Travelling in India | Vital Forums

Travelling in India

chicovilla

Vital Squad Member
#1
I'm considering going on holiday to India early next year for upto 3 weeks, doing it on a low/medium budget backpacking style.
The area i'm looking at is Rajasthan (Delhi, Agra, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer) and a few nearby cities in surrounding states (Varanassi and Shilma near the Himilayas). I'm doing my research and some of the hotels are rediculously cheap (very basic), as is the train travel. Ive priced it up to about £700 for 20 days including hotels, trains (sleeper trains) and International flight to Delhi.

Have any Vital Villans been to India and would like to share their experiences or advice? :35:
 

Nimmo

Vital Football Legend
#2
I have been to Bangalore.

It's lovely round there and the climate is brilliant (a bit cooler and less humid than the coastal areas).

Can't really tell you much more, because my company supplied the hotel and a driver, so I didn't have to fend for myself.
 

James06

Vital Football Legend
#4
I have been to 'the golden triangle' of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, it's a great place to visit, the culture, the smells, the food, the people and basically everything about it was brilliant and a really great experience that I would advise anyone to do. Of course there is some eye opening sights and the poverty in parts is horrific too, but all part of the experience.

I was lucky enough to win the holiday and we had 5 star hotels and an itinery for most of our 14 night stay. We went into Delhi a few nights off our own back to the suprise of the hotel doormen and had a day at leisure when we ventured around Jaipur on our own, well with the guidance of rickshaw driver. He took us everywhere, for the whole day, we had a right laugh with him and when we got back to the hotel he asked me for a fiver?!! I gave him a tenner which was still a ridiculous bargain!

Nevertheless, I wouldn't be up for doing it on a very low budget. You could almost guarantee getting ill if you did this and it would spoil the whole trip. I would upgrade your accomodation to the very best you can afford, and even then be vigilant over what you eat and drink and cleanliness generally. You'll make the money back easily on spending money, you'll literally get away with a couple of quid a day if you wanted to.
 

chicovilla

Vital Squad Member
#5
Thanks for the post Jim.
Looking at the books etc there looks some stunning sites to be seen.
The hotels i'm looking at range from £6 a night to the most exensive at £24 a night. I'll only be at each one for a max of 2 nights and a lot of my accomodation will be based on sleeper trains, which are about £10 to travel over 500 KMS.
I would probably be more careful about where I ate rather than where I slept, and will be checking out Tripadvisor to see reviews of the hotels, as you're right no point getting ill on my first few days.
 

James06

Vital Football Legend
#6
My missus was put out of action for day and a half with the delhi belly (although it was in Jaipur!)

Believe it or not it was a costa coffee type place that copped her too. I had a standard latte but she had to be a maverick and have some frozen frappucino number. Of course neither of us thought but it must've been made with ice from tap water and she spent the next day, night and half the following morning chewing the bog seat.

I was alright though. I went to a palace, a time garden thing and an indian craft workshop with Mr Gupta (tour guide) and Rajpal (driver) and also for a nosh p at Gupta's favorite restuarant (where we watched some cricket and had a few beers) Then i got back, I had a walk round the hotel grounds and gatecrashed the biggest wedding of the year (luckiest day to get married in India at the best palace hotel in the city, apparently her dad was seriously wedged!!). Got bevvied up and polished off some of without doubt the finest indian buffet food on this planet. Then went back to watch Blues v Arsenal on their star sports or whatever it is (it was the game Eduardo got murdered by Martin Taylor)

It was one of the best days of the holiday!! lol
 

chicovilla

Vital Squad Member
#7
Sounds superb! I Think I will do 80% of the Holiday on a low budget, and splash out for a few of the nights in the more luxurious hotels.

What time of year did you go, and what was the climate?
 

James06

Vital Football Legend
#8
I went in February and it was like our Summer, but dry. I.e. It was shorts and t-shirt weather all day and then a hoodie in the evenings.

I was advised to go at this time as the Summer (April onwards) is apparently unbearable and the end of Summer (Sept onwards) is the rainy time.
 

shortshadyuk

Vital Football Hero
#9
Chico you'll love Shimla its beautiful, Agra doesnt have much bar the Taj but like James said get good hotels, cleanliness can be poor with roaches and all sorts in mid range accommodation, Sleeper trains are fine, pretty good way to travel take some imodium tablets with you in case, dont eat on the streets, be choosy about restaurants.
Personally i think you'd have a better time going Shimla, Agra to see the taj then Jaipur/Udaipur and then head south to Goa by flight then Kerala, the places you plan to visit arent really all that, look into these cities and enjoy it, spend the money and you'll not get ill AND you can have the time of your life, if you get tight you might end up loose ;-)
Like James said pick a good time too, summer is 45-52 degrees in parts and ridiculously hot, Late may early june is monsoon about to start.
Id suggest going when they have a festival like Holi you'll have a great time
only drink mineral water, not tap water, street vendors clean veg/meat with normal tap water and thats where you will get yourself ill
 

chicovilla

Vital Squad Member
#10
Just booked my flights for next year.

Birmingham to Delhi (via Munich) £340 return.

