These Indian travel tips are for those who want to experience India raw, uncut and fresh!.
Before we begin this article, watch how a horse dances in one of our festivals. Now there is no reason why you should not visit India!
Top Indian travel tips that will make you say, Wow!
Junk your toothbrush and get some datoon
If you are a budget traveler then don’t buy a toothbrush or toothpaste in India. Get a bunch of datuns.
A datun or a datoon is basically a twig from a neem tree. Neem is a medicinal tree and many Indians use it for various health related reasons. Like millions of Indians,
I chew a neem twig in the mornings and find it refreshing. After you have chewed it for ten minutes, then you can use it for brushing your teeth. Trust me, a 10-minute chewing session will freshen your mouth immensely. No need to carry your toothpaste or brush all over the country now.
Stay away from hostels
Like many countries, there are several hostels in India too. While I know the owners of a few hostels personally, I would avoid you to book your stay there. The reason is this: I am not sure if people coming from abroad are vetted by the hostel owners and the police. It is better to stay put in places which are registered and regularly checked by the legal authorities. You don’t want to get into a legal trouble, do you?
Would you like to explore Red Fort Delhi and Old Delhi? This walk is then just for you;
One of the travel tips to India is trying to make friends with the man on the street. No guide book, no Lonely Planet magazine and no social media platform is going to help you as much as an average Indian. I am not saying that you simply go up to an average Joe and start talking with him. That would look odd, it is obvious. What I am trying to say is that wherever possible, get help from the paanwala, rickshawala or the dhobi. These people know India like the back of their hands.
Watch a movie
Many books and guides do not list watching a movie on their list of travel tips for India. I wonder why. Indian movies tell you about India in unimaginable ways. Buy a cinema ticket and plonk yourself in the theater seat. Initially, you will not understand the movie, I know. But we use so many kinds of emotion in our movies that you will ultimately understand what is going on.
But, please don’t watch Indian movies on laptops and mobiles. You will miss out on the experience.
Learn Yoga in the Park
To be honest, there are more than a million classes on Yoga going on in the world currently. So, the next question is – which is the best class for learning this ancient Indian skill? I would suggest you join a free Yoga class in a park near you. Thanks to Baba Ramdev, millions of Indians practice Yoga every day in the neighborhood parks. Meet them, smile with them and learn a few Yoga asanas. Basically, make friends.
Get lost in the crowd
One of my favorite travel tips for India is to just lose yourself in the crowds of India. Immerse yourself in the vast mass of humanity here and get a new experience. Many foreigners who come to India like to stay away from the masses.
It is understandable because nobody will like to be surrounded by strangers and being pushed and shoved by them. That is not my point, my friends. What I am trying to say is that go and visit India during the Kumbh Mela fair which draws millions of Indians.
Take a bath in our holy rivers, and converse non-stop with fellow bathers on various subjects like life, spirituality, happiness etc.
Drink camel’s milk
Ever drunk the milk of a camel? No? Ha ha ha. Well, then, in that case, head over to the camel fair of Bikaner in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Else, you can go to the districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer and enjoy this drink. Camel milk is known for its virility. There are many Indian men who drink this milk and retain their masculinity even in their nineties!
Attend the Camel Fair at Pushkar
Speaking of camel milk, why don’t you head to the Camel Fair at Pushkar when in India. In fact, your Indian travel plans must include a trip to Pushkar.
Watch the camels dance to popular Hindi dance numbers. Ride a camel and take a few memories home.
Have you seen a camel dance? Here is the video;
To book your camel ride, you can visit the Rajasthan Tourism website
Attend a marriage party
One of the travel tips for India is to attend a marriage party. For us, marriages are not religious affairs; they are social occasions! You must see the happiness on our faces when we dance to the popular tunes being played by the bands in the marriage processions.
These processions are called baraats and are attended by the close relatives of the bridegroom. He is the king of the party and sits on a white horse. No other baraati sits on a horse; this privilege belongs to the bridegroom alone.
The wedding party takes its own sweet time to reach its destination- the house of the bride- but this small journey is full of excitement and happiness.
Chai at the roadside
This is one of my favorite Indian travel tips for India for all my international traveler friends. Chai is tea by another name. Most of us, I included, like to sip tea on the roadside and enjoy our surroundings. Sipping tea like this helps us connect with fellow tea drinkers. When we connect over tea, then strangers become friends and the world becomes one happy family. Traveling tips like this one help strangers become friends with each other. Don’t you think so?
Music in the Park
Travel tips for India travel would be incomplete without asking recommending you a music session in the Park. Here is a link to one of the music sessions at this Park. The singer is Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, India’s one of India’s greatest singers.
The Park here refers to the Nehru Park in the Chanakyapuri area of New Delhi. People who have come to Delhi several times know where this park is located. Look out for the SPIC MACAY website and find out its music programs in the Nehru Park. These sessions are free to attend and are led by world famous singers and instrumentalists.
Also, read- The best temples that you can visit in Delhi
More Indian travel tips for you
There are a few more travel tips for traveling to India. These are:
- Never exchange your credit/ debit card PIN with strangers.
- Never ever exchange your international currency with Indian Rupees through non-banking channels.
- Register yourself at the FRRO once you arrive in India, it will save you a lot of trouble. FRRO means Foreigner Regional Registration Office.
- Since I am an old timer in Delhi, you may consult with me on genuine spices, handicrafts, sandal oils, tea, garam masala etc.
- It is absolutely safe to gorge on street food here in Delhi.
- Never pick fights with the locals, it may backfire.
- Be patient, everything in India takes time.
- And this Indian travel tip is very important- Many people have asked if vaccination is needed for India? I would say yes. Innoculate yourself against typhoid and malaria, and you are good to go.
- Best time to travel to India- September till April.
The link on train reservations takes you to the Government of India website and is absolutely secure.
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