India! A country that boasts of one of the earliest civilizations on earth. A country that has been ruled and colonized by monarchs from all parts of the world, giving it an interesting history to look back to and a blend of different culture and lifestyle.
Over the years, the country has emerged as one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, with a lot to offer to the visitors in terms of food, culture, heritage, entertainment, and more. However, travelling in India can be a tad tricky and requires some detailing and homework; especially for the first timers.
Here, we have listed some important Dos and Don’ts to give you an idea on how to travel in India without facing much trouble:
- Do read and understand a little about the country’s culture, language, and lifestyle before leaving for the trip. It’s always good to do a little homework before starting our journey.
- Do keep your important documents always in close vicinity; such as your passport, ID card, etc.
- Do give yourself a little time to embrace and accept the local lifestyle. There might be a lot of cultural shocks during the journey.
- If you are traveling during the months of March to October, make sure you are carrying light clothes, as winters starts in India only after mid of November month.
- Do try and learn some of the basic Hindi words or phrases; such as ‘Namastey’ means Hello, ‘Naam’ means Name, ‘Paani’ means Water, ‘Chai’ means Tea, etc.
- Do hire guide at monument and heritage sites to get a better understanding of the place and its history.
- Do try and travel more through local transport to understand a city and its lifestyle in a better way.
- Do make as much bookings in advance as you can.
- Do try and make new local friends by striking a conversation, but don’t reveal too much personal information at the very first meeting.
- Do check for vaccinations you may require before travelling to India.
- Indian’s love their culture and heritage a lot, so don’t speak anything against it.
- When visiting a temple, shrine, or any religious pilgrimage, do not take your shoes inside the main premise.
- Never offer a hand shake to an opposite gender person (especially a female) unless you’re offered it first. You can always use the common greeting way of ‘Namastey’.
- Do not wear short clothes when in public or visiting a religious place. You won’t want hundreds of eyes glaring at you.
- Do not drink tap water or regular water. Always, ask for a bottled water when eating out or visiting a monument.
- Don’t give in to the price offered to you for antiques or handicrafts, especially if you’re shopping at a local market. Bargaining is a crucial part of shopping in India and an important one too.
- Don’t photograph someone (especially women and children) or some place (especially government buildings/offices) without permission.
- Don’t encourage beggars, which you would find mostly on street signals and outside temples.
- Don’t act to something which you’re not sure of. Just ask a local or follow the lead of what others around you are doing.
- Don’t stay out late night and try and get back to your hotel by dinner time.
- Don’t accept drinking offer from someone at the bar whom you’ve have just met.
- Don’t point fingers (or feet) at someone while speaking with them. People in India take that as an offense and a gesture of getting aggressive.
- Don’t walk over books and newspaper or even touch them by our feet.
- Don’t be bugged or get offended by a series of questions fired at you. People in India are quite inquisitive and can get a little carried away at time.
- Don’t be over romantic with your partner in public.
- Don’t expect people to be punctual. Always operate with a 10-15 minutes of buffer time.
As you can see, the Don’ts are clearly much more than the Do’s (and are really important to keep in mind as well). All you have to do is to simply keep these points in mind, do a little bit of your own research, and be flexible and ready to face a few adhoc cultural shocks when planning a trip to India.
Once you’ll be done with your trip, you’ll know that it wasn’t that tricky to complete your journey in India. In fact, you’ll be prepared better for your next trip; because there certainly will be a next. One can’t just visit India once and never come back again.
Hope these tips for travelling in India helped you plan your journey better. Do share your views and experiences in the comment box below.