Tag Archives: backpacking South India

Beatriz’s One Month Backpacking trip across India
Beatriz’s One Month Backpacking trip across India

A few months ago we planned a month long backpacking trip for one of our Colombian travelers, Beatriz, She was planning to backpack across the country with her friends and had about a month to explore.

Beatriz was traveling to India on an E-visa. Backpacking / Traveling in India for a month has been made easy by the E-visa / Visa on arrival process to make India an accessible destination for travelers from most countries

Since Beatriz had a month to explore the country she wanted to experience a bit of both North and South India.  She was flying in to Delhi so it made sense to start her trip  in Delhi and make her way south.

Since Beatriz was a backpacker and North India in specific is home to a lot of great backpacker hostels, Beatriz and her friends stayed mostly in hostels on her trip. However some home-stays and guest houses are also very pocket friendly and especially if you are sharing a room with your friends and gives you a great perspective of living like a local.  Beatriz stayed in a combination of backpacker hostels, home-stays and guesthouses

Beatriz started her trip in Delhi before moving east to Varanasi and then traveling west to Agra followed by Jaipur and the rest of Rajasthan.  She then took a flight from Udaipur to Mumbai ( flights between Udaipur and Mumbai are inexpensive if you book them in advance) and continued on her way to Goa, Hampi  and the beautiful state of Kerala.

This trip was executed on a backpacking budget and meant staying in a lot of budget accommodations and using a lot of trains and buses (albeit the ones with Air conditioning). A similar itinerary can be modified to a slightly higher budget and if you have more or less time can be modified accordingly.

If you would like help with planning your backpacking trip across India get in touch with us now

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.

Rajasthan_fort Explore the massive forts and beautiful palaces of Rajasthan.

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. 

goa_backpacking Enjoy the beaches of Goa without spending a fortune.

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. 

Budget Backpacking tour of South India
Budget Backpacking tour of South India

A Budget Backpacking Tour of South India (Mumbai, Goa, Hampi, Mysore, Kerala)

Tour overview

This is a 16-18 day budget South India tour that is ideal for young travelers looking at travelling from Bombay across South India. You would be flying into Bombay (Mumbai), after spending a couple of days, there take a train along the coast to Goa, travel onwards to the beautiful city of ruins Hampi and then make your way south to Mysore and end your holiday in beautiful and relaxing Kerala.

Tea Plantations in Munnar (Photo Credits) Tea Plantations in Munnar (Photo Credits)

South India Tour Route

Mumbai – Goa – Hampi – Mysore – Kochi – Munnar – Thekkady – Allepey

Route on googlemaps

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

Modes of transport for South India budget tour

You would be covering large distances during the first half of your tour. Travelling from Mumbai to Goa, Goa to Hampi, Hampi to Mysore. These are best (and most economically) travelled by overnight train. Trains are fast, dependable and great way to both experience India and interact with Indians.

From Mysore you would be taking an overnight bus to Kochi, Kerala. Once in Kerala you can travel either by local buses (cheaper, but more time consuming) or hire a car and driver during your entire stay in Kerala.

Where will you stay?

Considering this is a budget tour you would be staying at inexpensive hotels and homestays during your trip, that are clean and comfortable. One of the highlights across your trip would be the location/view from your hotel, i.e. right by the beach in Goa, or with views of boulders and rice fields in Hampi or tea plantations and backwater views in Kerala.

Cost of the South India Backpacking Tour

The cost of the tour would vary between USD 400 (EUR310) to USD 550 (EUR430) 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
  • If you are travelling alone or as 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 assist you in planning your trip.

Highlights of travels in South India


South India is a beautiful region to backpack in India. Strikingly different from a tour in North India, beaches, hills, ruins, great food and generally a lot more relaxed and not as aggressive (in terms of touts) as North India.


1. The chaos and distinct vibe of Bombay (Mumbai)

We recommend spending a few days in Bombay at the start of your tour. It’s a bustling city with old colonial buildings, lovely sea-fronts, bars, cafes and interesting slum and cycling tours. In many ways Bombay would be an assault on your senses, yet very rewarding as you will be thrown head first into the mind-boggling diversity of India.


Snapshot of the stunning colonial architecture of the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) Train Station Snapshot of the stunning colonial architecture of the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) Train Station

Cycling through Mumbai's smaller side streets is an enjoyable experience (but only early in the morning) Cycling through Mumbai’s smaller side streets is an enjoyable experience (but only early in the morning)

2. Beaches of Goa, Ruins of Hampi

Your next two stops are in complete contrast, Goa with warm beaches all year long. Inexpensive food, alcohol, rice fields, old Portuguese architecture. Extremely relaxing, lots to do from riding a scooter across different beaches to partying at night.

Hampi is a mesmerizing city of ruins. You would love walking/cycling around the town. For a history buff or someone who likes the outdoors, Hampi is heaven.

3. Riding the Indian Trains

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

The scene Konkan Railway Route in the Monsoons. Runs from Mumbai to Kerala (passing Goa enroute) The scenic Konkan Railway Route in the Monsoons which runs from Mumbai to Kerala (passing Goa enroute)

4. India is all about food

For a foodie India is an ultimate paradise. South Indian food is very different from North Indian food, delicious dosa’s with chutney’s, kerala parotas and freshly boiled rice replacing the staple roti and mouth-wateringly spicy curries that are not for the faint-hearted!Steamed idlis image courtesy Roland Tanglao (https://flic.kr/p/hREhR)

Steamed idlis image courtesy Roland Tanglao (https://flic.kr/p/hREhR)

5. Meet locals, meet travellers

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

6. The striking diversity of Kerala

Kerala is gorgeous! It has everything from hiking with beautiful views of tea plantations, riding and bathing elephants, trekking in forests, canoeing in the backwaters and if you’d like lazing on the beach at the end of your holiday.

A relaxing, yet rewarding end to your holiday in India. Click here to read more about travel experiences in Kerala.

Tea Plantations in Munnar (Photo Credits) Tea Plantations in Munnar (Photo Credits)

Click here to read about a budget backpacking tour of North India

Contact us to help you plan your India trip

The following tour can be customized to the number 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.

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