India is a country that I always want to visit once in my life. But year after year, I keep delaying this trip. Finally, I also made the trip in late 2019 and early 2020 to end the old year and start the new year brilliantly. And India gave me a lot of good and bad experiences, new flavors and especially its diverse and colorful Indian culture. So, what to do and how to spend 10 days in India perfectly? Let’s check out my suggested India itinerary 10 days (India travel itinerary, India trip itinerary) in my field trip to the incredible land of India.
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Apply for an Indian e-Visa (The Indian Tourist eVisa)
Some notes before applying an Indian e-Visa
- The minimum time you need to apply for an e-visa is 5 days before going to India: Because the Consulate needs at least 3 days to review and process your application. Ideally, you should apply 7-10 days before the departure date.
- The exact website link of the consulate is https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html. When I searched on Google, I found a lot of cheat links and the price for applying an e-visa is 3-fold expensive than the self-made fee. So, you should remember to access this correct link.
- e-Visa offers many different durations: Normally, if your purpose simply is only traveling, you choose to go for 30 days, but at present, India’s e-Visa has given more options up to 1 year, 5 years, very wonderful for those who love India.
What to prepare before applying for an Indian e-Visa?
Before applying for an e-Visa, you need to prepare the following things which are the minimum requirements of the Consulate:
- Scanned the copy version of the first page of passport (under 300KB) and valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry.
2 inch x 2 inch photo: In JPEG format file with less than 1MB in size.
- International payment cards.
Fly to India
Currently, from Vietnam you can fly directly from Saigon to New Delhi via Vietjet Air. Flight time is about 5 hours, direct flight without any transit, ticket price when I buy 3 months in advance is $185 / round trip, extra luggage is about $210. Because of the direct flight, I decided to go to India, but in the past, you have to transit which takes a lot of time.
Traveling between Indian cities
There are 3 main means of transport that you can use to traveling between cities:
It must be said that this means of transport in addition to convenience of traveling because India owns one of the largest railway system in the world that covering almost its cities, you also have an opportunity to see the unique culture of India throughout the journey with many types of social classes of people. Observing tea vendors on the train cars and enjoy the scenery along the way. In addition, the traveling cost of this vehicle is very cheap.
I highly recommend this vehicle for comfort and convenience, you should choose one of the best bus companies called Jain travels. The bus fares are more expensive than train fares, but in return there are conveniences for you.
On the day when I went from New Delhi to Agra, because I could not buy train tickets, I had to take a taxi, the cost to travel from Delhi to Agra is 5,500 rupees for a 4-seater car. If you share with 4 people, it is still 30% more expensive than bus. This is the means of transport that I see that only in case of force majeure, otherwise you should choose a train or bus to save money. When taking a taxi, remember to bargain with the owner.
Getting around city
In the city there are 4 main means of transportation you can experience, here are my experiences with each vehicle:
Very popular and just raise your hand, a tuk tuk will come back. Usually, if you go about 1km, remember to pay 50-70 rupees only. They often will shout double the price, remember to bargain. This is the option I use the most because of convenience.
When you come to India, if you don’t like to bargain, use rideshare services. In India there are Uber and Ola Cabs, however, to use them you must have an India’s phone number, this can be solved by buying a sim card at the airport. If you do not have a sim card in India, you can ask the hotel staff to buy it for you. We asked to help from the Ola Cabs driver (because the price is cheaper than Uber), then when we come back, we take a tuk tuk and go because all 4 of us forgot to buy a sim card.
This vehicle is quite limited, it often traveling from airport to city center, I also do not recommend you to use because they always shout overcharge, it’s the best to avoid them.
For New Delhi, walking is a bit tired leg because the attractions are far apart, but in Jaipur, Jodhpur, you can confidently walk comfortably because the places to visit are quite close to each other.
Tips to stay safe when traveling to India
- India has a lot of scandals in the media, I don’t need to mention it, you already know it. However, having actually traveled to see India is also very comfortable and safe. Only the situation of “making money” from tourists always happens that we should be wary of. Here are some tips to avoid scams and keep yourself safe when traveling to India:
- Don’t follow locals who will lead you to Tourist Information Center because those places they enacted by themselves and took the name of the government and try to selling you tours at expensive prices.
