There are many places in India that attracts backpackers from across the country and abroad too. Backpacking is not only about traveling on a shoestring budget. It is also about an immersive way of travel by interacting with locals, staying in a place for a reasonable amount of time to truly understand its culture. It means travelling slow and experiencing one place at a time. India with its vast and varied range of experiences offers unlimited and unique opportunities for backpackers. Also the availability of cheap and convenient public transportation within the country makes India an attractive destination for backpackers. The availability of low cost flying options makes it faster and more convenient for backpackers to quickly travel across India. For example if they are looking to get to Kolkata from the capital city of India, there are so many Delhi to Kolkata flights and they are sure to get a great deal on their Delhi to Kolkata flight fare. The same applies for other destinations in India as well. All in all it translates into a bonanza for backpackers travelling in India. Here are a few backpacking hotspots in India.
Gokarna- A Coastal Getaway for Backpackers
Gokarna is a much more peaceful and serene option to Goa, and hence more and more backpackers are heading to this beach town in the state of Karnataka. Great trekking options and pristine and secluded beaches attract backpackers to Gokarna. The beaches like Om Beach, Paradise beach, and Half Moon Beach are an ideal haven for backpackers. The availability of cheap and decent accomodation options on the beaches is another factor that pulls the crowds to Gokarna. The simplicity of the small temple town combined with the warmth of its simple people all combine to make Gokarna a backpackers delight. Gokarna is about 484 kilometres from Bangalore and abou 143 kilometres from Goa.
Mcleodganj the Meeting Place of Cultures
Mcleodganj is a picturesque city nestled atop the picturesque Kangra Valley in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Mcleodganj is famous now throughout the world for the august presence of the Dalai Lama. Mcleodganj happens to be the centre of the Tibetan Government in exile in India. The atmosphere of spirituality and mysticism that surrounds Mcleodganj and the towns in the region acts like a draws backpackers in hordes. An evening stroll followed by a stop for a snack at one of the small cafes could turn out to be a meeting with global citizens as you interact over delicious momos with people from around the world. Cheap and decent accommodation options are available at Mcleod Ganj at prices starting as low as INR 500. Mcleodganj is about 491 kilometres away from Delhi and 244 kilometres from Chandigarh and can be easily reached by public bus.
The Beach Paradise of Goa
Goa is probably the best known of backpacker destinations in India. In the sixties Goa attracted the hippies who came with their music and colourful lifestyles. Goa with its never ending beaches and rich musical culture continues to be one of the top backpacker destinations in India.
A large number of hostels that offer cheap accomodation without compromising on quality and convenience only adds to the Goa magic. The music scene in Goa which ranges from full scale music festivals organized on a large scale to smaller events at local cafes is another bait that backpackers will find hard to resist. Moving around on your own free will without depending on public transportation was never so easy as it is in Goa. One can rent a bike easily and move freely across the length and breadth of Goa. The cuisine of Goa that blends the best of the Portuguese and local Konkani cuisines is another reason for backpacking to thrive in Goa. Goa is a small state situated on the edge of the Arabian Sea in the western part of India. Goa is well connected to all major centres of India by all modes of transport.
The Spiritual and Serene Rishikesh
Rishikesh is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas with the famous and sacred river Ganga flowing down from the mountains and making its way through the town. Spirituality seems to pervade the atmosphere here as the evening lights up with a thousand lamps waving in the air to the accompaniment of sacred chants. The numerous Yoga and spiritual retreats that dot the region of Rishikesh only add to the charm of Rishikesh as a backpacking destination. The presence of the old and abandoned Beatles Ashram where the Beatles once stayed is another factor that adds to the allure of Rishikesh as a unique backpacking destination. Rishikesh is situated about 232 kilometres from Delhi and well connected by public transport.Rishikesh also offers many cheap accomodation options for the backpacker.
These are just a few of the popular backpacking destinations of India. There are many more in the four corners of the country, some known and some waiting to be discovered.