I am very pleased to be able to say that I will be travelling to India in the near future and will spend a month there in total.
I have put a considerable time planning the trip and have tried to utilise my experience of previous visits, and the advice of my Indian friends, to get the most from our time in India. In this blog, I describe the thinking behind the itinerary and share details of where we will be going. I will provide updates as we progress and, at the end of our tour, I will modify the schedule, based on our experiences, and put together a new recommendation for a trip.
Factors in planning the trip
I am fortunate enough to have travelled to India a few times and, I have to say, I love the country. I enjoy it’s diversity and want this holiday to take advantage of the wide range of experiences on offer. I, and the others visiting with me, enjoy Indian wildlife, it’s fascinating history, the great food as well as rural India. Also, we are keen, wherever possible, to get away from westernised hotels and get closer to real India. In planning this trip, I have tried to create variety throughout the tour so, for example, spending some time enjoying India’s historic places interspersed with visits to National wildlife parks. We will also be staying in a range of accommodation from wildlife lodges, modern hotels through to Indian homestays (guest houses).
Our trip consists of two main parts. We will spend roughly a week in Northern India and, for this part of the journey, I am joined by my son and daughter, who will be on their first trip to the country. The second part of our tour is for three weeks and in South India, mostly Kerala, and involves a smaller group of four of us.
Our plans for the North have to try and cram a lot into the six days as my son and daughter are short of holiday, but want to get a feel for the country. We will spend a couple of days in Delhi which has a lot to offer from a historical point of view but also for that vital shopping. This will be followed by a trip to Agra to let the first time visitors enjoy the Taj Mahal and also Agra fort. We also can’t let their first visit to India be without a visit to one of the great tiger reserves so we are going to spend three nights in Corbett national park (named after the British hunter turned conservationist). This park has a great range of wildlife including a large tiger population and also elephants and is famous for it’s bird life as well. Another feature of Corbett Park is that it is possible to stay in government lodges within the park itself. This is very unusual in India and will present us with the opportunity of viewing wildlife from the lodge and also experiencing the sounds of wild India at night. It should be a great experience.
For the southern India part of the trip we will be exploring historical places that relate to the early contact between Europeans and India. We will be visiting Mysore and the Tipu Sultan’s palace. The Tipu Sultan fought very effectively against the British East Indian Company and his wonderful palace is said to be fantastic. We will also visit Cochin (Kochi) which was an early Portuguese settlement and a key port for the spice trade.
Our South India tour includes three wildlife reserves: Nagerhole, Bandapur and Periyar but we will be spending time in other places between each park.
Shortly after arriving in the South we are staying at the first of the three homestays we will be visiting. It is a beach stay on the North Kerala coast just outside Thalassery which is a vibrant fishing port and market town that had British links in colonial times.
Homestays are guest houses with a small number of rooms with the hosts providing all meals during the day and guidance on how to enjoy the local area. Whilst Indian hotels tend to be of a very high standard they can be a bit westernised so we very much hope the homestays will give us more of an Indian experience.
Kerala also promises many other interesting experiences that we plan to enjoy. We will be stopping at a hill station with numerous tea plantations. We will also be exploring the spices of India and joining in a spice tour.
At the end of our trip we plan to spend approximately a week in the Kochi area relaxing before flying home from the city’s airport. We have chosen two different homestays in this area which will allow us to enjoy trips on the waterways and also travel into the historic town of Kochi. The waterways are said to be very beautiful with the ability to tour the many villages in the area and to view traditional farming and fishing methods. The waterways are also said to be a bird watchers paradise.
All my previous holidays in India have been in the North or Central India so I am really looking forward to exploring Kerala. If you are interested to know how we get on follow my updates on this site by adding your email address. It is very easy to unsubscribe.
- 3 Days – Delhi
- 3 Days – Amritsar
- 3 Days – Corbett National park
- 2 Days – Agra
- 2 Days – Mysore
- 3 Days – Nagerhole National Park
- 3 Days – Thalaserry – Kerala Coast
- 3 Days – Bandapur National Park
- 2 Days – Munar
- 1 Day – Periyar National Park
- 6 Days – Kochi Waterways Homestay