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India Itinerary – How To Spend 1 – 4 Weeks In India

Located in the continent of Asia, India is the seventh largest and the second-most populous country in the world. With nearly one and a half billion people calling this country their home.

Famous for its rich history, India is an amazingly diverse country with a vast array of religions, languages, traditions, foods etc. As well as every landscape you could wish for including mountains, forests, lakes, deserts, rivers and beaches.

In this vibrant and fascinating country, where the locals are generally extremely hospitable and polite, you’ll find an abundance of opportunities for some really unforgettable experiences.

India is not a small country, so it’s probably best to get a one month in India itinerary together before you leave. Here’s our guide.

How To Get Around India

Depending on your budget, you have a few choices when it comes to travelling around India.

Plane

Not the cheapest way to travel, but it is possible to fly between many of the major cities in India. With many international and domestic airports spread across the country.

Train

India has a very good rail network and this is definitely one of the best ways to get around.

You can purchase a range of different tickets that offer varying degrees of comfort. From cheaper wooden seats in packed carriages to luxurious, air conditioned seating.

The choice is yours with hopefully something for everyones budget.

In addition, an overnight sleeper train is a good option for any long journeys.

Car

It’s not recommended that you drive yourself in India but renting a car and driver is something that is widely offered across all of India.

Bus

Buses are a good option for shorter distances or when there isn’t a train station in the town you are visiting.

These can usually be booked from your accommodation and work out as one of the cheapest ways to travel.

Just check what you are getting when you book as there are a variety of buses, ranging from hot and uncomfortable to more luxurious and air conditioned.

Tour

Some of the best days out we had in India were on private tours.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

From city tours, to temple visits and sight seeing tours, there’s plenty to keep you busy.

Best Time To Visit India

India is a huge country with varying terrains and climates across different regions. So there are lots of incredible places to explore all year.

That being said, the most comfortable time to visit is probably in the winter months from December to March.

The temperatures can get very hot from April onwards, with monsoon season generally during the months of June, July and August. This is when there are torrential downpours and high humidity.

Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

North India Itinerary

Delhi

We landed in Dehli for the first stop on our 1 month India itinerary. Spending a total of 4 days in the capital.

We visited the usual touristy spots such as The Red Fort and the Independence Monument. As well as, of course, some food spots along the way!

If you do plan on heading to the Red Fort, be sure to grab your Humayun’s Tomb & Red Fort Combi-Ticket in advance. Skip-the-line and enjoy a hassle-free visit to the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, and the Red Fort.

We chose to explore the majority of the city ourselves, with a little help from the guys at our accommodation. However, there are always plenty of great tours available on Get Your Guide.

Chandni Chowk is another great spot that shouldn’t be missed. We took the Eat Like a Local: Chandni Chowk Street Food and Walking Tour which was an awesome experience.

Delhi can be quite overwhelming, however the city is a natural place to start your India itinerary, and a place we’re sure you’ll never forget!

Delhi Spice Market Rooftop Places To Visit In Delhi Things To Do In Delhi
The rooftops of Delhi – the first stop on our 1 month India itinerary

Amritsar

The next stop on our 1 month India itinerary was Amritsar.

From Delhi we pushed out West to the home of the most popular Sikh Gurdwara in the world – The Golden Temple.

A Gurdwara is a place of worship for Sikhs, and of the 27 million Sikhs in the world, 83% of them live in India. With 76% of those living in the state of Punjab.

A great option if you have time is to take a Small Group Sightseeing Tour. You get to explore the highlights of Amritsar (including the Golden Temple) with a local guide. It’s a pretty hectic experience to say the least.

We also paid a visit to the Wagah Boarder Ceremony. This is where the Indian and Pakistani militaries put on a patriotic display whilst opening and closing the border gates.

Overall Amritsar is a pretty popular spot when planning your 1 month India itinerary. One we definitely recommend for the deep religious history.

Golden Temple Amritsar India
Golden Temple in Amritsar is a must visit on your 1 month India itinerary

Dharamshala

Next stop on the 1 month India itinerary, is the hippie centre of the North.

Dharamshala is a city broken down into 3 main tourist destinations: Bhagsu, Dharamkot and Mcleod Ganj.

Located in the mountains of India, on the edge of the Himalayas, we rarely left our accommodation without long trousers and a jumper. So it’s a nice break from the humidity and hustle of most Indian cities!

