Travelling South India on a Tight Budget
Looking for travel destinations in South India on a tight budget? Want to visit new places and be enthralled by its beauty without stretching your purse strings too loose? Planning a quick rendezvous with your college friends without causing a serious dent on your monthly expenses? Don’t worry, for your dreams are not so distant anymore. As long as you are street smart, plan wisely and can survive on the basics (sans luxury!) you can afford to treat the wanderer in you. Here are our top picks for the same!
India’s designated party destination, from the pauper (read college students) to the rich, everyone make a tourist destination out of Goa. And with the great expanses of scenic beaches, the Portuguese influences architecture, the intricately detailed churches, especially with a general atmosphere which is morally liberal than most other parts of the country, Goa can be easily struck off your bucket list even if you are working on a tight budget. The best part? Quality for price accommodation facilities, with budget hotels and home stays, moderately priced food and the cheapest booze ever.
Part of the scenic Maland or what people call the “land of rain” in the local dialects of the native language, Chikmagalur is situated in the foothills of the Western Ghats and is a treasure trove of flora and fauna. Easily accessible with State Authority Transport routed to Chikmagalur from all parts of Karnataka, go here if you want to experience how breath taking and picturesque nature can be. From hill stations to trekking trails to wildlife sanctuaries to waterfalls – this place has it all. If you are a coffee connoisseur, you can visit the coffee plantations and the coffee museum as well. Apart from these they also have temples which are architectural marvels. And did we mention how everything is available at amazingly cheap rates? Especially with accommodation available at unbelievably low prices, Chikmagalur should be your next destination stop.
What separates Gokarna from any other beach town in Karnataka is its pristineness. Yet to be afflicted with the hustle bustle of city life, visit Gokarna if you want a break from your run of the mill chaotic life. Believed to be the place where Shiva’s Lingam originated, Gokarna is also a revered place of worship, and is one of the 7 important Hindu pilgrimage centres. A favourite with foreign tourists, don’t miss out on this quaint little city if you would like a weekend of idyllic beaches, terrific architecture and spiritual cleansing.
The Lakes, the parks, the walking trails, falls, museums, solar observatory, gigantic rocks and a whole lot more is what Kodaikanal has to offer to a broke tourist. There is a reason they call it the “Princess of Hill Stations”. And with tasty, greasy street food at unbelievable costs (50 bucks for a serve of fried chicken), affordable accommodations (Rs. 399 onwards) and easy accessibility (trains and buses running from all over the state) Kodaikanal is every nomad’s version of “Cheap Thrills”.
Be it the curious or the pious – Pondicherry is the pit stop for all kinds of tourists. An erstwhile French colony – Pondicherry still seems like a quaint French city, alienated from the rest of the country. If looking for cheap accommodation, you can always choose to stay Aurobindo Ashram at a negligible price and enjoy the tranquil environment, the teachings of Mother Mirra Alfisa and learn yoga. Or you can go all naughty and enjoy an amazing collection of beers and wines Pondicherry has to offer, while watching the sun set on the Bay of Bengal by the rocky beaches.
If you are a history buff, and would like to take a break from what a regular trip with friends entails – beaches, booze and all the shizz, Hampi is the place where you should be. One can sit and marvel at the beautiful yet highly practical architectural structures all day. Built on the ruins of the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire, in Hampi one can see how an ancient city looked like. Not just temples, but the public bath tanks, step wells, horse stables, and watch houses – all give us a peek into a world we have only read about in our history books. The best part? It’s cheap.