How to Plan a Budget Trip to Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Are you envious of your peers’ and colleagues’ vacation photos as you scroll through social media? It gets even more difficult when you are on a tight budget. Ugh!!

We’ve all had that feeling when long weekends or holidays approach, or when there’s simply a desire to get away from the monotony of life, away from colleagues and friends, to remote locations.

Don’t worry if you only have a few thousand in your bank account; there are plenty of budget-friendly tours in India to choose from. From North to South, and East to West, there are a plethora of places just waiting to be discovered. Budget-friendly cities appeal to a wide range of people and Shimla, the Queen of Hill Stations, is one such city.

The state capital of Himachal Pradesh is Shimla. It is a top-rated hill station that attracts thousands of tourists each year. Shimla has something to offer everyone. There is something for people of all ages and budgets. It is recommended that you travel to Shimla by bus or train to save money on transportation. It has good roads and a powerful rail network that connects it to all of the major cities. If you’re planning affordable travel to Shimla and are concerned about the cost of sightseeing and other activities, don’t sweat.

 Here, we’ll inform you about a variety of activities that will keep you active and entertained in Shimla without breaking the bank. You can stay amused without spending a lot of money experiencing varied attractions and activities in Shimla.

Take a tour of one of Shimla’s many stunning cafés

In Shimla, there are several lovely and pleasant cafés. The majority of them feature warm interiors and a spectacular view of the hills outdoors. Many also have a rooftop or balcony where one may relax with a cup of hot coffee or a slice of delicious, exquisite vanilla cake while watching the bustle of the town against the gorgeous Himalayan scenery.

The following are some of Shimla’s well-known cafés and eateries that any visitor should visit:

Argyle House Café

Shimla

Many of you may use the elevator to the Mall road; as you exit the elevator, you will find this café. It is housed in a British-era building that is 150 years old.  Everything here is amazing, from the pancakes to the soup to the coffee. On weekends, it is usually very busy, so if you have to wait a few minutes to be served, do so because it will be well worth your time. Take a chance; this could be your sweet paradise!

Average Cost: ₹500 for two people (approx.)

Wood Street Café

This Shimla café is a newcomer, but it is quickly gaining recognition. It is located in Lakkar Bazar and has a very nice décor. They provide delicious cuisine and outstanding service. It is one of Shimla’s greatest cafés for foodies. The café’s décor will appeal to teenagers since each table is tastefully decorated with complementary wall art.

Bring your family and friends here if you’re searching for a romantic spot, as this location will charm them. To satisfy your hunger, order tandoori momos, hamburgers, and fries. They are very unique because of their low prices.

Average Cost: ₹300 for two people (approx.)

Café Under Tree

This is the place to go if you’re seeking a budget-friendly café that also serves good food. It is Shimla’s highest café, located near Jakhoo Temple. The café is adorable, has a pleasant atmosphere, and is vegetarian-friendly. This vegan café offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience as well as friendly service. When it comes to food, their menu isn’t particularly unique, but you’ll enjoy hot cocoa, pasta, and a variety of food drinks. Surprisingly, all of these delectable dishes are reasonably priced. Your trip up here will be well worth it.

Average Cost: ₹400 for two people (approx.)

Naldehra Golf Course is a must-see

It’s an enormous golf course. There is also a golf club on the premises. The employees and staff are friendly and helpful. While going here, one can play a round of golf. It’s lush, tranquil, and breathtakingly gorgeous. Even if you don’t want to play golf, you may easily spend hours on the grounds relaxing and observing the beautiful flora and natural beauty. During the day, there are hiking routes around the golf course that can be enjoyed by experiencing affordable travel to Shimla.

The Naldehra trek takes you through deep deodar and pine forests. It has a hiking trail that is surrounded by wide tracts of nature. It meets the lovely Naldehra golf course on one end. Trekking is done on horses, although it can also be done on foot. Many tourists come to this location for a picnic in the woods. 

Revisit the British Era with Viceregal Lodge

During the reign of Lord Dufferin, British architect Henry Irwin planned and erected the Viceregal Lodge in the Jacobethan style. The building began in 1880 and was completed in 1888. On July 23, 1888, Lord Dufferin moved into the lodge.

The Majestic Viceregal Lodge, popularly known as Rashtrapati Niwas, is a miniature museum of British colonial authority, including a collection of antiques and images from the period.

