India

“This is India,” locals will notify you, with a friendly head bob, when you’re at wits end.  Although beautiful, diverse and different than anywhere else on earth, no country will make you work for the rewards more than India.  The longer and farther you try to go in the country the more you will experience the beauracracy, frustration, and uncomfortable situations that make India an especially unique travel destination.  While the best way to see the country is with private transportation, this will blind you to “real” India where poverty, dirtiness and inefficiency is the way of life.

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DON’T MISS: The Taj Majal.  One of the wonders of the world for a reason.
MUST SEE: The Taj Mahal, Ladakh, Kolkata, Rajasthan (Jaisalmer, Udaipur and Jodhpur were our highlights…give Jaipur a pass).
MUST TASTE: McDonald’s Chicken Maharaja, the Indian Big Mac.  Since cows are sacred animals, McDonald’s serves no beef products.  In Kolkata you must eat a Kati Roll, India’s best street food.  In Leh have some momos, Tibetan dumplings.  Every city and region has it’s own specialty, be sure to give it a try.

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TRIP PLANNING: Since India is a big country it is easiest to choose a region and plan a visit to that area, do it well and return for another region.  There are few regions that can be seen in less than two weeks including travel time (except for the “Golden Triangle” of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra which can be done in one week).  India is hard enough without trying to cram too much in, the first rule of India travel is that it’s slow, it will take longer than it should.  For example we’ve taken several buses that take 10 hours to travel 100 miles (160 km).
GETTING AROUND: Trains and planes.  If you go to railway stations you can get “tourist quota” tickets for most trains on short notice.  Don’t believe tour agents that say they can sell tourist tickets, in most cities you must go to the station and buy them.  Air travel can save a lot of hassle but costs more, try to book on ClearTrip.com or MakeMyTrip.com.

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OUR COST PER DAY (2 ppl): $39.83.  This is only possible by taking public transport and staying in budget hotels.  If air-conditioning on transport and hotels is a must expect to be spending double this.
COST OF A BEER: $2-3 for a large Kingfisher in most places.
KEY MONEY-SAVING TIP: Private transportation cost substantially more, so use it sparingly.  For example to get from Manali to Leh costs $13 on public bus versus $33 on a private minibus.

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YOU NEED TO KNOW: Women should expect to be incessantly stared at, have photographs taken with or without your approval and groping will occur even if you are traveling with a man.
IF WE KNEW WHAT WE KNOW NOW: Nothing will be easy, nothing.
HELPFUL LINKS TO LEARN MORE: ClearTrip.com, MakeMyTrip.com

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WE WERE THERE FOR: 4 months.
OUR HIGHLIGHT: Tushita Meditation Center’s 10 day Intro to Buddhism silent retreat.  Not talking for 10 days was a unique experience and much appreciated in loud and hectic India.
WHERE WE WENT: Delhi, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Agra, Varanasi, Kolkata, Darjeeling, Rishikesh, Manali, Vashisht, Leh/Ladakh, Srinagar, Jammu, Dharamsala/Baghsu/McLeod Ganj, Amritsar, Ellora/Ajanta, Mumbai, Goa, Hampi,  Kerala, Chennai, Pondicherry
WE REGRET MISSING: Nowhere, we felt we covered the country well.

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Click here to start planning your Indian Adventure!

We visited over 25 cities during our four months in India.  To make it easier to find what you need, our travel information and photos are divided by region and city.  To find out more about a specific city or region click on an album.

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India Highlights

Highlights of our four months in India including camels, palaces, beaches, motorcycles and more. Tour India in 42 photos!

42 Photos

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RAJASTHAN

Rajasthan is the India of tourist brochures.  Full of color, camels and fortresses, it is understandable why this is the most visited state of India.  In welcoming tourists, the state also features some of the country’s best accommodations and activities.

Jodhpur

20 Photos

Jaisalmer

25 Photos

Bikaner

15 Photos

Udaipur

14 Photos

Pushkar

12 Photos

Jaipur

13 Photos

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SOUTH INDIA

North India gets much of the attention for it’s historic sights, mountains and crowds, but South India will not disappoint.  The chaos of the North is left behind, replaced by splendid beaches, tranquil towns, and great food making South India the place to unwind after a Northern Indian adventure.

Mumbai

19 Photos

Varkala

10 Photos

Hampi

19 Photos

Kochi

15 Photos

Pondicherry

16 Photos

Palolem

15 Photos

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NORTH INDIA

When people mention chaos, litter and bad smells with India they are generally referencing the crowded cities of North India.

Agra

16 Photos

Kolkata

19 Photos

Leh/Ladakh

29 Photos

Srinagar

20 Photos

Manali

10 Photos

Darjeeling

13 Photos

Varanasi

13 Photos

Rishikesh

16 Photos

Amritsar

21 Photos

New Delhi

20 Photos

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Click here to learn more about India and plan your trip

PHOTO GALLERIES

Adam\'s Peak and EllaKuala LumpurBikanerVang ViengTaupoThree Passes TrekKandyDubaiClimbing Mount Kilimanjaro

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