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Cost of living in India and other questions ...

edited February 2010 in India and Asia
Hello everyone,

I wanna go to India because I'm skint and frankly I don't want to work. I've got about 2 grand and I want to doss for the next year. I have been researching hostel prices for a while now which all seem like a bloody rip off as if they have taken what in the U.k you would class as average, which in India is to my mind = greed. I've been looking at property rentals and I've seen PG accommodation ggoing for 4100INR a month with 3 square meals a day !! A bit more relative wouldn't you agree ? Anyways, I wonder if it's some unwritten law that just because your from a European country (i.e, the U.k or such like) that they are allowed to ripp you off because they think you are loaded ? As much as I would love to see their beautiful country I basically am looking for a cheap place to live whilst I develop an internet business. Can anyone give me the truth ? I can handle it I swear !!

Many thanks, Nomadic


  • edited 7:48PM
    In My opinion thats really a good price you have there.
    Usually a rented property for a single guy cost about 3500 - 4500 INR a month!!!
    Now if you get a place for Rs.4100 a month with 3 meals per day i would not think twice.
    Again price depends upon the place you are looking forward to live.

    I pay Rs.16000 INR a month for my property rent alone, to keep my family under a roof.
  • edited 7:48PM
    B2 hi !!

    Thank you so much for responding to my post, I thought I was alone for a minute, lol. 16,000INR a month, wow, that must be a big family you have there ay ? So if we might continue, is there any perticular reason why any of these people wouldn't rent out a PG style property to and english guy ? After all I am still a paying guest like any other and I have the money... I say this because I have researched lots of properties and sought more onformation but have had not one single reply (and I sent so many messages, at least 20). Anyways, I wonder if you could tell me about the internet serviecs, I know that a lot of places have broadband but have they incorperated wireless broadband yet ? (do you know what I mean ? the service provider type, not router based).

    Again my thanks for allowing my to draw upon your experience for the days ahead, Nomadic
  • edited 7:48PM

    The amount of money you have for a year is fine, the thing you want to do is to rent somewhere out on a long term basis as you will get a much better deal! If you are renting a hotel room every night and eating out at really nice restaurants that will only last you about 4/5 months. I would have a cheap breakfast and lunch and splurge on dinner.

    Hope this helps! :)
  • edited May 2010
    When I started thinking Rs. 6000 ($130) for a month is reasonable here comes Nomadic with a 4k he still refuses, man it's rupees not $ or pounds.

    Have a look at this site and comment on your expirience, it might just help in avoiding lots of legwork.

    Friend Nomadic please share your expirience on this front that we may be benefitted too.
  • edited 7:48PM
    As pointed out earlier - it depends on where you stay. 4100 INR is a decent deal if it includes meals - only in the metro cities.

    If you move to Tier II cities like Pune, Vadodara, Nagpur, Jaipur, Mysore, etc, you might get the same @ ~3000 INR.

    Regarding other expenses, here is a rough estimate, if it helps:

    - A pair of formal trouser and shirt: Rs.1500 (~10GBP).
    - Nike/Reebok/Adidas sports shoes: Rs.2000
    - A movie ticket @ a good multiplex: Rs. 150-200
    - Monthly groceries for a bachelor: Rs. 1000

    So with 2 grands (INR 1,30,000), your annual rental + meals would be Rs.48,000 and you still have the rest of it to spend on clothing and travel.
  • edited 7:48PM
    1) The cheapest is the Far East. In Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand you can manage comfortably on about $100 US a week, including travel. Over there you can get a bed for the night for as little as $1.00/day. The food is extra, i.e. what you buy on your own.

    2) In India, on $100 a month you can live quite comfortably. INR 4,100 / 46 FX = USD 89.00 per month is not too bad. The foreign exchange makes it look like you're about to pay through the nose, but you don't. You can find accomodation from INR 50 per day, if you're willing to rough it (but how will the heat and lack of A/C help you in starting your Internet business?) Food is quite cheap if you eat at Dhabas and smaller restaurants. In India, highways are dotted with local restaurants popularly known as Dhabas (singular: Dhaba; Hindi: ????).

    As to India, in your INR 4,100 deal watch out for the food they include. If you prepay for and they give you some worthless crappy food 3 times a day, every day, are you still interested? I would not be!