Fun fact: It is situated on Observatory Hill, Shimla’s second-highest point.

Experience a Toy Train Journey

The Kalka Shimla Toy Train is one of the greatest ways to see the hill station’s rich colonial history, as well as the array of fine-dining restaurants, bars, and boutiques that line the Mall Road and the Ridge. The Kalka Shimla Toy Train, which covers 60 miles and passes through more than 100 tunnels and 800 bridges, is a must-see for visitors of all ages.

Timetable from Kalka to Shimla

  • The Rail Motor Car (72451) departs from Kalka at 5:10 a.m. and arrives at its destination at 9:50 a.m.
  • The Shivalik Deluxe Express toy train (52451) departs Kalka at 5:20 a.m. and arrives at its destination at 10 a.m.
  • The Himalayan Queen toy train (52455) departs Kalka at 12:10 p.m. and arrives at its destination at 5:30 p.m.

Shimla to Kalka Train Timetable

  • The Rail Motor Car toy train (72452) leaves Shimla at 4:25 p.m. and arrives at 9:35 p.m. in Kalka.
  • The Shivalik Deluxe Express (52452) train leaves Shimla at 5:50 p.m. and arrives at 10:30 p.m. in Kalka.
  • The Himalayan Queen train (52456) leaves Shimla at 10:40 a.m. and arrives in Kalka at 4:10 p.m.

Kalka Shimla Toy Train Fare

  • The Rail Motor Car charges INR 320 one way for adults and INR 160 for children on the Kalka Shimla Toy Train.
  • The Shivalik Deluxe Express costs INR 510 for adults and INR 255 for children to go one way.
  • The Himalayan Queen costs INR 470 for adults and INR 235 for children to travel on one trip.

Reasonable Hotels in Shimla to stay

To appreciate Shimla’s splendour, you must stay near appealing areas in the best budget hotels. If you are planning a trip to Shimla, this article will be useful in informing you about the “Best and Affordable Hotels in Shimla.”

CK International Hotel 

In every way, selecting the best budget hotel in Shimla is challenging. Fares, services, amenities, and hospitality are all included. Hotel CK International is Shimla’s first drive-in hotel, located 3 kilometres from the city centre. The hotel is a newly constructed establishment with 41 rooms and public places that present you with a choice you can’t afford to miss.

Hotel CK International is the finest choice for anyone looking for the greatest hotel on Shimla Mall Road. It also has its parking place. It also offers a meeting room, as well as a fitness centre and a massage centre.

Amritara The Zion Hotel 

Amritara is surrounded by beautiful mountains. In Shimla, the Zion offers a lovely spot to stay. Amritara The Zion brings the best of Shimla to your doorstep, ensuring a comfortable and unforgettable stay. It is located distant from the main city and all other noisy traffic, allowing you to relax during your visit. This property has the best view in the entire city of Shimla. The hotel is a haven of tranquillity that is enhanced by Shimla’s lovely natural surroundings. The mall road is a short distance from the hotel.

The underground parking area has secure parking for vehicles and bikes. Two shopping centres are attached to it. Along with the restaurant, there is a smoke-free conference space with free WiFi. In addition, all rooms have cable internet access and a flat-screen TV with popular channels. A shower with a rainfall showerhead is also included in the bathrooms. Additionally, complimentary toiletries and hair dryers are provided.

Snow View Resort Treebo

We’re talking about Shimla, a mountainous station of spectacular beauty. People flock to this location to take in the beauty of snow-covered mountain summits and snowfall. If you’re visiting Kufri, rent a room at Treebo Snow View Resort in New Kufri to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of one of Shimla’s most handy budget hotels. The hotel is also known as Kufri Snow View Resort because of its great location on the ridge, from which you can enjoy the breathtaking splendour of nature. It is 9.9 miles away from Shimla’s Mall road. Treebo Trend Snow View Resort is 1.2 kilometres from Kufri’s centre on NH5, Fagu Road.

Travelling with Zingbus

We make travelling simple and easy for you. To book a bus ticket from Delhi to Shimla at Zingbus is simple, fast, convenient, and affordable. For a comfortable trip between Delhi and Shimla, all of our buses are Premium AC buses, and you have the option of taking a variety of bus kinds. The buses are sanitized after each trip to ensure the safety of our passengers. Go get ahead and enjoy your trip.

You can easily book your bus by visiting on the website – https://www.zingbus.com/ or downloading our app, as per your time convenience and travel anywhere in India.

