Ten weeks is not very long to spend – we have friends that spent 6 months in India alone! So we have limited ourselves to the north for this trip.
A few weeks ago we went to see a talk about trekking in Nepal put on by a local, Vancouver Island fellow. Since seeing that, and reading more about our friends time in Northern India and Nepal, we have pretty much decided to add another two weeks to our time here in order to see a little of Nepal also.
For this itinerary, I’ve dispensed with the route planning and moved more toward creating a list of places that we would like to see. Primarily because it’s difficult to know what the best route might be – although I think we’ll start at the northernmost part simply so that as we move south we can ditch the cold weather gear that we’ll have toted since the beginning – this should be the start of the warm weather!
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So, here are the places we’d like to visit, in no particular order. If anyone has any suggestions as far as the best route through these, please feel free to comment.
- New Delhi – as in any city, there will be plenty to see and do here.
- Agra – home of the Taj Mahal, need I say more?
- Jaipur – the ‘Pink City’. Known for textiles, jewellery, gems and precious metals. It’ll be hard to keep with the ‘no shopping’ edict here.
- Jodhpur – the ‘Blue City’ and home of the Meherangarh Fort.
- Varanasi – India’s holiest city and the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus. Here, the sins are washed away and the dead attain salvation and freedom.
- Amristar – home of the Golden Temple and close to Wagha (where the Indian/Pakistani border closing ceremony is held).
- Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj – home of the Dalai Lama and breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
- Shimla – India’s largest hill station and home to the Jakhu, or ‘monkey’ temple.
- Jaisalmer – a desert town straight out of ‘Arabian Nights’. Here we hope to take part in a camel trek.
- Pushkar – the lake here draws pilgrims in Oct/Nov for soul cleansing. Along side, the annual camel fair and markets draw thousands…camels as far as the eye can see!!
- Ranthanbore National Park – a chance to see tigers perhaps?
- Kathmandu – the capital of Nepal, this is a recent addition to our itinerary. We will come here to see the Himalayas and move on to Pokura where we hope to take in a 5 or 6 day trek.
- Udaipur – the ‘White City’. People flock here for a relaxing, lakeside retreat. Pretty and calm – sounds like an oasis.
It doesn’t matter where we go in India, I’m sure that we will be overwhelmed, challenged and exhausted. I’m also sure that we will be equally stunned, dazzled and amazed.
Regardless, I will have realized my dream of one day visiting the world’s largest democracy and seeing it in all it’s glorious action.