GADVENTURES NORTH TO SOUTH INDIA CITIES RATED
We visited many different cities during our trip from north to south India with Gadventures. Each city had its own unique selling point, some were favourites, others, not so much.
I have decided to rank each city, based on things to do, how easy it was to travel around, the general area, how well it worked with the trip and just how we felt whilst being in that particular city. Now, I’m aware that there are SO MANY other cities in India, these are just the ones we covered off during our time in India.
1. Delhi 7/10
Delhi really is the place to really throw you into India. The capital city is busy, hectic, in a way dirty, smelly, but full of history, character and hard workers. If this is the first place you visit with no previous travel experience can definitely be a bit of a shock. Have no fear, this is exactly the place you should go to get a real hands on experience.
There is plenty to do and see in Delhi, it is easy to get around (the subway and Uber we found were the best). We stayed here for 2 days before our tour started and that’s why we enjoyed it. With the Gadventures tour, you actually don’t get to explore with the group, you meet up late in the evening and leave early in the morning. I would advise travellers to arrive 2/3 days in advance of your tour starting, it really allows you to explore the interesting city.
Highlights: Dehli gate, Old Delhi and Jama Masjid.
2. Agra 6/10
Yes, this is city has one of the most impressive structures in India, and the most famous, but the rest of the city doesn’t have much else, or on the tour, you don’t get to see much else. It’s a shame, as I am sure there is a lot more to see in Agra, just we didn’t get to see much.
You can’t necessarily fault Agra, obviously, you have the Taj, which is just truly amazing. To explore else where requires transport (most likely uber to another taxi), but you do have the choice to go see Baby Taj or Agra Fort. There are a few more sights to see, but if you have a short time like we did, it wasn’t so impressive.
Highlights: Taj Mahal (obviously), Agra Fort, Sheroes Cafe
3. Jaipur 8/10
We felt like Jaipur had so much to offer. It was far less busy than Delhi, but still offered amazing history and beautiful colours.
The ‘Pink City’ (more like orangy), as they like to refer to it, is full of character, colours, rickshaws, animals and markets. It was easy to walk and get around, so gave you plenty of time to explore the streets. This was also where we went for our first run in India, in beautiful central park (check out that blog here). It felt safe, we enjoyed the sights, and got to experience fitness in a new country.
Highlights: Amber Fort, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Central Park.
4. Tordi Sagar 4/10
My score probably does sound a little mean, and I have changed what number I gave it several times. This is a stop on the way to the next big city. We stayed in a palace, well, definitely what felt like a palace, but that was probably the highlight of this town.
It is a very small town with not much to do apart from stay in the homestay. Gadventures does offer a tour (but it’s quite expensive), that takes the group out on an adventure of the nearest desert area. The town itself, doesn’t really have much to do. We tried to hike around the hills but were unsuccessful as the paths just kind of ended.
We explored the town, wandered through all of the streets, saw a lot of animals, said hello to locals but that’s about it.
I think this is more of a stopover rather than anything else.
Highlights: the homestay.
5. Pushkar 9/10
This was almost one of my favourite cities we visited. This city has the layout that we thought we were going to see in Delhi. This is definitely more suited for the tourists, filled with hundreds of cafes, restaurants, shops with the elephant pants – we enjoyed walking around this city. I would say you could spend 2 days here just exploring the many streets. This is the place if you want to buy outfits to look like a traveller, you can definitely barter your way to get kitted out.
The streets were certainly busy, you have to walk at the side and avoid the many motorbikes, cows and sellers, but it’s all an enjoyable experience.
There is plenty to do here, this was definitely a welcome stop for us.
Highlights: Pushkar lake, sunrise hike up to Savitri Mata temple, dinner in the desert.
6. Udaipur 10/10
Probably our favourite city throughout the whole trip. I think most of the group would agree. We spent 3 days exploring this wonderful city.