With zingbus, ab safar karo befikar! 

What are the best places to stay in Shimla?

Depending on your budget, Shimla has a variety of hotels, lodges, and resorts to select from. Hotels with affordable prices will provide good service and amenities too. For a greater connection to the local culture, consider a house stay.

 Is Shimla a pricey place to visit?

Shimla is a budget-friendly vacation spot for what it has to offer. During the high season, prices may increase. You can save money by booking your vacation ahead of time.

Is there a good time to visit Shimla?

The best time to visit Shimla for a cool hill station getaway is during the summer. Between March and June, the weather remains favourable, and all attractions are open and accessible. Winter is the best time to visit Shimla if you want to enjoy the snow and the thrills of skiing and ice skating.

Places to visit in Gokarna, Karnataka

Gokrna

Gokarna, a small temple town on India’s western coast, is a newly discovered hotspot. It is located in the Kumta taluk of the North Canara district of Karnataka and is a worthy visit for its beautiful beaches, magnificent landscapes, and historic temples.

If you wish to spend your time on beaches but don’t want to be surrounded by the crowd, Gokarna is the new offbeat place in India where you can have such vibes! you can check places to visit in Gokarna here!

Gokarna is also reputed as a temple town, and the name is well-deserved. According to legend, Lords Shiva and Vishnu have blessed Gokarna, and Ravana is thought to have been duped in a way in Gokarna to prevent him from obtaining the Ramalingam and strengthening Lanka. 

In this article, we have enlisted 5 offbeat places to visit in Gokarna and have many unique experiences if you are stepping into the town for the first time.

Best places to visit in Gokarna

Mahabaleshwara Temple

Places to visit in Gokarna

The Atmalinga, a six-foot-tall Shiva Linga, is worshipped here at the temple. It is a famous example of Dravidian architecture, constructed of white granite. The principal deity is a 1500-year-old carved stone Lord Shiva idol in the standing position. The temple is featured in Hindu mythologies such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and it is claimed to be as important as Kashi, earning it the name Dakshin (South) Kashi.

Om beach 

How can you skip Om beach on your visit to Gokarna? It is a beautiful beach in the town of Gokarna shaped like the symbol ‘Om,’. If you are a thrill-seeker, Om beach offers a variety of adventure activities. The beach’s sunset view is so mesmerizing to remember for a lifetime. On the side, there are generally shacks offering cheap lodging and eateries with international menus. 

Om Beach gets its name from the shape of two semi-circles that have been brought together. Many visitors come here to see the distinctive black rock formations. Fishermen’s boats, modest cafes and eateries, and crows spinning in the sky may be seen. The beauty of this beach compels visitors to cross the danger zone (marked in red) and play in the crashing waves. This location is a photographer’s dream, with breathtaking scenery set against a rocky backdrop.

Surfing, water skiing, and banana boat excursions are just a few of the water sports available at Om Beach. You can also spend the night in one of the neighbouring wooden cottages.

Yana Caves

Yana is a hill station famed for holding two gigantic natural Limestone monoliths that attract thousands of pilgrims every year. The majestic flora and freshness of the Western Ghats’ Sahyadri Hills is an eye treat. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are claimed to be represented by Bhairaveshwara Peak and Mohini Peak, respectively. It is also an excellent spot to trek and bird-watching. A climb to the twin peaks entails a three-kilometre ascent that is slippery and, at best, windy. With its mud roads, mushroom-like cottages, and laid-back lifestyle, Yana hamlet exemplifies the rustic Indian rural culture.

Half-moon beach

Yana caves

Half Moon Beach is a must-visit and is one of Gokarna’s most popular tourist attractions. The beach is set in magnificent surroundings and has got its name because of its half-moon form. The Beach is notable for its immaculate, gleaming sands that contrast with the clear blue ocean. It is a terrific place to relax and have fun. Half-moon beach can only be reached by boat or a 30-45 minute hike upwards and downhill from Om-beach. The boat service is not always available and might be fairly costly. If you’re the daring sort, you probably won’t bother with the boat, and if you’re the other, there’s not much to do on the beach itself (it is quite small).

Namaste Cafe 

places to visit in gokarna

The Namaste Café at Om Beach is one of Gokarna’s most well-known attractions. This beachfront restaurant is great for you if you wish to take in the spectacular views of the sea while having a yummy plate of food with a cup of coffee.

