INDIA TRAVEL GUIDE.PDF
energy-zapping battle. Even veteran travel- lers find their sanity frayed at some point, yet this is all part of the India experience. Love it or loathe. Don't worry because we have compiled the best India travel tips and insights for westeners You can even download these epic tips as a PDF to refer to it later. slump, government data indicates that India's foreign tourist arrivals in were pegged at When not researching travel guides Mark lives a blissfully quiet.
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Incredible India Home» E-Book Ministry of Tourism. E-Book Ministry of Tourism. Print · Download ( MB) pdf ( MB) pdf Icon · View All. culture-focused travelers, we offer a tour of Delhi and Agra's greatest Islamic We hope this cultural guidebook offers you fresh insights into India's fantastic. Brasil: tourist guide -- 1. ed. São Paulo Welcome to City Guide With it, you'll be . Indian reservations are located in this region, which is the.
It also removes harmful bacteria and protozoa like E. Pack a basic medical kit with antibacterial ointment, antihistamines for hay fever and allergic reactions , aspirin, plasters, blister pads, ibuprofen, and sunscreen. Health-wise, make sure you have coverage for medical emergencies and treatment. Confirm that your policy covers your destination. Also, consider coverage for lost or stolen luggage, and trip cancellation.
Photo by Charles Haynes A nifty tip which can keep you safe from delhi belly is to eat where there are crowds; a faster turnover means fresher food and a healthier you. If you are buying fruits or vegetables in India, wash them well before consuming to get rid of toxic pesticides on their skin. When backpacking your way to different cities, make sure that you have the numbers of the English speaking hospitals along your intended route.
This way you can get proper medical care in case of an emergency. Carry toilet paper with you. Why carrying a toilet paper is necessary?
Because squat toilets do not have toilet paper. Similarly, you will have no problem with any decent hotel. Consult your doctor weeks prior to coming to India about the vaccinations you need to take. This will usually depend on — current health and health history Immunisation records your itinerary The 2 vaccinations you consider getting before landing in India are typhoid and hepatitis A, both transmitted through contaminated water or food.
You can Read this informative article about vaccines to consider before coming to India, if you want to know more. People, Communication, and culture in India Fun fact — The language spoken in India is not Indian. Most of the north India speaks Hindi while the south Indian states have their own regional dialects. You will be surprised to know that There are 22 major languages in India, written in 13 different scripts, with over dialects.
India is not a land of snake charmers as the uniformed western media around makes it out to be. Frankly, there is a very little chance you will come across one when you come to India. Consider yourself lucky if you do find one. With a population density of over people per kilometer who always shoved into one another , Indians have developed this strange habit of giving up our personal space willingly.
Try to use as much Hindi as you can. This will help you strike a bond with the locals. People will often go out of the way to help you when they see you making the extra effort to speak in their language.
A Hindi phrase book will prove highly useful. India is a conservative society and women are expected to dress modestly. Dressing modestly in the Indian context means you should cover your shoulders and legs till the knees.
Travelers to India may be tempted to wear shorts, as the weather can be hot and humid in many areas, even in Fall and Winter. Opt for light, cotton floor length skirts and light cotton blouses and shirts. Rather buy some ethnic Indian clothes — kurta pajama for men and salwar kameez for women from any Indian store.
Not only are they light but they will also help you blend in a bit more easily. Jessica of curiositytravel. Have you ever seen the Indian head wobble? Ofcourse, you have!! Do you know what it means? The world famous Head wobble from India has confused foreign tourists for ages.
But it is time to demystify it for once and for all. The following Viral video does an incredible job of explaining the head wobble in a fun way — Avoid taking pictures of police, security personnel, and women. Thrown into a jail for being a spy will not only ruin your trip but can make your life a lot more difficult. Taking pictures of women without asking them may not land you up in jail but can lead to a quarrel with their family members.
Each country in the world has some social etiquettes and mannerisms which set it apart from rest of the world. India is no different. Keep in mind the following etiquettes and you are less likely to upset your hosts.
Do not eat with your left hand because it is considered as unclean. Most Indians still use squat toilets and wash their backs with the……you guessed it right, left hands. Unsuprisingly, many people will assume that even you perform your bathroom matters with your left hand. Most Indian homes do not keep alcohol so make sure that your host is okay with the fact that you are bringing alcohol as a gift.
Never point your feet at another person as feet are considered unclean. Feet are considered dirty for another reason. They are considered unclean as they come in regular contact with ground. That is it. Shopping in India If you are on a tight budget then avoid eating at restaurants near temples , and other famous places.
