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As the monsoon is in its last phase across the country the misty mornings are just around the corner. The festival mood is going to kick-start with raksha bandhan followed by strings of festivals that will set the mood for binging. Diwali and Christmas are the best times for vacation. As the holiday season comes closer the regular holiday destinations become dearer. But there are exciting alternatives if one wants to avoid going to overcrowded destinations. So, why don’t you try these places instead of regular spots?
Some of these not so known destinations are just as stunning as their famous counterparts but are less crowded and much more affordable. Since these places are yet not frequented much, these are low on demand hence much affordable.
Following are the three destinations—Jodhpur, Gokarna and Bir Billing which NYOOOZ recommends as inexpensive alternatives to expensive destinations for the upcoming vacations.
Jodhpur is filled with history, culture and art. And the vibrant Pushkar, just like Udaipur, is engulfed by mountains and beds a lake in its centre. The quaint cities of Pushkar and Jodhpur offer the best of Rajasthan without the high price. About 185 km apart, Pushkar offers a spiritual experience in lakes and temples, whereas Jodhpur is home to heritage sites of Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada.
Jodhpur: Mid-range hotels cost between Rs 1,100-1,800. Price range of 3-star hotels is Rs 2,000-3,500. In Pushkar, budget and mid-range options cost Rs 800-1,500. Cost of 3-star hotels range from Rs 1,800-2,500 and high-end resorts cost around Rs 4,000.
Udaipur: Budget options range from Rs 1,200-1,700. Midrange hotels cost Rs 2,000-3,000. Cost of 3-star hotels is Rs 3,000 onwards and high-end hotels cost up to Rs 9,000. In Jaipur, mid-range hotels cost Rs 1,500-2,100 whereas 3-star hotels range from Rs 2,500-4,000.
Jodhpur: Auto rides in Jodhpur cost Rs 500. Whereas in Pushkar the cost is between Rs 100-200 per day. Taxi fare from Jodhpur to Pushkar is Rs 3,000 and AC bus will cost Rs 400.
Udaipur: Taxi rates start at Rs 1,000 per day in both the cities. Auto rides cost about Rs 700 per day. Jaipur to Udaipur by taxi costs about Rs 4,500 and an AC bus will cost Rs 600.
Known as the yore of Goa, Gokarna is located on the same parallel of Arabian Sea as Goa. It has beaches, forts and parties, but on a smaller scale.
Here, you can have a laidback seaside vacation with accommodations starting at Rs 500, whereas Goa has nothing below Rs 3,000 near the sea. To enjoy the full glory of the sea take a boat ride through the four main beaches —Om, Kudle, Half Moon and Paradise beach.
You can try water sports on Om beach. Other major attractions include Mahabaleshwar temple and Mirjan fort.
How to reach
Gokarna: Nearest airport is in Goa, 140 km away. By road, bus ply from Goa and Bengaluru.
The nearest railhead is Ankola, 20 km away.
Goa: Goa has an international airport. Margaon and Vascoda-gama are main railheads.
Accessible by road from Pune, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Gokarna: Hostels and homestays offer budget stay below Rs 800.
Limited luxury resorts but plenty of mid-range hotels available in the range of Rs 1,300-2,000.
Luxury resorts cost Rs 3,500-5,500.
Goa: Budget hotels range from Rs 1,000-1,500, but are located away from the beaches.
Mid-range hotels closer to the beach cost Rs 2,000-2,500, whereas 3-star hotels cost Rs 2,500 upwards.
Beach front resorts and huts start at Rs 5,000.
Gokarna: Boat ride across beaches cost Rs 400 per person.
For sightseeing, you can hire a scooty for Rs 200 or a taxi for Rs 600-900.
Taxi price starts at Rs 2000 per day for city tour. Or you can hire a scooty for Rs 300 or a self-driven car for Rs 800.
Amazingly scenic villages of Bir Billing is a great alternative to expensive and crowded Manali in terms of serenity and natural beauty. The Village also offers paragliding terrain, but the experience comes at a low price in comparison to Manali.
Paragliding package costs Rs 2,500, which includes transport to Billing. One can try other adventures like hang gliding, mountain biking, camping and trekking and also visit monasteries.
How to reach
Bir: Nearest airport is Dharamshala, 67 km away. Nearest railhead is Pathankot. By road, take a bus to Baijnath an ..
Manali: Nearest airport is Bhuntar, 52 km away. Nearest railway station is Chandigarh. Bus ply from Delhi.
Bir: It’s a small village best covered on foot. Or, you can hire a bicycle at Rs 150 per day. Taxi ride to Billing is for Rs 250.
Manali: Taxi fare for local tour is Rs 800-1,000. Taxi fares for Rohtang valley start at Rs 2,500.
Bir: Budget options start at Rs 800. Mid-range hotels cost Rs 1,500-2,500. Trekking+camping+ paragliding package start at Rs 4,000, which also includes two meals.
Manali: Budget options start at Rs 1,300. Mid-range options range from Rs 2,000-3,500 and cost of 3/4 star hotels is Rs 3,500 onwards.
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