Cheapest Places to Travel in India
Do you want to see some fabulous places in India, but do not want to spend more on travel? If yes, then there are so many places spread all over India, from beach destinations of Konkan coast to the heartland of Madhya Pradesh, from the sandy dunes of the Thar Desert to the Himalayan foothills. You’ll find cheap guest houses, lodges, and even decent hotels that are not expensive. You’ll get to taste delicious local food, and traveling is also within your budget. So read on and discover some of the budget-friendly and cheapest places to travel in India.
Hampi is a backpacker’s first choice and this is one of the cheapest destinations to visit in India. It was the capital of the Vijaynagara Empire back in the 14th century. It has some stunning monuments that have earned the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage status. Virupaksha Temple, Vijaya Vittala Temple, Queen’s Bath, Elephant Stables, are the places here that are a must-visit. Hotels are cheap from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per night. You can try a Coracle ride on the Tungabhadra River. A typical Karnataka meal will cost you around Rs 500 for two.
This hill station in West Bengal is where you will get unforgettable views of the Himalayan mountain peaks. Budget hotels charge Rs 500 and above, and you get the juiciest momos, thukpas, Nepali thali, for as cheap as Rs 500 or even less. Don’t forget to visit the famous Darjeeling tea gardens, where you can wear the traditional dress worn by tea workers. Going by a toy train from Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, with intermittent stops at Ghum, Kurseong and other high altitude places is an exhilarating experience in itself.
If the beaches in Goa seem too crowded to you, then there’s Gokarna, which is in Karnataka, and less of a touristy place than Goa. Beaches like Om Beach, Paradise Beach, and Nirvana Beach are unspoiled beaches. Gokarna is a land of temples, and the 4th-century Mahabaleshwara Temple is amazingly beautiful and with stunning architecture. You will get budget hotels here with starting rates of Rs 600 per night, and juicy seafood and vegetarian dishes at Rs 600 and even cheaper. Try swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
One of Rajasthan’s best tourist destinations is also one of the cheapest places to travel in India. There are opulent luxury palaces here, and 5-star hotels with rates starting 10000 and above, but you will find budget accommodation too. Some hotels have rooms with traditional Rajasthani décor and they offer it at Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per night. Food is not costly either, and there are cafes, restaurants, street food corners, where you can taste the ethnic cuisine of Rajasthan, together with lip-smacking pizzas, pasta, and lots of international food items.
One of the finest hill stations in India, Shimla is blessed with the gorgeous landscapes of the Himalayas, scenic valleys, ancient temples, and colonial buildings. You will be able to find hotels that offer rooms at under Rs 1000 here, and food is also not very expensive. Tara Devi Temple, The Ridge, Jakhoo Hill Temple, Christ Church, Annandale, Mashobra are some of the best tourist places in Shimla. Try Himachali dishes, or local dishes like Dhaam, Madra, Sidu, Thukpa, and other traditional local Shimla dishes.
Situated in the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer has one of the world heritage forts of Rajasthan – the Golden Fort of Jaisalmer. Most hotels are cheap and offer rooms at less than Rs 1000 per night. Rajasthani meals are inexpensive and a typical meal will cost only up to Rs 500, and you can try Kachori, Dal Baati Choorma, Ker Sangri, Gatte ki Sabji that are simply delicious and tempting. Dunes at Sam and Khuri are perfect for dune bashing and camel safari, and you can visit Lodhruva Temple, Tanot Mata Temple, merchant Havelis like Patwon ki Haveli, and abandoned places like Kuldhara.
Kodaikanal is bewitchingly beautiful, with its gently rolling hills, green pastures, pine forests, lakes, and wildlife. Kodaikanal Lake is best for boating, and there are popular tourist places here like Coaker’s Walk, Pillar Rocks, Silent Valley View Point, which command the most astounding scenery. Besides, Kodaikanal has budget hotels and resorts, within the budget of Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per night. You will find cafes, restaurants serving all cuisines, but go for South Indian Idli Sambar, rasam, upma, parotta which you will get in most hotels as breakfast items.
Explore the virgin and unexplored tourist destination of Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh. It offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range, and the forests of Namdapha National Park are the habitat of hornbills, Black Bears, Clouded Leopards, and many other wild animals and birds. Gompa Buddhist temple is the best place in Itanagar to experience the Buddhist way of living. Hotel room rates start Rs 1500 onwards. Itanagar is the best place to try tribal food of Northeast India like Chura Sabji, Lukter, Pika Pila, etc.
Rishikesh is situated along the River Ganges and is famous for its Yoga Ashrams, temples, spiritual centers, Ayurvedic medicines, and adventure sports. You will get to stay in budget hotels and ashrams at less than Rs 600 per night. Rishikesh is one of the most sacred cities of Uttarakhand, and taking part in the vibrant Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Beatles Ashram, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Ram Jhula are among the several places you can visit in Rishikesh. Samosas, Masala Chai, Jalebi are must-try foods in Rishikesh and you can have them dirt cheap.
Varanasi, on the River Ganges, is the holiest city of India, and it is also one of the most famous tourist destinations and cheapest places to travel in India. Manikarnika Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Kashi Vishwanath Temple are its must-see sites. Boating at dawn or sunset hours is best to see the culture of Varanasi. Many hotels offer rooms at Rs 500 onwards and you will also find good guesthouses and lodges that charge around Rs 300 per night. It is heaven for street food lovers and you will get mouthwatering chats, North Indian food dishes at amazingly cheap rates.
