India is a haven for backpackers of all ages and no matter how much money you’re carrying; you’d discover that some aspect of this beautiful country is ideal for you. So if you’ve been overlooking this part of the world because of a shoestring budget, rejoice and make a flight booking right now, because we’ve put together a list of backpacker-friendly places in India that are full of unique attractions, affordable eats, and rich culture.
One of the most popular hill cities in South India is also one of the most affordable. Because of the several government-operated accommodations, backpackers could find a place to stay for as little as $3 a night. What’s intriguing about Kodaikanal is you get the same luxurious views no matter where you’re staying.
Backpackers often get told that the luxurious travel life isn’t for them and others may not get the experience that they’re able to gain. But sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with getting yourself pampered. Jaipur and Rajasthan offer that luxury. While you’re there, experience the camel safari to see the elegance of the South Asian desert and make a cool memory to take back home.
Is Goa already on your list but you aren’t sure what spot to check out? North Goa’s Anjuna is highly recommended because of its backpacker friendliness. Previously famous for the hippies, the place is now popular for the Curlies beach shack and the flea market that operates of Wednesdays. If you’re looking for a place to stay, Priston Hostel (where travelers are treated as inmates) is a highly recommended options. Others like the Bricks & Bamboo and the Funky Monkey are also loads of backpacker-friendly amenities.
You’ll either not want to go there again or fall in love with it, but every backpacker should experience Varanasi once on their lifetime. The intriguing aspect of this city that all of its rituals are highlighted along ghats near the river, which are used for multiple purposes including practicing religions and bathing. Other than that, you’d be glad to know that Varanasi has many backpacker hostels located near the ghats. We recommend the one situated in Pandey Ghat’s 500-year old mini-palace. Look for the sign or logo that says “Bunked Up Hostel.”
The city was previously called Bombay. Mumbai is the entertainment capital of India. It’s also a critical commercial port and the largest city in this nation. Simply put, the place is a must visit for backpackers. Though it may give the vibe of Los Angeles in certain area’s the city’s appeal extends beyond the charm of Bollywood cinema. Mumbai is global, with a longstanding colonial history and several backpacker-friendly hostels. Additionally, there are loads of activities to keep you busy – ferry rides to exotic local islands, a variety of curries to satisfy your appetite, and an exuberant nightlife that’d make you want to go out and dance the night away.
New Delhi is famous for its political happenings but there’s a lot more to it than what you’ll see in the news. It’s a melting pot of global culture, with residents from all across the subcontinent. The continued growth of this multiculturalism has now become part of living in Delhi. When exploring the streets, you’ll come across everything from fancy mega structures to well-maintained British colonial structures to empires’ past ancient ruins. You’ll also find loads of places to eat on the cheap, with a range of cuisines like Biryani, Butter Chicken, Naan Bread, and more. A diverse and expansive city, the famous autos will help you zip through the ongoing traffic and take you virtually any place you want to visit in New Delhi. The best part? They cost a fraction of what you’ll pay for a taxi in Europe. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the crowded slums, counterculture districts, and the bustling markets that truly show visiting backpackers a little bit of everything that modern and historic India boasts.
India’s West Bengal might be popular, but way above in the Himalayan snow-capped mountains is Darjeeling. It’s a hill station that’s popular for its symbolic railway line and rambling tea assets. It’s one of the most vibrant destinations on this list. Not to mention going up will allow you to breathe in the cool mountain area that’d be a welcome break from the muggy and hot weather of India’s other cities. In Darjeeling, you can immerse in unique eats and get yourself familiar with the locals (the place is mostly comprised of Tibetan-Bengalis). You also have the get the option to experience to the toy train, which is almost a mile above the earth’s surface. Darjeeling has always been a premier destination for backpackers.
If you want to explore India’s southernmost part, go to Kanyakumari. There’s a lot to do, learn and explore there. Getting its name from the temple of Devi Kanya Kumari, it’s a popular destination for pilgrimage as devotes go there to flock Devi Kanya Kumari’s shrines. Besides making a journey to these temples, you can also explore the many other attractions including Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, and more to admire the historic architecture and learn more about their roots. During the journey, don’t forget to explore Sothavilai, Sangthurai, and Thegapattinam coastal areas to fresh and relax. While the city can be visited in any calendar both, it’s best to avoid it during the monsoon season.
This place situated in the Himalayan foothills and is popular for the Ganges flowing down from the top and cutting its way through the Rishikesh town. The river has pure water whose crystal clear nature keep the rocks at the banks maintain. The atmosphere here also contains a touch of spirituality, with evenings having a thousand lambs in the air along with sacred chants. The many spiritual and Yoga retreats in this city only make it more appealing for a backpacker. The place is also reachable by public transport.
Ready to backpack to India?
By now, you probably know more about India’s backpacking gems than you ever did. So stop putting it off your list and book your next flight to this amazing country. Your South Asian adventure awaits.