- At train stations, you will be lured to buy train tickets also at impersonated ticket centers, be careful.
- When taking a taxi, tuk tuk, when you give the train station name, they will say the train is not open today. Then will tell you to use a taxi to go. Don’t believe them. Let go to the train station and directly ask the ticket agent.
- Also regarding take a taxi, tuk tuk, there is another trick that they will tell you the hotel you booked is terrible, don’t go but let the driver lead you to the hotel for better. Honestly refuse.
- When being lured, just ignore and shake your head, they will leave on their own way.
- When taking a tuk tuk, always go together, and remember to open Google Maps to track if they drive on the right route, if no, you ask them to turn on the meter.
- In the evening, it is safe to go out, nothing happen, if the place is too deserted, just avoid it, there is nothing to be afraid of, as long as you go with a group it is fine.
India uses rupees (INR), $1 = 75 INR. With 100 USD you will get 7,400 – 7,500 INR. Normally, I will exchange money in advance in Vietnam. However, exchanging VND to INR in Vietnam is quite low rates. I recommend you to exchange USD in Vietnam first and then go to India to exchange it into rupees to use later. In my experience, you should exchange $100 each time, after spending all, you will continue to exchange rather than exchange your total money at once. Experience is that the exchange rate in New Delhi is the best with USD 100 can be exchanged for 7,400 – 7,500 INR. In Jaipur, is the biggest loss, it was only 6,900 INR, which was a very “painful” experience. In Jodhpur, gained a good exchange rate of USD 100 = 7,400 INR.
India itinerary 10 days: When to come?
Each season in India always has its own beauty and interesting things, some major festivals that you should pay attention to:
- Holi Festival (March 9 – 10) also known as Festival of Love”, “Festival of Colours” or “Festival of Spring”, takes place on only 2 days in some cities such as New Delhi, Barsana, Jaipur. This is a unique festival of throwing colors to ward off evil spirits.
- Diwali: The Grand Festival Of Lights (November 14). This beautiful festival of lights will lights up all over India, featuring processions, parades and light shows on buildings, streets.
- Dussehra (October 25) is celebrated in different ways in India. The climax is when prince Ravan Dahan burns giant effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran, a scene truly worth seeing.
In terms of the time to traveling to India, I think the most beautiful time to visit is in spring (March – May) and autumn (October – November) not only because of nature beauty, but mainly because it is cooler. I went in the winter of December and January, and I found it quite good because it would less mosquitoes, reduce body odor (Indians eat curry a lot) and take the train without sitting in an air-conditioned compartment.
India itinerary 10 days — Day 1: Saigon – New Delhi
Today, I took a flight at 7PM and landed at New Delhi airport at 11:50PM local time, please note that India time is 1 hour 30 minutes ahead of Vietnam. After taking the luggage and done the custom procedures, I went back to the hotel to rest. Please note to get to city center from the airport, you should use an app like Uber or Ola Cabs, so you don’t have to bargain with driver.
Hotel: Tashkent Palace (A normal hotel, we chose to stay because it was cheap because and we stayed for only a few hours and then went to Agra).
10 days in India — Day 2: New Delhi – Agra
Today was a day full of twists because we couldn’t find a train ticket from New Delhi to Agra, so we had to pay the price with a taxi driver which was very annoying. At the end of the day we reached Agra after a few hours of waiting for a large taxi that can carry our luggage.
Hotel: The Alpine (We stayed here, because our nearby hotel canceled the booking, but The Alpine has good staff, enthusiastic in tuk tuk booking and had dealed a good price for our group). Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com.
India trip itinerary 10 days — Day 3: Agra (Taj Mahal – Agra Fort) – Jaipur
The next morning, we woke up early to visit the Taj Mahal and buy tickets of 1,050 rupees, if you pay by card, you will get a discount of 50 rupees. Remember to keep your ticket because when you pass through Agra Fort you will get 50 rupees off when buying tickets there. I spent 2 hours to explore the Taj Mahal and visit the tomb, the ticket of 1,050 rupees included the fee of 200 rupees to visit the tomb.
