India Travel Advice – Expectations of its first time Tourists


Last updated on August 6th, 2017

The moment we hear about India, the things that come in our minds are its geographical size and cruel poverty its large population endure.  Because we know how much space Indian map actually occupies on the world map and how it’s being shown in movies like ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ and in other mainstream media.

Moreover when severe crimes like gang rape, human trafficking, larcenies and murder cases happening in there are being reported often, people develop a different mindset and often strike it off from the list of countries they wish to visit.

Souvenir items from Himachal pradesh

You can see many shops at Manikaran filled with Handicraft items

But that is only if one is being too concerned of its bad things. If we actually dedicate our time in studying bit more about India, it will offer as many adventures as its geographical size and population. Its history goes back as far as 2500 years; so many ancient iconic architectural grandeur still stand offering us different levels of fascinating stories and inspirational cultures.

Gautama Buddha also visited and got enlightenment in India. And in modern times, People like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Osho, Mother Teresa and APJ Abdul Kalam are globally appreciated good souls born in India.

Mahabodhi temple best image

Top of Mahabodhi Temple shot from a distance

Therefore, it’s not that India is a country that isn’t good to be visited. Indeed it’s as good as any other good places or countries. It’s just a matter of reconciling your expectations and realities of India as a tourist destination.

5 nice expectations of visiting India for the first time

#1 Diversified cultures and traditions

When you visit India and then start travelling, you’ll find hard to pick particular characteristics of India. Because cultures and traditions there are so diversified that you will feel as if you are travelling across different countries just being at India.

A woman in Kashmir dress

An Indian woman in Kashmir dress posing in front of a camera

This offers areas where tourists can experience greater ranges of different cultures and traditions within short period of time incurring less travel cost.

#2 Historical temples and buildings

If you were to know varied typical ancient architectures and buildings, travelling to India would be like entering a Gold Mine.

Great Buddha Statue in Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Great 64 ft Buddha Statue in Bodh Gaya, Bihar

India has wonderful ancient temples and structures that are as old as 1000 years old. The stories behind for building them would really leave fascinated.

Some popular ancient architectures in India:

  • Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil Nadu.
  • Kailashnath Temple in Maharashtra.
  • Orchha Temples in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Vittala Temple in Karnataka.
  • Pancha Ratna Temple in West Bengal.
  • Bodh Gaya Temple in Gaya, Bihar.
  • Taj Mahal Temple in Utter Pradesh.

#3 Simple and affordable living styles

In many countries, even 100 USD won’t be able to give a decent living for a day. But in India, you can actually live like a well paid executives for few days with that amount.

An elderly Indian woman carrying firewood

An elderly Indian woman carrying firewood

If you’re on a tight-budget-travel, this country actually provides flexibility on stretching number of travel-days with same budgeted amount. Nothing can beat simple Indian living styles.

#4 Cost effective transport services

You’ll fall in love with Indian transportation services. One can pick from simple auto rickshaws to planes.

There are now AC buses and trains. You need around $ 25-30 to travel distance of 1000KM.

#5 Hard working and helpful people

The one yet another good thing you can expect is Indians being very hard working and helpful. People there appear to know almost everything.

Even an auto rickshaw driver won’t disappoint you in helping you catch the last minute train through grid-locked and clogged traffics.

5 bad expectations of visiting India for the first time

#1 Traffic congestion and noise pollution

This will really test your patience and endurance. We can of course understand on the ground of India being one of the most populated countries in the world.

Traffic jams take away at least 25% of your travel time. And this actually should be a reason for you to be ahead of time actual time. If your reporting time to airport is 8.30am, consider it as 7.30am. You may even have to read it as 6.00am if the distance is more.

#2 Dirty and stinky drains and roadsides

When you travel in a bus or train and see through windows, one most common sight would be Indians peeing at roadsides. You’ll hardly see pay-and-use public toilets – because they don’t need them.

Conditions of many street roadsides and drains in India

Conditions of many street roadsides and drains in India

This makes walking along roadsides and travelling around with windows opened disgusting. Air seem laden with pungent and strong smell. And you’ll also see drains dirtily overflowed or blocked.

#3 Not punctual and standard trains

In India, if you want to travel by trains, note that trains don’t come on time. During my last time travel to India, I have travelled by trains in three instances.

None of them came on scheduled time. I had to wait at least 8 hours in one case. The worst thing is waiting at night. And also those trains are not clean and standard.

#4 Tropical climate & nagging Beggars

Geographically speaking, major part of India has tropical climatic conditions. This means temperature will be hot most of times and has only two seasons – wet and dry seasons.  You cannot think of travelling India during summer.

Northern part maybe cool during summer. However, during winter, temperature falls below zero. When I visited Himachal Pradesh in Feb 2017 (winter), there was snow.

Manikaran, Himachal Pradesh in winter

One of the places in North India receiving snowfalls during winter

And another expectation is beggars. You’ll find beggars in almost all corners. You cannot go for sight-seeings and roaming in peace as beggars come to nag and pull you.

#5 Communication barriers & languages

During my last visit, I came to know that maximum of Indian people don’t speak global language English. I had tough time conveying my messages and also receiving theirs.

You can surely expect this. Therefore, I would suggest tourists visiting India to learn basic Hindi terms to communicate with Indians.

However, in overall I would suggest you to visit India. I can tell India actually has many more to offer. India is so large – you can expect many good things.

Recommend to read following travel experiences and more exciting travel stories from India:

About Author

An auditor by profession, but a traveller, blogger and photographer by passion. This site was created to share travel stories of various destinations within Bhutan and also travel tips of travelling to Bhutan. Read More>>

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