Five Ideas for every Traveller on how to Enjoy India

  • By Harper Reid
  • September 10 2018

Travelling India promises a sojourn like no other.  As one of the largest land masses in the world, India boasts over 1.2 billion people and a history stretching back before the third millennium BCE.

India’s culture is rich and varied, informed by hundreds of centuries and civilisations. Indian culture is so multi-faceted, in fact, that as a prospective traveller to the country, you might be wondering just where and how to choose your travel experiences!

To help refine your options, we’ve put together the 5 most accessible, enjoyable, and inviting culture-related activities you can look forward to while you’re on Indian soil.

1.  Explore unique accommodation

If you love staying in chain hotels, you’ll be glad that you can find a Hilton in any of India’s large cities. However, if you really want to have an immersive cultural experience, opt for an accommodation option that will allow you to experience the hospitality and generosity that Indian people are famous for.

In all of India’s regions, you’ll have your pick of converted palaces and heritage B&Bs to spend your resting hours in – or you could even choose to stay with a local through Couchsurfing or Airbnb. Whatever you do, make yourself available for friendly conversation with your hosts, and be open to trying new foods and activities. 

Don’t forget that the best accommodation experiences involve mutual cultural exchange! 

Your hosts in India will love to hear about the details of your culture, lifestyle, and language too, so remember to pack some souvenirs or photos from your home.

2. Marvel at a traditional Indian festival

Indian festivals need to be experienced to be believed. Whether you make it to India in time for Diwali (the world-renowned festival of lights), for Holi (the Hindu spring festival), or for another of India’s myriad celebrations throughout the year, the sheer scale and bustle involved in these events will astound you.

Ganesh Chaturthi festival   

3. Dive into the markets

Most people have heard of the tourist markets which are replete in Southeast and South Asia (think giant warehouses, full of colourful mass-produced goods for Western tourists). If you want more authenticity from your market experience, seek out the lesser-advertised markets that locals frequent in the town or district you’re staying in.

At a genuine Indian market, you’ll be able to find everything from foodstuffs, to trinkets, to fantastic, delicious spices that you won’t be able to buy anywhere else in the world. Plus, market-going will introduce you to the art and spectacle of genuine Indian bartering. 

4. Enjoy a cooking class

If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at cooking Indian food from scratch, take a cooking class. Even better, a food tour with a class included will be right up your alley. Cooking classes can also prove terrific for conversing with other tourists, so if you’re planning on travelling solo, ward against the mid-trip loneliness by booking a group class or tour. And don’t forget to eat with your hands, the Indian way!

5. Experience the public transport 

India’s public transport is the stuff of legend. Even if you only do it once, try driving in India, getting in a tuk-tuk, or hopping on the back of a scooter – anything to experience how the locals get around. It’ll be a transport adventure not to be forgotten!

Even better, take your life in your hands and travel on foot. Crossing the road in Mumbai in rush-hour is one way to get your adrenaline rush for the day!

Exploring local markets is Harper’s recommended way to experience food and culture – her two favourite aspects of travelling overseas. In the past, she has happily collaborated with travel and hospitality sites such as Tanoa Dateline. Visit Harper’s Tumblr page to see more of her published work.

Pictures Courtesy

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