Thinking of traveling to India for a holiday? If this is your first time there are a few things that you definitely should know before you visit the land of geographical, lingual, religious and cultural diversities which will definitely leave a mark on you.
Exploring India without doing proper research or planning can land you up in a complete mess.You might miss out on all the wonderful facets of India, which was something you cant afford!So here are a few things that you should keep in mind when traveling a trip to India.Trust me it will help.
Tips for India Travel
Planning the Trip
Last updated on Sep,19,2016
- Choosing destinations according to weather conditions is important. Not every place in India offers year-round tourism. Example, hill stations like Shimla,Darjeeling, Manali etc are best visited in summers while most of the popular destinations like Rajasthan,Goa, Hampi etc enjoy great travel conditions in winters.
- Travelling independently in India is cheap, but planned tours will keep things organised.
- The hotel rent may form the major part of your travel cost. Budget hotels are available, but you need to choose carefully considering hygiene, comfort and safety.Travel websites today provide sufficient knowledge on this front these days.
- Booking of air tickets, accommodations, train tickets etc should be done much in advance.
What you should be prepared for…
- Maddening crowds that are practically everywhere.
- Beware of scammers who may start chasing you as soon as you step out of the airport.Book through some travel company that is recognized by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
- Avoid entering the crowded areas without a local guide, specially if you are a female.
- Store your cash and valuable carefully and never take them when visiting the crowded areas.
- Never leave your belongings unattended.
- Eating Food :Take time to get accustomed to the tangy nature of food. However, pay special attention towards hygiene while choosing street snacks that may leave your stomach adversely upset.
- Drinking Water: Avoid drinking from tap water.Carry packaged drinking water and purchase the bottles from a decent vendor and check seals.
- Medicines: Always carry medications for headache, acidity, diarrhoea and other probable ailments. Don’t mind consulting a medical expert.
The special palace on wheels train package
Travelling In India
- Traffic: Whether you visit the metropolises like Delhi and Mumbai or the historical cities like Agra and Jaipur, traffic on road is extremely torturous. What makes it worst is the condition of roads which is quite miserable in few parts. Leave your hotel few minutes earlier than the schedule to avoid delays.For those who are looking forward to visiting Agra , please note that Taj Mahal is closed for visitors on Fridays.
- Local Buses vs. Trains: The latter wins for being cheaper, less time consuming and more comfortable! Important train routes and train tickets during festivals are almost impossible to avail; book in advance. Carry locks and chains to secure your luggage and prefer AC first class /AC 2nd Class over AC 3 Tier or sleeper class to avoid huge crowds and unhygienic conditions.There are Volvo buses also that ply inter-city.
- Metros like Delhi and Mumbai have their own city metros trains also which are quite convenient to commute within the city.
- Taxis and Cabs: When in need to hire taxis for airport transfer or small trips within cities, use pre-paid services.You can also download OLA or UBER cab apps to book cabs in metro cities.
- Cycle-rickshaws and Two-wheeler Rentals: The fastest mode to navigate through high-traffic areas and old narrow alleys.
- Visiting Time: The opening and closing hours as well as the closing days or months of various wildlife reserves, temples and monuments are among the necessary things to know about India before visiting.
Know the Culture
- Always use right hand while eating, touching and offering things to the locals. In India, left hand is used to clean after defecating.
- Elders in India are respected by touching their feet.
- Prefer addressing elders as ‘uncles’ and ‘aunties’ than with their names or surnames.
- Never enter a religious place (especially those of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists) without removing footwear (and socks too).You may also be required to cover your head before entering few temples or Gurudwara .
Things to Avoid
- Don’t fall for beggars.
- Stay away from petting the stray dogs and other animals.
- Don’t travel alone at night.
- Don’t respond to repeated smiles.
- Never get into argument with touts. They are best avoided.
Things to Do
- One of the best India things to do is to bargain. You can easily secure discounts and great prices on the actual price being demanded.However, bargaining is to be avoided at high street malls.
- Carry gadgets with a lot of applications and internet support.Carry power bank for mobiles.
- US and Canada use 110-volt electricity, while in India 220-volt electricity is used.Thus, do not forget to take your convertors, adaptors and transformers for your appliances.
