REAL, HONEST TRAVEL ADVICE FOR BACKPACKERS TO INDIA.

60 Day India Itinerary for North and South India using the E-Visa!

February 27, 2019

60 Days is how long you can travel and backpack India for whilst on the India Tourist E-Visa which is the tourist visa you apply for online before going to India. The E-Visa for fairly new and it makes travelling to India so much easier and more accessible as before that every traveller to India needed to submit their passport to a visa office and those that want to spend longer than 60 days or two months in India still need to do that.

60 Days or 2 months is a good amount of time to travel India for to get a taste of what India has to offer, and it makes sense to spend one month in North India and one month in South India as both sides of the Country are so so different and it would be a shame to miss one side.

Important Note – When it comes to booking flights in and out of India remember that you do not always have 2 months because some months have 31 days, so count 60 days exactly, not 2 months!

Where To Visit in India First??

When it comes to deciding where to visit first in India and the best places to visit out of the North and South, I’d personally say to visit North India first!

You may be tempted to fly into the South first as you’ve heard it’s more chilled and that would be a great way to ease yourself into India. The South is that bit more chilled yes, especially the beaches, but why not give yourself a rest at the end of your trip?

It is up to you though and if you’re coming from Sri Lanka to India then working South to North would be a good idea due to flight prices. For example flights from Colombo to Madurai and Chennai are usually the cheapest flights to India.

Related Post: Why Chennai is a Good Place to Visit for Your First Stop in India!

Either way, in order to get the most out of your two months in India you’ll have to have a think about where you want to go and the best route to backpack around India. So here is a 60 Day Itinerary for India, perfect for backpackers because it will take you to 21 different places in India over 9 states, show you the best places to backpack in India and you can do it from North to South or South to North!

The Ultimate 60 Day India Itinerary!

The itinerary is quite full on but it does give some chill days in places where it’ll be needed so you don’t burn out. It gives you plenty of chances to experience the Indian Trains which are such a good way to see the Country. You’ll see Iconic Cities, Holy Cities, Hippy Towns and Beach Villages, all whilst spending 60 Days in India on your E-Visa.

Helpful Tip: Scroll to the bottom to see a map to help you work out where all of these places are and save this PDF to your phone to help you plan your trip later on!

60 Day Itinerary for India on e-visa pinterest

If you’re on your mobile, save this image for later to help with your planning!

30 Days in Northern India

Day 1, 2, 3, 4

Delhi – Fly into Delhi. It is a busy city and a bit of a culture shock for most people, especially if you haven’t spent much time in Asia however it’s in the perfect location to fly into in the North and well connected so you can explore from there.

Give yourself a day or two to recover from the flight and get used to the weather, traffic and noise without putting much pressure on yourself, remember you have the next sixty days in India!

The best way to see Delhi is on a day tour. Arrange a day tour with a guide to show you the iconic places in Delhi like Old Delhi, The Red Fort, India Gate, the Tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun and the Lotus Temple.

For the rest of your time in Delhi head to Connaught Square for a walk around and make use of the Metro to see places you may have not on the day tour, the Delhi Metro is really easy to use and very cheap so make full use of it!

Day Train from Delhi to Haridwar. Auto Rickshaw to Rishikesh.

Related Post: You’ll need to book this train in advance so see: Step By Step Guide on How To Book A Train in India as a Foreigner.


Day 5, 6, 7, 8

Rishikesh – Rishikesh is only a 6-7 hour journey from Delhi and after the madness of Delhi you will love arriving in the spiritual town of Rishikesh.

Rishikesh doesn’t have it’s own train station so you stop at Hardiwar Station and get a tuk tuk to Rishikesh.

I urge you to spend a good few days in Rishikesh taking in the beautiful Mother Ganga (River Ganges), watching Indians carry out holy ceremonies, doing some yoga to stretch off that flight, visiting The Beatles Ashram, hiking to waterfalls and eating some nice healthy food.

It sounds heavenly and it is!

Overnight Train from Haridwar to Varanasi.

