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Cheap holiday destinations in India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by MalikPrasant, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. MalikPrasant

    MalikPrasant New Member

    I want to take my family on a holiday which is within India. We are currently on a low budget holiday option, so the destination needs to fit our budget. You can say it is easy going to travel agent website, but there are always some hidden charges or things which boost the cost up. I thought to join this travel forum and to get advice from members would the best bet, as I can customise the holiday to my needs and requirements.

    A good accommodation, good food places to eat at a low cost would be able to give me my cheap holiday, all I need to know is the destinations in India which would provide me with my budget requirements.

  2. Triptoli

    Triptoli New Member

    Hello Malik,

    Jaipur is one of the most happening destination in India. It has cheap hotels and food restaurants. Also you can enjoy lots of activities like Balloon safari, Elephant safari, Jeep safari and more. There are lots of beautiful heritage palaces, Temples, shopping and other things that attracts tourists from worldwide. Apart from these things, you will love nightlife and shows like light & sound show at Amer fort.

    Some tips:
    • Just research about destination (like Jaipur)
    • Create your itinerary using free Itinerary Planner tools (Just google it)
    • Select some reputable travel agents and sites to send your planned itinerary
    • Get quotes and bargain on them and you will surely save some money with great travel experience.
    Hope it helps!

  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    One of the most important aspects of travelling is money. But what if you're on a tight budget? Does that mean that you cannot explore the beauty of India anymore? No! The good thing about India is that it caters to all types of travellers, whether you're a luxury traveller or even a backpacker. There are certainly places that you can visit around the country that won't break the bank. So read on and find out the best affordable holiday destinations around India.

    Budget Holiday Destinations in India

    1. Pushkar - Home to the Only Brahma Temple in India

    Pushkar is about 7 to 8 hours away from Delhi, depending on the means of transportation that you choose. By bus, a private AC bus costs Rs. 500 per passenger but can also reach up to Rs. 800 per passenger. The RSRTC also has an express bus plying from Delhi to Pushkar. The fare for this bus costs slightly less than the private buses so you can also opt for it. By train, you can opt to reach the Ajmer Junction Railway Station and from there, ride a taxi or a bus to reach Pushkar, which is just 10 kilometres away. The lower classes of seats cost around Rs. 170 to Rs. 290 per passenger. A bus ride from Ajmer to Pushkar won't cost more than Rs. 30 since the distance is not that long anyway.

    For hotels around Pushkar, you can find budget ones around Rs. 300 to Rs. 1,000 per night. The cheapest hotel that you can find, Hotel Diamond, costs around Rs. 300 per night. However, when it comes to facilities, it's a very basic hotel with limited amenities for guests. A good budget hotel is the Hotel Keshav Palace which costs around Rs. 550 per night. For families, there's the Hotel Hill View, which costs around Rs. 750 per night. Both these hotels have better facilities for guests.

    Around Pushkar, most attractions don't have an entry fee so you can enjoy sightseeing. There's the picturesque Pushkar Lake, revered holy by many pilgrims, though boating around it is not allowed. You can take a holy dip here though and it is believed that this can remove the sins of a person. The only Brahma Temple in the country can also be found in Pushkar and entry here is also free. Around November, the Pushkar Camel Fair also happens in the city, which is a lively festival featuring all kinds of livestocks and cultural shows.

    Brahma Temple (Image Courtesy of Car Rental Ajmer)

    There are also numerous street food stalls around the city serving very affordable food options. The meals in these street food stalls won't set you back more than Rs. 40 per person. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants around Pushkar, most won't cost more than Rs. 150 per person per meal. There's the Laughing Buddha Cafe, near Gau Ghat Badi Basti in Pushkar. They have affordable meals which won't cost more than Rs. 300 for two persons. The Sunset Cafe has heavy meals and even light meals, dining here won't cost more than Rs. 150 for two persons.
    • Transportation - Rs. 200 to Rs. 320
    • Accommodation - Rs. 300 to Rs. 750
    • Attractions - Pushkar Lake, Brahma Temple and Pushkar Camel Fair.
    • Dining - Rs. 300 to Rs. 400
    2. Hampi - Home of the Mighty Vijaynagar Dynasty

    Hampi is about 1,957 kilometres away from Delhi. Reaching it might be a bit more complicated as there are no direct buses from Delhi to Hampi. Your best option would be a combination of both train and bus. From Delhi, you first need to reach Bangalore and then ride another train to Hospet, which has the nearest railway station to Hampi, about 13 kilometres away. The cheapest class is the SL at Rs. 750 from Delhi to Bangalore while it is at Rs. 250 from Bangalore to Hospet. From Hospet, you can just ride a bus to reach Hampi, which won't cost more than Rs. 20 per passenger.

