India was the first country I visited and it might even be the one that I’ve been to the most too. I only went to New Delhi, in North India, once and it was so beautiful. It is very different from South India. I’ve been to Chennai, Trichy, Mayavaram, Kumbakonam, Nagore amongst other places quite a few times. Here’s when I visited Thanjavur Temple!
I don’t know what took me so long to write this post. I’ve had so many friends tell me that they will never travel to India and the bad press that the country gets is sometimes really sad. I’m not going to say it’s all rosy and cheerful but that’s how every country is. I’ve always encouraged my friends to check it out anyways. Here are the reasons why…
You know all that “Indian Food” that you get from takeaways and restaurants claiming to be “authentic”. They are not, well not completely. You need to taste and savour the real deal there. The ease of making dishes looks so fantastic. It’s wholesome and no crazy weird ingredients. Recommend: Dosa, Naan, Butter Chicken/Paneer Masala, Poori, Vegetarian Set Meal, Curries, desserts like Gulab Jamun, Palkova – depends on which state/city you go to.
You may need to go to proper clothing stores to get good quality items. The staff are usually very helpful, sometimes too helpful, that they just lay out all the neatly folded away items to display to you. But don’t feel any pressure. Have a look on Pinterest to get some ideas and the staff can help you find something close to what you are looking for. Recommend: Kurta, Punjabi Suits, Blouses, Sarees – definitely go for the traditional items and in cotton.
PLACES OF INTEREST
This is, obviously, a must when you visit a country. I wouldn’t recommend going on guided tours or getting (scammed) into taking photographs by the photographers who may hang around there. Get a book if you must learn about the places. The architecture, artwork, design and layout of places are magnificent. Embrace the surroundings and see if there are any events taking places. Recommend: Temples, Museums, Forts, Old Houses, Festivities – plus the regular tourist places.
This is quite a major one. They tend to stare and look at you. They are probably just curious. Try starting a conversation with them and you will learn so much about Indian culture, traditions and lifestyle. They will definitely know the best ‘undiscovered’ places. As with any conversations, they will get a glimpse of your country and lifestyle.
It is an inexpensive place (probably for you) unless if you are going for the glam way. You get to stock up on food and ingredients, clothes, souvenirs, homeware etc. They have beautiful pieces that resemble India or the Asian vibe. Recommend: no souvenirs but instead the other items to gift loved ones.
As with any places, even in your home country, you gotta be careful with your belongings and be safe in general. Keep your loved ones updated about your whereabouts and give details about your accommodation too.
Have you visited India? Do you want to?