As many of you have asked me about my trip through India, I thought I’d give you a rundown of all the places that I went to in India as well as brief description for those of you who are thinking of traveling there in the future.
Delhi ==> Jaisalmer (state of Rajasthan)
We took an overnight, almost 18 hour train ride from Delhi to Jaisalmer. This was the longest train ride of our entire trip, but worth it as we started a 3 day, 2 night desert camel safari from here.
Jaisalmer ==> Jodhpur
I really liked Rajasthan from my first trip here in December and so decided to take some more time to see more cities here. Unfortunately, we had to skip Udaipur as train connections were pretty slim in and out of the city. Jodhpur is similar to most Rajasthani cities with a fort on top of the hill, a market and a museum.
Jodhpur ==> Jaipur
There were 2 reason for going to Jaipur. The first is that I think it has the best shopping in Rajasthan for crafts – though you must bargain like crazy. The second reason is that train connections are much better for getting into Madhya Pradesh (our next destination)
Jaipur is part of the “golden triangle” which includes Delhi and Agra and this is one of the most common trips that foreign tourist take while in India
Jaipur ==> Gwalior (state of Madhya Pradesh)
This city in MP boasts a huge hilltop fort, cool statues carved into the side of the rock on the climb up, and is NOT a touristy city. As a result, the restaurants, food, and hotels were disappointing, but the fort and sights there were worth the trip
Gwalior ==> Orchha via Jhansi
We took a bus to Jhansi, then auto rickshaw to Orchha and I would highly recommend Orchha as a place to go while in MP or while in India. It is called the “hidden temple” as there is a huge fort and ruins of a fort and temples growing out the jungle. This is apparantly also the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book (according to LP)
Jhansi ==> Khajuraho
We splurged and hired a taxi to take us to Khajuraho to see tha Kama Sutra temples. Despite being a super touristy city, the temples were beautiful, grand, and magnificent, and worth the trip.
Khajuraho ==> Varanasi via Satna (state of Uttar Pradesh)
We took a taxi again to Satna, then caught a train to Varanasi. This train was extremely late and delayed by around 6 hours, but we made it without any other problems
Varanasi ==> Darjeeling (state of West Bengal)
we had to take a train to NJP (New Jaipalguri) then a taxi up to the hill station of Darjeeling. Unfortunately we missed the tea plucking season, but took a 2 day hike up to the border of Nepal and stayed in a nice resort which made the trip worthwhile.
Darjeeling ==> Cherrapunjee via NJP and Guwahati (state of Meghalaya in NE India)
Cherrapunjee is a MUST SEE if you go and visit the NE states. I could write so much about it including the living root bridges, caving, being the wettest place in the world, and having a great place to stay, but you really must go there to experience it for yourself
Cherrapunjee ==> Khazaranga (state of Assam)
Here we went on a Rhino safari, but besides the park, there really isn’t too much else to do here.
Khazaranga ==> Delhi via. Guwahati
For the last leg of our journey, we flew back to Delhi from Guwahati and ended our cross country journey from on the of farthest West places in India to one of the farthest East places in India and from the Pakistan border to the Bangladesh border and back to Delhi.
When I get some more time, I will try and post some pictures from each of these places as well as the approximate location within India to give you some perspective on where each place is.