There are some things you should know before planning your trip to India. You can get travel tips at sites like Make My Trip or Park Ride Fly. Below are some insider tips about India that will help to create a better trip experience.
Visit the Taj Mahal
This amazing architectural design is free on certain religious holidays and other special dates. Check locally about the dates (you will not find the information listed online, ask around). The free tickets are available after 7:30am, so if you were planning on catching it in the earliest of lights, you will still have to pay on those free dates.
While at the train station, you might notice that the platform numbers change constantly. This can be done without notice and be very confusing. Keep a check out at the enquiry window or listen for the announcements to ensure you are in the right place.
Guidebooks should not be used as bibles for visiting the area. The information in the books can be outdated. Hotel accommodations can change once they change hands, and the must-try foods can give you a bug.
Just a word of advice, grab plenty of extra napkins when you stop to eat. Toilet paper is almost nonexistent in some areas. Unless your trip is going to remain near the better hotels and the westernized area of the country, toilet paper will be worth its weight in gold.
To avoid getting sick during your trip, try to only eat at places that are busy and appear to be clean; they are few and far between but well worth the walk. Use bottled water to brush your teeth and don't open your mouth in the shower. You might do well to stay away from salads and stick to vegetarian meals if you are unsure about the safety of the meats. It is always best to follow your instincts.
Early September is the rainy season and it can bring with it heavy downfalls of rain. If you want to visit India while it is the busiest, mid October brings plenty of tourists to Goa, Kerala and many other popular destinations.
While most locals are polite and well-meaning, there are very few that are used to making chit chat with tourists. If you come across someone wanting to talk, keep in mind they are probably going to hit you up for a sell. There is nothing wrong with making purchases from street merchants, but just know that once you exchange names, it is harder to say no.
Most merchants expect tipping, be sure to keep a supply of smaller bills for taxi cab drivers, waiters and bellboys.
Book well in advance when travelling anywhere by train; they fill up quickly and the waitlist is long. The train tickets are on a first come, first serve basis. If you are given a number on the wait list that is below 30, you have a pretty good chance of getting a confirmed seat within a day or two; anything beyond 30, you will most likely be seeking a refund, which can be a pain.
Delhi and Mumbai Warnings
When going to the train station, go to the tourist office that is located upstairs. If you get pulled aside by a man telling you the office is closed, he is most likely lying. Even if the man shows you an ID that states he is an official of the train station, do not believe him. His goal is to get you to follow him across the road to a tiny shop and get your passport information while he sells you an extremely expensive seat on the train (he will ask for a small commission).