Are your feet itching to get away from the mundane routine at home and trek to a beautiful valley in the heart of the Himalayas? Or, do you need some vitamin ‘sea’ to sail through the hectic work week ahead? You do not have to plan much in advance or spend a lot of money to gift yourself and your family a quick break to reboot. There are many easy-to-access, cheap places to visit in India that offer as memorable a trip as an exotic destination. Here’s our list of 25 budget-friendly destinations to take off to without worrying about your bank balance:

1. Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)

Pondicherry

#1 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

A slice of France in Indian heartland, Puducherry is all about pristine beaches, cobblestoned streets dotted with colonial buildings and relaxing cafes offering some of the best French food in India. Puducherry has a lot to offer to peace and tranquillity seekers as well. Long walks along the Bay of Bengal, yoga and meditation sessions at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, or a short visit to Auroville—the choice is yours.

  • Best time to visit – October to March
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The nearest is Chennai International Airport (144 km).
    • By Train: Puducherry Railway Station can be reached easily from Chennai, Trichy, Madurai and other major South Indian cities.
    • By Road: Puducherry is well-connected with all major cities by road. East Coast Road (ECR) offers a scenic three-hour drive from Chennai to Puducherry.
  • Average cost (stay and food) –  Rs 1000/day approx.

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2. Pushkar

Pushkar

#2 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

One of the major religious destinations in Rajasthan, Pushkar is also a hippie paradise. The town surrounds the sacred Pushkar Lake, a Hindu pilgrimage site with more than 52 ghats to bathe and make religious offerings. Although the town boasts many temples, the most prominent is Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, dedicated to Lord Brahma. Pushkar is also famous for its cattle fair, popularly known as Pushkar Camel Fair or Pushkar ka Mela, held in November every year. If you are not a religious traveller, then you must visit the laid-back town to slow down your fast and hectic life even if for a few days. The narrow lanes of Pushkar are full of inexpensive small cafes and restaurants mostly themed around spirituality, offering a vibrant yet peaceful ambience to chill and relax. A perfect place to rejuvenate, Pushkar is one of the best and cheapest tourist places in India.

  • Best time to visit – October to March
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The nearest airport is Sanganer Airport in Jaipur (151 km).
    • By Train: Ajmer Railway Station (14 km) is the nearest option. Ajmer is well-connected to Pushkar through buses and taxis.
    • By Road: Pushkar is well connected to most major cities by road.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx..

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3. Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal

#3 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

One of the most famous hill stations in India, Kodaikanal is rightly known as the Princess of Hill Stations. Located in Tamil Nadu, this quaint little hill station is defined by its beautiful lakes, scenic treks, rolling hills, stunning pine forests and wonderful climate. Unlike Ooty, you do not see throngs of visitors in every nook and corner of the destination even during the peak tourist season. Boating on Kodaikanal Lake or cycling around it, or trek to the nearest hillock in the night for a mesmerising view of the Milky Way galaxy, Kodaikanal offers the best of lifetime memories without burning a hole in your pocket.

  • Best time to visit – October to July
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: You can fly either to Madurai (120), Trichy (150 km) or Coimbatore (175 km).
    • By Train: The nearest railway station, Kodaikanal Road Railway Station (79 km) is well-connected to cities on the Dindigul and Madurai route. You can take a taxi from here.
    • By Road: There are regular bus services to Kodaikanal from Chennai, Pondicherry, Coimbatore, Madurai and other major cities in Tamil Nadu.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1500-Rs 2000/day approx

Keep reading about Kodiakanal:

4. Darjeeling

Darjeeling

#4 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

A mere mention of Darjeeling is enough to remind you of the picturesque tea gardens and mesmerising surroundings nestled in the heart of the mountains of East India. One of the cheapest places to visit in India, Darjeeling lets you take home precious memories of a trip to the lap of nature. Nothing beats waking up to the fresh mountain air and having a hot cup of Darjeeling tea as you watch the sunrise over Tiger Hills. While there, do not forget to hop on the famous toy train that runs between New Jalpaiguri railway station in West Bengal to Darjeeling via Siliguri, Kurseong and Ghum. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway has been operational since 1881. If you cover the entire 80-km route, the memorable toy train ride would include crossing over 500 bridges, steering through rolling plains and lush green valleys.

