All Articles 7 Post-Diwali Retreats in India Under ₹10,000

7 Post-Diwali Retreats in India Under ₹10,000

Jay Chen
By Jay Chen20 Oct 2021
Shikara boat on the backwaters of Kerala
Photo: Gettyimages

Are you already thinking of how to deal with the fallout of the yearly Diwali binge and all the excesses the festive period brings? Perhaps what you need is a detox holiday—away from the city hustle, pollution and noise.

Your post-Diwali detox trip doesn’t have to break the bank. We have rounded up seven spots across India where you can be at one with nature, enjoy some zen moments and indulge in a little pampering (think Ayurvedic massages).

And the best part? They’re all under INR10,000 for a weekend stay, plus activities (room rates vary according to dates).

1. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Lakshman Jhula Bridge
Photo: Meowchristmas/Tripadvisor

Known as the “yoga capital of the world”, Rishikesh is well known for its amazing temples which provide a serene environment for meditation and those looking for a spiritual getaway. The town’s close proximity to the Himalayas and the Ganges river also makes it an ideal destination for an afternoon of rafting or hiking.

Budget-friendly things to do in Rishikesh:

  • Head up to the Kunjapuri Devi Temple to catch mesmerising views of the sunrise over the snow-clad Himalayas, before engaging in a quick pre-lunch yoga or meditation sesh.
  • Fans of the Beatles shouldn’t miss the now-abandoned Beatles Ashram, where the band tried to find nirvana but ended up writing many of their songs for the “White Album”.
  • Cross the iconic Lakshman Jhula Bridge across the Ganges river for picturesque views of the waterfront markets and nearby mountains. This is a popular tourist attraction, so plan for an early visit.

Budget-friendly places to stay in Rishikesh:

  • Aloha - The Ganga Bliss - Choose between two idyllic views to wake up to; the Aloha offers different rooms overlooking either the gushing Ganges or the overlapping mountainscape, at INR9,680 for two nights.
  • HOLYWATER Hotel by Ganga Kinare - This chic hotel located along the Ganges River offers yoga, meditation and spiritual walks at an affordable price point of INR8,000 for two nights.

2. Darjeeling, West Bengal

Sunrise view from Tiger Hill
Photo: y0gikumar/Tripadvisor

Immerse yourself in the rolling hills of Darjeeling, a hill station in the northern part of West Bengal surrounded by lush tea plantations overlooking the majestic Kanchenjunga ranges. With over 80 tea estates spread across the area, here’s your chance to spend some time at Darjeeling’s most charming tea gardens and learn all about the tea production process—one cuppa at a time.

Budget-friendly things to do in Darjeeling:

  • Sample a great variety of locally-sourced tea at Nathmull Tea, and learn the intricate technique of preparing freshly brewed tea.
  • Hike up Tiger Hill to catch the best sunrise views in the area. From the same lookout point, you can spot the mighty Mt Everest and Kanchenjunga.
  • Find your inner zen at the Japanese Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist temple built in a traditional Japanese style perched on the Jalapahar hills. The natural beauty of the place and serene atmosphere are bound to center you.

Budget-friendly places to stay in Darjeeling:

  • Udaan Nirvana Resort Darjeeling - With panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga ranges, the Udaan Nirvana Resort in central Darjeeling is a prime base for exploring the surrounding tea plantations. Room rates start at INR8,570 for two nights.
  • Central Gleneagles Heritage Resort - It’s conveniently located near key attractions like the Darjeeling Mall and the The Mahakal temple; airy and spacious rooms start at INR9,130 for two nights.

3. Pondicherry, Union Territory of Pondicherry

Pondicherry French Quarter
Photo: Gettyimages

If you’ve come to Pondicherry (or Puducherry) for the beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From Promenade and Paradise beaches to Serene and Kairakal—pick one to kick back and relax. Much of Pondicherry’s history as a French colony remains today: from the vibrant yellow buildings in the French Quarter and elegant mansions to the tree-lined boulevards and charming parks and cafes—it’s like a little slice of Paris.

Budget-friendly things to do in Pondicherry:

  • Check out the range of treatments offered at the Keralaa Ayurveda, a favourite among locals for affordable Ayurvedic massages.
  • Join a quick pilates session at Paradise Beach before sunrise to start your day right. Looking for a little more action after that? Try quad-biking or horseback riding.
  • Stroll along the French Quarter and stop by the Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, an elegant Catholic church built in the Greco Roman architectural style, with colourful stained glass windows which will leave you mesmerised.

Budget-friendly places to stay in Pondicherry:

  • Mango Hill by Poppys - Oozing with French flair, this pristine hotel off the bay of Bengal is fitted with sea view rooms, along with a well-maintained swimming pool and an Ayurvedic spa. Rooms start at INR8,960 for two nights.
  • Hotel Villa Krish - A charming boutique hotel set in the heart of White Town, the Hotel Villa Krish has everything you need for a romantic getaway, including rooftop dining under the stars, and an infinity lounge bar with panoramic sea views. Rooms start at INR8,240 for two nights.

4. Candolim, Goa

Candolim Beach
Photo: Hamza Shaikh/Unsplash

Goa has become a popular tropical getaway among domestic travellers drawn to its endless coastline dotted with countless beach shacks and trendy cafes. Candolim, a small town in North Goa, is a great base for those looking to escape the crowds. Grab yourself a sun lounger on Candolim Beach for a laidback day or keep active with water sports like jet skiing or parasailing.

