Many of us wish to explore our country- India. However, one main fear stops us. And that’s money. But are you aware of the 10 best places to explore in India with an affordable budget?
Yes, anyone can afford such trips and enjoy a superb weekend or even a longer holiday at such destinations.
Maybe you’re aware that India is a subcontinent. Therefore, there’s no dearth of places where you can travel at any time of the year.
Even if one place is experiencing severe weather, there’re always others that are having fair weather. And you can witness the rich cultural diversity and heritage of India at such places.
Top 10 Places in India on Affordable Budget
Some of the places that I’ll be writing about are open to tourists round the year. However, for some destinations, I would suggest that you check the weather conditions and seasons before making travel plans. After all, the weather does play an important role while enjoying a holiday.
I rank Mumbai at the top of my list of best places to explore on an affordable budget for several reasons. Firstly, this cosmopolitan city has all tourist infrastructure such as hotels and restaurants as well as sightseeing tours to suit all budgets.
You can stay at an economically priced lodge or even splurge on an international class, five-star hotel. You could dine at any of the finest restaurants that abound in this large city or have a decent meal from any of the roadside stalls that serve fresh, sumptuous yet affordably priced food.
Goa is the smallest state in India, both in terms of territory and population. However, this coastal state that lies in western India finds mention among the top five destinations worldwide for sun-sea- sand tourism.
Goa welcomes millions of foreign and Indian tourists every year, though international arrivals have dipped in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Goa is an all-time favorite for Indians to explore with an affordable budget too.
The main attractions in Goa are its white-sand beaches that are open almost round the year. However, in monsoons, wading into ocean waters or even access to the beaches could be restricted for safety purposes.
Goa’s famous beaches include Colva, Calangute, Vagator, Arambol, Palolem and Miramar. Most of these beaches and Goan towns also feature in Bollywood movies.
Explore the grandeur that the Maharajas of Rajasthan once enjoyed by visiting Jaipur. This is the capital city of Rajasthan and also a very famous tourist place. It receives millions of foreign tourists every year, as well as tens of thousands of Indian travellers.
Jaipur also has the unique distinction of being known as the ‘Pink City of India. Because the older part of this city has buildings and monuments all in a unique pink color.
Jaipur has several tourist attractions. Top among them is the Hawa Mahal- an excellent example of ancient architecture. Flanking the capital city of Rajasthan are two ancient forts: the Jaigarh Fort and the Nahargarh Fort.
Situated on hilltops, these forts bear testimony to the power wielded by the former rulers of Rajasthan.
Any mention of the best places in India to explore on a budget is incomplete without naming the city of New Delhi- the national capital of India. This is truly an international city where tradition meets the modern.
Here you’ll see tall skyscrapers and office buildings dotting the landscape alongside traditional houses, forts and monuments that speak of the glory of yesteryears.
New Delhi is very popular among both domestic and international tourists. Hence, the city and the adjoining National Capital Region (NCR) have all of the tourist attractions.
New Delhi, by virtue of being the national capital, is well connected with the rest of India by air, road and rail.
Once a French colony, Puducherry is now a Union Territory of India. This city is known for its peace and tranquillity. You’ll see roads dotted with homes and offices that show off the ancient French architecture.
If you’re looking for a getaway from busy and hectic schedules and wish to relax, then Puducherry is a place you can explore even on a tight budget.
Puducherry is famous for the Shri Aurobindo Ashram, the learning place of Swami Vivekananda, one of the renowned Indian spiritual leaders.
Also at Puducherry is the famous Rock Beach. Paradise Beach which has crystal clear waters and white sands is a stone throw away from the main city of Puducherry.
Shilong is known as one of the best hill stations in India And if you’re looking for an amazing retreat to discover the unknown treasures of North East India, visit Shillong. This is the capital city of India’s northeastern state- Meghalaya.
Translated into English, the name Meghalaya means ‘Adobe of Clouds’. And that’s exactly what you’ll experience in Meghalaya at any time of the year.
In Shillong, you’ll find dense white or dark clouds pass around and beneath you all year round.
Shillong is also rich in natural beauty. Don’t miss walking on any of the ‘Tree Bridges’ of Shillong. Located about 60km away from Shillong is the famous river Dawki.
The waters are so crystal clear here that your boat will actually appear to be floating mid-air instead of resting on the water. Then you have traditional Meghalaya architecture to marvel at. Houses in Shillong are built with steep roofs to deflect rainwater.
While still discussing North East India, one of the budget destinations in this part of the country is Gangtok, the capital of the state of Sikkim. This is an almost unexplored place which you could easily explore on a budget.
The city itself is small, when compared with others in India. And the locals are warm and friendly to tourists. Therefore, you’ll have no problems getting around Gangtok on your own, if you wish.
Gangtok is home to the Baba Mandir, an ancient shrine, where spiritually minded tourists can find some peace and solace.
The city is dotted with countless Buddhist shrines too, which you can visit during their visiting hours. Excellent restaurants in Gangtok serve local and Indian cuisine.
Tirumala or Thirumala is a small town in Andhra Pradesh. Most people don’t know about Tirumala. But this is where the world-famous Venkateshwara Temple or what’s commonly known as Tirupati Balaji Temple is located.
This is one superb place that anyone with even a low budget can explore, if you’re spiritual-minded. In fact, people from various countries and different faiths visit the Tirupati Balaji Temple to seek blessings.
The Tirupati Temple also ranks as the wealthiest religious shrine in the world. That is because people that have experienced prosperity come here and donate millions of Rupees in cash or gold or other valuable objects.
However, you don’t need to be a millionaire to visit Tirumala. There are other places of interest near Tirumala too. They include a lake, where Lord Venkateshwara is said to have bathed during his time on Earth.
Bhubaneshwar is the hopping point if you wish to visit the two grandest ancient shrines of India- the Sun Temple of Konark and the Sri Jagannatha Temple in Puri.
Both these places are located within an hour’s drive from the capital of India’s eastern state, Odisha.
The Sun Temple is famous worldwide for its wonderful and unique yet intricate architecture. It depicts a chariot of the Sun, with wheels, all carved in stone.
During any total solar eclipse over India, the Fraunhofer lines reflect from these wheels to create an apparition that the chariot is moving.
The Sun Temple also figures among ancient mysteries because it is part of a global diagram that represents the Orion constellation. The diagram syncs with an ancient pyramid in Carnac in Egypt and a Mayan shrine in Peru.
Amritsar literally means Lake of Ambrosia or Divine Life. And Amritsar is a wonderful city that you can visit on any budget. Located in Punjab, the city of Amritsar not only has a spiritual significance but also a lot of monuments of glorious Indian history.
The greatest attraction of Amritsar is without any doubt, the wonderful Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikh faith. Here you can also partake from the ‘langar’ or community kitchen during lunchtime.
Another place worth visiting in Amritsar is the Jallianwala Baug, where hundreds of Indian freedom fighters were gunned down by criminal British occupiers of the Indian subcontinent.
Travelling within India is very economical and suits all budgets. That’s because we have a tourism infrastructure that caters to all segments of tourists. Local transport in India is also inexpensive, if you’re willing to dare a ride on public buses, trains and metros.
There are local restaurants where you can have a literal feast at very affordable rates. And I personally believe in dining at local restaurants because it gives us a taste of the place. All the destinations that I’m speaking about are easily accessible by road and rail too.
Therefore, travelling to these places and enjoying a weekend or a longer holiday is fairly inexpensive. You can take your pick from any of these top destinations in India within an affordable budget.