The seven largest country and second largest populations in the world, India is indeed chaotic, intoxicating, crazy and spiritually overwhelming land for people who come for the first time. How you can prepare for the cultural as well as spiritual shock? What will be your idea when you first visit the nation? There are many tips and suggestions you can find in travel guide books, you may follow them or follow something and rest leave it your instinct. Here I’m giving you some top five tips to taking the ultimate travel plunge: land India for the first time.
Prepare your itinerary wisely
|Indian crazy roads|
India is a large country and too diverse. It is quite impossible to understand India in one life time even if you travel extensively in this subcontinent. Therefore, prepare your itinerary wisely; what you are interested in? What type of activities you would like to perform in India? Some of the cliché yet popular tours are Golden Triangle Tour (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur), Wildlife Tour, Adventure Tour, Spiritual Tour, and Ayurvedic Tour. If you want to beat the regulars and try some odds there are also many options in India.
• Discover Northeastern part of India, which is probably the best in India in terms of culture, wildlife and adventure.
• Stay in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshyadeep for 15 days and discover the eternal beauty of oceanic habitat.
• Trekking to Himalayan regions in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
• Hunt tigers (with your eyes) in famous National Parks of India.
• Stay in Varanasi in winter and amaze yourself why India is still the most pure religious country in spite of every bad name she earns.
|Varanasi - the eternal city|
India demands patience. Don’t be like regular tourists who try to cram too much in a single visit to this country. Give yourself time in one place, stay there for a while, learn the language and make your visit more rewarding. Visiting many places in a flash is stressful and no deeper understanding of a place. Try to build your relationships with the place rather than mere an introduction.
Avoid the crowd
|Ladakh is many travelers' delight|
There are very few places in India where you don’t see people around you. More than one billion people are too much to handle, but there is a beauty of the nation who handles things quite comfortably. If you come to India for some spiritual aspiration, there are many retreats in upper Himalayan regions or monasteries in Tibetan influenced places like Spiti, Ladakh and Dharamkot where you can stay for a while.
|Indian food joints|
The best way to remain healthy is to carry your own drinking water. India’s a delight for foods enthusiasts but remember always eat at a good restaurant or places where footfall is heavy. Many travelers go veggie in India, and in fact it’s a good choice because slightly uncooked vegetable is better than stale meat. India is one of the largest vegetarian nations in the world, so you can get plenty of good vegetarian cuisines options here. If you really want to eat meat, make sure you eat from a good restaurant.
Washrooms are notoriously filthy in India even in moderate hotels and guesthouses. Indian style toilet is though better than western because in hotels you feel more comfortable in sitting in squat rather than sit on a dirty commode. Moreover, Indian left-hand and water jug method is more hygienic than tissue paper. Get used to it if you are planning to backpack for long in this country. Always carry soaps and tissue papers with you for safety.
India is recognized in the world for its scam whether it is in railway stations or in the parliament house. You need to very careful with touts and scams, even you can’t understand how to differentiate good from bad because everyone seems so good mannered to you. The first important thing is to remain calm because in anyway you will be over overcharged or plain cheated. Frustrations boil easily in Indian roads, though it is safe to verbal fights in streets. It is advisable to take two deep breaths and move on, enjoy the multiplicity of this incredible country.
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