Tag Archives: North India backpacking

Backpacking in India – Here’s what you need to know!
Backpacking in India – Here’s what you need to know!

India is a dream destination for backpackers! You can easily travel on a low budget and experience a distinctive culture unlike any other. From staying with friendly families in homestays or other backpackers in dorms of hostels to travelling like a local on inexpensive train journeys, Backpacking in India will offer you an adventure of a lifetime.

 

Why is India so inexpensive?

There are multiple reasons as to why traveling in India is so inexpensive.  A not so strong currency, a great network of public transport and cheap food options make India such a low budget travel destination.

Hostel stay in India should not cost more than 6 – 8 Dollars a night. Even transport on  A/C trains and buses will not set you back by more than 15-20 dollars a journey.

India is a food haven for vegetarian and has a few interesting options for meat eaters too.  The meal costs in India are ridiculously low and a budget of USD 15 should be enough for all meals. For more infos on costs of travelling in India here.

 

How Tough is it to do Backpacking in India?

A lot of backpacker hostels, budget home-stays and economic public transport makes India a very backpacker-friendly destination. However backpacking in India is cheaper/more expensive based on the region you would be visiting.  For example Rajasthan is easier to backpack in than the North-east or on unbeaten paths in central India. South India has a great infrastructure and local transport but accommodations are more expensive. Hotels in Mumbai are expensive too but the food is very cheap.

 

Why should you choose India for your backpacking adventure?

Of course one of the main benefits of backpacking in India is the fact that one doesn’t need to break the bank for a satisfying journey. But there is so much more to the travel experience in India . You can experience a very distinctive culture unlike anything you find elsewhere. The bright colours and interesting details of everyday life , the variety of religions and respective customs, the landscapes and nature, the traditional architecture and interesting stories behind it, the dynamics of the young generations and the wisdom of the elderly – this all makes India an experience of a lifetime. Furthermore, travelling in India definitely pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you run into situations you never thought you would be in: Dancing and singing with locals on a night train, eating spicy food you actually enjoy,  being the centre of a selfie with local kids or sleeping under detailed wall decorations which are centuries old. Many of our guests had the time of their lives in India. Read their testimonials here. 

 

How much can you see in two weeks of backpacking in India?

Two weeks in India is ample time to explore one region well.  On a fast paced trip you could see a little more.  In North India you could explore Delhi,  Rajasthan and Agra (Taj Mahal). This is probably the most popular tourist circuit in the country.   Start off in the capital, followed by a visit to the Taj Mahal and the culturally rich cities of Rajasthan.

The places you would be visiting on this route are rich in history, culture and architecture.  Great rail and road network and abundance of budget hotels, home-stays and hostels make North India a backpacker friendly region. Find an example tour with details here.

North India is also home to places of spiritual importance.  You could start this route in Delhi and visit Amritsar which is home to the Golden Temple. The Golden Temple is the most important site of worship in Sikhism.  You can then make your way north to Dharamshala which is home to the Dalai Lama and the in-exile Tibetan government.  From Dharamshala travel to Rishikesh, the Yoga capital of the world and home to a lot of adventurous activities like river-rafting and bungee jumping.

Click here for a detailed list of options on traveling for two weeks in North India.

South India is very different from the North, beautiful in every sense of the word. South India is  blessed  with beautiful beaches,  forests and  great food. It is also a great region for backpacking despite higher accommodation rates.

You can fly into Mumbai  and start your trip there. It is possibly the most expensive city in the country and a not a very touristic city. There aren’t many budget accommodation options in Mumbai. Backpackers tend to like it due to its authenticity.  From Mumbai make your way south to Goa.  Goa is full of beautiful beaches, gorgeous churches and Portuguese colonial architecture. Inexpensive alcohol, great sea-food and relaxed laws are the reasons why Goa is extremely popular among Indian and international travellers.  A bus ride later you can be in Hampi, a relaxed backpacker town known for it’s ruins and interesting rock formations. Hampi is a great place to bike around. You can then travel to Kerala with a stop in Mysore (known for it’s palace and great food). Find out more about this trip here. 

Kerala is one of the most visited states in South India blessed with hill-stations amidst tea plantations, waterfalls, national parks and the backwaters.  You can take the state bus/trains in Kerala to travel and most places have enough budget accommodation options. There aren’t many hostels but low priced homestays make up for it. Tamil Nadu, their neighbouring state has great Tempel complexes and colonial cities. Click here for a detailed list of options on traveling for two weeks in South India.

How much can you see in four weeks backpacking in India?

The rise of e-visa has led to a lot of travelers visiting India for a month since Backpacking in India is extremely inexpensive compared to some other countries.

You could either choose to spend your month in North India and explore Delhi, Rajasthan, Agra and places like Dharamshala, Amritsar and Rishikesh.  This route is extremely popular among backpackers visiting India for a month because of easy travel connections and budget accommodation options.

