1 Month Itinerary in India
Planning a trip to India? Looking for some tips on the best places to visit in north India? Good news fellow travellers, we have compiled this list of top places to visit in north India for a one month India itinerary....YUSSS!
India, India, India…..a beautiful mystery, so full of challenges but also allure and charm. A polarising place. A place you either love to love or love to hate. We spent 5 months travelling to many places in India and are self proclaimed lovers of this endearing and exciting country.
India is a diverse country with hundreds of languages and many cultures within. You could say it is a world of its own, you would need a lifetime to explore it all! Even after so long travelling in India we still feel like we have only scratched the surface.
When we meet fellow travellers, we always enjoy telling them our India travel stories and letting them know the most spectacular destinations in India. We want them to have an epic time, so that they will love the country as much as we do.
So this article is our way of sharing our favourite places in India to help fellow travellers everywhere fall in love with India too. In this post we reveal the diverse sides of the country and some of the best highlights in north India, on and off the beaten path, so that you can have the most exciting and rewarding trip possible. (without trying to fit too much in!) We are sharing with you our perfect one month north India itinerary.
After 5months travelling across India, this is the itinerary we would recommend to all our friends and family. We have listed each location, given them all a brief introduction, and shared our notes on transport, accommodation and activities. So without further ado, we present to you our best places to visit in north India, for a one month itinerary in India.
We have chosen the following 8 best places in North India. All are unique and beautiful in their own way. Visiting the locations in this order will flow well and make for the most sense for transport and logistics.
The Perfect 1 Month Itinerary in India:
Total Days: 29
Recommended Stay: 3 Days
Starting in Delhi as this is a convenient place to fly into from almost anywhere in the world. A massive metropolitan area and capital of India, Delhi is beautiful chaos waiting to be discovered.
It might not be the most picturesque place in India. However, it is overflowing with colour, bustle, culture, food and history. Talk about jumping into the deep end! But hey what better way to be welcomed to India?
You might be thinking, Delhi = Delhi belly, no doubt this could happen, but we found a great article that can help you survive street food while travelling. We can vouch for all the tips in this article!
Top 3 things to do in Delhi:
1. Embark on a Food tour in Delhi and introduce yourself to the delectable flavours of Indian cuisine. My grandparents actually did the Mantra Food tour in Old Delhi and loved it, so we can definitely recommend it. If you want to tour the streets on your own and experiment with Indian flavours, we created this Top 8 Indian Dishes article, to help you find some yummy food options.
2. Explore Old Delhi and have a sensory overload to start your one month India itinerary off with a bang! Old Delhi is surely an experience, a place where life and culture takes place on the streets for all to see. The sights, smells, colours, crowds and markets might leave you jaw dropped. Some highlights in Old Delhi are Chandni Chowk, Chowri Bazar and the Spice market along Khari Baoli.
3. Visit Akshardham Temple & Water Show, a modern temple complex built in 2005 which architecturally, pays homage to traditional Indian Hindu buildings. The complex is large and equally as stunning, with elaborate and intricately carved structures that will blow your mind. There is also an impressive water show which lasts for 24 minutes and is well worth a watch. We weren't expecting much when we brought our tickets, but the show exceeded all our expectations! Show times start at 6:15 PM & 7:15 PM and costs Rs80.
Quick Tip: No electronic items are allowed inside the complex, we would also suggest leaving your bag in the car and just bringing your wallet to avoid the bag check line.
Recommended Hotels in Delhi:
As well as hotels & guests houses we also recommend Workaway and Couchsurfing for those travellers who want a very local experience and/or to save $$. You can read more about them here.
Recommended Stay: 4 Days
Rishikesh one of the best places to visit in north India and one of our top rated India destinations. Located in the northern state of Uttarakhand, nestled in the foothills of the Himalaya, Rishikesh is a charming town on the banks of the mighty Ganges river. The natural beauty here will take your breath away and there is no shortage of cultural wonders.
Rishikesh is a holy pilgrimage site and many sadhus and devotees from across India travel here to worship and bath in the ganges. Although it is clearly on the tourist path, the vibe here is very relaxed and you can really find your zen moments here while relaxing in a riverfront cafe or watching the sunset on the Ganges. We caught ourselves zenning out a few times ourselves. You can checkout our Rishikesh adventures in our travel video.
