Ten Tips For Visiting India - When to go and What to do
What To Do In India
Tip # 1 Decide what you want to do.
India is a vast country and has a lot to offer its visitors. If you have decided to go to India you should have a definite goal of what you want to do here. It is possible to see the ancient India in its forts, palaces and temples spread all over the country. It is possible to the urban India in its metros. It is possible to have a spiritual journey here and just as easily possible to have an adventurous exploration of nature in all its glory.
Tip # 2 Check the “Right Season” to go.
Once you know what you are looking forward to on your holiday, check the best season to go. After all if you are looking forward to skiing in Gulmarg it will hardly do to go there is the month of May. Similarly if you are interested in the Natural Beauty of the North East it is simply not advisable to go there during the rainy season. Chera Punji has retained the title of world’s rainiest spot for more than two decades.
Tip # 3 Make reservations in advance
From your plane tickets, to hotel rooms, to taxi service for traveling to different cities make all possible reservations in advance. It will make you less susceptible to being duped. Unfortunately there are as many Con Men in India as there are Good Guys. So try and make your vacation as hassle free as possible by using reputed agents with good worth of mouth standing.
Tip # 4 Don’t Rush the Itinerary
If you feel you can do a city like Delhi in a day or two you are either fooling yourself or not visiting all the worth while spots. Since you have put in the effort to come all the way to India you might as well see all there is to see. Plan for excursions and don’t rush the itinerary too much. After all if you come to Delhi and don’t go to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, it would be a wasted trip.
Tip # 5 Get a Local Guide
The only way to get the atmosphere in an old fort, palace or temple is to get a good local guide. All tourist spots with the Archeological Survey of India maintain a roster of guides, most of whom are very good at their job. They make the building come alive with their tales of the past. If the fort has a sound and light show (most of them do) try and take in the English one.
Tip # 6 Eat Only at Good Joints
Guard against diarrhea by making sure that what you eat is freshly cooked. Also ensure that you go to popular restaurants or eateries. Most Indians don’t have the stomach for the street food and so it’s highly unlikely that your stomach will be able to take it. Some places are exceptions but must be visited only with local friends who know exactly where to go/
Tip # 7 Drink Only “Sealed” Mineral Water
Many people find it lucrative to take empty mineral water bottles, fill them with tap water (or worse) and resell them. To ensure that you don’t fall prey to such get rich quick schemes make sure that any bottle of water you buy has a proper plastic seal which once broken will not possible to tamper with. If possible try and buy sparkling water wherever possible. It is rare to come by as it is not too popular with the Indians.
Tip # 8 Carry Essential Medicines
While all kinds of medicines are available over the counter in India it will be a good idea to carry any essential medication you need for the duration of the trip with you. There is considerable duplication of drugs and fake medicines are packaged so well that the company staff is often unable to tell the difference between their products and a counterfeit one.
Tip # 9 Shop for Souvenirs sensibly
It is possible to pick up an artifact from a government emporium at twice the cost you will get it on the roadside. The two will be identical in every respect. Here you must exercise your discretion. It will help considerably to have a local who knows the lingo bargaining on your behalf. Don’t go overboard with the shopping. Remember you have to carry everything back with you and there won’t be that much space when you are doing your packing.
Tip # 10 Enjoy the Mishaps
Since you are coming to India be prepared for anything and everything to go wrong. There will be delayed flights due to striking pilots, congested traffic jams on the freeway, no lights due to power shedding and all kinds of other contingencies. Just relax and remember this too shall pass. Think of these incidents as good anecdotes to be told back home.
Open your heart to India and embrace the country and we shall do the same to you.
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