Travel tales are perhaps one of the worthiest life musings. Alas though, a fairytale travel experience is more fantasised and less lived by even enthusiastic travelers who have to constantly watch out for living within a budget. But money does not really count the fulfillment brought about by a travel sojourn well done. If you know to plan right and plan good, you can have the best of experiences to share even when you are low on cash. Among the world famous travel destinations, India is a virtual wonderland with its diversity and with its affordability. Unparalleled in natural beauty and unrivaled in the most awesome of experiences, India is every inch a traveler’s paradise. Here are 18 cheapest places to still travel to in India even when you are worried about your tight budget-
#1 Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Spirituality runs deep and prominently through the many alleys of life in Varanasi. Yet outside the somber, rustic vibes of Varanasi, rests a place that is as bustling in vibrancy as any other. Varanasi has that vibe of realism, one that lets you introspect and find inroads into your own soul.
The city is an amalgamation of the most diverse elements morphed into one seamless entity, which makes it such a delight to just wander about and explore. In its fascination rests the remarkable spirit of the city that entices even with its chaos. In the many ghats and temples lining the city you will find a certain peace that will resonate in your deepest confines. But spirituality isn’t the only thing about Varanasi. The city is home to some really amazing and distinctive street food that also comes very cheap. Homestays are also pretty affordable and the travelling experience here is bound to be different than any other!
Famed as the French Riviera of the East courtesy its rampant French influence, Pondicherry is one really quaint and peaceful town that makes it count also as one of the cheapest places to travel in India. You can be in this nook that feels like heaven and amble along its lengths and breadths, just soaking in the calm and quietude. Obviously with the best thing to do while at Pondicherry being lazing about, you don’t need to worry about shelling out much money. A stay at the Aurobindo Ashram will further ease your budget worries, while endowing you also with all the peace of spirituality. What’s more, even alcohol is dirt cheap here meaning you can go from nice to spice at ease!
#3 Ooty, Tamil Nadu
With delectable locally made chocolates available so cheap at Ooty, we really don’t care how much cheaper anything else about this place is! Varieties of cocoa butter delights make this calm hill station an even more charming place to be in. After all, everything is better with chocolates and more chocolates. Even then, with really affordable accommodation and equally cheap food stuff, Ooty is really one of the cheapest places to travel in India.
#4 Alleppey, Kerala
Renowned as the Venice of the East, Alleppey is one idyllic place in the southern part of India that is famous for tranquility permeating through its sparkling backwaters. Cruising around in the most carefree manner, taking in its vibrant simplicity is the way to live in Alleppey. Whether you choose to live in one of the many houseboats or make your way through the roaming canoes, you can have your own cheap way in Alleppey.
#5 Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
The little Lhasa of India, Mcleodganj in Himachal Pradesh is the hamlet that has a quaint appeal of its own. Tibetan influence is very prominently discernible in the elements pervading the cold confines of this hill station. Magical monasteries, tinkering temple bells and clouded skies make up for a really surreal experience here in town. Higher on the trail of Mcleodganj lies Triund that is as magnificent a beauty to behold. The simplistic way of life here sets the course for a lifestyle that comes cheap and pure.
#6 Hampi, Karnataka
Bewitching and besotted with beauty, Hampi in Karnataka might be a small town but is easily one of the most magical tourist destinations in India. Being a small town however helps Hampi being one of the cheapest places to travel in India. Be it the burgeoning grandeur of the boulders or the tinkling bells of the numerous temples, Hampi never fails to fascinate. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the countryside of Hampi is best explored on a bicycle which means you have virtually zero transportation cost while in town! Laidback and charming, Hampi indeed is the place to be, irrespective of whether you are on or off a budget.
#7 Kolkata, West Bengal
The Indian city of Kolkata is one such landscape that holds an old worldly charm of its own. A wonderful mix of modernity seeping in through the roots of the traditional defines the opulence in the commonplace of this part of West Bengal.
Forever a land of art and culture and architecture, of warmth and hues, of celebrations and festivities, and of course food and fun, Kolkata beckons you into its fold with its myriad offerings and sentiments that makes it the country’s City of Joy. Indeed a joyous city it is, with its amazing and cheap mishtis, very affordable lifestyle, efficient and low cost public transportation, a riot of colors and adventure making it a true traveler’s paradise. Among the cheapest places to travel in India, Kolkata sure is the city that defines love!
#8 Kalimpong, West Bengal
Close to Kolkata lies Kalimpong, another sleepy little town that is a haven to seek relaxation in. Panoramic and peaceful but hustling and bustling with its bazaars, the offbeat hill station is nothing short of a wonderland. The off centric attention however also means a sparse crowd that manifests in cheaper staycations and transportation as well as food. Kalimpong might be lesser explored but as one of the cheapest places to travel in India, the town sure has all it takes to assert prominence.
The north eastern state of Meghalaya isn’t known as the abode of the clouds for no reason whatsoever. Once you set foot on its hilly terrain you will be taken aback by the swarm of magnificent clouds hovering along the picturesque landscape. Rains and romance come pretty easy in Meghalaya which makes it the perfect place to cosy up and have the best time of your lives without even doing anything! Beating the summer heat at also one of the cheapest places to travel in India is a luxury worth indulging in at least once in your lifetime and at no extra cost.
