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How to plan your Ideal Trip to North India

This is a guest post by Rebecca Siggers.

Vacations coming up? Want to explore the incredible sights of India? Then why not consider a visit to the North of India! From the foothills of the Himalayas, sacred pilgrimage sights, famous cities, and – of course – the delicious food, the northern region of India is a cultural spectacular.

Which states make up North India?

While you may not have heard of many of the States that make up North India – Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Haryana – I’m sure you’ve heard the names of the cities of North India: Delhi – the national capital, Agra – home of the Taj Mahal, Varanasi – the spiritual city where Hindu pilgrims travel to bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites, Jaipur – the pink city.

Tips to plan your trip to North India

Go unplanned

I know it sounds ironic and illogical in context to the title of this blog post, but hear me out. If you have done some research and keep your travel plans flexible, you’ll have your best experience on your trip to North India.

If you’re planning a trip to India, there will be plenty of touts claiming to be a tour guide, stay at least half a mile away from this kind of people. Go with reputable companies like Intrepid Travel or G Adventures, or book your tour through a well-known company such as Viator that gives you – the traveller – protection should there be a problem on the tour.

Otherwise, consider choosing to explore the local places and the significant attractions all by yourself. Buy a Lonely Planet India guidebook (Lonely Planet also has a guidebook for North Indian cities Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra!) or search some of your favourite blogs for the best tips (Click here to see Nicole’s recommendations!) Just try to go with the flow, and don’t try to schedule your vacation, expect of flights, trains, and buses. That’s how travelers travel and explore. No guide book or tour guide will get you as close with the local attractions as your own curiosity and open-mindedness. Be less of a tourist and more of a traveler. 

Choose the right time to travel to North India

The perfect time to travel to North India is between late winters and spring, the weather is pleasant. The weather is anywhere between 15° to 20°, perfect for an afternoon stroll around the city.
At this time the festival of colors – Holi is around, to provide a wonderful experience to your body and soul. By and by, if you are not able to schedule your trip around late winters, try to schedule it during late summers or fall, because the temperature of North India may rise up to 40° during summers.

If you are arriving in October or November, enlighten your mind and soul with the divine light of earthen lamps which decorates almost every house on the festival of light – Diwali and delight in all North Indian food.

Find out what to wear in Indiaclick here

Consider off the beaten path locations

If you’re in Rajasthan and near Jaisalmer, go to the Sam Sand Dunes. Many travel agents, organise tours to see these euphoric sand dunes. Even better, you can spend the best night with your loved one camping under the sky.

Gaze at the sky full of stars and have the best Rajasthani dinner with your co-travelers, warmth of the bonfire warming your soul in the cold of the night. This is one of the best romantic settings you can have in North India.

Are you a fan of architecture? Then you’ll definitely love the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur with steeping high walls and technologically sound arts, ancestral home to His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh Ji of Jodhana is worth visiting.

To find these places, check out local Indian bloggers websites (see Nicole’s favourite below), ask fellow travellers in forums like Lonely Planet’s ThornTree and Facebook groups such as Conde Nast Travelers ‘Women Who Travel‘, or – better still – ask the locals when you arrive!

Enjoy the Nightlife

If you’re around the capital of the country – Delhi, enjoy the late night strolls to bars and snack corners. India’s alcohol companies are rapidly growing with brands like Amrus Single Malt (whiskey) and DesmondJi (an agave-based drink not dissimilar to Mexican tequila).

Enjoy the music and disco culture of the capital, pay a visit to midnight snack centers, have the best Indian street food in “chowpatis” – a place meant for street food only. Pay a visit to Gurugram’s cyber hub for the delicious food it offers in office hours. Do visit the Paranthe Wali Gali to savor the spicy flavors of Indian stuffed bread, the stuffing may vary from potatoes to cottage cheese to scrambled eggs to cauliflower, all lavish and mouth-watering. Enjoy the taste of India!

Book Online

Booking your hotels, flights, trains, and buses online is a convenient way of saving your time and money in India. You may get hefty discounts by booking a bus online or you may book a train ticket and that too without getting in a line full of passengers, also it is hassle-free and easy.

I highly recommend booking a hotel room before you arrive in a city, at least for the first few days while you get your bearing. This will save you from roaming here and there seeking a comfortable room with your luggage. It will also prevent you from being scammed by some hotel managers. For the most trustworthy hotels, I book through HotelsCombined or Booking.com.

Lastly, go to India and have the time of your life, keep your heart and mind open for new experiences. Also, keep your eyes and ears open to prevent yourself from touts that may come your way. You will be blissful and amazed. Namaste!!

My Favourite Indian Travel Bloggers

If you want to get to know a country, read the stories by its people. Here are my (Nicole’s) favourite Indian travel bloggers. I’ve met all these people and will follow their recommendations on my own India trip… and they are just awesome people too!

  • LakshmiTravel with Lakshmi follows this incredible freelance travel writers journey on a cultural journey around India and the world.
  • ShivyaThe Shooting Star shares tips and stories from off-the-beaten path destinations and responsible travel both in India and around the world.
  • Jo – if you are seeking tips from an adventurous Indian solo female traveller than Wander with Jo if your girl.
  • Mridula – once a professor, Mridula now shares her stories on Travel Tale from India & Abroad. Read her blog for outdoor adventures.
  • Mariellen – this award-winning Canadian blogger fell in love with India and now shares stories from the subcontinent on her blog, Breathe Dream Go.
  • Devashree – while The Crazy Indian Foodie is usually based in Mumbai, she still has plenty of blog posts on where to eat in Northern India and recipes if you want to bring a taste of India home.

Authors Bio:

Rebecca has been closely studying the travel industry trends from quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in p enning down her views providing quality insight on current travel trends and also likes to write about food and beverages, particularly wine.

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