Top 3 things to do in Rishikesh:
1. Watch the holy Arti Ceremony which happens every night on the banks of the river at sunset. The Arti was truly captivating and is a beautiful display of devotion to mother Ganges. You can watch the Arti Ceremony in two locations one is in old Rishikesh at the Triveni Ghat and the other in Laxman both start at about 5:30pm.
2. Swim in the Ganges, it's a must, a once in a lifetime opportunity! The good news is because you are at the beginning of the Ganges river, the water is fresh and clean and completely healthy to swim in. It was a bucket list item for me, a bit chilly….but so such a buzz to be swimming in the Ganges!
3. Embrace the art of Yoga! Rishikesh is one of best places to visit in north India to practice yoga, renowned for its yoga ashrams and schools. Even if you decide not to attend classes, you can take your yoga mat down to the Ganges, there must be no better place for a morning yoga session.
Recommended hotels in Rishikesh:
How to Reach Rishikesh From Delhi:
AC Class Train Ticket: Rs500/$7USD
Rickshaw from Dehradun to Rishikesh: Rs500/$7USD
Recommended Stay: 4 Days
Five hours north of Rishikesh is a place that very few tourist will ever see. The perfect addition to your one month India itinerary. An authentic mountain village that will delight you with its charm and beauty. A place in north India that is untouched, where you will experience local food, life and hospitality at its best. A true paradise that will help you relax and reconnect.
Reti and I were lucky enough to spend two weeks in this beautiful village and actually helped to set up the community homestays. You can see that video here.
The homestays are so integral to the community, as it gives locals a sense of independence and a much needed income stream to support them and their families. With the global rise of capitalism many village people move to the city in search of work and this has lead to villages being deserted and cultures being lost. Homestays are the answer for many of these small rural villages, helping to preserve their way of life, language and culture.
Top 3 things to do in Laluri
1. Visit Chandrabadni temple a prominent hindu site which is located at the top of a mountain at an altitude of 2277m. It's a short but steep 40min walk to the temple and gives you stunning views of the himalayas when you reach the top.
2. Take a walk in the Village and enjoy meeting locals and watching the world go by. You can also visit the fresh water spring for some delicious mountain water. There are several short treks in the area, just ask your hosts and they will surely guide you.
3. Attend a local ceremony and experience true Indian culture. If you are lucky enough to be in the village during a festival, party or wedding you will be invited to join in the local celebrations. This will DEFINITELY be an unforgettable travel experience!
Accomodation in Laluri:
Accommodation in Laluri is in the form of traditional homestays. You will be staying in the homes of local village people and will be eating homemade local food. You will get a very authentic experience in doing so, however please do not expect hotel standards. Although the homestays are clean and comfortable the facilities are simple and you can expect bucket baths and squat toilets. There are 4 homestays in Laluri and I have listed them below:
All homestays costs: Rs1000/$14USD
Price includes a private room & three home cooked meals per day
How to Reach Laluri from Rishikesh:
Do note the road to Lauri is very picturesque but also very windy and narrow.
Bus fare From Rishikesh to Jaminkhal: Rs150/$2USD
2. Rishikesh to Bagwan - This bus departs Rishikesh between 2-2:30pm and will take about 5hours. Be sure to wait at a bus stop on highway 7 in Rishikesh and wave down the buses passing to ask if they are going to Bagwan. The homestay can organise to pick you from Bagwan so send them an email to organise the pickup. Bus fare From Rishikesh to Bagwan: Rs150/$2USD
Recommended Stay: 3 Days
Agra, the home of the iconic Taj Mahal is situated in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and is built on the banks of the Yamuna river. I mean….what visit to India is complete without seeing the Taj Mahal? It is a must see place in north India and although it attracts thousands of tourist a day, the Taj really does not disappoint. The Taj Mahal has just recently been cleaned so it is sparkling white and more magnificent than ever.
However the Taj Mahal isn't the only site to see in this ancient Mughal empire. There are other things to do in Agra which I have included in the list below. Just be sure to be prepared for the onslaught of annoying salesman and touts who can be very persistent. Actually....on that note, check out our how to avoid tourist scams article, it will prepare you for the hyper touristy craziness that is Agra.
Top 3 things to do in Agra:
1. Visit the Taj Mahal, make sure you arrive early to beat the crowds. When we say early we mean arrive at the gates at 5:30am. This gives you time to buy your ticket and get in line before the gates open at 6am. Arriving early will not only beat the crowds it also means you can enjoy the sunrise on the Taj and explore without the overbearing heat of the afternoon sun. The Taj Mahal opening hours are 6am to 6:30pm and costs Rs45 for an Indian Citizen and Rs1,050 for foreign citizens. Just remember the Taj is closed on Fridays.