    For accommodations, your best option would be to stay at a guest house. The cheapest guest houses around Hampi cost around Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,500 per night. The Padma Guest House has room rates beginning at Rs. 800 per night. But the guest house has limited facilities so keep that in mind. A better option would be the Lakshmi Heritage Tourist Home, which costs Rs. 1,200 per night. Though this room doesn't have air conditioning it's relatively cool still plus you get free internet access with it.

    For the attractions around Hampi, there's an entry fee in some of them. For example, the Vithala Temple Complex has an entry fee of Rs. 30 which isn't too bad at all. You can then explore the intricate carvings of the different structures around the complex. For the Virupaksha Temple Complex, there's a minimal entry fee of Rs. 2. There's also a separate camera fee of Rs. 50 if you intend to take some pictures. While the former is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the latter is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There are plenty more that you can explore around Hampi like the Monkey Temple which doesn't require an entry fee. You do need to climb about 500 plus steps to reach the temple though as it is located on a hillock.

    For dining, you can also find some restaurants around Hampi for that. There's the Golden Paradise, located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. They have Indian and Italian cuisines, eating here won't cost more than Rs. 300 for two persons. There's also the Mango Tree Restaurant, specialising in local cuisines. Eating here costs around Rs. 350 per person though so a bit higher.
    • Transportation - Rs. 1,030 and above
    • Accommodation - Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,500
    • Places to Visit - Vithala Temple Complex, Virupaksha Temple Complex, Monkey Temple and many more
    • Dining - Rs. 300 to Rs. 700
    3. Goa - A Backpacker's Paradise

    Goa is easily accessible since it has direct connectivity to Mumbai by bus and to other cities by train. Bus journey is a bit complicated and more pricey though. Buses from Delhi to Mumbai cost around Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,000 per passenger. Then, buses from Mumbai to Goa cost around Rs. 500 to Rs. 800. There are several railway stations in Goa that are directly connected to Delhi too. A Sleeper class of ticket costs Rs. 750 while a Second AC ticket costs around Rs. 2,785. Train is your best option though as it directly drops you off at Goa. Depending on which station you are dropped off, you can just ride either a bus or a taxi to reach your main destination in Goa.

    For accommodations, you can find a wide variety around Goa, from dormitories, beach huts, budget hotels and resorts. For families though, it's recommended to stay at either a budget hotel or budget resort. Usually most beaches or towns have guest houses too where you can stay in. For as low as Rs. 580 per night, you can have a basic room for your family. But resorts priced at Rs. 1,000 per night are also good options as they have better facilities and still won't break the bank.

    There are plenty of places to visit around Goa. Beaches are free to visit here but the best beaches are in the southern part. Cult favourites would be Benaulim Beach, Mobor Beach and Palolem Beach. Baga Beach and Anjuna Beach are in the northern part of Goa, they are mainly crowded though and dirty. For sightseeing, a stroll around Fontainhas won't cost you anything and you can enjoy the Portuguese homes surrounding you. You can also take a stroll around Old Goa to enjoy the Portuguese churches in the region. Island excursions and cruises would cost a bit so it's best to avoid them.

    Benaulim Beach (Image Courtesy of Mouth Shut)

    For dining, there are plenty of beach shacks around Goa and they won't cost more than Rs. 150 per meal per person. You can enjoy fresh seafood dishes along with the sea views. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants around Goa, which won't also burn a hole in your pocket. You can try out the Tourist Inn Restaurant in Old Goa or the Cafe De Ria in Panjim.
    • Transportation - Rs. 750 to Rs. 2,785
    • Accommodation - Rs. 580 to Rs. 1,000
    • Places to Visit - Benaulim Beach, Mobor Beach, Palolem Beach, Fontainhas, Old Goa and many more
    • Dining - Rs. 150 to Rs. 500
    4. Pondicherry - A Little Bit of France in India

    Pondicherry is 2,350 kilometres away from Delhi and as such, there are no direct buses plying to it. You can first reach Chennai by bus, which costs around Rs. 700 to Rs. 1,000. Then, from Chennai, you have to ride another bus to reach Pondicherry, which costs around Rs. 300 to Rs. 500. By train, Pondicherry doesn't have its own railway station. You can reach the Villupuram Railway Station from Delhi and from there, ride a bus or taxi to Pondicherry. Sleeper class costs Rs. 800 for this route while the bus from Villupuram to Pondicherry won't cost more than Rs. 60.