Budget-friendly things to do in Candolim:

  • Go on a full-day tour to Dudhsagar Falls, where you’ll burn off those excess calories at Mollem National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to one of India’s tallest waterfalls, before going on a learning journey at the Tropical Spice Plantation to discover the health benefits of the spices.
  • Visit the small yet beautifully maintained Coco Beach, where you can spot dolphins on a boat ride for a small fee (INR300 per person).
  • Our Tripadvisor community highly recommends the Sheek Emporium for a spot of shopping. Here’s where you can get bespoke tailored suits, shirts and pants.

Budget-friendly places to stay in Candolim:

  • Aldeia Santa Rita — This Portuguese-style resort located in the heart of Candolim has an in-house Ayurvedic massage and treatment centre, with rooms starting at INR8,350 for two nights.
  • Marina Bay Beach Resort — Built with the budget traveller in mind, this boutique resort located off Candolim Beach has beachfront views worth waking up early for. Rooms start at INR4,450 for two nights.

5. Alappuzha, Kerala

Alleppey Backwaters Canal
Photo: Sooraj Kabeer/Unsplash

Once a major port for the region, Alappuzha’s intricate network of canals and backwaters remain as lively as ever. A houseboat ride is perhaps the best way to experience the backwaters, where you’ll be able to spot a diverse range of birds and other wildlife along the lush greenery flanking the river.

Budget-friendly things to do in Alappuzha:

  • Shake off your aches and pains at the Samanga Ayurveda Wellness Centre, which offers consultations paired with Ayurvedic treatments for a range of health-related problems. A popular treatment is the Abhyanga, a deep tissue massage recommended to soothe stiff joints and muscles.
  • Hop on the Alleppey Backwaters Cruise and get a glimpse into the local way of life on the river. For the best experience, pick a Shikara boat rental, a spacious wooden boat commonly used by locals to traverse the backwaters of Kerala. Prices start at INR3,500 for a three-hour cruise.
  • Visit the Alappuzha Lighthouse, a historic monument from Kerala’s colonial past, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the coastline and the city.

Budget-friendly places to stay in Alappuzha:

  • Haven Alleppey Beach Villa - This beachfront villa provides quick access to some of Alappuzha’s most popular landmarks at an attractive price point of INR4,300 for two nights.
  • Oxygen Resorts Alleppey - Oozing with style and grandeur, the Oxygen Resorts Alleppey has a full-service spa and balconies overlooking the Kerala backwaters, making it a favourite among holidaymakers. Rooms start at INR8,230 for two nights.

6. Kumarakom, Kerala

Beautiful backwaters close to Kumarakom in South India
Photo: iannomadav/Gettyimages

Located against the backdrop of Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a nature lover’s paradise, filled with trekking spots, plantations and a nature reserve brimming with a wide range of flora and fauna. Unlike Alappuzha, the waterways and canals in Kumarakom are quieter and the vibe more serene, so staying the night on a houseboat could be a magical experience under the stars.

Budget-friendly things to do in Kumarakom:

  • Spot migratory birds at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, a well-maintained bird-watching area with a 4km walk lined with various flora.
  • Soak in the brininess of the seaside air while watching the local fishermen reel in their daily haul at the Kumarakom Beach.
  • Browse old antiquities and peculiar handicrafts at the Kumarakom Craft Museum, home to more than 2,000 items representing the heritage of Kerala. Shop for souvenirs at the old curiosity shop, which offers a wide range of handicrafts.

Budget-friendly places to stay in Kumarakom:

  • Tharavadu Heritage Home - This 120-year-old bungalow has been beautifully renovated to provide travellers with an affordable place to stay, while retaining the charms of its heritage structure. Rooms start at INR4,000 for two nights.
  • Mango Kerala Homes - If you’re looking for a homestay-style experience—this is it. Watch life on the river crawl by from your balcony. Rooms start at INR5,220 for two nights.

7. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Ritual on the banks of Varanasi
Photo: Aditya Prakash/Unsplash

For a brush with the divine, head to Varanasi, one of the world’s oldest living cities, where elaborate puja rituals are held every evening along the steps of the Dasaswamedh Ghat to honour the Hindu gods. Feeling adventurous? Wander the maze-like lanes of the old city and watch life unfold at a chaotic pace, before slowing down to enjoy a delicious meal at a family-owned dosa cafe.

Budget-friendly things to do in Varanasi:

  • Stroll along the well-maintained pathways of the Sarnath, the site of Gautam Buddha’s first lecture, and home to great monuments of the past, including the Jain and Buddhist temples.
  • Get your blood circulating at a beginner’s yoga session offered by the Somit Yoga Education Training Society, an independently-run yoga house which also doubles as a social community project.
  • Wrap up your yoga session with a piping hot cup of chai, and pamper your taste buds with local foods at the Bowl of Compassion, a donation-based kitchen located right beside the yoga studio.

Budget-friendly places to stay in Varanasi:

  • Hotel Surya Kaiser Palace - Experience royal living at the beautiful Surya Kaiser Palace, located in the prime Cantonment area. Each hotel room includes a balcony overlooking the immaculate palace grounds, with rooms starting at INR8,300 for two nights.
  • Stay Banaras - This boutique bed and breakfast tucked away from the main street offers modern yet comfortable rooms starting from INR6,900 for two nights.

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