India is one of the most exotic and exuberant
However, to get the best out of any time period in this country, you must take certain precautions, such as knowing the best date to visit specific regions and keep in mind some typical customs to avoid any misunderstandings.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU READ FURTHER?
Anyone visiting India has the chance to experience a magical, unique and intense experience. You will enjoy moments filled with enriching emotions and with a lot of cultural diversity. Before planning your trip, it is worth bearing in mind that the customs of the country are very different from ours, here in the West. Therefore, the best way is to immerse yourself in this adventure without prejudice, with a free mind and an open heart. There are plenty of reasons to include India in your travel itinerary. Here’s a little bit about each one.
EVERYTHING IS AFFORDABLE
When compared to the USD or EURO, the Indian rupee has a much lower value. 1USD is roughly 70-72 Indian rupees. This will make you have few expenses in the region with hotels, food, transport, and sightseeing.
To get an idea, it is possible to find lodgings for up to $ 30 and sandwiches for $ 1.50. Can it get any better? 😀
GOOD SHOPPING OPTIONS
Are you one of those people who love to buy handicrafts and souvenirs produced by local communities? So get ready to go crazy in India!
The place is full of trades with different products for you to stuff the suitcase. In the urban areas, you can find various spices, Indian fabrics, costumes, accessories, shoes and decoration items.
A valuable tip: when visiting the fairs or bazaars, try to bargain. That’s it! While this practice is offensive to Westerners, Indians are accustomed to it – and they love it!
SACRED TOURISTIC POINTS
Although much of the Indian population is Hindu, there is another portion that follows the most diverse religions. This is the case of Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and even Christianity. Walking through the cities, you will find beautiful temples, with many colors and precious materials, as is the case of gold and marble.
In many holy places, meals are offered for free. One of them is
DELICIOUS MULTIPLE INDIAN CUISINE
India is dominantly a vegetarian country. That’s it! In India, it’s not easy to find red meat, especially beef as the cow is considered sacred. This should not be a problem for tourists as long as you are willing to try other flavors or recipes with chicken.
You can try dishes with cottage cheese or paneer, curried rice dishes are also known as Biryani and an exclusive seasoning called garam masala – a mix of cardamom, anise, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and peppers. This blend is able to make any recipe more tasty and interesting.
Tip: In India most of the dishes naturally have pepper. So if you do not like pepper, remember to always request that this ingredient not be added to your plate. Otherwise, you will end up having stomach issues and ulcers in
DIFFERENTIATED TRANSPORT MEANS
Have you heard of the famous tuk-tuk? This vehicle is a type of taxi for the Indians. For travelers, this is an economical and much safer option than motorcycles or bikes, but you need to be smart and bargain with the Auto-
UNIQUE INDIAN HABITS
1.INDIANS EAT WITH HANDS– In several parts of India, citizens do not use cutlery during a meal and use only their hands to pick up food. To clean their hands, Indians use warm water with lemon. For Westerners, this may seem somewhat unhygienic, but one must respect the country’s tradition.
If you can not feed yourself that way, you can rest easy! In some restaurants, snack bars, and malls, attendants offer cutlery to customers.
2. HYGIENE IS MISSING IN SOME PLACES -Hygiene in India is a subject that always causes controversy. That’s because of a lot of homes in smaller cities or rural areas not built with a bathroom. In addition, the population does not have the habit of using toilet paper but carry out the cleaning with water and the hand only.
The good news is that if you stay in a hotel, this problem will not exist. Still, consider experimenting with other possibilities. To avoid headaches, take out some toilet paper or moist tissues in the bag whenever you go out for a walk. Worth it!
3. TRANSIT IS CHAOTIC –As soon as you arrive in the country, you will notice a remarkable detail: the region’s traffic is extremely crazy. This detail can be seen anywhere, both in the narrow streets of the neighborhoods and in the busiest avenues of the center.
Want to see just one example? When walking through the cities, you can see bikes, tuk tuks, cars, motorcycles, carts, buffaloes and cows, all sharing the same space. Sounds crazy, right? And it really is! But somehow, this chaos works and people manage to organize without suffering accidents or keeping traffic congested for a long time.
An interesting irony: In India, people use vehicle horns not only to warn you but in all crazy situations. Literally, some truck drivers instead of having horns, they have rhythmic notes. Also, the zebra crossing is a joke in India, if you see cars stopping on the zebra crossing itself during red light don’t be shocked.
