Top 10 Backpacking Destinations in India

Photo by Mehul Antani, CC BY 2.0

Backpackers have the time of their lives in India, and there’s always something new to be discovered every time you head off with your hiking, camping, and trekking gear. Not only does backpacking save a lot of money, it also gives you a chance to appreciate the lesser known and unmapped locations of India that many usual tourists don’t get to visit. As a backpacker, you’d want to know some of the most amazing destinations in India that you can trek up for a backpacking adventure, so here are the top 10 of the many backpacking destinations in India for your next trip:

Sikkim

sikkim
Photo by Virtous One, CC BY-ND 2.0

With a remarkable view of Mount Kanchenjunga from almost every part, Sikkim is the perfect spot for a backpacking trip. Kick of your journey from West Sikkim where you can find cheap and cosy apartments and cottages to stay in (sharing or otherwise). The locals in Sikkim are pretty helpful and will even guide you to the routes best taken for hiking and trekking, which come with their very own natural beauty to astound you and get great pictures. Head over to Sikkim’s southern region, where you can find monasteries and hilltop views of the valleys and lakes. The general accommodation cost for two nights is Rs.1000.

Rishikesh

rishikesh
Photo by Virtous One, CC BY-ND 2.0

An adventure lover’s paradise and a spiritual retreat like no other, Rishikesh is a favourite of backpackers in India. With its spectacular sunset view and the river rafting opportunities in the Ganges, there is no other adventurous place like Rishikesh. Easily available delicious and cheap food with affordable accommodation, there are endless fun activities like trekking, rafting, rock-climbing, camping, hiking etc. in Rishikesh. Including accommodation, food and travelling, a backpacker would have to spend close to Rs.1000 per day.

Ladakh

Photo by McKay Savage, CC BY 2.0
Photo by McKay Savage, CC BY 2.0

People have taken budget-friendly yet the most enthralling trips to Ladakh that have resulted in nothing but sheer adventure and fun. The trekking trails in Ladakh are endless and with the snowy Himalayas in the backdrop, the many opportunities of camping for the night, and the humblest of locals providing guidance, your trip to Ladakh will be your most unforgettable experience. A week-long trip to Ladakh including accommodation, food, travelling and other activities is around Rs.6000.

Gokarna

Photo by Miran Rijavec, CC BY 2.0
Photo by Miran Rijavec, CC BY 2.0

Karnataka’s most underexplored part is Gokarna, which is one of the most ideal places for a backpacking trip. Famous temples, beaches, flea markets with amazing souvenirs, Gokarna has relaxing yet fun opportunities to offer. The guest houses are quite affordable, and a couple days’ stay doesn’t cost a lot. Spending close to 3 days in Gokarna covers almost everything, and it costs about Rs.5000 with stay, food, and travelling prices inclusive.

Hampi

Photo by Nagarjun Kandukuru, CC BY 2.0
Photo by Nagarjun Kandukuru, CC BY 2.0

Another one of Karnataka’s hidden gems is the historical town of Hampi, where lone travellers have found solace in the past years. Not only are there some abandoned temple complexes that’ll give you the chills, the Tungabhadra River has a charm of its own. Bicycle rides in Hampi are quite popular among backpackers, and there is enough natural as well as historical importance to this place to make you want to stay. Guest houses as cheap as Rs.400 per day are available along with affordable restaurants and stalls.

Goa

Photo by David Jones, CC BY 2.0
Photo by David Jones, CC BY 2.0

There is no introduction needed for Goa, what with its beaches, adventure sports, cathedrals, trekking trails, camping spots and partying opportunities. Goa is just as much a backpacker’s world as it is a luxury vacation spot. Dorm rooms, guest houses and cheap hotels are scattered around everywhere in Goa, and with the prices being a little close to Rs.1000 per day, food included, you’d want to visit over and over.

Nainital

Photo by Aman Arora, CC BY-ND 2.0
Photo by Aman Arora, CC BY-ND 2.0

If there’s one amazing location for a backpacker, its Nainital with its mountainous backdrop and cool atmosphere. Hit the temples, trek through the hills, take a serene boating trip, and check the wildlife tours, which will make the trip more indulgent. The prices for a backpacking trip to Nainital including living costs at hostels, food, and general travel expenses is Rs.700-1000 per day.

Mussoorie

Photo by Paul Hamilton, CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo by Paul Hamilton, CC BY-SA 2.0

The charming town of Mussoorie is filled with prominent hills, interesting museums, winding streets, cascading and enthralling waterfalls, and the Tibetan culture being an unavoidable attraction. Backpacking across the hills of Mussorie is most rewarding, along with the price of living being Rs.700 per night in youth hostels and dorms, along with the affordable food and travel expenses.

Kerala

Photo by Mehul Antani, CC BY 2.0
Photo by Mehul Antani, CC BY 2.0

Not only is Kerala a favourite of tourists, it has a lot of adventurous things to indulge in, including trekking, camping, forest trails, hilltops, sunset and sunrise points, gushing rivers, calming beaches, and amazing resorts. Munnar, Trivandrum, Kochi, and Wayanad are the most popular hilltop locations in Kerala, with the backpacking costs being Rs.3000 for 2 nights including food.

Varanasi

Photo by Nico Crisafulli, CC BY 2.0
Photo by Nico Crisafulli, CC BY 2.0

A spiritually uplifting place, Varanasi is complete with temples, yoga institutes, the Ganges taking prestige over everything, indulgent food, crowded markets, boating, soccer players and envious greenery. It is as much a tourist spot as a backpacking destination, with youth dorms, guest houses, resorts and cheap hotels that cost around Rs.700 per night, even cheaper in some areas. Food and travel expenses are quite cheap as well, with walking being the most preferred way of transport due to narrow and bumpy streets.

With these many awesome backpacking and budget-friendly locations in India, you’d definitely want to hit as many of them as possible with your backpacking friends, or even on your own, because they can all be easily enjoyed in company or otherwise.

Author Bio:
Rohit has travelled many parts of India that are tourist destinations as well as adored by backpackers who love some hiking and camping on their trips. He shares his thoughts on his blogs of Trans India Travels.

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Written by Rohit Agarwal

Rohit has travelled many parts of India that are tourist destinations as well as adored by backpackers who love some hiking and camping on their trips. He shares his thoughts on his blogs of Trans India Travels.