You can take a quiet stroll down the beach, relax while taking in the scenery and feel the sand between your toes. The café also serves unusual cuisine to put you in the mood for a day at the beach and small plates.

Travel with zingbus

It’s time to make your trip to Gokarna come true! If you want to take a road trip, zingbus offers the best deals and offers on your bus ticket bookings to any route.Y

zingbus.com makes booking online bus tickets and travelling easy and convenient. Our buses are spacious and clean, with comfortable seats to make your overall experience memorable. You can install the zingbus app to book a ticket for your bus to Gokarna and get assistance with planning your next one as well. zingbus app also offers great deals and is accessible on both Android and iOS platforms. We assure comfort to ensure your journey is great. Plan a trip and book a ticket now!

Things to do in McLeod Ganj: Your travel guide to mini Lhasa of India

McLeod Ganj, the holy place of Himachal Pradesh, is now emerging as a holiday destination for travelers worldwide. There are many things to do in McLeod Ganj in terms of culture, serenity, and adventure. Read this blog to create your checklist for your McLeod Ganj trip.

McLeodganj

McLeod Ganj is a beautiful and spiritual place where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The town is home to many foreigners and Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists who live in harmony. Tourists are drawn by its quaint appeal, spectacular landscape, temples, and shrines.

The town lies at an elevation of 2,082 meters above sea level, making it relatively calm even in summers. It has a beautiful wild forest with centuries-old trees, flowers, streams, and meadows.

The town is blessed with many temples and shrines that devotees worldwide frequently visit. Along with temples, McLeod Ganj offers amazing views of the surrounding hills and dales. It has a rich mix of old and new buildings that perfectly harmonize with nature. It has some great places to eat, drink and dance in which you can spend a night or two.

“Trivia: The town, which was named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, is home to the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamshala and Tibetan Industries Ltd. When the Dalai Lama fled from Tibet, fearing persecution at the hands of the Chinese, he reached McLeod Ganj in 1959 and stayed put here till 1960. It is said that Sir McLeod himself built temples for the locals to accommodate His Holiness. He also helped arrange his first visit to India. McLeod Ganj is also known as mini Lhasa or Dhasa because of a large Buddhist population.”

This blog post is the only travel guide that you need before planning a trip to McLeod Ganj. We have listed a few of many things that you can do and experience when in Dharamshala. Keep reading!

Things to do in McLeod Ganj

The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts(TIPA)

The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts(TIPA)

Founded in 1959 BY Tenzin Gyatso, is acclaimed as one of Asia’s best-performing art centers. It has evolved to become a multi-disciplined cultural institution offering training in various art forms, including dance, music, and theater, which are taught by eminent teachers from India and abroad. The campus offers facilities for film-making and handicrafts and exhibits a rich collection of Tibetan folk art.

Bagalamukhi Temple

Bagalamukhi temple

Amidst the dhauladnar ranges of the Himalayas, 30 km away from Kangra district, located is bagalamukhi temple. Bagalamukhi is derived from two different Sanskrit words. Bagala means bride, and Mukhi means face. Her name depicts that her face holds enough power to fight evil.

The temple is dedicated to ten goddesses of Shaktism, and it is said that any wish that has been asked after performing homagni and yajna is granted. It is believed that Yellow is her favorite color, and hence the temple has been painted in yellow, people mostly wear yellow clothes while visiting, and yellow flowers are offered to the goddess. You should definitely pay a visit to the baglamukhi temple in Himachal to feel the power of Shaktism.

A view of bhagsu fall

Bhagsufalls

This is one of the most exciting places to visit in McLeod Ganj. A waterfall flowing down a slope of the Dhauladhar ranges, it’s named after Bhagsu village that lies nearby. The best time to see the falls is from July to October when the water level recedes and reveals small pools for tourists to swim in.

The prime attraction is the famous Bhagsunath Temple, which is closer to the stream. Nearby cafes and coffee shops serve lip-smacking dishes and snacks that you can enjoy after the small trek to the falls. The famous one is “Shiva Café” right above the waterfall.

The Dalai Lama Temple

Since it is the most important Buddhist temple in the town, this is where monks reside and where you can find their ‘Gompa’ (monastery), among other religious structures. Some of the more popular deities worshiped in the temple are Buddha, Avalokiteshwara, Arya Tara, Manjushri, and Chenresig.

