January 20th, 2018 by Garusha Katoch

Planning a trip across the country but worried about the huge travel expenses? We’ve all been there. But you don’t have to compromise and sit at home sulking, while your social feed is full of envious pictures and check-ins to beautiful and exotic locations.

We have hand-picked and curated a list of some cheap holiday destinations you can travel to on a shoe-string budget.

8 Cheap Holiday Destinations In India

  1. Kasol
  2. Dharamshala
  3. Rishikesh
  4. Jaipur
  5. Kodaikanal
  6. Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani
  7. Darjeeling
  8. Pondicherry


Destinations to Visit with Friends

A small village tucked in the famous Parvati Valley, Kasol, over the last few decades has gained traction as a popular getaway especially for young travellers. Its pristine beauty coupled with low cost of living and several budget hotels make it the perfect place for you to spend little money and have a larger than life vacation. You can trek up to Kheerganga or witness the hippie culture of Tosh while feasting on authentic Israeli and Italian cuisines at the quaint yet popular restaurants and cafes.

Approximate Daily Expenses: Rs. 500


Destinations to visit with friends

A picturesque hill station in the Kangra Valley, lying on the foothills of the Dhauladhars, Dharamshala has gained traction as a weekend retreat in the past decade owing to its cosmopolitan culture and scenic landscape. The town is also famous as the abode of Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in exile, who add a rich Tibetan and Buddhist culture to the town.

From countless Buddhist temples to tea gardens, cricket stadium, and vibrant street markets, there is not a dull day in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj. The town is also light on the pocket so you can chill, relax and enjoy without a monetary worry.

Approximate Daily Expenses: Rs. 700


Destinations to Visit with Friends

Hub of temples, hippie cafes, yoga ashrams and river sports, Rishikesh is one destination you can visit and enjoy without burning a hole in your pocket or compromising on the fun activities.

Awaken the adventurer in you and indulge in sports like river rafting, trekking, and giant wheeling. Get your adrenaline rush and make an experience of a lifetime by bungee jumping. If you seek spirituality, make your way to the yoga ashrams in the town. There is nothing like meditating in the open air as the sound of river lulls you.

Make sure to stop by the Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh. Made famous by the eponymous English band, the ashram premises have a lush growth of green patched and beautiful artwork. You know this hippie town is worth it when The Beatles visited here often too!

Approximate Daily Expenses: Rs. 1200


Astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar observatory, Jaipur, India

A mere 4-hour drive from the capital, with rail and air connectivity, Jaipur is another exotic location that you can visit with your pals on a measly budget.

With splendid fortresses, magnificent palaces, and architecturally brilliant havelis, the ‘Pink City’ is the perfect place to trace and study the lifestyle of India’s regal and royals. Explore the forts of Amer, Jaigarh and Nahargarh and other important monuments like Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, City Palace, and Albert Hall Museum.

Enjoy a grand and royal dinner feast at Chokhi Dhani and watch the ancient Rajasthani culture come to life in front of your eyes.

Read more about Jaipur

Approximate Daily Expenses: Rs. 700


Living up to its name, Kodaikanal has a bounty of nature’s finest gifts and treasure, from thick forests, pleasant meadows, deep woods and enchanting waterfalls. It is also one of the places you can explore and enjoy at costs so low your jaw may drop.

Enjoy boating on the water of Kodai Lake or engage in horse riding, cycling etc. on its peripheries. Around 8 kms from the lake are the Pillar Rocks where you can set your picnic mats and baskets to enjoy a leisure time exchanging wild stories. Walk through misty woodland to reach the Green Valley View Point to enjoy a panoramic view of the deep green valley or watch the enchanting cascade of Bear Shola Falls.

Approximate Daily Expenses: Rs. 1500

Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani

Weekend Getaways from Pune

Ensconced in the Western Ghats, a few miles off Mumbai and Pune, Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani are two quaint towns for an ideal nature’s retreat. With magnificent cascades, manicured lush forests and majestic peaks and strawberry fields, the two neighboring cities are famous for their captivating beauty and laid-back lifestyle that you can enjoy without splurging.

While in Mahabaleshwar, go boating in the blue waters of Venna Lake as dense foliage of trees surrounds you or head to Arthur’s Seat Point, Echo Point, Wilson Point or Bombay Point for a breathtaking scenic view.  A visit to Mahabaleshwar is incomplete without witnessing the cascading Chinaman’s fall, flanked by rich gardens.

A quick 20 minutes’ drive will take you to Panchgani. The town was a British favorite in the early 1900s. Once you visit you will know exactly why! The city is home to Table Land where you can go for horse riding here while enjoying the splendid view of the valley. Treat your taste buds to refreshing strawberries and fruit produce at the one of a kind Mapro Gardens where you can also shop for marmalades, squashes and fruit cocktails here.

Approximate Daily Expenses: Rs. 1700


A salubrious hill station nestled in the Himalayas, Darjeeling allures tourists and backpackers with its sprawling expanse of tea gardens set against mystic snow-capped Kanchenjunga. With affordable hotels and quaint low priced cafes, it is a perfect place to visit if you are tight on budget but high on wanderlust.

In this eastern city, there is a lot for you to explore and enjoy. Take a toy train ride to Siliguri to enjoy the scenic view of the ever-changing mountainous terrain; visit the many Buddhist monasteries and temples to get in touch with your spirituality or take a stroll through the vast expanse of tea gardens.

Approximate Daily Expenses: Rs. 1500


Palm-fringed shorelines, quirky cafes, European Boulevards and French-esque seaside promenades! Pondicherry tops every traveller’s wish list. But what makes the city even special is its affordability that reels in a horde of backpackers.

While in Pondicherry, you can never run out of things to do. Bask under the sun hearing the waves crash at the beaches of Pondicherry or enjoy the hippie culture of Auroville. Catch glimpses of Portuguese and French cultures in White Town and the French Quarter or enjoy a lip-smacking meal at the many cafes of the city. And all this under a reasonable budget!

To cut more on the cost, rent a bicycle and go biking through the city boulevards, exploring it and gathering an experience of its kind.

Approximate Daily Expenses: Rs. 1000

So book your tickets, call your friends and head out to gather wild experiences in these stunning and affordable holiday destinations in India.

About Garusha Katoch

A journalist by education, a writer by passion and a film buff by night. When I am not offering an insight into the many treasure troves of your favorite travel destinations, I like to get my dose of Truffaut and Resnais. You can catch me in quaint cafes finishing my latest book or transforming every thing that happens in a moment into ink.