Related Post: A Travel Guide to Rishikesh – Yoga, Cafes, Accommodation and Things To Do!


Day 9, 10, 11

Varanasi – The Trains in India are great and an overnight train to Varanasi- another incredible holy city but very different to Rishikesh, is the best way to get there and to save time in your India Itinerary.

2 Days in Varanasi is enough, it may be overwhelming compared to the chilled out vibe of Rishikesh but be sure to head out on a sunrise boat tour, explore the ghats- especially the burning ghat and the quieter ghats like Assi Ghat and see the evening Aarti.

After a few days in Varanasi you will feel like you’re in India and don’t worry, people find Varanasi as extreme as it gets so it can only get less extreme from here.. maybe!

Overnight Train from Varanasi to Agra.

Related Post: 2 Day Varanasi Itinerary – Will you love it or hate it?


Day 12, 13

Agra – An overnight train is the best way to get from Varanasi to Agra but this train is known for it’s delays so don’t expect to arrive on time!

Sunrise is the best time to see the Taj Mahal so do not go to the Taj Mahal on your first day in Agra (also note that the Taj Mahal is closed on Friday!), instead just chill in some of the cafes in Taj Ganj with the view of the Taj Mahal and visit the Taj Nature Park which is so quiet and relaxed too and find a sunset spot to see the Taj Mahal from.

The next day head to the Taj Mahal for sunrise and afterwards you can visit Agra Fort and see the Baby Taj.

Day Bus or Day Train from Agra to Jaipur

Related Posts: 7 Ways to see the Taj Mahal & Is the Taj Mahal Worth it?


Day 14, 15, 16

Jaipur – Jaipur is surprisingly close to Agra however Delhi, Agra and Jaipur make up the famous Golden Triangle of India so that does make sense.

Jaipur is the Pink City of India and it is a busy city with lots to do including Forts, Temples, iconic Buildings and a Palace to see. My suggestion would be to take a day trip around Jaipur with a guide to see as much as you can although remember that you do not have to see everything!

For example there are 3 Forts up on a hill with Amber Fort being the most popular, you do not need to see all 3 otherwise you will be fort’d out in no time!

Another great way to experience Jaipur is on a Street Food tour in the evening. Nomadic India Tours offer a great Street Food Tour! Another popular thing to do in Jaipur day or night is to go to the Raj Mandir Cinema which is truly impressive and the Indian Crowds are so funny to watch a film with!

Day Train from Jaipur to Ajmer and Taxi or Bus to Pushkar OR Overnight Train from Jaipur to Jaisalmer.

Related Post: The Best Way to see Jaipur.


Day 17, 18, 19, 20

Pushkar/Jaisalmer – This stop could be Pushkar or Jaisalmer, or to be honest you could swap Jodhpur (below) out so you can visit both! Recommending just one India itinerary is hard which is why I also offered 4 x Northern India Itineraries in this post too.

Jaisalmer offers a chilled town with jeep or camel rides into the desert for a night, whereas Pushkar offers a chilled town with a bit more spirituality and a hippy twist.

Both places offer a good space to relax in and get away from busy Indian City life which you would have had a lot of up until now. Enjoy the cafes, enjoy the quietness and if you need to do some shopping, both places are some of the best places to shop in India due to prices.

Day Train from Ajmer to Jodhpur or Day Train from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur.

Related Post: 12 Things Perfect For Backpackers To Do in Pushkar, India!


Day 21, 22, 23

Jodhpur – Jodhpur is the Blue City of India however don’t expect it to be all blue.

It’s a busy city and a bit dirty but it has a Fort and the best way to see the Fort is to go Zip Lining! It’s a totally different activity compared to what else is on offer in India which is why it’s so great.

I’d recommend going on a tour into the Old Blue City so you can see it properly because the streets are tricky to navigate alone. Be sure to watch sunset from the rock by the fort and enjoy the many rooftop restaurants which offer panoramic views across the City and of the Fort as well as some respite from the noise and traffic. Sunset is a great time to sit on them too and watch and listen to the City fall into night time.

Day Train from Jodhpur to Udaipur.

