Backpacking in India

Backpacking in India is not for the faint hearted and anyone who's thinking of travelling here for a long time needs seriously to consider what they want to get out of their trip.

India is renowned for being one of the most challenging places to travel in the world but at the same time, offers truly extraordinary and utterly rewarding experiences for travellers who are willing and open.

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When I first went to India my knowledge of travelling was minimal and my research completely inadequate. I set out with a visa for six months and enough cash to last I had no Idea how long. I was in for the shock of my life when I arrived and nothing could have prepared me for the enthralling adventure that was to follow.

Backpacking Guide to India

There are plenty of resources regarding backpacking in India but none of it complete and most of it out of date, unnecessary and sometimes completely misleading. So, as it is something quite close to my heart I have taken it upon myself to write the ultimate guide to backpacking in India.

All the top destinations are listed below and just pretty much everything you need to know from choosing the right hostel right down to the psychology needed for an extended trip in India.

For more information follow the link for the complete India travel guide.

Deciding where to go

India is a massive country and depending on the length of your visit and what you want to get out of your trip, deciding where to go can be difficult. Below I've listed my favorite backpacking destination in India starting in the south and then in the North. Follow the link if you want to see a list of all the best travel destinations in India or just scroll down to some of the most popular, divided into North and South.

South India Backpacking Destinations


Hampi is home to some of the most spectacular landscape in the world and is steeped in history, beauty and mystery.

The chilled out vibes and magical atmosphere at Hampi make it a truly special place and attracts people from all over the world who come to bask in its magic. 


The long, crescent shaped beach at Palolem is the perfect destination for relaxing and watching time go by but finely balanced with excellent parties and happy people.

Palolem is definitely one of the best beaches in Goa, India and certainly a contender for the best in the world! 


Uncover the beauty and wonder of Munnar, Kerala's most famous and beautiful hill stations  Prepared to be dazzled by absolute greenery and breathtaking scenery.

Explore the hills for days, cycling, fishing, paragliding, boating and so much more. Munnar is a definite must stop if your backpacking in south India. 


Stroll aimlessly for days around this charming little city in south India. A small village in the costumes of a big city is how I have decided to describe Mysore and you'll soon understand why.

Definitely check out the great illuminations of Mysore palace then head down to the Zoo for some more of that Mysore treatment.

North Indian Backpacking Destinations


Jaipur, the gateway to Rajasthan and the shopping mecca of North India and a wondrous place full of camels, elephants, jewels and gems.

Explore some of the most famous attractions such as the view form the great fort and then the monkey palace before picking up some cheap diamonds.


Discover one of India's ultimate backpacking destinations and loose yourself in the heights and beauty of this famous hill station set in stunning surroundings deep in the Himalayan foot hills.

Jump aboard the world famous toy train, check out Everest from one of India's best views and go trekking, rafting and biking until your week at the knees! 


Udaipur is one of the most spectacular and cultural places on the Indian circuit with both foreigners and tourists alike!.

While-a-way the days in possibly the most beautiful city in North India and explore the ancient temples, the stunning lake and the surrounding hills. 


Pushkar is an oasis in a vast desert and offers a real treat for anybody who is backpacking in India. The atmosphere and sheer friendliness of this tiny place is currently unparalleled.

If you can, tie your trip in with the world famous Pushkar Fair when this tiny sleepy town comes alive in a frenzy of activity and excitement (and Camels)! 

Making your money go further

Backpacking in India offers the perfect opportunity for very cheap travel. There is of however, one major cost which we all have to face - the place ticket. But, things don't have to be this way... See for your self how to save a fortune on travel.

You may also want to check out my India travel guide for some more tips on making your money go further in India.

Also take a look at the costs and money in India in India

Some must read articles

Why go backpacking across India? 
If you still not sure whether you want to go to India then read this rather inspiring page on all the reasons why you just have to go to India.

Best Places to Goa backpacking in South India 
A selection of some of the best places to go backpacking in South India from the beaches of Goa to luscious green hills of Kerela.

Why travel to India
Looking for some motivation and reasons why India is the right destination? Take a look at this page for some inspiration

Save on your plane tickets 
Expert advice coming from somebody who knows how to save you a fortune off of your plane tickets. 

Only in India! 
This short but highly important article highlights some of the problems that travelers face when backpacking in India as well as some of the oddities of travelling in India as a westerner and the psychology required to make the most out of your trip. 

Travel Advice 
This link covers all the basics when Backpacking in India and includes everything from avoiding mosquitoes to the exchange rate to travel insurance.

India Travel Tips 
A few important India travel tips to consider before you head out on your adventure!

My top tip?

We live in a world where world travel is like a trip to Disneyland, nothing is left to chance. Ten credit cards, lonely planets, package holidays, the media and the internet have all changed the way we travel but this was not always the case. For thousands of years people have been travelling all over the place with little more than the clothes on their back and surviving on nothing more than their wit and a bit of luck alone.

This is why backpacking in India is so rewarding. It offers you this opportunity. The opportunity to completely disappear and immerse yourself in another culture, another life and to grow as a person. 

Start relying and trusting yourself a bit, I believe it's called 'independence'. I'm talking about the independence that comes with knowing that every decision you make is yours and yours alone. The independence that comes from getting in and out of difficult situations and having the choice to do so, trusting yourself enough to trust others and the independence that opens you to new eventualities, good or bad. I'm talking about the independence that leaves you a little bit wiser when you go to bed than you were when you woke up.

So go, get lost and grow as a person - above all the experiences that backpacking in India offers, this is often the most overlooked but possibly also the most valuable. 

Four Backpackers in India

Further Reading

Save on your plane tickets
The definitive, actually rather mind blowing guide to save huge amounts of your plane tickets.

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