    As to India, watch out for some major/additional expenses. Take a chain and padlock to chain up your bag (which is very useful in India). Because thieves and cat burglars are everywhere. They grab your bag or sneak into or raid your room and take everything including all your money that should've lasted for one full year! And then what do you do?
  • edited 7:48PM
    Thankyou all of you who responded to my post. Ive been here for nearly 5 months now and soon it's time for me to leave. I didn't actually refuse the PG (thankyou Rosey) it turned out to be a block full of students (and as Mike pointed out) it had a bug infested kitchen lol but it was ok for a month. I find India on the whole to my liking especially the people I have met here from all walks of life.

    It should be mentioned that people will try to get as much money from you as they can god bless 'em, so you can pretty much cut whatever price they start out on in half to get closer to the real deal. But true enough 6000R.s is acceptable for a PG and the food is relatively in expensive, I lived on a steady diet of vegetables and rice at the cost of 30R.s a day.

    Anu, I actually got some really good trousers and a smart t-shirt for 500R.s each which is 14GBP total (the rate being 72 to the pound currently) which was in Delhi. Your price for the food was alomst exactly right and also your advice about the places in Jaipur etc...

    As Sophia out lines, if you want to be cost effective living in rented accomodation for extended periods is the way to go. It does depend on the nature of your visit obviously, but really who could be bothered to travel solidly for 6 months anyway ?

    Ok, so ive been writing a small set of blogs on a forum one of my friends made and thought I'd share it with you guys ! If you like what i've put together please leave a comment for me. Thanks again to you all...

    Nameste, Damien

    PART 1 :

    PART 2:
  • edited 7:48PM
    Dear Nomadic Damian, It's almost a year now since your first message, and half a year since your last. I just find this now and hope you can still reply. Are you in India at the moment or did you return? Do you have a total figure for the money spent there? How long did your $2000 last? Can you give more details, like what area of Delhi were you staying or the quality of your most permanent accommodation? I want to do exactly what you did, only for about 3 years or so rather than 1, and so my calculations need to be quite careful. Although not a believer of any related (or unrelated) faiths, my purpose is deeply to familiarise myself with Hindi and Sanskrit language and literature. Please advise.
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hello everyone,

    Been a while hasn't it, lol, in any case a belated but still sincere happy new year to you all. May it be a safe, fun and fruitful year for us all. Nomas, come and speak to me at yahoo, my ID is [email protected] (and my email of course if you wanna do it that way. Same goes for all readers of this post btw, I'm more than happy to help a fellow traveller). Lots to share about India, consider Sri Lanka also being so close it's a little paradise and is even cheaper, beautiful place to visit. Anyways, feel free to contact me there.

    Just an update for anyone wanting to see more -

    PART 3 -

    And a new one I started over at blogspot, which is an update of the first blog (in previous post above) but if you look on the right hand side there is a slideshow which contains some of my pictures of Sri Lanka and Malaysia (uploaded to Flickr). I've got way loads more to do but I'm kept so busy at the moment... If you like it please vote!

    Namaste Damien
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hello Nomadic i read your post with interest on living in India on 2000 sterling for 1 year. i am at the planning stage of going over to India myself . I have a disposable income of 400 sterling per month could you guide me what sort of living i could expect from this and would i be able to supplement this with any any form of employment
  • edited February 2011
    Greetings all,

    Ok, this post seems to be getting quite a lot of attention so what I'm gonna do is go into a bit of detail concerning the cost of living in India. The following is the revised edition of an email (the longest email I've ever written in my life, lol, no problem your welcome) I wrote for a fellow member. Some of the information is specific but I think still relative to consider for anyone planing to visit India, these I have given a title to in capitals. Some of them I will elaborate further on in posts to follow.

    The links used in this post may be out of date or have changed since time of writing. If you paste them into your browser address bar and they don’t work, try just using the website name i.e, without anything after the forward slash and have a look around to find a similar example.

    For your information and that of all subsequent readers a few clarifying lines…

    I'm 29, was born in England and love travelling/learning about the ways of the world. I did go over budget and that was within 5 1/2 months of being there (4 of which were spent in Delhi) due to cost of doing business and taking the last month to travel all over India… and I got ripped of with the internet. Had I stayed put in Delhi and kept to basic amenities it would have easily been enough (more in a moment).

    I would not recommend any attempts to work in India unless you are specifically after the experiences that environment provides, quite simply because you will be paid next to nothing in your usual capacity and it’s not worth it. However volunteering is in my opinion highly commendable and if that is your intention I salute you.

