10 things you will hate about India

You must have seen commercials on CNN and other channels about Incredible India. In fact, India is indeed incredible in many ways. There is no denying that Americans and Europeans come to India looking for spirituality and to explore this amazing country. But to honest, there are certain things that can make you incredibly insane which the Government of India adverts do not tell you.

There are some of the things that you “might” hate on your travels to India:


Poverty is extremely rampant in India. You must have heard of documentaries and news about India as a sleeping giant and how it is rapidly growing second to China. There is no doubt, lots of excellent development has taken place but to be honest, it does not seem that to me from where I am standing.

Poverty in India is still prevalent like never before no matter what anyone says. Even some Indians are also shocked to see the rampant poverty, hunger, homelessness and destitution which the government of India is extremely keen to hide from the tourism industry.

As soon you step out of the airport and take your ride to your hotel you will see poverty around you. For instance, you might see a truck load of men all cramped like cattle. These men are landless labourers probably being taken to a building site. You cannot fail to see beggars some of which are genuine and have no choice but to beg to keep alive. You will find real poverty in India. You might feel as if there is no dignity for human life in India.

"Poor people in India"
India houses some of the poorest people in the world

Mosquitoes and flies

Most hotels have mosquito repellents at work and air conditioning does a good job of repelling some of the mosquitoes but sometimes they will get on your nerves. Most of the time, they will come out at night and starting biting you left, right and centre. It is best advised to take some sort of repellent with you. Flies too are a nuisance, you will find them everywhere. Don’t get too surprised to find flies swarming around you. You probably need one hand free to wave them off of your face.

Dusty, noisy and chaotic roads

Some of the Indian roads are chaotic, you’ll soon find out that road sense and rules do not exist. You will also find families on scooters and motorbikes, something that you can only find in India. In addition, the roads are often dusty specially country roads and not to mention noisy. The driver at the back thinks that the car in front runs on the number of times he blows his horn.

Chaotic roads in India
Don’t be surprised to see scenes like this.

Polluted drinking water

One annoying factor about India is that drinking water is not safe to drink. Most Indians carry their own water or buy bottled water. Some foreign tourists go to the extent of using bottled water to clean their teeth. Here’s a bottled water buying guide in India.

Open defecation and urination

If you wake up very early in the morning and take a stroll on the road, you’ll find people defecating in the nearby fields. The poor in India may have a roof on their head but that does not mean they have bathroom facilities.

This one really bugs me the most. It is said that 60% of the total population of the world who do not have access to toilets live in India and they are forced to defecate in the open. This makes India the number one country in the world where open defecation is practised. So much for development!

Open defecation
Open defecation. Sustainable sanitation’s photostream on Flickr

Touts and cheats

You will find them everywhere. There will be fake beggars asking you for money. There will be someone following you around trying to sell something or some child will want to polish your shoes. There will be cheats who will want you to take you to a better hotel or travel agency and demand huge sums of money for it. Just be careful. Sometimes, your hotel might even try to sell you tour-tickets at high prices.

Beware of dodgy tour guides
Beware of dodgy tour guides. prolix6x’s photostream

Indian heat

Indian summers are extremely hot. The temperature in Delhi can reach close to 45 degrees centigrade. If you don’t like the heat, stay away from India during the summers. Here are some of things you could do when you are India during the summers.More about climate of India.

Delhi belly

One of the main reasons for visitors disliking India is getting sick of a condition called “Delhi Belly” which means upsetting the stomach due to eating spicy or contaminated food. Visitors are not used to eating street food or food prepared from water from the “supplies” that could easily cause diarrhoea. Travellers to India definitely need to take cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A jabs to protect themselves from contaminated food and water.

Street Food in India
Street Food in India – Golgappa or water filled dumplings being sold

Excess attention

If you are an American or European tourist to India, you’ll be considered as someone with a lot of money to spend. So you will be given a lot of attention in the hope of a tip or simply loose change. Also in some places, people may not have seen foreigners so expect to be followed (that doesn’t mean you will be mugged). Indians are of curious nature and hence many would like to talk to you and find out who you are and where you’ve come from and so on.

No respect for the environment

If you are one those fanatic environmentalists who love to sort their waste into recyclables and non-recycles then you are probably will hate India. We Indians don’t give a toss about the environment. You will find plastic and other non-degradable waste all over the place and it will lie there till someone from the municipal department responsible for disposal will collect it. Furthermore, Indians love to spit out in the open and you will find people spitting without any concerns whatsoever. In addition, you won’t find dustbins for your litter so you can imagine what we do with our litter.

