Eternal love: The Taj Mahal stands the test of time in all of its glory in Agra, India. (The Jakarta Post/P.J. Leo)
Traveling has now become like a new fantasy that has delighted the soul of this generation. Every other individual is either planning a trip somewhere or is wishing to go on vacation.
In this era of inspired travelers, India attracts hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe. People come to India for various reasons; be it adventure, spiritual contentment, medical tours or just to admire the rich heritage that this majestic country has to offers.
If you are visiting India for the first time, here are 10 things you should keep in mind.
India is vast, huge, colorful and charming. Once you are here, you will want to experience as much as you can. If you do this then you will probably just fatigue yourself. Remember, if you want to do something, something else needs to be missed. If you want to catch up on everything that this country has to offer, my friend, then you are highly mistaken. Therefore, plan ahead and prioritize your choices. This country has a lot to offer and if your trip is well-planned then you can get the best out of this beautiful country.
Escape the crowds
With over 1 billion people that this country shelters, a lot of palaces in India can be really crowded. So, try escaping the noise of the metropolis and visit India’s beautiful villages instead. The beautiful sights that you will behold will calm your nerves and mind. And peace of mind is the reason why you embarked on this trip in the first place. These places will help you to get to know yourself better as well as bring you peace of mind.
India has a diverse climate, which might not suit everyone. Also, Indian food might come as a delight to your taste buds with all the spices and variety but if you don't control that delight, you might face a bit of a problem. Indian food is generally oilier and spicier than other cuisines, therefore, you might want to keep a check on your diet. Stay hydrated and listen to your taste buds in accordance with your stomach.
Keep your cool
India can bombard you with emotions. People are sometimes too friendly and sometimes not at all. You might not want to get into an argument -- or worse a fight -- with a local over some pity issue. Stay calm and enjoy your stay.
Prices are always negotiable
India is a trade hub. People who visit it are filled with awe when they see the beautiful handicrafts and artistry. When buying from stalls and vendors always remember, the asking price is not the final price. It is always negotiable and the prices are generally marked-up. You might want to offer half of what has been asked. Happy shopping.
Indians are very sensitive when it comes to respecting their respective Gods. You might not want to offend their beliefs. Always ask your guide to let you know the rules of the temple. Never enter any temple with shoes on and never sit with your back to an idol. There are many temples in India you can visit.
Always carry some cash
Though the country is facing major demonetization issues and a major section is going cashless, you might still want to carry some handy cash just in case because a lot of shops still do not have card or mobile wallet payment systems. So, some cash will always come in handy when buying water, munchies, booze, or whatever you may need.
Book tickets in advance
You do not want to stuff up your trip just because you could not get reservations on a train or flight, right? Last minute ticket bookings are a great challenge here and very difficult to get and even if a travel agent gets you a ticket, you will be overcharged. So, it is best to have your reservations done prior to your trip.
Learn a few common Hindi words
Language might come as a bit of a problem for people coming to India. A huge portion of the country doesn't speak English and you do not want to waste time over small issues just because of some language problem. So, it is best to learn a few common Hindi words so that your time here goes smoothly and also, you will get to know the country a bit better.
Stay alert, always
The most important thing of all is to always keep your eyes and ears open. Though Indians are known for their hospitality, a lot of people trick visitors and rob them of their belongings. Avoid deals that seem too good to be true, never rush to believe people and remember appearances can be deceiving.
Overall, a trip to this wonderful country will turn out to be one of your fondest memories. From wonderful delicacies to spiritual enlightenment, this country has everything to offer. So, plan ahead, keep these points in mind and you will have a vacation you wish had no checkout date. (asw)
Rohit, a passionate traveler, has captured the essence of India in his travels and his experiences have been a guiding light for many travelers who come to India for mystical adventures. You can read his insights at TransIndia Travels.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.