- Spend on shopping amazing handicrafts, but make sure you get the authentic ones. Choose approved venues while buying silk fabrics in Mysore, marble work in Agra, embroidered clothes in Jaipur and other popular regional specialities.
- Tip as you can easily afford it in exchange to quality services.
- Seeking advice from friendly-looking people. Indians most of the time are quite friendly.
While this was an attempt to provide comprehensive guide about what to know about visiting India, you can obtain more information from your other Indian friends or the experienced and frequent visitors to the country.
As a well-informed visitor, you will receive a far better welcome to this multifaceted land.
A list of few Important places to see in India which I suggest based on my experience. ( 138 Days Plan ). The duration does not include journey time and considers leisurely and lavish time spending at visiting places. Also it indicates the exact sequence of visiting of places in the trip for shortest distance.
Last updated on Sep,19,2016
Trip 1: Delhi ( moghul Empire architecture) 7 days stay
Trip 2: Agra Taj Mahal, Agra fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Jim Corbett Park 4 days
Trip 3: Rishikesh, Hardwar(pilgrimage) Mussorie, Dehradun (hills), Varanasi 10 days stay
Trip 4: Shimla, Kulu Manali, Dalhousi, Leh, Kashmir ( hills) 7-8 days stay
Trip 5: Nainital, Kausani, Ranikhet ( hills), Badrinath, Kedarnath (pilgrimage) 7-8 days stay
Trip 6 : Gir forest, Somnath temple(pilgrimage) 3-4 days stay
Trip 7 : Konark temple, Jagannathpuri, Saachi Gopal (pilgrimage) 3-4 days stay
Trip 8 : Darjeeling, Nandan Kanan, Sunderban national park and delta, Nagaland, Manipur( Tourisim)10 days stay
Trip 9 : Whole Rajasthan( Ajmer, Bundi, Jaipur, Bikaner, Chur, Udaipur, Pakistan border, Mewad (Rajput empire forts) 8-10 days stay
Trip 10 : Jabalpur marble rocks, Saanchi, Bhimbetka rock shelters, Shivpuri bird sanctury ( Tourisim) 3-4 days stay
Trip 11: Mysore,ooty, Kodaikanal, Coorg, Yercaud (hills) 8-10 days stay
Trip 12: Idduki, Munnar, Thekkadi ( hills) 7-8 days stay
Trip 13: Madurai, kanyakumari, Rameshwaram, trivendrum (pilgrimage) 6-7 days stay
Trip 14 : Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal, Hampi ( Tourisim) 5 days stay
Trip 15 : Bijapur,Hyderabad (Tourisim) 3 days stay
Trip 16: Goa,Bangalore Goa train beautiful scenes, Mumbai, Ajantha, Ellora, Black Taj 7 days
Trip 17: Chennai, Kanchpuram, Mahabali puram 3 days
Trip 18: Pune, Lonavala, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Pratapgad Fort,Raigad Fort( all Hills) (7 Days)
Trip 19 : Pune, Torna Fort, Chakan Fort, Shivneri Fort, Lenyadri Group of Caves ( 2 Days)
Trip 20 : Mangalore, Udupi, Agumbe, Sita Falls 3 days
Trip 21 :Udupi, Krishna Math, Malpe beach, Mary’s Island 1 day
Trip 22 : Shimoga, Sacred Heart Cathedral Church, Shivappa Nayak Fort, Gajanur Dam, Sakkarebaylu, Tyarekoppa Lion Safari, Sagar, Jog Falls, Ikkeri, Shimoga 3 days
Trip 23 :Gokarna, Mirjan Fort, Karwar 4 days
Trip 24 :Bannergatta National Park,Tipu Palace, Nandi Hills,Bhoga Nandeeshwhwara 1 days
Trip 25 : Savandurga Hills, Srirangapatan via Bannur, Shivanasamudra Falls, Makedatu Chunchi falls 1 day
Trip 26 : Shravanbelagola, Halebeedu, Chickmagaluru, Belur 2 days
Total about 138 days stay excluding journey time.
Trip 27 : Tirupati, Tirumala, Chandragiri Fort 1 day
List is endless……Just you need to explore…….India is endlessly incredible.