  • Best time to visit – April to June and October to January
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: Bagdogra, 12 km from Siliguri, is the nearest airport to Darjeeling (70 km). Not a major airport, you may have to take a flight to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata before taking another flight to Bagdogra. You can take a taxi from Bagdogra to Darjeeling.
    • By Train: The nearest railway station New Jalpaiguri connects the city with all the major cities of India. There are many trains to New Jalpaiguri from Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru and other cities.
    • By Road: There are regular bus services from Siliguri to Darjeeling. The Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus at Siliguri runs regular bus services on the route. You can also opt for a shared jeep. Though faster, the cost is often double compared to a bus.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx

5. Gokarna

Gokarna

#5 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

If beach means bliss to you, then Gokarna is the place to be. A small beach town in Karnataka, Gokarna offers respite from the maddening rush of Goa while letting you unwind and relax by the beautiful blue waters of the Arabian Sea. Gokarna’s stunning beaches such as Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, Nirvana Beach and Paradise Beach offer surreal to sacred experiences to the visitors. For water sports enthusiasts, Gokarna offers a wide range of interesting activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, banana boat rides and more. Known for its various temples and shrines, one of the cheap places to visit in India, Gokarna also attracts many spiritual and religious visitors throughout the year. While here, do visit one of the oldest Shiva temples in the country—Sri Mahabaleshwara Swamy Temple. Made of granite, the 4th-century temple is a classic example of Dravidian architecture, making the visit worth it even for a non-religious traveller.   

  • Best time to visit – October to March
  • Ideal duration – 3-4 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: You can fly to Dabolim Airport in Goa (140 km away) and take a taxi to Gokarna.
    • By Train: Ankola Railway Station (about 20 km from Gokarna) is the nearest railway station and is well-connected to most major cities such as Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.
    • By Road: Gokarna is well-connected to almost all major cities in Karnataka by road. Also, it can be easily accessed from National Highway 17 that connects Mumbai to Kochi.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 800-Rs 1300/day approx

6. Udaipur

Udaipur

#6 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Nestled in the green hills of the Aravalli range, Udaipur is known for its sprawling lakes and fairy-tale palaces. The stunning Lake Pichola, in the heart of the city, is the crowning glory of Udaipur. Spread across four kilometres, Lake Pichola is an artificial lake built in the 14th century to offer some respite to the arid region. However, the clear azure blue water of the lake, with the enigmatic Aravali Hills in the backdrop makes a perfect picture for the visitors. For architecture and history buffs, a trip to Udaipur is incomplete without exploring many royal palaces in the city. The most famous of them all is the City Palace, a beauty made of marble and granite. Overlooking Lake Pichola, the palace boasts of a seamless fusion of European and Chinese architectural styles. Every element in the palace architecture—be it the main entrance called Hathi Pol (or the Elephant Gate) or the spectacular Moti Mahal situated inside the palace—has a story to tell. And guess what, you do not have to spend thousands to feel like a royal in this royal city.

  • Best time to visit – September to March
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The nearest is Maharana Pratap Airport which is 20 km away from the city centre.
    • By Train: Udaipur City Railway Station is well-connected with most of the major cities in North India.
    • By Road: Being a major city in Rajasthan, Udaipur enjoys good connectivity to other places in Rajasthan. Many buses operated by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) pass through Udaipur daily.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1500-Rs 2000/day approx

Keep reading about Udaipur:

7. Itanagar

Itanagar

#7 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Itanagar is famous for its scenic beauty, Buddhist culture, unique heritage and delicious Arunachalese cuisine. The unexplored terrains of North-east India offer a perfect getaway from all things familiar. As you soak in the charm of the dawn-lit mountains, do not forget to explore the local culture and cuisine—both of which are bound to leave you asking for more. Arunachal Pradesh’s wilderness is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including more than 500 varieties of orchid and the stunning great Indian Hornbill, which is also the state bird. If you plan to visit Itanagar between September and December, you may want to include the famous annual cultural extravaganza, Ziro Festival of Music, in your itinerary.

