Introduction to Visiting India for the First Time
With the eruption of vibrant rituals, several delightful practices, a dynamic landscape that changes nearly every mile, and a host of various activities that support spiritual well-being; India is a balanced sensory delight.
Do you beckon with the idyllic Himalayas, backwaters of God’s own country Kerala, Hampi’s Lifesize boulders, or Goa’s vacation-spiritedness but you’re not too sure how you’re going to adjust? Fear not, we just drew up this list of ten things to learn until we first visited India!
Spend all your expectations but be ready for culture exchange
You may have traveled to several countries before and think you’ve seen it all but don’t underestimate the potential of India to culture-shock the hell out of you.
Before you visit India one of the first things to note is that your first visit will be an assault on all your senses. India’s glorious confusion and different comparisons are getting under your skin and turning your world upside down.
This country is known for having succeeded in upsetting even the most patient travelers in the world, but it is also the only country that can make you forgive all its everyday grievances and continue to search for its vibrant soul.
And one cannot anticipate any less from the most diverse cultural nation in the world.
India’s 1.3 billion inhabitants are compressed into a region approximately four-fold smaller than the US. These 1,3 billion citizens have 22 official languages, but over 400 non-official languages still.
While the majority of people are Hindu, Hinduism itself has over 3,000 casts and 15,000 sub-castes. That alone will suffice in a matter of time to push every other country to the brink of a civil war but not India. Fascinating, aren’t they? This shows …
We all can learn something from India
To some, it can come as a surprise but yes, we can all learn lots from India and you can come with that mentality here. Yeah, there’s dirt on the sidewalks.
Yeah, cows are going to walk in the street. The traffic is terrible, the towns are overcrowded. Yeah, there are many poor folks and the homeless.
Yet amid all that and all the diversity, people are content. They are sincerely satisfied whatever their economic position or status. If you’re visiting historic sites in Delhi or the Mumbai slums, you’ll be warmly welcome.
Would not get me wrong, above that the places are incredible but you can find India’s stunning character in the faces, personalities, and lives of the people you encounter daily.
It is in these people that you will find that India is not, as many people continue to term it, an ‘underdeveloped country,’ but a highly industrialized country in an evolved state of decline from a geographical or social perspective.
And that’s the mentality in which you can come here, instead of looking down on people. Help me try to give you some more realistic tips on that being said. Let’s begin with a …
Planning the budget for your India trip
India is a traveler’s inexpensive choice but it is not free so don’t make the error of misjudging your costs. If you’re staying in hostels (there are plenty of decent ones across the country) you’ll pay on average around $5-6 per night.
If you’re dining in cheap restaurants, you can have a $3.5 meal and if you’re dining three meals a day that means you’re going to need about $12 a day or 4360 a month.
But those are just the fundamentals. Often go shopping at the local seller for foodstuffs and not in major supermarkets. Local vendors are often cheaper for not giving receipts. No receipt= no tax = less expensive rates.
If you are traveling around and need to take care of your transportation too, I would double the amount. You might not find a room in the hostel that is so cheap everywhere you go.
You could get a good one for about $20 if you want to stay in a hotel with a different apartment. Domestic flights are more accessible than ever, but trains and buses run nationwide, costing just a fraction of the amount. On Yatra, MakeMyTrip, GoIbibo, and even Agoda you will find some decent deals too.
Then you might think it might not be safe to eat foreign food and you’d rather go to a western cafe.
You’ll get sick anyway- don’t panic
No matter how great you think your abdomen is, you’ll likely get the famous Delhi-belly at one point. Don’t worry, that is just the way to say hi to India.
It occurs since many of the local bacteria don’t know your ass. Usually, this occurs after a day or two. Then you get used to the street produce and the surrounding environment.
Today, if I were to visit India again for the first time, I would be eating Indian food every day. But I will only give my body a couple of days to adapt to the new climate.
And once you’re about to reach the street market, just go to places where you’ll see more customers at the stand waiting for you. That means you are going to get some decent food here.
The people of India are Friendly but a little bit shy…!
If the color of your skin is white get used to a lot of glare. Oh, don’t feel insulted, people don’t want to be rude, they’re just interested.
I even experienced people standing around me, looking at the local store, and they just wanted to make sure that I didn’t get ripped off.
People are going to look at it for various reasons, but you get used to it better. After all, you are in India and should get used to the way they do things.
If you’ve ever wondered how it feels like becoming a star, you’ll be allowed to explore that if you’re a white foreigner traveling around India. Thinking about things you’d have to get used to …
Do not try to reach anyplace and get habitual to “Indian Times”.
If you’re looking to quickly get stuff done in India, I’ve got bad news for you. And this happens everywhere, starting with documents, financial transfers, bus schedules, friend meetings, and even company meetings.
The definition of “Indian Time” implies that if the spirit lifts you, you can enter somewhere. You will find yourself sitting for half an hour for your Indian friends when they said they will be coming in five minutes.
The bus which was expected to leave at 7 AM most of the time would leave at 7:45 etc. So, have included Indian Time in your plans when you’re preparing your day.
That means you will need more adjustment time. Traveling around India isn’t like a Euro trip which covers Europe’s largest cities.
The roads in India are pretty poor, sometimes include middle-of-the-night stops at dhabas with lousy food and filthy makeshift toilets, lots of people looking at you while you’re sleeping in the bus, and a dispute with a rickshaw driver who typically wants to rip you off to get you to your hotel.
And once you enter that point, you realize that you have no power for anything else. If you do that, you’re going to have a pitiful time in India because you’re going to spend most of your time on the lane.
But, if you have just a limited time, concentrate on a few states in the same area and don’t try to take up much more land.
You should know the exact time to visit a specific place from nearby people
Most places have monsoon cycles in another quarter of the year. In December, the Indian Himalayas are hard to reach, as many routes are closed during ice and snow. From November to May you will not arrive at Leh (by road). In June Goa gets severe storms and gets empty.
From May to September, Kolkata and the Northeast were getting a ludicrous amount of rainfall. Also, in July and August Kerala gets plenty of rain and even flooding.
In Maj and June Delhi is unbearable humid. The peak period to visit the Taj Mahal is in December due to the cooler weather conditions.
This is also the year, though, when Agra is most contaminated then you’ll see the Taj filled with fog. Overall, the ideal place to do so would be October to March, if you’re taking a vacation across India. And make no mistake about …
- Is India being safe to travel for a lonely woman?
Yes, Indian people are friendly and close to everyone, you will be completely safe in India.
- What is the normal climate condition of India?
It is hot from April to Sep and cold from Noßv to Feb.