The following questions are the most frequently asked, and their answers are sure to help travellers to India to get most from their stay:
Q: What is the National Currency of India?
A: The Rupee
Q: What is the capital of India?
A: New Delhi, also called the National Capital Territory or NCT.
Q: What is the official language of India?
A: Hindi. English is the secondary official language.
Q: What are the main religions in India?
A: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.
Q: Should I use the various rickshaws available?
A: These are cheap and fun ways to see the cities. They are better for short trips as the fumes from the surrounding vehicles can be quite offensive.
Q: Are the busses safe and reliable?
A: No, these should be avoided if possible. However, they are cheap, so visitors on a strict budget may need to make use of them.
Q:Are the trains safe and reliable?
A: Yes, they are very organised and give tourists the opportunity to relax en route, meet locals and other visitors and take in the beautiful sights. Most trains are about 40 years old. First class is definitely more comfortable as it usually has chairs and some sort of cooling systems. Be aware of abrupt starts and stops.
Q: What conditions can I expect in the hotels?
A: The hotels that have achieved a 4-star or 5-star rating are generally on a par with those around the world of the same standard. Anything from three stars down is usually not in good condition.
Q: Is it safe to carry money around?
A: As with anywhere else in the world, it is wise for tourists to conceal their cash. Do not have an obvious bag that someone can grab, and do not keep all of your money on you all of the time. It is wise to buy a pouch that can be concealed by loose clothing.
Q: Is a tour guide necessary?
A: It may be better to hire a tour guide at the very beginning of your trip so that you have time to become accustomed to travelling in India. However, it is fairly easy and you should be able to go solo after a couple of days.
Q: Are taxi fees negotiable?
A: Yes, but they should be discussed before the trip commences. The drivers seldom use their meters and will almost always try to go in as high as possible. It is imperative that you refuse to pay the high rates. Do not be rude, but be firm. Enquire with a tour guide or agent beforehand regarding reasonable rates to expect.
Q: Is it acceptable to bargain with vendors?
A: Definitely. This is commonplace, even expected. Do not be deterred by the seemingly low prices. These vendors know a tourist and will always try to get the highest price out of them. Be willing to walk away if the price is too high, you will likely get the item for a much better deal.
Q: Do I need inoculations before entering India?
A:It is important that you visit a travel clinic long before your arrival in India to ensure that you have all of the legally required vaccines as well as any other recommended medication. It is always advisable to get a tetanus injection in case of cutting yourself on broken glass, a nail etc… Typhoid is also a threat as is malaria, in certain areas. However, because anti-malarial prophylaxes can make one feel quite nauseous, many travellers decide to take a chance without it. This is up to the individual, based on advice from a medical professional.
Q: Is the tap water safe to drink?
A: Generally no. It is not advisable to drink any of the tap water. Bottled water is available. Check that the seal has not been broken before drinking it. The water remains one of India’s largest threats to its own population.
Q: How should I dress?
A: The best course of action is to pack short-sleeved shirts (not clingy) and long trousers and then see what the locals are wearing. Clothing is not expensive, and travellers often feel more comfortable after having purchased some of the same items that the locals are wearing.
Q: When is the best time to visit India?
A:Between October and December.