Budget trips in India

Going through a financial crunch is normal. But that should not keep us from exploring the beautiful country that we are blessed to live in. Adulting brings with it, its own share of challenges and expenses. We all have experienced month-end vows at some point or the other. If you have been looking forward to a much-needed getaway from your daily life, we have curated a list of budget trips in India you can do from metro cities.

Budget trips in India for your next adventure

From Delhi

Abhaneri (237 km away)

Located near Rajasthan’s Dausa, Abhaneri is home to the famous Chand Baori step-well. One of the oldest and largest step-wells in the world, Chand Baori’s construction is credited to King Chand Raja from the Gurjara Pratihara clan. It was built during the eighth and the ninth centuries with the aim to harvest water. It has 3,500 narrow steps descending 20 meters to the bottom of the well and 13 floors. Its geometrical pattern is one of a kind and hard to find in today’s time. The stairs are surrounded by water on the three sides and on the fourth side by a three-storeyed pavilion carved by beautiful jharokhas and galleries on two pillars and sculptures on the balcony. Abhaneri can be best reached from Delhi by taking an RSRTC bus for Dausa. You can visit on a day trip and save on accommodation expenses. 

Agra (246 km away)


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Visiting Agra is always a good idea. Bus and train fares for Agra are pocket-friendly. You can make a day trip and explore prominent monuments. Begin your day with a visit to the Taj Mahal. Spend your time exploring the various rooms, gardens, and museums here before grabbing a breakfast of bedai kachori from any local restaurant or street food vendor. Head on over to Agra fort and explore its intricate red sandstone architecture and the marvel that is the Jehangir palace. You could then head to Itimad-Ud-Daulah to take a peek at what served as a blueprint for the Taj Mahal. Spend some leisure time at Mehtab Bagh. As evening draws close, sample and shop for pethas at local stores and board the bus to Delhi.

From Mumbai

Lonavala-Khandala (79 km away)


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Though two separate destinations, we’ve clubbed them into one since they’re located about five kilometres from each other. Both Lonavala and Khandala are popular spots for tourists from Mumbai and Pune due to their proximity to the cities. Plan a weekend trip there to enjoy breathtaking mountain views, cool weather, and scenic greenery. Make it a trip with your friends and enjoy a weekend of fun and games as you enjoy outdoor activities, bonfires, and more. You can also visit Lohagadh and go on a trek, or simply go to the Lohagadh Fort for a picnic. Other popular spots include Pavana Lake, Tikona Fort, Lion’s Point, Tiger’s Leap, Duke’s  Nose, and Bhaja Caves.

Matheran (83 km away)


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Matheran prides itself on being the only pedestrian hill station in Asia. Perched at a height of 2,636 ft above sea level in the Western Ghats, Matheran rewards travellers with its thick cover of evergreen forest, which makes the hill station a paradise for walkers. Matheran was discovered by Hugh Poyntz Malet, Collector of Thane District in 1850. Enjoy splendid views after a refreshing trek to the Panorama Point, take nature walks to Hart Point and Monkey Point, watch sunsets from Porcupine Point, go trekking, and savour some chikkiland, a caramel confection.

From Bengaluru

Mysuru (143 km away)

A scenic bus ride from Bengaluru’s Majestic Bus Stand takes you to the city of silk, sandalwood, palaces, and horse carriages. Mysuru—formerly called Mysore—is the cultural capital of Karnataka and has lent its name to some iconic products over the years. The city can be visited on a day trip. Start with the Mysore Palace, which was built in 1897 and continues to be the most enduring landmark of the city. Head to Nazarbad and treat yourself to the iconic Mylari Dosa. Get some Mysore Pak packed from a nearby shop and head to St. Philomena’s Church. If your budget allows, you can also shop for Mysore Silk sarees at the stores opposite the church. Your last stop can be Brindavan Gardens. Built on the banks of River Cauvery, this garden also has boating facilities.

Ooty (265 km away)

Easily the most popular hill station in South India, Ooty is known as the queen of hill stations. And rightfully so. Between its lush gardens, charming colonial structures, verdant valleys, and fragrant tea plantations – the town is straight out of the pages of a fairytale. While here, hop on to the miniature train for a front-row seat to the stunning landscape of the region. You could also head to one of the region’s many waterfalls, shop for chocolates, host picnics by the lake, or watch the sunset over the hills. A stay at a plantation and sampling local delicacies like pongal and idli come highly recommended.

From Kolkata

Digha (182 km away)


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Can’t afford to make a trip to Darjeeling or Sikkim anytime soon? Give the pristine beach town of Digha a chance. This seaside destination will satiate all hankerings for a tropical vacation and is budget-friendly. Digha has a coastline that extends for up to seven kilometres and has she-oak (casuarina) trees dotted along with it. Both sunrise and sunset here are a sight to behold, and a typical itinerary involves swimming, taking leisurely walks by the beach, visiting sharks and sea snakes at the Marine Station, and exploring Amarabati Park. Beach hopping from New Digha beach to Udaipur beach, Shankarpur beach, and Talsari beach is recommended as well.

Mandarmani (171 km away)

Another budget trip you can make from Kolkata is the one to Mandarmani. Roads lined with paddy fields and ponds and the vista of rural Bengal whooshing by leads you to this serene beach which is hailed as ‘India’s Longest Motorable Beach’. Even though there are a host of fun activities you could do here, laying back and drinking away the almost incantatory vibe of this haven is an option preferred by many. Mandarmani or Mandarmoni as the Bengalis pronounce it is the apt spot for witnessing the sunrise on the horizon. 

Feature and hero image: Courtesy Shutterstock


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