    So my journey last year started in Spain the year before. I got there from the U.K in late October 09 and stayed till February last year in Mazzaron before returning to London for a week to finalise plans, collect my visa and say my goodbyes before the off.

    After my preparations were made and my visa for India was approved I went straight out of Gatwick into New Delhi. Subsequently and somewhat different to what I had planned, I went on to visit Sri Lanka > Malaysia > Australia (where I currently reside) which I'm very glad I did now. The original plan being Nepal/Tibet > China > Indonesia (I really should update those blogs lol, so busy though you know?).

    Anyways, time for brass tacks...


    Quite frankly the more time you have for preparation and research the smoother your transition will be and the more you can establish on both sides of the water before you arrive (and here I'm talking about any commitments you may be leaving behind and having things in place ready for you to get into your studies without unnecessary delay).


    The weather in September is just cooling off in Delhi and the rains begin to recede the following month. So you will get to build up to the heat of the following summer without the initial shock of 40c temperatures, lol. Still in the northern hemisphere, India does get colder around December, January and February, in Spain it got down to around 10c some days and in Delhi can be similar (if that is where you choose to live, of course somewhere like Mcleod-Ganj for example the mountain town in the north would be freezing at that time of year).


    Chat clients are quite simple to use and enable two or more people to converse on the web from anywhere in the world simultaneously. It's a fantastic medium for a traveller and I recommend that you familiarise yourself with it in good time before you set off (and your friends/family too which is equally as important). Skype, also (which I have yet to write about) is good for voice calling i.e, free pc to pc phone calls (or at least the cost of running your computer). I'll go into internet in India later because you need to be aware of the options available to you as some do cost greatly more than others.

    Now the only major consideration concerning web chat is the time difference, for example India is ok from the U.K because the difference between the two is only +5 1/2hrs but with other countries the difference can be as much as +11hrs and can make it difficult to reach people at home.


    The budget I had was in GBP and I think was around £2000, and yes you could easily make that last you for 6 months in Delhi living quite comfortably. It depends on lifestyle for course, I mean, your personal standards may differ from mine but if you were looking to rent shared accommodation and eat food that you prepare yourself (i.e, going to the markets for the ingredients) it could last a damn sight longer (a year, perhaps more).

    What we would call in England ‘shared accommodation’ they call out there PG or ‘paying guest’ (as provided before by Rosey {thankyou}, this is what you are to search for to find this kind of place on the web). If you search for rentals on it will usually return results by companies who will try to get English or at least extortionate rates for their accommodation. Using may make a difference (and I'd say is worth a bookmark) but the search terms you submit are the crucial elements (more in a moment).

    The using first place I lived in as an example, it was a PG for 1 month in Vikaspuri, which is what we would class as suburbia quite a way out to the west of city central. Transport we will get into also a bit later but for now, just know that Delhi has one of the best metro systems I've seen anywhere in the world and makes commuting very easy where the lines go out to through the city.

    So Vikaspuri was actually the place I was comparing price wise when I wrote the original post and was for 4100R.S per month which I can now say is certainly cheap and a lot closer to the reality of rent prices in Delhi. Just on that point, I should say it wasn't that I wanted everything to be super cheap but that I didn't want to get ripped off at the same time. A fair price relative to the local financial climate is all I was vying for and as a traveller it is very important because you need to know these things in advance for budgeting (and here we are).

    Unfortunately for its people, India is a comparatively poor country to England as far as money goes and a lot of people will try to get as much from an unwitting visitor as possible. Sorry to say it but that is the way it is until you get beneath the conventional approach and start to think and live as they do. And when you do get in underneath all that, India becomes a very different place, a very spiritual, traditional and sobering place.

    The accommodation in Vikaspuri was fine by me, but then I am not really one for creature comforts, just internet connection bed and bathroom was fine (which is exactly what it was with food included). As it turned out it was actually a block full of Indian students where I shared with another guy and had an ensuite bathroom. The kitchen was upstairs (3 flights) with a common eating area if you wanted to socialise while you ate. The conditions were by English standards rough, it was a particularly unclean kitchen and the food was always hot, lacking in any distinguishable flavour. It was only after I started to eat the real food of India that I realised quite how bad the chef was, lol, but you live and learn and for the price it (to me) was ok.

