India has a lot to offer travellers and holiday-makers: fascinating culture, cities steeped in history, scenic landscapes and stunning beaches, religious monuments, secluded villages and much more. The Indian culture changes from region to region, ensuring that no matter what your particular interests are, there will be an area of India that you will love.
Michael Kern has travelled extensively in the Himalayan region of India, particularly around Ladakh, which has a highly Tibetan-influenced culture and provides a pleasing respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. One of the best tips for first-time travellers to India is to try not to pack too much into one journey. Taking the time to fully appreciate each place on the itinerary is often more rewarding than attempting to cram as many stops in as possible without truly experiencing each individual destination.
Visitors should research special events that occur during their trip, such as Goa Carnival, which you can discover more about by watching the embedded short video.
Plan an Itinerary
Planning an itinerary helps to ensure you see the sights you really want to see without dashing from place to place. The areas you include will depend on what you want to get from your personal India experience. One of the most popular tours of India is called the Golden Triangle, visiting Jaipur, Agra and Delhi.
A two-week vacation is enough time to see all three without rushing, experiencing magnificent sights including the Pink City at Jaipur, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort at Agra, and the bustling bazaars, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. The PDF attachment explores some sights of Delhi in more detail.
Fans of beaches may want to plan a tour of the south of India, taking in Goa, Mumbai and Kerala, while north and central India has plenty to entertain those that enjoy soaking up the reverent atmosphere of ancient religious temples.
Nothing is more likely to put a dampener on a much looked forward to vacation in India than a case of the infamous ‘Delhi-belly’. To avoid this as best as possible without limiting your experience of the fabulous Indian cuisines on offer, only drink bottled water and avoid foods that may have been washed in tap water. A good rule of thumb is to only eat at places that are popular with locals, as this means they are likely to uphold the best standards of hygiene. While cooked vegetables will usually be fine, steer clear of salads and only eat fruit you have peeled yourself. Ice-cream is best avoided also. India has one of the world’s best and most varied selections of vegetarian options and many travellers choose to stick to vegetarian dishes while travelling to reduce risk.
Be Aware of Scammers
Many areas of India have a reputation for attracting scammers, touts and other hasslers of tourists. Be aware of this but without letting it ruin your stay. Keep your cool if you do encounter a potential scammer and be naturally wary of any deals offered that seem too good to be true. One of the most popular scams involves rickshaw or taxi drivers taking you to specific shops, hotels or travel agencies; you will find their commission added to your bill if you do purchase there. Be aware but try not to let the possibility of losing what will only be the equivalent of a few pounds ruin your trip.
In the infographic attachment you can view some top statistics for tourism in India.