Garbage in India
Garbage in India

These are the things the government of India tries to hide on their “Incredible India” adverts. But I do hope I have not dissuaded you from visiting India. All I have done is just tried to show some of the things you might hate about India.

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124 thoughts on “10 things you will hate about India”

  1. Couldn’t agree more with you Shalu!

    You surely put up the apt things anyone would hate about India, more so because these things are kind of a bad patch for us – and have been there for years.

    The worst of the lot is poverty of course, followed by the pollution, noise, dust, flies, contamination etc. I guess there’s a lot that needs to be done, though without blaming anyone, it’s we the people who need to make an effort, somehow – someway – isn’t it?

    There is lack of awareness in the people of India, especially the illiterate. While the literate do little to help out as well.

    Nevertheless, I’m glad you brought up this topic to create more awareness, especially for tourists who would come prepared. And not to mention – even though our country has all these negative points – it still is dear to us. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Harleena
      In India there are so many things that not only we as Indians dislike but can bug anyone specially if they are coming from outside. Poverty, pollution, noise, dust are the bad ones and can effect a lot of people including Indians. Thank you for your input, really appreciated. Best wishes.

  2. Real facts to hate India but seems every country has some things which others can hate.. But poverty, corruption, pollution are worst trouble makers to Indian society

    • Most countries do have certain things that is despised but in India we have some things that is extremely bad. But as you say, poverty, corruption and pollution are worst ones. Thanks for your comment and hope to see you again.

      • I have never ever seen anyone taking a shit in public, apart from India.

        I visited India, paid my hefty visa fee, 87% tax on a hotel room, got ripped off by taxis, shops, government workers, saw the disgusting greed and poverty side by side and said FUCK YOU INDIA, you should be ashamed. But you are not, you are proud of your achievement as I walk in your shit.

  3. Hi Shalu,

    Glad to see your blog standing distinct out of the crowd as it started to have useful and honest information regarding India. Its growing more as a true portrait of India.

    Good luck and wish you best of luck! Go ahead!

  4. Shalu- Every place on earth has it’s pros and cons. I kind of disagree with your blog of bringing up a negative picture to the world. Instead show the good stuff that exits. We humans ignore the good and target the bad side of everything.
    Incredible India it is!

    • Ankur, you have a right to disagree and I have to right to say what I want. I have pictured a lot of nice things on my blog about India which you have failed to see.
      Best wishes to you.

      • well….one of your line on the Intro says “……This website is about travel to India and India in general…….”

        I cannot tell you what you should do and what you should not.You have right. But my only wish is to every Indian should a genuine image. This does not mean show a flowery picture nor dies it mean show a negative side of it.

        • Ankur, this is the genuine image, you like it or not. Let me if it is wrong. Tell me there is no chaos, no mosquitoes, no poverty or hunger, no one shits in the open. Also I am not on a patriotic mission here. Thank you for your comment. I would like hear more from you.

  5. Oh! I thought india is also among the richest country but sharma are you not indian? And why did you write this because it’s somehow funny to me but i’m in nigeria……

  6. I am a regular reader of your blogs, but I never understand why you only shows India negative side. Although I totally agree with all the above points but there are some incredible things about India which you never mentioned.

      • Your previous posts are example that you write only negative things about India like your post Funny pictures India, Over crowded Indian trains, Corruption in India are few examples. My problem is that these things exists in every part of the world but why highlight only India. As for the trains, in India there are also trains like Rajdhani Express, Palace on Wheels but you never mentioned those luxury trains. It showcase the bad image of India and this is the reason foreigner make fun of Indians. It is better if you show some royal side of Indian’s as well.

        • Prince Bhatia,

          may I know how many times you have travelled on luxury trains. Tourists from abroad cannot afford these trains let alone Indians. But by the way, I have already written the Maharaja Express and expensive hotels which you did not care to look for. Take a look at these;

          To explain further about these issues that they exist in every part of the world, they don’t! I have travelled to many parts of the world and no where including Africa you find these things.

          As far as show casing India in bad image; poverty, hunger, destitution, filthy habits of Indians, dirt is a fact in India. I just don’t want to lie about India as the most amazing place on the planet.

          Best wishes to you.

  7. Having traveled the area, I couldn’t agree more. Sure there is nothing anyone can do about the heat but the other points are very annoying, especially the garbage on the streets.

