As you most likely know, India is an absolutely huge country. It would take a good couple of months to travel around the whole thing, and you still wouldn’t be able to experience everything. If you are a tourist though, it is likely that you are going to be extremely limited on time. For those people, I suggest sticking around the North-West of the country, particularly within the most-visited cities within the country, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The best way in which you can see all of these is by heading out on a Golden Triangle Tour.
Someone asked what gifts they can give to their Indian friends in India. This is something I had not thought about. Although you can buy everything in India but if you are struggling to figure out what to buy for your friend when you visit India then here are a few travel gifts I can think of.
Pens: Pens are valued in India. We Indians love pens which mean that if we have a quality pen, we will cherish it. So you can gift a pen to your Indian friend but do make sure that they are foreign.
Located in the south of Delhi, this magnificent red sandstone building called Qutub Minar (Qutb Minar) is still the tallest tower in India, more than 800 years after its foundations were laid by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler to successfully establish an Islamic dynasty in India. It’s widely believed Qutab-ud-din issued orders to build this historic monument after defeating the Rajputs. Though the original tower was built as early as 1202 AD, it would be Qutab-ud-din’s successors who would add more storeys to it, make it taller and still more impressive. This splendid piece of architecture is the most popular tourist spot in India, attracting millions of tourists each year.
When you are out and about in the markets of India, don’t be put off by those who come and approach you and offer you to polish your shoes. Its part and parcel of the Indian experience! You might feel a little intimidated about the situation but these shoe polishers (or shoe shiners or boot polishers – whatever you like to call them) are actually trying to make a living. They are not begging or trying to con you, they are simply offering a service which you will not get anywhere in the western world.
Here are some useful Hindi help related words and phrases that you might wish to memorise in case you need them in India. Remember these are Hindi words, so if you are travelling in the South of India particularly in the state of Kerala and Tamil Nadu; there is limited scope that they will understand them. But if you are travelling in North, Central and the Deccan areas of India (limited), you will be understood (covering large sections of India).
Most visitors to India will probably land in Delhi – the capital of India. It is here that they will spend considerable amount of time site-seeing. Many would take day trips to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and spend a few days exploring Rajasthan particularly Jaipur and then coming back to Delhi before flying back to their own country. I personally think this is an excellent idea. So why not make the most of the stay in Delhi.
North India has some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. This article will go though the best tourist places North India has to offer. Those who love India food will really enjoy this part of India. There are plenty of things to try. Read more articles on Indian food here. North India is also that part of India where you have the opportunity to make a trip to the Golden Triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The 7 prominent states of India together make North India include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Sadly another rape case has been reported in Delhi. This time it was a female passenger going back home from a party on a Friday night. In this particular case, the rape was committed by Shiv Kumar Yadav, a 32 year taxi old driver. I have been reading news about this story and it seems that this man was a sexual predator and terrorised local women. By the time he was 21 years old, he was already molesting women and had several cases registered against him for assaults, rape and carrying firearms.
Take a look at the picture below and see if you can guess what those blocks are. If you have guessed it, well and good but if you haven’t then let me tell you! They are blocks of ice. These blocks of ice seem to have been frozen in some large container and thrown outside and destined to end up on a drink stall like a lassi bar or probably waiting to be delivered to a restaurant or a bar.
I would like to introduce my friend Rob Cubbon who is a graphic designer, an author, an internet marketer and a website designer. He’s from London but is currently visiting Thailand and is posting some amazing pictures on Facebook. I had a set of questions about his travels to Thailand and he was kind enough to answer them.
I am happy to announce my new book called “India Travel Health Guide: Health Advice and Tips for Travelers to India”.
Most of the time, a traveler to India will be fine if they have their travel jabs sorted out and if they take a little bit of precaution. But there are other risks such as rabies, insects, dengue fever, and so on that could be an issue for some. This book has all the health advice for traveling to India one will ever need, it even has a section on celiacs. In addition, the book also details what to eat, how to cope with traveler’s diarrhea, how to cope with air pollution, guide on street food, avoiding quacks or fake doctors, has a guide on restaurants, about India’s garbage problem and so on. I have also included essential health words, phrases and sentences in Hindi that might come in handy if required.
If you are the adventurous type and love trying things to eat then I highly recommend trying chewing the “paan” in India especially if you consume tobacco. Some people would laugh at the sight of a westerner chewing the paan but it is something that you must experience. You find little stalls on the roadside everywhere so you can’t escape it. There are different types of paan in India so I will go through what exactly paan is and which ones you should try?
The city of Varanasi or Banaras (or Kashi) as most Indians know it, is one of the holiest cities of India. It is here you will find Hinduism in its raw form. Many foreign tourists visit Banaras in large numbers to seek of spirituality. I have spent large parts of my childhood growing up in Banaras. I have seen tourists come to this place from all over India and the world. Indians come here to bathe in the holy river Ganges while foreign tourists come here to get to know about the Hindu religion. Some foreign tourists come here just to consume marijuana, one of the few places in India where you can drink bhang lassi (shake) on the streets.