India is a world like none other. India is unique on just about every account. Some people love it, some people hate it, and others love it and hate it, but no one who visits India is indifferent about it. India is bursting with things to see and do and it is a photographer's dream. Just walking down any given street can be an adventure.
India is almost nothing like other countries and it is arguably the greatest cultural shock waiting to happen. One thing to remember is that India is an impoverished country and so many people want your services. Expect for taxis to be insistent you ride with them and expect to be routinely charged the "tourist price". With taxis, it's recommended you use Uber or another hailing app if you want to pay the local price. It's important not to make the rookie mistakes others make in India.
India: The Facts
- Population: 1.39 Billion (Soon To Overtake China To Being Number One)
- Independence: 1947 (From Britain)
- Capital: New Delhi
- Religion: Hindu Majority, Mintorites of Muslim, Christianity, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists And More
- Official Languages: Hindi And English
- Currency: Indian Rupee
India is huge and boasts an incredibly deep and rich history. Consequently, the food here is also diverse and varied. In some regions the food is spicy and in other regions, it isn't, but it is varied and it is never plain. In most local restaurants the food for the day is all cooked at once in one big pot. Everything is then served during the day from that. Many Indians are vegetarian or vegan, and so it is the vegan's paradise. Not to mention the yoga lover's paradise.
Visa: Evisa 60 Days (Very Easy To Get)
That being said the food and water can be very different from what Westerners eat and it can take a little while for their stomachs to readjust. The Indians even have a name for this. As most foreigners enter at Dehli and then get upset stomachs, they call it the "Dehli belly."
Tip: Expect An Upset Stomach For The First Day Or Two (It'll Come Right And The Food Is Delicious)
Everything is diverse in India, the cultures, the scenery, the cuisine, the religion, the geography - just everything. In India, you can see everything from the snowcapped mountains of the Himalayas to the tropical beaches of Goa.
- Goa (Southern Coastal Tropical And Comparatively Developed City)
- New Dehli (Capital City And The Red Fort)
- Kashmir (Mountain Wonderland Of India - Also You Can Always Take A Bus)
- Jaipur (One Of The Stunning And Semi-Arid Cities Of Rajasthan)
- Varanasi (City On The Ganges River Where They Burn Their Dead)
- Amristar (Home To The Golden Temple - The Holiest Place For Shiks)
- Agra (Home Of The Taj Mahal)
If you are booking tickets or an itinerary while in India, be very careful to select a reputable tour agency - or else you may find yourself booking a tour to a completely unexpected part of India. Also, be very wary of a tour agency telling you that you can't travel somewhere by bus because of the snows in the passes or something and that you need to fly. These are normally scams.
While Indians are very welcoming and generous people, be cautious about people who approach you in the cities and tourist areas. They are sometimes spotters for businesses.
Tip: Expect People To Come Up And Take Selfies With You (Especially If You Have Blonde Hair)
Two of the best ways to travel around India are by plane and by train. If you travel by plane, your only adventure will be the taxis waiting for you at the other end. If you have the patience and time to travel by train, every piece of your trip will be a never-ending adventure.
- Tip: Don't Go To The Train Station Without Checking Your Train's Status
- Tip: Check Train Status With National Train Enquiry System
If you do travel by train, give yourself time, and just relax. Don't plan too finely as it is common for the trains to be as much as 12 hours late to their destination. Enjoy the ride, watch the stunning scenery from the train and make friends on the train. Forget about time, or else you will be frustrated. You will meet many interesting and hospitable people on the train who may even invite you to join them for lunch.
Also the stories you hear about cows in India, the monkeys, and the animals in the city. Well, they are all true. You can be in the center of a city of a million or more and just see a herd of water buffalo wandering aimlessly down the streets. Expect to be walking around a neighborhood and see a trailer hitched up to a camel in the middle of the city. Or be driving down the street and have to stop as an elephant is crossing.
- Tip: Expect Lots Of Stray Dogs On The Streets
- Tip: Get Rabies Shots Before Going To India
But don't let anything of these things put you off from going to India. India is such an incredible destination filled with so many adventures, it's an experience no one can ever forget. India is so large with so much to see and do we can only talk generally about the broad outlines here.
After India, the one thing we can guarantee is that you will have memories for life.