India is a land filled with varied landscapes, ancient history, and diverse culture, and it's no doubt, a traveler's paradise. There’s always something new and fresh to explore in this vibrant country and no person can ever claim that they’ve seen India to the fullest.
The best part is that you can enjoy the offerings of India without busting the bank! From economical accommodation options to budget transportation, this beautiful country hands out various opportunities for anyone to save a quick buck. Are you curious to know which places in India are budget friendly? If yes, then continue reading our article on 9 unmissable budget trips in India that one should know of.
Fun Fact: Do you know that the Kumbh Mela was the largest gathering in 2011? It was so huge that the gathering could be seen from space!
You’ll rarely find someone who doesn’t care for Goa; from rich cultural heritage and amazing food to serene sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife, it has something for everyone. And for these reasons, this beautiful destination, which was once colonized by the Portuguese, attracts many tourists to vacation and have a good time. More importantly, Goa is inexpensive and an ideal destination for those looking for a budget trip in India.
There are a ton of things you can do to enjoy the pleasant surroundings of Goa. If you want a sense of thrill and adventure, try doing water sports on Goa's beaches. Anjuna beach, Baga beach, and Calangute beach are some prominent locations that offer a good number of water sports activities such as parasailing, jet ski rides, and banana boat rides. They are not heavy on the wallet (roughly between INR 250 to INR 1,600) and are a good way to experience Goa’s coastline to the fullest.
Fort hopping is a great way to know more about Goa’s rich history and culture. Although the north district of Goa has a greater number of forts than the south, regardless of the region, you are guaranteed to get breathtaking views of Goa’s serene landscape from the forts. Click a few Instagram-worthy pictures from there to make your friends jealous of what they missed. Some forts that you should visit in Goa are Aguada Fort, Reis Magos Fort, and Cabo de Rama Fort.
If you want to get a good grasp of the Portuguese influence in Goa, there is no better place to visit than the churches. They are maintained in such a way that all of the Portuguese charms are retained and act as little nuggets of history for anyone to feed on. The two most famous churches you should visit are Se Cathedral and Basilica of Bom Jesus where entry to both these sites are free. Paid guides (they charge a minimum of INR 100) are available at the Basilica of Bom Jesus to guide you around and give a comprehensive understanding of the architecture.
Best Time To Visit: November To March.
How To Get Here: If your budget allows, you can fly into Goa International Airport. You can just as easily take a train or a bus here; there are several intercity trains and buses that ply from across the country. Finally, you can also drive or bike your way here along the National Highways from neighboring and distant states.
Also Read: Goa Travel Guide
The state of Kerala is one of India’s gems that draws many from far and near to enjoy its laid-back villages and pristine cities. In this beautiful southern state, there resides a city called Alleppey. And, it happens to be one of Kerala’s gems that boasts of serene landscapes, pristine beaches, and delicious food.
With its location near Kochi, Alleppey is a destination ideal for honeymoons since its canal backwaters and houseboats are indeed romantic in every manner. And the best part is that vacationing in Alleppey can be done on a budget.
If you’re an adventure freak, try kayaking on the serene backwaters of Alleppey. You might even get a chance to view some of Alleppey’s elegant migratory birds such as the White-Breasted Waterhen, Black Drongo, and Asian Palm Swift while you kayak. In this manner, you won’t have to go on a separate tour for birdwatching. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Everybody needs some time on their own. And if you’re a person who enjoys viewing sunsets dipping into the horizon alone, then head over to Alappuzha Beach. With its tranquil surroundings and warm sandy shores, your time on this beach will be fruitful and rejuvenating.
Another activity you can do which will come within your budget is shopping in the Alappuzha Zakariya Market. In its gullies, you’ll find tiny shops selling exotic trinkets, jewelry, and some of Alleppey finest handicrafts. If you bargain well, you can get what you want for even half the price! So, you better have the gift of the gab or have someone gifted with it.
Best Time To Visit: October to February.
How To Get Here: If you’re traveling to Alleppey on a budget, then travel by train. Alleppey railway station has a good frequency of trains from nearly all major Indian cities and their train fares are affordable too. You could also travel by bus from selected cities including Bangalore, Mysore, and Chennai. If you have a slightly higher budget, then you can fly into the Cochin International Airport.