    So, looking now (31/01/2011) at the current rates on the XE currency converter LINK1 -
    (bookmark it I would), I can see that it's 72 Indian Rupees to the Great British Pound (£1GPB = 72R.S). Which means at this time, reversing the equation and offering our value of 4100R.S for a months rent LINK2 -
    (which was accommodation, internet and food in that particular PG) it would be £57GBP a month give or take a matter of pence, lol, not half bad I'd say considering. Spread that over 12 months say and we have £684GBP! So although it didn't, my budget could have stretched out to at least 18 months had I not required anything else. This of course is bare minimum, so don't get too excited because as I said the conditions weren’t very good and being realistic, this is not how we tend to live and there are obviously other costs to consider.

    I have good friends in India now and can help you to get prices more tailored to your requirements if you cant find them on the web, so give me a shout if you need that. In absence (at least for now) you can research on via the internet.

    Using Google India you are more likely it seems to get results from Indian estate agents/landlords cutting out a fair amount of greedy entrepreneurs see LINK3 -
    . And for example we can see a typical site showing various prices and accommodation LINK4 -

    If the type of thing you are after though is gonna be self contained…

    They have these places out there for people studying or on business trips for ‘executives’ that they call 'serviced accommodation' which do cost considerably more but you know exactly where you stand and are generally a lot nicer, more private, comfortable places. Take a look at LINK5 - for example it's 18000R.S (£250 per month) but look what you get. A fully furnished flat! A bedroom with ensuite bathroom, a kitchen with free gas, dining room, free WIFI, air conditioning (an absolute necessity in the summer), electricity included, 2 meals a day and a parking space! lol, so that’s the other end of the scale which will afford you the opportunity to make a clear comparison.

    The location is important for working out transport and any particular places you will be frequenting regularly (especially if you are studying). Anywhere near the metro station is really the key. I didn't ever travel by bus in Delhi because they are always packed out and not knowing much Hindi I couldn’t be sure of where they were going (the city buses rarely have signs or numbers on them). Usually what happens is the bus pulls up and a guy shouts something in Hindi and people run to catch it as it pulls off lol. And compared to the fast, air conditioned comfort of the metro is really quite irrelevant. So it's a combination of metro and rickshaws over small distances (more later).

    The point here is to look on or something similar (perhaps one which is clearer about the locations of the metro stations and the routes they take) and make sure the PG/flat you are looking at has one near by. The metro stops are indicated by a blue square with an M inside, so simple enough. You can use the 'get directions' observe the route from one place to another, i.e, from your local metro to the national library etc... Try not to live in a place right next to the metro though because beneath that is a 4 lane highway which traverses the same route as the metro and is very noisy/busy at nearly all times of day.

    There is plenty more to cover here mate but I must get on. So I'll leave that with you to think about for now, if you have anymore specific questions or what not just let me know I'm happy to help. So more to follow on transport, cost of food and other bits n pieces, about life there (and possibly some of the misconceptions which exist) which I'll send through to you soon.

    For now my friend, I wish you well.

    Namaste, Damien

    P.S Apologies people, I did try to make it convenient with functional links but ended up having to print them instead. If you want a copy of this in email form with working hyperlinks contact me and I'll get it sent out to you (email - [email protected]).
  • edited 7:48PM
    Wow, that is useful stuff. Thanks Damien!
  • edited 7:48PM
    Very intresting thank you for taking time to write.