  • Best time to visit – October to March
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The nearest airport, the Lilabari Airport in North Lakhimpur, is 57 km away.
    • By Train: The closest railway station is Harrmoty Railway Station (23 km).
    • By Road: Well-connected by road, you can take a bus from most major North East Indian cities such as Lakhimpur (62km), Dibrugarh (197km) and Guwahati (324km).
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 2000-Rs 2500/day approx

8. Varanasi

Varanasi

#8 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Varanasi, Benaras or simply Kashi—there are many names to this ultimate destination for devout Hindus. Pilgrims throng Varanasi, one of the holiest cities in Hinduism, to wash away their sins in the sacred waters of the Ganges, pay respects to God at on one of the many ghats in the city, cremate their loved ones and immerse ashes in the Ganges, or just to die here, hoping to attain Nirvana—liberation from the cycle of rebirth. Set deep in spiritualism and mysticism, Varanasi embraces intimate rituals of life and death in its true form. One of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, Varanasi has remained a centre of religious, educational and artistic activities through centuries. Varanasi is not just one of the cheapest places to travel in India but also a must-visit place for an experience of a lifetime. Religious traveller or not, Varanasi gives you a glimpse of a world frozen in time.

  • Best time to visit – November to February
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport, or the Varanasi Airport, is 24 km away from the city centre.
    • By Train: Varanasi Railway Junction and Kashi Railway Station are the two main railheads in Varanasi. Both these railway stations are well-linked with other Indian cities.
    • By Road: Varanasi is well-connected with major North Indian cities such as Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna, Gorakhpur and Ranchi by road.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 500-Rs 1000/day approx

9. McLeod Ganj

Mcleodganj

#9 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Also known as Little Lhasa, McLeod Ganj’s popularity among tourists is skyrocketing with every passing year. Located around five kilometres from the popular hill station of Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj reflects the life and culture of Tibetans who moved here after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. The exiled government of Tibet and spiritual leader the 14th Dalai Lama are based in this quaint little town in the lap of the Himalayas. A trip to McLeod Ganj is unlike any other visit to an Indian hill station. This spiritual getaway and pilgrimage for the Buddhists, McLeod Ganj is known for its picturesque hills and valleys and serves as the base camp for one of the most beautiful and exciting treks in India—the Triund Trek that passes through stunning deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Heaven for trek lovers, McLeod Ganj offers exciting experiences to art, culture and food lovers. Be it hotels in McLeod Ganj or the food, nothing is too expensive here, especially when you know that the Tibetan experience here could be surpassed only by Tibet itself.

  • Best time to visit – September to June
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The nearest is the Kangra airport (18 km). However, flight services to this airport are limited. Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi (495 km) is the second nearest airport.
    • By Train: The nearest railway station is Pathankot Railway Station (90 km). Pathankot is well-connected by rail with major cities such as Delhi and Jammu.
    • By Road: McLeod Ganj is well-connected with various cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh and Dharamshala through regular and frequent bus services.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 800-Rs 1500/day approx

Also Read: Beautiful Places to Visit in India

10. Kasol

Kasol

#10 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

A hamlet in the quaint Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh, Kasol is all about exploring nature as you reconnect with your senses. The place is famous for its exciting treks and mouth-watering food. For trekking enthusiasts, Kasol offers a wide range of trek options including those to Kheer Ganga, Parvati Pass, Malana, Tosh and more. A walk along the gushing Parvati River gives you a beautiful view of Parvati Valley lined by thick forests on both sides. Or visit the Tosh village located on the far-end of Parvati Valley to see cannabis plantations. Untouched by commercialisation, the small cafes in the village serve a wide range of food including some dishes from Israeli cuisine, thanks to Israeli travellers who visit in large numbers throughout the year.