Backpacking India Travel Guide
They are expensive as hell. Like 2 X the normal price.
First time In India? Want some Chai? These two deceptively simple questions asked by shop owners can make you spend more.
Sellers of any high priced good which requires showing some variety to the customer use this tactic. An example of someone playing this trick on you is garment showrooms or handicraft shop owners. Know your pin codes as signing has been phased out around the country.
Make sure no one is peeping over and enter the details while keeping the machine close to you. Never pay the full amount upfront. Giving anyone the full amount before availing the service, you also give him the power to dictate the terms of the service while it should be the other way around.
Whether you like it or not but there are not many places where you can use your Credit Card. Only big hotels and restaurants accept them. Keep enough cash on you. In India, Negotiate on everything. Taxi driver quotes you price, negotiate.
Local gem seller asks for a bucks, offer Fruit seller asks 60 bucks for 1 kg mango, ask for 1. A good counter offer for most commodities is 50 percent of what is asked for.
Work your way up from there. Most of the times, he or she will request you to come back and buy at the desired price. Get hold of a wad of 10 and 20 rs notes — Request your hotel manager to arrange for it. Or go to a bank and get a fresh wad. Not only do they help in day to day purchases but they also help in bargaining as they are the smallest denominations of money in note.
Safety and scams in India In many religious towns like Pushkar and Vrindavan, sadhus Indian holy men will approach you to offer their blessings. This benevolent gesture quickly turns into an extortion of sorts as they start demanding money after they have either tied a red holy thread on your wrist or applied a tillak to your forehead.
Some rapacious taxi and autorickshaw drivers tweak the meters of their vehicle which makes them run faster than the vehicle itself. This is a scam not exclusive to India and you may experience in other south asian and european countries as well.
So it is better to just keep walking or give a stern look if anyone tries this scam on you. Fake doctor scam is not so common but is a scam nonetheless and it is always better to be aware than being a victim. In this scam, a fake doctor will offer to make fake medical documents which supposedly will get you a lot of money from your insuarance company.
The problem is, companies are smart and already aware of this scam.
5 Best Travel Guides to use while travelling in India
You are more likely to get yourself into legal trouble than a room full of cash, if you try to pull this off. You can get all sorts of information — how to get from point A to point B, phone numbers of near by hospitals, advice in case of an emergency, you get the idea.
Carry a door stopper if you plan to stay in a cheap hotel or hostel. During monsoon, most Indian roads turn into swimming pools faster than a seemingly unrelated group of people turn into a flash mob, thanks to waterlogging. Therefore, it is advised to keep a pair of slippers to get around when the water is logged.
Another danger one faces is falling into open potholes when the water is logged. In fact, due to Hindu religious reasons, the state of Maharashtra has banned beef altogether.
If you can, I recommend being a vegetarian while in India to reduce the chances of getting serious food poisoning. It will weaken your digestion and immunity which makes you an easy target for bacteria. To help with my digestion and overall health I also take Organic Amla Berry tablets and another immunity boosting, ayurvedic herb called Bio-Immune.
Although, remember to use hand sanitizer! Be wary of hygiene and only go to the best, busy restaurants you can find. Get advice from the locals. Below is a bonus tip from one of my India travel mentors: No hot spicing. Garam Masala Nahin! You may need to order some side dishes of plain rice and boiled veggies, to cool down your meal. Read my full article for more details: All the tap water in India is contaminated with pollutants and amoebas.
By only drinking good bottled mineral water you will help avoid getting sick. Other brands are not trustworthy. India is typically hot and dry. Boil it as well if possible and you can also use Iodine tablets to be extra safe.
Fresh coconuts are extremely good at hydrating you, boosting your electrolytes and making an upset stomach, happy. Chai is good for digestion because it has ginger and cardamom added. Price should be no more than 10 rupees. This may or may not be true but it sure is nice to have a cold Coke on a hot afternoon in India! If you get dysentery, electrolytes are a must for staying hydrated. I recommend bringing one box from home because otherwise they can be low quality and taste a bit nasty if bought in India.
Since the ice is most likely created from a poor quality water source I advise you to not have any drinks with ice in it. If the drink such as Coke has been chilled in the fridge, that is of course fine. As annoying as it may seem, I advise you to only brush your teeth with bottled water. This is because your gums can be a direct path to the blood stream and therefore easier for infection to get in.
