An unparalleled tourist destination, India is known for its cultural, religious and geographical diversity, resonant heritage, spirituality, a delectable cuisine relished universally, a most receptive populace and every element of a perfect tourist destination in one mass of land. There are beaches crowded and lonely, coral and stony, golden and isolated in east, south and west. Himalayas crowning the North and Western Ghats protected under UNESCO, spreading from south to west, ingenious and prodigious architecture, tropical, green, densest forests, stark yet beautiful desert, history, adventure, art and luxury brewed together composing a rare and remarkable blend.
A people’s culture is their way of life, quality of their life, their belief system, their language, their values ab their customs and traditions and their griefs and joys manifested through their festivals. Based on country’s many religions and ethnicities Ministry of Culture however, has broadly identified seven cultural zones in India: - South Culture [Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep]; South Central Culture[Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa]; North Culture [Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand]; North Central Culture [Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand], East Culture [Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands], North East Culture [Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim] and West Culture [Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli]
India is the one of most fascinating, vibrant and bustling [second most populous] countries in the world. It’s full of surprises for an outsider. Be ready to expect crowds of most welcoming and hospitable people everywhere. Be ready to embrace heterogeneity, India is nothing if its not diverse, it is orthodox and bohemian, chaotic and calm, modern and conservative, traditional and cosmopolitan, prosperous and needy all at the same time. One element that is constant here is, a frenetic energy prevailing everywhere.
Before travelling to India every foreigner must register that they are not visiting a country but a subcontinent that covers a land mass of 3 million kilometers on this planet. There is no way you can thoroughly cover a region, leave alone the entire land in just one trip. Plan your tour accordingly. October to March is the best time to travel here especially for westerners since Indian summers are scorching and unbearable when mercury soars up to 45o C. Carry loose fitting cotton or linen clothes, ladies pack a lot of knee length dresses and scarves and comfortable shoes. Not every visitor gets sick here however, it is advisable to carry your medicine kit with you.
India is an agrarian society and is the topmost producer and worldwide exporter of wheat, rice, pulses, cotton, sugarcane, tea, coffee, oilseeds, lemons, bananas, papayas, peanuts. India has the largest herds of cattle and is biggest producer of milk and dairy products. Processed Petroleum Products, Diamonds, Jewelry, Precious Gems, Medication Mixes, Organic Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Iron/Steel, Cars, Automobile Parts, Machinery including computers, Yarn, Crustaceans [including lobsters], Clothing Accessories are among the biggest exports of India.
Travelling is completely hassle free and pocket friendly in India. There are a number of good state-run public transport services for moving inside the cities like buses, metros and local trains however, if you wish to travel more comfortable you can easily ride in private taxis or luxury Volvo buses, autos or rickshaws for less than $15 a day. For intercity commuting there are domestic flights, buses and trains. There are also a couple of luxury trains being operated by the Govt. of India like Palace on wheels and Deccan Odyssey. However, as they for visitors in India, if you wish to get a feel of real India travel at least once in Indian trains or your trip is half-done.
India is as safe to visit as any other destination in the world. It is in fact a very ideal destination for solo female travelers as per the testimony of many foreign female travellers. All a traveller has to do is to be careful about a few little details as probably they do in the environs of their own homeland like: - copying and carrying along with them a copy of necessary legal documents, taking a note of all important phone numbers, not venturing out on roads during festivities like Ganesh Chaturthi, Jagannath Rath Yatra, Durga Puja or Holi when the roads are play grounds of hooligans, hire taxis and autos from pre-paid booths for as far as possible otherwise take a picture of vehicle’s number plate in front of the driver so that he should know he is under scrutiny and send it to any or some your contacts.
Hydrate yourself well, drink a lot of water, but not from the taps. Tap water may be contaminated, carry your bottled water every where you go and before buying a water bottle check if the seals are intact. Indian curry food is delectable it is also at the same time very spicy, not necessarily hot yet go easy on your stomach and mind your diet; refrain from eating the street foods that are not cooked and not peeled & cut before you; eat from eateries flocked by locals. It is not unheard of for foreigners to contract ‘Delhi Belly’ carry your travellers diarrhea as well as other prescription medicines with you before you leave your country. Wash and sanitize your hands regularly.
Before leaving for India pack as many loose-fitting cotton and linen dresses as possible, as these two fabrics are the safest bet against Indian heat and humidity. For ladies it is advised to carry long or knee length dresses like capris, tunics and long skirts and at least half sleeves t-shirts [no trunk tops] that do not expose much of your skin as this is against Indian standards of decency and 2-3 scarves to cover your head when entering a religious shrine. Carry your medical kit, extra pair of batteries for cameras, mosquito replants, extra charging chords, toiletries and last but not the least a pair of comfortable shoes
This one you will have to fill yourself.
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