Summer in India is like a vacation for whole family, especially for those who have school going children. In India, summer season starts from the beginning of March and continues up to first half of July. It is very easy for you to make your holidays pocket friendly if you know the right places to go to. From the blue mountains of Himalayas and the Andaman Island in the south and from the dive sites of Havelock Island in the eastern extents to the Western Ghats of Goa; India is your paradise with a lot of options to help you chill out this summer. So, take off on an expedition without wanting to spend a lot of money with my list of top five budget friendly places to visit in May-June in India. Have a look, and plan your holiday accordingly.
Budget Friendly Places To Travel In India
1) Dharamshala/Mcleodganj (Himachal Pradesh)
Mcleodganj is the first in my list of pocket friendly destination in summer. It is a popular hill station, with majestic hills and lush greenery near Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. The culture here in Mcleodganj is beautifully blended of Tibetan with British influence. It is also known as Little Lhasa and famous around the world for being home to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
Mcleodganj is very famous among the trekkers and para-gliders as well. The Triund Trek here attracts the adventure lovers throughout the year. You can plan to stay in tent one or two night on the top of the hill with the most mesmerising landscapes. It is an ideal retreat for nature lovers.
Ideal trip duration: 2-3 days
Where to stay: A room in a budget hotel could cost as low as around Rs 200 per day.
Must visit places in Mcleodganj: Kangra Fort, Bhagsunath Temple, Kalachakra Temple, Bhagsu Falls, Triund, Tsuglagkhang, St. Johns Church, Namgyal Monastery, Dalai Lama Temple, HPCA Stadium, tea plantations.
Things to do: Meditation, boat ride in Dal Lake, walks through the tea plantations, street shopping, photography.
How to reach: (Distance between Dharamshala and Mcleodganj is 5.5 KM)
By Air: Gaggal airport is the nearest airport (13 km) from Dharamshala
By Rail: Pathankot is the nearest railway station (90.5 km) from Mcleodganj
By Road: Major cities like Delhi (530 km), Chandigarh (275 km) and Dharamshala (5.5 km) are well connected with Mcleodganj.
2) Mount-Abu (Rajasthan)
Mount Abu also called as ‘oasis of the desert’, is the only hill station in the desert state of Rajasthan. It is best known for its pleasant weather all throughout the year. It is situated at Aravalli Hills, with its highest point being ‘Guru Shikhar’. According to Hindu mythology, as it is mentioned as the place where the Sage Vashishtha retired. You can enjoy here scenic beauty, lake views, rich flora and fauna, wildlife, spiritual centres as well as the incredible architecture of Dilwara Jain temple.
Mount Abu is a budget friendly place to visit. You can opt for mini bus here for the local sight seen, cost around 100-200 rupee per person.
Ideal trip duration: 2 days
Where to stay: Mount Abu has accommodation for all budgets, but better to book in advance since it receives visitors almost all year round.
Must visit places in Mount Abu: Dilwara temple, Nakki Lake, Wildlife Sanctuary, Sunset Point, Guru Shikhar Peak, Adhar Devi Temple, Shri Raghunathji Temple, Gaumukh temple, Honeymoon Point
Things to do: Meditation, boating at Nakki lake, street shopping, photography, take part in summer festival (in June), trekking.
How to reach:
By Air: Udaipur airport is the nearest airport (210 km from Mount Abu)
By Rail: Abu Road is the nearest railway station (25 km from Mount Abu)
By Road: Mount Abu is well connected to major cities of India via regular buses.
3) Mahabaleshwar (Maharashtra)
Mahabaleshwar is a very famous hill station in Satara district of Maharashtra. It is also known as ‘strawberry land’. The city is full of captivating beauty, numerous rivers, waterfalls, hills, valleys and lush green dense forest.
Mahabaleshwar is famous for cultivation of strawberries and mulberries. It is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Mahabaleshwar has a pleasant weather throughout the year and can be visited any time of the year.
It is situated at 123 km from Pune and 243 km from Mumbai, and it is one of the best places to visit near Mumbai and Pune.
Ideal trip duration: full 2 days
Where to stay: So many budget hotels/guest houses are available here, but better to book in advance since it receives visitors almost all year round.
Must visit places in Mahabaleshwar: Panchgani, Pratapgarh fort, Mahabaleshwar temple, Mapro garden, Arthur’s Seat, Wilson Point, Lodwick point, Elephant head Point, Chinaman’s falls, Lingmala waterfall, Krishnadevi temple, Panchganga temple, Dhobi falls, Venna Lake, Sunset point.
Things to do: Strawberry testing, street shopping, photography, trekking, boating, picnic.
How to reach:
By Air: Pune airport is the nearest airport (132 km from Mahabaleshwar)
By Rail: Wathar Railway Station is the nearest (60 km from town)
By Road: Government and Private buses are available for Mahabaleshwar.
4) Nainital (Uttarakhand)
Nainital is one of the best among several budget friendly destinations in India. It is also rewarded as “Lake District” and “City of Lake”of India. It is situated in the lap of Himalayas with its magnificent natural beauty and varied natural resources. It is a distinct and famous tourist destination in the Uttarakhand state of India.
Nainital has something for every tourist in its pocket, whether they come for enjoying weather, the lakes, the food, spirituality, the adventure, or even the shopping. The Naini lake itself is a centre of attraction in Nainital surrounded by hills. Surely, you cannot think of summer vacation in India without Nainital.
Ideal Trip Duration: 2 days
Where to stay: Budget hotels/guest houses are available here, but better to book in advance specially during peak season.
Must visit Places in Nainital: Naini lake, High altitude Nainital Zoo, Naina Devi temple, Golu Devta (ghanti vala mandir) temple, Bhimtal, Kainchi Dham, Hanuman Garhi temple, Eco Cave garden, Snow View point, Tiffin top, Sariyatal Waterfall.
Things to do: Boating in Naini Lake, Horse riding to tiffin top, meet rare birds and animals at zoo, street shopping, and enjoy a ropeway ride.
How to reach:
By Air: Pantnagar Airport (65 km from Nainital)
By Rail: Kathgodam Railway Station (34 km from Nainital)
By Road: Delhi is nearest major city with 300 Km distance from Nainital.
5) Spiti/Spiti Valley (Himachal Pradesh)
Spiti is an untouched part of Himachal Pradesh in India. It is also known as cold desert mountain. It leads to the second largest glacier in the world named Bara-Sigri glacier. Spiti not only has a charm of enchanting landscapes, pristine environment, scenic mountains and glaciers but it also offers trekking and jeep safaris to some of its popular trails, Pin-Parvati, Parang-La and Pin-Bhaba.
Spiti is only summer destination, it remains snowbound during winter. During winter with the temperature falling below 15 degree Celsius, the Kunzum Pass get closed which results in Spiti get cut-off from rest of the country.
Ideal trip duration: 2 days
Where to stay: Government and private guest houses are available with nominal rate. Home stays are also in some nearby villages: Langza, Komic, Demul, Lhalung, Dhankar and Mikkim..
Must visit places in Spiti: Key Monastery, Lhalung Monastery, Marikula Mata Temple, Dhankar Monastery, Chandratal Lake, Pin Valley National Park.
Things to do: Yak Safaris, Trekking, City Shopping at Tibetan shops, Photography, Mountain Biking, River Rafting.
How to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is in Bhuntar, near Kullu, 245 km away from the same.
By Train: Shimla is the nearest railway station. You can than opt for bus or cab or Jeep to reach Spiti.
By Road: Regular buses are operating from places like Shimla, Pathankot, New Delhi etc. to Spiti Valley.