Travel Route for Northern India, where to start?

Ruta por el Norte de la India - Mapa

Route that includes the Taj Mahal, the Himalayan mountain range and the deserts of Rajasthan.

India is the seventh largest country in the world, after Russia, Canada, USA, China, Brazil and Australia. That’s why, unless you have a few months to travel calmly throughout India, it’s best to see India in stages. That’s why here I advise you to start with a travel route for Northern India.

If this is the first time you are going to visit this colorful country, in my opinion, the Taj Mahal is a must see. Or are you going to come here and leave without seeing the Taj Mahal? Therefore, the best thing would be to fly to the capital, to New Delhi. It is in the north of the country and from there one can start to move to other sides.

In New Delhi I recommend you to spend at least one day in the old district of Chandni Chowk and another to visit the Tomb of Humayun. Then you can go to Agra to marvel at the Taj Mahal. From there, it will depend on your preferences as there are many interesting places to go to.

In our case, we went three weeks to India, we wanted to see a lot of things and we did a great route through the north of India. Our journey begins with the Taj Mahal, passes through the Himalayas and ends in the deserts of Rajasthan.

Grupo de mujeres indias

Travel Route for Northern India: What to see?

The travel route for Northern India that we chose to do was as follows:

  1. New Delhi: We landed in India’s capital, New Delhi. We went to the old quarter, the spice market and the Humayun Tomb.
  2. Agra: Return trip by private car to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal.
  3. Rishikesh: We returned to the capital and the same day we took a bus to Rishikesh, the world capital of Yoga.
  4. Shimla: From Rishikesh we made a quick visit to Haridwar and then took a bus to Shimla, an English colonial city. In Shimla we visited the surrounding snowy mountains.
  5. McLeod Ganj: . When we finished, we went to Daramshala, to McLeod Ganj, place of the Dalai Lama’s exile.
  6. Amritsar: From McLeod Ganj we went to Amritsar, on the border with Pakistan, where we visited the Golden Temple and learned about Sikh culture.
  7. Bikaner: After Amritsar we headed towards the province of Rajasthan. We start at Bikaner, where the Temple of the Rats is located.
  8. Jaisalmer: Continue south to Jaisalmer, the golden city. It was undoubtedly the one we liked the most of the whole trip.
  9. Jodhpur: From Jaisalmer we went to Jodhpur, the blue city. If we had had more time we would have first visited Udaipur, the city of lakes.
  10. Pushkar: From Jodhpur we took a bus to Pushkar, famous for being a sacred city with a lot of tourism and hippie atmosphere.
  11. New Delhi: And from there we went back to the capital of India. Although if we had had more time we could have stopped halfway to visit Jaipur.
Ruta por el Norte de la India - Mapa

India Itinerary: Why did we choose this route?

With this route, counting the quick visit to Haridwar, we saw a total of 11 cities and were in 6 different provinces. Not bad. We saw the most spectacular monuments, visit three sacred cities and visit both mountainous and desert places. We only lacked the beach.

All our trips were by bus. Although some bus trips were a bit heavy, we were immediately comforted when we arrived at each of our new destinations. Above all, we were amazed at how different each new place was compared to the previous one.

Many people make a similar journey but the other way around. Passing first through the hot province of Rajasthan and then up to the Himalayan mountain range. In my opinion, if you go in winter, it is better this route that I have described to you previously. First you will climb the cold mountains and then you will be able to enjoy twice the heat of the Rajasthan deserts.

Alternative travel routes through the north of India

On the other hand, if you are not convinced by these sites, you can choose other places. For example, another good option is to head northeast to visit Varanasi, which is said to be the spiritual capital of India. On the way, don’t forget to stop and contemplate the curious temples of the Kamasutra in Khajuraho.

You can enter the province of Madhya Pradesh, south of Agra, if you prefer to discover deep India and the centre of the country. This province is known for its national parks and Bengal tigers.

If you are more of taking internal flights because you want to save hours of travel I advise you to take advantage and go further. One option is to travel from New Delhi to Bombay, the financial centre of the country where Bollywood is located. Or to the east, to the Darjeeling Mountains, next to Nepal.

But if you’re looking for a party and a beach, I recommend flying to Goa. And while you’re at it, get close to Hampi and its magnificent temples. If you want beach but prefer more tranquility, you have to go further south, to Kerala, not far from Sri Lanka.

Why to make a travel route for Northern India: Conclusion

Personally I loved our route because we could see a lot of incredible places in one go. Among many other things, we enjoyed both mountainous and desert places, saw the Taj Mahal, got to know the Dalai Lama’s place of residence and discovered the Sikh culture. But it is true that it would have been ideal if we had had one more week. It would have allowed us, for example, to see in depth the province of Rajasthan, which was the one we liked the most.

I hope that this route through the north of India and its alternatives will serve to help those undecided who do not know very well where to go. There are so many things to see that it is difficult to choose well.

I don’t think it needs to be said, but just in case, remember that whatever route you decide to take, do it ahead of time and calmly. The one who covers a lot does not squeeze much. If you like the country, you will have more opportunities to come back and see more things. Don’t worry, India isn’t going anywhere.

The longest walk begins with a step.

– Indian Proverb –

Travel Route for Northern India - Tuc-tuc

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Author: Marcos Silva

Hi! I'm Marcos. One summer day I decided to go on a trip around Asia to see the world and I liked it so much that I ended up staying. Almost without realizing it, I have been in Asia for 7 years, of which I have spent most of my time living in China and traveling to countries like Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, India... Now I dedicate myself to writing on the travel blog and organizing routes around China where I also guide.

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