There’s plenty to do and see here, I think this is the place we were able to do the most things. From a boat trip on Udaipur lake, cooking classes, wondering the streets, city palace, paint classes and many more. I can definitely see why they call it the ‘Venice of the East’. Explore the streets, see heritage buildings, see the bazaars, watch the arts or watch over the lake.
Highlights: painting with the local artists, cooking with a local family, watching the sunset on the lake.
7. Ahmedabad 5/10
Okay so I can’t really say much about this city, because the only thing we saw was the shopping centre. It seemed to be a developing business city, everything was pretty developed, clean and just new. I’m sure there is plenty to do here, just with the Gadventures trip, you don’t see anything.
Highlight: Sabarmati Ashram (Gandhi’s house)
8. Mumbai 3/10
We just didn’t enjoy this city at all. We spend a day and a half here, and just it didn’t live up to expectations. I’m not sure what we wanted to see, but we certainly didn’t have a good time here. We found it hard to get around, it was dirty, there just wasn’t a lot to do.
If I’m honest, I think our time here was made worse with this was the time our CEO from Gadventures just kind of shut down a little so wasn’t that helpful. This financial capital is a busy city, it’s also home to Asia’s biggest slum, I’m sure it does have a lot to offer, we just didn’t see it.
The rest of the group visited the slums, we chose not to and walked around parts of the city by ourselves (they described it as a little disappointing, and just felt like they were going to go and stare at poor people). There just wasn’t anything of note that really impressed us.
Highlights: watching the new avengers film in the cinema!
9. Goa 6/10
Unfortunately due to a delayed flight, we missed a day of exploring Goa. I think Gadventures tries to find the cheapest place to stay (it was still really nice), because we were really far away from the traditional Goa sights and views.
This is a relaxed city, it is good for partying, restaurants and bars. It really does have a beach town feel to it, but again, we missed out on a whole day of exploring, and so we didn’t get to see much. The beach stretches all along the coast, so it is a good place to catch up on that tan. The is plenty of markets and restaurants, it would take a few days to fully explore where we were. I think it would have been improved if we in a more touristy place, as we didn’t get to see the real good sights of Goa.
Highlights: partying with locals in a bar
10. Kochi 9/10
We spent more than our fair share of time in Kochi. This major port city brings you everything you would like from an Indian town. Shopping, cafes, beaches, history, and general friendly locals. We really enjoyed exploring this city, and feel like there’s still so much more we didn’t see. We stayed in Fort Cochin, which is further out from central Kochi, but I think it was definitely better. Full of history and character, this is definitely one of the best cities in the South.
There’s also a great running route along the front coast of Fort Cochin!
Highlights: getting a tailored shirt for Mitch.
11. Allepey 6/10
I think it is really hard to rate this one. We were here for 1 night and basically half a day. The one thing that really made this place great, was the homestay we were at. It was a beautiful house, with a beautiful family and awesome food. We were close to the backwaters and so we had tours on local boats.
The city itself has a lot to offer, we didn’t get to see so much of it. We were able to see the beautiful back waters, head to the huge beach and enjoy our time at the homestay.
Highlights: backwaters & homestay
12. Kollam 4/10
We arrived here at 7pm and left at 10am the next day. Again, I can’t really say much, but from what we saw, it wasn’t that impressive. It felt like just a stopover point. We visited the fish market in the morning, but it wasn’t very busy. I’m sure there is some stuff to offer here, we just didn’t have time to experience it.
Highlight: you treated like royalty in the hotel
13. Varkala 8/10
We all really enjoyed exploring Varkala. I think this was made better by the fact we were there during the low season, and so it felt like it was just our group. Shops, restaurants and hotels were still open, but it really seemed like we had them all to ourselves. Varkala is a beautiful beachside area, complete with tourist shops, swimming pools, and sun! It was a really relaxing few days we spent here.
Highlight: watching the sunset on the beach
Well there you have it, a rating of the different cities we explore on the Gadventure north to south India on a shoestring. Each city has its own character, and these are based off of our opinions. I’m sure others may have different experiences in each city, but this was ours.
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