Humayun Tomb in South Delhi

What to Expect When Traveling to India

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.

Humayun Tomb North Entrance
Humayun’s Tomb North Entrance

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.

Agra Fort Selfie
Selfies with new friends at the Agra Fort

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.

Cow in Pushkar
Just a cow chillen in the street.

Dress Appropriately

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.

Lisa in her India attire.

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.

Ghats in Pushkar.

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.

Mesmerizing stepwell in Jodphur.

21 thoughts on “What to Expect When Traveling to India”

  1. I’ve always wanted to go to India, the culture and history have intrigued me. Thank you for sharing your trip with us

  2. Great article and it’s perfect for someone who is planning to visit India. Keep going and hope had a lot of fun in India.

    P.S. About the Selfies, I felt the same in China 😀

    Best,
    Gonçalo

  3. GREAT list of things to expect.. our friends were just there recently and said similar things. I realllllly want to go… we have a 3 and 1 year old. Do you think it’s conducive for small kids? Did you see any strollers?

    1. I think it’s definitely doable for children. Some parts were a bit crowded, especially at transit spots and markets, but I did see families with strollers. I think it would be a great experience for children of any age 😊.

  4. I have never been to India – but from time to time we go to an Indian restaurant and I love the food – so that’s a good start maybe 🙂

  5. You can explore a lot of things in India ranging from Himalayas in the north to back waters and beaches in south. From deserts & Rann of Kutch in the west to the royal Bengal tigers in the East. It is a gem of a country !!!! Just Go & Explore as they say in India
    “Pta nahi kab Kya dikh Jaye “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *