15 Days In India: Everything You Need To Know

In 2016, we received the news that our cousin asked his Hindu girlfriend for marriage. Our emotion was immediate since it is a couple that we have a lot of affection. Then, we received the “Save the Date” where he specified that the wedding was going to be in India. Oh oh! You can imagine that we questioned whether we were going or not. However, we decided to take the risk and I do not regret anything in the world.

As for the wedding, its history and ceremony I have another blog post ( click here to read it) . Instead, in this I want to tell you more about the trip in general. Also, share some of the photos of the whole adventure (Believe me, it was difficult to make this selection among 5,000 photos!) I hope it will help everyone who wants to embark on this trip. OK, let’s start!

FLIGHTS TO INDIA
Getting to India from Santo Domingo takes about 24 hours, with 3 short stops (at least the ones we get). Our route was: SDQ — JFK — DUB (Dubai) — DEHLI. We traveled with Jet Blue / Emirates Airlines and the experience was very good. We buy our tickets through Expedia , but there are many other pages where you can get good deals. I must admit that we overpaid because we left it last, we made several adjustments and wanted the least possible number of scales. The flight cost us $ 1,250 dollars, however, you can easily get one round trip for $ 800 dollars.

Another tip, if you have miles you can buy a ticket to the United States and then fly from there to India. You would save yourself much more.

VISA BY INDIA

Getting a visa to go to India is super easy. Everything is done through the online page of the visa department . Almost all countries are eligible for an E-Visa. The cost was $ 50 dollars and they give you an answer in two days.

To do the process you must enter the online site, collect all the basic documents that are requested (passport, photos, etc.), scan them, complete the form and in a few days they will be sending you an email with a barcode. You should print this paper and take it with you when traveling. When you enter the country, in migration you must teach it and that’s it. You must apply for the minimum visa 4 days before the date of entry.

INDIA TOUR

Regardless of the wedding, which was in the city of Goa, we wanted to know more places. The bride and groom recommended the Trinetra Tours travel agency to help us with the itineraries within India. Now, you can do India without a tour guide if you wish. I was a bit skeptical of the idea, because I have never really traveled with guides or tours. I like to solve it myself. However, as we had little time everyone recommended us to use the tour because it takes you to the emblematic places and they take care of everything without spending much work.

Trinetra Tours was very good, very friendly, transparent and welcoming people. They adapted to our budget and changes. In India, people like to negotiate. So if you have a budget or know what you want, tell them. They will take care of it. They organized the entire Golden Triangle Tour (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur) which are the 3 most emblematic cities. (India is huge and there is a lot to see, but this is the MUST)

Tourist places we visited

Jamma Mosque, Dehli

The streets of old Dehli near Jamma

Humayun’s Tomb, Dehli

Taj Mahal, Agra

Agra Fort, Agra

Amber Palace & Fort, Jaipur

Maota Lake, Jaipur

Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, Jaipur

City Palace, Jaipur

Amber Stepwell, Jaipur

Solar Observatory, Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Which included the Golden Triangle tour:

Transfer to the hotel and airports

Hotel + Breakfasts

Chauffeur with equipped bus

Visit all the monuments and important places with local guide in English or Spanish

Jeep to the Amber Fort

That was NOT included:

Lunch and dinner

Entrance tickets to monuments

Extra tips ** (Note: it is not mandatory but expected. Usually the guides were tipped at the end of the tour, the driver, the waiters and the hotel bellman)

Cost: $ 330 dollars per person

Other cities we went:
Cochin

Alleppey — We stayed in a boat house while visiting the canals

Mumbai

This extra week cost us: US $ 569 and included transportation in the cities and to the airport, tour guide, two nights at the Cochin hotel, boat rental with chef and 3 meals included.

The tourist points we were:
Fort cochin

St. Francis Church, Kochi

Chinese Fishing Net, Kochi

Mattancherry Palace, Kochi

Jew Town (Jewish Quarter), Kochi

The Alleppey Canals

Gateway Of India, Mumbai

Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai

Mani Bhawan (Gandhi Museum), Mumbai

Flora Fountain (Hutatma Chowk), Mumbai

Victoria Terminus (Chhtrapati Shivaji Train Station), Mumbai

Municipal Corporation Building, Mumbai

Mumbai University, Mumbai

Rajabai Clock Towers, Mumbai

Marine Drive (Netaji Subhash Chandra Road), Mumbai

Nariman Point, Mumbai

Hanging Gardens, Mumbai

Dhobi Ghat (Public Laundry), Mumbai

Haji Ali Dargarh (The mosque on the water), Mumbai

STAY COMMUNICATED

Since we arrived at the airport, our guide took us to the stand of Airtel , a telecommunications company in India. There we were able to obtain a Sim card with Internet and possibility of calls. We chose the 5GB 3G / 4G Internet plan with 15 free minutes for $ 24. As you can see for us it was more important to have Internet than to make calls. The signal was very good and the 5GB gave me up for 15 days using it moderately, since it really took advantage of the places that had WIFI included so that it will last longer.

Is it worth having SIM CARD? I think so. It helps you stay connected if you are in a group, you can also use your applications easily like Google Maps or search for recommendations of places. However, if you want to disconnect, many places had WIFI in cases of emergencies but do not trust that the reception is very good. Remember that your device has to be unlocked if you plan to obtain a SIM card.

Interested in traveling to India? Here is the complete guide you need to know: flights, clothing, tourist places, cost, transportation and much more. Travel-india-travel-guide-37-secret-garden-hotel-

TRANSPORT

Our tour included a mini bus and driver, so during the day we always walked on it. However, you should live the experience of riding a Rickshaw (tricycle) in Old Delhi even for a few minutes. Also, there is the Tuk Tuk which is the 3-wheel car and is the most used means of transportation in India, almost every city has one. The price is usually very cheap. I recommend you ask the price before riding. Tell him where you want to go and when it would cost you, and don’t be afraid to negotiate if you feel that you are getting too expensive. Something we did was ask the hotels how much a trip to X site should cost more or less, in order to know that they were not cheating us.

In Mumbai, they have UBER, so you can easily use them from your cell phone and the rate is super cheap. Eye: Very rare drivers know English, so make sure you enter the correct destination address.

As for the trips between the cities of India we use the airline Jet Airways . He always had good service and includes snacks on all flights regardless of the duration of the destination.

PURCHASES:

In India there is much to see and what to buy. They will make you want to take a lot of things home. Some tips I can give you are:

Do not be afraid to negotiate the price. Hindus are experts in raising the price if you are a tourist. Use phrases like: “Is this the final price?” Or “What is the discount if I buy several?”

That said, the Hindus put a lot of pressure when it comes to selling. They want you to buy them yes or yes. Do not be afraid to be firm, and say a “No, thanks!” And keep walking if you think it does not suit you or you simply are not interested.

If you liked something different, buy it. You may not see him again. However, if you see tourist or souvenir things that are everywhere, do not always accept the first offer. If you have time to go around and come back, do it!

Of all the cities we visited, Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai were the best. I regret that we did not stay in Jaipur an extra day, because it is really worth it. The market is big so it would take you a few hours to go around and compare prices. As explained by the guide, Dehli is cheaper and Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan, so prices are more expensive, however I recommend the Crawford Market where everything is located.

Try to leave space in the suitcase or carry an extra for everything you buy. I left with a backpack and a medium suitcase; and I came back with a carry-on and extra big suitcase. (hahaha!)

STAY IN INDIA:

As I explained earlier, our tour was responsible for searching the hotels. But here I leave the list if you want to look for your side:

Delhi — Crowne Plaza, Mayur Vihar

Agra — Crystal Sarovar Premiere Hotel

Jaipur — Shahpura House

Cochin — The Secret Garden

All were very good in the budget range we gave him. However, India is also known for its luxurious tourism in case it is of interest to you. In Mumbai, we took care of searching for the hotel and made them through Booking.com and stayed at the Residency Hotel Fort .

It was a small hotel located downtown. The staff was super nice and comfortable enough for the price. To get an idea, we pay $ 120 dollars for people for 4 days and 3 nights. You can search on Booking in a range of 3 stars that are comfortable and at a good price. Remember to always read the reviews!

THE FOOD + RESTAURANTS:

Hindu cuisine is rich in spices. Which makes it extremely spicy and very spicy. Almost all the restaurants we visited were recommended by the guides. All were clean, welcoming and good service. More or less the cost per person could be between about $ 15 dollars.

Many restaurants always have typical dishes, and some sections of eastern and western food. If you are not tolerant of spicy, ask the waiter to recommend something that does not have chili or that is very minimal in spicy. But I warn you, it will remain spicy for us Westerners. In India, the cow is sacred so you find beef very rare. Do not forget to try the Naan that is the typical bread there, they do it in several flavors and it is delicious as an entrance.

Do not eat anything raw (fruits and vegetables). India is known for its high level of pollution, so if you want to avoid getting sick, stay away from the food you find on the street. We didn’t want to take risks, and luckily nothing happened to us.

Likewise, there are a lot of vaccines that are recommended before going to India. I confess that we didn’t give each other, and nothing happened to anyone. But if you are from sensitive organizations and do not want to take a risk, check with the Ministry of Health only which vaccines are recommended.

WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP IN INDIA:

It is very hot in India if you go between March and October. I recommend you pack light and practical clothes that you can wear several times. Women do not usually walk with bare shoulders or legs out of respect for culture. If you do it it is not a crime, but be sure that they will observe you. So you know, no pants or very short skirts!

Avoid jeans at all costs, better to wear loose pajama type pants. My recommendation, do not wear many things, since there in the market you can get tunics and loose dresses. Neutral leggings always solve and you don’t have comfortable shoes. The only place where you can wear your legs and wear a swimsuit is in Goa, since it is on a coast and is a tourist spot of many resorts.

Men do not have such problems with the spill. How lucky!

THEN, HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GO TO INDIA?

This is one of the questions I have received most. I can tell you that everything depends a lot on the type of trip you want to take. India is a fairly economical country compared to many. You can get food, transportation and other basic necessities at a great price. But I go back and say: it all depends on the taste you want to give yourself, because for example, in India there are many luxurious hotels and restaurants. And at the same time I know someone who goes backpacking with a reduced budget.

Interested in traveling to India? Here is the complete guide you need to know: flights, clothing, tourist places, cost, transportation and much more.
We got an estimate and in these 15 days the cost was approximately $ 3,000 dollars that includes all mandatory expenses (flights, museums, hotels, food, tips). Our trip is defined as a medium and comfortable experience. Obviously personal expenses depend a lot on each person. But I hope this amount will serve as a margin.

To be honest, I don’t feel bad. Going to Disney or New York for 15 days can be much more expensive and the experience will never be as exotic as this. ;)

Something you should keep in mind if you plan to travel to India is to go with an open mind. India is a huge and super chaotic country, and maybe it’s not the most aesthetically “beautiful” country in the world. Pollution abounds everywhere, just like poverty in the streets. Which can be overwhelming and disturbing. But the key is to learn to see beauty in the small details of its culture and connect with its inhabitants.

Regardless of everything, it was a beautiful experience, which changes you personally. Seeing the photos again causes me so much emotion, because I never imagined living these memories in a thousand years.

I hope I have answered some of your questions regarding India. But if you have more questions, don’t hesitate to write me in the comments.

Tell me have you visited India? If so, what did you like most? If not, have you ever thought about visiting it? Let me know what you thought!

Photographs : Yabesh Photography

http://www.yabeshphotography.com Wedding Photographers Coimbatore. Yabesh photography has been an eponymous brand in the domain of Candid Wedding Videography