Solo trip budget in South India?

#1 Oct 11th, 2017, 17:31
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  • newtravel22 is offline
#1
Hey everyone. Iím going to South India for my first solo trip for about five months before i go off to college. Iíll be in Bangalore for the whole november, so that part is taken care of. Iím wondering where to go for the next four months, while keeping limited allowance/savings in mind.

I have the budget of 10,000 per month, maybe i could stretch that to 12,000 per month but thatís my maximum. Iím planning to move not too fast, about 2-4 weeks in each place depending how much i like it there, with a couple day trips, so that may make my transport costs a tiny bit less (but not by that much).

This is just a rough idea and i havenít planned it for sure yet, but i have these places in mind:
Hampi, Badami = 3 weeks, with a day in Badami
Munnar = 1 month
Pondicherry = 3 weeks (with two days in auroville somewhere maybe)
Lepakshi = that could be a day trip from bangalore in november
Gandikota, Belum caves = not sure when or from where
South Goa, maybe = 2 weeks
Kanyakumari = not sure
Mahabalipuram = not sure
Kodaikanal = not sure

Is it possible to do these in my budget? Can you give me rough idea for accommodation in these places? I didnít see any cheap homestay options in Munnar online mentioned anywhere on monthly basis, do they exist? Iím a 21 year old girl from the north if that matters.

Iíll be sketching/painting and reading/writing most of the time so i donít have an urge to see every tiny thing of a place and donít like sports or trekking or climbing either.. but iím interested in places with interesting architecture, or mountains with quietness. So if you also have any suggestions, iíd love to know

Thank you in advance!
#2 Oct 11th, 2017, 18:27
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  • kapilankar is offline
#2
Mahabalipuram - do a daytrip from Pondi; it would be enough in my opinion

Lepakshi - correct; a daytrip from Bangalore

Gandikota, Belum Caves - can be done on an overnighter from Bangalore.
Take the 9pm APSRTC night bus to Jammalmadugu and then take the 5:30am bus to Gandikota. Return in the 10:30am bus to Jammalmadugu and then take a bus going towards Tadipatri. Alight at Kolimgundla for Belum. After Belum head to Tadipatri via Kolimgundala. spend some time at the Tadipatri temples and then take a bus to Ananthapur from where you'll get a direct connection to Bangalore.
There are APTDC stay options at Gandikota and Belum, but they can be booked online only. Lodges are available in Jammalmadugu and Tadipatri.
Gandikota is quite a remote place (except on weekends maybe). I'd not advise a girl to venture solo.

Hampi, Badami - You'll need more than a day at Badami, especially to cover Aihole, Pattadakal, Melukote and Banashankari. Stay longer here (a week, maybe), though I'm not sure of accommodation.

Other random recommendations:
From Pondi, you can check out Pichavaram, Chidambaram, Gingee and Thiruvannamalai (on a full moon day) along with Mahabalipuram
Along with Munnar and Kodaikanal you can check out Coorg and Wayanad which can fall in a similar category
South Goa can be coupled/offset by Gokarna
Since you're thinking o Kanyakumari, why not Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi?

#3 Oct 11th, 2017, 20:20
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#3
The biggest hindrance would be accommodation within your budget. Almost 60-75% of your budget would be for accommodation (estimating that you get a room for Rs 300/- per day for 25 days, 5 days spent in transit).
#4 Oct 12th, 2017, 04:12
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post Mahabalipuram - do a daytrip from Pondi; it would be enough in my opinion

Lepakshi - correct; a daytrip from Bangalore

Gandikota, Belum Caves - can be done on an overnighter from Bangalore.
Take the 9pm APSRTC night bus to Jammalmadugu and then take the 5:30am bus to Gandikota. Return in the 10:30am bus to Jammalmadugu and then take a bus going towards Tadipatri. Alight at Kolimgundla for Belum. After Belum head to Tadipatri via Kolimgundala. spend some time at the Tadipatri temples and then take a bus to Ananthapur from where you'll get a direct connection to Bangalore.
There are APTDC stay options at Gandikota and Belum, but they can be booked online only. Lodges are available in Jammalmadugu and Tadipatri.
Gandikota is quite a remote place (except on weekends maybe). I'd not advise a girl to venture solo.

Hampi, Badami - You'll need more than a day at Badami, especially to cover Aihole, Pattadakal, Melukote and Banashankari. Stay longer here (a week, maybe), though I'm not sure of accommodation.

Other random recommendations:
From Pondi, you can check out Pichavaram, Chidambaram, Gingee and Thiruvannamalai (on a full moon day) along with Mahabalipuram
Along with Munnar and Kodaikanal you can check out Coorg and Wayanad which can fall in a similar category
South Goa can be coupled/offset by Gokarna
Since you're thinking o Kanyakumari, why not Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi?

