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30 Days – 5 Main Destinations – An authentic overall glimpse of vibrant India with this One Month India Itinerary
If someone would say, that you could experience the whole of India within one month, they would have been grossly mistaken. However, with this One Month India Itinerary, covering the North – South – East and West of India, you can get an exhaustive glimpse of the vibrant India.
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Delhi -North India
Delhi, the Indian capital, presents an astonishing wealth of history, culture, cooking, business and street life, with endless sights and exercises to keep guests completely hooked on.
From the outset, the Indian capital can appear to be a mind-boggling spot to adjust to, however give it time and you’ll feel the chaos die down, uncovering sensitive vignettes of day by day life and endless supply of old history spanning around 2000 years, making Delhi the perfect place to soak into the Indian culture, and set pace for an adventure of a lifetime.
While you are in Delhi, you should definitely visit places of historic importance like the Red Fort, India Gate, Jantar Mantar, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Safdarjung’s Tomb, Jama Masjid, visual masterpiece of architecture, such as The Lotus Temple, The National Museum of New Delhi.
You should also visit Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, which still has the aura of old times, before heading to Connaught Place, which while built in Colonial times, is a shopper’s heaven, with brands from around the world, having showrooms there.
Not to be missed is the amazing food scene, which is best experienced in Chandni Chowk, or if you prefer posh clubs and bars, Hauz Khas Village, and even Connaught Place is the place to be.
From Delhi, make your way to Agra, which is home to the Taj Mahal – One of the Seven Wonders of the World.
You can easily reach Agra, both by road, and by train from Delhi.
Next up is Varanasi, originally Banaras or Kashi, which is a holy city on the banks of River Ganga. It is one of the world’s oldest city, and one of the holiest for the Hindus. You will find people coming from all over India, to wash off their sins, or cremate their loved ones, in the sacred River Ganga.
Not to be missed in Varansi, is attending the morning and evening ganga arti, held daily at Dashashwamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat.
You can reach Varanasi, by taking a train from Delhi, which is the most economical way of travelling to Varanasi from Delhi.
Kolkata – East India
From the North of India, it’s time to explore the 2nd main destination in your One Month India Itinerary – Kolkata (once Calcutta) the capital of West Bengal, in East India and the second biggest city in India (after Mumbai). If Bangalore is the Seattle of India, similarly Kolkata is the sub-continent’s London. It is an ‘in your face’ city that stuns and charms the clueless guest. Long known as the cultural capital of India, Kolkata keeps on bringing forth generations of artists, scholars, film makers and Nobel Prize victors. Adore it or abhor it, you unquestionably won’t forget the city on the Hooghly.
Simply saying, Kolkata is not just a city, it’s an emotion, and guess what Kolkata is also India’s best street food hub, making a food walk in Kolkata, a must do thing on your itinerary.
Puchka, Kathi rolls, Momos, Fish Fry, Jhal Muri, Sondesh, Rosogulla and other Authentic Bengali Food– everything that will make your mouth water, can be found in this city of joy.
The best time to visit Kolkata, is without a doubt, during Durga Puja, when the streets of Kolkata, bustle with activities all day long.
The best way of reaching Kolkata from Varanasi, is either by flight or by train, with train giving you a more authentic experience of India.
That’s not all, Kolkata, is also the gateway to the North-East States of India, like Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, owing to its proximity to Bagdogra, from where it’s very easy to explore Sikkim, or make your way into the other North-Eastern states.
From Bagdogra, you can even take a 7 Day Road Trip to Bhutan – The Last Shangri La
Chennai – South India
After experiencing North and East India, it’s time to head down South, to Chennai – The Gateway to South India, the third main destination on your One Month India Itinerary. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai – the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is considered one of the world’s fastest growing cities, and has the second largest beach front of any municipality in the world.
Having dosa in Chennai, should be there on the top of your bucket list for South India, as it can’t get any more authentic than this.
Travelling to Chennai, opens up your path, to visiting unique places like Pondicherry, Vellore or the hill station of Kodaikanal.
The best way to reach, Chennai in the South of India, from Kolkata in the East of India, is by hopping on any of the flights from Kolkata to Chennai, and with carriers like IndiGo, Air India, Spice Jet, flying frequently on a daily basis, between these two important cities, finding a flight in a budget, won’t be an issue. And if you are still struggling, these Five Tips for Finding Cheap Airfare will definitely help you out.
Pondicherry, now known as Puducherry, and often referred to as just Pondy, is one of the nine Union Territories of India. This former French colony is an ideal amalgamation of the conventional Indian sensibilities and French design and architecture, making it a fantastic break that offers the best of the two universes.
The roads of the French Quarter of Pondicherry, otherwise called White Town, are specked with enchanting mustard-yellow provincial structures with bougainvillea laden walls. These are scattered with comfortable bistros and chic boutiques that offer scrumptious French cooking and drinks. Basically, walking around these lanes, can give the voyager a knowledge into the fantasy appeal of Pondicherry.
If you are looking for more stuff to do in Pondicherry, then check out this Pondicherry Travel Guide!
