Backpacking India Conveniently to Top Spots without Spending a Fortune
Backpacking in India is the ideal way to experience the diverse ethos of the country where different multilingual communities thrive in great harmony. As India has diverse topography – from snow-peaked Himalayan Mountains to great fertile plains of Ganges and Yamuna, sprawling sea beaches, and sandy pristine desert, it not easy to cover the entire territory at one go. If you do, you need to make a long trip, chalk your itinerary judiciously, and pack your luggage keeping in mind the climate, temperature, locality, and type of the trip. If you are looking for backpacking in India on a modest budget, you should pick the right accommodation facilities and mode of transport. The best time to visit depends on the location you are planning to travel. August to October and March to May is the best time for the hills. If you are looking for a fair weather, don’t visit during the Monsoon months – June to September.
Backwaters and Thrilling Activities
Transport is an important part while backpacking to Indian territories. If you are visiting backwaters or beach area of Kerala in the south India, you can opt for local cabs and buses to take you to different localities. Trivandrum is the nearest airport in this area. Flight deals are available all the year round by most plush airlines. Many travelers use Indian Railways to travel to the nearest railway station to check out the backwaters. So, you can visit Varkala, Allepey, Kochi, or Kollam by getting a reserved ticket and taking a comfy Express train to these railway stations in Kerala. There are also government buses that ply regularly from the nearest city to the local spot.
Boating is a popular way to enjoy backpacking in the backwaters of Kerala. If you are in August, make sure you visit the Snake Boat Race. The lagoons are rich in various marine organisms. Be cautious on insect bites, crocodiles, and bears. If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of macaques, sloth bears, and tigers. There are flying squirrels, porcupine, and elephants. Take a houseboat, and cruise through the cool and serene backwaters of South. Many trekkers plan out a trip to elephant sanctuary in Guruvayur or Periyar National Park. You can laze around on the beaches of Varkala or hike to Athirappily waterfalls, or mingle with the locals on Onam festivity.
Beaches and Sea Sports
Youngsters often backpack to India and spend a fortnight or more along the Western Ghats. There are river rafting clubs to allow youngster to enjoy rafting session. Koyna backwaters allow backpackers to go for kayaking and wind surfing. The peninsula in south India allows tourists experience beach life. The ambience at the sea beaches and the city near it is different from one beach to another. From Goa and Gujarat beaches in the west to Golpalpur and Chennai in the east, the beaches are a sheer delight for beach lovers. At an affordable budget you can enjoy a sojourn at these places.
Sandy Desert Camps and Safaris
Camel safaris to the sand dunes of Rajasthan are quite common for backpackers. Pack your bags to meet the grueling sandy terrain, heat, and arid atmosphere while enjoying the desert ambience on a camel back. You can also take jeep safaris to Pushkar, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Bikaner. Pitch your tents and enjoy a camp fire as well at these places if you are adventurous and enjoy backpacking India.
Himalayan Biking and Trekking Trip
Diehard bikers make it a point to visit India for participating in Himalayan mountain biking trip. So, pick up your backpack and set off to enjoy a hilarious mountain biking tour through the risky Himalayas. Check out intriguing spots in Luang Prabang to Nam Bak. If you loving trekking through the rhododendrons and mists of the Upper Himalayas, the ideal place is near Spiti Valley and Comic Monastery at Kaza. Take care to check the weather conditions and temperature during the trekking expedition with the Tourism and Travel authorities at the base camps. You may have to take permission to visit these areas while backpacking in India to such spots. If you choose a lesser hectic hiking or trekking trip, you can pick Pin Valley, Pattan Valley, and Shashur Monastery. The flowerbeds of Dalhousie, Chamba Valley are worth visiting. On the other hand, if you are looking for natural habitat, wild flowers blooming among hedges, natural waterfalls, and beautiful lush green forests, you can go for walking trails. This form of backpacking to India in remote areas is quite common during spring and autumn. The trails can be for a fortnight or even longer. You can backpack to Valley of Flowers, Sikkim suburbs, and Ladakh, or pick up a Rhododendron trail near Arunachal Pradesh.