  • Best time to visit – Throughout the year
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The nearest airport is the Kullu Manali Airport, also known as Bhuntar Airport (31 km).
    • By Train: Kasol does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar Railway Station (144km). For better rail connectivity, you can also travel to Chandigarh Railway Station (296 km) and take a bus to Manali or hire a cab to Kasol.
    • By Road: There are no direct bus services to Kasol. The best options are to reach Bhuntar or Chandigarh and take a cab from there.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx

11. Amritsar

Amritsar

#11 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Say Amritsar and all you can think of is the Golden Temple, their langar and karah prashad, Jallianwala Bagh, Wagah Border, kulchas, tall glasses of lassi and numerous dhabas that serve delish Amritsari food. As one of the cheapest tourist places in India, Amritsar is all about experiencing a regular day in the locals’ life. Founded in 1577 by Ram Das, the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, Amritsar is the centre of Sikhism in India. Saying that a visit to Amritsar is incomplete without a visit to the Harmandir Sahib, or Golden Temple, is an understatement. A trip to the city is all about the famous temple. As you let the serenity of the temple relax your senses, do try their langar – the largest community kitchen in the world and have the ghee-laden karah prashad without a miss. Let patriotism swell in your heart at the Wagah Border. Every evening before sunset, the soldiers from India and Pakistan formally close the border for the night in a perfectly-synchronised and well-orchestrated flag-lowering ceremony. Open for all, there is no entry fee to attend the ceremony. While in Amritsar, do revisit the memory lanes of the Indian freedom struggle at Jallianwala Bagh, the site of one of the most tragic events in the history of India.

  • Best time to visit – Throughout the year
  • Ideal duration – 3-4 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is just 11 km away from the city centre.
    • By Train: Amritsar Railway Station is well-connected to almost all major Indian cities.
    • By Road: Amritsar is well-connected by road. There are daily bus services, including both state and private run, to and from many cities and towns in Punjab and major North Indian cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1500-Rs 2000/day approx

Keep reading about Amritsar:

12. Rishikesh

Rishikesh

#12 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Ganga Aarti, rafting, camping and yoga—these four things perfectly sum up an ideal trip to Rishikesh, the most tranquil place in northern Uttarakhand.  Yoga capital of the world, a spiritual centre and preferred destination for water sports enthusiasts, Rishikesh shot to fame in the 1960s as the place where The Beatles stayed with their guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Surrounded by stunning hills, Rishikesh stands witness to the beauty of the Ganges as it emerges from the mountains and rushes down the valley before touching the Gangetic Plain at the pilgrimage town of Haridwar (20 km downstream). Rishikesh offers a perfect balance of spirituality and adventure to visitors. Here, you may spend your day challenging your own limits on the waters of the Ganges and feel spiritual as you behold the sight of the famous Ganga Aarti on the ghats at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in the evenings.

  • Best time to visit – September to April
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The nearest is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun (20 km).
    • By Train: Though Rishikesh has a railway station, not many trains are operated from there. The nearest fully operational railway station is in Haridwar (19 km). The holy town of Haridwar is well-connected with major cities in North India.
    • By Road: Rishikesh is well-connected to all the major roads and national highways.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 800-Rs 1200/day approx

13. Nainital

Nainital

#13 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

An ideal spot for leisure tourism, Nainital is one of the most popular hill stations in North India. Located around the beautiful lake Naini Tal, the quaint hill station is surrounded by seven hills—popularly known as Sapta-Shring—on three sides. This small hill station offers a relaxing stay with days spent undertaking treks in the vicinity, strolling through the pine, oak and deodar forests, exploring various colonial buildings and shopping on the Mall Road. Besides, Nanital is well-connected to many other lesser-known hill stations by road.

  • Best time to visit – March to June and October to February
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest domestic airport is in Pantnagar (65 km). However, Pantnagar airport has limited commercial connectivity to other cities. The second nearest airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi (290 km).
    • By Train: The nearest is Kathgodham Railway Station (34 km). Many trains connect Kathgodham with New Delhi and other major cities.
    • By Road: Nainital has excellent bus connectivity with most big and small cities in North India. There are daily bus services to Nainital from New Delhi and Kathgodam.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx

Also Read: Places to Visit in Nainital

14. Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari

#14 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Though one of the cheap places to visit in India, Kanyakumari offers a rich experience like no other place in the country. The southernmost point of peninsular India, Kanyakumari is located at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Also known as Cape Comorin, Kanyamukari offers the rare experience of watching the sunrise and sunset from the ocean. On full moon days, you can see the sunset and moonrise simultaneously. The multicoloured sand on the Kanyakumari beach makes the spectacle even more beautiful. Once you get over the thrill of being on the edge of a continent, explore other attractions such as Vivekananda Rock Memorial that offers the vantage view of the Land’s end. Located on one of the two rocks projecting out of the ocean, Vivekananda Rock Memorial is connected to the mainland by ferry services. The other rock serves as the base to the 133-feet-tall Thiruvalluvar Statue. The statue itself is 95-feet tall and is erected on a 38-foot pedestal. While here, do visit the famous Kanyakumari temple dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanyakumari, the protector of the land. The deity’s diamond nose pin is just as famous as the deity herself and is said to be visible from the sea.

  • Best time to visit – October to March
  • Ideal duration – 1-2 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport (80 km).
    • By Train: Kanyakumari Railway Station is well-connected with Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, Mumbai and other major cities.
    • By Road: Kanyakumari is well-connected by road with Thiruvananthapuram (86 km), Madurai (242 km) and Rameshwaram (300 km). Regular bus services connect Kanyakumari to other major cities in South India.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1500-Rs 2000/day approx

15. Ooty

Ooty

#15 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Also known as the ‘Queen of Hills’, Ooty lives up to its name in every way. Nestled amidst the Nilgiri Hills, Ooty boasts rolling hills, lush green valleys and stunning lakes that offer unmatched scenic beauty to its visitors. Ooty has been a popular hill station since the period of British rule. Its magnificent tea gardens and colonial bungalows continue to attract tourists from all parts of the country. Besides enjoying the beauty of nature, you must visit St. Stephen’s Church and the ancient Murugan Temple, go boating on one of the many lakes such as the Avalanche Lake, Upper Bhavani Lake and the Emerald Lake, and ride on the iconic Nilgiri Mountain Railway toy train. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005, the blue Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) toy train is a sight to behold and an experience of a lifetime.

  • Best time to visit – April to June and September to November
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport (87 km).
    • By Train: The nearest railway station is in Mettupalyam (40 km). Regular trains connect Mettupalyam with Chennai, Coimbatore, Mysore, Bengaluru and other major South Indian cities.
    • By Road: There are regular buses operated by the Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation and many private service providers connecting Ooty with major South Indian cities.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx

Keep reading about Ooty:

16. Jaipur

Jaipur

#16 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Popularly known as the Pink City, Jaipur offers a glimpse of the Rajputana legacy and its rich heritage in all its glory. The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur remains to be one of the most visited cities in the state. Globally renowned for its coloured gems, forts and palaces, Jaipur attracts visitors from all parts of the world throughout the year. Jaipur was founded by Raja Jai Singh II, in 1727, when he shifted his capital from Amber to the new city. Some of the main attractions in Jaipur include the City Palace, Hawa Mahal and Amer Fort (on the outskirts of the city). When you are done fort and palace hopping across the city, head straight to its famous markets for some amazing Rajasthani goodies. Jaipur’s Johari Bazaar is known for shops selling precious stones, gems, semi-precious stones and hand-made jewellery. If you are eying some beautiful Jaipuri jootis then Nehru Bazaar is the place to be. For quick shoppers who choose to invest time in exploring the food and culture of the place, a visit to Bapu Bazaar would sum up all things Jaipuri.

