India is a land of great diversity, culturally as well as geographically. Comprising of 29 states and spreading over 3.2 million kilometres, the northern part of the peninsula is surrounded by the majestic Himalayas whereas the southern part of the country is surrounded by giant oceans. The nation is also one of the most, if not the most, religiously and ethnically diverse countries in the world. These factors make it a popular tourist destination.
Planning a trip to any place can be a task. To help you out, we’ve compiled a detailed overview of a budget trip to south India, which includes cost, travel plans, fooding and everything else that you need to know.
With its breathtaking views and pristine beaches, Gokarna is a small town located in Karnataka, not very far from Bangalore. It is a newly found paradise, making it fairly unexplored and untouched. It is also famous for its temples. The reason for visiting Gokarna varies from person to person. For some, the sole purpose of the visit is to find salvation and for the others, it’s just relaxation. Whatever the case may be, Gokarna is a definite must visit. The palm clad beaches paired up with the cultural sites, make it a one of a kind place in the nation. The best time to visit Gokarna would be any time in between October and March, since the humidity is comparatively lower during this time.
The airport closest to Gokarna is Dabolim, Goa. You could opt to use the railways instead, Ankola being the nearest railway station. If you are planning a road trip, that won’t be much of a problem either. It is approximately 490 kms from Bangalore and 550 kms from Pune.
Hotels and resorts are easily available and a decent room with all modern amenities should not cost you more than Rs.1,000 per night. If you want a cheaper alternative, you could rent a tent which will cost you Rs.350 per person.
Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, this hill station is the perfect place to chill with friends or family. Dubbed as the ‘Princess of Hill stations’, Kodaikanal is a gem of a place. The mesmerising beauty of the hills and the dense forest covering the hill station, shrouded in the enticing mist, makes it one of the best hill stations to visit in India and is a no brainer if you are a nature lover and want to spend some time in peace. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year making it an ideal getaway. The best places to visit in Kodaikanal are the Pillar rocks, Devil’s Kitchen and Bear Shola Falls. You could also opt for an adventurous camping or hike up the hills of the hill station.
The airport nearest to Kodaikanal is Madurai, from where you can rent a car to your desired destination. If you choose not to fly there, that won’t be a problem either. Kodaikanal is connected by road to many major cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Madurai and Kumily.
There are many beautiful places to stay in Kodaikanal. You can opt to reside near the Kodai lake, with the beautiful view of the lake from your hotel window, or you could choose to stay near the botanical garden. Budget hotel rooms including all modern amenities, are available from Rs.800 onwards. You could even choose to book an entire cottage for yourself which is available from Rs.3,000 onwards.
Popularly known as Alleppey, Alappuzha is a city in the South Indian state of Kerala. Best known for its wide network of interlinking, backwaters and rejuvenating Ayurvedic resorts, this is the perfect place to get to know and understand the lifestyle of the locals of Kerala. The best time to visit this place would be in the months of August and September as the famous snake boat race ceremony takes place during this time. Other popular tourist destinations include the Alappuzha beach, backwaters, Vembanad Lake and the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Alleppey is also famous for its houseboat cruises.
The nearest airport is Kochi, which is just 57 kms away from the city. You could even choose to go there by train, Alappuzha railway station being the principal station that connects Alleppey to the rest of India.
When it comes to hotels, there are many options that you can choose from. We would suggest you stay close to the backwaters, possibly at Kumarakom or Marari beach. Budget hotels are available from Rs.600 onwards.
Officially known as Puducherry, this dreamy place is located in Tamil Nadu. The former French colony is a perfect mixture of the Indian culture and the French architecture. It is an architectural treat, which offers the best of both worlds. The cottages of French colony are painted with vibrant colours, many of them housing amazing cafes and boutiques in them. A walk down the lane will lead you to the gorgeous seaside of the Bay of Bengal in the famous Rock Beach. There are plenty of famous places to visit such as the seaside promenade, Aurobindo ashram, Auroville and paradise beach. You could even opt for a scuba diving session. You should definitely check out the cafes in Puducherry as it is home to a plethora of wonderful cafes.
Pondicherry is very well connected to the rest of India as it is an union territory, the closest airport being the Chennai International Airport. It is easily accessible by road as well as train. It is just 170 kms away from Chennai, which is a 3 hour drive.
Lodging won’t cause much trouble for you either as hotels and resorts are easily available. The budget hotels with all the necessary amenities cost approximately Rs.1,000 per night.
Goa is synonymous with India & is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country, if not the most popular. Especially famous for its party culture, the rich history and Portuguese architecture, Goa is an absolute treat and the perfect place to chill at the same time get your inner junkie going. Goa is one place in South India that you must visit. Goa has plenty for you in store even if you’re not a party person as it has plenty to offer in terms of adventure and nature. Some places that you need to visit in Goa are Fort Aguada, Anjuna beach, Baga beach, Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Calangute beach. There are plenty of things to do to keep yourself busy such as scuba diving, boat tours, water sports among many others.
Goa is easily accessible by road, air as well as rail as it is a state. It isn’t very far from other major cities as it is just 557 kms from Bangalore and 583 kms from Mumbai so reaching there will not be much of a problem.
Hotels and beach resorts are available in plenty as it is one of Goa’s most important sources of income. Hotels are available easily and can be chosen according to your needs and wants. A typical room with all modern amenities won’t cost you any more than Rs.1,200 a night.
You are surely familiar with the name and most probably know what’s coming. Popularly known as the Queen of the Nilgiris, Ooty is a hill station located in the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu. Founded as British Raj summer capital, it boasts an active steam railway line. Boundaries in Ooty are close to none, so everyone can feel at one with the culture of the welcoming locals. The magnificent view of the Nilgiris, waterfalls, the lush tea gardens and the architectural brilliance makes the experience surreal. Enjoy the beauty of the hills on a toy train which you can take from Mettupalayam. Other tourist attractions include the Emerald lake, Ooty Rose Garden, Botanical Garden and the Avalanche lake.
The Coimbatore airport is the closest airport to the hill station. The three hour long road trip from the airport is also quite scenic. You could also take the train to reach the hill station. The name of the railway station in Ooty is Mettupalayam and the Nilgiri express is available from Chennai every night.
Finding hotels in Ooty without causing a big hole in your pocket will not be a problem for you as they are easily available in the town. The hotels in Ooty are fairly cheap too and good quality budget hotels is available from Rs.800 onwards.