India had been one of the most popular backpacking destinations among travelers. With its vibrant, varied cultures, religions, and all other diversities, it turns out to be an amazing place to explore.
Moreover, there have been many positive changes surfacing for travelers. While there used to be limited facilities and accommodations for backpackers, there are now good quality hostels emerging in different parts of the country to let travelers explore their best. They also cater to young Indian travelers seeking to set off for international backpacking experiences. Solo travelers also have some great stuff to explore and experience here now.
No matter you’re traveling in groups or solo, you will always find something reliable under your budget. Let’s decide where you will head over for your next backpacking trip in India.
Best Backpacking Destinations In India
While you’re excited to explore India, there are a lot of great backpacking destinations from which you need to choose yours. Read through the page to get a glimpse of the best ones.
1. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Rishikesh is a land of spiritual seekers and the birthplace of yoga. Well, if you’re not into meditation and yoga, there’s still not a reason to drop your idea of visiting here. Cool and calm, this place is a great attraction among international travelers. You will easily find some of the best backpacker hostels or other cheap accommodation options here.
Moustache, Zostel, Bunkstay, Live Free Hostel, and Shiv Shakti are the most popular. With the help of a handy travel guide, you can make your way through this incredible place. There is a wide range of activities you got to enjoy.
2. Pushkar, Rajasthan
Apart from the massive Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar is a holy, laid back town. Just like Rishikesh, it’s a spiritual, colorful place. If you haven’t enjoyed it enough there, you can satisfy yourself here. It now owns the cult status and backpacking in India is incomplete without exploring this town. You can go on for henna tattoos, wellness therapies, rooftop yoga, and cooking classes.
The markets are filled with things you will irresistibly want to buy. It is, therefore, suggestible to keep enough cash with you. As a backpacker, you won’t find it hard to get cheap, affordable stays. Most of them are situated close to the lake with the best facilities.
3. Jaipur, Rajasthan
An important inclusion in India’s Golden Triangle Circuit, Jaipur- the “Pink City” holds on to all the itineraries a traveler would seek. Moreover, backpackers find it pleasing because of the amazing facilities at the Zostel hostel located very near to the Hawa Mahal.
With both private rooms and dorm rooms, Zostel is an award-winning hostel chain, popular among backpackers. If you want to skip a stay in hostels, you will easily find highly affordable guesthouses.
4. Hampi, Karnataka
The capital of the magnificent Vijaynagar kingdom, Hampi holds on to various ravishing historical evidence and events. The evocative ruins with huge boulders rolling all over the landscapes here remain a considerable attraction among travelers from all over the world.
Nearby these historical ruins, backpackers generally set off to Virupapur Gadde. It hosts a chilled out environment and is beautifully bordered with paddy fields. Travelers generally arrive here for longer trips. Although there are no backpacker hostels here, you can find various affordable guesthouses to stay.
5. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho is gaining more popularity with every passing day for the erotic temples. Moreover, it’s a pleasant place to escape bustling city life and moving into relaxing village surroundings. Apart from the intricately carved temples, exploring the rural Indian lifestyle is fun.
Hire a bicycle and set out for a leisurely ride. You do not need to look for any other stay options since the Zostel hostel is situated a small walk away from the temples.
6. Old Manali And Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh
Moving uphill from the unaesthetic Manali, takes you to even more enchanting vibes in Old Manali. Surrounded by snow-covered peaks, apple orchards, and quaint guesthouses this is one of the best towns you will explore in India. On the other side of the River Beas, Vashisht Village is another great bait for travelers. If you’re interested in Reiki, visit the popular Reiki center here.
Explore Kasol and soak in the spectacular views of the Parvati Valley. This place is generally frequented by Israeli backpackers, hippies, and psytrancers. You are likely to find Moustache and Zostel branches in Old Manali. There are also several adventure-themed hostels that you can prefer.
7. Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh
Reminiscing Dalai Lama and his exiled Tibetan government, Dharamsala is yet another great place to plan backpacking trips. Travelers can, however, move uphill now to the even more spectacular and quieter Dharamkot. There are courses and classes available for Vipassana meditation and yoga.
Amid fresh air and uplifting energy, life seems to peaceful. There are now several new backpacker hostels here. While you’re seeking some adventure, head over to Bunker. There are various other options for affordable luxury. Make sure you choose the best.
8. Anjuna Beach, Goa
Confused among the numerous beach options in Goa? Head over to the Anjuna Beach in the north. Well-known for its bountiful backpacker hostels, it’s a perfect place to reach. It was once the home to many of Goa’s hippies.
Curlies beach shack and the Wednesday flea market are most popular here. In case you are a ‘party-hard’ soul, the Prison hostel is a perfect choice for you. Well, there is a lot more to choose from.
9. Amritsar, Punjab
Home to the Golden Temple, one of the most sacred and exquisite Indian landmarks, Amritsar can turn out to be a memorable experience. This is a sacred Sikh shrine, holding on to utmost peace.
You can look up to the Jugaadus Eco Hostels for affordable stays and tours including the one to Wagha Border. There are several other options that aren’t too far from the Golden Temple and can be considered for your backpacking trip.
10. Gokarna, Karnataka
Gokarna could be a rural substitute for Goa. So, get on a bus directly from Hampi and reach here. Despite being a village majorly focused on Hindu pilgrimage, beaches here are still driven by the bohemian hippie lifestyle.
This place is the liveliest with the sunset flea markets. HosteLaVie behind the Kudle Beach is an enticing place to stay. You can also prefer Trippr for a stay on a private beach or Zostel for views overlooking a hilltop. Refer a travel guide to plan better.
11. Varkala Beach, Kerala
Varkala is one among the best Kerala beaches with a coconut palm-aligned paved pathway and a dreamy clifftop setting. This is undeniably a paradise for backpackers visiting Kerala. It could be a more tranquil substitute to the over-developed Kovalam Beach.
It is a place to seek rejuvenation, you can seek Ayurvedic therapies at their best. Check out one of the Varkala travel guides to plan your trip and stays better.
There are a lot more backpacking destinations in India. However, consider the top ones and plan well.