  • Best time to visit – October to March
  • Ideal duration – 3-4 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: Sanganer International Airport in Jaipur connects Pink City with major Indian cities such as Mumbai and Delhi.
    • By Train: Jaipur Railway Station is well-connected to other Indian cities by many direct trains.
    • By Road: Jaipur has good road connectivity with major Indian cities. National Highways 8, 11 and 12 connect Jaipur with other parts of India.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1500-Rs 2000/day approx

17. Hampi

Hampi

#17 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Once the capital of the mighty Vijayanagara Dynasty, the historic town of Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, the ruins of Hampi is a striking sight of lost glory set in the boulder-strewn landscape. The ruins of the ancient temple town date back to 1500 AD. The major attractions at Hampi include Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple, Nandi Statue, Lotus Mahal, the monolithic statue of Sasivekalu Ganesha and the Hampi Bazaar area. To explore the ruins you may take a stroll through the temple town or just hop on a bike and ride amidst the stunning structures.

  • Best time to visit – October to February
  • Ideal duration – 1-2 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest is Jindal Vijaynagar Airport in Bellary (37 km). The nearest international airport is Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru (360 km).
    • By Train: Hosapete Railway Station (13 km) is the nearest rail junction connecting Hampi with other major cities in Karnataka.
    • By Road: Hampi is well-connected by bus services from all major cities and towns in Karnataka. Also, two-wheelers are available for rent in Hampi.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 800-Rs 1200/day approx

18. Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Fort

#18 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Located on the edge of the Thar Desert, the golden city of Jaisalmer sets the perfect stage for an Indian version of the Arabian Nights tale. Vast stretches of golden dunes and the magnificent Jaisalmer Fort, also known as the Sonar Qila (Golden Fort), offer an experience like no other. Built with unique yellow sandstone, the Sonar Qila lights up like a great flame in the desert expanse when the glowing Thar Desert sun casts its rays upon the fort during the dawn and at the sunset. It is a sight to behold.  When in Jaisalmer, visit biodiversity heritage site Akal Wood Fossil Park to learn about and trace geologic tragedies that occurred in the Thar Desert millions of years ago. For a complete desert experience include desert safari, camel rides and a stay at a desert campsite in your itinerary. Besides enjoying traditional performances of music and dance, you must try the authentic Rajasthani food at the desert camp.

  • Best time to visit – November to March
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest is the Jodhpur Airport (285 km). Regular flights connect Jodhpur with major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Udaipur.
    • By Train: There are direct trains to Jaisalmer Railway Station from Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
    • By Road: Jaisalmer is well-connected with major cities in Rajasthan such as Jodhpur and Jaipur through regular buses. However, there are no direct buses from New Delhi, but you can always take one to Jaipur and then board another bus to continue your journey to Jaisalmer.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx

19. Lonavala

Lonavala

#19 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

A popular getaway from Mumbai and Pune, Lonavala offers one of the most beautiful retreats from the humdrum of city life. Popularly known as the ‘Jewel of Sahyadri’, the hill station boasts spectacular ghat views, lush green valleys, stunning lakes, majestic waterfalls and rock-cut caves displaying ancient motifs and inscriptions. Situated on the scenic Mumbai-Pune Expressway, a drive to Lonavala through rock-cut tunnels is an experience in itself. While a trip to Lonavala is a day-long affair, including nearby attractions such as Aamby Valley, Pawna Lake, the Kune waterfall, Tikona Fort, Lohagad and Rajmachi forts to the itinerary would need a longer trip than a weekend getaway. Visit Lonavala in the monsoons to witness the wild beauty of green vegetation on the black rocks of the ghats.

  • Best time to visit – October to May and June to August
  • Ideal duration – 1-2 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest airport is the Lohegaon Airport in Pune (70 km), followed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai (90 km).
    • By Train: Lonavala Railway Station is well-connected with Pune and Mumbai. There are regular trains between Pune and Mumbai that stop at Lonavala, at frequent intervals.
    • By Road: Both Mumbai-Pune Expressway and old Mumbai-Pune road (National Highway 4) pass through Lonavala. Regular state buses, private buses and taxi services operate on this route.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 800-Rs 1200/day approx

Also Read: Things to do in Lonavala

20. Shimla

Shimla

#20 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Once the summer capital of British India, Shimla remains to be one of the most charming hills stations in the country. Its heritage buildings and colonial structures narrate the tales of a time gone by. For the Victorian architecture lovers, Shimla’s Viceregal Lodge, Christ Church, Gaiety Theatre, Gorton Castle and Barnes Court offer an experience like no other. The Ridge, situated along the Mall Road, is the hub of all cultural activities in Shimla.  Surrounded by cedar, rhododendron and Himalayan oak forests, Shimla is a dreamer’s paradise. Visit in the winter months to see Shimla covered in blankets of white snow. Kufri, near Shimla, is famous for its snow-skiing slopes and Jakoo Hill, the highest peak in Shimla, is often covered in a thin layer of snow during the peak winter months.

  • Best time to visit – April to October; December and January (for white winters)
  • Ideal duration – 3-4 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest airports are the Chandigarh Airport (122 km) and Indira Gandhi International Airport (359 km) in New Delhi.
    • By Train: Kalka Railway Station (96 km) is the nearest railway station. Kalka is well-connected with Chandigarh and New Delhi by rail.
    • By Road: Shimla is connected by road to all the major towns. Shimla is well-connected to Chandigarh and New Delhi by regular buses.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx

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21. Digha

Digha

#21 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Located between the East Midnapore district and the northern end of the Bay of Bengal, Digha is a famous seaside resort town in West Bengal. Digha is known for its shallow sand beach that stretches over seven kilometres. At Digha’s low-gradient beach the sea starts about a mile away from where you touch the beach offering a vast expanse of beautiful sand to relax on. The casuarina plantations along the coast add to the ethereal charm of the beach town. Originally known as Beerkul during Warren Hastings’ time, the small fishing town was discovered by the British in the late 18th century. Similar to Kanyakumari, Digha offers the surreal experience of watching sunrise and sunset over salty waters of the Bay of Bengal.

  • Best time to visit – October to February
  • Ideal duration – One day
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest airport is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata Airport (192 km). Kolkata is well-connected with most major cities in India.
    • By Train: Three trains run directly between Digha Railway Station and Howrah. Howrah Railway Station is well-connected to most cities in India.
    • By Road: Digha is connected with Kolkata and Howrah (168 km) by a highway. There are regular buses to Digha from the Dharamtala Bus Station (180 km) in Kolkata.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 800-Rs 1200/day approx

22. Goa

Goa

#22 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

As they say, ‘Best things come in small packages.’ Ask anyone who has visited Goa, the small state on the Western Coastal Plain, and they will confirm the beach paradise is just that. Goa, a Portugal colony in the past, is all about magnificent beaches, stunning forts, surreal churches, Portuguese architecture, relaxed life and lip-smacking seafood. Every year, throngs of people, especially youngsters, travel to Goa for a complete beach experience. Goa hosts many music festivals throughout the year and is one of the top destinations for beach party lovers. When you are not chilling on the beach or trekking to an isolated fort, visit the colonial quarters of the state for a feel of Europe in India.

