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Last month, travel consultant Charlotte had the privilege of flying all the way from London to explore both the northern and southern parts of India. Despite having travelled to other parts in Asia, India is the one that left her awe-struck—its resplendent colours and vibrant and diverse traits made it unforgettable. It’s a lot to take in for a first-timer.
Every corner turned in India gave her a refreshing perspective on the country. You can rest assured that surprises will never stop coming your way, nor will a dull moment ever be present. Here are the top tips for first-time travellers to India, and well as what to expect.
The first piece of knowledge I gained from India is that its 29 states are all completely different from one another. Travelling to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (Agra), Rajasthan, and Kerala had led me to conclude that the stark difference between the northern and the southern parts of the country are poignant.
The north is predictable, almost what most people would imagine India to be like, with a hive of activities brewing consistently, a madhouse of commotion, and modern stylish palaces. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Southern Kerala, standing proud with towering evergreen palm trees, luscious plantations, and tropical backwaters.
The streets of India will always be full of vigour and vitality—with drivers honking their horns impatiently and the strong scent of spices permeating the atmosphere. After a day in this chaotic city, the luxury hotels make for the perfect respite and peaceful place to wind down. You can also expect to be pampered like royalty in the settlement.
Indian cuisine is the most authentic when you enjoy it on local soil. Once a traveller gets a taste, they can never go back. India offers a wide variety of regional cuisine that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, made with ingredients extracted from its local fields like herbs, vegetables and fruits, rice, wheat, ginger, and spices. It’s a very aromatic and unique affair, immensely different compared to the Indian food in London. The second piece of important knowledge that occurred to me was that Chicken tikka masala isn’t originated in India nor can it be found there because it was born and bred as a British hybrid. Who knew!
If you’re a fan of homewares and textiles, then Rajasthan is your paradise. The nascent warehouses present a colourful array of cushion covers, throws, saris, table runners, beddings, and towels. While Kerala is replete with spices that tickle your nose but makes for a great gift to bring home for recreating your favourite Indian dishes. You’re spoiled with choices on your souvenir shopping part of the trip.
By booking a trip to India with Scott Dunn, you will be served by a private driver who will kindly drive you from destination to destination. All our drivers speak fluent English and blew us away with their knowledge of the local area. Scott Dunn also has local members of staff there just to escort you onto your carriage and seat when you catch a train. You will be well-taken care of and covered in every part of our trip.