Tag Archives: Backpacking Rajasthan

Sarah Plummer
Sarah Plummer

November 2015,

I found India Someday just after googling backpacking in India – and I’m so glad I did!

They helped me plan everything that I wanted to do – without feeling like I was on a strict itinerary. I explained that I was a solo female backpacker on a budget and they put together a great itinerary for me that was well within my budget.

They were very helpful via e-mails, really quick to reply, and super friendly – I felt like I was just getting help from good friends!

I was lucky enough to meet Ojas and Harsh in Delhi and Mumbai – and they were both super friendly and fun – they took me out for meals, showed me great local spots, and just made me feel like I was one of their friends.

I can’t say enough nice things about India Someday – I would highly recommend anyone to book through them – I know I definitely will next time I go to India.

Feeling Like Royalty in Udaipur
Feeling Like Royalty in Udaipur

Thank you India Someday for putting me up like royalty for these first couple of cities. The air-conditioned bus (with plush reclining chairs) from Ahmbedabad to Udaipur dropped me on the outskirts of town and I proudly negotiated a 50 Rupee rickshaw ride to the Old City.

My room (or shall I say rooms) at the Madri Haveli, in the master suite, made me feel like a queen. With multiple seating areas to choose from, nooks and crannies with beautifully shaped windows looking out onto the charming old city, a separate regal bedroom, and an eye-catching stone bathroom, larger than my NYC bedroom, replete with a giant tub, two sinks and a great supply of adorable Colgate toothpastes and other toiletries.

I made my way to the rooftop and was awe-struck by the stunning views of the lush mountains, beautiful lakes and enchanting city. I knew I’d be more than content if I never left the grounds and treated myself to some laptop time in what became one of the world’s prettiest offices.

I meandered the busy colorful crooked streets and worked my way towards the quintessential boat ride around Pichola Lake. I entered at Lal Ghat (where all tourists were Indian) and took the 250 Rupee ride around the beautiful waters, staring out onto City Palace and Jagmandir and Jagniwas Islands, quickly gaining a sense of the regal life of India.

Drawn to the green park space nearby, I wandered the windy paths, checked out some sculptures and spotted my first monkey hanging out.


Working my way back to the haveli, I stopped to visit the Jagdish Temple, all dressed up with lights, streamers and statues, and packed with folks celebrating Janmashtami; Lord Krishna’s birthday.

I slipped off my shoes and joined the packed line of exquisitely dressed women in colorful saris to enter the temple, built in 1651. A clay pot dangling high above the open public square, I grew excited for the community celebration that would happen the following eve. For now, it was teeming of people, lots of music, and in the evening, a midnight procession marking the birth of Krishna.

I was thrilled to meet Udaipur artist, Rajesh Soni. In addition to photography, he does beautiful work hand-coloring, in fine detail, others’ digital pictures, many of which were on display in the Madri Haveli Gallery. We drove in his car to the new part of Udaipur, passing the famous Fateh Sagar Lake (or FS as they call it here), where droves of locals go to hang out in the evening, sitting on the waters’ edge and eating at the plentiful food stands across the road. He brought me to a typical Indian thali place where unlimited vegetarian dishes are served by eager waiters. I’m so loving the yogurts and delicious aromatic flavors of each meal more than the next in this country!

Our drive back was insane, his small car in competition with the motorbikes, bicycles, rickshaws, people, cows, goats and who knows what else. The streets are windy, super narrow and barely have room for one car to go by. He had an impeccable sense of the car-size and magically finessed his way through the tightest of squeezes, at impressively high speeds.

I retreated to my royal room and woke to a rooftop breakfast fit for a king. Fresh fruit, black tea, cheese omelette, banana crepes and four pieces of toast with an assortment of jams and that delicious Indian butter. I enjoyed learning that the Amul brand of butter I’ve been loving, started out as a women’s cooperative. Some women started a milk society, collecting milk from everyone’s house, which eventually developed into a large established company.

Ayurvedic Massage

I spent the day having my first Ayurvedic massage, meandering the Udaipur streets and lap-topping atop my glorious shaded rooftop. Struggling to find the place listed in Lonely Planet and overwhelmed by the plenitude of choices, I decided to go with a place in the Lal Ghat area where I was sold on having a woman provide my massage.

Loving a good massage and having experienced some of the best throughout my travels but never an Indian Ayurvedic treatment, I was curious. Throughout my hour of being gently massaged, I was curious if this woman’s work was indeed a good sampling of Ayurvedic massage because if so, I was going to exchange my rupees for bahts and head to Thailand!

