7 Things You Need To Know When You Arrive In India

by Natasha Monteiro
7 Things You Need To Know When You Arrive In India

“All your bags are packed and you’re ready to go. You’re standing here outside our door.” So, you’ve decided to come to India, is it? The day is arriving and you’re reading up as much as you can about this diverse country. Cramming in that last minute information. We get it. It can be quite overwhelming! But, worry not, I will break it down for you. My name is Natasha Monteiro and I’ve lived in India all my life. I absolutely love my country and I’ve pretty much travelled to most cities in India. India is so large that I’ve been a tourist in most cities and a citizen at the same time. AND NO, WE DON’T ROAM AROUND ON BULLOCK CARTS & ELEPHANTS! So before you get here, here are a few tips and tricks that will help you have the best trip of your life. Because what you’re about to experience is beyond words, and maybe to an extent, even life-changing!

What You Need To Know When You First Arrive In India?

Culture Shock: You are bound to experience the greatest culture shock of your life! What you will see, feel, smell and hear will be a bit heavy on your senses. The only way to have the best trip in India and enjoy yourself is to accept it.  Don’t get scared or overwhelmed, it is just a way of life for them Indians, so don’t try to fight it!

I once met a foreigner who told me that he could not believe how crowded India is and how people have no sense of personal space. I did nod along politely, but guys if you are coming to the second most populated country in the world – get ready to see a lot of Indians all the time! We are a densely populated country with some cities more concentrated than the others. It’s something you just have to accept.

Also Read:Everything You Need To Know Before Planning A Trip To India

Cleanliness and Hygiene: All of India is not exactly clean. We have some parts that are pristinely beautiful and look like they are out of a textbook and then there are other spots that may not be as desirable. Don’t let it deter you. Rule number 1 is acceptance. For your own safety, do keep a sanitizer and tissue paper handy with you. While there are plenty of phrarmacies around, I would also suggest packing your own medical kit.

Be Aware of Getting Duped: This is one of the most important points. Even though Guests are considered as a form of God in India, some people try their luck to scam their Guests. So yes, be very careful of religious scams especially when travelling to the holy places of Varanasi and Haridwar. Be aware of fake travel agents. Be aware of people trying to sell you fake stones and jewelry. Your intuition needs to trusted here wholly. You feel something is not right, just walk away.

One of the best ways to ensure that your trip to India is beautiful is to go the government route. You can book travel online beforehand and you can look up authentic government backed sites. There are plenty of tour guides around, so feel free to approach them but don’t forget to bargain hard.

Delicious Food Alert: Of course, you’ve heard that Indian food is delicious and spicy. While you might go all out and adventurous and try everything, be careful of not upsetting your gut. Falling sick on your trip to India is something you don’t want since you have a long itinerary already planned. India is a also a vegetarian’s paradise. Depending on how sensitive your stomach is, you could slowly dove into Indian food. Now remember authentic Indian meals are nothing like the watered down versions of ‘curry’ you probably get in your country. Also, India has a LOT MORE to offer than just curry.

There are a variety of apps that can help you decide if a place is fine to eat in or no. Curly Tales is great for unique recommendations in a city, then there’s Zomato to check ratings of meals and read user reviews.

Try Offbeat Things: While cities like Mumbai and Delhi are extremely crowded and are quite developed in terms of infra and malls, try something offbeat. Try non touristy locations, experience the culture of people living in villages, stay with them, eat their food and I can guarantee you that along with supporting rural incomes, you are going to be overwhelmed with their hospitality. Indians love foreigners. Yes, we stare a lot but we don’t mean to do it in a bad way. You must understand that a lot of Indians are so mesmerised by you, especially in Tier 2 cities that you’re going to end up feeling like a Hollywood star.

Dress appropriately: India is a hot country, and while you’d want to wear minimal clothes to save yourself from the heat, it is important to respect the culture and traditions of the place you are visiting. Hence, dressing appropriately in cotton clothes is important.

Sharpen Your Bargaining Skills: India is a teacher of many skills. From learning how to adapt and accepting things, to learning how to survive, one also learns the skill of bargaining. As a tourist, you will experience people quoting exorbitant prices while shopping, so learn to quote 1/4th of the price at first and then come to a middle ground.

Travelling In India is an experience you’ll never forget. From the people to the hospitality to the food and the culture, everything will surprise you and give you memories for a lifetime. So, just left go and hop on the roller coaster that is India.

Also Read: A Detailed 48 Hour Itinerary To India’s Spiritual Capital Varanasi