A lot of travelers also choose to combine North and South India.  Flying into Delhi, visit Agra and make their way south to Rajasthan, Mumbai, Hampi, Goa and Kerala.  If you have a month and would like to experience the cultural richness of the north and the great landscapes of the south, this is the route we recommend. Click here for a detailed list of options on traveling to India for 4 weeks.

 

Why should a backpacker like you pay for the services of India Someday?

Being such a unique place, travel planning can be quite an overwhelming challenge in India. Even the most experienced traveler reaches its limits in India due to the vast selection of places to visit, travel routes, accommodations, experiences and the complexity of transport.

With India Someday you can get the right amount of assistance to help you plan your backpacking adventure in India without breaking the bank. With no hidden costs and a highly personalised service, we can make sure that your Indian adventure is well thought out as well as cost-effective. We guarantee you that we won’t charge more for the hostels and hotels than the rates you can find online and due to our extensive knowledge and experience we know the most inexpensive route and transport options for you.

This is how we can support your backpacking adventure:

  • Travel planning according to your budget
  • Transparent Pricing with detailed cost break down
  • Flexible travel planning with you in control
  • Fast & immediate support during your travels
  • Tips for sightseeing & experiences

If you want to get the best out of your backpacking adventure in India plan your trip with us now. 


India Someday North India budget group tour detailed plan
India Someday North India budget group tour detailed plan

We promise you a tour that is the right mix of ‘Understanding India, Experiencing India and Exploring India’

Understanding India– India evokes a million questions! Religion, the cows, arranged marriage, the food, the culture, the famed Indian weddings and more. It usually takes a life-time understanding it all, but we will try our best to explain in fourteen days 😉

Experiencing India– We’ve included activities ranging from slum tours to cooking classes, Bollywood dancing to a rural visit,  we’re sure this will help you experience India through active participation, rather than just looking at monuments and sights

Exploring India– You will see a lot and do a lot and we will be around, but we DO NOT plan on holding your hand all the way, or keeping you under strict schedules. Expect time in each city to explore/do things on your own too.

An overview- Day to day plan for India Someday Group Tour

Do not worry! We do not have a daily 9 am to 9 pm agenda on our trip. But we do want to give you an overview of your time in India in terms of

  • Things to see and do in each city
  • Which activity will be in which city
  • Amazing spots/monuments that we will stop at while driving between cities
  • Optional activities, that are worth knowing about (You can sign up for them in India)

Day 1– Mumbai: Introductions, Easy Sightseeing and Nightlife

What Mumbai (or Bombay as we locals still like to call it) lacks in monuments it makes up for in energy and a distinct city vibe. Bombay usually strikes most travelers as a both a crazy and yet a very likable city.

We will start your morning a little slow with introductions (as some of you maybe jet lagged) and then venture out to explore the city. We will use a mix of public transport (trains, buses and taxis) to explore a bunch of touristy and non-touristy sights. We will be with you throughout this day.

Some of the possible highlights would be the Jain Temple, with lovely sea views, a very cute (free entry) Gandhi museum, a very interesting open air laundry (dhobi ghat) and just in general just being plugged into the city riding buses with locals and seeing the craziness on the streets of Mumbai first-hand.

Lest we forget, an introduction to some local Indian food.

While some of you might be tired, since it is Saturday night we would love to show some of the city’s nightlife! It makes for a very different experience, seeing the affluent and young party side of Mumbai.

Mumbai Stay – Mumbai is an expensive city, Travelers Inn (Reviews), is very centrally located and clean, but a basic hotel. Stay would be in rooms.

Day 2– Mumbai: Slum Tour, Bollywood Dance

A slum tour in Mumbai is an eye-opening experience. You will see a very densely populated part of Mumbai, but the way they live and how industrious they are would amaze you. Including travel, the slum tour can take anywhere between four to five hours. We’d spend the evening trying some Bollywood Dance moves.

You’d still have pockets of time should you wish to shop or explore a little of the city on your own. We are always happy to guide you or come along.

Slum Tour and Bollywood Dance class costs are included in tour costs.

Day 3– Mumbai: Free exploration time

While we hope to have given you enough of a glimpse into the flavors of Mumbai, there is still a lot to see in the city. There are lovely museums and art galleries to explore which are walking distance from your hotel. You can take an early morning cycling tour, or hop onto a ferry to see the caves of Elephanta.

There are a couple of lovely audio walking tours too. Or just shop/ relax and you might just find something cool in the city on your own!

Travel to Udaipur – We would be taking an overnight sleeper bus to Udaipur, this is the longest commute between any two cities on our trip. The bus would depart at 6 in the evening and reach Udaipur at 9:30 in the morning the following morning.

Day 4– Udaipur: Exploring the old city and dinner by the lake

Udaipur is a charming medieval city on the banks of Lake Pichola, a beautiful mix of lakes, rolling hills, lovely palaces and endearing locals. Our overnight bus journey would effectively take us back in time as we explore the old parts of Udaipur the next morning.