Thankfully, the guy who ran this questionable operation, wanted a genuine debrief and had offered earlier to return my money if I wasn’t satisfied. Dissatisfied though I was, I didn’t intend to ask for a refund. We spoke at length about Ayurvedic massage and I much more enjoyed the next half hour of treatment he gave me. Moral of the story is make sure you go to a reputable place, especially if having a woman is important for you. It became clear to me that this woman had no idea what she was doing.

Overall, a restful day in charming, well-touristed Udaipur, the City of Lakes. I loved hearing the sounds of the Krishna celebrations and staring out at those beautiful hills.

Thank you India Someday.

Thank you You Wander We Pay.


India Someday Review of Hem Guest House Jodhpur
India Someday Review of Hem Guest House Jodhpur

Our Experience

Hem guest house is a homestay in Jodhpur. Named after their mother, who conceived the idea of turning their home into a retreat for travellers, the two brothers Vipin and Rishi now run this homestay.

Jodhpur city has few homestays and Hem guest house is definitely part of the top tier. The family lives on the ground floor and the top two floors are for guests. They have a rooftop restaurant which offers a striking view of the Mehrangarh Fort. Not showy or over the top in any way, this simple abode welcomes you with all heart and will go out of it’s way to ensure a happy and satisfied stay and that you leave with a smile.

Whilst there, there was also a group of boys staying there who were to leave for Udaipur the next day and they wished to rent Royal Enfield motorcycles in Udaipur and ride to Pushkar. Now although the brothers (Vipin & Rishi) had come across such a request for the first time, they asked the guys to just give them a few hours. In that time they made every call possible to their contacts in Udaipur and by midnight they had it all arranged. We were really impressed with their effort and conviction!

We dined together with the family and what a delicious meal it was! Very simple vegetarian fare but I found it incredibly yummy. The USP of the guesthouse is their hospitality–Service with a smile.

What we love about Hem Guest House Jodhpur

  • The warmth and hospitality extended towards the guests and the experience of staying with an Indian family
  • View of the Mehrangarh Fort from the terrace
  • Within walking distance from the clock tower and Mehrangarh Fort

What we like about Hem guest house Jodhpur

  • Although compact, the rooms are clean with comfortable mattress, clean linen
  • Clean bathrooms with running hot water
  • The traditional home-cooked food fixed up by the ladies of the house!

What we did not like about Hem guest house

Personally there isn’t anything that we did not like. But we noticed that two of the guestrooms open into the kitchen and may disturb guests if things get too loud in the kitchen.

Hem Guest House is ideal for

  • Budget travellers
  • Single travellers
  • Travellers looking for a homestay experience

Rates and Details for Hem Guest House

  • The room rates in season start from INR 1600 for a Standard room with Breakfast. They also offer discounts on non-ac rooms and for single travellers.
  • Contact Person: Mr Vipin Jain/ Mr Rishi Jain
  • Website:  http://hemguesthouse.com/
  • Trip advisor Reviews of Hem Guest House Jodhpur: Click here

To plan your thoughtful and economical trip across Rajasthan, contact us

India Someday Review of Zostel, Udaipur
India Someday Review of Zostel, Udaipur

Hostels are a common phenomenon abroad and the trend is now slowly, and much to our delight, catching up in India too. Zostel is one such backpacker’s haven. We spent a night at the Zostel in Udaipur and were floored! The atmosphere was young and vibrant with most of the dorms occupied even though it had been just over a week since it opened.

We initially were booked in a mixed dorm but were upgraded to a lake facing room after I completely fell in love with it! A sparkling, pristine room with super comfortable bedding and a commanding view of the lake. It couldn’t get any better, but it did! Being Manchester United fans we were pining to see the Premier league match and Aviral, the property manager and a fellow fans obliged us and screened the match in the rooftop restaurant and amidst pints of beers and loud cheers, yummy spring rolls and a great game which we won! We had the perfect evening.

Another plus here is the terrace atop the restaurant which is the clear winner of the best view of Lake Pichola from a rooftop. It is such a serene experience.

What we love about Zostel

  • The rooms and dorms were spic and span. Although it’s being run by young guys the place does not look like a bachelor’s pad!
  • You can chill, relax and be in your own zone and at the same time find company when you feel like chit-chatting
  • The view!

What we like about Zostel, Udaipur

  • The staff is courteous and helpful.
  • It is literally a stone’s throw away from the City Palace and Jagdish Mandir.

