India is a great travel destination. With thousands of different cultural and religious groups, history everywhere you look and scenery that can't be topped, this is one of the few countries on earth where it is not a cliche to say: “there's something for everyone.” However, this is not a place for inexperienced travelers or people who aren't prepared to sacrifice some comforts in order to save rupees. Spartan guesthouse rooms can be had for $5 to $10, even in popular tourist destinations and major cities. Shared dorm rooms are the best for ultra-budget travelers, with rates as low as $1 per night.
Local restaurants – those that don't cater to tourists – will charge $1 for a meal, at the very most. If you can eat local food all the time and are aware of the proper prices (tourists here occasionally encounter price gouging), $2 to $3 per day is actually a reasonable food budget. India's legendary train network offers bargain fares, though only the toughest and most patient travelers will want to consider the cheapest “general compartments” with their wooden benches and overcrowded cars.