beach

How many of these pocket friendly destinations have you been to? 

With Christmas vacations right around the corner, here’s our take on India’s top 5 places you can visit on a low budget.

Read on!

1. Goa

Goa_Goa_Beautiful-beach-in-Asvem-under-umbrella

Mouth-watering spicy food, beguiling white sands and a chilled beer in hand is Goa at its best. Goa is perhaps the most touristy place in India, but somehow still manages to preserve its simplicity and aura. When you’re in Goa, you can find the cheapest of accommodation options, rent bikes at really low prices, idle around the place for hours together, eat at small yet incredible food joints, and of course, party! And oh yes, how can we forget the part where you lay beneath the shadow of a shack, enjoying the sound of the waves washing the shore away while you gaze at the sun drowning into the sea. 

Where to stay:

1. Princess Dauna

Empire Road, Gauravaddo, Calangute, Goa

Cost: Rs. 600 per night

Contact: 098226 86567

2. Red Door Hostel

651/4, Dmello Vaddo, Anjuna, Goa

Cost: Rs. 500 per night

Contact: 075074 01513

Where to eat:

1. St. Anthony’s shack 

Baga Beach,Baga, Calangute-Baga Road, Calangute, Goa 

Cost for 2: Rs. 600

Speciality: Goan Fish Curry and Rice

2. O’Manuel’O Beach Shack

Anjuna Beach, Anjuna, Goa

Cost for 2: Rs. 400

Speciality: Chicken Xacuti

What to do in Goa: 

1.  Visit the church Basilica de Bom Jesus

2. Visit Fort Aguada

3. Enjoy the magnificent sunset at Dona Paula

4. Visit Baga beach for water sports

5. Shop at the Anjuna Flea market

Best time to visit: 

October to February

2. Varanasi 

2-Uttar-Pradesh_Varanasi_Morning-in-Varanasi

Varanasi has rightly been termed as the spiritual hub of India, merged with an essence of culture and vibrancy. Formerly known as Benaras or Kashi, it is considered as one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism that is flooded with saints, sadhus and highly spiritual people at all times. Located on the banks of the river Ganges, Varanasi has been standing the tests of time for over 5000 years and is unabashedly colorful and richly cultured even today.

If you’re in search of spiritual enlightenment, Kashi may just be the right place to find it!

Where to stay:

1. Hotel Alka 

Mir, Dashashwamedh Ghat Rd, Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Cost: Rs. 600 per night

Contact: 085458 41514

2. Ganga Fugi Home 

D. 7/21, Sakarkand Gali, Dasashwmedh Road, Near Meer Ghat, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Cost: Rs. 500 per night

Contact: 0542 239 7333

Where to eat:

1. The Great Kabab Factory 

The Mall Cantonment, Mall Rd, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Cost for 2: Rs. 400

Speciality: Chicken and Mutton Kabab

2. Vishwanath Galli 

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Cost for 2: Rs. 200

Speciality: Baati Chokha, Blue Lassi and Tamaatar Chaat

What to do in Varanasi:

1. Vist the most famous temple of Varanasi, The Vishwanath Temple

2. Spiritually enlighten yourself by making a trip to the Ganges of  Varanasi

3. Visit the Ramnagar Fort

4. Enjoy a boat ride along Varanasi’s most colourful Ghat, Dashashwamedh

5. Visit the 1500 year old temple, Mahabodhi

Best time to visit: 

September to January

3. Pondicherry 

Pondicherry_Pondicherry_Beach-at-Pondicherry

Pondicherry, also known as the ‘French Riviera of The East’ or Puducherry has a history of origin dating back to 4th century AD when it was first ruled by Pallava dynasty following the Portuguese who first discovered the route to India in 1497, establishing their very first factory in the 16th century, and gained control over this territory till 1954.

Today, years after the French have left Pondicherry, their influence can still be seen in almost all the aspects of life here from food to clothing to architecture. Blessed with some of the most pristine white sand beaches, Pondicherry is without any doubt heaven for beach lovers.