 What we did not like

  • They offer an All-you-can eat buffet breakfast for INR 100 however the choices we felt were limited as they have eggs but just boiled and there was only tea, no coffee or juice.
  • The guy in the kitchen on the morning shift seemed a tad grouchy. We asked him for a cup of coffee but he did not seem eager to entertain us and as we were in a rush to leave we did not bother much; guess he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed 😉

Not all private rooms have the same lake view. Our room had complete clear glass panes covered with thick drapes; some rooms have a just a single window with a view.

 Zostel, Udaipur is ideal for

  • Backpackers
  • Single travelers
  • Young couples

 Rates and details for Zostel

  • The dorms are priced at INR 549 per bed per night. The prices of the private room varies with the travel season. Starts from INR 1999.
  • Contact Person: Aviral or Paawan Nanda
  • Website: http://zostel.com/zostel/Udaipur/
  • Trip Advisor reviews of Zostel Udaipur: Click here

To plan a thoughtful and economical trip across Rajasthan, contact us

Hostel-hopping through Rajasthan
Hostel-hopping through Rajasthan

A true Backpacking Experience in India

Another blog entry written by Nicky Millar, for more about who she is, and about her awesome travel/volunteering adventure check her blog.

Bizarrely, despite the large backpacker contingency in India the idea of hostels is still relatively new. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of any dormitory-type options when I was traveling in the south! In saying that though, the places we did stay at were truly exceptional and I think that it is a concept that will grow exponentially in the coming years.

When it comes to travelling on a Budget, hostels  in North India can be a great option

Travelling on a budget, myself and two other girls opted to stay in the cheapest options available (mixed/female only large dormitories) and throughout the adventure we felt completely safe and never once did I worry about my possessions as there were always secure lockers available! The biggest “problem” (if you can even call it that) was the limited hot water, as geysers tended to be small and you had to constantly turn the water on and off to wait for it to heat up again. Other than that I would, without hesitation, stay at these places again were I given the choice! This is even despite the fact that it was sometimes actually more expensive (when traveling in a group, one can tend to get a room for Rs 600 that you can then split whereas the bunks were about Rs 450 to Rs 550 on average) because for me, the atmosphere of communal areas and being able to meet like-minded travelers is priceless!

The Hostels we stayed at

While traveling in the north we were lucky enough to stay at (in my opinion) the three leading hostel chains in the country, therefore I will try give a brief summary of each and their specific standout features.

ZOSTEL (Jodhpur)

Perhaps the smallest of the three, it was a great introduction to the hostel scene! All the facilities were completely up to scratch and the common room, right slap bang as you walked in, was particularly inviting. It did not take much to feel like you were at home and between socialising with other travelers and needing to use their main computer for personal reasons (for a really long time), the staff were always super helpful and accommodating!

    • Side note: if you are unable/unwilling to go to this hostel I would recommend Yogi’s Guest House. Although we did not stay there, the lady was exceptionally helpful and provided some amazing advice for planning our camel safari. Having only spent a couple of hours there, in addition to the wonderful owner, I can vouch for an amazing rooftop restaurant and a prime location!


Opening a mere 3 weeks before our arrival, the staff were truly outstanding! Not only were the ensuite rooms comfortable and the breakfasts sublime, but everyone went out of their way to make our stay the most enjoyable it could be! From planning 3 separate itineraries for us (we were all parting ways at some point and needed to make individual travel arrangements), organising an auto to pick us from the bus stand/show us around the city, to socialising with us in the evenings—they were a top notch team!

STOPS (Varanasi)

By far the most organised hostel we stayed at, with a daily itinerary of tours (small additional costs) and nightly events from boat cruises to Bollywood nights, this is easily the best place to meet people! The common areas are vast, funky and always busy while also maintaining a sense of calm and a lovely homey feel! Breakfasts and evening chai are included and make for great debrief/planning sessions with fellow travelers. Whats more, there is an “intern program” where foreigners work here for a couple of hours a day and receive free board—which, in addition to being something that one can consider doing yourself, means that there are travelers like you who have been in Varanasi for at least 1 month and have some fabulous tips and tricks to share!

Conclusion: Our take on staying in Hostels in India

Overall, I genuinely enjoyed all of these places and as implied before, would not hesitate to recommend them (and even though I didn’t stay in their other counterparts, I can only imagine that that the Zostel in Udaipur, for example, is just as great)! The only drawback that I can think of, and it is common for all the hostels, is that they tend to be further out of the city than other guest houses. So on average you will have to spend about Rs 100 to get an auto into the centre, which is easy enough of course but just something to bear in mind.