We based ourselves in Bhagsu. Where there’s actually not a lot to do apart from chill, eat avocado and take part in yoga. There’s also a pretty nice trek to Bhagsunag Waterfall.

From Bhagsu you can visit Dharamkot, a smaller version of Bhagsu, and take a day trip to Mcleod Ganj. Home to the Dalai Lama and many Tibetan markets.

Wherever you choose to stay, all 3 towns in Dharamshala are within walking distance of each other.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, we recommend booking a Dharamshala Full Day Customizable City Sightseeing Tour in advance.

With this option you can customise your itinerary with a local guide. Who will accompany you to all the sightseeing points for a full 8 hours.

Cows In Manali Viewpoint Dharamsala Or Manali India
Charlie overlooking the mountains with his friends in Dharamshala

Manali

One long, painful bus journey over from Dharamshala (the worst of our 1 month India itinerary) and we were rewarded with the best views in India.

Snow capped mountains, and some awesome viewpoints, brings a lot of Europeans to the highlands. That, alongside the relaxed atmosphere and camping spots.

It’s similar to Dharamshala, with the hippie clothing and healthy foods, but it’s so much more adventurous!

Where Dharamshala has relaxation and meditation, Old Manali has mountain trekking and paragliding!

If you’re looking for something sweet, you HAVE to check out Dylan’s Toasted & Roasted Coffee House for the best cookies in Manali.

Manali is a place we fell in love with, and for us it was definitely one of the best things to do in India.

Manali Viewpoint Dharamsala Or Manali India
Dharamshala vs Manali? Manali probably wins in the views department.

Rishikesh

You can’t plan a 1 month India itinerary, and not factor in yoga.

So Rishikesh, also known as ‘the birthplace of yoga’, has become hugely popular with westerners in recent years.

But as well as plenty of yoga training courses, there are also some awesome eateries. Along with an infamous bridge (that we’re sure you’ll cross one too many times) and an opportunity to try out cheap water rafting.

Overall, Rishikesh was one of our favourite spots on our 1 month India itinerary. The people we met, activities we took part in, and how accessible the city was made it memorable.

Plus keep your eye out for lots of Beatles memorabilia scattered around the city. In 1968, the famous English band travelled to Rishikesh for a Transcendental Meditation training course.

It’s said that they then decided to stay and wrote many songs during their visit. Hence the Beatles Ashram is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rishikesh!

Rishikesh Bridge Places To Visit In Rishikesh Bridge
Lauren overlooking the famous Rishikesh Bridge

Varanasi

From Rishikesh, we had to backtrack through Delhi to get out East and explore the Ghats in Varanasi.

After a lot of weighing up the options, mainly because of the distance and cost, Varanasi was well worth the trip!

It’s famous for its access to the River Ganges and its sacred ghats. We highly recommend this experience for your 1 month India itinerary!

A ‘Ghat’, is a flight of steps leading down to the bank of a river in India. Varanasi has 88 ghats. Most of which are bathing and puja ceremony ghats. While two ghats are used exclusively as cremation sites.

For visiting the Ghats you must book onto a river boat tour. We recommend either the Sunrise Boat Tour or the Varanasi Sunset Boat Tour.

You will travel by boat along the River Ganges. Gathering a deeper insight into the Ghats with help from a local English speaking guide.

We opted for the sunset tour, and were taken up to the Shamshan Ghat. Here we witnessed an old man being cremated from a distance, which was an eye opening experience.

However we were soon encouraged not to feel sad, as it was a happy time for all of those surrounding the man to celebrate his life.

The River Ganges is a truly unique place and one of the top things people associate with India.

Ghats In Varanasi River Ganges Boat Tour
Charlie about to head over by river boat to our Ghats In Varanasi tour.

Agra

If not the River Ganges, then the Taj Mahal is the first thing people associate with India.

A remarkable piece of architecture and our first Wonder of the World. It’s a no brainer that every tourist will want have this at the top of their 1 month India itinerary!

Most people choose to book onto a Private Taj Mahal & Agra Tour. This includes trains to and from Delhi, with a private guided tour of The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Baby Taj including all tickets.

However, if you plan on visiting the Taj Mahal yourself, be sure to book your Skip-the-Line Taj Mahal Admission Ticket.

Apart from the marble landmark itself, there’s not much going on in Agra. The only other subject of interest is Agra Fort.

