Best Time to Travel:

The best time to travel in India is from the middle of November to the end of January when the weather is cool and people from Western countries would find it ideal and pleasant.Also,if you intend to visit Chennai during this travel to India,you can enjoy the traditional music extravaganza that takes place in the month of December.If you don't mind the heat,then the period from March to July will be the one for you as most activities in most fields take place during this time.

About the People:

Indians are mostly a friendly lot and it is normal for people to stare at you in amazement since it is not often that they get to see a foreigner.A quick grin or a wink is all you need to get them on your side. Political gatherings and protest marches are a part of life here and there is no reason for you to get anxious about it.And don't get ruffled if someone sprays color powder on you.Know why ? It is Holi festival time and this is the way they celebrate it.

Festivals and Food:

If there is one overwhelming advantage that India possesses among all the nations of the world, it is its diversity.Each State in India has a distinct food culture.Rice is the staple food in the southern part of India whereas wheat is more popular in North India.Whatever be the type of food,Indians love spicy dishes and if you are newcomer, too much of it can set you on a running spree with an upset tummy.Apart from Indian food, most cities in India cater to the palate of those who prefer Chinese,Thai,Japanese,Italian and other Western cuisine. And for those with a sweet tooth, you can't be in a better place than India.Like a different language for different regions, the sweet variety is unimaginable.

India, being a land of many religions and culture, there is no dearth of festivals all round the year. An interesting fact I would like to mention here is that India has the most number of national holidays in a year. Durga Pooja, Navaratri,Onam,Id ul Fitr,Holi,Deepavali,Pongal and Christmas are some of the main festivals here.

Language is Not a Problem:

Though there are different languages spoken in different States, it is a blessing in disguise for any foreigner visiting India as most Indians speak or understand English, which is a common language necessary for Indians from different States to communicate with each other.Yet the service of a local guide is advisable if you are travelling to India for the first time.They not only act as a source of knowledge but also as a bridge of relationship between you and the local people.And you will be safe and well protected when your guide is at hand.

Shopping and Luggage:

India is a treasure trove for tourists who wish to shop here.Handicraft and other gift articles from different parts of the country can be purchased from most places considered as tourist spots.But be wary of the sellers as foreigners are considered easy meat here and you will always stand to gain if you can bargain hard.

Travelling by local transport is no joke and it takes a tough heart and a tougher luggage to handle the teeming crowd that jostles for space in the bus or train you travel.A sturdy suitcase and a watchful eye are essential if you want your belongings to be safe and in good condition.When travelling by taxi or auto there is always the possiblity of the drivers taking you for a ride, knowing well that you don't know the fare besides being a foreigner. Keeping this in mind, the government in each State has arranged for a prepaid taxi service where the fare is quite reasonable.This service is available in most places where foreigners congregate like airports,railway stations etc.

Be Cautious on Health Matters:

It is always better to carry bottled water when on travel in India as water contamination could play spoil sport.The good news though is, you will be able to buy safe,branded bottled water in most places including rural areas.Modern India does not carry the baggage of disease and unhygienic conditions of old and even if one were to fall sick,medical treatment facilities are just a stone's throw away. Having said that, carrying medicine for common ailments and paracetamol could come in handy if needed.