Going to get 21 day rail pass which costs £137 and will include sleeper accomodation, and travel from delhi to Varanassi to see a major festival there (2nights) then on to Agra (taj Mahal) (2 Nights). Travel on to jaipur and Jodhpur 1 night in each. Then a chillout in Jaisalmer for 3 days. Back to Delhi, before heading out to Shimla at the foot of the Himilayas.
Always wanted to go to India for a different experience and for the photography potential. Its my 40th next year, so its a good excuse!
Whole trip will be for 20 days and I can't wait!
 

James06

Vital Football Legend
#11
I am so jealous mate, would love to be doing that trip. Especially Shimla, from what i've seen that place is amazing. There was a TV programme about the railway to Shimla a while ago it was superb, I think it was on the BBC? Maybe available online or on DVD?
 

chicovilla

Vital Squad Member
#12
James06 - 4/7/2011 14:43

I am so jealous mate, would love to be doing that trip. Especially Shimla, from what i've seen that place is amazing. There was a TV programme about the railway to Shimla a while ago it was superb, I think it was on the BBC? Maybe available online or on DVD?
Its called the toy train, and runs from Kalka to Shimla. Its only 96km long, but takes 5 hours!

http://www.go2india.in/himachal/toy-train.php

Ive heard of the DVD, might get it before I go.
 

chicovilla

Vital Squad Member
#15
Created a Travel Blog to cover my trip, which im going to update with details of the trip, and the preparation gone into it.
I'm also planning on updating it whem i'm out there, with photos and a journal/review etc.

If anyone is interested they can follow the Blog if they want.

http://india-by-rail.blogspot.com/

Its my first attempt at backpacking, so I'm doing the blog with all the information you'd need to carry out the trip. :35:
 

BEEFY

Vital Football Legend
#16
I went to Kerala and around Goa and had an incredible time. The people were so damn nice it was unreal and I'd advise taking any old Villa tops that don't fit and giving them to the locals - I gave several old Stafford Rangers shirts to locals and told them about how they were viewed as the 'next big thing' in English football and that Man Utd, Real Madrid etc were scared of them. I know those kids are still, ten years on, spouting that same line to all they meet!

Funniest moment I had was when a local village team wanted me in their cricket team and argued voiciferously to get me on their team because I was English and was therefore going to be very good at cricket. I only realised what this meant when a mate of mine in a local Sunday league team poached a Brazilian lad to play for his team only to find out he was truelly woeful. I was bowled out first ball by an eleven year old on a dust bowl of a pitch which was the cure for much merriment and piss taking. They let the next lad bowl at me who was no older and he did exactly the same! Oh, the shame.

I did take a trip to Delhi by boat and when I got back to my hotel room I showered and showered and showered and had a constant run of brown water come off what I thought was my fairly clean body. The major cities are an expereince but man oh man, they are dirty and polluted.

Final note of warning......I 'broke wind' as far as I was concerned but unbeknown to me I had actually shit down the back of legs and it took one nice person to inform me of that as I thought it was merely the roll of sweat!
 

chicovilla

Vital Squad Member
#17
BEEFY - 6/7/2011 22:09

I went to Kerala and around Goa and had an incredible time. The people were so damn nice it was unreal and I'd advise taking any old Villa tops that don't fit and giving them to the locals - I gave several old Stafford Rangers shirts to locals and told them about how they were viewed as the 'next big thing' in English football and that Man Utd, Real Madrid etc were scared of them. I know those kids are still, ten years on, spouting that same line to all they meet!

Funniest moment I had was when a local village team wanted me in their cricket team and argued voiciferously to get me on their team because I was English and was therefore going to be very good at cricket. I only realised what this meant when a mate of mine in a local Sunday league team poached a Brazilian lad to play for his team only to find out he was truelly woeful. I was bowled out first ball by an eleven year old on a dust bowl of a pitch which was the cure for much merriment and piss taking. They let the next lad bowl at me who was no older and he did exactly the same! Oh, the shame.

I did take a trip to Delhi by boat and when I got back to my hotel room I showered and showered and showered and had a constant run of brown water come off what I thought was my fairly clean body. The major cities are an expereince but man oh man, they are dirty and polluted.

Final note of warning......I 'broke wind' as far as I was concerned but unbeknown to me I had actually shit down the back of legs and it took one nice person to inform me of that as I thought it was merely the roll of sweat!

ha. Great story Beefy. :19: Thats one of my concerns is the Delhi Belly, but will take all the precations I can.

Like the idea of taking a few old Villa tops, maybe I can create a bit of investment from the sub continent.
 

BEEFY

Vital Football Legend
#18
One other thing...I went and visited a Stoke lad in Goa jail who had been banged up for possession of cannabis after the police clamped down on the Full Moon Parties and that was one hell of an expereince. I've always been a pro Cannabis supporter and also being a Staffs lad it meant alot to visit this fella when I found out about him and by the time I'd left he must have felt like the king of the prison - I only hope he was able to keep the goodies I gave him. A shocking state of affairs for a man who in my eyes commtitted no crime barr having a schmoke on the beach as the sun set.

If you get the chance then do visit a fellow Brit imprisoned for such a ridiculous 'crime'.
 

James06

Vital Football Legend
#19
Superb Beefy, the follow through incident made me laugh out loud! My missus was clenching for a day and a half and wouldn't leave the hotel room once she found sanctuary there!

Looking forward to the blog Chico, I'll add it to my favorites.
 

murph

Vital Champions League
#20
Another jealous person here. I hope to go to India at so e point, hopefully wont cost too much as I now have work colleagues in chennai and Bangalore.