A couple of years ago this would have been easily accomplished. Today I still think it is quite possible, provided you keep the luxuries to a minimum, and spend the bulk of your time outside the Metros. It might also be worthwhile trying to find a travel partner with whom you can split costs. This way you can get more value for money on things like hotel rooms, taxis, etc.
i would suggest to double your budget if possible.Personally i could do that some 5 years ago,travelling only with 1000 rupees but nowadays -for me it's impossible-so i suggest to double your budget .In any case you might need some more money[cry] :)
Much depends upon the places you decide to visit. In smaller cities and towns, you could do it. In Uttarkashi you would probably be able to save more than half of you allocated budget :D. So choose the places you visit carefully.
He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees. - Benjamin Franklin
It can be still managed....Accomodation - Rs. 300 Food Rs. 200 Travel - Rs. 300 Others - Rs. 200.
You'll be hard pressed to stick to this budget in major centres, although I generally agree with the ratios :) In smaller centres and off-beat destinations you will be able to survive quite comfortable on much less than 1000 Rs per day, whereas in Mumbai or Delhi, expect to pay double.
It can be still managed....Accomodation - Rs. 300 Food Rs. 200 Travel - Rs. 300 Others - Rs. 200
But you can't see many places as travel will be costly..
With a travel budget averaging Rs 300 a day, presumably travelling sleeper class, how often would you be moving on to a new place, and how far?
I know it's a "how long is a piece of string" question, but I have absolutely no idea what train journeys cost. [Blush] Would that cover for example moving a hundred miles every couple of days, or fifty miles once a week?
In my experience it is the transits that make traveling in India expensive, when you have to catch a certain train or flight at a certain time, especially the early trains when you have to take a hotel near a station, then a taxi or auto to and from station to hotel and so on.
Another criteria is the best value option. Like (not) knowing which hotel would offer the best value for a low price. Best value could mean to be able to sleep well before a long train-journey, yet being close enough to the railway station, that you would not have to overpay an auto to the station, stuff like that.
I think sleeper-class is generally a nice option to travel in, both to save money and to experience more of the views on the country-side and the people, although most of the time I prefer 3 or 2 AC, if I do not fly longer distances. The only consideration is security when traveling thru notorious areas like Bihar and the Jhansi area. Sleeper is advisable only with very light, lockable, baggage, though, and easy to chain to the straps. Preferable with two people traveling together for longer hauls.
I would say 500 Rupees on average per day would be a minimum figure. On average 250 Rupees for lodging, 100 for food and water, 70 for transportation, 80-100 for extras like sharing with the needy which I think is essential when traveling in India. The larger expenditure days would be reduced by staying in low-cost places like ashram guest-houses and the like, which would result in days spending a max of a 200 Rs. In my scenario I would avoid expensive city situations, and prefer country-stays. Visiting cities would necessarily mean a higher budget for those days.
The cost for train travel on longer trips comes down when considering that on those days you do not need a hotel.