things to keep in mind in India

90% FOREIGN TRAVELLERS VISIT INDIA JUST TO EXPLORE THE INDIAN CULTURE – WHY SO?

by

Indian culture and its cultural sites have been on travellers' mind since time immemorial! Tourists from across the globe have been flocking to India to see and feel the mysterious cultural element in this holy land. Around 90% of foreign travellers visit India to explore the melting pot of its cultural diversity. This diversity exists in different forms such as history, archaeology, music, festivals, dance, etc!

The vibrancy of cultural diversity is at its epitome in states like Kerala, Rajasthan, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. While Uttarakhand basks in the light of culture and spiritual tourism, Tamil Nadu sheds light on Dravid tradition and culture. Cities like Varanasi, Allahabad, Vrindavan, and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh encapsulates beautiful vignettes of India, attracting a large number of foreign tourists. Taj Mahal in Agra, one among seven wonders of the world, mesmerizes tourists with its majestic beauty.

Rajasthan is yet another state on top of foreign tourists’ minds. This state has been exhibiting its rich culture via its royal and majestic monuments and traditional festivals. Different fairs and festivals have also been singing the cultural saga of India. Pushkar Fair, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund Mela are a few to be named here which have marked their presence on international charts for exhibiting Indian culture.

Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that cultural tourism is the predominant factor behind India’s meteoric rise in the tourism segment. Let’s look at the important parameters of Indian culture that have been wooing tourists to this country…

1. Archaeology: The historical and archaeological monuments in India are the assets which have been attracting the biggest chunk of international tourists. These monuments reflect the influence of different rulers, and take the tourists back to an era of kings and queens.

Hampi-UNESCO World Heritage Site

2. Music: The synchronisation of rhythm with musical instruments has been mesmerising all since ages. From a variety of folk music to classical notes, Indian music comes with a wide range of traditions and regional styles. North Indian Hindustani, South Indian Carnatic traditions and their various forms of regional folk music are always soothing to ears and eventually foreign travellers have also fallen in love with these melodies.

Traditional & folk music in India

3. Festivals: Festivals form the heart and soul of India. While most of them have a religious origin, there are many others that are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed. Some of the most popular festivals in India are Diwali, Ugadi, Pongal, Holi, Onam, Vijayadashami, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Buddha Jayanti, and Vaisakhi.

Holi Festival in India

4. Dance: Dances in India have come a long way from the ancient classical or temple dance to folk and modern styles. Indian folk dances such as Bhangra, Bihu, Ghumura Dance, Sambalpuri, Chhau, Garba and special dances in regional festivals have a high-speed rhythm and vibrancy Foreign travellers could also be seen shaking their legs on foot-tapping beats of folk songs in different states.

Classical dance in India

5. Art and Craft: Indian art and craft is yet another area where foreign tourists have a keen interest! Art and culture in India are classified into specific periods where each period is reflected in the form of a particular religious, political and cultural development. From ancient period (3500 BCE-1200 CE) to Islamic ascendancy (1192-1757), colonial period (1757–1947) to Independent and the postcolonial period (Post-1947), the Indian art and craft reflect the rich culture which evolved and progressed under different eras.

Arts & Crafts in India

6. Pilgrimage: India has been thronged by travellers from across the world to explore spirituality. Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Mathura, Vrindavan etc are places where tourists visit in high number seeking spiritual solace.

Pilgrimage in India

7. Cuisines: The Indian cuisine also symbolises the rich cultural diversity. While Lucknow and Hyderabad are known for the relishing Nawabi dishes, the cities in Rajasthan have also earned fame by serving the royal Daal baatis and choorma. Similarly, North India cities have its own delicious variety of cuisine and Kolkata in the East has made a mark with its yummy delicious sweets. South Indian food too has made its own distinguished identity with wada sambhar, idli sambhar and masala dosa!

Indian Cuisines

8. Clothing: The traditional attire in India changes as one travels from one state to another. Clothing is influenced immensely by local culture, geography and climate. While katha work has made a mark in Gujarat, the colorful bandhej sarees and dupattas have won a million hearts of tourists here. Phulkari work in Punjab and Haryana has also garnered the interest of foreign travellers.

9. Multiple religions: Many religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism were founded in India. This, yet again, brought diversity in culture and the different religious influences have made India a very popular destination!