  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi Nomadic, I am a 31 year old female from the U.S and I plan on traveling to India in August. My brother died on February 18, 2011 and he was a devotee of Krsna. I want to take his ashes to Vrindavan (Krsna's childhood home)and let them go in the river. I don't know if you know anything about the legality of that but if you do that would be great. I would also like to know if you know anything about a woman from the U.S traveling alone, safety wise. I have some experience with traveling abroad as I lived in Malaysia for about 6 months last year. If you have some contact info for places to stay and what not that would be greatly appreciated. My plan is to fly into Dehli and backpack for a bit before dropping my brother off (he has always wanted to go to India). You can email me at [email protected] if that would be easier. I know you are getting a lot of questions but any help you can offer would be amazing. Thank you so much for your time and I am really glad to hear that you had a great experience in India. Take care. Om Shakti
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi Jessica
    I shuffle b/w chennai (madras) and delhi on a regular basis and at both places i have accomodation as in rental. I am an indian, a student and so basically an outsider to delhi. And if you are an outsider to delhi then delhi can be a real bitch. But what i can give you is a no. its +91-11-22222222. Its basically a helpline that can give you any information whatsoever, from the nearest pizza place to the bus numbers, etc. WHat they do is they give you the no./address of the business you are searching for.
    I am not sure india is a safe place for a woman who knows only english. what u can do is get in touch with someone here. you can do that thru facebook. also, it is in south india where they speak a bit of broken english, in north u just can't survive if yu don't know ppl locally/if yu dont know d local language which is of course hindi.
    i dont know if yu can do that, becoz these r not quiet and lonesome places where yu see a river and disperse the ashes, no. india is crowded just about everywhere except in the hills and the villages.
    so what ppl resonably do is that they first get hold of a good Hotel to stay. in delhi, of course not elsewhere. next yu can talk to them (the staff there) or independently look for a local guide. this guy can take yu around and be with yu wherever yu r travelling. vrindavan yu can go by car from delhi. i don't know how yu gona do that but that is what ppl do when they travel here. pl be with someone, whether it be a local or a guide, if yu r alone its just asking for trouble.
    [email protected]
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi Jessica
    so when i say: "i don't know how yu gona do that but that is what ppl do when they travel here."
    i refer to getting a hotel and a guide. i reckon your tour is less than a week, right? so yu can just stay in a hotel. if its like a fortnight or more, yu can consider PG or paying guest. (depends on your budget, really. most westerners would find india incredibly cheap, ofc.) what this means is yu stay with a family that gives yu accomodation and sometimes food. obviously this latter option is 10 times cheaper than the option of staying in a hotel. delhi is full of students so PG is loads here. also, the students sort of live in the Hauz Khas area where yu can find loads'a PG. b sure to select a decent family who speak english and look respectable.

  • edited 7:48PM
    Jessica, I think it's a very noble thing that you are doing for your brother. I'm a single gal and have been living in India for about two years. Rahul is correct when he says it's not the best place for a single female to travel alone. For the most part, it makes no sense within this culture and is just plain challenging. It means being wise and not putting yourself into situations that could invite problems. I'm not familiar with where Vrindavan is, but there are plenty of reputable travel agencies that you could book through. I highly recommend picking up a Lonely Planet's copy of India and get information from there. Keeping in mind that things are always changing and as was mentioned previously, people will try to get more out of you at nearly every turn. But I have found the majority of people here to be so willing to help out. Good luck on your journey.
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi, nice to know that you doing this for ur bro.....Hope these details help....Vrindhavan is nearer to Delhi and it would take 4 to 5 hours to reach there depending on traffic if you are planning to go by road. The best option is to use the trains, especially shathapthi which goes to Agra(Taj Mahal). This train will take you 3 hours(150 km).... (check this site). Krishna's birth plave is Mathura, he grew up in vrindhavan. Both Mathura and Vrindhavan are beautiful places with lot of temples.

    I do not much about where to stay in delhi. I hope someone will help. The best advice I could give you about India is "yes it is unsafe if you are alone, however try ur best to be in a crowd and don't trust anybody easily...even the cop"..this will make you meet the real people of India...Hope you have fun.
  • edited March 2011
    Hello everyone,

    Sorry about the late reply, been so busy and it takes me an utter age to write this stuff, lol. Anyways, here follows another email to a fellow traveller (you know who you are do keep in touch mate) which may be of interest. It’s mainly my thoughts in response on travel safety and inoculation in India.


    The FCO being the FCO have a job to make travellers aware of tourism related events that have happened and draw up a conclusion based on statistics gathered over many years. They do isolate specific regions and warn of anything currently affecting that area of course, but particularly with things like 'terrorism' they tend to tar the whole nation with the same brush and if it's not the FCO it's the bloke down the pub who's never even been there anyway, lol.

    Sure there was a 'terrorist' incident in Mumbai and it wasn't a very nice thing to happen, but to think that this kind of threat exists on a daily basis all over India is a far cry from the reality of the country. But because of events like that one in Mumbai India gets given a 'high terrorism threat' stamp by the FCO and scares people away from a truly fascinating place to experience/explore.

    Before India I went to Spain and because of the train bombings that took place there, Spain also has this ‘high terrorism threat' seal of disapproval. This to me some what of a joke thinking about my 4 months there, it was brilliant. The problem is that there is a thin line between a concise report and out right scare mongering (which in my opinion is overlooked by the FCO for the sake of covering ones own backside which a quick read of the disclaimer seems to confirm).