Related Post: 6 of the Best Ways to see Jodhpur.


Day 24, 25, 26

Udaipur – Udaipur is known as the White City of India! Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur are often linked together which makes sense as they are all 3 very popular cities in Rajasthan and out of all 3 Udaipur is the most quiet, the smallest and the prettiest.

The central tourist area of Udaipur is nice and compact and it flows onto an island across the river too which is the quieter side for accommodation. Udaipur’s Palace is incredible, if you only see one Palace in Northern India- make it this one! There’s yoga on offer, art classes and cooking classes, plus plenty of rooftop restaurants with amazing views over the lake and of the sunset. This place is a real gem, perhaps the best place in Rajasthan and a great way to end your time in Rajasthan.

Overnight Train from Udaipur to Mumbai.

Related Post: 12 Unique Things To Do in Udaipur.


Day 27, 28, 29, 30

Mumbai – Mumbai will be a warm welcome because it’s very cosmopolitan compared to the rest of Northern India that you’ve seen and after so much time in Rajasthan you’ll probably appreciate this, plus it’s pretty warm there all year round!

If you’ve read the book Shantaram you can follow in Lin’s footsteps around Colaba which is definitely the best place to stay in Mumbai as a backpacker. If you haven’t read the book, I’d suggest you read it!

Mumbai is full of things to do but unlike many other Indian Cities it’s not full of Forts and Palaces. There are a few good museums in Mumbai and really impressive buildings like the VT Station but the best way to see Mumbai is to explore the neighbourhoods of Colaba and Bandra, head to the beaches of Juhu and Cowpatty especially in the evening and be sure to eat the street food as Mumbai offers some of the best street food in India!

Bombay Walks offer great tour around Mumbai that we recommend!

Overnight Train Mumbai to Goa (train station closest to the beach you want to stay at).

Related Post: The Best Way to see Mumbai From Colaba.


Northern India Recap

Places Visited: 9

States Visited: 5

Things to note: There are a lot of overnight trains in this one month India itinerary. Generally the trains in India are really good and if you book 2AC which is a good class you’re likely to get a good sleep. However it’s a good idea to ask for an early check in at the places you’re arriving to and don’t plan to do too much on that day if you are tired. You have enough time in each place to have at least one chill day!

60 day India itinerary
60 day India itinerary
60 day India itinerary
60 day India itinerary

30 Days in South India

Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Goa – Goa is a state and pretty big but because the best places to visit in Goa are the beaches, it get’s lumped together as just ‘Goa’. Goa is split into 2 in terms of a touristic way-  North Goa Beaches and South Goa beaches.

It’s hard to pick the best beach in Goa for you to be honest because it depends what you want and where you’re from. For example Arambol seems most popular with Russians and Israeli’s whereas Palolem is more popular with Brits. However of course everyone can go everywhere.

If you’ve ever been told by someone else that you must go to X beach in Goa because you’ll really like it, be sure to check that beach out. If not, I can fully recommend Palolem Beach to you!

One Week in Goa is your beach and holiday time In India. There are so many beaches in Goa that in some ways I’d recommend you see a few different beaches in one week but also keep in mind that it’s hard to get between the beaches of Goa as there are limited direct trains and buses. Taxi’s are a popular way to get between the beaches of Goa but they are a bit expensive when travelling alone and on a budget.

Day Train from Goa Vasco da Gama to Hopset. Tuk tuk from Hospet to Hampi.

Related Post: A Guide to Palolem Beach in Goa for Backpackers!


Day 8, 9

Hampi – Hampi is an adults playground and such a unique place. Hampi is a small town purely for tourism and the famous Hampi rocks create a day trip like no other. The inland terrain of Southern India here is like no where in North and a nice welcome to the more chilled side of Southern India.

Overnight Train from Hospet to Bengaluru.


Day 10, 11

Bangalore – Bangalore is a very modern City compared to even the likes of Mumbai and Delhi. This stop in Bangalore is mostly going to be a stopover before going down to Kerala so you don’t need long.

