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India is among the most colorful nations of the world and boasts of a rich history, culture and heritage. To get the most of your trip to India, it would be a good idea to prepare yourself with useful information before you set out for a journey of a lifetime.

Climate

  • It is best to visit Indian plains during cooler months from November to March.
    • For a visit to mountainous regions of India, the months of April to October are better suited.

Getting Around and About

  • Most cities have means of efficient local transportation such as taxis, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and buses. Private cabs can also be hired.
  • It is important to carry an International Driving License if you wish to drive on your own.
  • For inter-city and inter-state transport you can avail services of Indian Railways and domestic airlines. Buses, taxis and cabs also ferry people across cities and states.

Food and Health

  • Indian cuisine is a tad too spicy for European and American taste buds. Indulge in the gastronomical delights only if you have the stomach for it. Also, there are plenty of non-spicy cuisines and delicacies to choose from.
  • You may occasionally need insect repellent cream. If you are allergic to dust, be sure to carry medication with you. Sunscreen is another must-have.

Shopping

  • Bargaining is the norm in local bazaars selling products without a written price. Resist the urge to buy without comparing prices from shops selling similar stuff.
  • Be wary of roadside peddlers trying to sell you semi-precious and precious gems and jewelry. Visit state emporia and the Central Cottage Industries Emporia for fixed prices and a fair idea of the cost with a regular dealer.
  • Trading in ivory, fur, animal skins, antiquities and the like is illegal. If you must have it, obtain a certificate of legitimate sale and permission for export before leaving the country.

Social Decorum

  • Public display of affection is not appreciated and neither is public nudity unless perhaps one is at a beach.
  • One is expected to cover the head before entering a religious place such as a temple or mosque.
  • Ask for permission before clicking pictures of women and religious complexes. Some places charge for taking pictures while it is prohibited at a few places as well.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do carry attested photocopies of your travel documents and keep the originals in a safely locked baggage.
  • Do fill up a Currency Declaration Form along and a Disembarkation Card besides making an oral declaration of the luggage you are carrying.
  • Do not give money to beggars
  • Do not smoke in public places.

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