Thank you for the awesome recommendations! Your pictures of Tadipatri are amazing. I hadn't heard of Melukote before either, i might make a day trip from bangalore there instead, if i find a bus that doesn't stop too far from there.

I hadn't looked into surrounding areas of Pondicherry, that Gingee fort looks beautiful. Think i'll stay there for a month instead of three weeks. Is there an event in Thiruvannamalai on a full moon?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post The biggest hindrance would be accommodation within your budget. Almost 60-75% of your budget would be for accommodation (estimating that you get a room for Rs 300/- per day for 25 days, 5 days spent in transit).
Yeah i was worried about that. I might scrap Munnar since it's more expensive than the others, i think i'll be able to find a 200 inr per day room in Hampi depending on when i go.
#5 Oct 12th, 2017, 11:45
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Melukote is located very close to Badami - About 10kms I think. The Badami circuit - with Banashankari, Melukote, Aihole and Pattadakal go together and it takes a minimum of 2 days to cover it.
There are overnight buses to Badami from Bangalore - its quite a distance.

Every full moon day, devotees take up circumambulation of the mountain next to the town. The evenings are especially beautiful with the lit diyas being offered.
#6 Oct 12th, 2017, 16:23
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  • aarosh is offline
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If you do go there you could also check Mahakoota.
#7 Oct 12th, 2017, 16:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post Melukote is located very close to Badami - About 10kms I think. The Badami circuit - with Banashankari, Melukote, Aihole and Pattadakal go together and it takes a minimum of 2 days to cover it.
There are overnight buses to Badami from Bangalore - its quite a distance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post If you do go there you could also check Mahakoota.
I actually meant Mahakoota in my post. Melukote is of-course a daytrip from Bangalore in a totally different direction.

Thanks aarosh for the correction.
#8 Oct 12th, 2017, 16:58
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  • fsg is offline
#8
Would recommend you THOROUGHLY research going to Tiruvannamalai on the Poornami.

You might end up sleeping on the street, with of course other pilgrims/pickpockets etc.

I might sound a little cynical, but believe me I am not.

Its worth going though,as i suppose you are a youngster, and used to sleeping on the floor.

TN is a very gentle state in India as are the connecting ones
#9 Oct 13th, 2017, 01:17
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtravel22 View Post Hey everyone. Iím going to South India for my first solo trip for about five months before i go off to college.

Iím a 21 year old girl from the north if that matters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtravel22 View Post i think i'll be able to find a 200 inr per day room in Hampi depending on when i go.
Are you from north as in North India ? or elsewhere ? It is important also to know if you have done solo trips of a month or more ?

At Rs 200/day your monthly expenditure will come to 6000. That leaves you with rs 200 for meals, and travel incidentals. It is rather tight if not impossible. You have little wiggle room. Places that are in the rs 200-400 range do not as a norm, advertize on the internet. Small things add up, and then blow up your budget.

Have a plan B.
#10 Oct 13th, 2017, 04:52
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#10
I'm from North India. I have lived alone for a few years for studies in a different part in the north, but for travel purposes, nope it's my first time and in general i haven't travelled much with family either. It's partly for working on art and writing for some college things so it's staying in different places to put myself in a different mind-spaces as much as the exploring places part - i could stay for a month in five places that speak to me the most to minimize the expenses than moving around too much.

I do have some savings as 'emergency money' of about 15,000 inr or so but i won't touch that day-to-day, just incase i end up in a sticky situation or for unexpected expenses like not liking the place and getting out or something. I didn't find places online in the 200-300 range though yeah, i thought it'd be easy like it was in the city i lived in by just going there but i suppose i shouldn't leave it at chance, it is very tight. I'll see what i can do, there's still more than a week left before i leave. Thank you for your words!

Thank you so much @kapilankar, aarosh and fsg for your advices too
#11 Oct 13th, 2017, 05:58
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#11

Do as I say, not as I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtravel22 View Post I'm from North India. I have lived alone for a few years for studies in a different part in the north, but for travel purposes, nope it's my first time and in general i haven't travelled much with family either. It's partly for working on art and writing for some college things so it's staying in different places to put myself in a different mind-spaces as much as the exploring places part - i could stay for a month in five places that speak to me the most to minimize the expenses than moving around too much.
Think outside the box. Forget Homestays and cheap hotels. Dig out all colleges and universities in the towns you plan to stay. Write them a letter asking if they would let you stay in their Girls hostel for free, even if they don't they are likely to point you to an alternative. Get a good sleeping bag, and explore the nearby gurudwaras sarais and niwas - which are free or nominal daan, or in exchange for working few hours a day in the langar kitchen. Most are clean and safe. Avoid temple dharamshalas.

Good luck !
#12 Oct 13th, 2017, 08:12
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  • RahulDeva is offline
#12
Many government companies and departments have guest houses at nominal rates. Explore your contacts for they can't be booked without reference.

And All the best for your trip.

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