If you want to eat some of the Western Food you have been missing or do some shopping in some big shopping malls, this is the place to do it.

In terms of things to do in Bangalore, Bangalore Palace looks nice but is fairly expensive to enter however Bangalore has some nice parks like Cubbon Park and the Botanical Gardens so it’s easy to spend one day in Bangalore.

Stay in the area of Indiranagar to see the best area of Bangalore and make full use of Bangalore’s easy and cheap metro system. Also use Uber for your auto rickshaws.

Flight from Bangalore to Trivandrum.

I recommend to fly all the way South from here to save doing extra journeys going back on yourself in Kerala. Internal flights in India can be really cheap, have a look at flight here and book in advance to get the best price!


Day 12

Trivandrum – Only spend one day or even just half a day in Trivandrum, it’s not much of a tourist City. We recommend the company Story Trails who offer Walking Tours and Food Tours in South Indian Cities and they have a tour in Trivandrum so if you want to see the city in an easy way and learn about it, I suggest going on one of their tours!

Day Train from Trivandrum to Varkala.


Day 13, 14, 15

Varkala Beach – It’s back to the beach and after a few Cities since Goa these beach days will probably be needed.

Varkala Beach feels like a beach in Goa in the sense that it’s chilled and very holiday like, but it feels much more wild and raw than Goa, maybe that’s the incredible Coastline and Cliff face that it sits on!

Varkala beach offers Surfing, Sunbathing, Nice Cafes and Food and generally just a chilled out time!

Day Train from Varkala to Alleppey.

Related Post: A Guide to Varkala Beach in Kerala for Backpackers!


Day 16, 

Alleppey – This is the best place to see the famous Backwaters of Kerala from! There are many ways to see the backwaters from kayaks to canoes to huge houseboat, there’s an option for every adventure and budget.

There isn’t much to do in Alleppey though and the beach is not a sunbathing kind of beach. With that being said the best place to stay in Alleppey is in accommodation by the beach. One full day in Alleppey is enough, this is a get in and get out kind of place.

Day Train from Alleppey to Ernakulam Station (the name of Kochi’s train station).

Related Post: 5 Ways to see the Backwaters of Kerala from Alleppey!


Day 17, 18

Kochi – Kochi is a Portuguese influenced City and this shows. Fort Kochi is where you need to stay and all of the popular places to visit like Jew Town and around Kochi Beach are in walking distance.

Fort Kochi has some really nice cafes, museums, a good art scene and a small City vibe so it’s an enjoyable place to visit and if you can, be sure to get out on the water for a sunset boat trip!

Local Day Bus from Ernakulam Bus Station (Kochi) to Munnar.


Day 19, 20, 21

Munnar – The hills of Munnar in Kerala will enable you to see a totally different side of Kerala.

Tea Plantations with lush green forestry and jungle is what you’ll find here as well as being able to spend a day hiking the hills. The hike can be tough but the views are worth it. If you ride mopeds this is a great way to see Munnar yourself and be sure to look out for Wild Elephants as people seem to see them a lot!

Munnar Town isn’t a great place to stay and instead travellers stay in hotels and guesthouses nearby in more rural areas and the owners will arrange your day trips and pick up’s from the bus station as local buses are the only way to get to Munnar and leave.

Local Day Bus from Munnar to Kumily.

Related Post: Hiking in the Tea Plantations of Munnar!


Day 22, 23

Thekkady Thekkady National Park or Periyar National Park as it’s also called is a good place to visit if you want to hike and if you want to see Wild Elephants! It’s also a Tiger Reserve but the chances of seeing Tigers are not common. A Day Hike or a Half Day Walk and Bamboo Raft Trip is a good idea here and aside from seeing the Spice Gardens there is not much else to do here.

Kumily is the main tourist town to stay in and you book all trips from here. If hiking isn’t your thing you should probably miss this out.

Local Day Bus from Thekkady to Madurai.


Day 24, 25

Madurai Welcome to Tamil Nadu! Madurai is not a City that is well visited by foreign tourists but it is a nice City to see because of that.

