How often have you dreamed about exploring the caves of Ajanta or losing yourself in the forests of Himachal but been too afraid about the consequences on your bank balance? We all crave to wander the country without putting a dent in our wallets. Luckily enough, with the right kind of planning, you can see almost all of India on a budget that would make Robert Vadra go “Are you serious!” but in a good way. Unless you want to go Maharaja level and not compromise on anything, travel in India can be damn cheap.
Check out these places in India you can plan a trip to even when it’s the end of the month.
1. Kasol – Rock bottom hotel prices
With several lovely options to stay at absolute base prices and easy access via the HRTC bus service, Kasol is one of the quickest and cheapest getaways. The food, the sights and whatever else you might need, it’s all here and it’s all cheap as hell.
2. Pondicherry – Free living at the Ashram
If you’re feeling exceedingly pious, then sign up to stay at the Aurobindo Ashram and enjoy almost free stay and vegetarian food, as well as teachings of the Mother Mirra Alfisa and yoga. If you’re feeling naughty however, the alcohol is mind-bogglingly cheap!
3. Kodaikanal – Rs. 200 for a room and Rs. 20 for fried chicken
The street food here is SO good, going at 20 INR for a whole packet of fried chicken or any other variety of the like. There’s also several places to stay going from 200 INR upwards and the views are fantastic. Easy to get to via train and bus. Check out Karuna Farms pictured below.
4. Goa – Cheap and cheerful shacks and sherry
Goa doesn’t exactly need much explaining. Shacks along most of the major beaches offer the most chill spots to live. Take it easy while their prices take it even easier on your wallet. King’s beer at 30 bucks a pop is a no-brainer!
5. Jaipur – Economical one day getaway
The Pink City offers an easy and cheap getaway if you’re from Delhi. Even if you’re not, there’s plenty to do and see here, so just take a look around the splendid forts and architecture and go on your way to wherever your final destination is.
6. Alleppey – A decent bargain for beauty
You can rent a room in a house boat and lose yourself in the midst of the Amazonian wilderness for an absolutely nominal price. Strike up a conversation with some of the local fishermen and they’ll even lend you their own OG kayaks so you can go exploring on your own for a meagre 100INR. That’s a steal!
7. Ooty – Forests for free and chocolates on sale all year round
Chocolate and more chocolate. Every kind of cocoa butter goodness is available here, made locally and sold at rates lower than the Delhi Winter temperature! The hills are lovely, there’s the Fernhills palace to explore and Kodi’s just a few stops away.
8. Itanagar – Warm and affordable homestays
Apart from the difficult ride up, Itanagr offers you all the peace of mind the North East is famous for. There’s gushing rivers and lush greens, all the while helped out by the forthcoming locals who will sort you out with homestays and warm food for nominal pricing.
9. Pushkar – Super cheap access
Famous for the camels and various kinds of shakes available, Pushkar offers a host of activites and experiences at rates that’ll make your head spin. Whether it’s lodging, food, camel rides or some good ol’ bhaang lassi, Pushkar is there to sort you out with a bargain.
10. Darjeeling – Highest quality and lowest priced chai.
Spend some time in the quaint little hotels and lodges that are sprawled around Darjeeling and that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. The people are warm and are bound to win you over with their world famous chai.
11. Mcleodganj – Cheap treks for bountiful returns
The train up to Dharamshala is cheap, the guided treks are cheap, heck, even the pancakes are cheap! Enjoy high level lodging and world class views at affordable rates all throughout Mcleod, all while soaking in the natural serenity of the place. Check out Triund below, a trek a small way up from Mcleodganj.
12. Varanasi – Spirituality for free
Go to Benares, one of Hinduism’s seven holy cities and wash your sins away at the price of nothing other than a willing body and a pure mind. Several guest houses offer affordable stay and the options for special teas are endless, best enjoyed while riding a boat.
13. Amritsar – No price great enough for devotion
Pay a nominal amount and stay at the gurudwara if you’re a guy. If you’re a girl, it’s free! Even the food is supplied and the people will treat you well as long as you show some faith. This place is bound to calm you down and leave you stress free.
14. Udaipur – Affordable places by the lake
The many loved hues of the city is best enjoyed with a stay by the lake Pichora which lines the grand City Palace. Instead of going for the first option, explore along the alleys to find quaint little bed and breakfasts that sit right on the lakeside.
15. Ajanta – Reasonably priced cave exploration
The Ajanta and Ellora caves can be explored for a meagre 500INR with a guide. Getting too and from is also not expensive considering the ancient wonder and wealth of knowledge that these caves are a storehouse of.