By YKA Staff:
The summer is here and you’re probably already looking for places you can travel to, and escape the heat. And while you’re at it, might as well make it cost effective or stir up the backpacker in you. We found this super useful Quora thread with some of the most beautiful (and budget-friendly) places you can travel to with friends, family or even solo. Take a look (try and resist the temptation of just packing your bag and setting off), and let us know which places you’d add to this list in the comments below.
We just recently went on a trip to Sikkim and it has everything for you. Snow capped mountains to lush greenery. Pristine and cheap. We went for a 2 week trip, from the south and it cost us only 20k. M.g marg is one amazing place and it makes Gangtok serene. If you would like to visit places unexplored with human intervention, I would suggest you to pay a visit to north Sikkim. This place has some of the most spectacular places like Gurudongmar lake , @17800 feet , and a freezing temperature of -10°c. And ofcourse, it was frozen.
Also Darjeeling is just a 3 hour drive away from Gangtok. Another hillstation, which is relatively cooler than Gangtok. River teesta flows beside you en route to Darjeeling. The best time to visit Sikkim would be from mid march – June and from october-december. During monsoons, landslides may happen and during decemeber-february there would be snow all around.
This is how a random landslide would look like :p.
Photos and text by Robin S. Kishore
2. Araku Valley
If you are looking for hill stations in summer, that are off the beaten track, not too expensive, I would recommend the following options. Most of them are down South, not that crowded, pretty much quiet, and have decent accommodation. Avoid Ooty, Kodaikanal, Munnar, which have become too touristy. Though becoming popular or late, it (Araku Valley) is still less crowded, compared to other hill stations. Many decent hotels out here, and accessibility is good from Vizag. And if not for anything just for the 2 things, one the train route from Vizag to Araku, one of the best ever rail routes. And the breathtaking Borra Caves.
Photos and text by Ratnakar Sadasyula
I would recommend Vagamon hill-station located in Kottayam-Idukki border of Idukki district of Kerala, India. It has a cool climate with the temperature between 10 and 23 °C even during a summer midday.
Last November, I went on a Solo trip to this place for few days and would highly recommend this place because,
Vagamon is not commercialised yet (thank god), so you will not find many tourists here. That makes it one of the quietest places
The stay is very cheap here (I stayed in a youth hostel which costed me around 300 Rs/night)
Vagamon is highly safe for any kind of travelers.
Food is very cheap and good , since they are all prepared by local homemakers.
Text and photo by Mari Subramanian
The 4 dham yatra Gangotri-Yamunotri-Kedarnath-Badrinath
We stayed at the Bharat Sevashram Sangha guest houses where you can stay for 20-30 rupees per day. It is not only cheap,but peaceful,secluded from the rest of the town.You can sit there in there meditation room for hours and pray to God or listen to Maharajas singing.The people there are very friendly so,you won’t have any problem while travelling.
You will get only vegetarian food in this state so that’s the only thing that you need to consider.
The Kedarnath dham yatra is on foot,14 kms from Gauri Kund(people worship Gauri Maata there).
Text and photo by Souravi Sarkar
Yelagiri is a hill station located near Vellore at altitude of 1110 m above sea level. This place is not as commercialized as other popular hills stations. Sparsely populated villages , where you can either be a paying guest or in a cheap, good quality resort. This place is good during May as well as Oct/Nov.
Text and photos by Venkatesh Balaji
6. Katagla Village
Quietest – Katagla Village in Kasol. It is 3.5 Kms short of noisy and crowded Kasol town and is across the River Parvati. Set amidst a jungle that runs along the river, lower Katagla is a heaven.
Cheapest – guesthouses are cheap. Katagla Forest Retreat is a Himachali house and if you want to stay for long, they can offer you very good discounts. Food is available in the cafe called Mari Vanna. Reaching Kasol is also cheap- Rs 400 by Govt bus from Delhi or 1000 by Volvo (get down at Bhuntar).
Summers – you always need a windcheater kind of jacket during mornings and evenings while days are pleasant during summers. It snows only in late December onwards and October is cool.
Photo and text by Lay Pubs
7. Thachi, Himachal Pradesh
I won’t say this is the most beautiful place, but this is most beautiful place for me. It might as well be the most beautiful place for you, if are looking for peace, want to take a break from the crowd and/or looking for some nature.
- Thachi is situated near the Great Himalayan National Park.
- District: Mandi (3 hours from Manali)
- Google Maps Link: Google Maps
Thachi is calm and peaceful, People are good at hospitality. Nothing to worry about at all, no crimes ever, at-least I have not heard of any.