2. Explore Agra Fort and discover the stunning palace, grounds and gardens of this red sandstone gem. The fort complex has many gardens, courtyards and `shaded places to relax and enjoy the beauty of Mahal architecture. The Agra fort opening hours are 6am to 6pm and costs Rs40 for an Indian citizens and Rs550 for foreign citizens.
3. Visit Fatehpur Sikri a small historic city built in the 16th century just 40mins drive from Agra. This Unesco world heritage site is home to one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. The opening hours are 6am to 6pm and costs Rs20 for an Indian citizens and Rs550 for foreign citizens.
Recommended hotels in Agra:
Transport from Laluri to Agra:
Recommended Stay: 4 Days
Orchha is slowly getting noticed by tourist, but it is largely unspoilt and when we were there we basically had the place to ourselves. This small town located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh sits on the banks of the beautiful Betwa River. Orchha is one of of the best places to visit in north India because it is adorned with stunning forts, palaces and temples dating back as far as the 16th century AD.
When we visited Orchha we had quite an authentic local experience. It's a great place to witness local life and the streets are filled with yummy local street food stalls. Not only is Orchha home to stunning architectural delights and local village life, but there is also beautiful nature to be admired, especially the Betwa river that is actually quite beautiful, a perfect spot to watch the sunset.
You can see our Orchha adventures in our travel video here.
Top 3 things to do in Orchha:
1. Visit the Historic Forts, Temples and Palaces. There are many architectural sites to see in Orchha and you may notice you will enjoy them with very little tourist whatsoever, a nice treat compared the chaos of Agra. Entry fee for all sites is only Rs250 / $3.50USD
2. Explore the village and take a walk down the alleyways and side streets to discover the village charm of Orchha. You may discover locals gathering water, chatting on the street, farmers harvesting crops or even witness wedding ceremonies in full swing.
3. Watch the Sunset on the Betwa River. This is truly an awesome sight to watch the pink glow of the sunset against the backdrop of this beautiful river and the temples close by. A magical travel experience in India!
Recommended hotels in Orchha:
Transport from Agra to Orchha:
Train Ticket AC Class: Rs500/$7USD
Tuktuk from Jhansi to Orchha: Rs500/$7USD
Recommended Stay: 4 Days
Udaipur, the ‘lake city’ is a great addition to your one month India itinerary. A romantic and beautiful city that is often referred to as the Venice of India. Udaipur is a historic city built in 1559 that surrounds beautiful lake Pichola. Situated in southern Rajasthan, Udaipur is one of the most alluring and beautiful travel destinations that India has to offer.
Although it is a staple location for foreign and Indian tourist, don’t let this deter you from visiting this charming lake city. Home to many historic palaces, temples, markets and gardens there is a seemingly endless list of things to do in Udaipur.
You can see our Udaipur adventures in our Udaipur travel video here.
Top 3 things to do in Udaipur:
1. Watch a cultural show at the Bagore Ki Haveli. This show is set in a stunning historic palace and showcases traditional Rajasthani dancing and puppetry at its best. The show starts at 7pm daily, but be sure to arrive at least 30mins early to confirm your tickets. The show costs Rs90 for an Indian Citizen and Rs1150 for foreign citizens.
2. Visit the Jagdish Temple, a stunning hindu temple in the heart of Udaipur adorned with intricate carvings. (pictured above)
3. Visit the local spice market and get off the beaten track in Udaipur. If you venture away from the lake and into the local market you will find an array of delightful alleyways filled with markets. You can find not only spices but also, fresh fruit & vegetables, jewellery, woven items, clothing and more. To find the markets just walk from the Jagdish Temple towards the Delhi Gate Circle, all the roads between the lake and Delhi Gate Circle are bustling market places. Extra tip for the most amazing authentic Rajasthani thali try Bawarchi Restaurant which is opposite Delhi gate.
Recommended hotels in Udaipur:
Transport from Orchha to Udaipur:
Recommended Stay: 4 Days
India's blue city, yes that's right blue city! Jodhpur is actually the only place on this list that we have not visited yet, because our visa ran out before we had a time to go. When we return to India, Jodhpur as well as the state of Gujarat are on our list of must visit places!
It didn't feel right to leave Jodhpur off the list as we have heard so many amazing things from fellow travellers about this incredible place. So we have done some research for you about Jodhpur so that you can be inspired to include it in your India travel itinerary.
