With a full time job and only few weekends to spend for myself in a year, it's a little bit of extra work of planning for a solo trip. Although there are lots of places in India to visit solo(for everyone irrespective of men or women), here are the top most as per budget, food and traveler friendly.
Source : Mumbai
Trip Duration (each) : 2-4 days (over the weekend)
Budget : Within INR 7000
Accomodation : Through makemytrip.com, booking.com (these offer some really good budget-friendly deals) and Couchsurfing(the worldwide common platform for cultural exchange with travel experiences and hospitality- the best out of all the options!).
Budget : Pocket friendly (All prices might vary from season to season and person to person. These are the ones I completed my trips within).
1. Hampi – Paradise for all backpackers
Approx trip cost - INR 2000
The land of monuments and the Tungabhadra River, Hampi is more than just scenic beauty and an ideal place for backpackers, it is an experience with best of ancient touch and the warm and mordern gestures of the locals. The ancient temples, monuments and the giant rocks and boulders of Hampi will leave you amazed. The locals there speak fluent English so language is not a problem for anyone communicating in English.
Definitely take the Coracle ride once to cross the river. It’s really fun! And it is very well within the pocket-friendly budget. Have delicious foods at Mango Tree cafe with unlimited access to wifi and great ambiance.
Tip : Take enough cash as there is no facility of card swipe at most of the places. The only ATM is at Hospet, 10 km from Hampi.
For detailed info, check here.
2. Goa – Indian travel hotspot year round for all kinds of travelers
Approx trip cost - INR 4000
The most happening place for solo traveling. Parties, serene beauty, water sports, adventure or just chilling out – Goa offers everything and is most frequented by solo travelers. You can visit Goa at any time of the year except the Summer season(it’s too hot!) During Monsoons only the water activities are closed due to high tides, otherwise every place can be explored and it's a scenic beauty treat to the eyes during monsoon.
Try out the local cuisines and rent a two-wheeler (rent options available almost everywhere) for an ultimate enjoyable experience.
Tip : Take good amount of sunscreen whichever month it be. Try out all kinds of booze at cheap rates than any other state.
3. Sikkim : The abode of natural beauty
Approx trip cost - INR 7000
Known as the most disciplined state, Sikkim is the abode of natural beauty and peace. You can never get enough of its serenity. The food, shopping and people are simply amazing. Definitely visit the Monastery, Phelling, Tsangu Lake. Gorge on yummiest momos and soups!
Tip : Take a light jacket for the night in off winter season and definitely the woolens during winter.
4. Varanasi – Essence of Indian culture
Approx trip cost - INR 4500
As the saying goes ‘Varanasi is not just a place, it’s an experience’ is very true and you can experience this once you visit here. The Ganges, the Ghats, the Ganga Aarti , the innumerous diyas at the bank of the River – India’s culture reflects in every corner of Varanasi. At least once in life you must pay a visit. In the evening take a ride in the boat along the Assi Ghats and watch and immerse in the essence of Ganga Aarti.
Tip : Take proper care of not to get trapped by the 'pandas' at the temples.
5. Udaipur – The City of Lakes
Approx trip cost - INR 3000
Rajasthan has always attracted people from all over the world due to its rich history, culture and architecture. One of the safest destination for women travelers. The people are very friendly and helpful. The City of Lakes – Udaipur . The vintage car museum, the City Palace, the stroll near the banks of the lakes and getting immersed in the golden hue of sunset are just some of the many things you should do in Udaipur.
Tip : Sit by the lakes (especially Lake Pichola) by the evening to enjoy the picturesque beauty and soothing breeze and try out the German Bakery stuffs over there!
6. Jaipur – The Pink City
Approx trip cost - INR 3000
Enjoy the Forts, palaces and vintage museums of the Pink City - Jaipur with delicious traditional foods that the city has to offer. The largest physical sun dial is located here at Jantar Mantar. It's thrilling how the astronomy and engineering was so perfect at the ancient era in India!
Tip : If you love walking, then can explore most the city by walking only.
For detailed info check here.
7. Jodhpur – Rajasthan treasures
Approx trip cost - INR 2500
The Blue City – Jodhpur is famous for the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the biggest in India and the Golden City. Along with that the world's largest Royal residential heritage hotel - Umaid Bhavan Palace is located here.
Tip : Try walking up the road to the Fort through the narrow backstreet from where the view is breathtaking, especially early in the morning and late evening.
For detailed info, check here.
8. Pondicherry – Touch of French culture
Approx trip cost - INR 5000
The French Colony of India is a place which has something that most of the place has in scarcity – peace and serenity. The delectable French cuisines, the old buildings, the small clean beautiful lanes, the Aurobindo Ashram, the simple people leading their simple lives, the shops for some great shopping experience – you can enjoy all these at Pondicherry. Do spend the evening at the Ocean rocks, it’s a beautiful experience.
Tip : Take the direct bus from Chennai if you are opting for public transport or better book a cab for more convenience.
9. Khajuraho – Ancient architecture of India
Approx trip cost - 5000
A bit surprised? Yes Khajuraho is one of the best places for female solo travelers to visit and explore. Ofcourse a little cautiousness is needed just like any other place, but once you get the idea you are good to go ahead. The temple is the biggest attraction here and two lakes are also present nearby.
Khajuraho railway station is located in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Along with that the Khajuraho airport is another option. By roadways, you can take buses which are available from Satna in Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi, Delhi and few other.
Tip : While buying souvenirs at the shops outside the temple, negotiate as much as you can as they don't give up easily.
10. Jhansi and Orchha - History of bravery and valour
Approx trip cost - 4000
In Jhansi, the Fort is the only attraction but the Orchha Palace is something not to be missed. An official guide at this place would be helpful to understand the details.
Tip : Take a shared tempo from Jhansi to Orchha and vice versa for a distance of around 10 kms. It is cheap and convenient too.
So step out and explore and enjoy the beauties of every part of India! If you know any other places which should add up to this list, please do share in the comment section. Happy traveling :)