Taking a dip in the Ganges can be a magical experience but again, close your eyes and mouth and block your nose and ears to avoid getting too much water in the wrong hole. Below is a bonus tip from a fellow India travel expert: Bottled water is not always what it says on the bottle.
Try to buy from reliable places like grocery stores or hotels. Bring electrolyte salts in some form and dilute them in water. We bought a steriPEN. You swirl it around for 90 seconds and voila! According to the manufacturer, it destroys Otherwise you can be quickly hit with a bill. Drivers in India are renowned for their dishonesty and tricks to try to make more money from you.
In both cases, they often have an arrangement with a shop to return the item for cash after you leave! At any tourist location there are likely to be people touting trinkets and sometimes gemstones for sale. Use a calculator on your phone to help deter them from trying to scam you.
This is especially important around large financial transactions. If something is fishy then it probably is a scam or trap sometimes organized by the mafia. Do your research and have your wits about you especially around train stations, popular tourist attractions e. Also please note: I recently wrote an article explaining the 9 key reasons why you need to have good travel insurance for India.
An Indian friend or stranger or guide can help you with this. It can be surprisingly difficult to get a SIM card in India and usually involves quite a lot of paper work. Look up your destination on the Internet, study maps, get advice from other travelers and read the latest Lonely Planet guide book. This will help you get insider knowledge before you arrive, making you more prepared to deal with the possible onslaught of scams that await you.
Below is another perspective from a fellow India travel expert: These are poor people trying to make a living, and if you overpay by a few rupees, consider it tourist tax and show some compassion. Biggest scams in India to watch out for. Also check out my article on doing business in India Back to top. Whenever you go to a Hindu temple, be sure to get some flowers before entering.
You can then offer these at the main statue as a sign of respect or in prayer. The safest place to leave them is at the shop where you buy flowers because they have a vested interest in making sure no one steals them. Otherwise there is always an off chance someone will fancy your shoes or sandals, especially if they look nice or expensive.
2. Gateway of India
The temples in India can be extremely chaotic and noisy with bells, people yelling, babies screaming and guards pushing you through the lines. Wearing ear plugs helps dampen the sound and make it easier for you to enjoy the inner spiritual power that seems to pervade all temples in India. Find a quiet corner away from the chaos and just sit. Feel the vibrations and see what happens. It can truly be life changing. Many people will want your money at temples and it can be a bit overwhelming.
For me, the temples of India are often the highlight of my trip. They are usually an ancient architectural marvel, but more importantly, a place of spiritual wonder. It also means you may be able to leave your valuables and shoes etc in your room which can be very convenient. Below is a bonus tip from my amazing wife: Things can often change at the last minute such as sudden traffic delays.
Therefore, leave early and make sure you get multiple opinions of how long it takes to get to the airport. The military guards at the entrance to the airport will not allow you to enter unless you have valid ID and itinerary. Be sure to line up at the correct screening machine for your airline. Domestic Indian flights have weight limits of 15kgs for checked bags and 7kgs for carry-on bags.
Remove absolutely all your electronic items including cameras and batteries. Know that women have their own line. Keep your boarding pass in hand so that the security guard can stamp it and watch out for people pushing in line.
Instead, bring your food or only buy packaged food that you feel is okay. Inside the airport there are always pre-paid taxi stands available which will give you a fair price from a reputable driver. Below is a bonus tip from an Indian travel blogger: By all means, do and overdo your research, but when you set foot in India, make way for your own experiences.
Embrace the colors, give the people a chance, be amazed by the little things, and if the chaos and inequality overwhelm you, so be it. Back to top.
Credit cards are only accepted at larger businesses or hotels. Therefore you will always need to carry some cash so that you can pay for taxis, auto rickshaws, cheap hotels and your food etc. I keep all my large bills concealed under my clothing in my passport pouch. With all the fees you may have in your home country this can be quite annoying and costly. Citibank allows you to withdraw whatever your daily maximum in your home country is e.
Go to the bank and get a crispy wad of 10 rupee notes because firstly, the 10rs notes are often disgustingly used and dirty. Lastly, it also helps with bargaining so that you can have exact change. I have had pickpockets and beggars put their hand in my pocket looking for money.
Below is a bonus tip from a fellow travel blogger: Pay extra attention to your belongings in airports, train stations, markets, and major tourists sites. Keep digital copies of important items such as credit cards and ID etc.