Jodhpur is Rajasthan's second largest city, however the old quarter where the walls of the city are painted in different shades of blue is small and condensed. The smaller blue part of the city is peaceful with very few people filled with narrow lanes all beaming in that beautiful blue colour.
The clock tower however is one of the busiest parts of town, jam packed with people, carts, markets and all the amazing things that will give you that real intense India experience.
Top 3 things to do in Jodhpur:
1. Tour Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India and a UNESCO world heritage site. This fort complex sits on the top of a high cliff overlooking the beautiful blue city. A true display of the beauty and intricacy of Rajasthani architecture. Don’t forget to check out the Sati handprints located to the left of the Iron Gate.....15 small handprints left by the wives of the maharaja before they sacrificed themselves on his funeral pyre. The entrance fee for the fort is Rs60 for an Indian Citizen and Rs400for foreign citizens.
2. Stroll by the Stepwells, Mahila Baag Jhalra & Toorji Ka Jhalra, both pretty 18th-century stepwells that many tourist fail to notice or visit. Located a few hundred meters from the Clock Tower these two off the beaten path sites are well worth your time and the best thing is....they are absolutely free!
3. Take a Village Tour through the Bishnoi villages of Jodhpur in the thar desert. The Bishnoi people are known for their worship of trees which they never cut down. These village tours are highly recommend if you want to meet local Bishnoi people, see how they live and enjoy their handicrafts. You can usually book a village tour online or through your hotel or guesthouse
Recommended hotels in Jodhpur:
Transport from Udaipur to Jodhpur:
Recommended Stay: 4 Days
Did you know India not only has a blue city but also a gold city! It's name is Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is a truly jaw dropping site, you feel as though you have stepped back in time at least 1000 years as you walk through this golden desert city. Beyond any doubt we rate Jaisalmer as one of the best places to visit in north India. Rising up from the Thar Desert in far western Rajasthan, the Jaisalmer Fort stands epically and beautifully. The narrow golden alleyways in Jaisalmer are so charming and the intricately carved facades on the havelis will take your breath away.
Although Jaisalmer is now definitely on the tourist path, this is no reason not visit this incredible golden city. We actually visited Jaisalmer in the low season which meant there were very few tourist, but the weather was extremely hot. You can watch our Jaisalmer adventures here.
The golden city is also a shoppers paradise with beautiful Rajasthani crafts for sale inside the fort. One thing we loved about Jaisalmer is that the fort is a living fort and families have been living inside the fort walls for generations. This also means you can stay in the fort as there are many guests houses built inside the fort walls.
Top 3 things to do in Jaisalmer:
1. Hire a Motorbike and explore the vast Thar Desert by road. There are also many monuments outside the main town of Jaisalmer to visit, and reaching them by motorbike is the most adventurous way. Some key sites to see by motorbike are; Bada Bagh, Gadisar Lake & khuri Village. Motorbike hire will cost you approx Rs500 per day.
2. Go Haveli Hunting through the beautiful golden streets of Jaisalmer. As you walk through the golden city your eyes will be delighted by the stunning carvings and impressive Havelis all around you. One famous Haveli is particularly beautiful, the Patwon Ki Haveli which costs Rs50 for an Indian Citizen and Rs100for foreign citizens.
3. Shop away in the Fort. Jaisalmer is a shopper's delight and you can spend an entire day wondering the streets of the fort and discovering all the beautiful Rajasthani crafts! We are budget, long term travellers so shopping is something we don’t usually do, but all the beautiful things on offer in Jaisalmer make it so difficult to resist! I ended up buying a beautiful handcrafted quilt that I had sent back home to New Zealand.
Honourable mention: Many choose to indulge in a desert camel safari when they visit Jaisalmer. We decided to skip this attraction because we have done a similar activity in Morocco and realised riding a camel is the most uncomfortable thing in the world. However it was still a great travel experience, so If you have never rode a camel in the desert and want to try, then is an option too.
Recommended hotels in Jaisalmer:
Transport from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer:
(To return back to Delhi we suggest a domestic flight)
One Month North India Itinerary
Well thats it, the perfect one month India itinerary! We hope we have helped you plan your next India travel adventure. We really do think this is the best itinerary for India!
We have also written an article to help you decide the best time to visit India, so check that one out too.
Do let us know if you have any India travel questions, or tips to share with us and fellow travellers, we love hearing from you!
Cheers, Native Travellers
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