We are going to a wedding in India. It will be our first trip there. Leaving around Christmas and returning Jan 7 or thereabouts. If you have any tips or cautions, please let us know. Many thanks.
What are your apprehensions skip ?
Maybe specific questions might get better answers
I used to travel to India on business for many years & for pleasure after I retired.
My cmpy’s regional HQ moved from Mumbai to Bangalore & opened a new R&D centre specialising in electronics, so I needed to be there even more & very happy to do so.
Bangalore (now called Bengaluru) is a modern vibrant city, its the high tech centre of India, famed for that & its young modern population.
The city has a lot going for it, good transport, new modern airport (annoyingly too far out of town) shopping, hotels, parks, recreation & nightlife. What it doesn’t have so much of is Indian culture, yes its there but nothing like the famous stuff. There is enough to keep you busy & more so if you travel further afield maybe to Madras (Chennai)
The country can appear chaotic to a westerner, but thats normal, you quickly get used to it, just get involved & soak up the experience. Some areas are very poor, some stinking rich, don’t let that bother you, you will get beggars but a polite no is perfectly OK. Its generally safe, yes stuff happens, but just take the normal care, keep bags buttoned up etc.
Is it possible to extend the time in India, 2 weeks is rather short to combine with a wedding as in India they are big events usually over a few days. Bangalore is in the south of the country & the famous places around the ‘golden triangle’ such as Delhi, Jaipur & Agra are 1600km (1000miles) away in the north of the country. There is so much to see, the big iconic see once in a lifetime places like Taj Mahal, Jama Mosque, Hawa Mahal, a plethora of forts & other monuments are all must see stuff. Every tour operator has organised package, bespoke or standard, from exclusive private car, to small or large group by bus (coach) or rail.
You may have traveled to other parts of the globe and might be an experienced traveler yourself
so overall - the precautions are generally similar…
very good post by Mike-B
Coorg is a place about 5-6 hours drive from Bangalore…nice place for some R&R
Indian weddings ( if done the traditional way ) are quite fun and i am hopeful you will enjoy…
India is a Right Hand drive country so you might get used to it after a few days… and the sense of space ( in traffic and in person ) is closer than the western countries or USA…
i am sure your doctor will prescribe you the tablets for digestion etc…
and start slow on the spices and gradually build up…
My country has a lot to offer and hope you will enjoy this visit and come back for more…
any specific questions - we will try to answer…
Am sure others on this forum have traveled to India a few times too…
December will be nice weather not too cold and not too warm…
I recommend full sleeve where possible and a casual jacket for trips around town - for all the members of the family.
and remember the mantra - hydrate hydrate hydrate…keep sipping water in a slow measured manner - helps with lots of things including jet lag…
stay open in the mind as pointed out by Mike-B - some very good advise in that post.
Despite all warnings, I became terribly I’ll during my first India visit. The precautions I took for the second and following visits were:
- Drink only drinks from the bottle. Kingfisher beer is your friend!
- Eat no prepared fruit. Bananas are safe, is unpeeled.
- Use a rickshaw to cross the street. Some streets look 8x8 streets, but they are not. Be not surprised that streets are more like (6+2)X(6+2).
It is a lovely country. What also was helpful was a personal assistant. I got one on my business visits, and a friend of the groom took care of us visiting a wedding.
Ah, don’t forget to buy a nice Indian outfit. For USD 100 you are dressed like an Indian god.
India is a great country. Just a few tips from me:
There’s loads of kids begging but I wasn’t to keen on giving them money as you can never be sure who it’s going to. I handed out sweets and kids stationery instead.
It’s tempting to really haggle when buying stuff. Just remember that some of these guys are really poor.
Take some alcohol gel to keep clean.
Book flights and excursions when you’re there - it’s loads cheaper!
Just don’t get torpedoed!
Common sense Skip. Within a short train journey Mysore is a lovely city to visit and a short flight away less than 2 hours Madurai is beautiful and less than an hour flight is Kochi.
Enjoy your trip it is an amazing country we have been many times and whilst I never get stomach problems my partner has done often just be sensible but do not let any worries override your enjoyment.
Re food in India in general: yes its all spiced based, but don’t be put off by that,
the spices are flavoursome & very de-e-e-licious, I have never had a meal in India that was “too much” in fact I’ve had ‘hotter’ in UK.
When I go to India I tend to go vegetarian, veggie in India is just so easy as its inclusive in the Hindu religion & the culture of the country.
Outside of that I just avoid uncooked & any prepared fruit.
… and with more times in India than I can remember I’ve never had a food related problem, ever.
One more thing. I’m not a fan of Indian cuisine, but I loved the soups. They are also safe, since cooked.
If time permits, head up to Hampi or/and Badami, north of Bangalore for a taste of classic India.
And as Ardbeg10y said, only drink bottled water - BUT make sure it has a proper sealed cap (like celophane over the plastic cap)… some Indians take old bottles and fill them with contaminated water and then fit a false celophane seal on the cap
But don’t worry, you will be fine I’m sure. And India is simply a fabulous place
Hampi is a good suggestion…IMO
@skip - indian weddings will involve fun and dancing and you might get to see the ladies in all their finery and charm…
do get your papers along - in case you decide to settle down here
In Jaisalmer Rajahstan the well water is totally safe to drink though it is salty and leaves locals with stained teeth.
It’s very good with a Indian Whiskey or Old Monk Rum.
Ps Though cheap as chips about £1.50 for 750 ml Old Monk Rum mixed with Cola or 7up is surprisingly good.
The Old Monk Rum - is the go to Rum for me…
never fails to do its thing - is cheap and guys and gals who have lived in hostels and lived single for a few years love it because of this reason…
A go to rum for me… any day… even in my mid 40"s
Thanks for posting…
@skip has yet to make an appearance on this thread
Me too. My sister brought a bottle back for me last month that we are saving. When ever I visit India it is my No1 tipple.
Thanks for all the replies. We appreciate the help. Will definitely try the rum. I have been warned not to try the ice however.
probably one needs a year to go around India and understand my country…
its diverse and lots to see and take in…
Himalayas, islands, deserts, rivers, forests, tigers, snow, history, ancient language, kingfisher beer, old monk rum - you name it - we have it…
Where can we see these palaces of colors?