10. History: The rich history of India has also made it culturally rich! The country was ruled by different rulers such as Rajputs, Mughals, English and Portuguese. And, it is due to the influence of different dynasties that the heritage and culture of India have become exhaustive and vibrant. 

 

Author Bio: Archana Sharma is freelance writer who is passionate about her profession. Travelling is something that excites her. She has been in the creative field for over 15 years and has been writing for print media and digital media.


VISITING INDIA? HERE ARE THE 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND

by

Exotic, extravagant, elegant and eclectic! This is how we define India as a destination!
The country’s different languages, diverse culture, exotic flora, enticing fauna, quiet calmness, and serene spirituality have been wooing a lot many travellers from across the globe. There are cultural and geographical differences in India and hence when visiting this country, one should keep these 10 things in mind

1. Keep yourself well-equipped for all kinds of weather: India is a diverse nation. When you move from one place to another, the weather also keeps on changing.

travel tips for India

Hence you should ensure that you have clothes for all seasons. If you are traveling to northern regions during winter months, you might need winter wears; if in Rajasthan, summer clothes can serve the purpose. There might be rainfall in some parts of the country and hence you should be well-equipped with umbrellas and raincoats. The umbrella can also help in protecting you from the scorching sun in the summer.

2. Bargain to its fullest while indulging in shopping: India is a shoppers' paradise. You will get amazingly colourful products at throwaway prices. How-ever, you should be a skilled bargainer if you really want to get your stuff at the best price. This art of bargaining could come as a blessing if you are an ardent follower of street shopping. 

Shopping in India

3. Plan your day smartly and wisely: India is a vast, diverse, colourful and addictive country. The more you travel, the more you want to explore! Hence you have to be extra wise while planning your day. You should ensure that you don't get tired by the evening. Once you have a wisely planned day, you can experience the texture and spirit of the place in a much better spirit. 

4. Feel the pulse of India in villages: If you want to experience India, you should definitely visit at least one village! You can feel the pulse of real India in smaller villages. It's the only way to get a true sense of India. The colourful attire, local folks, cattle rearing and zig-zag roads in smaller villages will definitely woo you with its beauty. The other benefit of planning a day out in villages is that you are out of the sprawling and vastly overpopulated cities to feel the quietness of villages.

Indian villages

5. Start your day early: You should plan your day early enough to have some quiet and quality time for yourself. If you start early, you can easily beat city traffic and can reach your destination before noon, while preventing yourself from the woes of harsh heat. 

6. Remember India is hot so keep bottled water with you: Except for a few months, India is generally hot. There are many cities in northern India where temperatures escalate 40 degrees Celsius. Here you are advised to keep yourself well-hydrated. You should always carry bottled water with you and should cover your head when travelling under the sizzling sun. 

7. Taste the exquisite cuisine of each region: Except for a few months, India is generally hot. There are many cities in northern India where temperatures escalate 40 degrees Celsius. Here you are advised to keep yourself well-hydrated. You should always carry bottled water with you and should cover your head when travelling under the sizzling sun. 

Indian Cuisine

8. Be a part of the country's culture: When in India, you should follow a few trends to get the real feel of India. When venturing out to a religious place, you should cover yourself. Also, you should remember to take off your footwear before entering the shrine. In Sikh gurudwaras, you should always cover your head with a scarf or handkerchief. 

9. Be updated on multi-tiered ticket price system: The tourist spots in India have separate entry fees for Indian nationals, foreigners, and students. At many places, the entry points are different for Indian nationals and foreigners. Here, it is useful to carry an identity proof with you as you may get some concession based on it. If you have a student ID, you shall enjoy a student's discount which is generally valid here at all places regardless of your nationality. 

10. Pre-book your arrival and departures: Try and pre-book your arrival and departure transfers with a reliable travel agent/tour operator. That way you will not be overwhelmed by the crowds and touts at the airport who try to sell their services to you. You will definitely have more peace of mind if you make private travel arrangements. They are fortunately quite inexpensive in India and therefore give good value for the tourist's dollar. 

Author Bio: Archana Sharma is freelance writer who is passionate about her profession. Travelling is something that excites her. She has been in the creative field for over 15 years and has been writing for print media and digital media.


  • 1