4. FOOTWEAR IS NOT USED IN THE HOUSES-Anyone planning to stay at an Indian’s house can not help but notice this custom. In this country, the population has the habit of always removing the shoes before entering the house, leaving the pairs near the entrance door.
This practice is also often followed at meal times when people are barefoot to feed themselves. For them, this is a way of respecting space and not contaminating it with the dirt of the street.
5. CLOTHES ARE COLORFUL AND EXTRAVAGANT-Indians love colorful clothes. During the trip to the country, you will see that most of the clothes are bright and with lively colors. Many women often use the famous Saree, 9-meter fabric that can be wrapped around the body of a thousand and one shapes. Varying from silk fabric to cotton and so on.
For example: in special events, such as weddings, girls choose the most beautiful sarees, full of sparkles and embroideries. To complete the look, they still use many accessories – bracelets, earrings, necklaces
Nowadays, there are those more modern ones also, who wear clothes like westerners on a daily basis, preferring to wear the typical Indian costumes only on important occasions. With men, it is also possible to observe this change.
In some parts of the country, the male population uses simple combinations with a T-shirt and jeans. But in other places, you’ll see that the boys like to wear the so-called kurtas, which are longer shirts. There is also the hijab, a scarf used to cover the hair and neck, very common among muslim women.
INDIANS LOVE FASTING-Want to know something crazy about India? So it’s time to understand why the Indians love fasting. To begin with, this is a very common practice among the population. It is not uncommon to find a citizen who is fasting. Usually, this activity is performed throughout religious festivals, but there are also those who usually fast weekly.
For the Indians, fasting brings the human being closer to the gods. According to them, individuals spend a good amount of energy cooking, performing meals and digesting food. Sometimes young girls do fasting in order to find a handsome futuristic husband, or sometimes married women do fasting for wishing their husband a longer life.
TOP DESTINATIONS IN INDIA
Even with its numerous differences and peculiarities, India is a country with lush landscapes, rich culture, and many treasures. Traveling through this country is a real-life adventure and you will not regret it. We can guarantee visit to fantastic destinations. Let’s find out what they are?
You probably already know the Taj Mahal from the photos and movies, right? The monument is one of the seven wonders of the world and the main Indian tourist spot. Located in the Agra region, the mausoleum was built in the fourteenth century, all in white marble, as a tribute by the King Shan Jahan for his queen Mumtaz Mahal. It’s a Mandatory stop!
Did you know that in India there is a city known worldwide as the capital of yoga? This city is Rishikesh. Here you will find numerous ashrams, which offers unique environments for those who wish to meditate and discover themselves. But it does not end there! In addition to meditation and yoga, travelers can perform various tasks in the ashrams, but everything will depend on the schedule and the time of your visit.
Those who like to venture closer to nature
Goa is like a paradise for the westerners. When exploring the place, you will find many streets with names in Portuguese, as until the 1960s, the region was a colony of Portugal and, for this reason, inherited several characteristics that we know well. It’s one of the most touristic
Also known as “the pink city”, Jaipur is surrounded by ancient and pink coloured buildings. Together, these characteristics are responsible for making this city one of the most charming cities in India.
All major markets and historical monuments/ buildings are located around the central palace called City Palace, a place still inhabited by the old royal family. The place also has other lovely sights such as Govind Dev Ji Temple; the floating palace, Jal Mahal, and a UNESCO heritage observatory, Jantar Mantar.
New Delhi is the capital of India. This detail makes the city super busy, chaotic and a bit noisy. But in the midst of all the madness, the region hosts some exciting attractions and even world heritage sites.
One such attraction is the tomb of Humayun, a mausoleum that looks more like a palace. According to history, the place was the main inspiration for the construction of the Taj Mahal. Old Delhi is also famous for many markets like Chandni Chowk and Shahdara. Some renowned north India food joints are also present in the old city of Delhi.
We have yet another point worth visiting: the India Gate – a monument built to honor the Indian soldiers killed in battle during World War One. Approximately 85,000 names are inscribed on the walls of the building. The best of everything? You do not have to pay to enter.
SOME IMPORTANT TIPS FOR SOLO TRAVEL
1. BE EXTRA CAREFUL IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING SOLO
In the last decades, women have really struggled to gain their independence and freedom. However, even with all this effort, the truth is that the female audience is far more vulnerable to dangerous situations than men. And when it comes to traveling alone, care must be redoubled.
