When it comes to budget, many trips get cancelled due to insufficient finance, whereas the craving for travelling still remains within. But no worries if you have few thousand in your pocket since here are a list of few tips for a budget friendly trip along with the example of mine. Firstly, for a budget friendly trip, planning in advance is necessary since it reduces the cost of last minute transportation and accomodation fares. Also travelling with a group of atleast 6-7 people is cheaper than travelling in a small group since the transportation cost gets distributed.
One of my pocket friendly trip was none other than Darjeeling, the prettiest hillstation located in the northern part of West Bengal. We travelled from Kolkata by train. The tickets were booked earlier and a thorough research was done regarding pocket friendly accomodations keeping in mind the cleanliness and the distance from the main market. Since greater the distance, higher will be the transportation cost. We stayed in hotel 'Chalet' which was located right in the centre of the main market (Mall) which gave a mesmerizing view of the Mall.
We reached there in the afternoon, hence we explored the Mall that day. Since our hotel was in the centre, we walked and explored the Mall the whole evening untill we had dinner at Glenary's, the most amazing bakery cum restaurant in town since the British colonial days. It is the landmark of Darjeeling which serves the best bakery in the morning and a spectacular restaurant with live music in the evening. Since it closes too soon, one must reach within 8pm and wait in the queue.
The next morning again we went to Glenary's for the most delicious bakery and we started for the sightseeing. Apart from there, Keventers also serves amazing breakfasts but one needs to wait in the queue for hours for the same, hence we opted for Glenary's. For sightseeing we wanted to visit an offbeat and there are innumerable offbeats around Darjeeling to explore. We chose the way to Tinchuley this time. Some of the local sightseeing areas falls on the way hence we visited Batasia loop, a spiral loop of the railway tracks with a panoramic view of the Kanchenjunga of the Himalayan range. There are plenty of local sightseeing areas within Darjeeling but since we chose the offbeat hence we headed towards it. Our next destination was a beautiful tea garden followed by Lamahatta. As it is said, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey which was astonishing and breathtaking.
Lamahatta is a small village surrounded by pine forest with a magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga and located around 19kms away from the town. We went to Lamahatta Eco Park, a delightful park on a hill slope maintained by the local villagers. The park includes a wonderful tree house and a small nursery along with a pleasing view of the nature.
At Lamahatta we had special Maggie and noodles cooked with vegetables for lunch which was undoubtedly delicious and appetizing. Also, it was pocket friendly. After Lamahatta, we visited Tinchuley monastery and a view point at the back of the monastery from where the whole area including the tea garden and the Himalayan range looked incredible. Tinchuley is a very good place to stay and relax in the calm environment but since it was a budget friendly trip, hence we returned to Darjeeling for the stay. We stayed in another hotel and also we had dinner from the local Mall road since we had to balance the budget.
The next morning we had to bid adieu to the queen of hills, Darjeeling. As we moved towards our way back home we enjoyed the splendid view of the Kurseong hills and the Kurseong tea garden on the way.
It was difficult to leave but as we left, we planned for our next budget trip to Kurseong.
ACCOMODATION: 1000 (2 days)
FOOD: Glenary's dinner 400 + Next day Glenary's Bakery 100 + Maggie/Noodles 50 + Dinner at Mall road 150 + Next day breakfast 100 = 800 (2 days)
TRANSPORTATION (SIGHTSEEING): 3000/6 persons= 500
NJP AND DARJEELING TO & FRO: 3000/6 persons = 500