There are many reason why people choose to go backpacking across India. It is not just budget travellers who decide to do it but rather people in search of an adventure and an experience. Backpacking in any country allows you to see past the superficial layers that exist in the brochures and to see into the soul of a country, past the luxuries and comfortable tour buses!
India is a wild place to go backpacking and the sheer size and population of the country means that you can travel for months and barely even scratch the surface of what the country has to offer.
It is possible to go on a luxury tour in India and have a great time but you will never discover the real India. To go beyond your own boundaries and discover the lesser known places and more importantly, to discover the lesser known experiences which tell you so much about a country and about yourself.
The reward for those who take the back roads and are prepared to rough it is an experience that is impossible to forget even if you wanted to, what you get is a real experience, an up close and personal view of India and her people.
India is not a tourist attraction, rather a thriving country with some of the oldest and richest cultures in the world. Simply to spectate from a air conditioned taxi is a great experience in itself but to immerse yourself fully in this amazing country can truly open your soul. Backpacking in India is greatly different from travelling in other countries, starting with the amount it costs.
India is probably one of the cheapest places to travel in the world. You can find lodgings from as little as ₤0.70 a night and decent meals for half that. For some weeks when I was in India I was spending less than ₤50 a week for everything including beer, travel, accommodation and sightseeing, you would be lucky to spend as little as that on a night out in England. Despite often being late, the transportation system in India is fantastic and you can easily get to very remote parts of the country very easily and very cheaply.
Another highlight of backpacking across India is the opportunity of meeting other people from all walks of life. It is very easy to meet people from all corners of the globe and I found that people are often happier to meet and talk in India than in other countries.
Other highlights of backpacking across India include the amazing food, fascinating culture, the architecture, the people and simply for the unbelievable experience of just being in India!!
One of the most irritating things that I found backpacking across India was the huge amount of people virtually everywhere. Privacy here is a pretty novel idea, especially for a westerner and as a result it is hard to find places where you are truly on your own.
People will always want to come and talk to you wherever you are, be it on a deserted beach or on top of a remote mountain. For the most part of my journey I found this to be a great joy but sometimes the temptation to shout 'go away' can get a bit much!
Standards are very different from what we are used to in the west and as a result scrimping to save every penny isn't always the best option. You'll find rubbish and dirty hotels, highly suspicious food and some very uncomfortable modes of transportation so you'll occasionally find it necessary to splash out on some little luxuries like a nice restaurant or hotel.
A great selection of really excellent travel articles covering all aspects to travelling in India.
An excellent addition to this India travel guide: this page highlights what is it actually like travelling in India. What can You really expect?
Return to the All About India Homepage