is a land of rich and varied culture marked by a trail of heritage and a
myriad of diversified traditions, cultures, customs and rituals. India is a
hot tourist destination because of its distinctiveness. While traveling in
India is completely safe and enjoyable, but as we say- be safe rather be
sorry, it would be better to take certain basic precautions on your
fascinating India Holiday Tour. Before commencing the expedition in India
some handy information would be very useful for the tourists, natives of
India and foreigners alike.
Some of the traveling tips to India include:
Tips for getting In and Out:
Obtaining a valid Visa and Passport is
necessary for the foreigner travelers to India. Certain destinations may
require inner line and outer line permits as well.
Before starting for the tour get your medical check up
done by your family doctor. Take all precautions to avoid running nose,
dizzy body temperature. It is advisable to not to embark on a trip even at
the slightest indication of illness.
In India, trains are the best way to get around. Train
travel is cheap, reasonably comfortable, and still fairly safe. Night trains
offer an excellent way of moving between cities while saving on hotel costs.
There are many trains that run overnight between major centers. A traveler
can hop a train one evening, enjoy a (usually) peaceful night on the train,
and alight early the next morning, ready for a new day in a new city.
General to luxury class is available for journeying in India.
Indian traffic conditions are chaotic, the drivers
reckless, and the roads often in poor repair. There is a pecking order for
right of way. you can enjoy the open roads and dramatic country-side, but it
is not without its hazards. Your fellow drivers will probably drive very
fast, and often quite recklessly.
Bargaining is the norm in local bazaars selling
products without a written price. Resist the urge to buy without comparing
prices from shops selling similar stuff. Beware of roadside peddlers trying
to sell you semi-precious and precious gems and jewelry. Visit state
emporium and the Central Cottage Industries Emporium (most major cities have
one) for fixed prices and a fair idea of the cost with a regular dealer.
Tips for Women Travelers:
Be friendly but don't get friendly,
especially with those servicing you in hotels, trains or even your cabbie or
coolie. Avoid wearing anything that attracts glances or invites cat calls.
In metros like Delhi, Mumbai etc., it is normal to dress in western outfits
but in smaller cities and towns, short skirts, tight pants or blouses can
make you stand out in the crowd. Dress sober - loose and long clothes that
neither define body shape nor expose it.
Tips for Social Decorum:
Public display of affection is not
appreciated and neither is public nudity unless perhaps one is at a beach.
It is good to cover the head before entering a religious place such as a
temple or mosque. Always seek permission before clicking pictures of women
and religious complexes. Some places charge for taking pictures while it is
prohibited at a few places as well.
Tips for Clothing:
As in any society, how you dress affects your
experiences. Your fashion choices make a statement about your interests or
intentions, and these statements are subject to cultural interpretation.
While visiting India the traveler must decide from which culture to approach
the country. Many Western travelers rarely seem to be able to put their own
culture temporarily on hold and take a clear look at the new culture around
them. As a general rule, urban Indian men wear western dress - some
variation of long pants and a shirt. As for women the standard advice is to
cover the shoulders and the butt, and avoid showing cleavage. Wearing men's
style Indian clothes will give a very confusing message as well.
Tips for Language:
For most parts of India, you won't really need to
mug up any local lingo. if sometime you get stuck, Hindi should help you get
going. It's spoken in fair parts of north India and understood in the west
too. Down south is the domain of the Dravidian languages. It's either
English or a regional language that will do the trick. So, pick up some
words in both Hindi and Tamil and get going.
Tips for Eating:
Indian Cuisines may be hot and spicy for the
foreigners' taste buds. There is no way around it. Indian food tastes best
when eaten with your fingers. There is a tactile dimension added to the
eating process. Besides, Indian foods are designed to be eaten by hand.
Breads are to be torn and wrapped around foods. Rice is customarily blended
with curries so each mouthful is unique. Eating with your fingers is a
cultural experience everyone should experience while visiting India.
Tips for Tipping:
In India, tips are optional in a not-so-fancy
restaurant. Place only a few rupees as a tip and not a percentage of your
bill. But outside restaurants and hotels, tipping or baksheesh
is commonly practiced. You should out a few rupees to people whom you
photograph on the road like the snake charmer, the cart puller or the camel
rider. Keep some change for people who help you with little things like
those who keep your shoes outside temples/mosques etc.
Tips for Safety and Security:
Do not be reckless. Rely on your
senses and instincts and not so much on the local Tourist office. Remember
they will always want to play it down. If you ever land in trouble then
contact your Embassy and the nearby police station. Be careful and keep your
eyes open. Carry your passport, travelers cheques, money, cards etc. in an
inner shirt/jeans pocket. Better still, shove them in a hidden money belt
against your skin.
Smart Packing Tips:
Always travel light. The lighter the bag, the
lesser you sag. Include the essentials but avoid carrying unnecessary
stuffs. Your accessories and clothes should be limited in number.
Observing these simple rules and tips will surely make your trip to India
more fascinating and you will have the memories to cherish for lifetime.