    For accommodations, you can opt for guest houses. They won't cost more than Rs. 1,000 per night and some are even located close to the beach. The Sri Sai Baba Guest House is located near the Aurobindo Ashram and also to the White Town of Pondicherry. Room rates here begin at Rs. 750 per night but they are very basic. The Hotel Sri Sabthagiri has rates starting from Rs. 850 per night. It is located close to the Botanical Garden and the Bus Terminal of the city.

    Most of the beaches around Pondicherry are free to access expect those occupied by higher end resorts. Paradise Beach and Serenity Beach are some of the top-rated beaches in Pondicherry. Since the city was once a French colony, you can find various colonial structures here like the French War Memorial and the Governor's Palace. Numerous churches also line the city like the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. All these attractions are free to visit so you can definitely enjoy your stay here.

    For dining, you are also spoiled for choices. You can find various international cuisines in Pondicherry without having to spend a lot. For Italian cuisine, go to the Don Giovanni's Restaurant, they have the best pastas, lasagnas and pizzas in town. Yet you won't need to spend more than Rs. 300 here for two persons. The New Banana Cafe is also a good option, with its European cuisine along with rooftop views. You won't even need to spend more than Rs. 250 for two persons here.
    • Transportation - Rs. 860 to Rs. 1,000
    • Accommodation - Rs. 750 to Rs. 1,000
    • Places to Visit - Paradise Beach, Serenity Beach, French War Memorial, Governor's Palace, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Conception Cathedral
    • Dining - Rs. 250 to Rs. 300
    5. Dharamshala - An Idyllic Getaway

    Dharamshala is about 480 kilometres away from Delhi. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation operates several buses plying this route directly from Delhi. Bus fares range between Rs. 577 to Rs. 1,240 per passenger. You can also opt for train journey, from Delhi to Pathankot. The cheapest class, Sleeper, costs Rs. 760 per passenger. From Pathankot, Dharamshala is about 88 kilometres away or 2 hours away. You can just ride a bus to reach Dharamshala, which won't cost more than Rs. 83 per passenger.

    Accommodation options around Dharamshala are plenty. Most budget hotels cost between Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000. It's recommended that you choose these budget hotels as they have better facilities and views as well. There's the Hotel Chamunda, which has rates starting from Rs. 880 per night. Hotel Yatri Niwas is also a good option but their rates begin at Rs. 1,100 per night. Hotel Bombay Palace has room rates starting from Rs. 1,200 per night but they are centrally located and the rooms here are very clean too.

    Most attractions around Dharamshala are also free. These attractions include the Dalai Lama Temple, Tibetan Museum and even the Triund Hill. But there are some places like the Norbulingka Insitute and the Tushita Meditation Centre, which require some fee for their complexes. You can also visit the Bhagsu Waterfalls, although it requires some trekking to reach it. Overall, Dharamshala is mainly an idyllic destination with some spiritual centres around it.

    Triund Hill (Image Courtesy of Wandering Wonders)

    Dharamshala is home to many Tibetan settlements so you can find influences of their cuisine in the food here. The Tibet Kitchen serves the best momos and noodles in town, and it won't cost more than Rs. 300 for dining here for two persons. On the other hand, Kailash is a multi-cuisine restaurant serving Indian, Tibetan and Asian cuisines. The rates here are very affordable too at Rs. 400 for two persons.
    • Transportation - Rs. 850 to Rs. 1,500
    • Accommodation - Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000
    • Places to Visit - Dalai Lama Temple, Tibetan Museum, Triund Hill, Norbulingka Insitute, Tushita Meditation Centre and Bhagsu Waterfalls
    • Dining - Rs. 300 to Rs. 400
    6. Kasol - An Offbeat Hill Station Destination