Although non-Tibetans can only enter the area for worshipers, it’s an excellent place to look at from outside its walls. There is also a souvenir shop and a book store to buy exciting books. A small museum in the backyard offers visitors information about Tibetan culture, religion, and history. The temple is open to guests all day long, and the entry fee is INR 5.

Namgayal Temple

Namgyal monastery

The Namgyal Monastery, situated about 2 km away from McLeod Ganj at a distance of 50 km from Dharamsala, is also known as the 14th Dalai Lama monastery. The 2nd Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso, built it in 1575 AD. The monastery is said to be richly endowed with many treasures kept safely in its 4 storeyed chambers. The religious institute of Namgyal Monastery is situated on a hillock and is approachable by a flight of steps.

It’s a sacred place for Buddhists where practices such as Kalachakra, vajrakilaya, guhyasamaja, Yamantaka, and chakrasamavara. This monastery is an excellent place for meditation, and all the tourists are welcomed here to join their mediation practice in peace.

Things to do in McLeod Ganj

Triund trek

Triund trek is one of the best things to do in McLeod Ganj. It is a beautiful trip where you can see the deodar forest, Himalayan peaks, and hidden springs and pass through different towns and villages. Triund hill is almost like a point from where you can see the entire McLeod ganj as it’s nearly 9 km from there. You can enjoy the sunset and sunrise at Triund with your loved ones. On your way to Triund, you’ll spot many beautiful birds too, which look down at you from trees as if they are seeing who’s intruding their territory!

A mesmerizing picture of Minikiani Paas

Minkiani pass

It is a pass situated at an altitude of 4343 ft. above sea level. It’s a part of the dhauladhar ranges, which offers some splendid and spectacular views of nature and landscape. The route is quite steep and needs a good fitness level to cover the area. You can also reach there by hiring ponies, yaks, or walking! one must see the place when traveling to Dharamshala. It is a beautiful place where you can see the entire dhauladhar mountain range, the second-highest range in the Himalayas.

The holy Jawala devi temple

Jwalaji Temple

About 10 kilometers away from McLeod Ganj, Jwalaji Temple is located near the city of Kangra. This temple is believed to be dedicated to Goddess Jwala Devi and is one of the 51 shaktipeeth of India. It is believed that Sati’s tongue fell over here, represented by Holy Flames or Jwala that is perpetually burning.

Devotees visit this place throughout the year, especially during the festival season from April to June.

Thinsg to do in MacLeod Ganj

Dal lake

The slopes of McLeod Ganj have one of the most picturesque lakes around. Named after the more famous dal lake in Srinagar, this small lake is close to a quaint village known as Tota Rani. Surrounded by deodar trees, the lake is a beautiful spot for a small picnic and peaceful getaway in McLeod Ganj.

Dharamkot

Dharamkot

Dharamkot is a village adjoining McLeod Ganj that has sparkling ozone sceneries. Not far from dal lake, the festival fair organized every year adds to the vividness of Dharamkot. More spellbinding views of the dhaulandar range await you, and a spiritual retreat at one of the several dedicated centers is just a step away.

The panoramic view of McLeod Ganj is the most impressive and mesmerizing sight to see. The view is spectacular; it can take your breath away and realize that you are in a different life altogether. It’s best to go there in the fresh air in the early morning and watch this place come alive!

How to reach McLeod Ganj

By Bus – Travelling to McLeod Ganj via bus Is the best and most preferred way to reach. You can easily take an overnight ac Volvo bus to drop you at the McLeod Ganj bus station and hire a cab/taxi to reach your destination.

By Air – The closest airport to McLeod Ganj is Gaggal Airport. On the other hand, McLeod Ganj is served by a small number of airlines with only a few flights each week.

By Train – The nearest train station to McLeod Ganj is Pathankot Railway Station, around 90 kilometers away. There are many trains on this route so that one may pick according to their budget and convenience.

Online bus ticket to McLeod Ganj

Traveling via bus is convenient if you plan a trip to McLeod Ganj. To make your trip more comfortable and easy, zingbus provides you affordable bus tickets to McLeod Ganj with flight-like amenities, including reclining seats, water bottles, CCTV cameras, waiting for lounges, etc. Three buses run between Delhi to McLeod Ganj daily. You can choose one of them at your convenience. Zingbus is a bus transportation company that aims to make your traveling experience more comfortable and affordable.

Ab safar karo befikar.