Incredible India! As we may call it, is a country of diverse cultures and beautiful scenic locations. Be it the Himalayas or the Backwaters of Kerala, Wildlife sanctuary at Jim Corbett or Temples of Haridwar, India has all the essence of life covered in one single boundary. Here are a few travel tips for a foreigner who is visiting India for the first time.
1. Don’t make it too hectic
India is a vast country with different landscapes worth viewing. A month in this mystic country is also not enough to engulf the diverse beauty of the country. However, don’t make your schedule too hectic. Give proper time to each destination and enjoy the feel of each city you travel, as they will be completely different from the other. You can always visit India again and again!
2. Watch out what you Eat and Drink
There are some cleanliness issues in some sections of the country. But this definitely does not mean that you cannot savour delicious street food. Try consuming well-cooked fresh made food and bottled water in your visits. Do not eat too much of spicy food together in a day.
3. Minimum Luggage – Dress conservatively
India is a country where you can experience summer, winter and rains in the same month but in different parts of the country. How much ever this is true, try being equipped for all yet keep your luggage at its minimum. Dress conservatively to avoid stares and enjoying all types of local places comfortably.
4. Do your homework well
The best season to visit each region of India is different. So do your research well! There are religious sites, beaches and backwaters, wildlife encounters and adventure sports. So plan what you need to do and add those places to your itinerary.
5. Rural India is real India
Urban cities of India are more or less similar when it comes to culture and standard of living. If you wish to capture the real essence of the diversity of Indian culture, visit the rural places. Places like Ladakh, Dharamshala, Jaisalmer, Kerala, Goa etc are ideal for a peaceful yet surreal experience in the country.
6. Visit the South first
Southern India is a little less chaotic and more peaceful as compared to the loud nature seen in the northern parts of India. So to avoid a culture shock and getting used to the feel of the nation it is better to visit the cities in the south first.
7. Keep your GPRS/WiFi devices handy
India is a huge country with beautiful countrysides. Wifi and GPRS facilities in these places can be challenging. Hotels here may not be able to provide you with internet facilities. It is better to be equipped with your own set of GPRS and Mobile Data facilities.
Remember, whenever you plan to buy souvenirs or Indian goods at street markets, there is a huge chance that vendors there may charge you a higher price because of your nationality. Always try to negotiate the prices and buy when you are sure of the prices.
9. Visit in the railways and local transport is a must
Indian Railways connect the country from each end to the other. It is one of the largest railway setups in the world. Visiting a train/bus is a must. Do not forget to get an auto rickshaw ride or the local haath gaadi available in a few cities. Book your train and bus travel in advance as they may get full quickly.
10.Learn Basic Hindi words
Almost 50% of the country speaks only Hindi or their regional language. They are not well equipped with English. Before visiting India, it is advisable to learn some of the commonly used Hindi words like Namaste (Hello), Dhanyavad (Thank You), Haan (Yes), Nahi (No), Khana (Food) etc.
With these basic travel tips for a foreigner, you should be perfectly fine during your first visit to the land of diversity. Wishing you safe travels with memories of a lifetime.