Friday, September 7, 2007

Blue Plans a Tour (and Seeks Help)

I've begun to realize that if I want to do any serious travel while in India, I will have to make it happen. I should have known this before, but I was a bit busy getting situated, starting my class, being ill, and... um... buying salwars. ^__^

At any rate. I'll have some time after the first week of October and am trying to figure out how to put together a workable itinerary.

I've been invited to spend some time in Bangalore, which I am very excited about. While there, I'll of course let you all know whether it looks anything like its cartoon version as depicted on The Simpsons. (Manish, take note!)

Besides that, well... followers of this blog should know that there is one place in particular I would like to visit: the set of Kaun Banega Crorepati, in Bombay. That is to say, if I am in the KBC audience I will have the opportunity to watch SRK perform live. ^__^ I'd rather see that than the Taj. But the people I've talked to here say that KBC isn't shooting anymore. (Did it run out of crores?)

On a more serious note (all fangirling aside) I would love to travel north a bit. Mostly because I like books, and so much of Indian literature seems to center around particular places. Delhi-Amritsar-Lahore, Calcutta, etc. So I want to see the places I've read about. After all, I absorbed most of what I know about Indian culture and history through various texts -- Climbing the Mango Trees, A Suitable Boy, etc.

Is this a feasible idea? Can it be done inexpensively? Can it be done safely? And where should I go?

Editor's Note: Before anyone drops a "but what about Kerala?" comment, the uni's arranging a mini-break for me. So I will also get to see God's Own Country, don't worry.


Anonymous said...

You should definitely see Delhi, but not alone, preferably with two or more people. Delhi is beautiful and has several layers of fascinating history, but also loads of very pushy and aggressive people.

Avinash said...

Try visiting Hampi, which is not very far from Hyderabad. The ruins of a 15th century city are located in Hampi. It also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll never get as close to Hampi as you are right now. I know there's a train from Bangalore to Hospet (the town closest to Hampi), but I'm not sure about trains from Hyderabad/Secunderabad.

Also, if you're in Bangalore, do visit Mysore. Mysore isn't (yet) as crowded and clogged with traffic as Bangalore but has a lot of charm. With the construction of a new road between Bangalore and Mysore, the travel time has been cut down to 3 hours from the previous 5.

One of the cheapest ways of travelling in India is by train, even if you bought tickets for the air-conditioned coaches. However, trains aren't very fast. The other alternative is flying. There are some fairly cheap airlines (Deccan, SpiceJet) which fly to major cities. To Hampi, unfortunately, you have the choice between a bus and a train.

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