A few weeks ago I traveled to India, visited 3 big cities, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. These places are explored most in the country of India, thus the name ‘The Golden Triangle’. As a female in her early twenties, in Singapore, traveling to India is rarely talked about. Therefore I took on the trip of a lifetime to India to explore and immerse myself in a culture very different from mine. My travel companion for the trip was my partner, so it was just us two in a whole new world.
Today’s blog entry would be a gist of my trip to India, as well as, some tips and tricks for you to prepare your trip there. These tips or advices are based on my experiences while touring the country. They are what I have encountered or things that a traveler should note about while in India. Then again, these are general rule of thumb while traveling to any places. The following tips/advices are for the general public, as I would be writing another entry targeting females who would like to explore India. It would be an extensive post of my experience in India as a female. Thus, ladies, look out for that! And without further ado, let’s get started.
- Hydration! The month I visited was at summer’s peak, thus temperature reached over 40 degree C. It was scorching hot and most of the sights were about 40% sheltered and the rest, outdoors. Thus having a bottle of water was necessary. (I remembered drinking 2 bottles of water by noontime on the first day there, as I was not used to the heat there.) Another thing was India’s drinking water. Our foreign stomachs might not be able to take their tap water, as it might not be treated to be safe for consumption; thus having potable water on hand was crucial.
Disclaimer* There are taps and drinking-water area in most sights. Those are tap water, which I mentioned above. You would see locals clenching their thirst there. I chose not to and opt for bottled mineral water because I doubt my stomach could handle their tap water.
- Start your day early to avoid the bright and strong afternoon sun. The day we visited Taj Mahal, we woke at 5AM in the morning to be at Taj Mahal at 6AM. It was to avoid crowd as well as the heat from the afternoon sun. Most of our sightseeing were done in the morning and evening. During noontime, we were mostly indoors to hide from the heat. You could opt for afternoon viewing, however bring shades and water as well as wearing sunscreen.
- Bring along a face mask to cover your nose and mouth. The air quality in India is pretty low, thus the mask will come in handy when you travel in rickshaw. Rickshaws are an open auto taxi, available all over India. They are affordable transportation that could take you places.
*Do research about the distance traveled and haggle for a reasonable price. One way to find out about the travel cost would be using the Uber app. The cost of the trip would be stated with the destination input.*
- Have tips on hand, small notes per se. Little notes like 10/20 rupees might play a part when traveling sites. Some sites, such as mosque or temples, require you to remove shoes or put on a shawl to cover your knees or shoulders. People tending the sites might want some tips in return for looking out for your shoes or lending of the shawl, thus these little tips would play a huge role.
- Be wary of spices hidden in food. I love Indian food, one of the many reasons I chose to travel to India. However I was not prepared for all my food to contain spiciness. We ordered pizza one night; little did we know there were chilies in it as well. Most of their food are filled flavor, chili being one of them. So if you could not handle spice, you could make a request for less spiciness or go for dishes such as tandoori chicken/paneer , naan bread or vegetable rice. They have a heap of options when it comes to food. There are a variety of meat, vegetable and rice dishes.
India has one of the more diverse palates I have come across. Their food are so vibrant, colourful and truly a feast to the eyes. Meal after meals, I am constantly in awe with the food they cook up. They have plenty of vegetarian options that I fell for. They have a variety of paneer , cottage cheese, cooked in gravy, in a tandoor oven, grilled and many more. There is a vegetable ‘biryani’, which is basmati rice cooked in potatoes, peas, carrots and lots of spices, so much intense flavors in a rice dish. It went perfectly with curry or even having the rice by itself, was beautiful. Just like the people, India is beautiful and colourful. People are gracious in helping one another when in need. The pace of life is a little slower while in the countryside, however it is a good slow.
My time there was well spent and I enjoyed everyday. I loved the food, the place, the vibe of the city. Like each sights were built so brilliantly. They were majestic yet practically developed. Each pillar had a purpose, ceilings provided echo for words to be heard on the outside and each wall crafted diligently with art. There was so much pride in keeping the monuments alive. Every monument I went, I graced my hands on the wall to get a feel of what life was then.
That is it for today’s entry! I hope you had a great time reading and gained some tips and tricks for you travel to India! Tune in for the next post for traveling advice for female travellers. Till next time, Bye!
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