You do not need a company to enjoy good times in another country, it’s true. However, it is imperative to protect yourself and to take some precautions when you are in a country of unknown culture and religion.
But do not despair! We will explain all the points that deserve attention during your planning and as soon as you reach the destination of the trip.
2. DO A PROPER PLANNING
No country in the world is totally safe – even for those who are venturing alone. Even if India is full of fantastic attractions, it is essential to know that it is a developing country, has different working conditions from the rest of the world, and unfortunately has a man dominated culture.
The tip is that you research well throughout your travel planning. Find out which are the best times to walk on the streets, whether it is possible to request cabs quietly and whether it is safe to walk unattended at night.
For even more comfort, find out what is the best time of year to visit the place. In India, the indicated period for tourists is between November and April as it is not very hot as it is Indian winters-spring.
3.BE MORE DISCRETE AND RESPECT THE CULTURE
In many places, the population knows how to identify by far who is a tourist – whether by behavior or clothing. The downside to this is that you are more likely to suffer a stroke.
That said, try to act discreetly and wear clothes that do not attract attention. A good tip is to avoid using tourism agency backpacks, brooches or stickers. Prefer to invest in a comfortable combination, with sneakers and T-shirt, always carrying your bag on the front of the body.
4. DO NOT TRUST ANYONE BLINDLY
The Indians are kind and extremely receptive. It will not be difficult to make friends while traveling around the country. In fact, this practice is very healthy and can guarantee lifelong relationships.
But that also does not mean that you should trust everyone. This care should be maintained not only in India, but in any region where you are alone. To protect yourself, never give strangers your passport, money or purse. Be alert!
Be careful of the scams, where people promise you certain trips completely free of cost, or offer you drinks for free while you are in some party or public place.
5. ALWAYS CARRY A CELLPHONE
In India as soon as you arrive, buy a new sim card from any telecom shop. It is pretty cheap and easy to get a sim card with internet and calling. It is essential to be connected all the time to communicate with your friends, family, check scripts and the opening hours of the establishments.
Having a cellphone is helpful when you wish to book a cab, or even check on google maps if you want to locate some place without having to talk with locals.
6.CARRY YOUR DOCUMENTS
Always carry your documents with you. There are tourists who prefer to take a copy of the passport and RG, leaving the original versions in the hotel. Still, to be more secure, the ideal case would be to walk with the original documents.
You can also scan the materials and save a copy in Google Drive or another online storage platform. Believe me: this detail will help a lot in any eventuality and to avoid suffocations during the trip.
The same tip applies to other important documents such as travel insurance voucher, train tickets, air tickets, proof of lodging and credit cards.
7.CHOOSE A LOCAL HOSTEL
To have more security on your trip alone in India, make sure you choose a well-located hostel. One way to get it right in choosing your hosting is to follow some basic steps:
When identifying a nice hotel, check the location of the establishment; check the address on Google Maps and look around the area in the map;check if the lodging is located near restaurants, bars, snack bars, pharmacies and other commercial points; see if there are taxi points or easy access to the main avenues.
Lastly, look for feedback from other guests. Sites like Google itself or Booking.com provide reports of experiences of other travelers in the same hotel as yours. With this information, you will know if your hosting is safe, clean, organized, and if your attendants are prepared to receive it. All of this is critical to your safety and comfort, so do not neglect this part of the planning.
8. TRAVEL WITH A TRAVEL INSURANCE
Life is full of unforeseen events. We never know what can happen to us, especially in an unknown country. One of the crucial points for your planning is to take a safe trip.
With this service, you will have medical coverage and reimbursement in case your luggage is lost. Do not waste time and research the best for you. Remember to read all the rules and coverages of the plan so you do not have any unpleasant surprises afterward.
Especially for India, where sometimes lacking hygiene or eating too spicy food or hot temperatures could cause a stall on your health. So it will be best to carry travel insurance.
9. PLEASE NOTE THE USEFUL CONTACTS
Another key question is to have with you some useful phone numbers. Want an example? The phone number of your nation’s Embassy in India your hotel contact and your travel insurance company’s contact. If you need some emergency help during the period, you will have more practicality to solve the problem.
By following these tips, it will be easier to enjoy the trip with great tranquility and live unforgettable moments.
A bonus tip: Remember not to carry too many items in your suitcase. The lighter it is, the easier you will get to get around, discover sights, talk to people and explore the region to its fullest.
So are you ready for your Indian Adventure?
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