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There are a lot of articles that would talk about travel tips and what to do in India, where to go, how to enjoy and so on. But, there will be less article which will suggest you what should you not do in your trip to India. What are the points that are least recommended for anyone visiting India?

Keep reading to read the top tips for travel to India and 5 things which you should keep in mind while traveling in India.

1. Public Display of Affection

Starting from honeymoon capitals of the country, the hill stations of Darjeeling and Shimla to the Venice of East, Kerala, to the Taj Mahal you are entitled to enjoy a Hollywood styled vacation. But, public display of affection is considered to be an offense by people in this country.

Public display of affection includes kissing and hugging of all kind. In some traditional spots, it is not a good idea to perform handshake with opposite gender. Public display of affection rule is also for couples and especially in public transport.

To be on safer land, do not show off any affection in physical action if you are in a traditional area. Ultra Modern Indian cities can approve certain form of display of affection, but when it comes from a foreigner, there are a lot of people who find it offensive.

2. The Right Rule

Blame it on superstition or culture shock, left hand and left foot are considered to be bad. You should not accept or give anything with your left hand. On the same rule, you are no supposed to enter a place with your left foot first.

If you are a left hander, you might find it a bit hard, but try to remember this rule. While talking about foot, you need to know that you are offending someone if your foot touches someone no matter whether it was intentional or whether the person is younger to you.

You are supposed to express apologies immediately. Touching foot of elders is considered as a blessing. Thus, do not expect apology when an elder’s foot touches you.

3. Dress Conservatively

You can find all kinds of womens dress in India especially in big cities. Starting from traditional wear like sari and dhoti to western styled dress like jean, jersey and so on, you can find diverse styled clothes in India. You can also find a lot of people wearing extremely glamorous dresses.

But, as a foreigner you should not be dressing in India in any way that is considered to be glamorous. You need not stick to traditional wear. You need to wear a dress that covers most of your body parts except hands, foot from knee below and no cleavage.

Some auspicious spots like temples would not allow most western wear. If you are wearing one, you would be requested to enter the premises after wearing a shawl over your upper body. Learn about rules in spots you are about to visit in prior to avoid any problems. You can get complete info about what to wear in India here.

4. Smoking and Drinking

Among the tips for travelling to India do not smoke or drink in public. It is considered to be a legal offense to do so in public places. You are not supposed to smoke or drink in front of a minor. Smoking in front of women is also considered to be offensive by many.

There are a lot of bars and pubs where you are allowed to drink and smoke as you wish. But, remember it is an offensive to drink and drive in any part of India too. You are not allowed to enter any religious place while you are drunk or you have just smoked.

5. Gifting Rule

Visiting someone at their home without a gift is considered as a offense in many places. Do not pick up a bottle of wine for gift. It is offensive too.

Find out whether they consume meat or not. Gifting something related to meat to someone who is vegan is considered offensive too. Do not gift white flowers or any object made of animal skin. They are considered to be bad omen by many.

It is always better to stick to basics and buy a box of chocolate when you visit someone's house. Also remember to remove your footwear before entering someone’s house even if they insist on you putting it on. If they offer something to eat, do not refuse it.

At least have a part of it. It is considered hostile to reject what they offer to eat.

Things to Keep in Mind While Travelling in India

Some of less common things that you should avoid are
  • Do not start a religious sensitive or politically sensitive topic.
  • Cricket is their blood. Do not express your dislike towards the sport.
  • Do not address your elders by their name unless you are in a business meeting.
  • India is a homophobic society. Your sexuality has nothing to do with them, but make sure you do not express your sexuality freely and do no assume someone is gay because two same gender people are hugging or holding hands. It is considered to be very offensive.
  • Do not hurt a cow. Beef is available in many restaurants but, do not expect in every place.
  • Do not show pity on beggars. Stay away from the over friendly touts to avoid scams.
  • Avoid street food and tap water and drink only bottled water to stay healthy.

India can be a land of various superstition and rules. But, it is a land of love too. People understand that you are new to the Indian culture and they do not expect you to follow most of their culture. But, a very few consider that offensive. To be on safer side, it is better to avoid such acts and follow our tips for traveling to India.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author