Taj Mahal Couple Photo Taj Mahal Agra India
Our sunrise at the magical Taj Mahal

Rajasthan Itinerary

Jaipur

The first stop on your 1 month India itinerary through Rajasthan is the ‘Pink City’.

Jaipur is the capital of India’s Rajasthan state.

The ‘Pink City’ name dates back a few hundred years to when the then Maharaja had all the buildings painted pink (the colour of hospitality) in preparation for a royal visitor from Great Britain.

With numerous amazing forts, a city palace and the beautiful Hawa Mahal, every postcard photo imaginable can be captured in Jaipur.

One of the top things to do in the city is to venture up to Nahargarh Fort. Just be careful of the wild bulls wondering around at the top of the fort. Our friend actually got butted by one! We ended up at a local family’s house, but that’s another story.

If you’re visiting Jaipur for the photos, the Jaipur Instagram Tour of The Best Photography Spots is one of the most popular tours online!

Nahargarh Fort Jaipur India Backpacking India Route
The view from Nahargarh Fort over the whole city of Jaipur

Pushkar

Over from Jaipur the next natural step is to visit Pushkar.

However, this small town that borders the Thar Desert is not on everybody 1 month India itinerary.

It’s a little less known, and is set on Pushkar Lake, a sacred Hindu site with 52 ghats where pilgrims bathe.

With the scenic lake at its centre, Pushkar is a super chilled, laid back town with some cute restaurants and markets.

You’ll be able to grab all the hippie clothing your heart desires in the main market street. Just make sure to save some room in your luggage!

Pushkar Lake Pushkar Backpacking India Route
Pushkar Lake is located in the centre of the small town.

Jodhpur

From the ‘Pink City’ to the ‘Blue City’, if you’ve seen the popular, photographed blue walls of India then this is your place.

We happened to plan our 1 month India itinerary to land in Jodhpur for Lauren’s birthday.

So we took an awesome Blue City Walking Tour of the town and cooled off by jumping (quite literally) into the many step wells scattered around Jodhpur. Just make sure you have your travel insurance in place!

We also opted to take an audio tour of Mehrangarh Fort. It was extremely educational and there are many more hidden gems in Jodphur like this.

If you’re short for time and trying to tie in as many places to visit in Jodhpur as possible, then taking a Jodhpur City Sightseeing: Full-Day Private Tour is a great option.

There are some beautiful places to eat on your Jodhpur itinerary, but here are a couple of our favourites:

The Blue Turban

This rooftop cafe opens at 6pm and has THE best view of Jodhpur Fort at night.

Shahi Samosas

A huge hit with the locals, and the busiest samosa shop we saw in India.

The Blue City Jodhpur Things To Do In Jodhpur Places To Visit In Jodhpur
Looking over the famous Blue City in Jodhpur.

Jaisalmer

Far out West of the country, the one and only thing people head to Jaisalmer for is the desert!

Popular for its jeep or camel rides into the open sand dunes, there’s really no need to explain this one.

With agents all around the city tempting you in to book onto the city’s largest tourist attraction, you can book your Jaisalmer: Overnight Stay in Swiss Tent with Camel Safari in advance.

We spent the night tucked up around a fire, while our local tour guide cooked up some home made Indian curries. Even better we ate them with our hands and stayed up all evening sharing travel stories.

It’s an awesome chance to sleep under the stars and was a highlight of our 1 month India itinerary!

Camping In Jaisalmer Desert Camping
Exploring the Jaisalmer Desert.

Udaipur

Down to the last stop of Rajasthan on our 1 month India itinerary, and we arrived in ‘the city of lakes’.

To get down to Udaipur from Jaisalmer, you’ll have to divert back through Jodhpur as there is no other way.

Udaipur is set around a series of artificial lakes and is known for its lavish royal residences.

City Palace, overlooking Lake Pichola, is a monumental complex of 11 palaces, courtyards and gardens. It’s also famed for its intricate peacock mosaics.

If you’re looking for an easy way to discover all that Udaipur has to offer, the Highlights of Udaipur, Guided Half-Day Car Tour is probably the best option.

It covers all the beautiful and famous sites of Udaipur, including Fateh Sagar Lake, Jagdish Temple and Saheliyon ki Bari.

There are some beautiful buildings to be seen, many scenic lakes and some interesting, historic temples in Udaipur.

Our favourite viewpoint however, that we highly recommend visiting, is the rewarding hike to the top of Badi Lake!

Udaipur Lake White City India Of Lakes India Backpacking India Route
Lauren living like a princess in Udaipur.

South India Itinerary

Mumbai

A bus down from Udaipur, and our first stop in the South was Mumbai. The most wild place in India, but we adored it!

If you’re heading to Mumbai the train system is organised chaos, and the slums are an absolute must see.

With every tour imaginable in Mumbai, a few of the most popular are:

Ethical Dharavi Walking Tour with Options

Private Full-Day Sightseeing Tour of the City

However if you plan on doing Mumbai alone, with so much to do and see around the capital, it may be worth arranging a Private Car Hire with Professional Driver to explore at ease.

This way you can enjoy your day in Mumbai at your own pace. Aslo in the most comfortable way.

Just make sure you save plenty of time to go out and see the city that never sleeps. Mumbai is a must on your 1 month India itinerary!

Gateway Of India Mumbai Backpacking India Route 1 Month India Itinerary
Charlie at the centre of Mumbai – Gateway Of India.

Goa

The main beach destination in India. This stop on the South coast, is where it’s happening.

Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea.

Its long history as a Portuguese colony, prior to 1961, is evident in its 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, we recommend booking a Private Full-Day Sightseeing Highlights Tour.

Goa is most commonly known for its beaches though. Ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem, to those in laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda.

Indians flock there on summer vacation, whilst westerners head over for a piece of the sunshine.

There are beach resorts a plenty, and we were lucky enough to catch it in down season so it was a lot calmer than usual, although we can imagine it turns into quite the party place come peak season.

Indian Thali Goa Backpacking India Route 1 Month India Itinerary
A typical south Indian curry and chapati.

Hampi

Our little gem amidst the madness of India.

A lot of people don’t realise Hampi even exists until they arrive in India, and begin talking to other travellers.

A town straight out of The Flintstones, it’s huge boulder formations and laid back vibes put it right up there with our favourite places in the country.

If you’re looking to visit Hampi straight from Goa, you can even arrange a Hampi 2-Day Sightseeing Tour from Goa.

This ancient village is great to explore by bicycle, and not too popular with tourists, so can be a quiet escape from the madness.

We certainly recommend exploring the older temples and markets, so if you have time definitely add Hampi to your 1 month India itinerary!

Hampi Ruins Places To Visit In Hampi Things To Do 1 Month India Itinerary
The ancient city of Hampi is worth squeezing into your 1 month India itinerary

Kerala

A perfect place to end your 1 month India itinerary, and to take a moment of silence to reflect on your travels.

Most popular for its Kerala Backwaters, most people tend to stay in the Fort Cochi area of Kerala.

From there you can plan a day out exploring on a traditional non-mechanized country boat, cruising the lush backwaters of Kerala, and visiting villages to see coconut palm weaving and coir making.

There are two types of Kerala Backwaters Tours to choose from, and the easiest way to book is online in advance:

Half-Day Kerala Backwaters Tour

Full-Day Kerala Backwaters Tour + Fort Kochi Tour

Both tours include lunch, and pick up from a meeting point in Fort Cochin.

We cruised down the river on a full day house boat tour for 7 hours of relaxation. It was such an awesome way to wind down from the hectic journey we’d been on through India, and the ideal final stop to our 1 month India itinerary.

Kerala Backwaters Tour Kerala Houseboat Alleppey 1 Month India Itinerary
Lauren cruising through Kerala backwaters on the final stop of our 1 month India itinerary

Where To Stay In India

For pre-booking accommodation when travelling, we always recommend Booking.com.

From 5 star hotels, to budget backpacker hostels, it’s got everything and the site is super easy to use.

So to compare deals, and pre-book all of your 1 month India itinerary accommodation, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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The Perfect 1 Month India Itinerary

April

Tuesday 10th of July 2018

Hey Guys, How long did you spend in India all together? Heading out there in October to kickstart my adventures. Thanks

Charlie Pauly

Wednesday 11th of July 2018

Heyyy, we spent a total of 2 months travelling India. Hope this helps! :)

Pooja Thapliyal

Wednesday 6th of September 2017

Nice compilation of all the top places in India. I wish to travel more now ?

Charlie Pauly

Wednesday 6th of September 2017

Thank you Pooja!? you should travel more of your beautiful county.?