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Plan Your Trip to India (VIDEO)

The couple behind a blog called Worldly Nomads reached out to me sharing a video they made of their time in India. I watched the video and got goosebumps! I knew I had to show it to you guys! I asked them to tell the itinerary that accompanied the video to help you plan your backpacking trip to India.

Video | “Why I Love India”

We’re Barry & Laura, two Worldly Nomads who fell in love with the energy and passion of India! We run the travel blog Worldly Nomads and despite all our travels across the world, India captured our hearts in a way that is hard to explain. So we created this video of our time in India, and we hope this captures the essence of its unending spirit, energy and vibrancy!

Plan your trip to India- Getting started

We like to plan our trips around experiences rather than places or landmarks, so when it came to deciding what to do in India, we researched the best experiences and things to do and simply planned our route/itinerary around those! We of course make small exceptions to this when it comes to sights or landmarks such as the Taj Mahal however!

taj mahal backpacking india itinerary

9 Key Experiences Not to Miss in India 

There is so much to do in India it can be tricky to choose however for us these were the top experiences we didn’t want to miss:

  1. Witnessing life on the peaceful backwaters of Kerala on our own private houseboat
  2. Getting up close and personal with how the locals deal with life and death on the famous Ganges River in the holy city of Varanasi
  3. Celebrating the colourful and crazy festival of Holi in Rajasthan
  4. Riding camels out into the Jaisalmer desert and sleeping under the stars
  5. Exploring the amazing forts, palaces and old cities of Rajasthan, the land of Kings!
  6. Watching the sunrise over the Taj Mahal
  7. Tasting (hopefully!) the best cups of tea of our life in the home of tea plantations in Darjeeling with a view of the Himalayas!
  8. Chilling out on a beautiful beach on the south west coast
  9. Oh and of course trying as many different dishes as possible! 

It sounds like a lot to fit in doesn’t it? Well with some good planning and organization we managed it all and more, and here’s the details!

sunset cropped plan your trip to india

Route Chosen for India:

After much deliberation on the best route to take in order to capture all of these experiences (some of which were timing dependent such as the Holi festival!), we came up with a plan to start in the South state of Kerala for the backwaters and beach time, then travel North all the way to Rajasthan then East to Agra for the Taj Mahal before continuing on to Varanasi and finally Darjeeling.

Quite a lot of travel you might think, which it was, but when broken up by taking a variety of transport (trains, planes & private cars) and spending a minimum of 3-4 days in most places, longer in some, it was very doable.

Detailed India Itinerary, city by city with highlights

South / Kerala Plans

  1. Fort Cochin (closest town to Kochi International Airport, our arrival spot) – 2 nights/1 day – here we loved witnessing the amazing Chinese fishing net technique – so unique and made for great pics! Other highlights were acclimatising with some full body Ayervedic massages and delicious food.
  2. Alleypey (by private taxi from Fort Kochin) – this is where we rented our houseboat for 2 nights and had a wonderful relaxing 2 days on the Keralan backwaters.
  3. Varkala beach (by taxi from Alleypey) – we spent a week relaxing here by the coast eating as much seafood as possible and absolutely loved it.

North / Rajasthan Plans

  1. Udaipur (by plane from Varkala via Mumbai) – we spent 3 nights here in the stunning ‘milk white city’ set by the lake. We would recommend this as a good starting place to acclimatise to the general intensity of Rajasthan compared to life in the South! Our highlight here was taking a boat trip on Lake Pichola at sunset.
  2. Jodhpur (by taxi from Udaipur in order to stop off at Kumbarglah Fort & Ranukpur Jain Temple on the way) – we spent 4 nights in the ‘blue city’ in order to take in the Holi Festival!
  3. Jaisalmer (by train from Jodhpur) – we spent 2 nights staying inside the Fort and 1 overnight camel trek in the desert.
  4. Pushkar (by train from Jaisalmer) – we spent 2 nights here mainly to break up our journey to Jaipur.
  5. Jaipur (by train from Pushkar) – we spent 3 nights here. Our highlight was hiring a tuk tuk for the day to tour the best forts and palaces in the city.

Central & North East India Plans

  1. Agra (by train from Jaipur) – 2 nights – highlight was watching the sunrise over the stunning Taj Mahal!
  2. Varanasi (by train to Delhi then flight to Varanasi but train is possible for full route if booked in advance) – 4 days – we gave ourselves plenty of time to soak up life on the Ganges. Read more about this here.
  3. Darjeeling (by overnight train from Varanasi then taxi) – as this was our final stop before flying home via Delhi, we slowed down and spent 5 full days relaxing here enjoying the best tea in the world and taking in views of the Himalayas which felt like the perfect end to our Indian adventure!

We’re not suggesting that this is a perfect itinerary or one you should simply follow but hopefully it provides a helpful guide as to the possible options and the places where we found our favourite experiences! You can read more about all of our highlights here.

jaisalmer plan your trip to india

India for us is a mystical, magical place full of energy and ambition. It is a place that gets up in your face and then gets under your skin. It’s brash, abrasive, intrusive, energetic, exciting and heartbreaking all in one.