Khajuraho mesmerizes everyone with its temple sculptures and this is one of the most fabulous tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh. You will get decent hotels at Rs 1000 and even less. Temples like Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Matangeshwar Temple, Javari Temple are famous all over India for their intricately carved sculptures. You must attend the Light and Sound Show, and visit Panna National Park or Ken Gharial Sanctuary, which is a close distance from Khajuraho. Local dishes hardly cost Rs 1000 and you get to taste the best of Madhya Pradesh dishes at this rate.
Kasol may be a small village in Himachal Pradesh, but it is full of Himalayan mountain peaks, green valleys, hiking trails, wildlife, and temples. Parvati River flows through Kasol and there are many places where you can pitch a tent and hike through the best valleys and Himalayan Mountains. Malana, Tosh, Manikaran Gurudwara, Kheerganga are some famous places here. You will get good accommodation at under Rs 1000 and you will get good food in cafes and restaurants at Rs 1000 for two.
One of the holiest cities of Rajasthan is also a budget destination of India. Visiting temples, bathing in the ghats, going on a camel safari are the best things you can do in Pushkar. You will find some decent hotels starting at Rs 500/- and accommodation options range from traditional Havelis and village huts to cheap guesthouses, lodges, villas, and resorts. Pushkar is famous for Rajasthani food which is also affordable and cheap. A meal only costs about Rs 500 or even less.
There are so many accommodation options you will get in Amritsar, Punjab’s most famous city. Hotel rooms are cheap at Rs 600 or even less, and you will even get a complimentary breakfast. Amritsar is among the less expensive tourist destinations of North India and it is a mecca for North Indian cuisine. Dhabas are the most famous places to have delicious Parathas, kulchas, lassi, chole bhature, and you will leave with a full stomach by paying less than Rs. 1000 for two. Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, Wagah Border are the best places to see in Amritsar.
Pondicherry is just 3 hours by road from Chennai, and Pondicherry has the best beaches like Paradise Beach, Rock Beach. Auroville Ashram is the best place to visit in Pondicherry, and you will find budget accommodation. You can practice Yoga, meditation and offer voluntary services here. You will find good hostels, guesthouses, and even budget hotels starting at just Rs 500, and the food is reasonably priced too. Most cafes here serve wonderful French food dishes that are easy on the wallet.
The southernmost destination of India is an exciting place to travel on a budget. Hotel and guesthouses will charge around Rs 600 to Rs 1000 for decent accommodation. Kanyakumari Beach, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kumari Amman Temple are the most famous landmarks of Kanyakumari. You can travel through the city by bus, taxi or autorickshaw. At less than Rs 1000, you can get to dine on the most tasteful dishes like Appams, Kothu, Avial, fish curry, and many other delicacies.
Ooty might seem expensive at first glance, but surprisingly, it is also one of the cheapest places you can travel to in India. Budget hotels, guest houses, lodges, resorts, homestays are the available accommodation options in Ooty, and the cheapest ones will be around Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per night. Ooty is one of India’s most famous hill stations and Avalanche Lake, Emerald Lake, Ooty Botanical Gardens, Doddabetta Peak are some famous landmarks of Ooty. You can do boating, hiking, spot wildlife, and lots of other exciting things in Ooty. Meal for two will not exceed Rs 500.
Situated in the Garhwal Himalayas, Nainital is one of the best North Indian tourist destinations. It is in Uttarakhand state, and you get stunning and unhindered views of the Garhwal Himalayas. Naini Lake is perfect for boating, and places like Kilbury, Tiffin Top, Naina Devi Temple are famous places in Nainital. You can get hotel rooms at Rs 1000 in Nainital. Try Tibetan foods like momos, thukpas, sweets, and you can even have burgers, Indian food dishes, at restaurants and cafes at affordable rates.
Another cheap and affordable tourist destination of India is Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital city. You will get so many hotels here that offer decent and clean accommodation rooms at Rs 500 per night. Of course, there are palatial hotels, 5-star luxury palaces, Havelis, homestays, and guest houses to stay in Jaipur. Dotted with three giant forts – Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur is one of the oldest planned cities of India. Meal for two will hardly exceed Rs 500, and Jaipur is one of the best places to have Rajasthani Dal Baati, Kachori, Chaats, and Laal Maas.
One of the cheaper hill stations of Maharashtra, Lonavala has some hotels which offer rooms at Rs 1000 or even lesser rates. You will also find more expensive hotels here, but you can skip that if you want to tour Lonavala on a budget. Lonavala is famous for its chikkis and Maharashtrian cuisine, and you can expect anything between Rs 500 – Rs 1000 for a meal of two. There are spectacular places like Karla Caves, Pawna Lake, Tiger’s Leap, Lohagad Fort, Bhaja Caves in Lonavala. Boating, hiking, mountain climbing, are the best things to do in Lonavala.
If you want to see the Tibetan culture then McLeod Ganj is one of the best places to visit in India. It is close to Dharamshala, and this is where Dalai Lama lives. Tibetan monasteries like Namgyal Monastery, Tsuglagkhang Complex have impressive Tibetan architecture. You will find good hotel rooms in McLeod Ganj at rates starting Rs 600 and cafes and restaurants here serve excellent momos, sandwiches, thukpa soup, noodles at cheap rates not exceeding Rs 1000 for two. Make it a point to see Masroor rock-cut temples, St. John’s Church, and do not forget to explore the local market.
What’s next waiting for you?
The above list of the most budget-friendly and cheapest places to travel in India will definitely help you to explore India within a limited budget. Check out our other India travel guides to discover some of the cheapest places to visit within India.