After that, I went to Agra Fort by tuk tuk and visited Agra Fort. There were many interesting nooks and crannies here, you can spend 2 to 3 hours here to taking pictures and viewing information about the fort.
Finally, our group returned to the hotel, got on a car to Agra Fort train station to move to Jaipur. Around 7:30 pm, we arrived in cute Jaipur, met a man who run a tuk tuk Raja and bought a tuk tuk tour for 2,000 INR for 4 people with 2 tuk tuk for a full day the next day.
India itinerary 10 days — Day 4: Jaipur (Gaitor – Amber Fort – Wind Palace)
Today, we took a tuk tuk tour, we went to 3 main attractions including:
Gaitor: The tomb of the kings and princes of Jaipur, I really like this place and recommend you to visit, because it is deserted and different from the rest of Jaipur.
Amber Fort: I see Amber Fort more beautiful than Agra Fort and much more majestic. However, Amber Fort is also very crowded, you need to buy a ticket of 500 rupees to get deep inside. But I think it’s okay if you don’t want to go in, standing outside is already very beautiful. Near Amber Fort there is a Water Palace (Amber Palace), remember to tell tuk tuk to stop by to take pictures.
Wind Palace: This beautiful architecture is the symbol of Jaipur, located in the heart of Pink City. You should visit 2 opposite cafes and climb up to take pictures.
The tuk tuk drivers also want to entice our group to buy cloth and jewelry, we still let them take us away and but didn’t buy anything, because the price is very expensive.
10 days in India — Day 5: Jaipur
On the last day in Jaipur, I spent time to strolling around Pink City because there is more than just yesterday’s Wind Palace. I went to City Palace with an entrance fee of INR 500, the inside is very beautiful and there are 4 gates of 4 seasons. In the pink city, I spend time visiting random temples on the street, watching the rhythm of Jaipur life in the streets selling jewelry, selling spare parts, each street only specializes in one item like Hanoi 36 streets once upon a time.
India itinerary 10 days — Day 6: Jaipur – Jodhpur
Today was mainly for traveling from Jaipur to Jodhpur and finding hotel to rest.
Hotel: Casa de Jodhpur (this place is extremely boutique and bold Indian style, the owner also stays in the same house, the owner is extremely enthusiastic and the room is cute, like sleeping in a cave hotel in Turkey, highly recommended). Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com.
10 days in India — Day 7: Jodhpur
Jodhpur is quite small, I spend my time walking instead of taking a tuk tuk to explore the city more slowly. The places I visited today include:
- Mehrangarh Fort
- Toorji Ka Jhalra (Toorji’s Step Well)
- Ghanta Ghar Clock Tower
Just go to these 3 spots, you will need a whole day to visit them. We spent more time near Toorji Ka Jhalra Well (aka Stepwells) because there are many craft shops around that are suitable for shopping and many beautiful rooftop cafes. I chose Stepwells Cafe because it offers a beautiful view of the Stepwells below.
Day 8: Jodhpur – New Delhi
Today, we booked sleeper bus tickets at 8PM, so we had the whole day in Jodhpur. Today I spent time to eating and drinking at Omlettes Shop (which sells delicious toast and fried eggs), a lassi shop near the famous clock tower.
After eating and drinking, we moved to Jaswant Tada – a royal building with a beautiful royal garden. From here, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
India itinerary 10 days — Day 9: New Delhi
Returned to New Delhi early in the next morning. We went back to The Ritz hotel to drop off our belongings and explore the city lightly. We stopped by the Gate of India to see the city symbol, which is the largest victory gate in India. The group also planned to Red Fort, but because we were a bit bored with fortresses, we visited The Connaught – this area is extremely fun with many cafes, restaurants of Indian, European, American, Chinese, Japanese and if you love shopping then this is the perfect place for you.
India travel itinerary 10 days — Day 10: New Delhi – Saigon
Today we also just went to coffee, lightly hanging out because we were quite tired after the trip, then waited until evening to fly back to Saigon ^^.
That’s my 10-day itinerary in India, hope the review will help you have an overview when planning a trip to India, just customize according to your preferences! Enjoy exploring!
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