Hiking Trails in Forest Reserves
If you are a nature lover, want to a satiating trip to a wild forest, and catch a glimpse of some rare birds and animals, then backpacking India on wild trails across forests is a lucrative proposition. You can arrange a perfect trip at Periyar forest to see wild elephants enjoying a cool bath at a water hole, one-horned rhinos at Khaziranga National Park, and lions at Gir forests. Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh,Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan,Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Gir Forests in Gujarat are some of the pristine forest reserves that still have animals and birds thriving in their natural habitat. You can go for hiking trails to Bharatpur Santuary in Rajasthan for a bird watching expedition, Satpuda forest trails, and Keibul Lamjao National Park. Safaris are also organized at Kanha National Park, Corbett National Park,and Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Taking care of your finances is an important aspect while backpacking. India has a robust banking system and currency exchange hubs to help tourists withdraw money from prominent kiosks across the country. But, have you wondered how much would it cost per day for a tourist to stay in India? If you are backpacking India with a modest budget, you can put up at around 20 Dollars per day. A comfy room would be around 10 Dollars. If you put up at hostels or bachelor mess the cost can come down. Don’t forget, you also need enough cash to travel, eat healthy meals, and pick exciting tours while backpacking India.
Tourists backpacking to different parts of India can choose modest transport facilities to move around from one locality to another. While Indian Railways have a vast network, you can also opt for bus transport or private cabs. Whether you drop at Chennai Central, Howrah in Kolkata, or CST in Mumbai, there are long distant buses which would take you to your desired location.
If you are traveling to Sun City in Jodhpur or desert sands near Bikaner, the local transport would be on camel back or horseback. If you are visiting a hilly terrain, say tough undulations of Himalayas or Western Ghats, jeeps, matadors, work best. Toy trains at Nilgiris, Darjeeling, and Sikkim or special trains to the mountains have been provided by the government to ensure backpackers reach the hills quickly. If you love the sea, sprawling beaches, and don’t mind mingling with the ethnicity of the locals, you can cruise to Andaman and Nicobar Islands or Lakshadweep islands.
While backpacking to India, consider what food you plan to eat while traveling or while holidaying at a particular location. A prudent advice would be to taste what the majority of the people staying in the locality eat. However, be cautious on how your body accepts the spices used in the dishes. If you are trekking to the upper altitudes of Himalayas, ensure you have soups and curries to keep yourself energetic, warm, and hydrated. Soups may include spices such as cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and nutmeg. Keep dry snacks ready with you, such as biscuits, cookies, dry fruits, cakes, and chocolates. While hiking or trekking through various localities, you can get a packet of fried or baked peanuts, gram seeds, corn seeds, and similar nutritious snacks to satiate your hunger pangs. If you are beach walking through the coasts of India, you should sip coconut water at regular intervals. For walking trails, include glucose, candy, chocolates, and dry fruits.
Pack your bags with items necessary for backpacking in India. If you are hiking or traveling to higher altitudes, woolen clothes, shoes, and woolen accessories would work the best. For dry areas, such as Jaipur and interiors of Rajasthan, you should keep Tees, capris, shorts, and similar summer accessories. Straw hats, goggles, or umbrellas can help you to travel even in scorching heat in arid places. Don’t forget to seek advice from the local travel agent on what special accessories you need for the travel. For instance, in a mosquito-infested area of Sundarbans in West Bengal or Khaziranga Forest Reserve of Assam, you must wear full-sleeved top with long trousers, and gum boots. Beware of the blood-sucking leeches in the swampy area and mosquitoes.
So, wherever you plan for backpacking in India, make sure you have the necessary items with you. Some seasoned backpackers have opined that a perfect backpack that would carry these and much more would be around 60 to 75 liter capacity. If you are ready, set-off right away.