A lovely palace by the lake, a touristy (but very pretty) boat ride that gives you views of the city.

We will spend most of the first day exploring the popular sites in Udaipur. A bunch of them are clustered together and walking distance from one and other and for others we’d use a tuk-tuk. We will end the day with dinner with a beautiful view of the lake.

 

Udaipur Stay – A very charming homestay (Reviews), a huge house with common areas with a very homely and relaxed vibe. You can also read an India Someday Review of Chandra Niwas, Udaipur

Day 5– Udaipur: Rural Visit/Trek

Udaipur is a small town, a short drive in almost any direction and one would be in the midst of the countryside, small villages and rolling hills. We will spend the first half of the day in these villages, either cycling or on a light trek and you’d get glimpses of rural India.

You would have the evening to yourself.

Day 6– Udaipur: Free exploration time and cooking class

You will be cooking Indian lunch today and then we will eat what we have cooked. Apart from that it would be an easy day for some more exploring/relaxing or shopping. If everyone is up for it we know some beautiful heritage hotels that offer some fantastic views in Udaipur and we could go there for a drink.

Cooking class is included in the India Someday Tour.

Day 7 – Drive from Udaipur to Jodhpur, with a stop over to visit Ranakpur temples and Kumbhlagarh Fort

If any Indian monument will come close to (or perhaps exceed) the Taj Mahal in mesmerizing a traveller it would be the stunning Meherangarh Fort in Jodhpur. The crowning citadel of another lovely medieval town with endless narrow alleys and blue houses, where one would love to get lost! But it would have to wait until we drive there.

Udaipur to Jodhpur is a very pretty drive. Beautiful Indian countryside and a stop to visit the stunning marble temples of Ranakpur. Kumbhalgarh Fort is another optional stop enroute to Jodhpur. One has to climb a steep flight of stairs, but is rewarded with a beautiful view.

We’d reach Jodhpur towards the evening. Our guest house rooftop offers a magnificent view of the lit up Meherangarh Fort. You’d have the evening to still walk around the old town, aimlessly walking in these old towns in itself is so much fun.

Jodhpur Stay – Another homestay, Hem Guest House (Reviews). It is located in the heart of the old town and their terrace offers great views of the fort. India Someday Review of Hem Guest House.

Day 8 – Sightseeing and Ziplining from the fort (optional)

A stunning fort, yet another temple, a lavish palace (converted into luxury hotel) and a desert rock park are few of the sites we would explore today. Unless you have a phobia of heights, the ziplining experience at the Meherangarh Fort is an amazing experience. It is optional for those that wish to do it!

Day 9 – Drive to Pushkar

A sacred Lake, innumerable temples, a confused religious and yet hippe vibe! Pushkar again is not a town with any stunning monuments, but just a great small town to aimlessly walk around and soak in the atmosphere.

Pushkar Stay – A charming old Haveli (house) converted hotel, Hotel Kanhaia Haveli (Tripadvisor)

 

Day 10 – Drive to Jaipur, Sightseeing

We would explore the Ajmer Dargah on the way to the railway station to take our train from Ajmer to Jaipur.

Jaipur is a lot bigger than the other towns we would be visiting in Rajasthan. We will try to explore Amer fort on our first evening as the views around sunset are splendid and end our day with a bollywood film.

Jaipur Stay – We’ll be staying at very cool Hostel (Reviews). We’ll stay in dorms, unless you have requested for a room.

Day 11 – Sightseeing, optional shopping or Elefantastic

We’d spend the first half of the day exploring a bunch of monuments within Jaipur city. For those interested, Jaipur has a fantastic elephant farm and experience at Elefantastic.

While the activity is not included in the cost of the tour, for anyone that loves animals and is amazed by elephants this is an great experience. You can spend the second half with elephants or shopping/

more exploring.

 

Day 12 – Drive to Agra

Our drive to Agra will have a couple of stops, first to visit the stepwells of Abhaneri and then to visit the Fortress. We will see Taj Mahal twice on your trip, the first time from across the river around sunset.

Agra Stay – Would be a small comfortable BnB – Mohini Homestay (Reviews)

Day 13 – Taj Mahal and drive/train to Delhi

Wake up early in the morning to visit the Taj Mahal at the break of dawn, it is absolutely gorgeous under the soft rays of the morning sun. We’d then look at the Agra Fort, Baby Taj (an equally impressive monument) and if time permits Akbar’s Tomb. We would then either take a train/bus or car to Delhi.

Delhi Stay – Our stay in Delhi would be in a hostel too, a very calm and yet central location. Moustache Hostel (Reviews)

Day 14 – Delhi sightseeing

Delhi or Bombay which is a better city? We already know the answer, but we will let you decide;) Unlike Bombay, Delhi has some fantastic monuments! There’s an excellent metro to get to all places. Great food, both restaurants and street food. A lot of history and nightlife too!

Day 15 – Little more sightseeing and departures

We will have a few hours on the last day for some final sightseeing followed by arranging transfers to the airport/railway station!