How much India in 1 week?
June 14, 2009 2:39 AM   Subscribe

Travelling in India; I'm in Bangalore for a 2 week business trip, on Friday I have 1 week vacation. Part of me would like to see what I can during that time, but I'm also realizing (a) I've become a lazy traveller used to car rentals & Expedia, (b) getting to places here can take a long time. I'm becoming disenchanted because the do-able-ness of planning travel to multiple locations in such a short time seems hard, and I also have relatively heavy luggage & then there's also heat/ rain issues at this time of the year. Am I overthinking a plate of beans?

All the places that look worth a trip seem difficult to plan when time is tight. I can fly to Delhi easy enough, but then what - day trips to Agra & Jaipur? I mean I could be in Delhi Friday, Agra Saturday, and then...? (I should add that metropolises don't rock my boat). And is it too hot for the Taj? What if I want to go to Varanasi or Amritsar or Udaipur Or Jaisalmer or even Darjeeling? I mean, I went to Mysore yesterday and that took 3hrs! I know, I should focus, right? Well, I guess I don't exactly know what I'm focussing on. But any information pertaining to a do-able, plannable(ish) 1 week trip would be awesome.
posted by forallmankind to Travel & Transportation around India (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you don't like 40C to 44C weather, don't go to Delhi this time of year. If you like cooler climates go to Darjeeling... Back in the colonial era a huge percentage of British packed up and moved to higher elevations during the summer to escape the weather. Google a bit about the Darjeeling toy train , a historical narrow gauge railway that is fun to ride.
posted by thewalrus at 2:54 AM on June 14, 2009

Could you go to a travel agent and just get a four or five day tour from Bangalore?
posted by mdonley at 3:00 AM on June 14, 2009

Much closer than Darjeeling is the hill station of Kodaikanal. Hire a taxi from the station for the half-day drive (it's cheap by western taxi standards). Enjoy the cool, the views, the relaxed old english guest houses. Take a book, drink gin, eat yummy food, learn the name of your preferred chai wallah, walk by the lake, meet other summer tourists (who'll most likely be Indian), and soak up the cool southern hill station ambiance.

Or fly to Sri Lanka and stay in Kandy or on the east coast. That's what I'd do. but your preferences on holidaying in war zones may vary.
posted by Kerasia at 3:43 AM on June 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Since 1 week is a very small time to do much touristing in India, I recommend, you go to a small place close by and spend more time there. I just did a whirlwind north Indian tour (delhi agra etc etc) in April, and it was so hot that it was almost unenjoyable. There's not much to see in Bangalore, (speaking as a bangalorean), but it makes a good base. So you can do a series of day trips...and since the Western Ghats are relatively close, you could visit a national park (BR hills, Nagarahole, Bandipur, Wyanad). I recommend Jungle Lodges (but if you do decide on forest stuff, mefimail me for more info).
There are a bunch of historical places within reach: go to Talakad, where there are the ruins of old temples totally submerged by sand (very surreal, supposed to be because of a curse) or Hampi, or Belur and Halebid. If you travel by hired taxi, it should be fairly comfortable, but make sure you know what they are charging you. Good luck!
posted by dhruva at 11:58 AM on June 14, 2009

I've visited both Kodaikanal and Hampi, and highly recommend them both. India is vast, as you know: I spent three months there and barely scratched the surface. Don't try to see a lot of things; pick one or two places and spend a few days at each. If you really like India, come back for a longer holiday in winter some time.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:55 PM on June 14, 2009

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