India is an exquisite land of variety and abundance. It presents an array of topographies, climates, cultures, religions, languages, cuisines, music, art and architecture. This has made India one of the most mystical, enchanting and alluring destinations in the world. Many visitors return again and again to experience the intricacies of this land.
The rural element of India has, to a large degree, defined its culture. Age-old customs, religious traditions and ancient festivals have seeped through from the most rural and traditional areas to the modern cities and epicentres. This makes for a multi-faceted destination in which visitors are enriched and fulfilled by being immersed in such a distinctly intense culture.
The diversity of India is what has made it such an attractive destination as it caters to such a wide range of expectations, needs and desires. From sweeping grasslands to lush valleys to imposing mountain ranges and dense forests, India presents a plethora of landscapes. Apart from natural attractions, of which there are hundreds (including parks, sanctuaries etc...), other attractions include bustling city centres, annual festivals, countless historical and religious sites and some of the friendliest and most hospitable locals in the world.
Indian cuisine is a major drawcard for tourists. Fresh ingredients, a unique blend of fragrant spices and centuries-old traditions infuse every dish and flavour produced in the sub-continent. In addition, Indian art, jewellery, sculpture, paintings and carpets make for incredible keepsakes and a memorable immersion into the Indian society.
Tips for tourists to India:
• Pack as little as possible as clothing and food are easily available at excellent prices.
• Buy clothes on arrival to blend in with the locals and to withstand the sometimes extreme weather conditions.
• Women should be discreet in their choice of clothing as much of the Indian culture is more conservative than western cultures.
• Comfortable, open shoes are a must as there are plenty of places that are best explored on foot.
• Make duplicates of all travel documents and keep the originals in a safe place. Take the duplicates with while travelling around the countryside.
• Do not drink the water unless you have been assured that it is safe. When purchasing mineral water, check that the bottle is sealed.
• Be aware of personal belongings and luggage at all times. Do not leave personal belongings unattended and enquire with hotels and tour operators regarding areas in which it is not safe to walk alone or after dark. Ask for identification if ever you are unsure of a porter’s credibility.
• Keep money on your person; in safe pockets or around the waist, ankle or neck, rather than in a bag that can be snatched.
• Only use official taxis and busses and do not share a taxi with anybody that is not familiar.
• Enquire with a doctor or travel clinic regarding malaria prevalence in the areas in which you are visiting.
• Take scripts and medication with you to ensure that you will have and / or be able to get your usual medication without having to see a doctor.
• Do not buy or eat food that has been lying open in markets or at street vendors.
• Wash all fruit and vegetables before eating them.
• Apply plenty of sunscreen and wear protective clothing to guard against sun damage.
• Apply the utmost respect in mosques and temples and dress conservatively when visiting these places.
For more information: http://www.incredibleindia.org/