    • Michael, nothing can be done about the heat although I have seen foreign tourists in India struggle in the summers. Perhaps they should visit during the winter. Thanks for your comment and hope to see you here again.

  8. Shalu,

    This is a very powerful article. I am saddened by so much poverty, disease, contamination and other things you mention.

    I liked Harleena’s comment about being proud to be part of India as it is your country of origin.

    Today I was lamenting to a friend about the political corruption in my own country and why it is so upsetting. However, what you have to deal with is even worse and humbles me. Thank you for your passionate writing. Sally

    • Sally, thank you for your complements. No matter how much pride we have for our country, but truth is that these negative things do exist. Hopefully over time, we can get rid of it. Thank you for taking the time to comment and hope to see you again.

  9. Hi Shalu jee

    Great Share!

    These pictures clearly depicts that the progress we need to make in these areas.Once the poverty issue is addressed with some real ground work, all others things will start falling in place.

    Thanks for the share.


  10. Shalu, you have spoken the truth. There may also be more than ten things and Corruption is the one of the biggest evils that a visitor may come across.

    However, in spite of the above facts, I would say that no matter if there are a 100 things to hate about, it is still our motherland, a Country that has the greatest amount of integrity in diversity. A country that we are proud about for all the blessings that we have.

  11. @ Shalu Sharma: Are you really serious about India or just writing for attention??
    As we all are part of this country so it’s our responsibility to take care of these things.
    Your blogs conveys a message that Indians are not good. 🙁

  12. thanks provide the all information about the india .but i love my india .this is fact some mistakes available in india such as poverty ,population,hungry, etc.but buggest reach men live im india such laxmi ,mittal ,anil ambani ,mukesh ambani,etc.yet the all information and creat the topic thaks.

  13. Dear friend, I like the passion with which you write. For that very reason I’m nominating you for the following award… Please log on to the following link to see the details of this Liebster Award (of which I know almost as much you do) 🙂


  14. I agree with all the points. But Nothing could be done with climate, so it should be not considered bad thing. India is large country and has almost every kind of climate. Even europe is too cold in winter which many dislikes.

  15. Thanks for painting the true picture of India, Shalu.I am sure this will help many tourists who come to India with an impression that it is some form a dreamland with cattles walking on the streets and snakecharmers ornamenting the bylanes

  16. Well true thr r few things to worry n few more not mentioned here but wat so ever i just love india and the street food…..i say the street food is not bad 😉 its the bestest part of india 🙂 wat say!!

    • Street food is OK for us but how about those who eat and get upset stomach? Tourists to India really need to avoid food and water that can cause them heath issues. Thank you for your comment.

  17. Hello Sharlu Sharma!

    I totally agree with your article! We Indians have great respect for our own nation and yet, we don’t care about it.

    Corruption is something which I always hate. Starting from a local traffic police to the biggest Indian scams, we’ve corrupted everything and that should be changed. This is what we’re showcasing to the foreign countries. Our market is also very poor. We give priority to the cheapest product, not the best-quality product. And, that is why we are delivered with poor devices or products.

    This article has really made me think, again.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Koundeenya
      Thank you for your valuable comment and understanding these points. They are genuine concerns and should be addressed. Unless we don’t highlight them then how are we going to know what the issues are? There is really no point brushing things aside.

  18. Actually I love India especially about film, music and dance style. Some of music style in Indonesia is influence by Indian music. Sadly some of your point also happen in my country

  19. Good information for people considering visiting India. I live in Australia and was aware of all of your points, except maybe the need to carry insect repellent. The most worrying one for myself if I were to visit India would be getting sick from the food. I have read a lot of blogs about this and it seems that whatever precautions are taken it is most likely that any visitor will get sick. I would still like to visit India though.

  20. Shalu, I am impressed that you have showed this bad/negative part of India. Actually I am pretty surprised to see these things. It’s also good to share what’s bad about a certain area so that people will be aware of it.

    Thanks to this.

  21. Shallu,I agree with your points. Poverty in India is because we are breaking apart the traditional way of working and making people shift to an industrial and services kind of economy for which people are not trained or equipped. The moment you mess up with self-sufficient communities and make them dependent on us, there is grief. We often hear about what is bad about our country. I think we are forgetting that there are millions of things good about India. Can you please create an article about the top ten things that is great about India? People with good readership base should focus more on spreading the positive message. It would be great if you can write such an article!Cheers,Sabyasachi

    • Sabyasachi, we just don’t like being shown the mirror. Like it or hate, these negativities exist in our country. I am working on the suggested article. Thank you for your comment and best wishes to you. Have a nice day.

