Budget Backpacking In South India

IN Whether you are looking for a adventure filled weekend or a relaxing weekend or some sightseeing and exploring historical sites, there are plenty of destinations to choose from around Bangalore.

Below I have listed 5 of my favorite places for a quick weekend gateway. The peak time to visit these places is between November-March so this is just the right time for some backpacking. All of these places can be explored on a budget.

COORG (250Kms)

4-5 hours drive

Coorg, officially known as Kodagu, is the most affluent hill station in Karnataka. It is well known for its breathtakingly exotic scenery and lush greenery. Forest covered hills, spice and coffee plantations only add to the landscape. Madikeri is the region’s centre point with all transportation for getting around starting from here.

coorg

How to reach Coorg ?

Car – Bangalore to Coorg by car

Train – There is no direct train between these two places.

Bus – Bangalore to Coorg by bus

Where to stay ?

The best way to enjoy the beauty of Coorg is to rent a homestay inside coffee plantation, where you can be close to nature. If that’s not an option you can always consider booking a hotel.

Places to visit

Dubare Elephant Camp – 8:30AM – 12PM

Cauvery Nisargadhama – 6AM – 6PM

Tibetan Monastery – 9AM – 6PM

Abbey Falls – 9AM – 6PM

Mandalpatti – 6AM – 6PM

PONDICHERRY (350Kms)

6-7 Hours drive

If peace and a break is the most sough after, then Pondicherry is surely one of the choicest holiday destinations in South India. The town offers a unique experience with its mix of modern heritage and spiritual culture. With a predominantly historical background, Pondicherry takes one centuries back in time.

pondicherry

How to reach Pondicherry ?

Car – Bangalore to Pondicherry by car

Train – Bangalore to Pondicherry by train

Bus – Bangalore to Pondicherry by bus

Where to stay ?

The best way to stay in Pondicherry is to stay at a hotel. That way you will be in the center of the city and can easily commute to places around.

Places to visit

Sri Aurobindo Ashram – 8 AM – 12 PM and 2 PM – 6 PM

Old Light House – 10AM – 5PM

Pondicherry Beach / Promenade Beach – 24 Hours

Paradise Beach – 24 Hours

HAMPI (350Kms)

6-7 Hours drive

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India located near Hospet town in the Karnataka state.

Hampi is charismatic even in its ruined state, attracting thousands of visitors every year. Vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills make the backdrop of Hampi unique. Dotted around the hills and valleys are 500 plus monuments.

hampi

How to reach Hampi ?

Car – Bangalore to Hampi by car

Train – Bangalore to Hampi by Train

Bus – Bangalore to Hampi by bus

Where to stay ?

Hands down the best place to stay in Hampi and enjoy the hippy life is to stay at shacks around Tungabhadra river. A nice resort/hotel in the city will do as well if you are looking in for something more well organized.

Places to visit

Sri Krishna Temple / Bala Krishna Temple – 6AM-6PM

Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple – 6AM-6PM

Virupaksha Temple – 6 AM – 1 PM and 5 PM – 9 PM

Hampi Bazaar – 24 Hours

Vittala Temple / Vijaya Vittala Temple – 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM

Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy Temple – 5:30 AM to 9 PM

Elephant Stables –  8 AM to 6 PM

CHIKMAGALUR (250Kms)

4-5 hours drive

When it comes to making memories, nothing comes close to Chikmagalur. Enjoy a sip of delicious homegrown coffee, take a dip in your own private pool at your estate or just take a brisk walk around the plantations for an adventure like no other.

chikamagalur

How to reach Chikamagalur ?

Car – Bangalore to Chikmagalur by car

Train – Bangalore to Chikamagalur

Bus – Bangalore to Chikamagalur

Where to stay ?

Booking a hotel at Chikamagalur is the best way to stay here, you can book a cab and commute to all the tourist attractions around the town.

Places to visit

Mullayanagiri

Hirekolale Lake

Ayyanakere Lake

Belur

Manikyadhara / Honnamma Falls

Kemmanagundi

COONOOR (280KMS)

4-5Hours

Coonoor is one of the three Nilgiri hill stations – Ooty, Kotagiri and Coonoor – that sit high above the southern plains. Smaller and quieter than Ooty, it has some fantastic heritage hotels and guesthouses, from which you can do exactly the same kind of things as you would do from bigger, busier Ooty. From upper Coonoor, 1km to 2km above the town centre, you can look down over the sea of red-tile rooftops to the slopes beyond and soak up the peace, cool climate and beautiful scenery. But you get none of the above in central Coonoor, which is a bustling, honking mess.

coonoor

How to reach Coonoor ?

Car – Bangalore to Coonoor by car

Train – Bangalore to Coonoor by train

Bus – Bangalore to Coonoor by bus

Where to stay ?

There are several options to stay at Coonoor. A homestay, resort or a hotel, whatever works the best for you. I would recommend a homestay as it is very authentic and it keeps you close to nature.

Places to visit

Sim’s Park

Lamb’s Rock

Dolphin’s Nose

Law’s Falls

Ketti Valley, Near Ooty

Droog Fort

Catherine Falls

Do let me know if this post was helpful and if you need any other information. Also, do share your experience.

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