This one is for all the budget travellers out there. This article, listing India’s cheapest destinations for a weekend away, is ixigo’s dedication to the travellers who scour for the best of deals, travel in off-season to cut down on expenses, who would rather hop aboard a state-run bus or public transport than their SUVs, who want more out of life without splurging money. In a true backpacker’s fashion, these are the most ardent of travellers, the backpackers.
So, with a bow to all of you out there, here’s the first post in this monthly series of India’s best budget destinations that are accessible from some of the major cities in India.
A weekend at this new hippie hot spot in Uttarakhand would not dent your pocket by more than INR 5000 if you wish. At just 225 km from Delhi, Rishikesh is well-connected by state as well as privately owned buses, including the plush volvos as well as deluxe ones (tickets ranging from INR 150 to INR 650 for one way).
With the mushrooming of a host of backpackers’ options and ashrams, you can get a room for less than INR 150 for a day. Adequately comfortable, most of these places sprawl by the side of River Ganga, the beaches of which are more than just perfect for a getaway. Include rafting or bungee jumping (easily doable from the stash of INR 5000 that you would still have with you) or go trekking!
Minimum Amount Incurred Commuting (x2) + Stay (IN/2D) + Food —> 300 + 150 + 1000 = 1450
Amount left for you to splurge —> 5000 – 1450 = 3550
At just 85 km from Trivandrum, Kanyakumari is as gorgeous as ever. It still sees throngs of sleepy-eyed travellers waiting by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in the mornings to catch the rising Sun. A perfect weekend getaway from Trivandrum, it’s easy on pocket too.
With a number of good, budget hotels offering rooms at INR 800 a day and connectivity from Trivandrum via trains (starting INR 86) and buses (starting INR 250), Kanyakumari is a budget travellers’ delight. As to what awaits you here, there is surfing, trekking, those gorgeous sunsets and sunrises and a chance to have a slow holiday, doing nothing at all.
Minimum Amount Incurred On Commuting (x2) + Stay (IN/2D) + Food —> 172 + 800 + 1000 = 1972
Amount left for you to splurge —> 5000 – 1972 = 3028
Ever wondered how and why Varanasi has become a hippie town, with backpackers making this city their homes for months and even years? First is the amazing range of things that you can do here, right from learning Indian classical music to yoga and spirituality. Second is the dirt cheap accommodation, food and transport costs!
While you can easily get a stay option for less than INR 200 (or less) a day at Varanasi, it’s well-connected to almost all the major cities in India. Getting a train to Varanasi from Delhi is the cheapest option; fare starting from INR 326. A quick trip to Sarnath can also be clubbed with this one. Sounds like a perfect under INR 5000 trip!
Minimum Amount Incurred on Commuting (x2) + Stay(IN/2D) + Food —> 652 + 200 + 1000 = 1852
Amount left for you to splurge —> 5000 – 1852 = 3148
If you are in or around Delhi and are eager to get away from the city din for a weekend, Mcleodganj is a great budget option. While the hotel tariffs can come down to as low as INR 200 for a day if you wish to stay at Naddi or Dharamkot, INR 300 will get you a decent, comfortable accommodation in Mcleodganj. Staying at Dharamkot also brings in more things to do like learning jewellery designing or dabbling in Tai Chi!
Starting from INR 505 a ticket, direct buses from Delhi to Mcleodganj are the most affordable option. Plush volvo buses are also frequent on the route, with the ticket prices at around INR 1000. A hippie town with lots of good food and astonishing views awaits you for the weekend. A trekking trip to Triund (no guide required) is a smart deal for budget travellers looking for some action.
Minimum Amount Incurred on Commuting (x2) + Stay (IN/2D) + Food —> 1010 + 300 + 1000 = 2310
Amount left for you to splurge —> 5000 – 2310 = 2690
A fast emerging destination for bouldering, Hampi has been a long time favourite with travellers from all around the world. A city of ruins, it’s India’s very own Petra. Perhaps, more beautiful than Petra can ever be. Lying on two sides of Tunghabhadra River, Hampi has a charm that will leave you mesmerised. A backpackers’ haven, Hampi should be on your travel list for a weekend if you are anywhere around Bengaluru.
Around INR 800 for a day’s stay at a hotel and INR 500 if you opt for a homestay, Hampi is surprisingly affordable. A train ticket from Bangalore to Hospet (the nearest rail head to Hampi) starts from INR 150 (additional INR 50 from Hospet to Hampi), while a 5-6 hours bus journey will make you shell out INR 500. With a culture that is as varied as its architecture and history, Hampi is for those who wish to do nothing more than a boat ride in the river that is perhaps the only thing constant here.
Minimum Amount Incurred on Commuting (x2) + Stay (IN/2D) + Food —> 400 + 500 + 1000 = 1900
Amount left for you to splurge —> 5000 – 1900 = 3100
If you have a destination idea for this monthly series of 5 Budget Getaways Under INR 5000 in India, we would love to hear from you and include your entry here. Do leave your answers, suggestions or anything else that you would like us to know in the comments section below.
Till then, happy travelling.
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*All amounts in INR.
* All calculations are done keeping the lowest possible tariffs, fare and a constant of INR 1000 for food. A change in tariffs and fare is possible over time.
* The calculations are done by adding the costs for commuting, stay and food, and deducting the sum total from 5000 to arrive at the amount left in the end.