- Indian people are very welcoming!
- Indian people will want to take a picture with you. (Yes, I was sweating…No, they were not.)
- If you’re vegetarian, it’s a slice of heaven–there’s plenty of vegetarian food because there are many vegetarians there, and the food is awesome! The restaurants have signs posted outside saying Veg, Non-Veg, etc. so it’s easy to tell if you’ll be able to eat there.
- “Many Hindus are vegetarian” which is not correct. There are approximately one billion Hindus in India, and I’ve seen data to suggest roughly 1/3 are vegetarian. Therefore, there are likely more vegetarians in India than there are people in the USA. So by US standards, where perhaps 5% of the population is vegetarian, India really shines when it comes to the availability of vegetarian food!
- It’s an assault on the senses. This is not necessarily a negative. Beautiful sights, wonderful aromas of food and spices, dazzling colors, city sounds, etc.
- It’s a study in contrasts. In the US, we’re used to poorer parts of town being somewhat separated from the richer parts – in India I’ve seen expensive new condominiums right next to homeless folks living in tents and bathing in public.
- The traffic is crazy. I wouldn’t drive there if you paid me. Indian drivers do just fine, with lots of near misses and what seems like aggressive driving to us foreigners (sometimes it is aggressive, and I’ve seen people get out of their cars and confront other drivers, but from what I hear that is rare), but if you transplanted a bunch of foreigners in India and forced them to drive, the foreigners would surely cause accidents!
- Don’t eat the street food. It smells great, but it’s an easy way to get sick. The locals, of course, have no problem with it, but street food can spell trouble for a foreign gut.
- Bring a LifeStraw water bottle–you can fill it up from anywhere, even an old garden hose, and it will filter out giardia, coliform, E. coli, etc. You can even use ice cubes, which would be helpful much of the year when it’s so hot there.
- There is, of course, tons to see and lots of history. No matter where you go, there are interesting temples, monuments, natural wonders, etc.
- 105ºF+ and 80%+ humidity is difficult to handle. Try to go in December or January when it’s “winter” there…
Address: Village Ghughtayni Talli, Ward No-5, Upper Tapovan, Off Badrinath Road, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192
Phone: +91-995 867 2399