Moving to IT Hub of Northern India? The power packed cousin of Delhi? Gurugram or Gurgaon, whatever you chose to call it, you have all the reasons to be excited about it. After all, the city has a unique vibe. For most of the people living in other parts of the NCR, the stark representation of Gurgaon is the Cyber Hub. However there’s a lot more to this city that only a resident could tell. I spent 3 years of my life in Gurgaon prior moving to Mumbai and those have been some of the best years of my life. A city which tries its level best to be class apart as compared to other metros in the league, let’s explore how easy or difficult it is to survive in Gurgaon. Cost of living in Gurgaon:
The rent is first and foremost question that needs to be addressed while evaluating a city. For a change, Gurgaon has your back in this case. The rentals are on the higher side if you compare it with its own peers like Noida and Delhi, but as compared to Mumbai and Thane, they’re far better.
The city observes influx of thousands of migrants from other states and therefore, if you are a bachelor, finding a PG won’t be a problem for you. I spent about 4 months of my time in an exotic room which costed me Rs. 10k with two meals a day including. The room was on a sharing basis and had two double beds, a TV, AC, wardrobes for keeping one’s luggage. There was also a mini refrigerator in each room.
Only issue you’d find in such places is the landlords. These are influential natives of Haryana State and customer service is probably not on their priority list. If they get a better deal on your room, chances are, that you may be asked to leave or stay put in a different room than you had chosen. That’s exactly what had happened with all the tenants living on my floor. Landlord shifted us to much shabbier rooms without negotiating on the rent. When we threatened to leave, he simply refused to payback our security. Since I had my friends living close by, I crashed in their house for a while and of course had to do away with the security, which was equivalent to one month (10k) by the way.
Renting a Flat:
In case you plan to rent out a flat, that is an entirely different ballgame in Gurgaon. The city is divided into two parts. The part on the left of NH8 (while you’re travelling from Gurgaon towards Haryana upcountry) is “New Gurgaon“. All corporate offices and posh areas are in that area. You’d find more societies and complexes on that side. Needless to say, that is a rather expensive part of the city. On the right, there’s old Gurgaon. Builder floors are much common in that region and it has much lower rents as compared to the other side.
Also, further you move away from the center of the city (Huda City Center metro station), you stand a chance of getting a better deal on your house of dreams. As an example, we stayed in a 3BHK flat in a happening area of the city called Sushant Lok (walking distance from Huda City center) and the rent was about 35k-45k in that area. Many bachelors take such flats on rent and then share the rooms with their colleagues. So eventually rent gets split in 6 or a 3 for a 3BHK flat.
Another rented apartment I stayed in was right before Gurgaon and Manesar toll and it costed me 24K. As mentioned earlier, the more you go towards the toll, cheaper it gets. If you cross the toll, you’d enter Gurgaon sector 80+ something. Chances are that you get a newly built 2BHK for as low as 15k in that area.
1.1 Rent Vs Living Area:
My 2BHK flat that costed 24k had a carpet area of 1200 sq. ft. I lived in Gurgaon Sector 71, which may be a little far from city center, but was still in Gurgaon. In order to commute I used my own vehicle and distances aren’t that big of a problem.
You will find ample of options in Gurgaon which are available at a rent of 22k-40k. These will be gated societies with all amenities like gym, swimming pool, indoor theatre, spa etc.
1BHK flat is hard to find in Gurgaon and if you plan to take that route, its better that you look for vacant rooms in a 3BHK flat. Flat and Flatmates is a Facebook Group that’ll really help you do that.
1.2 Security Deposit:
Security deposit is in line with other metros while you plan to stay in Gurgaon. Usually, it is set to 2 months of the rent. I paid Rs. 50,000 which is at par with the expectations. Another concern in Gurgaon is that owners/landlords tend to seek excuses for deducting the security. This has happened in almost all the flats I have stayed in. So, you have to lay down the rules very clearly before moving in. Also document them in the agreement.
This city has typical North Indian Climate: Summers, Monsoon and Winters. Summer season which runs from April to July and the monsoon thereafter would mandatorily require an AC. However, usage of a heater is optional in winters. It is cold, but not to the extent of using something like that.
With that being said, there would be requirement of AC for about 9 months an year. The electricity prices vary here as per the slab. Basically, government tries to incentivize a low consumption behavior. For me, the average was about Rs. 2500/month. As expected, this peaked at the time of summers, reaching 3k and dropped down to 1.5k levels in the winter season. The good thing in Gurgaon was that we had to prepay for the electricity by punching in a code after recharging the meter through PayTM. That helped us a lot to plan our month as we could see the units ‘left’.
Gone are the days when Roti, Kapda, Makaan was all a man needed to survive. Today, it’s Roti, Kapda, Makaan, Internet and Smartphone. And I have some really good news here. Since this is the city of our Mota Bhai, Mukesh Ambani, Jio would be readily available in most parts. But you can opt for other major players like Airtel etc. as well. On an average, a high speed connection would not cost more than Rs. 1200 for unlimited plan.
How could I end this post without discussing food. Food is yet another feather in the cap of this beautiful city. While groceries are slightly expensive (about 8-10% higher) than other smaller towns, eating out is at par. A trip to a prettier than average restaurant cum bar in Cyber Hub or Sector 29 is going to cost you Rs. 1500 for two without the drinks.
