Backpacking has a way of making you feel young again – carefree with the ability to pack all your stuff in a backpack and not have to haul around heavy luggage. Whether you’re hurtling along in a rickshaw, eating fantastic curries, kicking back on the backwaters or hiking in the mountains – backpacking in India is always an adventure. With such diverse climatic and geographical attributes, every kind of traveler will find a place they most love, here. Here are our favourites sure to add to your backpacking experience.
With pocket friendly meals and jaw dropping sights, Manali is a great spot for backpacking. This retreat offers splendid views of the mountains, neighbouring valleys and forests along with apple orchards that surround it. A great way to make this an immersive experience would be to try out the cooking classes with the chef, camping, trekking, trout fishing or even taking walks to the nearby villages. If you’re in a mood to indulge and de-stress the spa here offers incredibly relaxing massages.
A visit to Nainital comprises of everything from lazy boating to exciting activities. The town is surrounded by beautiful mountaintops and offers some incredibly breath-taking views of the plains and the pear-shaped Nainital lake forms the central crux of things to do in the region. In the heart of the Kumaon Himalayas at 6,200 feet, this haven is in the midst of verdant valleys and mountains clad in forests of Oak, Rhododendron, Deodar and Pine. The many terraced gardens, with an abundance of flowers is perfect to just hang around and read a good book as for the more adventurous there are numerous treks and trails to participate in here.
Kochi is a major port and a bustling town with a large navy presence – perfect for a 1 to 2 day stay. The Chinese fishing nets, Mattancherry Palace, Pardesi Synagogue and Princess Street are some sights definitely not to be missed. While in Kochi, consider resting at this 17th century lighthouse, facing the Chinese Fishing Nets. The unique scallop-walled twin-house structure of the Tower House appears almost like a ship and in the past boats were brought in on high tide and parked downstairs in its stable and dry dock!
Easily accessible from both Goa and Bangalore, Hampi is packed with rock cut temples, towering piles of boulders, buzzing with backpackers and history. Visiting the Virupaksha Temple, Ajenaya Temple, Lotus Mahal, Elephant stables and sunsets at the hilltop are a must do for every traveler. Hampi’s Boulders is a great way to experience Hampi at it’s best – this hideaway is far away the noise of the city and has an array of interesting activities for you to choose from like treks to nearby waterfalls, bird watching, nature walks along with fun barbeque nights and beach volleyball games.
A popular backpacking spot in Goa, Colva Beach is famous for it’s nightlife. A number of well – known restaurants and beach shacks are often open till the wee hours. A visit to the Our Lady of Mercy Church, which was built in 1630 is must do. The Beleza by the Beach is located in the midst of greenery and tropical plants, with the beach and sea on one side and paddy fields on the other. The range of activities here includes a Garden tour with the in-house flora specialist, pizza making, volley ball match, carom and table tennis match, beach cycle race etc.
Where are you planning your next backpacking trip?