How often have you thought of escaping into the wilderness or trekking up the hills the next weekend, but been too afraid to execute keeping in mind the consequences on your bank balance. We all crave to go to new places and meet different people, experience unique cultures and we want to do all of these without putting a dent in our wallets. Luckily, we are in India and budget travelling in this country of ours is very much possible. Of course, you’ve to compromise on a few things! But the best part about travelling cheap in India is that it’s not limited to only one part of the country but throughout the country. And and even if you’re financially sound, trust me, travelling cheap has its own thrill.
So start planning as we present 10 places from across the country that you can visit on a shoe string budget.
#1 Kasol, Himachal Pradesh
If you’re planning a budget trip and you’re in Delhi now, Kasol is one of the most beautiful places to travel to. The place offers lovely options to stay at absolute base prices and food, sightings and everything is just very affordable in Kasol. Also called the India’s mini Israel, you must try Israeli food when there. And yes, you cannot ignore its ‘pot culture’.
In case you’re feeling exceedingly pious and want to keep yourself calm for a few days, sign up to stay at the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. Enjoy the almost free stay and vegetarian food, and Mother Mirra Alfisa’s teaching in the ashram and the yoga are definitely a bonus. And yes, the alcohol is mind-bogglingly cheap, just in case!
#3 Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
Itanagar with its peaceful and serene ambience instantly makes up for the difficult ride up that you have to take to reach the town. When in this town, you just spend your time amidst lush greens with the sound of gushing rivers at the backdrop. And all the while you’ll be helped out by the forthcoming locals who will sort you out with homestays and warm food at a very minimal price.
#4 Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Accommodation is affordable. Food is so good and cheap. Easy to get by bus or train. Do we even need another reason to visit Kodaikanal? If you feel you’re in need of a break from all the hustle and bustle of your city life, visiting Kodaikanal, especially if you’re in South India will be very good idea. Trust me, you won’t regret even a tiny bit of it.
#5 Darjeeling, West Bengal
Walk away from luxury for a while if you don’t want a hole in your pocket. Wander in the valleys of Darjeeling and spend some time in the quaint little hotels and lodges that are sprawled around the town. The local people are very warm and welcoming and are bound to win you over with their world famous chai.
#6 McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh
The transportation is affordable, the treks are cheap and hey, even the pancakes are cheap. Enjoy a few nights of stay at high cliffs with breathtaking views at a very fair price, all while soaking in the natural serenity of the place. If you’re up for a trek, climb up to Triund and pitch a tent below the starry night. It’s quite an experience we must say.
#7 Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
A willing body and a pure mind is all that you need to visit Varanasi. One of Hinduism’s seven holy cities, you are always welcome here to wash away your sins at the price of nothing. Several affordable places of stay are out there and you’ll also be given endless options of special teas to choose from, best enjoyed while riding a boat.
#8 Alleppey, Kerala
Lose yourself in a house boat amidst the Amazonian wilderness for an absolutely nominal price. Alleppey is one of the best places to get the real feels of God’s own country. And for this you don’t need a luxurious house boat – just rent yourself a room. Strike up a conversation with the local fishermen, try the local cuisine, get an Ayurveda massage and you’ll have the time of your life on the banks of the backwaters.
#9 Lonavla, Maharashtra
If you’re in Mumbai, nothing can get better than Lonavla for a quick getaway. The hikes, the waterfalls and yes, the delicious chocolate fudge and chikki – everything promises you a very memorable experience. The place offers us with exciting and thrilling treks to quite a number of forts around Lonavla. Of course, none of it comes for free but it’s really really affordable.
#10 Rishikesh, Uttarkahand
If you want to let loose the adventurer in you, buy a ticket to Rishikesh. The thrilling white-water rafting, the splendid camps and the exhilarating treks – Rishikesh simply tops the charts among the adventurous budget holidays. If you have time and a little more pennies to shed, you can also visit the breathtaking Valley of Flowers from here. Keep in mind though – it’s a completely vegetarian and alcohol-free state but totally worth a visit.