Travel Till You Drop Logo

Easy Guide To Visiting India in 2023

visiting-india-tajmahal

Welcome to visiting India, a land of myriad cultures, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re an intrepid adventurer seeking thrilling escapades or a history buff delving into ancient tales, India has something to offer to everyone. In this comprehensive guide, I will take you on a journey through the nooks and crannies of this incredible country. Get ready to explore enchanting destinations, delve into vibrant traditions, and learn how to avoid potential scams while staying safe in this captivating land.

Where to Go: Exploring India’s Iconic Destinations

The Majestic Taj Mahal in Agra

 

The Taj Mahal, an architectural marvel, stands tall as a symbol of eternal love. Located in Agra, this pristine white marble mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit attraction for every traveler to India. Witness the mesmerizing play of light on its pristine white marble during sunrise or sunset for an unforgettable experience.

visiting-india-tajmahal
Taj Mahal

The Bustling Streets of Delhi

Delhi, the capital city, seamlessly blends the old and the new. From historical monuments like India Gate, Qutub Minar, and Red Fort to modern marvels like Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple, Delhi offers a delightful mix of experiences. Embrace the chaos of Chandni Chowk, a bustling market, and indulge in mouth-watering street food.

Serenity in the Backwaters of Kerala

Kerala’s backwaters offer an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Cruise through the tranquil waters on traditional houseboats, surrounded by lush green landscapes and coconut groves. when you are visiting India, Kerala’s picturesque views and serene atmosphere make it a perfect spot to unwind and rejuvenate.

Read More: Dark Tourism in India

The Royal City of Jaipur

Jaipur, the Pink City, exudes grandeur and royalty. Explore the magnificent Amber Fort, City Palace, and Hawa Mahal. when you’ll visiting India, Don’t miss the vibrant markets and experience the traditional Rajasthani culture that still thrives within the city’s walls.

The Pristine Beaches of Goa

Goa’s sun-kissed beaches, vibrant nightlife, and Portuguese-influenced architecture attract tourists from around the world. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a bit of both, Goa has it all.

The Pristine Beaches of Goa - visiting india

What Not to Do While Visiting India

Regional Differences

Now, let’s talk about respecting those local customs, my daring explorers. We’re talking greetings, gestures, and social interactions. For instance, in some regions, ditching the shoes before entering someone’s home is a must, so don’t go slipping and sliding in your fancy footwear. As for greetings, we’ve got the classic “Namaste” where you fold your hands together and say it with all the confidence of a Bollywood superstar. Learn to reciprocate this gesture and show those locals you’re cultural savvy.

Greetings and Communication Norms

When addressing people, use appropriate titles like “Sir” or “Madam” unless you’re on a first-name basis with someone. Let’s not get too cozy too soon, folks. But hey, if you’re in a more informal setting, go wild with those first names, my friends.

Dress Code and Appropriate Behavior in Religious Places

Let’s talk style, babes. When visiting religious sites, the key word is modesty. We’re covering those shoulders and knees, both for men and women (sorry, no short shorts in this temple). Some places might even require you to cover your head, so pack that fashionable scarf and strut your cultural chic look. Oh, and don’t forget to remove those shoes, especially before entering religious sites and homes.

Now, let’s keep the noise down, shall we? We’re in sacred grounds here, my fellow wanderers. Maintain a quiet and respectful demeanor, avoid loud conversations or flaunting around like a peacock. Respect any specific rules or rituals observed by the locals, and you’ll be the golden child of cultural sensitivity.

Additional Tips

Last but not least, let’s talk photography and left hands. Always ask for permission before snapping those Insta-worthy moments, especially in religious or rural areas. And, for the love of all things holy, avoid using that left hand for giving or receiving items, especially in rural areas where it’s considered impure.

 

What to Do: Embracing India’s Cultural Extravaganza

Participate in Colorful Festivals

India’s cultural calendar is packed with festivals that celebrate diverse traditions. Join the vibrant Holi festival to immerse yourself in a riot of colors or witness the grandeur of Diwali as the country illuminates with dazzling lights.

