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Overview

There’s nothing more thrilling and adventurous than packing your bags and going on a trip to different destinations. India has always been a popular destination and a long-known haven for backpackers. This is because you can find many options for reasonable accommodations, cheap food, and a low-cost commuting network available easily.

 

If you want to enjoy a backpacking trip but are unsure of where to begin, we have you covered. Here is a list of top backpacking trips in India that you can visit without overwhelming your budget. 

Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi was a part of one of the greatest Hindu kingdoms in the history of India. It is situated in Karnataka and is a delight for travellers who enjoy exploring historical structures. However,  Virupapur Gaddi, which is very close to Hampi, has become the more popular site for backpacking trips. It borders the paddy fields on the opposite side of the river, in the north of Hampi. The place is surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, bustling markets, temples, and bastions. Hampi offers you to explore more than 100 sightseeing points, which will keep you curious and busy during your entire time there.  

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Rishikesh is regarded as the birthplace of yoga, bringing in a number of spiritual seekers. In northern India, Rishikesh is one of the most popular tourist and pilgrimage destinations. People from all around the globe travel to this place in search of calm and peace. The place offers a pleasant, cool, and calm environment to hang out in. Rishikesh has several internationally recognised ashrams as well, where the annual International Yog Festival (IYF) is organised. For those who seek adventure, Rishikesh also has popular places for indulging in adventure sports, such as river rafting, bungee jumping, and more in the ever-bustling Ganga.

Pushkar, Rajasthan

Another destination on our list of backpacking trips India is Pushkar. As one of the oldest cities in India, Pushkar is a holy town mostly popular for its camel festival. It is situated at a height of 510 metres, surrounded by three hillocks, and is known as the ‘rose garden of Rajasthan.’ When you come here, make sure you have enough cash as there are plenty of souvenirs you can buy, from bangles to clothes made of organic material. For those looking for reasonable accommodations, there are hostels situated near the lake that give you a pleasant staying experience. It has become a popular destination for devotees and tourists alike. 

Anjuna Beach, Goa

There are a lot of beaches in Goa – so many that it’s hard to figure out which one to visit on your backpackers trip in India. Despite that, Anjuna Beach stands out among the rest. The place is quite popular among families and lovers of water sports and extends to almost 2 kilometers. Apart from its beaches with scenic attractions, Anjuna is also most popular for its Wednesday Flea Market, where you can shop for the chicest items at affordable rates. You can also enjoy moon parties during Christmas and new year.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi has been a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus for years. The rich culture, heritage, and mystique of this old city are what make it a popular destination for backpack travel in India. It is known as the cultural capital of the country and rightly so. Moreover, Varanasi promotes mysticism, spiritualism, yoga, and Sanskrit as well as Hindi, which are the native languages. The backpacker hostels are abundant in Varanasi and are located conveniently near the ghats, including Chet Singh Ghat and Assi Ghat. Enjoy aartis on the ghats and hear the pleasant chiming of the bells during your stay here. 

Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh

Dharamkot is a popular place for backpackers to visit and volunteer for learning courses, including alternative therapies and learnings in Buddhism. It’s a perfect destination to take some time off for leisure. In recent years, travellers have reached further up the hills, quieter parts of the village. Amidst the greenery, you can hike your way up to the peaks and enjoy spellbinding views. There are many popular treks that start from here, including the Triund trek, Illaqua trek, Indrahar Pass trek, and more. Make sure you carry your hiking boots!

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Popularly referred to as the ‘pink city’ of India, Jaipur is one of the most popular destinations among travellers. The origins of the city can be traced back to 1727 when Jai Singh II established the city and moved the capital from Amber. Why it’s perfect for backpacking trips in India? It’s packed with popular and inexpensive hostels and guest houses with private rooms, dorm rooms, and pools. The pink colour of the city makes it a visually appealing destination for tourists. There are a number of monuments that you can explore, including the Hawa Mahal, City Palace, and Amer Fort, all of which are the best spots to capture the beauty of the city in your camera roll. You can also visit the Bapu Bazaar to get your hands on some lovely ethnic clothes and jewellery. 

Gokarna, Karnataka

If you are not a Goa person but still want to enjoy some days off on a beach, head to Gokarna, instead. Originally, Gokarna was a Hindu pilgrimage destination but it has recently become popular among backpacking travellers and beach lovers. It is situated on the coast of Karwar across the border of Karnataka. The flea markets here are the best to get some hippie and bohemian-styled goodies. The most popular beaches in Gokarna are Kudle beach and Om Beach. With clean ocean and sand, and swaying palm trees, this place will transport you to another dimension. The kind of peace and relaxation the place offers makes Gokarna a must visit for backpackers. 

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho is situated in northern Madhya Pradesh against the backdrop of the extensive Vindhya mountain range. It is widely known for its temples with meticulously detailed carvings and erotic structures. These temples can be dated back to the 10th and 11th centuries. The sandstone temples here are a world heritage site. However, only 20 out of the original 85 temples remain today. Apart from the detailed and beautiful temples, you can take a leisurely stroll across the place to enjoy the rural view of India. It’s a must-visit place on backpacking trips.

Varkala, Kerala

Varkala beach is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Kerala. It is lined with beach shacks, palm trees, and shops. The aesthetic and dreamy atmosphere of the beach makes it popular among travellers and the ultimate paradise for backpackers. Other popular tourist attraction is the 2000-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam - Sivagiri Mutt, which are closely located to the beach.

Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur is the regal city of Rajasthan, manifesting romance and luxury at the same time. It is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ and rightly so. One of the most popular and beautiful sites in the city is Lake Pichola. The city is also home to Asia’s second largest man-made sweet water lake. There are no words that can truly describe the beauty of the city. Udaipur is a worthy exploration for backpacking trips.

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

You can reach the place within an hour from Chennai in Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the top beaches on the east coast of India. The must-visits include the UNESCO World Heritage stone-carved sculptures and monuments from the 7th century. Though backpacker hostels are rare, you can still find plenty of reasonable accommodations here.

Old Manali and Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh

Manali is a popular name among hill lovers in India. However, if you visit Old Manali, you will find its appeal more enchanting. Manali also has multiple backpacker hostels and guest houses. You can also visit the Vashisht village on the opposite side of the Beas River. If you are looking for peaceful vibes and scenic views, this is the place for you.

Amritsar, Punjab

Golden Temple is the first place that comes to mind when you think of visiting Amritsar, and is surely a must-visit if you are in the city. Apart from this, you can also visit the Jallianwala Bagh and the Wagah Border. With the main market completely revamped, you can roam on the clean traffic-free streets and shop for all the colourful things from Punjab. 

Fort Kochi, Kerala

This place is a hit amongst those who frequently backpack travel in India. The architecture here is contributed by the British, Dutch, and Portuguese. Lined with art galleries and cute cafes, this place is perfect for leisurely strolls. 

 

These are the top places that must be on your bucket list if you are fond of backpacking across India. However, backpacking trips can often go out of budget, despite extensive planning, either due to mishaps or incidental expenses. Thus, we bring you the Backpacker insurance to cover those unplanned expenses. Get all the details of this policy on our website!