1. Please avoid plastic bags, polythene, disposable plates / cups anywhere. Our heritage and ecology is to be passed on to the upcoming generations to enjoy. Don't litter our Mother Earth with non-biodegradable stuff...
2. Respect the emotions of the locals and their beliefs and customs, though your personal ideologies might be different.
3. Wear your outfit in accordance to the place. Just like how you wouldn't wear a Ritukumar or Chanel for beach, just like how you wouldn't wear bikini to office, please don't wear skimpy outfits or drab bermuda & tees for temple tours or while venturing to a village. For eg., for adventure games wear fitted outfits and for temple tours wear traditional outfits, though your regular, personal style might be different.
4. Ladies - Invest on a couple of stoles in basic colors that go with every other outfit - black, white, brown should do. No matter what you wear and how body hugging it is, a simple stole around your neck, covering your chest, will save you from unwanted attention.
1. Wear natural colored clothes. Bright colors would create unnecessary attention... of the animals.
2. Do not wear strong perfumes.
3. Wear sturdy, fully covered shoes with socks.
4. Do not feed the animals / birds with the junk that humans eat.
5. Leave only footprints, take only photographs!!!
6. Don't immortalize your love inscribing your name on the trees. It disturbs the beauty of undisturbed nature.
7. Don't eat any fruits that you see. Some might look like the regular fruits in appearance, but might be a wilder variety of the regular ones and might give some allergies.
1. Cover your head with a cloth in North Indian Temples, while keep it open in South Indian Temples. Footwear is not allowed inside any temple. There would be a footwear stand outside on some temples. At remote temples, leave it outside near some flower selling lady and give her something, may be 10 bucks.
2. Give generously to the priest when you venture to lesser known temples. That's not just to help the priest, it'll encourage them not to leave the temple to the mercy of fate.
3. The temples of Kerala give entry only if women are clad in saree, or pavada/davani or mundu and to men in veshti without shirt. Trousers/Salwar Kameez are not allowed for women and Trousers/Lungi/Pyjama are not allowed for men. Men have to be topless.
4. Those who write / inscribe grafitti on temple walls, esp. their names along with their lovers' to, so called 'immortalize their love', or just any damn thing, are stupid, and senseless. I believe you are not!!!
1. New Delhi: New Delhi has this amazing facility called Metro Rail. It has a very good connectivity to most of the places and buses are frequent to almost all nook & corner. One thing that many do not know is the tourist passes for 3 or 5 days for the metro rail. With that, you can travel from anywhere to anywhere any no. of times.
2. Mumbai: Transportation in best here. Trains have an amazing connectivity. Buses are too good. Here too trains have the 1, 3 and 5 day passes. Best is to get the first class pass coz that's economical, yet not too crowded. Learn to read 1 to 9 in Hindi numericals. That helps in finding bus numbers. With that known, you can blindly take the bus to anywhere. Invest on a route guide of both buses & trains. The city centre has taxis that run on metre with minimum as 13 bucks and the out of the metro region autos are available. They too run on metre with minimum as 9 bucks. Surprise, the auto drivers generally return back the 1 buck too!!! Autos & taxis also run in a shared basis at certain high traffic routes. In rare cases, if you look so much as an outsider and do not know basic hindi too, the autos might take you on a ride. They'll take the longest route to your destination, so the metre reads more. When in Mumbai, better to look like a Mumbaikar!!!
3. Chennai: Trains and buses both are in great frequency (like once in 5-10 mins) to reach any nook and corner of Chennai. Here again invest on a route guide of both buses & trains. Though the name board in buses are written in Tamil, the numbers are enough to guide you. Numbers are written in English numericals. For relatively shorter distances, share autos are available in most places. Big disadvantage, autos here do not run on metre. So, do not opt for an auto unless you have a friend in that locality who can guide you on the prevailing auto rates in that route. Else, sure shot, you'll be cheated!!!
4. Bangalore: Public transport in Bangalore does freak me to be honest. The buses are very infrequent. But the BIA, G & MF series are decent. If you know their timings and route you can take them. Seriously no point in waiting for a bus, in the bus stop with no idea of its timings. Even then enquire to the conductor is the bus goes to your destination. Sometimes the ever changing one ways, make your buses take a diversion. Metro rail is at a nascent stage and the connectivity is bad and frequency is low. Autos in city at prime time of the day, run in metre. Otherwise they ask flat rate!!! Best way here as a tourist is to hire a taxi - 8hrs, 80km, 800 bucks!
More tips coming soon...