Oodles of words in the dictionary are insufficient to describe India- crazy, vibrant, wonderful, squalid, daunting, gorgeous, fantastic, amazing, invigorating, bamboozling, and many more. No doubt that you need to strengthen your heart before you embark on your first journey to this vibrant country. If you come from an Asian country, you might not face too much of cultural shock, but coming from the western world may create a huge social difference for you. Anyway, keep your mind open for things and read the advice given as under to make the most of your vacation.
Expect a vast choice of destinations
egion. It is on you to decide your aim of visiting this country. However, you must know that even if you spend an entire month here, you will not be able to make time to visit everything. Sort out your interests and fantasies and then make an itinerary to cover maximum places of a couple of niches. If you find yourself on the spiritual side, there is no dearth of religious sites. If you are an adventurous soul, you will not feel bored at all. If you want to find peace on the hills or the beaches, cherry pick a few unexplored destinations to fall in love with the natural beauty of India.
Indians are, in general, polite and very welcoming for their guests, even if they do not know them quite much. The friends of friends and relatives of relatives are also welcome for tea, lunch, or even dinner at their home. If you know even one person in India, you will be most welcome at his or her place. Yet, you should have a strong stomach to digest everything that will be forcefully offered to you as a part of hospitality and generosity of the Indians.
Expect food choices- healthy and unhealthy
As soon as you land in India, expect to see a huge selection of food, vegetarian and non-vegetarian both. Beginning right from the airport to the streets of any city, you will find a massive number of food vendors. However, if you are highly conscious about hygiene, you must pay particular attention to what you eat and drink. Eat from good restaurants only, and try to avoid experimenting with heavily spiced food. Move gradually towards tasting spices and oils so that your stomach acclimatizes with the new foods in a few days. Until then, you can buy fruits and vegetables, clean them properly, and peel them on your own to make a salad. Also, try to avoid eating meat from random places. Many restaurants have filthy kitchens and they do not maintain hygiene while cooking meat. However, you can get mouth-watering meat at some of the reputed food outlets.
Expect clamor and crowd
With a citizenry of more than a billion, you cannot ignore the crowded streets of India. Even the scantily populated villages in India have a community of minimum a few hundred, which is not seen in most countries. If you are at religious places during festivals or at music concerts, you must be prepared to face a massive assembly of people for no reason. When you feel saturated of witnessing millions of people around you, you can take a breather on the hills or take a refuge at some of the less populated beaches.
Expect being overcharged for things
Like all other tourist places, India is also infamous for tricking the tourists. The locals of each city in India have their way of luring the vacationers into attractive deals and overcharge them for everything possible. However, you need to recognize that whether it is worth taking the pain to create a fuss about the extra money spent when the work you asked for is already done. Tourists in your city also pay an additional amount of money as well, so it is better to accept the fact and remain cool. However, it does not mean to be prepared to part with all your money for just one meal. You must be aware of the right amount of payment for things and use your judgment to spend accordingly.
Expect road rage and traffic
Because of the massive population, traffic in the country is also substantial. If you are in the metropolitans, expect thousands of cars and two-wheelers on the roads during office hours. If you are there at the tourist destinations during holidays, anticipate seeing hundreds of vacationers around you. All of this results in frequent road rage, which is something you must steer clear of. You never know with whom you might argue on the road and the person may turn out vile. Therefore, it is better to escape any instance of road rage or file a police complaint if urgently needed.
Racism is not highly prevalent in India like many other countries. Therefore, no matter which part of the world you come from, you can expect curiosity as well as acceptance from Indians. If you just pass a smile to strangers at a place, you will find them welcoming in their body language and talks. I recommend you rent and car and drive through the country to experience your oneness with the place and people.
Despite the huge diversity in India, you will like the country in total. Moreover, notwithstanding the flaws of the nation and the people, you will also cherish the time spent here in the country when you return to your home.