Otherwise, try not to stress too much. This subtle gesture conveys a lot of meaning depending on the context and degree to which the head is wobbled. India has 17 main languages and a huge range of English accents. I recommend learning a few words of the local language because it shows you have an interest in the culture. It will almost always be very well received and help you quickly make friends with the locals.
Try to find someone who speaks better English and calmly sort through the miscommunication that may be occurring. These people are doing their best with a second or third language and so give them some compassion.
Below is another tip from Mariellen, a fellow India travel blogger: Travel to India with an open, trusting, non-judgmental attitude … or not at all. Be cautious, but not fearful. Communication in India — learn the head wobble! Since the British influenced the first Indian cars they follow suit with driving on the left. Although, crazy driving often may lead to seeing people on the wrong side of the road. If you can afford it, the most comfortable and obviously fastest way to get around is by plane.
My favorite website for booking domestic Indian flights and trains is Cleartrip. The car provides comfort with the windows up and the cool AC air but the zig-zagging can get a bit much if the trip is more than a couple of hours. If you value your life I recommend that you demand a working seat belt before you get in the car. Be persistent and they should be able to hook you up.
The roads in India are wildly dangerous and often uncomfortably bumpy. If there is an option to get a plane, train or bus then I would take it instead. Otherwise you might get car sick or just really tired from all the insanity of weaving between head on traffic.
Below is a bonus tip from Rachel who has one of the top travel blogs in the world: Transportation on local buses and sleeper trains can add to stress levels if you change location every 2 days, so start slow and get to know each town you visit for at least a week before moving on to another.
Be open minded. You may have to ask around but in every town outside of big cities you will be able find such accommodation. I recommend you be careful when staying at an Airbnb. For these kind of hotels and the 5 star palaces, I recommend doing research on TripAdvisor to get real opinions from other travelers. The bathroom floors may not be the cleanest place and so I recommend you use flip flops to keep you feet hygenic.
For this reason I bring a light weight travel towel just in case. As with any kind of real estate, the location and proximity to the tourist attraction, temple or town can make a big difference with your experience. When I visit a temple town I like my hotel to be as close to the temple as possible.
Whenever you get room service of any kind at a hotel I recommend you tip between 10 and 20 rupees. This should will help you get better service and more alert staff. All mid-range and above hotels have normal Western toilets. The fumes of course get into your room and it can be unbearable. Below is another tip from Doug, my friend and India travel expert: A simple sanitary wipe will protect you from most germs left by several weeks of previous occupants.
Especially remote controls and light switches and faucets collect germs. Also, the sheet on the hotel bed is rarely cleaned, so a light piece of silk between you and the mattress is helpful protection. They are incredibly good at going for your emotions, very comfortable with numbers and know how to up sell until the cows come home.
If you want good deals, this is an essential skill and in fact may help you with negotiation once you return to your home country. The main thing is start out real low and then immediately offer a little higher so that they know you want to bargain.
I was in a clothing shop in a town called Bhopal. These shops have the prices already set and are generally fair. Most items that are packaged will have MRP written on it. Before making large purchases and if you have the energy you can get better deals by comparing prices. Usually certain shops such as jewelry are grouped together making it easier to shop around. If you befriend a local, they will likely get great joy helping you bargain down to rock bottom prices. The main thing is to not take things too seriously especially since your savings may only be few dollars and enjoy the process.
Otherwise it can quickly get very emotionally and physically draining. Below is a bonus tip from a fellow blogger and author: It seems that Indian culture produces an uncommon blend of innovative thinking, business-minded aggression, and comfort with numbers.
How to bargain like an Indian Back to top. As far as I can tell, there are no real waste management programs offered for household waste. Instead what happens is the plastic items are swept into a pile and then set on fire! A lot of impoverished families use dried cow dung as a fuel for their cooking fires which can lead to excessive smoke. The large cities have an absurdly large number of vehicles all releasing toxic exhaust fumes.Probiotics boost the good bacteria in your stomach, improve digestion and increase natural immunity.
It seems that Indian culture produces an uncommon blend of innovative thinking, business-minded aggression, and comfort with numbers. As it is not possible for me or for anyone else in a short time to come up with GENUINE travel info on almost everything related to India, I would recommend buying a copy of the travel guides mentioned below. Uber runs in the following 22 cities —. Even though it was written in , he captures the essence of India perfectly!
The car provides comfort with the windows up and the cool AC air but the zig-zagging can get a bit much if the trip is more than a couple of hours.
This is a scam not exclusive to India and you may experience in other south asian and european countries as well. As annoying as it may seem, I advise you to only brush your teeth with bottled water.