What To Expect When Traveling To India For The First Time
If this is your first time in India, you’re probably excited about all the wonderful and exotic things you’re going to experience. At the same time, you might feel overwhelmed by this wealth of choices, flavors, and sounds. India is such a huge country that planning a trip to this land of endless experiences requires careful research.
Our guide is based on advice from travel experts who have traveled across India, from the magnificent Himalaya Mountains to Kerala, The Land of God. This guide is the result of their efforts to ease your travel planning process for the perfect India holiday.
To start with, here are a few of the commonly used Hindi phrases you may want to learn before you go:
Namaste – Hello (also used for Goodbye)
Shukhriya (Danyavaad) – Thank you
Kitne kaa hay? – How much is this?
Suni’ye – Excuse me
Jee haang – Yes
Jee na’heeng – No
Ach-ha – OK
Aap ‘kayse hai? – How are you?
Mera Nam … hai – My name is
Remember that in Hindi there are genders. A male traveler would need to say Mayng na’heeng ‘samjaa for “I don’t understand,” while a female traveler would use Mayng na’heeng ‘samjee to express the same phrase.
How About The Indian Culture?
A country with billion people can only be chaotic. It is also one of the most colorful and exciting countries worldwide. In India, you’ll find things you’ll love, but also things you’ll hate and things that will distress you. Sensory overload is one of the most common experiences of first-time travelers to India.
The traffic is absolutely crazy, there’s loud noise everywhere, there’s also poverty, but you won’t necessarily hate to experience all of these. In fact, your attitude towards this new culture will have a direct influence on your experience. Go to India with an open heart, and India will welcome you with kindness and beauty.
Brace yourself for inquisitive locals – many people will ask you lots of questions about the country you’re from, about yourself, and about various other things. Some will probably stare at you, but that’s a pure curiosity rather than adverse feelings.
While in India, you need to take everything slowly – Slow down, adjust your internal clock to India-time, and visit whatever you can fit into this laid-back schedule. Include some of the major tourist sites on your to-do list, but allow for downtime in more peaceful places such as jungles, beaches, and wildlife reserves.
Pay close attention to cultural etiquette – Use only your right hand to eat. Also, use the right hand to shake hands when meeting people. In Indian culture, the left hand is considered dirty. Also, keep the soles of your feet covered, particularly while visiting holy sites.
What To Wear In India
A wide part of India is conservative and strict by comparison to the Western culture. While visiting such areas, it’s best to observe the local dress etiquette. It is very important that you cover the upper part of your body. If you’re keen on wearing shorts, make sure they are a bit longer. Skimpy and revealing clothes will set you apart from the crowd, so you should probably avoid them.
Best Things To Do In India
Watch The Sunrise At The Taj Mahal
It comes without saying that all first-time travelers to India have the Taj Mahal on their list of places to see. Indeed, it is a magnificent place, one of the wonders of the world, a serene and tranquil spot you should definitely see at least once in a lifetime. In our opinion, the best time to visit this palace is by sunrise.
Kerala, The Land Of God
A luxury cruise on the backwaters of Kerala is the perfect way to experience the tropical jungle and wild elephants watching (https://www.india.com/travel/articles/here-are-5-reasons-why-kerala-is-indeed-gods-own-country-3240452/).
Toy Train To Darjeeling
This train ride is the perfect opportunity to feel the Tibetan influence in Darjeeling.
This region is the best to visit to learn more about India’s colonial history.
As a general rule, remember to avoid making too many plans for your first trip to India. Also, go for loose itineraries instead of a tight visiting schedule, and prepare yourself to change your plans on very short notice. This is the beauty of India.