India has a well-established infrastructure for travelers in terms of transport, wide range of hotels, luxury, comfort, language and so on. The facilities and comfort offered to guests in India makes them come back to this beautiful country again and again.
The following is an assortment of useful tips regarding travel in India.
When to visit India:
India is a beautiful land worth visiting at any time of the year. But, if you are not much accustomed to the hot and humid climate, try keeping your visit in the cool climatic conditions. The climatic condition of the various parts of India varies. The most pleasant time to travel to most places in India would be during November to March. From April onwards, the heat in India starts building up. By June - July monsoon starts pouring in most parts of India. It's better to check the dates of particular festivals that you might be willing to attend.
Local language and dialect varies from region to region. Limited English is generally understood and spoken everywhere.
Passport and visa:
Passport and visa are required to visit India.
The Indian Rupee is the unit of currency used in India. Change currency only from official moneychangers. Remember to retain the currency exchange receipts after each transaction. You will need them for re-exchange on departure.
This is a matter of personal discretion. Although bills normally include a service charge, it is customary to tip in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists.
The markets and emporiums of Delhi, Jaipur and most other places offer exotic wares from all over India. Things like hand-printed textiles, perfumes, incense and oils and so many other delights might just lure you away. Always remember to bargain for the best prices. Be careful of the street vendors, as some of them can be very aggressive.
Code of Conduct:
Namaste is the most common way of greeting in India, which is done by folding the hands and tilting the head forward. Respect religious shrines and places of worship like temples, mosques, shrines etc. Follow a decent dress code and remove shoes before entering any religious place of worship.
Formalities for photography are mainly concern with protected monuments and the wildlife sanctuaries. Special permission of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, is necessary for the use of tripod and artificial light to photograph monuments. Photography at many places is allowed on payment of a prescribed fee, which varies.
Emergency local call:
What to take along:
Take as little luggage as possible as it will make your travel easy and as such you can buy just anything you need from the markets there.
What to Wear:
Winter months in the North and the highlands in the South gets really cold, so heavy woolens are advised. For rest of the time lightweight cotton is best. For footwear, stick to comfortable sandals mostly, but in case of a cool climate wear closed and comfortable shoes.
Email / Internet:
Internet facility is very easily available in most cities and towns in India. You will find in large number in most lane and by-lanes and on well-trodden travellers paths. It's safe to keep duplicate records of Travelers' Cheque numbers, passport and plane details on your email accounts.
American Express, Master Charge, Visa etc., are generally accepted by large establishments including hotels, shops, and airlines.
English-speaking guides are available at fixed charges at all important tourist centers.
Guides speaking French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian or Spanish are also available in some cities. You can use guidebooks as well.
Some important Do's and Don'ts:
Avoid drinking water from an unknown source; rather use mineral water from reputed brands like Bisleri, Kinley, Aqua Fina, and Himalaya. Check the seal before buying.
It is advisable for man to be very careful with their wallets. Women are advised not to keep valuables in purse as that can be easily snatched off from your shoulder.
Taxis (cabs) or Auto Rickshaws (3 wheeler) are available in all the places. Use authorized vehicles and negotiate the rates before beginning journey. Avoid taxis that pick up additional passengers. Don't accept an offer to share a taxi with anyone unless you know the individual.
Avoid foods from strangers, openly laid out food, and sweets and candies from local markets. Wash fruits before eating and do carry sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat.