I have dreamed of travelling to India all my life.
India is my heritage, but also very foreign to me. My ancestors hail from Northern India, where my parents’ great-grandparents hailed from and now are three generations born and brought up in Fiji Islands. They then migrated to the United Kingdom in the sixties, where my sister and I were born and raised.
Since childhood, how I identified myself has weighed on my mind – giving me an identity crisis. We grew up with the Indian culture at home, but outside of the house, we lived as Brits.
The confusion enticed me to learn more about my heritage, and the eagerness to explore India to answer those questions.
I now consider India my second home and my number one destination; it has given me an identity and a greater appreciation of who I am.
Together, India has shown me rich culture, expecting the unexpected, being patient, living in unity, appreciating the diversity of rich and poor, embracing its varied religions and beliefs and realising this country has many layers of deep history.
To appreciate such a vast country of colours, cultures, food and exotic fragrances. The smells of spices and incense and the sights of majestic monuments and temples are all part of daily life. And to feel the closeness of family unity where they believe that the family that eats together stays together, and mealtime is a vital source of family bonding, talking and sharing.
India comprises 28 States, and in addition to Hindi, there are 21 other languages spoken in India and more than 19,500 dialects spoken in India as ‘mother tongues.’
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
India’s climate varies, but generally speaking, the best time to visit is at the start of autumn to winter, from October to early March.
India’s hot season is between April and August, and most regions experience monsoon season between June and September.
India has a sub-tropical and tropical climate with a mixture of wet and dry tropical weather in the inner parts of India. There is a humid tropical climate in northern regions, and along the western coast lies low wet areas.
Always drink sealed bottle water throughout India
WHAT TO EXPECT
Local Culture: The culture of India refers to a collection of minor unique cultures, clothing, festivals, languages, religions, music, dance, architecture, food, and art in India. Hinduism is the main religion in India and believes that the cow is representative of the divine and should therefore be protected.
Language: India’s official language is Hindi, with English as the second national language.
Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
Banks & ATMs – The top three leading Indian banks are HDFC Bank, State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank and ATMs are widely available.
Plugs and Sockets – For India, there are three plug types.
Type C (two round pins), Type D (three round pins in a triangular pattern), and Type M (three round pins).
India operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Safety: India is primarily safe for tourists, although petty theft does exist in areas frequented by tourists, so vigilant.
The transport system in India includes: