India is an enthralling nation that cannot just be visited but must be experienced. It is one of the few destinations in the world that inspires awe at every turn. Each and every state has its own unique charm. There is something about India that is wonderfully unique and promises tourists an amazing travel experience on each visit. It is the perfect example of a land that is a melting pot of cultures. The vibrant metropolises like Delhi and Mumbai can be juxtaposed with the quaint and tranquil hamlets spread all over the country – a contrast which can only be found in India.
If you are planning to go backpacking in India, prepare yourself you have the best travelling experience you would have ever had, and keep in mind the following tips:
Most of India travels by public transport; be it trains, metros, buses, autos, taxis or cycle rickshaws! For interstate travel, it’s advisable to make your train bookings in advance. Bus tickets however, are easier to buy on the spot. There is no shortage of means of travelling within the cities but it is advisable to keep a keen eye on your belongings at all points of time! Frequency of buses etc however in the rural sector will be lower. And of course, it would be wise to bargain a bit with cabbies and rickshaw pullers who refuse to go by the meter before you take the ride!
In a country that is synonymous with “organised” chaos, it’s ideal if you do your research and plan your itinerary in advance. It will help you save time and also reduce the risk of you being taken advantage of. Unfortunately, petty theft continues to be a problem in the country and therefore being alert in public places is important. It would also be advisable for women to avoid travelling alone in isolated areas, especially at night. A moderately conservative dress code would also be most suited. If you’re participating in adventure activities, it would be wise to spend that extra money and opt for the most reputed agencies.
It is wise to plan and make arrangements for your accommodation in advance, especially if you are travelling during holiday seasons. You would surely not want to be stranded without a place to stay. It is important that you take your time to research your destinations and look for accommodation facilities in that area. If you wish to play it by the ear, try to avoid the many touts you will encounter. Instead, it’d be best to speak to other locals like shopkeepers and restaurant owners whom you would find away from the station or bus stop.
Apart from the usual planning (vaccinations, ample health insurance and carrying a full supply of medication that you’re already taking) it would be wise to adhere to a few precautions while in India. First off, be careful of the water you are consuming. Sealed, bottled water is your best bet. Secondly, slathering yourself with mosquito repellant would also be a good idea.
A land of contradictions, India is a truly incredible experience. Backpacking through this vast nation can be an adventure of a lifetime. Do it, but do it wisely!