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It is said that 20s is the best time to travel. The 20s is the time when your young mind is ready to accept and learn new things. These learnings shape you as a person in the future. What better way to do this & travel round India in your gap year.
When you are in that age, you have less responsibilities and your mind is open to new things. The age and time is the best time to explore and you experience it in a better way than in India. India is a land of mysteries, cultural diversities and the richest collection of flora fauna in the world. There is a lot to explore here and that too in the cheapest ways possible. Cheap guest houses, hostels, local food and easy transportation makes it easier to explore the best of this country.
Here are a few places that you can explore when you are in your gap year.
Rishikesh is the land of spirituality and adventure. This small hamlet located in Uttarakhand is a favourite destination for a number of backpackers who visit here from all parts of the world. Rishikesh gives you choices to experience the adventurous side by offering rafting and bungee jumping, while at the same time you can experience the spirituality by learning yoga and devotion. Rishikesh is 6 hours away from Delhi and can be reached via bus and trains that regularly run from Delhi and Dehradun.
Goa is a beautiful, pristine location that is known for the most beautiful beaches in India. Goa is divided into two parts the North Goa and South Goa. While North Goa is popular between the tourists and honeymoon couples, South Goa is more popular among backpackers and those who wish to spend their vacations away from the hustle bustle of regular tourist spots. Apart from beaches. Goa also has some wonderful trekking locations as it is surrounded by the Western Ghats. The legendary Dudhsagar falls trek is one of the must do things in a traveller’s lifetime. Goa is accessible from all parts of the country by train, bus and air.
The queen of Hills is home to the legendary writer Ruskin Bond, who wrote a number of stories as he spent his time in the mountains of this Himalayan town. Although crowded, but you can spend your days walking around the jungles and exploring the hidden temples and waterfalls. You can visit Dhanaulti and Landsowne, if lucky you can also meet Ruskin Bond at his bungalow. Mussoorie is 8 hours away from Delhi and can be reached from Dehradun where the last railway station and interstate bus stand is located.
India is a land of stunning landscapes and no other place can give you this idea other than Jaisalmer. The royal town of Rajasthan is located in the heart of Thar Desert and is surrounded by forts and havelis. Jaisalmer gives you the hint of royal Rajasthani heritage with stunning architectures. Jaisalmer is a two day affair where you experience the city and then you move to the sand dunes. These sand dunes have campsites that offer camel rides and Rajasthani food making your experience worth it. Jaisalmer is accessible from Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad by train and bus.
Hampi used to be the capital of Vijaynagar Empire. This city thrived during the reign of Krishnadev Raya who built a number of monuments here. Today Hampi is a favourite destination for the backpackers who visit here from Israel, Germany and other European countries. You can spend your days getting tanned in the sun, enjoying boulder climbing and having a taste of international cuisine at throwaway prices. Hampi is 6 hours away from Bangalore and there are a number of KSRTC buses that run between the two cities.
A beach town located in Kerala is preferred by a number of backpackers because of cheap stays and food. Varkala is known for its sunsets and the beautiful beaches where you can spend your days learning new languages, music or simply doing nothing. Varkala is 3 hours away from Trivandrum and is very accessible by bus and other modes of transport.
Valley of Flowers:
Valley of Flowers is a UNESCO’s protected area that only opens for 3 to 4 months in the year. The Valley of Flowers is a must do trek for the beginners as there are a number of hotels and stay homes located in the way. The valley itself thrives in unique flora and fauna that you won’t find anywhere in the country. Valley of Flowers can be reached via Haridwar which is 6 hours away from Delhi.
Sikkim is the smallest state of India. Surrounded by dense Himalayan peaks Gangtok is a region that provides lovely atmosphere and pristine views. Gangtok is famous for its markets, rafting points and beautiful national parks. For trekking enthusiasts, this region provides some of the lovely treks that lead up to Nepal. Gangtok is accessible from Bagdogra and can be reached via flight, train and by road. You can travel further into North Sikkim and even go to Bhutan for dirt cheap prices.
McLeodganj and Dharamshala are located in the heart of Kangra valley. This place is a tourist hub with few of the best eating joints in the city. McLeodganj has some of the most amazing waterfalls, trekking locations and tea gardens. If you are looking for adventure, then you can visit Bir Biling which is one of the best paragliding locations in the world. McLeodganj is accessible from Delhi and Chandigarh by bus, the nearest airport is in Gaggal and the closest railway station is located in Pathankot.
Corbett National Park:
India has a rich wildlife and is home to the endangered species of Tigers. Corbett National Park is one of the few wildlife sanctuaries in India where you can go on a tiger safari and experience sighting this beast. Corbett National Park is located in Uttarakhand and can be accessible from Delhi and Dehradun by road.
Ooty is located in Tamilnadu and are famous for stunning views of The Nilgiri Mountains. Ooty is popular for tea estates and some of the beautiful trekking locations. There are beautiful waterfalls and national parks that thrive with unique flora and fauna only found in this region. You can take a toy train ride from Ooty and experience the charms of the meeting point of Western and Eastern Ghats. Ooty is accessible from Bangalore and Chennai by bus.
Pondicherry is the home of the last colony of French community living in India. This small Union Territory of India is the home of some of the most adventurous and eclectic beaches. You can take a lesson on spirituality or explore the beautiful lanes of The French Quarters. Pondicherry is as beautiful as it can get.
These are a few of the places that you can go explore when you are taking your gap year and have a small budget. In fact, you can enjoy most of these trips for less than INR 12000 or 200$. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, set yourself on the journey of a lifetime.