800 rupees a day - possible or not?

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#1 Feb 25th, 2005, 01:23
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(I just posted this but it got lost - aps. if you're getting it twice)

I'm trying to figure out how much money to save up for a 2-3 month trip. Is it possible to do it on 800 rupees/day? For example - app. how much would it cost to eat for a day? To stay in an average hostel/hotel? To get around town?

Not sure where to look for this kind of info - I've learned a lot by reading your posts, so I hope you'll be able to give me some direction.

Cheers
#2 Feb 25th, 2005, 01:31
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As far as I can remember 800rps is pretty reasonable budget if you don't splash out on hiring drivers to take you around, travel 1st class a/c and so on...
In some many places you can get a nice room for 100rps or less.
Obviously the big cities are much more testing on your budget, but some places will be very easy on the pocket - especially if you get off the tourist trail.

Oh and it also depends how much you like glugging beer, that can really push up your spend.
The solution to your troubles is at the bottom of a glass.
#3 Feb 25th, 2005, 01:33
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Depends on if you will be staying in cities or in smaller toens.
#4 Feb 25th, 2005, 01:33
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#5 Feb 25th, 2005, 01:42
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Thanks guys - I'll check out that thread now.

I guess, for a girl like me - who likes shopping and has dreams of sending home saris and glass beads (no other place in the world has the colours that India does!) - I'm getting the gist that I'll have to 'up' that a bit. The point of the trip is not to shop, obviously, but I'd like to be able to splash out on a couple of special things when I caome across them - without worrying about messing up the budget.
#6 Feb 25th, 2005, 01:42
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You'll be fine I'm sure.

Have a great trip!

RTP
#7 Feb 25th, 2005, 01:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_The_Pom You'll be fine I'm sure.

Have a great trip!

RTP

Not for a year yet - but cheers very much!
#8 Feb 25th, 2005, 02:03
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(*nb while I was typing this answers have been piling in of course, well here goes anyway.)

Hmm well as in any country it's difficult to say but 800 should be more than adequate I think. It depends on where you go, how long you stay, what are your requirements etc. I did it on 200 a day more than ten years ago, see http://www.indiamike.com/india/showp...2&postcount=24 for a brief description. Other travellers often seemed to think I was nuts but I had a great time and nothing missing.

I returned later and found esp. hotel prices had gone up, and judging from reports here you'd get the same impression. It might also be because people who stay at 40 Rs. places are less likely to call in here, I don't know. Also my trip was shorter and I was a few years older and so your average costs would tend to go up a little. Still, I was fine with $ 300 a month at the time.

So I'm guessing $ 400 should do it now to cover the basics and beyond that the sky is the limit (possibly quite a bit less still if you live a simple life, quite a bit more if you want a lot of luxuries). I don't know but at the time a cheap meal might be as little as 10 Rs. or less, in a touristy or fashionable place it might be 40 and upwards. A beer would range between 35 and 100+ Rs. (A bottle of local whiskey would go for 70-100 I guess.) A cup of chai would be 1-5 Rs.; a shave would be 5-10 Rs. An average rickshaw ride (what is average? Hard to explain. Say Main Bazaar to Connaught Place) would be about Rs. 3 for an Indian person who knows how to share the vehicle, about 8-12 for a Westerner who knows his way, about 30 or astronomical and many detours if you don't. Hotels at the time would start at about 40 and go up to wherever and this must have really changed, when I came back in the later nineties 150 for a double would be decent for a simple place but it might have been the area or my travelling mode; from reports here you'd think that a couple of hundred Rs. are pretty standard now. Note that many of the cheaper places are not allowed to take foreigners in, or that's how it used to be, they need a permit. Madras to Varanasi by 2nd class sleeper train (i.e. halfway across the country) at the time was 300 Rs. or less I think and I hear travel is still very cheap.

Well just to give you an idea, I'm interested to see what prices others come up with. Stuff like alcohol, private cars, higher-class travel, fancy hotels + restaurants would really cut into your budget of course. By the way I hear entry prices at monuments for foreigners have vastly increased in many cases so this might also be a thing to take into concern.
#9 Feb 25th, 2005, 02:14
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha (*nb while I was typing this answers have been piling in of course, well here goes anyway.)

WOW - thank you for all of this excellent info

You've given me a good picture of things - I'll multiply everything by 2.5 to be safe (inflation). This is one trip where I don't want to stress about money - I figure I can stay in Toronto for that! - so I'm giving myself enough time to get organized (okay, somewhat organized) and save some dosh.

Another question (I have lots... ) that I figure I'll slip in here so I don't look like a total weirdo... Do you know anything about painting elephants? Does it have religious significance? Is there any way I might be allowed to participate?

I don't want to do what everyone else does, that's the thing. I want to live as close to an Indian as I can, while I'm there. None of the usual tourist stuff. Maybe that's unrealistic, I dunno. Anyway, I'm thinking of being very 'when in India...'

Thanks again for all your advice!!
#10 Feb 25th, 2005, 02:27
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I want to live as close to an Indian as I can
To do this, you'll have to manage on far less than your 800 rupees/day.

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Does [painting elephants] have religious significance?
Everything in India has religious significance!

