Things to know before travelling to India

There are a few things that visitors to India should know about Indian festivals and customs when visiting from abroad. Visitors should also keep in mind that India is a developing country and it's not uncommon to find areas with poor sanitation or lack of basic infrastructure. Visitors should take necessary precautions to avoid illnesses and keep in mind that some places might not be as developed as their home countries.

Introduction to India: Culture and Traditions of India: India Guide Book

Introduction to India: Culture and Traditions of India: India Guide Book

Dress code: India is a conservative country, and visitors should dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Men and women should avoid wearing revealing clothing and should keep their shoulders and legs covered. What to wear in India

Respect for religious customs: India is a diverse country with many different religions and customs. Visitors should be respectful of these customs and traditions, and should avoid taking photographs or otherwise disrupting religious ceremonies or rituals. Learn about Hinduism

Respect for personal space: Personal space is not highly valued in India, and people may stand close to you when talking or getting on public transportation. Visitors should not take this as an invasion of personal space and should be aware that it is normal behaviour. (12 most annoying behaviours of Indian people).

Festivals: India is home to many different festivals, which are often celebrated with colourful and lively ceremonies and processions. Visitors should be aware that these festivals can cause disruptions to transportation and other services, so it is a good idea to plan accordingly. Here are the festivals of India

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Food: Indian cuisine is renowned for its variety and flavour, but it can be quite spicy for some visitors. Visitors should be aware of the different types of food and be aware of any dietary restrictions they may have.

Be open-minded: India is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and visitors should be open-minded and patient while they discover it. India is a place that is different from the West and it is normal to feel overwhelmed at times, but with an open-minded attitude, visitors will be able to understand and appreciate the country and its people.

Hand gestures: In India, the left hand is considered unclean and is generally not used for eating or shaking hands. Visitors should be aware of this and use their right hand when eating or shaking hands.

Feet: The feet are considered unclean in India and should not be used to point at things or placed on chairs or tables. Visitors should be aware of this and avoid pointing with their feet or placing their feet on furniture. When visiting people's homes, you are expected to take off your shoes. 

Greetings: In India, it is common to greet people by saying "Namaste" and bringing the palms of the hands together in front of the chest. This is a sign of respect and visitors should be aware of it. Types of greetings in India.

Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in India, especially when shopping in markets. Visitors should be aware that prices are often negotiable and should be prepared to haggle. Here's how to haggle like a pro.

Tipping: Tipping is not expected but is appreciated in India, especially in tourist areas. Visitors should be aware that a small tip is expected in some areas, such as at hotels, restaurants and for taxi drivers.

Be aware of your surroundings: India is a densely populated country and visitors should be aware of their surroundings at all times. They should be aware of pickpockets and other forms of crime.

Be aware of scams: Visitors should be aware of common scamsin India, such as overcharging for goods and services or being offered fake or overpriced goods. They should be vigilant and ask locals or hotel staff for advice if they are unsure of a situation.

Be respectful of local culture: Visitors should be respectful of local culture and customs. They should be aware that India has a diverse culture and customs may vary from region to region. Visitors should be respectful of the dress code, customs, and religious practices of the local people.

Be prepared for the heat: India can be quite hot and humid, especially during the summer months. Visitors should be prepared by bringing loose, lightweight clothing and staying hydrated. Sunscreen and a hat are also recommended. How to keep cool in India

Transportation: India has a variety of transportation options, including trains, buses, and taxis. Visitors should be aware that traffic can be heavy and that public transportation can be crowded. They should also be aware that some areas may not be easily accessible by public transportation and may require a taxi or private car.

Health: India has a variety of health risks, including malaria, dengue fever, and waterborne illnesses. Visitors should be aware of these risks and take necessary precautions, such as getting vaccinated and bringing any necessary medications.

Be aware of local laws: Visitors should be aware of local laws and customs and should be prepared to follow them. They should be aware that Indian laws can be different from those in their home country, and that penalties for breaking laws can be severe.

Learn a few local words: Whenever you visit a new country, you should try to learn a few words and phrases. Hindi is widely spoken so here's a few Hindi words and phrases for your travels to India

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Be prepared for the unexpected: India can be a chaotic and unpredictable country, and visitors should be prepared for the unexpected. They should be flexible and open-minded and be prepared to go with the flow. 

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