things to know before visiting India

India – 35 Things You Should Know Before Visiting

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India is the land of diversity. A country that is a rich blend of various languages, cultures, religious beliefs, and more. We welcome foreigners with open arms. One can explore the different parts of our country, not just for the numerous tourist attractions but also to get a glimpse of our vast history and heritage. A trip to this nation will be an experience that one shall never forget. If you are visiting for the first time, continue reading to know about our home country, India.

Things To Know About India

different transport system in india
  1. India is a democratic country with 28 states and 8 Union Territories. The capital of India is New Delhi. India is the second-largest country in the world by population after China.
  2. The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (Rs). It is divided into 100 paise.
  3. Indians celebrate numerous festivals throughout the year. Among these “Holi, the festival of colors” is more popular.
  4. Yoga and Ayurveda are said to be originated from here.
  5. At present, there are 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites located in India.
  6. It is important to have emergency contact numbers handy.
    • Police: 100
    • Fire: 101
    • Ambulance/Fire/Accident: 102
    • Women helpline: 1091
  7. The power plugs and sockets are of types C, D, and M. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
  8. 94% of the world’s Hindus live in India. People also practice Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
  9. The telephone number in India has ten digits. The country code is +91.
  10. There is no tipping etiquette in India. It is left to your discretion whether to give or not for their service. Street food vendors never encourage tipping. In sit-in-type restaurants, locals usually give 5-10% of their bill amount.
  11. Different languages are spoken across different states of the country. Although Hindi is widely spoken, English is everywhere.
  12. Get a local SIM card, preferably JIO or Airtel for good network coverage.
  13. Go the extra mile to explore unpopular places and you sure will stumble upon some hidden gems.
  14. Although western-type toilets are found, most Indians prefer squat-type toilets. Use the loo in restaurants instead of public restrooms since most of them might be unhygienic. Carry essential toiletries like seat sanitizer and toilet paper as it is not widely used in the country.
  15. People might ask you for photographs since they’re fascinated by seeing someone new in their place. Feel free to oblige or say no based on your comfort levels.
  16. Don’t drink the tap water. We can’t stress this point enough. Purified water offered in restaurants is drinkable. Make sure the bottled water is sealed before you open it.
  17. Avoid street food that nobody else is eating to minimize risks. Since Indian cuisine is spicy and flavorful, it might not suit many foreigners hence the word “Delhi Belly”. Another interesting thing about Indians is that most of them eat with their hands.
  18. If you’re staying in remote areas, try to avoid going out at night after 10 PM unless it’s an emergency. In case you do, use Ola or Uber to book taxis or cabs as they have SOS services which you can use in case of any emergency.
  19. You’ll find many pure vegetarian hotels and beef is hardly available since cows are considered holy and worshipped by the Hindus. So if you’re looking for non-vegetarian food, check Zomato, and Swiggy to know which restaurants serve it and get them delivered to your doorstep.
  20. Use online platforms to avoid travel scams.
  21. Dress appropriately covering your shoulders and legs.
  22. The traffic in the country isn’t as streamlined as in others. So if you’re taking a stroll on the roads, use sidewalks and be alert. The constant horn from the vehicles might annoy you but you will get used to it. You can rent a two-wheeler for your trip.
  23. “Keep left” is followed across the Indian subcontinent. Vehicles move on the left of the road and the drivers are on the right of the vehicle.
  24. National and state highway roads are well maintained. Beyond the city limits, expect a bumpy ride. 
  25. Book trains well in advance before one to two months on the IRCTC website. Book sleeper, 3AC, or higher class for a comfortable and peaceful travel experience. On train journeys, choose preference as upper berth as it will help to keep your baggage secure. 
  26. Do not leave your stuff with strangers. Drop them in your room or place of stay. 
  27. Hotels are sometimes referred to as restaurants and not places of stay.
  28. Use your right hand while giving and getting things from people as a sign of respect.
  29. Leave your footwear outside before entering any temple or house. Know the etiquette.
  30. When meeting a stranger, greet them by joining your palms and saying “Namaste”. 
  31. Although digital payments are available, always carry enough cash, as the street food vendors, tuk-tuk drivers, shopkeepers, etc. accept only cash payments.
  32. It is advised to abstain from public displays of affection.
  33. India is home to the only floating post office in the world. There are many such significant places in India.
  34. Get to know the different transportation systems available in the country and how to use them.
  35. For women and solo travelers, read the safety tips to be followed while visiting India as the country ranks low in the Women, Peace, and Security Index.

Considering the population of India, mishappenings are unavoidable. Things like going out at night, and accepting drinks from strangers are risky no matter where you are in the world. Trust your instincts and be sensible. Did we miss something? Tell us in the comment section below.

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