I’ve been to India almost every year of my life, so I basically grew up there and learnt all about the No-goes. Many westerners just doesn’t know that it is absolutely inappropriate to go in a temple wearing hotpants and a low-cut top. The thing is the Indians are most likely not going to say anything to you when you walk around like this but they are also not going to take you serious and you are way more likely to be charged a higher price than other westerners who adapt their clothing to the Indian culture.
I am not saying that you have to wear a sari (female) or a doti (male) but go for baggy trousers, do not wear leggings, and choose a shirt that covers your shoulders and maybe even add a light scarf especially when you plan on going to a Temple.
Most important things to know before traveling to India:
- If shaking hands, eating or handing over money never ever use your left hand, that would be seen as an insult
- people of same sex can hug etc. in puplic but different sex should not show affection to obvious
- do not trink tap water and ask the waiter to not put ice cubes in your Drink
- if you have a sensitive tummy or it is the beginning of your trip do not eat chutneys and other cold dips because they are not cooked and you can easily get sick
- When you are at a market or you want to take a riksha they will definitely tell you a price much higher than the actual value so bargaining is one of the most important skills you will need in india, P.S. always calculate the price they tell into your currency to get a better feeling on the expense or you will end up paying way to much
- if you want to give some of the beggars money do not give too much (around 10-40 Rupees) the living expenses are very low there and if you give them too much they are going to use it for things like liquor
- in a temple only go around the sanctum clockwise
- when you go to the temple you have to leave your shoes outside so leave expensive shoes at your hotel etc because otherwise they are likely to get stolen, you can also ask one of the flower ladies outside the temple to look after your shoes and give her some money afterwards
Things to do next to the typical tourist stuff:
- go in one of the many small temples you will find in almost every street
- visit the vegetable market, you will experience the real India just ask your driver to bring you there
- one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in India are the flower markets, the ground is dirty but the flowers are so beautiful and everyone smiles and you and gives you a flower as a small present
- eat something on the street like Samosas (just make sure that it’s fresh out of the oil or otherwise younger likely to get sick)
- drink sweet tea or coffee at one of the many shops where you see many local people (WARNING: You could get addictet to the taste)
If you have anymore questions or different tips just write it in the comments.