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India's Hidden Gems: 5 Budget-Friendly Wonders


India  •  9 Aug, 2023  •  1,783 Views  •  ⭐ 3.5

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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India, a mosaic of cultures, traditions, and landscapes, offers experiences that cater to every type of traveller and budget. While many flock to its renowned sites, there's a treasure trove of lesser-known destinations that are as breathtaking as they are affordable. Here, we unveil five of these gems.

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Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Yoga Capital of the World

Interesting Facts About Rishikesh That You Won't Be Aware Of
Image Credits: Himalayan OutBack

Nestled at the foothills of the Himalayas, along the banks of the Ganges, Rishikesh is not just a spiritual hub but also an adventurer’s paradise. It’s globally recognized for its yoga centres and ashrams. But, if spirituality isn't your calling, the town offers white-water rafting, hiking, and camping opportunities. With budget stays and eateries, Rishikesh promises a holistic experience without burning a hole in your pocket.

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Hampi, Karnataka

Echoes from the Past

Hampi Tourism UNESCO World Heritage | Virupaksha Temple Karnataka
Image Credits: Karnataka Tourism

Once the capital of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi today stands as ruins, yet breathtakingly beautiful. Its boulders, ancient temples, and historical relics narrate tales of yore. The Virupaksha Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit. Hampi, being off the regular tourist track, offers affordable accommodation and food, making it a pocket-friendly historical retreat.

McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh

Little Lhasa in India

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McLeod Ganj - Wikipedia
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Perched in the Dhauladhar Range, McLeod Ganj is the residence of the Dalai Lama and a refuge for the Tibetan diaspora. This quaint town is a blend of Tibetan culture with British colonial influences. Visit the Namgyal Monastery, stroll around Bhagsu Falls, or indulge in Tibetan delicacies at local cafes. With plenty of budget hostels and guesthouses, McLeod Ganj is a backpacker’s dream.

Gokarna, Karnataka

India’s Lesser-Known Beach Haven

Om Beach | Gokarna | Karnataka Tourism
Image Credits: Karnataka Tourism

For those who find Goa a tad commercialized, Gokarna is the place to be. With its pristine beaches like Om Beach and Kudle Beach, Gokarna offers a more laid-back and serene beach experience. Apart from its sandy shores, the Mahabaleshwar Temple in the town is a significant pilgrimage site. Beach shacks, homestays, and guesthouses ensure a seaside retreat that's easy on the wallet.

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Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

The Golden Mirage in the Desert

20 Best Places to Visit in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan | Tour My India
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Known as the ‘Golden City’ due to its distinctive yellow sandstone architecture, Jaisalmer looks like a mirage arising from the Thar Desert. The Jaisalmer Fort, a living fort with families residing within, is its crown jewel. Explore the Havelis, shop for local handicrafts, or take a camel safari into the desert. With a range of budget accommodations and the charm of the Rajasthani culture, Jaisalmer offers luxury at a fraction of the price.

Conclusion

India, with its vast and varied topography, has always been a land of myriad experiences. These five destinations prove that you don't need to splurge to witness its beauty and heritage. Each place, with its unique charm, offers an unforgettable journey that goes beyond the conventional and is kind to your finances. Dive into these hidden gems and discover an India that's as captivating as it is affordable.

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