  22. You are right about every raising point. The carelessness, lack of awareness and desire of shouldering any responsibility are prime reasons of the problems. Everybody talks about occurring problems but nobody ultimately takes initiatives to eliminate them. We feel Government body is there for every minute problem and as a responsible citizen we have nothing to do.

  23. these things not only happen in India but also in many developing countries. It’s normal. Despite these 10 things happen in India, India is still one of my favorite country to travel. I love taj mahal so much. It’s really great statue of love and one of the most beautiful building ever made in this planet. thanks Shalu sharma for share this information

  24. Embarrassing but true. Litter, lack of proper sanitation, cheaters, beggars, unhygienic food, scant respect for resources, prevailing dishonesty, truly paint a very grim picture of India in front of foreigners. Add to it the lack of proper tourist support system.

  25. Shalu i agree with almost all that you have said-except that the hot season is not in our hands & those who have delicate stomachs should refrain from eating roadside stuff.Afterall it is relished by many–no reason to hate India on these counts.

  26. These days if we don’t reserve a ticket for train journey it is horrible we don’t even get enough place to stand in the general compartment. I sometimes have to forgo some of the Govt exams which needs train journey. And Shalu ji, as you have mentioned no respect for environment it is true that people wont build a nice dumping yard too they simply through the garbage wherever they wish.

  27. First time i visit your blog and i like your way of blogging. i read this topic not word to word but mostly. Would u like to write an apposit article just as why people loves India.

  28. Shalu ji I have first time come to your blog and read some posts, I am very disappointed your post are focusing on negative point of India. Please don’t insult of India, because poorness-heat-cold-political issues are in every country but they don’t exposed their country negative points.

  29. The post has presented the various significant and constantly rising problems of the country in an umbrella post. Poverty is indeed a big question mark on the growth aspects of the country. It is eating away the baby steps the country takes on the road of development. Only a dedicated effort from each and every Indian, can alleviate the poverty condition of the country. Thanks for the share.

  30. Hello Shalu,
    I little not agree with this article! The things which you have shared us. These are every where. Wherever you go ! you would find some common thing also on another place like out of Delhi too.

  31. Shalu,
    Thank you so so so much for writing this. It has NOT made me lose respect for India or feel less inclined to someday visit. I notice that many of your Indian commenters are upset that you wrote this and they claim that these conditions exist everywhere in the world. I haven’t traveled much, but I do know that these conditions are not normal (or acceptable in my opinion), and excuses should not be made for them. In America, I have had many Indian classmates that are amongst the smartest and hardest working people I know. They have such a strong work ethic and a deep sense of family and community. Because of this, I have no doubt that India is full of intelligent and caring people (like yourself) who are truly willing to improve their country. I think that India has a beautifully unique history and culture, and Indians owe it to themselves to have a clean, safe, and prosperous country. I hope that the Indian people can work together to bring out the beauty of their nation.

    This is the first article I’ve read on your blog, but I’m so impressed that I will definitely keep following and reading your posts!

    • Lyris, thank you for your comment and honest thoughts about Indians. My intention was not to demean Indians but highlight some of the issues faced by a country that claims to be a giant on the move. It is true that some Indians do not like those who highlight these issues but many see this as a mirror. Thank you for visiting this blog and hope you will read and continue to comment.
      Best wishes to you.

  32. Who made this country as shit ? People like sharma , brahmin, who practicsed caste system for thousand of years.who promoted superstitions, stupid rituals, stupid religion …What about you ? What are you doing Mrs sharma ? Being high caste(brahmin), what you did for this country ?

  33. You are absolutely right. All the point which you have mentioned are correct and one cannot deny them if he/she is living in india.
    There are many thing which needs to be concerned. Such as power backup in village area. Roads on highways. water pollution.
    Do you have any post about the Gujrat tourism. Would really know the places to visit in gujraat.
    Thanks for the share and keep up the good work
    Regards 🙂 🙂

  34. Well ! Let me explain how India is Incredible. India is growing in its GDP. But when we talk about HDI which is human development index then it is not high for India and reasons are these which you have mentioned in this post. There is less education, more poverty and more pollution. And educated people do not try to educate the other person for free. India must try to improve its HDI too.

