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Things to remember while visiting India
What to remember while visiting India
It is always better to know some basic things about the country you are planning to visit, before you proceed on your travel. While visiting India if you have a basic knowledge of India you'll truly enjoy your visit. India is a vast and rapidly developing country. India hosts many languages, religions and cultures. They are generally friendly people.
Important Things to know about India
- Language - Though there are many languages spoken in India, and Hindi is spoken in many parts of the country, India has no national language which is affirmed by the Gujarat High Court in 2009. However, English is spoken, taught and used as an official language in most part of India. Therefore, if you know English you will be able to manage in most part of India. The only thing to remember in this aspect that you have to speak slowly and clearly for the common people to understand, so that you will be able to communicate with them properly. Also remember that Indian English has a distinct flavor.
- Inequality of wealth distribution - In India you can see both very poor and very rich people. However, poverty is seen more in many parts of India. India is more percived as a land of spirituality and poverty by the western world. So when you walk through the big cities of India you can see both the mansions of highly rich people as well as the dilapidated huts of many poor people, who beg for their daily food.
- Densely populated - In most of the big cities you will find thick population and high traffic, which is all the more during peak hours. Hearing the horns and overtaking are also common, unlike in the developed countries.
- Dress code - In India, nudity is not allowed. You are expected to dress moderately. Women should dress in such a way that they do not attract attention of public unnecessarily.
- Safety of your valuables - It is always better to be careful with your valuables. Keep them always under lock. Pickpocketing in the crowded roads and vehicles are not uncommon.
- Bank facility - Most of the banks in India work in week days and half-day on Saturdays. Exchange of currency should be done through authorized agents only.
- Internet facility - Internet cafes are available in most parts of India.
- Getting a local mobile Number - You can easily get a local mobile number for communication, after an easy registration. Remember to carry a copy of your identity proof and photo for registration.
- Food habits - In India, people commonly eat their food with their right hand. They wash their hands before and after food. So don't get shocked when you enter a hotel to see people eating their food with hand. Rice is used as the regular food in southern India whereas chappathi is more consumed in northern India. The dishes are more spiced than in western countries.
- Toilet habits - Indians use water in place of toilet paper. Toilet paper is available in big hotels.
- Temple visit -Non-hindus are not allowed in some temples. If you are allowed to visit other temples in any part of India remember to remove and keep your footwear outside. You are expected to respect the religious sentiments if you are not a believer.
- Staring - You may find people staring at you on the streets. The strangers may also come forward and ask you questions, which you think are not their business. It is mostly done because of friendly curiosity in general and also private space is almost nil in India when compared to western culture.
- Touts and Middlemen - Touts and middlemen are an inevitable part of life in India. If you need to book railway tickets or rent a house it is better to approach the concerned directly. Usually foreigners are treated well in India. Please also keep it in mind that train travel is cheap in India and most of the places can be accessed by train.