  • Best time to visit – October to June
  • Ideal duration – 4-5 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: Fly to the Dabolim Airport in Goa. It is 31 km away from the state’s capital, Panaji.
    • By Train: The two main railway stations in Goa are Madgaon and Vasco-da-Gama. These railway stations are well-connected with Mumbai and other major cities in India.
    • By Road: Goa, especially its capital city Panaji, is very well-connected with other cities through roadways.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 800-Rs 1500/day approx

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23. Khajuraho

Khajuraho

#23 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Who has not heard of Khajuraho’s erotic stone carvings? But what many do not know is that these erotic sculptures account for only 10 per cent of all stunning sculptures that can be seen at Khajuraho’s three groups of temples. The ancient Khajuraho temples are celebrated as the last-surviving examples of some of the finest temple art in the world. Built with sandstone, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments comprises 85 Hindu and Jain temples of which only 20 have survived the test of time. After being neglected for centuries, the Khajuraho temples were rediscovered in the 1850s and since then, have been attracting tourists from all over the world. Located in Madhya Pradesh, tourism to Khajuraho mainly revolves around visiting the temples and exploring its sculptures making it one of the cheap holiday destinations in India.

  • Best time to visit – October to February
  • Ideal duration – 2-3 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The Khajuraho Airport is just 5 km away from the main town. The next closest airport is the Kanpur Airport (229 km).
    • By Train: The small railway station at Khajuraho is connected to Jhansi (114 km) via the Delhi-Chennai/Bangalore/Trivandrum route. The next closest railway station is Satna (118 km).
    • By Road: Khajuraho has regular buses operating from Satna and Jhansi. However, there are no direct buses from Jhansi and you would have to switch buses at Chhatarpur to reach Khajuraho. Long-distance buses connect Khajuraho with many North Indian cities and towns such as Harpalpur, Chhatarpur, Mahoba, Sagar, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Panna, Agra, Allahabad, and Varanasi.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx

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24. Alleppey

Alleppey

#24 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

Alleppey, popularly known as ‘Venice of the East,’ tops the list of the best yet cheap places to visit in India. Alleppey, or Alappuzha, lies in the heart of Kerala’s vast network of waterways and showcases the famed Kerala backwaters in their true glory. Alleppey is also a major hub for houseboat rides and stays. Take a day off on one of the cosy yet comfortable houseboats, floating over the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, occasionally coming across a small village along the water where you can stop for a glass of toddy before resuming your journey through the mesmerising network of canals and backwaters.

  • Best time to visit – September to March
  • Ideal duration – 3-4 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest airport is the Cochin International Airport (82 km), followed by the Trivandrum International Airport (162 km).
    • By Train: Alappuzha Railway Station is located about 4 km away from the city centre. Alappuzha is well-connected to almost all major cities in India.
    • By Road: Alappuzha has a good network of KSRTC buses to the nearby cities.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 800-Rs 1500/day approx

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25. Wayanad

Wayanad

#25 of 25 Cheap Places to Visit in India

A treasure trove of ecological diversity, Wayanad is Kerala’s green paradise. Nestled among the mountains of the Western Ghats, Wayanad is popular among travellers for its untamed wilderness. Besides the untouched beauty of nature, spectacular trek routes, the vast expanse of lakes, rich history and heritage—everything adds to the Wayanad experience. While here, do a trek to Wayanad’s Chembra Peak and see the famous heart-shaped lake surrounded by beautiful hills and valleys, soak in the charm of India’s largest and Asia’s second-largest earth dam, Banasura Sagar Dam, and explore stone-age pictorial writings on the walls of Edakkal Caves.

  • Best time to visit – October to May; December to February
  • Ideal duration – 3-4 days
  • How to reach –
    • By Air: The closest airport is Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode (98 km).
    • By Train: The closest railway station is Kozhikode (85 km). Kozhikode is well-connected by rail to major towns such as Kochi, Chennai and Bengaluru.
    • By Road: Wayanad has a good network of KSRTC buses to the nearby cities.
  • Average cost (stay and food) – Rs 1000-Rs 1500/day approx

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