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10 preconceptions about India and what is really true | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu 10 preconceptions about India and what is really true | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu 10 preconceptions about India and what is really true

10 Prejudice & reality

We organize a lot for our guests before their India tour and if you wish, we can also take care of the paperwork as far as possible.

In the evening we often sit together with our guests and have written down a few points that come up again and again – many points are just stories, but some things that you can hardly imagine really happen here in India!

1: The visa for India costs time, money and nerves

But how much does the visa for India really cost?
Here is some information from our Austrian guests:
We applied for the visa in Vienna, filled out documents, 2 passport photos (in the unusual 50×50 mm format), within 72 hours we were notified by SMS & email that our passports with visa were ready for collection. Cost: €100,-

Conclusion: Applying for a visa for India is easy and we are happy to help!

2: India is crowded and noisy

India has over 1.2 billion inhabitants. This makes it the most populous country in the world after China. Wow! For some of our guests, this many people can be a little intimidating – but we always know places and small towns where you can find peace and quiet!
Auswärtiges Amt

Guests told me over dinner:
After my visit to Seoul, Delhi doesn’t seem particularly crowded to me (except for rush hour). However, I also like hustle and bustle and never felt cramped in Bangkok or Beijing either. The old towns in India are usually particularly lively – I really like it. It feels lively and there’s always something to look at.

Conclusion: Yes, it is crowded and many people live in India – but that is also what makes it so varied – you will see many cultures and people of different religions. Take in many colors and smells, but that is India!

3: What animals are there in India, sacred cows and much more!

Actually, all our guests are a little surprised about the cows in India. And it certainly seems a bit strange when you see the sacred cows in the city for the first time. Normally we only know cows from the pasture, but in India they really are everywhere. They are a normal part of road traffic and always have priority. But keep an eye out for the many other animals that exist in India and that you are sure to see: Besides the sacred cows, you will see elephants with colorfully painted faces in Jodhpur, monkeys, dogs, goats rummaging in garbage cans or snakes with their charmers. If you go out of the city and into nature, you will see many wild birds.

Conclusion: There are a lot of animals in India – it depends on the region where you spend your vacation but from tigers to rhinos, elephants and the sacred cows but also many large birds, you will find some exciting animals. Keep your eyes peeled!

4: Touring as a woman in India, or the men in India are pushy

Here I would like to pass on the experiences of a woman who visited us, she is European, tall, blonde and beautiful:

Everyone knows the headlines. Foreign women are stared at or even touched. Yes, I am stared at. But not lustfully, rather with great interest – from men, women and children. I can’t stop staring myself, seeing women in colorful robes and men with turbans and full beards.

When someone looks, I usually look back and sometimes smile, some smile back. Or they even wave at me. In Dehli, I was out and about on my own once – but during the day. I was approached, but only by traders. I’ve seen this before in countries like Morocco, Turkey and Austria.

Conclusion: As in every country, there are corners that you should avoid and, as in many cities and countries, you should not walk alone through the streets after dark, especially as a woman. Our guests feel very comfortable and safe. We are happy to give you tips on where you can walk through the city and tell you honestly which corners you should avoid.

5: It’s always hot in India – Climate in India and tips on the best times to visit India.

India is a large country – with climatic differences. It’s summer in Delhi and Rajasthan. In Sikkim it was sometimes chilly at night and we had to sleep with woolen blankets. Here is an overview of the best time to travel to North India – depending on what you want to experience and see, you should weigh up the travel months:
Travel time

6: Everyone wants to photograph me in India

You are sure to be asked for a photo often. In some places, especially in the north-east of India, tourists are not yet so commonplace, and you might even stand out. Perhaps you feel the same way and would like to take photos of the women in their colorful saris and the men with turbans.

My tip: Approach people and ask for a photo – and if you are asked, you can of course refuse.

7: Diarrhea is guaranteed in India

Here’s another tip from our guests:
I stay away from the “Delhi Belly” during the 14 days. However, I am careful, for example I don’t drink tap water or eat at street stalls. I had read that there were only a few washrooms. Of course, this is not a problem in the hotels, but the sights and restaurants also all have toilets. You often have to pay ten rupees to use them, so have some change ready. And it’s always easy to wash your hands!

8: In Indien ist es schmutzig

True, it is often dirty: some of the houses are dilapidated, the streets are full of holes, there is a lot of garbage on the roadside and one of the sacred cows will sometimes eat a paper cup.

At the same time, there are so many beautiful things to discover: the colorful dresses of the women, magnificent temples and brightly painted vices. The smells and the hustle and bustle of the people – take a look and enjoy the different life that prevails in India.

9: Magnificent buildings in India

What our guests say
Before the tour, I thought I would only see Hindu temples. I am impressed by the many different religions, magnificent palaces, funerary monuments such as the Taj Mahal and forts.

My tip: There are incredible temple complexes in India, so many cultures, religions and different people coming together. Check beforehand which main sights you definitely want to discover and take your time for the many small original temples and monasteries.

10: Indian food is only spicy

Absolutely not! We also like to eat desserts and of course you can also order dishes that are less spicy. The food also varies greatly depending on the region. A curry with naan bread really tastes fantastic. The thali is also great; many different dishes are served in metal bowls. Desserts such as gulab jamun are sugary sweet and very good. Accompanied by a masala chai spice tea, a Kingfisher beer or a lassi.

Conclusion: Trying new things is exciting. We will be happy to give you tips on what you should definitely try in the various regions!

My conclusion about India

Is India worth traveling to? Yes, definitely – if you get involved with the people and the country, you will have unforgettable experiences. Hardly any other country offers so much variety and so much culture and history as India.

Some parts of your tour of India will certainly be very different from what you imagined, but I can promise you that you will love the people, the colors, the buildings and the food.

Ihre Helen Kämpf
with many tips from the guests of the Bamboo Retreat Hotel