can refresh and relax after the hectic North. Come on- you earned it.
To get to Goa you can take a loooong train ride. If you book in advance, however, you can get a flight for about the same price. The train is very long so I recommend trying to catch a flight if you can.
You can read here
on which beaches you should visit and which ones you should avoid.
Day 18- 21
If I am being honest with you, this was actually a destination that I decided to go to last minute. It was all because I wanted to celebrate the Holi Hai festival
in India. The festival is a Northern celebration, however, Hampi was one city in the South that did participate in the festivities.
Holi Hai was amazing- but so was Hampi
! I was so happy that I visited here and it quickly became one of my favourite places in India. Because of that I have worked it into this itinerary.
You can take a night bus here from Goa- just book with any of the many travel agents you see around town.
Because Kerala, our actual destination, is so far from Hampi you will want to break up the trip. To do this you can make a stop in Bangaluru.
I took the night train here and arrived early in the morning. This is a big city with many shopping malls, parks and breweries. I was quite chill in this city because there are no ‘must see’ attractions. Instead, just do what I did – meet some friends in a hostel (I stayed at the Electric Cat’s Annex) and head out for a couple brewskies together before you get on another night train to your next destination.
If you are short for time you can suck up the long journey and head straight to Kerala and you won’t be missing much.
Ahhhh…..Kerala, the most relaxing place that I visited in India. I spent a few days here taking yoga classes, lounging on the beach and enjoying some drinks at night.
What makes this place to magical is the cliff that overlooks the ocean. This cliff is lined with an array of delicious restaurants – so you can enjoy your morning coffee while taking in the panoramic view.
Alleppey my main motivation for coming to India. Years ago, my sister had sent me a picture of the backwaters of India and I knew that I had to go. It was one of the last few days of my trip – but boy was it worth it.
Just a short distance from Kerala, Alleppey is very easy to get to – just hop on a train for $0.50.
Once in Alleppey, there aren’t a lot of great accommodation options and there isn’t much else to do besides a backwater tour – so don’t plan more than a day here.
For the backwater tour a lot of people book the famous house boats that this are is known for. The houseboats look amazing – but they come with a price. Also, they are not environmentally friendly and because of their size you will not be able to access the smaller waterways that you can from a canoe.
After listening to many peoples reviews on their trip to Alleppey, my friend and I decided to rent a canoe. This was very enjoyable and relaxing. The canoe sit 4 people comfortably (and by comfortably I mean you will want to already be friendly with the person that you are sitting beside) and a man gently rows you along the water canals. Our tour included breakfast and lunch as well as a walking tour around of one of the river villages.
Our canoe had a roof over it so that we weren’t in the direct sunlight. We all felt very relaxed; sinking into our seats, absorbing the beautiful scenery and listing to the paddle hit the water.
Kochi was the most artistic city that I visited in India. This may or may not have to do with the art exhibition that was on at the time I was there.
If you visit Kochi Fort, that in itself is a work of art. With old Portuguese buildings – and I mean old – it is spellbinding to walk around and admire all of the old architecture. Head to Aspinwall House to see if there are any exhibitions going on or peak into one of the many galleries tucked into one of the hidden, small buildings.
Even though Kochi is on the ocean, it is too dirty for swimming. However, you can take in the view of the harbour from one of the many seaside restaurants.
Please note that this is itinerary falls a little under a month to take into account travel days – as well as things going wrong because, well – this is India after-all. If you have more time you should add Varanasi onto your trip.
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