Travelling through India

Posted on June 2, 2016

Travelling through India
So you have a holiday due and you want to go somewhere to have a break. But where should you go?
If you want to experience new cultures, beautiful mountains, interesting people, delicious food and so much more, then why not go to “INDIA”?

It is often said that India it is not a country, but a continent. Stretching from the frozen summits of the Himalayas to the tropical greenery of Kerala, its expansive borders encompass an incomparable range of landscapes, cultures and people. Walk the streets of any Indian city and you’ll rub shoulders with representatives of several of the world’s great faiths, a multitude of castes and outcastes, fair-skinned, turbaned Punjabis and dark-skinned Tamils.

You’ll also encounter temple rituals that have been performed since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs, onion-domed mosques erected centuries before the Taj Mahal was ever dreamt of, and quirky echoes of the British Raj on virtually every corner.
So now you have to decide if you want to go to India, the first question that comes to your mind is:
What will be the budget be when travelling through India?
India is commonly known as one of the least expensive destinations for travellers, especially for budget travellers. Prices here can often seem shockingly low for anyone who has spent much of their time in North America or Europe, and even for those who have travelled to other regions of the world, India usually seems like an incredible bargain.
But just how much of a bargain is it?
For those of you on the tightest of budgets, you could survive here in India with a daily spending limit of $15 USD per day. This would enable you to stay in low-end budget hotels, to eat simple meals at local eateries and to utilize local and government buses, as well as 3rd Class trains to get around.
If you can manage $25 USD per day, you’ll be able to travel in significantly more comfort as you’ll soon see below. And for those who can spend more than $25 per day, your experience could involve the occasional 1st Class train, nicer budget hotels and a wider variety of eating options.
At the time of writing, the exchange rate for Indian Rupees (INR) (₹) is:
  • 1 USD = 54 INR
  • 1 Euro = 71 INR
  • 1 GBP = 88 INR
  • 1 CAD = 55 INR
  • 1 AUD = 57 INR
  • 1 NZD = 44 INR
Below are some major necessities that will help you make your budget when travelling through India.
When it comes to India, every traveller will need to secure a visa before they arrive. There are usually several types of visas available.
  1. 3-month and 6-month.
  2. 5-year and 10-year tourist visa. (For US Citizens only)
But how much is it going to cost you? Is the question. They usually cost different amounts depending on your nationality.
Just to give an example of potential costs, for US Citizens, the 6-month multiple entry tourist visa costs $76 USD (including processing fee) and the 5-year tourist visa costs $166 USD. But again, prices differ for all nationalities.
Here are some details about what kind of accommodation exists in India:
Dorm Room:
As cheap as it comes at around 50 – 100 INR per night, poor conditions, questionably clean toilet facilities, usually men-only.
Budget Room:
For 250 – 500 INR per night you get a large bed with thin (often hard) mattress, sparse furniture, dirty walls, plug outlets that spark, somewhat clean private bathroom, sometimes with hot water shower (available during set times)
Deluxe Budget Room:
500-1000 INR typically gets you a more spacious room, with 24-hour hot water, a comfier mattress, television, some furniture and more of a ‘hotel feel’
Deluxe Room:
For 1000+ INR per night, you can get a nice room, usually still with some marks on the walls and less than sparkling bathroom, but with a proper mattress, more furniture, perhaps a desk, large television, air-conditioning and hotel staff that are significantly more attentive.
India is a dream when it comes to food, as you can barely walk two meters without facing another street stall or restaurant serving up some kind of snack or dish that you suddenly want to devour. Whether it be samosas, pakoras, lassis or momos, whether it be North Indian or South Indian cuisine…it is all so very tempting.
You can grab a snack off the street for about ₹20 or a meal in a budget restaurant starts at around ₹100. The beach shacks in Goa turn out amazingly good food for between ₹100 – ₹300 and I’ve never been sick from these operations. As a general rule Western food will cost a lot more than simple traditional Indian vegetarian food.
It will cost you around 2 to 4 $ for a lunch or dinner in a low-class hotel or a stall at the street.
But if you want to go a little place that’s fancy and has good quality food then you will need about 10 to 11 dollars.
By now, it should come as no surprise that transportation, whether by bus, train, taxi or even flights, are also quite affordable. You can find a taxi or a rickshaw easily on almost every corner of every street in India.
  • Taxi or Rickshaw will cost you only ₹20-₹30 for in-city traveling.
  • Personal car hire rates start at about ₹2000 per day.
  • Trains will cost you around ₹50 for a “C class” to ₹1000 for “A class” services depending on your distance of travel.
  • A bus will cost you around ₹300-₹750 for a travel of 10 hours (in case you want to go in other cities) varying from low to high class.
  • Flights are also very reasonable. I was just online yesterday checking out a few flights and I found a flight from Kolkata to Delhi for $75 USD, a flight from Delhi to Kochi for $85 and Delhi to Mumbai for $75. I even found a flight from Kolkata to Guwahati in the Northeast State of Assam for $50, a flight that would save a traveller about 20 hours of travel time.
Always try to bargain on price and stay calm. Keep your money safe and wallet in your hands.  Always keep some extra money in case of any emergency. Don’t carry too much cash, use ATM machines for little amounts of money for 1 or 2 days.
At the end you just need to be calm and enjoy your time. Always remember that you are there for a break so make your time worthy and leave all the worries behind.


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