While we traveled independently the help provided by my travel companion’s friends travel agency India Someday was invaluable. Booking our Varanasi to Agra train ticket, putting on a comfortable bus from Mumbai to Udaipur, recommending this awesome new hostel in Jaipur. If you are pressed for time and wish to have a security net while travelling in India we can highly recommend them. They are unlike the traditional travel agencies you’d find.

Budget Backpacker tour of Delhi-Agra-Rajasthan
Budget Backpacker tour of Delhi-Agra-Rajasthan

Tour overview

This is a 14-16 day North India tour that is ideal for young travelers looking to backpack across Northern India. You will travel across Rajasthan, visiting the magical desert town of Jaisalmer, the beautiful blue town of Jodhpur, the city of lakes i.e. Udaipur, the spiritual town of Pushkar and more.


Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Pushkar – Delhi

Route on googlemaps

Contact us to know more about this tour, or book/customize this tour

Modes of transport for North India budget tour

This is an economical tour as your primary mode of travel would be trains. Trains are fast, dependable and great way to both experience North India and interact with Indians. We love travelling by train and the feedback from our travelers has invariably been that it was a delightful cultural experience and comfortable (Especially when travelling A/C class).

Where will you stay?

A mix of hostels that are very safe, fun and a good place to meet other travelers, home stays and small guest houses. In Jaisalmer you can camp in the desert. The mix of accommodation would again ensure your trip is very budget friendly and at the same time you are staying at very safe places where you meet other travelers or live with an Indian family.

Cost of the tour

The cost of the tour would vary between USD 400 (Euros  310) to USD 550 (Euros  430) per person depending on the following

  • What time of the year you are travelling
  • If you prefer to always travel by A/C train (or sleeper class is fine)
  • If you like having a private room at all times (or dorms are perfect)
  • If you are travelling alone or a couple/group

The cost includes

  • Overnight stay throughout your trip
  • All train tickets
  • Taxi and driver between cities when train is not possible
  • India Someday planning and bookings fees
  • All taxes

Let us know how many travelers you would be and your wishlist and we will can help you plan your trip.

Highlights of travels in North India

It is often said that India is not a holiday, but an experience. Travelling across North India will leave you with memories of a lifetime. Highlights of your India experience will vary from traveller to traveer, but here are some highlights that you can look forward to.

1. The awe-inspiring Delhi City

Delhi can be overwhelming, but at the same time it is very. With centuries of history, interesting architecture and great food you can expect to see a mix of charm and bustle in  Old Delhi and a glistening manicured lawns in New Delhi. Getting around Delhi can be surprisingly easy with the amazing new Metro system.

Click here to read impressions of Delhi as experienced by your young travelers from Austria

2. The endless Desert and magical town of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is truly worth the effort it takes to get there. You’ll be taking an overnight train from Jaipur to reach Jaisalmer. The old city is beautiful, crafted in rock, stone and sand. It is by the edge of a vast desert where you’ll spend the nights, after watching the most amazing sunsets.

3. Riding the Indian Trains

Trains in India are a fascinating experience. There is a distinct buzz of energy at the railway stations, and you get lovely chai on the trains. You get to see Indian families and often interact with them. As the train moves between your destinations you get beautiful views of the Indian countryside and little villages.

4. Mouth watering North Indian food

For a foodie, India is the ultimate paradise. You can treat yourself to amazing naans (Indian bread) and curry, lassi, Indian sweets and more. At your homestays you will definitely enjoy some of the best Indian food. Do remember, Indian food can be a little spicy.

5. Meet locals and fellow travellers

Since you will be staying at a mix of hostels and hotels during your tour across North India you would get to meet both Indian families and a lot of other travellers during your trip.

6. Of course! The Taj Mahal

You would be visiting the Taj Mahal. Do not miss the Agra Fort or the Baby Taj while you are in Agra.

Click here to read impressions of Agra as experienced by your young travelers from Austria

7. Udaipur, The Romantic Lake city

One of your last stops will be at the beautiful lake city of Udaipur. The following image might give you a glimpse of how beautiful it is.

Contact us to help you plan your India trip

The following tour can be customized to the no. of days you are looking at travelling or places you’d like to see. In fact, we can help you plan trips to anywhere in India irrespective of your budget.

Click here to read some of our reviews and get in touch with us to discuss your trip.