Overview-India is many things. It is crazy and calm, beautiful and dirty, modern and traditional, happy and heartbreaking. Experiencing it and loving it are two different things. I loved my experience in India but did not love the country. It is some thing you must see for yourself.
Food-If you can go vegetarian you will do fine. Meatless meals are the most common and range from .50-$1.50 depending on location and if it is a restaurant or food stall. If you are lucky enough to find a place serving meat it will cost you at least double and have very little actual meat. Restaurants, especially Western establishments will be $10-$18 per meal.
Drinking-Drinking is not as common as other backpacker destinations, but you can usually find a back alley shop or a local willing to sell you some beers or homemade wine. Typically a drink will cost you $2-$5. At a nightclub you will pay $3-$7 per drink.
Accommodation-A hostel or guesthouse will range $6-15 per night depending on level of luxury and proximity to attractions, cities, or beaches.
Activities –Activities in India are very cheap. You can usually hire a taxi for the day to take you to local attractions for $20 per day. If you have friends to split this with, I recommend this option over a tour, if you want a more authentic, local experience. Admission to the Taj Mahal is $12 where as most forts, mosques, and temples will be either free, donations based or less than $2.
Transportation-Cabs or tuk tuks cost about $2-3 every 10-minute ride depending on if you are in the city or a more rural. Local buses are extremely cheap costing less than .50 per ride. Night buses are also a great way to travel the long distances between major Indian cities, costing $15-$25 complete with a bed, privacy curtains, and linens. Saving the best for last, trains in India are the way to go whenever possible. The scenery, the smell of spiced tea service, the sound of the kids on the train roof; it’s just magical. Long distance sleeper car tickets will cost you on average $20 and can be purchased at the station or at a travel agency usually for a $2 convenience fee.
Visa-India does require you apply for a Visa prior to your arrival. Forms can be found online and most requests will be processed within 3-4 weeks from date of application.