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> Southern India Starter Kit, Everything you want to know about Southern India
post Jun 16 2007, 06:26 AM
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sorcerer.png Sharon Dias says:

Just want to quickly introduce myself to the forumÖ I live in Goa, India and I would be happy to answer any questions with regards to travel in India, especially the southern region. Please let me know if I can be of any help smile.gif

Below are some tips for a first time traveler to India:

Iím going to try to keep it as brief as I can, but let me start by saying India is a difficult country to travel in, more so if you are coming to visit for the first time. No matter how much you prepare, India is an assault on the senses. The sights, smells and sounds are overwhelming. Having said that, I am also fairly certain this will be one of your most memorable trips, one that will stay with you always. I guess tips, as such, would vary depending to the region, because India is extremely diverse in many ways. It is a country that has so many different kinds of people, religions, languages, cultures and even landscapes. But generally. I guess I would say:

1.Come with an open mind. You will find dirt, filth and probably more poverty than youíre used to. You have to deal with that and not let it get to you. The touts are sometimes aggressive and so are the beggars. It is best to ignore them. Lots of traffic, lots of people, lots of noise. But that is also what makes India fascinating. It will take you a few days before you learn to cope. In one day your experiences can range from extremely frustrating to extremely magicalÖ

2.The benefits of travel in India definitely outweigh the negatives. You will find India chaotic at the surface, but it really is organized chaos and it takes a while to get used to it. Getting the simplest things done might take more time and effort than youíre used to, but itís definitely worth it in the end. Be careful about what you eat or drink. Drink only bottled water, eat hot foods, avoid ice, desserts and salads and wash your hands. Its good to carry a hand sanitizer for when you don't have access to soap and water, insect repellent, water purification tablets and toilet paper.

3.Just go with the flow. Thereís a lot of craziness around but thatís what makes the country special. Make an effort to strike up conversations with people. Most people are very friendly and open and will be willing to help you in any way they can.

4.Be respectful of the culture and customs. Lots of religions are practiced in the country so some areas might be more sensitive than others. Take lots of picturesÖ It hard to take a bad picture in India, with all the faces, colours, scenes.

5.Donít think about it, just go. India is a very culturally rich country, which engages you with its fascinating art, history and the sheer numbers of everything. There arenít any Ďdangersí as such you should be aware of, just petty annoyances.

This is one trip you will find hard to put behind you, because when you experience India, it seeps into your pores and itís very difficult to just forget about it once you get back home. India is a challenging country to travel in, and you will be taxed mentally and probably physically, but it will also be one of your more memorable trips, if nothing moreÖ

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post Jul 2 2007, 06:15 AM
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Joined: 1-June 06
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Hi Carmella,

Sorry for the delay in response, I was out of townÖ Anyways, yes, there are an amazing amount of options out there. Considering you havenít been to India before, I would suggest sticking to a more-or-less typical north Indian itinerary including Delhi, Agra, cities in Rajasthan (Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur) and maybe Varanasi for the Ganges. Also, if youíre interested in wildlife you might want to add Ranthambore for the tigers. That would be a great introduction to India with the forts, palaces, the Taj Mahal and of course the holy river Ganga. Let me see if I can gather information on yoga retreats in these areas. It would be interesting if you could intersperse some yoga activities with seeing the sights. Towards the end of the stay, you might want to retreat to the hill stations in Himachal Pradesh.

Yes, the Ananda is a high-end property and the prices are really out there, but its one those totally inclusive spas. There are all kinds of properties, catering to various budgets, so it really depends on what youíre looking for. There are a lot of traditional ayurvedic health resorts that incorporate a lot of yoga techniques, which you might consider looking into.

Finally, Iím not quite sure why itís free for women, but from I understand, the knowledge of yoga is supposed to be passed on free of charge, or something like that. Of course, now itís definitely commercialized especially in the West, but there are places here that give free lessons. I joined a free class a few years ago but didnít last very longÖ It was at 5am every morning, and waking up that early just killed meÖ

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Posts in this topic
sharon1306   Southern India Starter Kit   Jun 16 2007, 06:26 AM
whereshegoes   Great to meet you Sharon! Thank you for volunt...   Jun 22 2007, 08:43 PM
sharon1306   I can understand why you would feel a little nervo...   Jun 23 2007, 07:12 AM
whereshegoes   Hi Sharon THank you so much for the quick respons...   Jun 26 2007, 12:08 AM
wakingdream   Whoa. It better be a damn good spa! :P I ch...   Jul 1 2007, 08:21 AM
sharon1306   Whoa. It better be a damn good spa! :P ...   Jul 2 2007, 06:20 AM
whereshegoes   Hi Sharon Thankyou! You know, just talking to...   Jul 2 2007, 07:36 AM
sharon1306   Hi Sharon Thankyou! You know, just talking t...   Jul 6 2007, 06:37 AM
whereshegoes   Hi Sharon, At the moment I am practicing Bikram (...   Jul 13 2007, 05:50 AM
sharon1306   Hi Sharon, At the moment I am practicing Bikram ...   Jul 18 2007, 08:01 AM
fourloves   Hi Sharon, Looks like you're the proud helper...   Sep 14 2007, 08:08 PM
sharon1306   Hi Mack, Just saw your post:) Been recovering fro...   Sep 19 2007, 07:49 AM
lauraexplorer   I have heard so many things about travelling Ind...   Oct 4 2007, 04:11 AM
roseyben   [quote name='whereshegoes' post='28933' date='Jun...   Oct 13 2007, 09:38 PM
lighthouse   :hyper: Greetings Sharon: I've been ask to com...   Oct 13 2007, 07:26 PM
lauraexplorer   [quote name='lauraexplorer' post='34375' date='Oc...   Oct 14 2007, 05:16 AM
effie123   Hi, My name is Becki, Iím 25 and from London. Ií...   Jan 10 2008, 03:18 PM
sharon1306   Hi, My name is Becki, Iím 25 and from London. I...   Jan 17 2008, 06:45 AM
effie123   Money. Depends on how much on a budget you are, I ...   Jan 17 2008, 07:55 AM
sharon1306   Hi, How much is your budget for accommodation per...   Jan 17 2008, 07:58 AM
effie123   Hi, How much is your budget for accommodation pe...   Feb 6 2008, 07:09 AM
cindib   I am hoping you'll give me some elementary ti...   Jan 13 2008, 04:34 PM
effie123   I am hoping you'll give me some elementary t...   Jan 16 2008, 04:54 PM
sharon1306   Hi Cindi, Great to hear you are headed to India. ...   Jan 17 2008, 06:59 AM
starlagurl   What do the other people in your group say?   Jan 14 2008, 10:57 AM
bloomer   Goa is a great place to get acclimated to India, i...   Jan 14 2008, 04:46 PM
bloomer   You can definitely find lodging in Delhi for 3 pou...   Feb 7 2008, 08:00 AM
tiag   Hello Sharon, I will be studying and the Universi...   Mar 21 2009, 12:37 PM
c.i.222   :sorcerer: Sharon Dias says: Just want to quick...   Feb 17 2010, 01:39 PM

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