Also Read: 6 Best Places For Street Food In India
Also regarded as the ‘French Capital of India’, Pondicherry is one of India’s gems located in the south-eastern belt of India. It’s brimming with tree-lined streets, chic boutiques, pristine beaches, and colonial villas. In addition, temples and churches are other important elements that make Pondicherry historic, and visiting any of them will surely get you spiritually closer to the divine.
There are a plethora of things to do in this French Colony. For starters, if you want to unwind, head over to the old lighthouse in Pondicherry. Designed by French Engineer L. Guerre, this lighthouse provides awe-inspiring views of the coastline, making it an ideal place to appreciate nature’s wonders.
If you want to enjoy Pondicherry’s beaches better, then you can try your hand at kayaking or even canoeing. Karaikal Beach is known to have an ample number of water sports activities, so that would be a good place to start your waterfront adventures.
Looking for another way to relax in Pondicherry’s serenity? Then head over to Yoganjali Natyalayam. Here you can practice yoga and meditation to rejuvenate from the hassles of life, which is done under the supervision of trained professionals. Other activities which you can do on a budget in Pondicherry are zorbing and quad biking.
Best Time To Visit: October to March.
How To Get Here: The nearest railway station to Pondy is the Villupuram Junction, which is approximately 37 km away. You can then catch a cab or a bus to reach Pondicherry, of which the latter option is economical. By road, there are a couple of direct buses from Bangalore and Chennai, or you could also travel by your personal vehicle. Also, you can fly into the Chennai International Airport, which is 150 km from Pondicherry, and then catch a bus to reach the city.
Also Read: Pondicherry Travel Guide
Known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a whole range of idyllic temples, Hampi is a real treat to all history lovers. Historically known as the capital of the Vijayanagar empire, this historic village contains a range of beautiful temples and monoliths, making it a real delight to the average explorer.
Hampi goes beyond being just a quaint village known for its history. Its expansive terrain means that you can easily bike around the village, and discover the lifestyle of Hampi for yourself. Bicycle rentals start at INR 100 per day and they’re an economical way of getting around the town. Don’t forget to stop at a local shop and sip on a nice hot cup of chai afterward. Cliff jumping is another activity that’s famous among tourists in Hampi. It’s adrenaline-pumping and should be tried for a sense of thrill.
The Hampi Bazaar is a great place to shop for some souvenirs for your friends and loved ones. You get all sorts of goodies such as antique coins, shawls, bags, etc. But when in Hampi, you should go on a coracle ride. It’s one of the few destinations in India that offers something like this and you should not skip this opportunity. Coracles are rented at economical prices and are widely available, so you won’t have a problem searching for one.
Best Time To Visit: October to March.
How To Get Here: If you want to cut down travel expenditure, travel to Hampi by train. The nearest railway station is at Hospet where trains from nearly all major cities have regular routes. Once you reach the Hospet railway station, Hampi is just a short bus ride away. By road, there are a couple of interstate buses from Goa, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharastra. However, they’re not as comfortable and economical as compared to a train journey. If you’re up for a road trip, you can drive to Hampi by riding on the NH13.
For those who have a bigger budget, you can fly into the Hubli Airport, which is the nearest airport to Hampi. From Hubli, you can take a bus or a taxi to reach Hampi; preferably, take the bus if you’re traveling on a budget.
Also Read: Hampi Travel Guide
Meghalaya lives the phrase “heaven touching the earth” and is one of India’s most beautiful destinations to vacation. Draped with rolling hills, waterfalls, and a climate so pleasant, this tranquil state has much to offer and discover. And if you are yet to visit the northeastern region of India, then maybe you can start by making a trip to Meghalaya first.
Visit the Mawsmai Cave in Cherrapunji to experience that Indiana Jones thrill. The terrain is challenging and there is only a single point of entry and exit to the cave. Adding to the kick, is its long, dark, and narrow nature, increasing the overall difficulty of the walk. No matter how dangerous it is, many tourists still visit this cave for that sense of adventure and we suggest that you try trekking to this cave at least once. The entry fee is just INR 20 per head!
The outdoors are meant to be enjoyed to the fullest in Meghalaya and if you’re a trekking enthusiast, then visit the Laitlum Canyon. The trek is short, but a tricky one nonetheless due to the difficult terrain, so get your best pair of trekking shoes along. For shopping, you can visit the Bara Bazaar in Shillong; to get a good understanding of Meghalaya's culture, drop by at Don Bosco Museum.