Auroville, an experimental township, inaugurated in 1968, is just 15 km from Pondicherry, and is the home of around 2,800 people from 195 nationalities. Also known as the City of Dawn, Auroville is the epitome of tranquility and proves as the perfect escape for the ones in search of peace, making a trip to Auroville from Pondicherry, a must do on your Indian agenda.
Matrimandir, an architecture masterpiece, with a 30-m high globe, with a lotus shaped fountain urn, is the main attraction of Aurovile.
Around 140 Km from Chennai, lies Vellore, which is one of the most cultural and historical cities in South India, and is an amalgation of numerous dynasties who had once ruled this kingdom, over the centuries.
Influences from these past rulers, for example, the Pandyas, Cholas, Vijayanagara lords, Carnatic Nawabs and British Raj can be seen everywhere throughout the city in its rich design, culture and cuisine.
The best way to reach Vellore from Chennai, is by road, in a taxi or bus.
Mumbai – West India
After getting a glimpse of North, South and East India, it’s time to make your way to Mumbai – the largest city in India, the fourth main destination on your One Month India Itinerary.
Earlier known as Bombay, Mumbai, is undoubtedly India’s commercial capital, and is one of the most prominent port cities in India. The presence of Bollywood in Mumbai, has had a vital role in Mumbai’s transformation into India’s most eclectic and cosmopolitan city.
When you find yourself in Mumbai, make it a point to visit the Gateway of India, the Colaba Causeway Market, the Global Vipassna Pagoda, and CST Railway Station Building, Juhu Beach, Muhammad Ali road, Nariman Point, especially at night.
The kebabs at Bademiya, ice gola at Juhu Beach, and the street side eateries selling Vada Pav, should definitely be tried once. And if you love the taste of it (which you will), you can eat your hearts content, without digging a hole in your pocket.
The most economical way of reaching Mumbai from Chennai, is either by flight or train.
A vibrant mix of Indian and Portuguese cultures, improved with sun, ocean, sand, fish, susegad and otherworldliness, Goa is India’s pocket-sized heaven, and the fact that you can reach Goa, by taking an overnight bus or train from Mumbai, is just the feather on top.
Gokarna and Hampi
If you are looking for a less crowded alternative to Goa, then Gokarna is the pace to go. Gokarna and Hampi, both unique in their own way, have become a backpacker’s paradise, and they are easily accessible from both Goa and Mumbai. Spending a few days, in this backpacker’s haven, is highly recommended for a much-needed relaxation.
Jaipur – North – West India
Jaipur, built in 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh, is India first planned city, and is next on your one month India itinerary, after experiencing North, East, and South of India. Also known as the Pink City, Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, is a vibrant amalgamation of the old and new.
Along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur forms the Golden Triangle, which is one of the most famous tourist circuits for people visiting India.
Jaipur is home to a couple of UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Amer Fort and Jantar Mantar. Jaipur is also home to magnificent forts, royal residences, temples, museums and vibrant bazaars (markets), such as Jal Mahal, Hawa Mahal.
There are some experiences unique to Jaipur, one of which is having an authentic Rajasthani Thali, at Thali House or at LMB – Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar. A must try is the paneer ghewar (a sweet made from cottage cheese, flour and sugar). Some other interesting items to try out are the Pyaz Kachori, Shrikhand, Lassi and Kulfi Faluda.
Jaipur is also the gateway, for you to have some really unique experiences in Jodhpur – The Blue City, Jaisalmer – The Golden City, Ajmer, Pushkar, or Ranthambore – home to Ranthambore National Park.
Jaipur can be easily reached from Mumbai, by trains and by flights.
Delhi – North India
Now that you have had an exhaustive and immersive glimpse of India, and are back to Delhi, it only makes sense to take out a few days to head out to the Himalayas, to experience getting High On Himalayas, and to enjoy the peace and calm in the lap of Himalayas.
An overnight bus from Delhi, and you will reach Himachal Pradesh, where you can choose to do some trekking, or just camping under the stars, while having hot chai and Maggi.
Also, if you are really up for an amazing and unique adventure, make your way to Leh Ladakh – The Land of Passes, and this 7 Day Leh Ladakh Itinerary, starting from Manali, is the best way to do that.
You can easily get an authentic glimpse of India with this One Month India Itinerary, by spending 5 – 6 days each in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Jaipur. Keep these cities as the base point, and take 1-2 day trips to explore the nearby areas.
The best part of this One Month India Itinerary is that you can take this as a reference point, and explore at your pace, even making this itinerary a Two Month India Itinerary, or even a Three Months India Itinerary. Its all upto your time and budget constraints.
The One Month India Itinerary, in a summarised manner for your convineance
Day 1 – Day 6 – Delhi – Agra Varanasi
Day 7 – Day 12 – Kolkata – Bagdogra – Sikkim/North East India
Day 13 – Day 18 – Chennai – Pondicherry – Auroville – Vellore
Day 19 – Day 24 – Mumbai – Goa / Gokarna and Hampi
Day 25 – Day 30 – Jaipur – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer / Pushkar and Ajmer / Udaipur
Optional additional 7 Day Itineraries for your reference
7 Day Bhutan Itinerary from Kolkata via Bagdogra
7 Day Leh Ladakh Itinerary from Delhi via Manali