Our time there was full of highs, excitement and challenges and we hope to return some time in order to try new experiences and share more of these to inspire others.





About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Rebekah May 20, 2015 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    When I was in Nepal everyone seemed like they were just coming from India and their talk about India made me so curious- not this video is pushing me over the edge. I love places that are a bit chaotic and crazy

  2. Bernie May 20, 2015 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Such a gorgeous video! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. John T May 20, 2015 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    This has to be one of the best videos I have seen in a long time.
    Thanks for giving it to us

  4. Aijika May 21, 2015 at 7:49 am - Reply

    In Taj Mahal Its obviously breathtaking we went for sunrise and it was so busy but you forgot everyone around you. The beauty of the place is breathtaking and an assault on your senses from the cool of the marble under your feet to the stunning mosaics , smells and sounds of the Taj Mahal.. We will visit again next month i never regret for visiting this country :)

  5. shilpa Balakrishnan May 21, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Great post. You must also add Ladakh way up north and also Chikmagalur (a part of Western Ghats) in Karnataka for its forests and Conoor near Tamil Nadu for tea plantation but different from Darjeeling. Love the video!

  6. Victoria@ The British Berliner May 21, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

    I love the video. It captures everything I remember about the great time that I had in Mother India. Next time I’d like to go to the East.

  7. Carlotta May 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    This is awesome! I have contrasting feelings about India and I’m a little scare to go by myself, but when run into posts like this I would by the ticket straight away! No need to say that the video is truly gorgeous.

  8. Sia Sharma May 22, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Hey Rachel Jones After reading one or two blog i become a big fan of your blogs…!!
    Nice Blog post and wonderful video…

  9. Lissa May 22, 2015 at 11:28 am - Reply

    The footage on the video was amazing. Life looks so much harder in India. It’s still very third world. They walk everywhere. They dry their clothes on clotheslines. The women wear saris and have certain moral aspects like saving their virginity and taking on certain vows when they marry. Men are expected to labor hard on fishing boats and in their respective careers. Elephants and camels are led down the city streets. I think India is full of tradition and culture. It takes a strong person to live there. I doubt I would last more than a few days. I like clothes dryers, air conditioned rooms, 4×4 trucks and swimming pools. I never thought of myself as materialistic. I really could do without all of the amenities and live off the grid, but I think after I’ve gone so many places, I just go back to America. I don’t think Americans realize how fortunate they are. After traveling, I think I don’t connect so well with Americans. The world doesn’t revolve around America. I could leave it all behind, and I think that’s the difference between someone that has traveled out of country and someone that has stayed in the same place their entire life.

  10. Alana - Paper Planes May 26, 2015 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    GORGEOUS video! I’ve seen some incredible ones done in Thailand too and they always pull at my heartstrings…

    • Rachel Jones May 28, 2015 at 11:36 am - Reply

      I always think about the time it must have taken editing… & how I would have pulled out all my hair lol

  11. De'Jav May 28, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

    What a great video shows the real aspect of India. I can’t wait to go visit hopefully someday soon.

  12. Violet June 5, 2015 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Great post Rachel. And yeah Kerala is simple amazing. I was there in Dec’14 and I must say that you must visit Spice farms in Aleppey. And great woke with the video…

    • Rachel Jones June 6, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

      I am headed to kerala myself again in Oct.

      • VIOLET June 7, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

        Great,,, do check out Wayanad…

        And here is a great tip… contact this company and they might offer free accommodation if you could review them. Chetramvoyages.in

  13. Laura June 8, 2015 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks again for sharing our article and video Rachel! :-)

  14. Lola September 3, 2015 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    Thank you for sharing this. What time of year do you recommend visiting?

  15. gरv September 26, 2015 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Thanks for your love for India.. And for this beautiful video..

  16. Marie Castellano October 14, 2015 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Thank you for the video on the India I love. I spent over 3 months there when I was 20 in 1960. Yup, you read that right. How i’dlove to see it again and I did via the video. I visited the Taj and Varanasi, Mumbai, Delhi (where I met Nrhru), Calcutta, Mysore ( where I spent an hour with the Maharaja), and Ahmedabad. I stayed with Inian families except when in very rural areas. Never made it to Kerela or Goa. Look beautiful!

  17. Heather K October 30, 2015 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Currently planning a trip to India for Holi festival in March and this post was beyond helpful! I think I might replicate this trip almost exactly! The video was beyond beautiful! Just one question: How long was the trip in total? I don’t think I caught that bit in the post.

  18. NITI May 8, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Hey Rachel, love d video!! You may add places of J&K and Himalayas (leh and ladakh, Rishikesh, kasol), meghalaya,sikkim,Andman n more places in East , coorg n munnar in south And ofcourse Goa, its my all time favourite place..

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