Best cities in India to settle in after the pandemic

Some factors to consider and five relatively safe cities you can move to if you wish to get away from the chaos.

An Indian Cityscape

The concept of relocating after retirement has become popular with urban Indians. Many burnt-out couples look forward to getting away from the stress of city life. The idea of moving to a beautiful and affordable location that affords a peaceful lifestyle for one’s sunset years sounds like a sweet reward indeed. 

However, many people are looking to fast-track their retirement plan on account of COVID-19. Densely populated cities have become a hotspot for the contagion. Despite social distancing norms, the fear of contracting the disease looms large as millions of people remain isolated in their apartments for months. 

It’s not that the rest of India is immune to the virus, but many tier II and III cities have been able to keep the pandemic in check thanks to a lower population and adequate healthcare facilities. These places offer a better standard of living, along with the much-needed peace of mind.

Many employed professionals have figured a way to continue working remotely. This means they are not geographically bound any more and can put their relocating plans into action. There are many cities and towns across the country that make the cut, but some caution is advised. 

Related: Best countries to retire in and why

What to keep in mind

Before we mention some cities, here are some key factors you need to consider before short-listing probable options.

  • Proximity to family: Pick a location that allows you to get away from the craziness of a large city, yet be close enough to your friends and family so that you can meet them without having to drive long distances.
  • Standard of living: Considering the unpredictable economic scenario, you should look at a city that fulfils all basic requirements in a budget that is affordable within your present means. Access to good food, job opportunities, healthcare, schools, house help, etc. are some important aspects to consider.
  • Public utilities: While access to clean water and uninterrupted power are primary concerns, other aspects like city planning, law and order, availability of public transport, access to parks and open spaces for recreation, schools, etc. will not only improve your quality of life, but also bring down the cost of living.

Related: Buying a home in your hometown or in a big city: What makes financial sense? 

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Five cities to consider

1. West: Panaji, Goa

Panaji, the capital of Goa, is one the best cities to live in India if you dream of a tropical beach paradise. It is a highly urbanised town, but a lot more affordable than most other capital cities. It offers the perfect blend of laid-back living coupled with urban sensitivity.

2. North: Chandigarh, Punjab/Haryana

Chandigarh is the first planned city in the country and boasts of good infrastructure. It has a low-cost multi-modal transport system and is well-connected to the rest of northern India. Numerous malls, multiplexes, and public gardens, together with good healthcare infrastructure and world-class educational institutions, make Chandigarh a good option for family living needs.

3. East: Bhubaneshwar, Odisha

This state capital is major hub in eastern India. In addition to a number of mining and steel manufacturing companies, the city is home to a bustling IT/ITES sector. Bhubaneshwar is remarkably quaint for a capital city and has among the lowest cost of living for any major city in India.

4. South: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. It boasts of pleasant weather all year round and has a great cosmopolitan culture. Even though the city has been growing rapidly, the cost of living here is low. Coimbatore has among the best healthcare and educational infrastructure in the country.

5. Central: Nagpur, Maharashtra

Nagpur is very close to the geographical centre of India and has good connectivity to the rest of India. The city is home to various industrial and IT parks, has great healthcare services, and has among the cheapest electricity in the country. It also has some of the best educational institutions in central India.

Last words

If you are planning on uprooting your life and moving to a new city, it is important to choose one that has the right vibe. So, make an effort to understand the place, its culture and people, weather conditions, language, general demeanour of locals, etc. Do adequate due diligence before you shortlist a city so that there are no unexpected surprises. Look at these 5 affordable cities to buy or rent a house in India. 

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