If you plan to go to some fine dining restaurants, there are a lot of options in Cyber Hub, Sector 29, 32nd Milestone. Talking of casual eateries, you’d find a place called “Om Sweets” in the every corner of the city. Om Sweets is essentially Haldiram’s/Bikanervala of Gurugram. It’s a multicuisine restaurant that is omnipresent across the city.
And did I mention liquor is super cheap here (cheapest amongst its peers- Delhi, Noida)? For your reference, I’ll discuss one of my favorite IMFLs. A bottle of Dewar’s would cost Rs. 1400 in Gurugram, however in Thane it is about Rs. 2500. The “Machan” culture is pretty dominant in all parts of the city. Machan is typically a place where you buy the liquor from the store and sit in an adjoining, shabby open restaurant. (Also known as “Ahata” in some parts of India). The food tends to be overpriced in these Machans but if you play your “Chakna Cards” right, you stand a chance to relish the cheapest liquor party of your life.
How can I forget our beloved Swiggy and Zomato? Once again, tons of options are available for ordering food. The prices are similar to any other town you’d find these services in. All in all, food cost is unlikely to impact your cost of living in Gurgaon much.
For north Indians, the traffic in NCR is quite overwhelming. It was the same for me as well. However, when I came to Mumbai, I became so humble that minor jams don’t bother me at all. So, although the traffic is pretty bad in Gurgaon, a little patience would go a long way. Within 3 years of my stay in Gurgaon I saw at least 4 new underpass and over bridge projects go live and multiple others getting initiated. City is in focus of the state government and a lot is being done to improve the traffic situation.
Diesel and Petrol prices are quite high in Gurgaon. Well, that has now become a norm for many cities, anyway. I used to travel about 50Kms on an average every day typically and it costed me about Rs. 5000 for diesel in a month .
City is well connected with Delhi through a state of the art metro network. Also, there is an internal metro line called “Rapid Lane” which covers 11 key stations within the Gurgaon City. I have never used this service because all those stations are centered around prime office spaces and my office was far away from that region. But, my colleagues tell me that it is indeed a lifesaver when travelling within Gurgaon.
Also, phase 2 and 3 of rapid metro plans to cover a lot more areas of Gurgaon, further strengthening the proposition.
5.3 Ae Rickshaw!
For last mile transport, there is an abundance of auto-rickshaws here. However, don’t be fooled by the meter in the auto. It is merely meant to avoid Challans. Every auto will quote its own rate so make sure you bargain hard before taking ride. Also, compare the prices of equally accessible OLA and Uber. There is chance that you get a better deal as compared to the auto. So keep aside an additional Rs. 1000 a month if you plan to travel using the auto + metro combination.
Travelling to nearby cities quite often? The Delhi-Gurgaon toll was done away long back ago. So that is a big relief. However, if you travel to Faridabad, there is a toll that’ll cost you Rs. 30 per single trip. You can also get a monthly pass made for Rs. 2390 if you are a regular commuter.
6. Domestic Help:
Domestic help or Didi as they say here are readily available. The prices are at par with other metro cities. A typical maid would have a fixed rate card which would be governed by the society guidelines. They tend to break down each task into sub tasks and hence end up earning more. For example, cleaning would not be a general bucket. There is a per room price, if you want your bathroom floors wiped, there is an additional cost. If you want to get your kitchen slabs cleaned, pay a little more. You get the idea.
In general, maid would cost about Rs. 2500 a month for utensils, sweeping and floor cleaning (including bathrooms) for a 2BHK house. If you wish to avail cooking services thrice a day, it would cost about Rs. 5,000.
Gurgaon itself lacks any recreational spots wherein you can sit and relax. The city is in a constant hustle and you ought to travel out in order to seek some sanity. Good thing is that these places aren’t far away from the town. During monsoons, even Gurgaon Faridabad highway becomes a worthwhile long drive route. Apart from that, Gurgaon is very close to Jaipur (only 4 hours from my place). On your way to Jaipur, you’d find some amazing spots like Neemrana, Damdama lake. If you’re into spooky places, Bhangarh is the place for you. With some nerve chilling stories backing it’s haunted fort, the place is worth a visit.
I have visited Jaipur, Alwar. My parents also loved the place I lived in as Vrindavan was only 2 hours away (via Sohna) from there. We made round trips about 10 times in these three years. Prices are in line with any tier-2 cities. An average weekend would cost you 10-15k (fuel included) in a decent luxury hotel.
There’s a lot of speculation about Gurgaon not being as safe as other metros. While I don’t disagree completely, I believe a lot is being done to change that situation. Highway patrolling at night, stricter drinking and driving norms are a few initiatives that I experienced first hand.
In toto, if you want a decent lifestyle that involves a good home, a couple of outings, a movie night and an occasional trip to nearby city, cost of living in Gurgaon is about Rs. 40,000 to stay afloat. This city doesn’t have any upper limits if you plan to go all out. Interested in a similar article for Thane City? Click Here.
What are your thoughts on this? Did I miss any aspect of expenses?
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Until next time..