Quote:
Is there any way I might be allowed to participate?
You can usually do just about anything or meet any person in India just by asking. Find out what festivals are coming up while you are there and ask if you can join in the preparations--this is far better than just attending, by the way, since you won't be cordoned off in the VIP gallery, which is where you'll be stashed if you're not careful.
#11 Feb 25th, 2005, 02:37
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Oh dear. My green-ness is showing. Ah well, am not too shy to ask

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merchant To do this, you'll have to manage on far less than your 800 rupees/day.
True, I realized that as soon as I posted it. I imagine there are many living on a fraction of that - it came out sounding very 'North American'.

Quote:
You can usually do just about anything or meet any person in India just by asking. Find out what festivals are coming up while you are there and ask if you can join in the preparations--this is far better than just attending, by the way, since you won't be cordoned off in the VIP gallery, which is where you'll be stashed if you're not careful.
Excellent suggestion, going into my book right now - I was told by a friend that it would be impossible for us to join in such things. I just want to make sure I don't offend anybody by charging in and inserting myself in sacred traditions - when I don't fully understand the significance of them. Know what I mean?
#12 Feb 25th, 2005, 02:43
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Hi, yr welcome. You will have noticed my information is old, people here may laugh about it but then like I said they laughed about me then so... I had the tastier food I'd like to think

You were asking about shopping, I had wanted to include above that this budget covered plenty of gifts to take home to several friends and loved ones, nothing out of the ordinary I suppose. Things like bangles and so will still be incredibly cheap I imagine, I suppose beads would fall into that category. A fine silk sari will just be expensive so take some extra money for that yes; the good news is it will be a quality and at a price that you won't find anywhere else. (Visit Varanasi for silk by all means, or rather, visit Varanasi by all means, period. It's to be had in many more cities though I suppose. For larger purchases like that you'll find the government emporiums worth your while; the downside is they work with more or less fixed prices so you're less likely to bargain, the upside is they work with more or less fixed prices so you're less likely to get ripped off and they're usually good quality. Shop around first no matter what you do and get a feel for quality, texture and prices. Be picky on details like seams, general texture and stuff, this is perfectly acceptable and for having a suit made for instance a second or third fit just comes with the price.)

One market that's been thoroughly spoiled is silver jewellery, you'll find many beautiful pieces there if a bit too chunky to some people's tastes. I've often walked away from places with the vendor running after you to take you up on your latest bid, always a sign that you're getting close to a real and decent price. In the end though I've never seen them budge and I'm sorry to say but it has to do with the fact that they know there will always be a next tourist drawing out his chequebook without knowing what the prices are, or buying in bulk if they do. Obviously and with many purchases the smaller towns are usually better for bargaining, although competition in the big cities can also work in your advantage.

>This is one trip where I don't want to stress about money - I figure I can stay in Toronto for that!

Yes sure, if you can afford it then allow yourself some space.

>Do you know anything about painting elephants? Does it have religious significance? Is there any way I might be allowed to participate?

Haha I had to think about this (does she want to paint elephants on cloth the Rajasthani way? There must be courses in that, the art is very much alive still I think, I walked into a place in Jaisalmer once where it was practiced) but I take it you mean to give an elephant a tikka? I wouldn't know what advice to give you here. It is a religious and festive thing I guess. The few times I met a group of mahouts I have found them very friendly and interesting people. On the downside they'll usually be from the lower classes and won't know any English so communication would be a problem. That said, yes why not, with a bit of an adventurous streak you could always see if you might be allowed to join in with their activities. If there's bans on non-priests let alone western women performing the actual painting I truly don't know. I once was about to join a group of Keralan fishermen for a day at sea; in the end I chickened out realizing I was all alone and if I had my throat slit at sea no one would know what ever happened to me. If that was the wise decision or not who's to say, chances are I would have had a great day.
#13 Feb 25th, 2005, 02:50
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The folks you meet will be happy to have you along for the ride. They'll be flattered that you are interested and want to participate. Indians enjoy sharing their culture and you'll win many lifelong friends. Just dive in. You'll be richly rewarded. You've probably seen enough Bollywood movies to know that shyness and reticence don't accomplish much in India.
#14 Feb 25th, 2005, 02:52
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#14
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in the end I chickened out realizing I was all alone and if I had my throat slit at sea no one would know what ever happened to me
Dude, you missed out on a great adventure--fishermen are the best people on the planet! There's great honor among men of the sea. Aren't you from a seafaring nation???
#15 Feb 25th, 2005, 02:57
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#15
Thank you Machadinha!

Knowing more makes me really believe it's going to happen - when I first landed in Paris, dumping my things at the hotel, I took myself out for a short walk around the neighbourhood. As I got to the top of my street, I saw a foot of the Eiffel Tower. I could barely contain myself. I ran to it and stared, mouth open for a while. It was the idea that I was standing in front of this thing - from stories my parents read to me as a child, to the mythical, legendary monument I'd grown up thinking about... I imagine that India will be that and more to me. In a way, it feels like I will be 'going home' (past lives). </blithering>

I'll be with two other girls, both of whom are like me in many ways, so I think adventures will find us! They always seem to. And yes, I meant painting an actual elephant Interesting point raised about language - I would like to go knowing some basic phrases to help me get around. I know a tiny bit of Tamil, but I think its's best if I keep that under my hat What would be more practical - Urdu or Hindi?
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