    In fairness though, a lot of the information they provide is still worth acknowledgement but not to be taken as the be all end all authority. And they do concede that 'Most British nationals who visit India have a trouble-free stay' which is correct of course. They do also provide several pretty good services, one of which is called 'LOCATE' where you register your personal information, the contact details of those at home and times/destinations of travel enabling them to act swiftly if there are any problems (on either side of the water). Read more at the FCO website


    They also have a contact number which is worth writing down and/or keeping in your mobile phone where they can be contacted 24hrs a day if something does happen to go wrong.

    Sourced from the FCO website... (04/02/2011)

    Our Consular Assistance team in London can be reached on:
    020 7008 1500 (+44 20 7008 1500 from abroad)
    This number operates 24 hours a day

    ...or their email - [email protected]

    I can only speak from my own experience and as I mention on one of my blogs I don't allow for any nonesense on the road, but, things like mugging or hassle from the police were none existent. When I was there in Delhi, I lived in a place where I didn't see another white guy for months. Lol, what was funny was that when a white person did finally walk down the road I remember thinking 'waha, look at that! Theres a whitey walking down the road over there, what on earth are they doing here?' and having a giggle with my fellow Indians... lol.

    People say they hear stories of others getting into these situations but in my opinion, of the hundreds of thousands of people that visit India each year they really are the fabled 'needle in the hay stack'. There are things to be aware of and I'll get more into this side of things later on but for now just remember to be assertive when dealing with people (you will know who they are) and follow your instincts (i.e, if something doesn't feel right it probably isn't... walk away).

    I should also say that India is a country which thrives on tourism and although they have plenty of clever ways to part you with your hard earned cash, they rarely resort to violence to get it. The police force in India have been ordered to take this kind of thing very seriously and they are there to ensure that visitors are allowed to pass without unnecessary delay or harassment.


    As for disease, if you intend to go out into any remote, rural or wilderness areas then it is best to get your Malaria tablets on the go in good time before entering that region. Malaria does effect certain parts of India and is not a nice thing to experience, but really though, of all the places I visited the worst thing that happened was spending the odd day with an upset tummy.

    If you need to get jabs (inoculations) done you have 2 choices. The first and most expensive way is to get them done before you go which for me was going to cost about £150GBP... ridiculous. The second is to get them after you have arrived which was more like £35GBP. Bearing in mind where you intend to go and when, this may or may not be a worth while option.

    Some jabs only require one shot and you can be on your way, where others require a 'booster' which you have to return for in a number of weeks. So if for example, you were going to be in Delhi for a month first (or any other major city) and you needed a hepatitis-B jab then that will be enough time to have your initial shot and return in 3 weeks for the follow up treatment. Or, if you were keen to get going and only required the tetanus jab (which I believe is just the one shot) then you could get that done within days or even hours of getting in (depending what time you land of course).

    Finding a place to get your inoculations is not difficult, the websearch method is pretty much the same as the one I outlined in the previous post and will bring up a number of practices for you to contact before you arrive or when you get there for prices and appointment availability. Alternatively you could talk to a rickshaw driver (find one that speaks good English that you can use each time) and ask them about a good local doctor you can visit and speak too. A lot of travel agents, hotel/hostel managers etc... are entrepreneurial and generally know someone they can recommend (this goes for all manner of other requests a traveller may have).


    I'll be writing more about arranging transport, accommodation, and tons of other things. Just quickly though, in my opinion it is best to arrange your own train journeys, flights and accommodation yourself and in good time before you get to the next destination. I've rocked up a few times thinking I'll just get it sorted when I get there only to find that either there is no internet cafe around, or people have capitalised on limited accommodation. Be smart and stay ahead of the game is my advise to you.

    One good website I used a number of times for arranging transport is and for finding a hostel/hotel using one of the usual hostel reference websites like or and sourcing their details from the web to contact them directly produced the best results.

    As for places to visit, India is full to the brim of experiences, places to explore, festivals to take part in etc... it all depends what kind of things you are interested in.

    Till next time, enjoy life!!!