 

Participate in Colorful Festivals - visiting india

Savor the Culinary Delights

Indian cuisine is a tapestry of flavors, spices, and aromas. From the lip-smacking street food to the sumptuous delicacies in fine dining restaurants, each region boasts a distinct culinary heritage. Relish iconic dishes like buttery naan, spicy curries, and the world-famous biryani.

Discover Yoga and Meditation

India is the birthplace of yoga and meditation. Embrace your spiritual side and learn from seasoned gurus at ashrams and retreats. Experience the tranquillity as you connect with your inner self amidst serene surroundings.

Witness Bollywood Extravaganza

when you are visiting India, Don’t miss a chance to witness the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, India’s renowned film industry. Catch a movie at a local theater or visit Mumbai, the heart of Bollywood, for a chance to spot your favorite stars.

 

bollywood

How to Avoid Getting Scammed: Tips for Safe Travel

Be Cautious with Tours and Guides

While visiting India and exploring its popular tourist destinations, be wary of touts and unauthorized guides who may offer attractive deals but could lead you into scams. Stick to reputable travel agencies and official guides to ensure a hassle-free experience.

Secure Your Belongings

India’s bustling streets can be crowded, making it an opportune place for pickpockets. Keep your belongings secure, avoid displaying expensive items, and consider using a money belt to carry your essentials.

Street Food Caution

Mumbai Street food
Aman Agrahari, CC BY-SA 4.0  via Wikimedia Commons

Street food in India is famous for its flavors, but it can be a source of foodborne illnesses if not handled properly. To enjoy street food safely:

  • Choose vendors with good hygiene practices. Look for busy stalls with a high turnover of food.
  • Ensure the food is freshly cooked and served hot.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked items, including salads.
  • Consider bringing your own utensils or using disposable ones.
  • Trust your instincts; if a place looks dirty or unhygienic, it’s best to move on.
  • If you have food allergies or specific dietary requirements, communicate this clearly to the restaurant staff. Language barriers can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.
  • Consider carrying over-the-counter antacids and probiotics. The change in cuisine and spices may affect your digestive system.
Beware of Fake Products

India’s markets are brimming with colorful souvenirs, textiles, and handicrafts. Be cautious of counterfeit products that may look enticing but lack authenticity. Purchase from trusted vendors to avoid disappointment.

Manage Expectations

While India offers numerous delights, it also comes with its own set of challenges. You may encounter issues such as traffic congestion, crowded streets, and occasional power outages. Keep in mind that these challenges are part of the authentic Indian experience.

Cultural Shocks

India’s culture can be significantly different from what you may be accustomed to. Be prepared for customs, traditions, and social norms that may be unfamiliar. It’s essential to approach these differences with an open mind and respect for the local culture.

Communication Challenges

Language barriers can be a hurdle in India. English is widely spoken, but there can still be misunderstandings due to accents or regional dialects. Non-verbal communication, like gestures and a friendly attitude, can often bridge the gap.

Patience is Key

Patience is a virtue when traveling in India. Plans may not always go as expected, and schedules can be flexible. Bureaucracy and logistics might not work in the same way as they do in your home country. Approach delays and changes with a calm and patient attitude.

 

Staying Safe: Essential Tips for a Secure Journey

Respect Local Customs

India is a land of diverse customs and traditions. Respect the cultural sensitivities of the regions you visit. Dress modestly, especially in religious places, and remove your shoes before entering temples or homes.

Choose Safe Accommodations

Prioritize safety when selecting accommodations. Opt for well-reviewed hotels and guesthouses with positive feedback from previous guests. Check the security measures and read reviews before making a reservation.

Stay Informed About Local Laws

Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs to avoid unintentional violations. Being aware of the dos and don’ts in each region will help you navigate your journey smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Traveling to India

Q1: When is the best time to visit India?

A: The best time to visit India depends on the region. Generally, the winter months (November to February) offer milder temperatures and are ideal for most parts of the country. However, it’s essential to consider specific regions and their climates.