    Kasol is located a few kilometres before Manali. As such, you have the same travel options from Delhi to Kasol as Delhi to Manali. By bus, you can ride a bus going to Manali and be dropped off at Bhuntar. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation operates plenty of buses plying this route. Fares are around Rs. 595 to Rs. 1,259 per passenger. Kasol is merely 35 kilometres away from Bhuntar and buses plying this route won't cost more than Rs. 50. Train journey is also good, but you'd have to be reach the Chandigarh Railway Station. Sleeper class costs around Rs. 175 while Third AC costs around Rs. 490. From Chandigarh, there are buses plying to Bhuntar, bus fares cost around Rs. 599 to Rs. 1,199.

    Budget hotels around Kasol cost around Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 1,500. There are not too many choices but the best budget ones are Hotel Blue Diamond and Hotel Anupam. Rooms for both cost around Rs. 1,250 per night and the surrounding views are quite beautiful. Other hotels are priced above this range but provide quite the same level of comfort and even facilities.

    You can think of Kasol as a less commercialised version of Manali. Here, the Parvati River flows, the counterpart of Beas River in Manali, which looks quite picturesque any time of the day. The Manikaran Sahib is another must visit and don't forget to bathe in its hot springs. You can also explore the villages around Kasol, so you can have that cultural immersion. Must visit villages are Malana, Tosh, Pulga and Chalal. But really, Kasol is a laid-back destination, perfect for just lazing around and enjoying the views around you.

    For dining, there are many cafes and restaurants around Kasol. Since the region is mostly inhabited by Israeli tourists and expats, you can find an assortment of cafes serving Israeli cuisine. There's the Sanjha Chulha Restaurant serving both local and Israeli dishes. You can also try Italian cuisine at Little Italy and Evergreen. All these restaurants won't set you back more than Rs. 350 per person.
    • Transportation - Rs. 700 to Rs. 1,200
    • Accommodation - Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 1,500
    • Places to Visit - Parvati River, Manikaran Sahib and Villages of Malana, Tosh, Pulga & Chalal
    • Dining - Rs. 350 to Rs. 500
    7. Gokarna - The Mini Goa

    Gokarna is about 1,429 kilometres away from Delhi. Your best option for reaching Gokarna is by train. There are direct trains from Delhi to Gokarna Road Railway Station. The fares vary but usually Sleeper class is at Rs. 800 to Rs. 850. From the Gokarna Road Railway Station, you can ride an auto rickshaw or bus to reach Gokarna proper. An auto rickshaw would cost about Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 while a bus is cheaper at Rs. 10 to Rs. 20. You can also opt for bus journey from Delhi to Bangalore and then from Bangalore to Gokarna, however, expect to pay at least Rs. 1,600 for this.

    There are plenty of hotels around Gokarna, ranging from budget ones to luxury ones. Budget hotels cost around Rs. 350 to Rs. 1,500 per night. At the Om Beach Road, there's the Varada International Hotel which has room rates beginning at Rs. 350 per night. Hotel Gokarna International is also located in the same area but has rates starting from Rs. 1,112 per night. Those hotels priced higher are located close to the beach, about a walking distance away.

    You can visit all the beaches of Gokarna without any fee. These are Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Half Moon Beach, Gokarna Beach and Paradise Beach. These beaches are very secluded as compared to Goa and has clean shores and waters too. You can also visit some temples around Gokarna like the Mahabaleshwara Temple and Maha Ganapati Temple.

    Kudle Beach (Image Courtesy of Full of Travel)

    For dining, you also have many options around Gokarna. Most restaurants offer vegetarian dishes to guests, usually in Indian cuisine. The Surya Cafe is a good option, with its seafood dishes and vegetarian dishes. You won't spend more than Rs. 300 for two persons here. There's also the Prema Restaurant, serving Indian and Asian vegetarian dishes to guests. Meals are reasonably priced too and you won't spend over Rs. 400 for two persons.
    • Transportation - Rs. 860 to Rs. 1,600
    • Accommodation - Rs. 350 to Rs. 1,500
    • Places to Visit - Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Half Moon Beach, Gokarna Beach, Paradise Beach, Mahabaleshwara Temple and Maha Ganapati Temple
    • Dining - Rs. 300 to Rs. 400
    Good luck and enjoy your holidays.:)