Best Time To Visit: April to June.
How To Get Here: If you’re coming by train, the nearest railway station from Meghalaya is the Guwahati Railway Station, which is around 188 km away. Trains from major metropolitans such as Delhi and Mumbai have frequent trains commuting to this railway station. By road, you can either catch a bus, or use your personal vehicle to make the journey to Meghalaya via the NH 40 route. If you’re coming by air, the nearest airport to Meghalaya is the Gopinath Bordoloi Airport, which is at Guwahati. Many domestic flights commute to-and-fro from this airport so you won’t have any problem finding an airline.
Also Read: Meghalaya Travel Guide
Tucked away in the lovely Nilgiri Hills that form an integral part of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu is this placid paradise, Ooty. Also known as the “Queen of the Hill Stations”, this heavenly abode attracts many tourists from all over the country, especially honeymooners since the weather is so charming and cozy. Having a good number of natural sites and wonders, Ooty has a lot to explore in its terrain. To begin with, visit Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint in Coonoor to get breathtaking views of Ooty’s rolling hills and Catherine Falls.
You have heard of taste buds tingling, but if you have your “tea” buds tingling then stop at the Tea Museum. Also known as the Ooty Tea Museum, this museum is your one-stop place to know about the process involved in making tea. Encircling the area, you have plush green tea plantations, and breathing in those intoxicating tea aromas can be one of the most enchanting things to do.
Other fun activities you can do in Ooty without breaking the bank are railway ride trains in the Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train, serene walks at the Ooty Botanical Gardens, boat rides at the Ooty Lake, and trekking to Doddabetta Peak.
Best Time To Visit: March to June.
How To Get Here: By air, the Coimbatore Airport, which is approximately 85 km away from the hill station, is the closest aerodrome you’ll find. From the airport, you can catch a bus to reach Ooty and it’s the most economical way to travel as compared to hiring a cab. To cut costs, you can travel by train to Ooty. The Mettupalayam Rail Junction is the nearest train station from where you’ll get direct trains to Ooty. If you’re up for a road trip, the National Highways are well-connected to Ooty and they’re a great way of enjoying travel to the fullest.
Famously known as the “Scotland of India”, Coorg is a destination that is home to elevating hills and undefined greenery. The pleasant weather and the indefinite waterfalls, coffee plantations, and colonial estates are the main reasons why many visit Coorg. And if being surrounded by a canopy of green is what you envision your ideal trip to be, then, hands-down, include Coorg in your list.
The hill station has a lot of fun activities for anyone to enjoy, and different places to discover. The Golden Temple is a good place to start as it is one of Coorg’s most splendid and unique establishments ever built. This temple is a Tibetan monastery and also goes by the name Namdroling Monastery. While the monastery offers a peaceful ambiance, surrounding the property are cute stalls selling momos and thukpas, which are a huge staple in Tibetan culture. So, dive into them and feed yourself till you’re full!
Apart from the Golden Temple, you can do other fun activities in Coorg such as camping in Coorg’s jungles, going on coffee plantations tours, fishing at the Kaveri River, and quad biking in its wet, muddy terrain.
Best Time To Visit: September to June.
How To Get Here: If you’re coming by air, the Mangalore Airport is the nearest airhead you’ll find. Once you reach the airport, board a bus to complete your journey to Coorg. By road, there are quite a number of government buses from Bangalore, Mangalore, and Mysore. They are comfortable and quite easy on the wallet, making it ideal for budget traveling. By train, the Mysore Railway Station is the nearest railway junction you’ll get. Upon reaching the railway station, board a bus to reach Coorg.
Also Read: 7 Best Places To Go On A Photo Tour In India
Udaipur, known as the “City of Lakes”, is entrenched deep within the western domain of Rajasthan. It’s one of India’s most charming cities that runs deep with history and culture that attracts many to its enormous forts, royal palaces, pristine lakes, and well-trimmed gardens. And, you can enjoy the offerings of Udaipur without burning a hole in your wallet.