  35. Hi Shalu, you are correct. in our country there is really such big problem but we are trying to cure over these problems and one day it will be totally overcome and i am damn sure about it. but there are also some very interesting thing about india to visit. like our culture, tradition and many other things. you are doing best. BEST OF LUCK 🙂

  36. I think, corruption is most hate-able and worst thing in India. If corruption rate goes down, If anyhow rate of corruption goes down, other things will move on automatically. So, major problem is corruption.

  37. Hope India will reform soon from these problems..Even the educated youth are eagerly awaiting to see the change and so opted for governments with development agenda.

  38. This is so true! We, Indians should start doing something about. If we keep waiting for someone else to do it, we will be waiting forever. When we say why doesn’t someone do something,that someone includes me and you too. We can atleast help a bit by posting articles on how we can do this. Thanks for posting this post!

  39. Some people are saying that she didn’t mention good things about India, I am living in India since 2 years ago I don’t see any good or INCREDIBLE thing about India, every where garbages, noise, dizzy people, cheating, lie, smell, stupid cultures like Diwali that I could not sleep all the night because of noise, crowded metro and etc…

  40. hello. I’m in India now. all these point are correct. I just can’t believe what a dump this place is. it really is a taste hot toilet. it smells of wee wee and poo and the poor are no better than rabbits.

  41. hello. I’m in India now. all these point are correct. I just can’t believe what a dump this place is. it really is a vaste hot toilet. it smells of wee wee and poo and the poor are no better than rabbits.

  42. If a couple nukes where to be dropped on India i think it would benefit mankind and the planet earth.india is like the rat and roach of the earth something needs to be done these sick creatures are spreading to are land

  43. The problem does not happen only in India, in many developing countries it is something natural. In need of high awareness of all walks of life to mitigate the problem. But for me India is one of my favorite countries. I really like Indian films, because it always makes me sway. LOL

  44. Being an Indian since my birth, I can’t agree more. People don’t want a change and some of them prefer to stay blind about the truths and sticks to patriotism. Telling truth about our country like you and hoping for a good difference like me is nothing less patriotic…

  45. It’s just half a story, I agree with you but India is rich in culture as compared to other countries and Indian people are working on this. I think India is developing and these things

  46. One more thing i hate about india is those bloggers who despite of belonging to this country always try to represent india as a country of evil. Seriously these people should be kicked out of this country and should be sent to pakistan.

  47. India is great country. As you mention in above It’s some week point of india. But i think now a days there are many campaign started by government or trusts in india to improve quality of indian people and taking attention towards cleaning india and so on. As i see one indian actor Amirkhan encourge people for “Atithi Devo Bhava” and “swatch bharat abhiyan” for cleaning perpose. Hope, it gives positive result. But whatever it is i love to visit india and like to be with indians 🙂

  48. Hope India will reform soon from these problems..Even the educated youth are eagerly awaiting to see the change and so opted for governments with development agenda.

  49. Hi Shalu,

    My name is Anurag…………& I read your article. Truth as much as it hurts, I mostly found myself mostly agreeing with all that you mentioned. Well it’s sad & frustrating at the time, but it really seems unlikely I am going to see India grow up in my lifetime. Let’s hope for the best.

  50. hey indians learn about our greatness, our history, culture and interesting facts

    punch in google; ajit vadakyil(blogspot)

    ps im not owner of site

  51. Very well said.

    I’ m Indian. I migrated to USA and visited many other foreign countries. India is considered as a Shit Hole in foreign countries. Low standard of living.

  52. Hey I am an Indian in the USA and I am feeling really shameful because of my own narrow-mindedness and lack of social skills here. There are a lot of social norms and etiquettes that I am trying to adjust to and which I don’t know. I want to disown India asap because the label ‘Indian’ doesn’t feel too good. I learned many good and bad things from India and now I want to unlearn the bad things. Indians cannot face the harsh reality and it is unsafe to say anything bad about India in India (Talk of freedom of expression!) That’s why I needed to get out of India to unlearn them and now I am trying my best!

  53. hello. I’m in India now. all these point are correct. I just can’t believe what a dump this place is. it really is a vaste hot toilet. it smells of wee wee and poo and the poor are no better than rabbits.

  54. Shalu,
    Thank you so much for this post. I came across your blog because I’m planning to go to for a wedding in Chennai in November and wanted to spend a couple of days in Delhi and go to the Taj Majal. What you explained here is not a negative view of India on the contrary it is a reality check. Now, I’m prepared to handle those bad habits with a smile. This will not stop any of us from visiting your country. I love your no sugar coating approach. Namaste!

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