The Places we call Home in India

Places we call Home - IndiaThe choices and availability of accommodation in India is plentiful and divers. With so many visitors per year, largely backpackers, there was no difficulty finding budget accommodation. We started out in North India and trailed down to the south, so it was great to compare the different types of accommodations in this enormous country.

Visiting both North and South India, we noticed a few differences in the facilities of guesthouses and hotels. In the north, especially in Rajasthan, a beautiful option was staying in a (converted) Haveli. Havelis are old private mansions elaborately decorated with one or more courtyards and rich in Indian architectural heritage. After a couple of guesthouses, we noticed one very welcoming feature of our accommodations which was the rooftop. Rooftops became our favorite place to sit back and watch the everyday life on the streets. Arriving in India and roaming the streets can be a bit of a shock to your senses and from the rooftop, you can be a spectator without having to dodge cows, cars and people and your ears are grateful for the lowered level of honking horns. Some of the places we stayed at did not have a sit down place to eat, instead, room service was always offered. We visited the north in January which was the cold season, however, heating was often not available, but you can ask for extra blankets. Hot water was also not always available but in some cases, hot water was provided by the bucket.

Taj view from rooftop

 Taj view from our rooftop

Rooftop breakfast - Jodhpur

Breakfast on our Jodhpur rooftop

Our main highlight in the south were the beaches and we enjoyed our huts, many right on the beach. We also noticed that there were more home stays and rooftops were replaced by lush gardens. In Kerala, we spent a couple of days on our houseboat, a popular and relaxing way to visit the backwaters. The two nights on the houseboat including 3 meals, tea break and snacks costs € 95 per night for 2 couples, our visiting friends and us. Without the houseboat nights, on average, we spent € 10.60 per room per night.

What made our travels easier in India was to make sure to have a guesthouse or hotel reserved and an address on hand when arriving at the town’s bus or train station. As there is usually a pre-paid rickshaw or taxi stand at most stations, if well prepared, you can be on your way before getting flocked around by the many touts.

These were the places we called home:

Hotel Srivinayak - New Delhi

New Delhi – Hotel Srivinayak

Hotel Kamal - Agra

Agra – Hotel Kamal

Hotel Rishi - Jaipur

Jaipur – Hotel Rishi

Ratna Niwas - Jaipur

Jaipur – Ratna Niwas

Hotel Everest - Pushkar

Pushkar – Hotel Everest

Kesar Heritage Hotel - Jodhpur

Jodhpur – Kesar Heritage Hotel

Brandon Guesthouse - Goa

Goa – Brandon Guesthouse

Nirvana Cafe - Gokarna

Gokarna – Nirvana Cafe

Ayman Home stay - Kochi (Cochin)

Kochi (Cochin) – Ayman Home stay

Sona Heritage Home - Aleppey

Aleppey – Sona Heritage Home

Our houseboat - Kerala

Kerala – Our houseboat

Jicky's - Varkala

Varkala – Jicky’s

Kailash Guesthouse - Pondicherry

Pondicherry – Kailash Guesthouse

Daphne Guesthouse - Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram – Daphne Guesthouse

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