I have read from other blogs that if you can travel to India, you can travel anywhere. Honestly, I think there is some truth in that. India is an industrious third-world country that is in between old tradition and modernization. India can be overwhelming at times, but it is definitely worth visiting once if not multiple times. Here’s a few things I put together to give you an idea on what to expect while traveling through India.
India is Huge
India is a lot bigger than you think. With over 3.2 million square kilometers of land, it could take days to travel city to city by land travel.
There’s a lot of Dudes
Due to the preference for sons, the ratio from men to women in India is quite high. Not saying that it was bad seeing men everywhere, it was just very apparent that there was a lack of female presence in most public spaces.
Expect a lot of Selfies with Locals
This one gave me quite the laugh. While visiting the Red Fort in New Delhi, Lisa and I were approached by locals asking to take selfies with them. At first one person would politely ask us if they can take a picture with us and before we knew it we had small groups coming up to us asking to take pictures with us. It was really entertaining because it made us feel somewhat like celebrities. It even got to the point where we had to start declining offers to take pictures.
It wasn’t just at the Red Fort either. At just about all of the tourist hot spots we would have people ask to take pictures with us. What was nice is that everyone would ask permission first before snapping away. So be prepared for random selfies with locals throughout your stay.
The Railway System is the way to Travel
Taking the train in India is the best and most budget friendly mode of travel through India. It is also a great way to see the beautful country side outside of the the busy cities. Book your train tickets in advance! We learned the hard way that train tickets sell out fast, so be sure that that’s one of the first things you do.
Cows are Everywhere
In Hinduism, cows are a very sacred animal. As India is home to the largest population of Hindus, therefore the people there treat their cows with a lot of respect. It’s a common sight to see a small heard of cows casually walking through city streets. Seriously I’ve seen more cows in India than I have seen cats in India.
India is a conservative country that requires you to dress appropriately, especially near religious sites. Unfortunately, the dress code is more aimed towards woman. Shoulders and legs should be covered at all times unless you want to be starred at by both men and women. As a man, you can pretty much wear whatever you want without any harassment from locals.
Most Restaurants are Vegetarian
Again, cows are sacred in India, so don’t expect to find beef anywhere. If I came across any place that sold meat it was always chicken.
Be Wary of Scams
As in most cities, there are people who are trying to swindle money out of you any way they can. Read my post of the most common scams in India here.
The Poverty Can Be a Little Overwhelming
As with most developing countries, poverty is a very common sight especially in the larger cities. In India it is no different. You can be feet away from a brilliant historical monument and at the same time be right next to a slum with children begging for anything. It can be hard to witness, but it is a reality for a lot of people living in India.
India is an Ancient Land with Loads of History
There are texts in India that date back to over five millennia ago, making India home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world. There are temples that are still erect that date back thousands of years.