    Namaste people, Damien
  • edited 7:48PM
    Yes! Its the Inspector's 'I ate you Butler' catch phrase from On The Buses (for those old enough to remember it) and thats the tag I got when, for the first time, I stepped out into Grand Avenue at Smithfield Meat Market in The City of London as a Market Constable. I knew I was in for an Initiation but as I love nothing better than a bit of good natured British Banter I revelled in every minute of it. I survived the 5 years from 60 to 65 and 'retired' reluctantly from a job that I loved. Having spent some years in a couple of other Police Forces (they were not called Services then) and even longer in an Industrial environment I was more than prepared for their little tests and wind ups. That Market is surrounded by pubs and clubs and is well worth a visit for the young and not so young. The market is victorian and is a splendid piece of architecture. I may be biassed but I recommend it highly. Sir William Wallace met his grisly end there as did many Christian martyrs in flames or boiling oil. So; not for the fainthearted then....

    Thats the Blakey explanation - I still have the flat cap badge as a memento - so now I hope to extract some info. and ideas ref. India from the readers and contributors. I visited India three times in the early eighties with people I knew who had been born there but emigrated to the UK.

    However, my first visit to Calcutta (Kolkata as we all know it now) was in December 1979 and I had never even flown before and was on my own. I had a jab at home but it cost far less than £150!! On the next two occasions I ignored the need for jabs and took my chances anyway.

    Apart from amoebic dysentry right at the end of the first trip, I suffered a number of mosquito bites and nothing else during all three sojourns.

    Down to the Nitty Gritty then. I am hoping to be able to contact some people that I last saw there in Calcutta over 30 years ago. I believe they have moved to either Delhi or Mumbai. What is the best way to do that in a population of nearly a Billion?!!! Is there a much used classified Ads section in a popular newspaper anyone can recommend please?

    Enjoy your travels O Intrepid Ones.... Blakey
  • edited 7:48PM
    I wonder if anyone can tell me if around 200 euros per month would be enough to accommodate myself in India..At the moment I am not working but I can afford the amount mentioned..Went to India last year for a month and a half but did a lot of travelling so I can't really calculate ...I do not plan to travel as much if I go again so can anyone help out pls..Also this time I might settle somewhere up north...I may even consider living with a local family...
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi Raymond,

    200 euros are more than enough if you are single and travelling to north India.

    manindersingh.sahibtravels at
  • edited 7:48PM
    Thanks so much this its realy helpfull, I plan to go India on Oct 2011, its the good time to go there,
  • edited 7:48PM
    Nomadic, I just want to thank you for your comments on here...I've been dreaming of travelling India since I was 15 and discovering the country where my dad was born (but frustratingly he rarely talks about it!).
    Somehow, I find myself a week away from being 30 without having made the journey because I have never had anyone to go with but now I think I'm brave enough to go on my own and will most probably meet many people to share my journey's with when I'm there, right...?
    Your comments (and the replies from others) are packed with so many answers to my little questions...but I wonder if anyone can give me any good advice on what a single girl like me intends to do which is;
    Fly to Sri Lanka to acclimatise, head over to India on the newly reopened ferry route, travel up through Kerala (maybe learn to cook some beautiful Indian food), meet some friends in Goa, head over to Nagpur so I can find out the real distance between there and Kanpur (my dad says its the same distance as between your nose and your ear, he thinks its hilarious!), Kanpur is where my dad was born, from there I would like to go up to Nepal and if time permits travel overland back into India to Siliguri to pick up the Darjeeling 'toy' I delusional in thinking that I can make all this happen on a £7000 budget?
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi dreamer, well done for going - your reward will be an incredible trip, and certainly not your last to wonderful india. Your budget seems very generous for what you're doing - you'l have plenty of dosh unless you are planning on going 5-star all the way. And dont worry about travelling alone - there are always people to meet and hook up with if you want to. In India your problem will be finding space to be alone, not finding people to hang with.
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi Dreamer. Hope you have a great time travelling.
    Ill be going back to India (after 21 years) in a month or two.
    Regards Nepal,just wanted to remind you that recent legislation by the Indian Government
    means that if you leave India (to visit a neighbouring country) you will not be allowed back into India
    for 2 months.Enjoy your time anyway.

    Also like to say hi to Nomadic! Great info. Keep up the good work.

  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi all

    Thanks for all the info guys!!! Very helpful indeed, i am planning to go to India in December and im really nervous for some reason. I have all my accomdation and things sorted but for some reason im still nervous. I have been around to a few places and i want to know more about Goa and Mumbai, can anyone assist in terms of shopping markets, food places and good places to visit?

  • edited 7:48PM
    I have a low monthly income of about $550.00 a month and I'm considering moving to India in order to live cheaply. My question is, can I live in India on that amount of per month? I'm not interested in living in Mumbai or another large city and I'm thinking more in terms of Varansai. I'm not interested in Western style flats so I'm open to living in just a one room flat if necessary. Can anybody who is currently living in India give me any advice.

  • edited 7:48PM
    see the guide to cost of living in india on Expat :
    Visit for destination advice
  • edited 7:48PM
    Gosh I'm happy I stumbled upon this :) I'm going to India on Monday and will live there for 3 months. I will live in Kochi, southern India, and I will fortunately have accommodation covered. My question is - is southern India cheaper than northern India? And would £50 be enough for food and yoga? I plan to ride a bike so maybe an occasional bus ride. I have spent a lot of money recently so I'm freakibg out a bit ^_^

    Thanks and I hope to hear from anyone soon!

  • edited 7:48PM
    I can recommend going to Nepal for cheap long-term travelling - it is still significantly cheaper than India and the summer climate is less intense. Around 125NRs to a GBP and a long term en-suite guest house rental will set you back about £7 a day plus food at around £3 a day if you go local! It's an amazing Hindu-Buddhist mix of culture and unique in s. Asia. Visa on arrival is possible plus extensions up to 180 days.

    It is a more polite, and less frenetic atmosphere than northern India.

    I am married to a Nepali and recently spent 2 months there, mostly in Pokhara. Just get in touch with me if you need any Nepal advice [email protected]
  • edited 7:48PM
    I'm a S African Indian living in New Zealand. Haven't been to India but a bit jaded with the rat race in the West. What did you make of India, Nomadic?

  • edited 7:48PM
    Hello everyone, can someone tell me if 400 dollars per month is an OK amount of money to live in new delhi? I need some advices, got an internship there and only have gotten bad comments about the city, can someone please help me? Thanks
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi, I thought Delhi was ok.

    It's been a few years since I was there, but I spent around 3-4 months in Delhi.

    You can get really cheap long term accommodation either in private homes or guesthouses. Food is cheap. $400 would cover the basics, but not allow for luxuries or travel.

    Good luck.
  • edited February 2013
    Hello Friends
    I would like to help you . I am from India If your planning to come to India If you planning to come to India I would suggest South India compared to North India because . Climate is moderate through out the year i would Suggest Bangalore you can find a very good PG or Paying Guest from 3,000 Rs to 6,000Rs . Its Safe for ladies as well as foreigners . If you still cheaper good Accommodation you live the City Mangalore its one of the safest city with International Airport situated on West coast with 90% Educated population and can Communicate in English . PG will cost from 1500Rs to 4000Rs. 4000Rs single room with 3 times food ,TV , all Facilities . If anyone want know anything about any part of India I can help them [email protected]
  • edited 7:48PM
    Hi, I am planning on going to Gujarat for 6 months to volunteer in a school. Food and accommodation will all be provided for me but I need to finance anything else myself.

    I have spoken to a few people who have said a budget for 6months could range from as low as £500 to as high as £6000. I'm not planning on doing much in the way of travelling, maybe withing a 100/200 mile radius of where I am based and as food and accommodation is all provided I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea on what budget/money I should go with. I was thinking a budget of £150 per month so just ver 12,000INR but that seems like a lot.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated :-)
  • edited March 2013
    What kind of food is that is provided? I'm curious to know about those meals. I haven't stayed in any PG here but in the hostels I stayed at abroad, those meals are usually really bland and not the kind of thing that fills you up so I wouldn't count on those. Is it different here? Tried looking up some news on food in pg accommodation ( but it doesn't really say much abt the facilities/what they give u. ANyone got an idea on this?
  • edited 7:48PM
    hello everyone
    Im going to go to India for a few months from Dec 2013 then maybe on to Thailand...Just found this site and glad i have...gonna have £600-£700 GBP a month and looks like that should be OK...thanks for all the info
    JIMBO x
  • edited August 2013
    I had an experience in India when I was helped by some guy from om sai vatika who helped me with a room for 5 days at $10 a day when the hotels and other such places were out of my pocket. I found them by doing a simple google search. Try them out when you are in India, New Delhi, if need a cheap place. Thank God who sent them.
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