It’s only small and you only need one full day to see the City really. It’s main attraction being the Meenakshi Temple. Story Trails offer a really good City and Food Tour in Madurai which is the best way to understand the history of the City and once you know it, it’s pretty fascinating!

Day Train from Madurai to Villupuram and Bus to Pondicherry.

Related Post: What to do in One Day in Madurai.


Day 26, 27, 28

Pondicherry Another completely different place in India and this is because Pondicherry was once a French colony.

The architecture in White Town which is the area closest to the beach and the main tourist area, is so impressive and such a unique thing to see in India!

There isn’t much to do in Pondicherry but the food and cafes here are really good, especially if you have been craving some Western Food! A Walking tour with Story Trails is a good idea to really understand the history of Pondicherry between India, Britain and France.

A popular day trip from Pondicherry is to Auroville which is an experimental township which I’d recommend going to.

Local Day Bus from Pondicherry to Chennai.

Related Post: 10 Things to do in Pondicherry & Day Trip to Auroville from Pondicherry.


Day 29, 30

Chennai – Last Stop! Chennai has a main Airport making it a good place to leave India from and your 30 days in South India have been jam packed so you can’t fit anywhere else in anyway!

Chennai’s history of being under British rule is interesting and there are a number of good temples and buildings to see as well as lots of good street food! It’s not the easiest city to get around in but Uber is good here and if you stay near the metro line you can use that too.

Search for the best flights out of Chennai on Kiwi here!

Related Post: Why Chennai is a Good Place to Visit for Your First Stop in India!


Places Visited: 12

States Visited: 4

Things to note: This is a full on itinerary I know! The days spent in each place are slightly less than the North as I have suggested spending more time in Goa to chill, however this could be changed so you can spend longer in a few other places or you can take out some places in Kerala for example.

This itinerary is do-able as the journeys in the South are slightly quicker by bus, but mainly because there are not as many things to do in these places in South India so you only need one or two days max to explore anyway.

The buses however can sometimes take longer than planned and a lot of travel days by bus in South India do turn into fairly full days.

A lot of the towns and cities in South India have 2 names which is not common in the North, for example Mysore is Mysuru, Bangalore is Bengaluru,  and Alleppey is Alappuzha, just remember this when booking trains as the Indian names are used as the station names when you book.

Related Post: 8 Things to know before you travel around South India

Chennai for Backpackers Temple
Palolem Beach Goa Travel Guide
Houseboat Kerala Backwaters
varkala beach

Map!

Here is a map of this Indian E-Visa Itinerary with all the places pinned. Click on the pin to see the City or Town name.


Now you know where to go in India for 60 Days! Do you want to know how to avoid the popular Indian Scams??


Need to book accommodation in India? We recommend using Booking.com as we love the huge range of accommodation and flexible booking options.


Need to check out Flights to India? Kiwi.com is a great site to compare prices and routes to get the best deal!


Remember that you’ll need travel insurance when you travel to India. There are a lot of companies out there we know, but World Nomad’s is a travel insurance provider designed by travellers, for travellers and includes lots of unique benefits like not needing a return flight home booked, which many providers need proof of if you claim. Whilst you’re thinking about it, get a quote for them here!

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4 comments so far.

4 responses to “60 Day India Itinerary for North and South India using the E-Visa!”

  1. Ravi kumar says:

    Excellent research and a great itineary.

  2. Mark says:

    Thank you for all of the great info Ellie. Very helpful.

    Do you have a rough guess as to the average daily cost (not including flights to and from India)?
    Assuming staying mostly in hostels and the occasional moderate hotel, and using local buses, and eating modestly?

    • Ellie says:

      Hello Mark.

      Yes, hostel rooms are around £3-5.00 a night with private rooms being £8-£11.00 a night. Each meal is about £1-2.50. Entrance fee’s into Palaces etc can be up to £6.00 each and a rickshaw for a day sight-seeing would be about £6-£10.00. Local buses are less than £1.00 for a few hour journey and trains are around £3-£10.00 depending on the distance. I hope that helps.. and that you work in pounds or can convert it ok 🙂

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