Q2: What are the visa requirements for traveling to India?

A: Most travelers to India require a visa. You can apply for one online or at an Indian embassy or consulate. Ensure you check the latest visa requirements and processing times well in advance of your trip.

Q3: Is it safe to travel in India?

A: India is generally a safe destination for tourists. However, like any other country, it’s important to take basic precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, use reliable transportation, and follow local advice.

Q4: What vaccinations do I need before traveling to India?

A: Consult your healthcare provider for the latest recommendations. Common vaccinations include Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and routine immunizations. Malaria prophylaxis may be recommended, depending on the regions you plan to visit.

Q5: How do I handle currency and payments in India?

A: The currency in India is the Indian Rupee (INR). Currency exchange services are available at airports and banks. Credit cards are widely accepted in urban areas, but it’s advisable to carry some cash, especially in rural locations.

Q6: What should I pack for my trip to India?

A: Pack lightweight and comfortable clothing, especially if you’re visiting during warmer months. Include essentials like a hat, sunscreen, and a power adapter for electronic devices. Modest clothing is recommended, particularly when visiting religious sites.

Q7: How is the transportation system in India?

A: India has a well-developed transportation system. Major cities have reliable public transportation, and private transportation options include trains, buses, and taxis. Domestic flights are also available for longer distances.

Q8: What languages are spoken in India?

A: India is a linguistically diverse country with several languages spoken across different regions. Hindi and English are commonly used for communication, and English is widely spoken in urban areas.

Q9: What are some must-visit destinations in India?

A: India offers a wide range of attractions, including the Taj Mahal, Jaipur’s palaces, the backwaters of Kerala, and the Himalayan regions. The choice of destinations depends on your interests and the experiences you seek.

Q10: How can I respect local customs and etiquette in India?

A: Be aware of cultural norms, especially regarding greetings, gestures, and behavior in religious places. Dress modestly, follow local customs, and be open to learning about and respecting the diverse cultures you encounter.

Q11: Are there any safety tips for female travelers in India?

A: While India is generally safe, female travelers should take common-sense precautions such as avoiding poorly lit areas at night, dressing modestly, and being cautious with alcohol consumption. It’s advisable to travel in groups, especially during late hours.

Conclusion

India is a captivating tapestry of vibrant colors, rich heritage, and warm hospitality. Exploring this land of wonders requires careful planning and knowledge to ensure a fulfilling and safe experience. With our comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to embark on a memorable journey through the diverse landscapes and cultures of India. And no matter where you go, always remember to Travel Till You Drop!

Book Your Trip To India: Check Out My Resources for Your Travel Needs

 

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.  This is my very first stop when I’m looking for my next trip. It’s a fast, easy-to-use search engine that is perfect for finding an affordable flight, a perfect hotel, and the right rental car for you in locations around the globe.

Book Your Accommodation

If you are looking for a super budget friendly location and are open to a hostel stay, make sure you book your hostel with Hostelworld. It offers the broadest range of quality hostels around the world. 

If you’d prefer a hotel or a guesthouse for stays less than 28 days, drop on over to Booking.com It’s perfect for providing excellent options, a ton of user reviews, and prices to fit every budget.

For stays over 28 days, AirBnB still remains my #1 choice. User reviews and monthly pricing allow for some incredible deals all around the world.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is but a small up-front investment that you won’t want to leave home without. After just one experience of having to delay or cancel your trip or having your luggage stolen, you’ll wish you would have made that investment.  I’ve hated my life a few times when the moment arose, and I decided to skip out.  Let’s just say, I’ve changed my ways and recommend each of the following companies to protect your ass-ets.

My favorite companies are:         

Want to Travel for Free?

Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to getting free flights to get started.

Ready to Book Your Trip?

Check out my Resource Page for the best companies to help you book your travel at reduced rates!  This list will help you get to where you’re going.  I know-I use them ALL the time!  

Postage
About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

Join me to get exclusive travel tips, giveaways and more!

I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.