You can tour the majestic City Palace that’s located on the eastern side of Lake Pichola. The structure can be noticed from a distance on the main road since it’s built on a hill and it resembles the finest Mughal architecture. For your shopping needs, head over to Hathi Pol Bazaar where you can buy the cutest souvenirs, intrinsic handicrafts, and beautiful art.
Getting around Udaipur is extremely economical too. Rickshaws and buses are the most preferred modes of transportation in this city. Plus, Uber is always cheaper than regular taxis and they’re a great way to get you to sites without any hassle. To save on accommodation, hostels in Udaipur are the way to go and their starting rates can be as low as INR 200 per night.
For the adventure freak in you, book a cab to the Aravali Mountains where activities such as horseback riding and safari trips are available to enjoy the gritty terrain. And for sound and light shows, the Kumbhalgarh Fort is a good destination.
Best Time To Visit: September to March
How To Get Here: By air, the Udaipur Airport also known as Maharana Pratap Airport or Dabok Airport is the main air head that connects the city to other parts of the country. This option is ideal if you have a wide budget but if you prefer something economical, travel by train to Udaipur. The city has its own railway station and is well-connected to various metropolitans as well. If you’re up for something adventurous, then a road trip via the National Highway is highly suggested.
Kasol is situated in the bustling district of Himachal Pradesh and on the banks of the Parvati River. This beautiful destination has an immense number of forests and wildlife surrounding it, in turn making it pleasing to the eye. And if you are looking for a place to rejuvenate, then adding Kasol to your list is a must.
The forest areas of Kasol provide good opportunities for trekking and one of the best ways to enjoy this quaint little town on a budget. The most important trek you should take heed of is the Kheer Ganga trek. The terrain is challenging but the journey to the peak is thrilling and rewarding altogether. Prices of this trek are roughly between INR 2,000 to INR 3,000, which is pretty reasonable considering the number of activities that are included in the package.
Kasol is better explored on foot because there aren't many local transportation options available in this town. You could rent a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to get you around but they’re slightly expensive options. If you’re on a budget, better travel on foot.
Accommodation is also pretty cheap in Kasol. From homestays to guesthouses, Kasol’s staying options are plentiful and they come with starting prices as low as INR 400 per person. If you’re on a really tight budget, dorms are available as well and you can pay anything around INR 200 to INR 300 per bed.
Best Time To Visit: March to June.
How To Get Here: For a budget friendly trip to Kasol, many recommend traveling by train. The nearest railway station is in Jogindernagar, which is 144 km from Kasol. You can then board a bus to reach Kasol once you reach the railway station. If you’re coming by air, the Bhuntar Airport is the nearest air head you’ll find, which is a mere 31 km away from Kasol. To cut down traveling expenses, you can catch a bus for the remaining journey to this town. By road, the easiest route is from Delhi and it’s easily drivable for a road trip.
If money is the only constraint that’s preventing you from traveling, you now know that vacationing in India can be done on a budget. So go on and book that ticket, call up your friends, and take them to any of our mentioned destinations for a relaxing vacation. Enjoy!
Which Are Some Of The Best Destinations To Plan Budget Trips In India?
Some of the best destinations to plan budget trips in India are Goa, Alleppey, Pondicherry, Hampi, Meghalaya, Coorg, Udaipur, and Kasol.
How Much Does A Meal Cost In India?
With many budget restaurants opening up, eating in India is inexpensive and the food prices on their menu is roughly between INR 80 to INR 150. In addition, India has an exquisite street food culture with numerous chat stalls, shawarma joints, dhabas, etc. So where food is concerned, India will take care of your gastronomical needs that suit your budget.
Is India Safe To Visit?
India is a safe country to visit and its crime rates are pretty low. However, be vigilant of the places you visit. Avoid shady areas, especially at odd hours and in places that are too crowded.
How Far Is Ooty From Coimbatore?
Ooty is 85 km from Coimbatore by road.
Which Language Is Spoken In Goa?
The locals mainly speak Konkani, but many of them do understand English, Hindi, and Marathi.
How Far Is Mount Abu From Udaipur?
Mount Abu is 163 km from Udaipur by road.
Is Coorg In Kerala Or Karnataka?
Coorg is located in the vast state of Karnataka.
Which Languages Are Spoken In Meghalaya?
Khasi, Garo, Jaintia, Hindi, and English are the primary languages spoken in Meghalaya.