Planning A Trip To India: Things You Should Know

India is one of the most diverse countries in the world. With every step you take within the country, you meet people speaking different languages, believing in different cultures and adhering to different traditions. 

However, the beauty of this land lies in the fact that Indians accept and respect every culture, religion and tradition. The streets of India display gradure. From Diwali to Christmas and Eid to Easter, the Indians celebrate every occasion that fits into the calendar. 

Moreover, the Indian custom of “Atithi Devo Bhava,” meaning “Guests are God,” makes it one of the most endearing destinations for all tourists worldwide. 

India doesn’t require its visitors to follow many rules except a few. However, some important tips can help you perceive every color of this country to its true core. 

Exploring The Ancient 

Indian Culture

India is a figment of history. Every corner of the country is a timeline, holding the ancient past through its changes, struggles and wars of survival. 

Therefore, before you visit India, you must dig in a little about India’s ancient history and culture.  

From yoga practices to Buddhism, it is the home of cultures and sub-religions that have spread worldwide in the modern era. 

Therefore, we suggest you include the following destinations to cover the true spirit of India’s antiquity. Get a highly detailed map of the country from muir-way.com and start your journey around the country— 

1. Hike The Kedarnath Temple Trail 

The Kedarnath Yatra is a well-known pilgrimage route in India that leads to the revered Kedarnath Temple.  

This spiritual and physically challenging journey is renowned for its summit, marked by a cairn. It is a 16km long trail from Gaurikund and ends at the revered Kedarnath temple. 

Kedarkantha is one of the two summit treks in the Himalayas, with the rest being passes or high points on a range.  

The temple’s unique lingam, believed to be a natural rock formation, is worshipped as the Lord Shiva. The temple was once known as Kedar Khand and was believed to be where Lord Vishnu took the form of Narayan and reached Badrinath.  

Besides the ancient religious hues, Kedarnath is among the most rewarding destinations for great scenery. 

2. Visit Varanasi, The City Of Temples 

Varanasi, a holy city in India, is a popular tourist destination known for its spiritual atmosphere, ancient narrow lanes, and architectural beauty.  

It is considered one of the best places in India for performing religious rituals and offering pujas due to its location at the junction of three holy rivers:  

Ganga, Yamuna, and Brahmaputra. The city also performs cremations on famous ghats like Dashashwamedh Ghat.  

Varanasi has been a pilgrimage spot for Hindus for centuries. There is a Hindu belief that those blessed to die on the land attain salvation or freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth.  

Tourists come to Varanasi to attain Moksha. It releases humans from the cycle of life and death through captivating rituals like Ganga Arti and rhythmic spiritual chants. 

3. Explore Lucknow 

Lucknow is a city brimming with a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries. The city is bejeweled with the most magnificent architectural wonders in the world, such as the iconic Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, and Rumi Darwaza.  

These structures’ intricate craftsmanship and architectural brilliance will leave you in awe.  

Fondly referred to as the City of Nawabs, Lucknow has made a name for itself with its tehzeeb (manners), grand architecture, beautiful gardens, delectable cuisine, and much more.  

It has a special appeal among travelers due to its perfect blend of colonial charisma and aesthetics. 

4. Visit Kolkata 

Kolkata, a city steeped in colonial history, boasts many historical sites.  

The Victoria Memorial Hall, a tribute to the British queen, is a testament to the city’s colonial past.  

The Hooghly River, a branch of the Ganges River, played a significant role as a trade route for European traders, and Kolkata was not the first to colonize Bengal.  

Moreover, Serampore, a Danish colony from 1752 to 1845, was known as Frederick Nagar.  

Chinsurah is also a small town in Kolkata’s Hooghly district. It was established by the Dutch in the early 17th century for trade in salt, muslin, spices and opium. Now, it is a multi-cultural town reflecting the Dutch’s bygone era.  

Chandernagore, considered one of India’s first outposts, is more akin to Puducherry than a typical Indian town. Despite its past glory, Chandernagore remains an interesting stop for visitors. 

You Can Explore The Different Political Borders 

India is a country that shares its borders with several neighboring countries such as the following: 

China. 

Bhutan. 

Nepal. 

Pakistan. 

Bangladesh. 

Myanmar.  

The most amazing part of the country is that it allows tourists to visit most of these borders. 

One of the must-see ceremonies in India is the flag-lowering ceremony at the Attari-Wagah border between India and Bangladesh.  

Next, Dawki is a popular tourist destination known for its crystal-clear Umngot River. The Dawki Integrated Check Post is a road border crossing between India and Bangladesh.  

Moreh, a small border town in the Tengnoupal district of Manipur, is an international trading point known as Border Haat Trade.  

Moreover, Pangong Tso Lake is a popular tourist destination that falls along the Line of Actual Control, the border between India and China. On the Indian side, the lake is legendary and draws tourists from all over the world.  

Nathu La pass is a route for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. It allows Indian travelers to cross to the Tibet Autonomous Region or Xizang Autonomous Region. The beauty of the lake and the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra make India a popular destination for travelers. 

You Don’t Need Cash 

Did you know most modern Indians don’t carry cash when they leave their homes? 

With India’s digitization spree, the country has almost entirely transformed all its transactions into the UPI system. 

It is one of the most fascinating parts of modern India. You only need a smartphone to pay if you stop to get a betel leaf or walk into a fine dining restaurant.  

Also, it is a country with an ill-reputation of pickpockets and minor theft crimes. However, with the new digitized India, your smartphone is all you need to care about. 

Keep the device safe, and you’ll always find a way out in India. From rural locations to the cities, digitized payments have gained a strong foot nationwide. 

Explore The Food 

indian cuisine

Indian cuisines are known for their rich spices, which enhance the taste and health of food. With around 80,000 Indian restaurants in America, there are numerous options for healthy Indian dishes.  

Popular dishes include:  

Butter chicken. 

Samosas. 

Tara paneer. 

Rogan Josh. 

Tandoori Chicken. 

Masala Dosa. 

Hyderabadi Biriyani.  

Exploring all the diverse flavors of Indian cuisine can be quite an undertaking. With countless dishes to discover, it’s challenging to savor every one in a lifetime. 

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Peter is a digital nomad who largely writes from Asia, Europe, and South America. Always following the "vibe," he sets up shop in hostels and AirBNB's and continues to entertain us with wild stories from life abroad.

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