#10 Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Forever revered as the Queen of Hills, Shimla is one tourist destination that does not really require any other charm to be as enticing as she is. Majestic mountains, pristine prettiness, greenest gazings, awestruck allure and taken aback tourists who revel at every wonder this beautiful land has to offer dot the Shimla landscape in virtually every time of the year.
Nestled in the lap of the equally breathtaking Himachal Pradesh and besotted with the enchanting view of the mighty Himalayas, Shimla stands true to its reputation as being a place of teeming beauty. Steeped in elegance and in buoyed hues of the riches of nature, Shimla is a traveler’s paradise, a gliding show of exuberance and one that does not really require any specific season to be worthy of viewing.
The charm of hill stations also come easy when you set out on your date with the iconic Himachali hamlet. With relatively cheap accommodation and cheaper food, you can thrive even on a low budget amidst all that magnificent beauty. Imagine experiencing the first snow fall of the season and not having to worry about losing out on the warmth of that fat wad of notes. Bliss! And that’s what Shimla blesses you with in its every aspect. Whether as among the cheapest places to travel in India or as being one of the most beautiful, Shimla will win you over.
#11 Amritsar, Punjab
Even with the infectious Punjabi verve and the vibrant spiritual spirit, Amritsar is a place which might not be the quintessential tourist destination. But if you are looking for budget places to satiate the travel bug, this land of the Golden Temple can be the place to be in. Whether it be staying at the Golden Temple itself and savouring the langar there or having your fill at the city’s many inexpensive eateries, Amritsar will have you at peace- in spirituality as well as in a very fulfilling travel experience lived on a budget.
#12 Sakleshpur, Karnataka
A look into the southern regions of India and you will discover such thrilling locations that will make you one of the most avid travel buffs. Among such amazing places is Sakleshpur, a sleepy town since forever that has only recently emerged as one among the go to hill stations for every spirit in search of some peace. With lush coffee plantations bearing the aroma of its reputation, this pretty town in Karnataka is now one of the go to destinations for travelers. But perhaps because it remains relatively lesser known and hence lesser exploited, Sakleshpur makes it matter as another one of the cheapest places to visit in India.
#13 Thachi Valley, Himachal Pradesh
If you are dying to be on a sojourn to some place unexplored but don’t have enough bucks for it, then Thachi Valley is the place for you. Especially when it’s the majestic view of the mighty mountains in your mind, this Himachali hamlet will have you in awe with its beauty and also it being one of the cheapest places to travel in India.
Its adventurous terrains that nestles more in spirit than in luxury also makes it a really well budgeted place to escape to. A wooden cottage that comes real cheap manifests in Thachi’s humble existence as a pristine place to explore that is not yet your regular tourist hub. That, despite the fact that it is breathtakingly beautiful, both in sun and in snow, makes it clear that money is not the factor in this pretty hamlet. Your detour to Thachi would be a rich experience, bought cheap!
Even when Orissa remains high on the tourism radar, it is somehow frequented less by travelers. But with its diverse offerings and reputation as being one of the cheapest places to travel in India, Orissa should definitely be on your travel list. Be it food or stay and connectivity, you don’t need to worry about anything while you set out to explore the rich cultural heritage and many temples characterising the town. Odisha sums up the ideal travel experience every travel buff would be delighted to have.
#15 Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The Yoga Capital of the world, Rishikesh is high on adventure and low on cost and remains steeped in the solace of spirituality. Cheap accommodations and cheaper food are done good by a strictly alcohol free dictum making it among the cheapest of places to travel in India. With so many catches of adventure and on budget, Rishikesh is the place to visit for every kind of traveler.
#16 Nainital, Uttarakhand
Spanning the misty appeal of the mighty Himalayas, Nainital sits pretty as a hill station that is very much a tourist hotspot. The pretty views and pristine aura makes Nainital a place to seek beauty in at low expenses, if you do your trip during the off season. In fact the place is so much an enthralling wonder to behold every time of the year that you really do not miss out on much even when you are there outside the peak season. And it isn’t just food and stay, even boating and paddling come relatively cheap here.
#17 Gokarna, Karnataka
Gokarna might be touted as the poor man’s Goa but this town on the Arabian Sea is no way any less resplendent in natural wonder as some of the other more illustrious names. In fact with its less crowded beaches and fairly affordable beach shacks, Gokarna is worth more than what it costs. Whether it be the amazing beach views or the splendid sunsets, Gokarna enthralls even outside its fame as a Hindu pilgrimage site. A peaceful retreat that also goes easy on the pockets, Gokarna is the place to go for all those tranquility- starved souls.
#18 Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Okay, Andaman and Nicobar isn’t cheap per se. But when you live in a country that has such an exotic location in the backyard, you definitely get the perks. Given that the twin islands are a really breathtaking sight to behold, with the appeal no less than any international hotspot, a trip to Andaman and Nicobars does indeed come cheap.
Pristine blue skies merging into the coolest waters beneath, the very tropical view, the romance of the sun kissed beaches- any visit to this pair of pristine islands is worth every penny you spend. And when you know to chart out your own itinerary, in advance and at convenience, you really can have the cheapest of deals. What’s more you can have your best bet at exploring the beauty of the place with a very old worldly kinda experience if you choose to stay at one of the many beach cottages that come at, hold your breath, as low as INR 500!