9 Affordable Places to Visit in India for Travelers5 min read
Travelers spend their last savings on their trips until they are left blowing the dust off the wallet.
But, there are some affordable places in India where one can get some relief in your expenditure. The accommodation, food and transportation, everything is just right and you don’t need to rack your brains over money. Here are 9 such destinations to visit across India without burning a hole in your pocket.
Situated in the foothills of the 3rd highest summit in the world, this tiny state is a beautiful and adventurous place to visit. Trekkers, bikers, and cyclists who wish to conquer the treacherous roads of North Sikkim flood into Gangtok like water from a dam. The accommodations and food are priced well within the range a common man’s budget. The transportation can be a bit expensive as cabs are the only option, but it’s nothing a little bargaining can’t solve. There a plenty of hostels and homestays affordable for a solo traveler to crash, while the hotels cater to the families. A night in a homestay/hostel can cost around INR 300-400 at the most, while hotel room prices range from INR 500 and above. A good meal of the local cuisine will cost you around INR 250-300.
2. Udhagamandalam (Ooty):
This serene hill station nestled in the Nilgiri hills is a prime destination in South India. The 46 km long mini train track (toy train as it is locally called) between Ooty and Mettupalayam is a world heritage site. Hostels and homestays are available for and usually occupied by trekkers and bikers. The prices can go as low as INR 150 a night in a hostel ( INR 150 in the YHAI hostel). Hotel rooms tend to be priced from INR 400 and above. A fulfilling meal costs about INR 200 to 300. The mini train tickets for second class (coach) seats cost INR 30 (one way) in any direction.
Another hill Station in south India just 250 km from Ooty is Coorg. It is famous for its coffee bean plantations and lush green mountains. Coffee from Coorg is revered worldwide and is extensively exported. A night’s stay in a hostel/homestay will cost around INR 300 to 500; a hotel room will generally be INR 500 and above for a night. The delicacies like Bisibele bath(rice) or Kori Rotti (chicken and Indian bread) will be around INR 100 to 200. Travelers hire bikes/cars on daily basis to explore the region.
Rumors say that Varanasi is about 5000 years old. It has witnessed many a paramount event. It is famous for the river Ganges. Cannibal sages (Aghori Baba) who smoke marijuana and hashish (ganja and charas as they are locally called) all day by the river. It is one of the most pocket-friendly cities in India. Accommodation prices start from INR 100/150 with the dorm style accommodation being cheapest. Hostels/homestays are preferred by travelers as Varanasi is cramped with them. A decent meal costs around INR 200. The “tuk-tuks” are the most commonly used means of transportation, but one probably needs some bargaining skills to get the lowest possible fare.
Home to the oldest World heritage site in India, Hampi is the perfect place for trekkers and those who like exploring a place themselves. An ancient city, it is said to be the home to the monkey kingdom Kishkindha from the Hindu mythology Ramayana. Most of the accommodation options are hotels-cum-homestays run by locals in their homes. Prices range from INR 350 to INR 650 per night per room. Food can be a little bit expensive costing INR 350 a meal. One can hire a bicycle for 8-10 hours for INR 150-200, depending on the shop. A heavy duty motorcycle for hire will cost an affordable INR 300-350 for the same duration.
One of the states known as seven sisters, Nagaland is the easternmost state of India and shares a border with Myanmar. Nagaland is the state with most tribes and the last to be the home to actual head-hunters of Konyak. Nagaland buzzes with tourists in December during the infamous Hornbill Festival. Hotels charge INR 600 and above for a night per room. Cheaper options like camping tents are available and cost INR 350-450. The food is favorable to meat lovers; furthermore, vegetarian options are scarce. A meal can be around INR 300-350.
The party hub of the country, Goa always has flocks of people from across the globe all year. The beaches, the pubs, the archaic churches; all the places are crowded. In addition to the alcohol prices being scant, a night in either a hostel or homestay costs INR 200 (dorm room/single bed) and a hotel room can cut you short by INR 350-500 for a night, which is surely affordable to a budget traveler. Food is also very cheap and the local delicacies that are fulfilling will cost somewhere between INR 250 and 450. The most suitable way of commute is hiring two-wheelers; in peak season the rates are INR 300-1600 depending on the bike.
Mecca for adventure travelers, trekkers, mountain climbers, cyclists and motorcyclists, Leh acts as the hub for all in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir. The high fuel and food prices are due to the altitude as Leh is situated at 11,000 feet. 70-80% of the travelers visiting Leh prefer homestays to enjoy the true culture of Ladakh. The homestays charge INR 300-1000 with varied room options. The hotel rooms charge INR 600 and above per night.
Manali acts as the base for all travelers traveling across Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. Manali fills with tourists 365 days a year due to which it gets quite difficult to get good deals on hotels. As a result of this high demand, hotels charge INR 600 and above for a night’s stay. Numerous homestays and hostels located throughout Manali should be selected based on the comfort. These establishments charge an affordable INR 300-600 (dorms/single beds/sharing) per night.
A traveler is always on the lookout to save as much as possible. An adventure traveler especially prefers the smaller establishments like hostels/homestays over hotels. If the money is all spent on the food & accommodation; then it doesn’t seem worth visiting the place. The beauty of the place and the way one perceives it matters. These 9 cities are some of the most affordable places in India where anyone can get their money’s worth.
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