Where to stay:

1. Aadhaar Guest House 

Netaji Nagar No. 1, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu

Cost: Rs. 700 per night

Contact:  96 55 97 15 42

2. Ramana Residency 

Amman Koil St, Sengeniamman Nagar, Orleanpet, Puducherry

Cost: Rs. 800 per night

Contact: 0413 220 5245

Where to eat:

1. Appachi 

9, Rangapillai Street, M G Road, Puducherry

Cost for 2: Rs. 400

Speciality: Chettinad Chicken and Appam

2. Surguru 

 104, Sardar Valabhai Patel Marg , Heritage Town, Puducherry

Cost for 2: Rs. 300

Speciality: South Indian Thali

3. Tanto 

Main Road, Near Iyyanar Koil Kullapalyam, Auroville, Puducherry

Cost for 2: Rs. 600

Speciality: Pizzas and Sorbets

What to do in Pondicherry:

1. Visit The Sri Aurobindo Ashram

2. Visit Puducherry Museum on St. Louis Street where old colonial furniture, older relics and sculptures are on display.

3. Shop at the Grand Bazaar

4. Learn to surf at the Kallialay Surf School in Tandriankuppam

5.  Visit The Twin Towers and dome of the Notre Dame des Anges

6. Relax on the beaches of Pondicherry

Best time to visit: 

November to March

4. Gokarna

5 Gokarna beach

Gokarna, the Beach Town of Karnataka will never fail to surprise you. It is an ideal destination for those who are in search of places to spend their time worshiping idols and lazing around beautiful panoramic beaches. The availability of multiple guest houses, home stays and eateries at extremely low prices, makes it safe to say that one can spend days together, without really worrying about the prices here.

Where to stay:

1. Om Beach Resort  

Om Beach Road, Bangle Gudde, Gokarna (P.O)Gokarna

Cost: Rs. 700 per night

Contact: 080 4055 4055

2. Hotel Gokarna International 

Main Road, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326

Cost: Rs. 750 per night

Contact: 083862 56622

Where to eat:

1. Shree Shakti 

Main Road, Kumta, Car Street, Gokarna

Cost for 2: Rs. 400

Speciality: Seafood Thali

2. Namaste Cafe 

Om Beach Rd, Gokarna, Karnataka

Cost for: Rs. 300

Speciality: Seafood

What to do in Gokarna:

1. Visit the Paradise Beach

2. Visit the majestic Mahabaleshwara Temple

3. Enjoy Kayaking at The Half Moon Beach

4. Not to miss on The Om Beach, shaped in the auspicious Hindu Om sign

Best time to visit: 

March to May

5. Darjeeling 

Darjeeling

Located amidst snow-capped mountains and marvelous views, rested upon the foothills of the Himalayas, lies the the picturesque hill station of Darjeeling. Famously known for its Toy train, tea gardens and mystical climate, Darjeeling is one of the most gratifying travel destinations with the most down-to-earth people and humble culture. A trip to this pleasant hill station will remain etched in your memory for long.

Where to stay:

1.  Hotel Ivy Castle 

78/1, Lower Toong Soong Road, Darjeeling, 

Cost: Rs. 700 per night

Contact: 089261 77066

 2. Yang’s Inn 
5, Dr. Zakir Hussain Road, Near TV Tower, Darjeeling

Cost: Rs. 800 per night

Contact:  91 9496271546

Where to eat:

1. Sonam’s Kitchen 

142 Dr Zakir Hussain Rd, Darjeeling

Cost for 2: Rs. 300

Speciality: Pancakes, Fresh Soups and Pasta

2. Danfay Munal 

Clubside Motor Stand, Darjeeling

Cost for 2: Rs. 400

Speciality: Thukpa

What to do in Darjeeling:

1. Visit the Happy Valley Tea Estate, established in 1854

2. Enjoy a ride in the famous Toy Train (Darjeeling Himalayan Railway)

3. Enjoy White Water Rafting

4. Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda

Best time to visit: 

December to May