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Top tips for exploring India - From the locals

There can be hundreds of tips you would have come across in books or internet or especially through people who have been to India. Have you ever come across a list of tips right from a local. Well we have complied this list from a survey done with our staff and associated people, which is a little more authentic and practical than any other stuff you will read anywhere else.



Yogurt, Water, Onion helps

Although most Indians understand some English and many can speak it fluently, it is always handy to know some words that can really make you feel at home. It will give you the confidence to explore this country and mingle with local easily.


India is not only about Hindus and orthodox traditions

India's miss-depiction  has created a stereotype about it of being a purely Hindu Country. It is true that around 77% of the population is Hindu, yet India has the second largest Muslim population in the world. It is the birthplace of Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. You will also find the lot of Christians and Jews in the country. It is definitely a cosmos of religions and secular behavior is promoted.


Pick up some Hindi

Although most Indians understand some English and many can speak it fluently, it is always handy to know some words that can really make you feel at home. It will give you the confidence to explore this country and mingle with local easily.


Pick up some Hindi

Yest it is true that India is a warm country, and sometimes the winters here feel like summers in Europe. So there is a simple three step trick: Yogurt - Consume yogurt regularly. It not only is good for digestion, but it also calms down your taste buds after a relatively spicy meal. The best thing - it is easily available and in many forms - the most popular being the drink - LASSI Water - Always consume bottled water and check if there is an "ISI" mark on it. Consume lots of water in a day (3-4 liters). This will keep you hydrated and will keep you agile for exploring this vast country. Onions - They might smell bad when eaten raw, but that's what the mouth-fresheners are for. Consume a quarter of raw onion in any of your meals. It will keep you away from heat stroke and dehydration.


Cultural Shock

No matter where you come from, you will get a cultural shock in India at the first. As a matter of fact an Indian from north gets cultural shock in the south and vice versa. So be prepared. It's important to be open to local customs and respect them. Ask if you don't know, coz the door you are not entering just for the sake of not taking off your shoes might have the best thing you would have seen in India.


Chaotic Balance

Well this is the best oxymoron to explain India. India is definitely a 'chaotic balance'. This is what makes it one of the most loved destinations. Treat this as an adventure. Imagine the thrill of being surrounded my millions of people an yet doing your stuff without blinking an eye.


Hit the streets

No matter you are a Backpacker or on a private jet trip to India, your India journey is incomplete without getting into the streets. The way the guidebooks or the guides themselves show you the places is predominantly not what the real India is. If you are adventurous enough do it yourself, or find out if there are some local walking tours in the city to be taken.


All means of transport

Now this is important. Nowhere else in the world you will be exposed to the variety of transport means compared to India. You can get in a limo and even ride a camel or a vehicle that operates with a generator. Just anything you can imagine in his world that can be used for transport is used in India. Try as many as you can.


It's not only about Taj Mahal

Well, it is important to see what you can boast about when you go back home. But it is more important to boast about what others could not see. India is the 7th largest country of the world; the oldest continuously living civilization; has faced more attacks and invasions than any other country; has one of the most acclaimed architectural history; houses some of the rarest plant and animal species and what not. So it is definitely not only about Taj Mahal.


Be Responsible and Give Back

Make it a point that your travel footprints are leaving positive marks in your host country. Try to travel as responsibly as possible. Indulge in volunteering in India to give back to the community. This will not only give you a feel-good factor, but will enhance your whole experience. This kind of travel has picked up pace recently and allows a traveler to understand a country from its very roots.


Food is important

Indian cuisine is renowned world over. But the way it has traveled to the world has restricted it to a very spice rich food with a lots of different hot curries and naan-bread. Indian food is all about seasonal variations and balancing nutrients. What should be consumed during winters and what should be consumed during summers differs by a great distance. Besides that regional variations are too sharp with the food. Try eating what is best suited for the place, according to the season, time of the day, occasion and your own appetite. Mind it, there will be a dish available even applying all these filters.


We hope that you always travel like a pro with these tips.

Compiling them took us some great levels of brainstorming and ruling out the ideas that might have sounded too mainstream.

We love to travel and also love to make people travel.

We want all our readers to have authentic and responsible travel experiences which are glitch free and enjoyable.

www.activeinternationals.org


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