10 Things Not To Do In India To Maximize Your Trip

User By Stella Tessa

India is a multicultural nation with a rich culture, history, and tradition. Even though it's a wonderful place to visit, you'll find that the civilizations and other things there are far more varied and complex than you might expect. There are numerous behaviors that, although appearing normal to you, are incredibly offensive in other contexts. Here are ten things that are seen negatively across the nation. To ensure a secure and pleasurable trip, there are a number of things you should stay away from. In this post, we'll go through 10 things not to do in India and other travel advice.

10 Things Not to Do in India

As a traveler, it's important to be aware of cultural differences and social norms to avoid offending locals. Here are 10 things not to do in India and some additional tips to help you navigate your trip respectfully.

Don't Drink Tap Water

Drinking tap water is among the most essential actions to avoid doing in India. Waterborne illnesses like cholera, typhoid fever, and diarrhea can make you sick if you consume Indian tap water, which is unsafe to do. The best option is to stick to bottled water, which is easily accessible in most locations.

The best option is to stick to bottled water when traveling to India

The best option is to stick to bottled water when traveling to India

Don't Show Public Displays of Affection

Kissing, embracing, or holding hands in public is considered impolite in India, particularly in conservative areas. It is considered as a thing not to do in India and, shockingly enough, may land you in jail for up to three months. Therefore, it is better to refrain from all of its behaviors, including hand-holding in specific settings, to avoid dealing with moral policing or hostile looks. Avoid engaging in these actions in public settings to show respect for local traditions. 

Kissing, embracing, or holding hands in public is considered impolite in India

Kissing, embracing, or holding hands in public is considered impolite in India

Do Not Wear Shoes Inside A Temple Or Home

In India, it's tradition to take off your shoes before entering a place of religion. Additionally, unless the host has explicitly stated otherwise, remove your shoes before entering their home if you have been invited there. Although some Indians do wear slippers indoors, they are almost never worn outside. This practice is also prevalent in several shops. Therefore, it's a good idea to take off your shoes if you notice them at the entrance door. Respect must be shown in this manner in order to prevent insulting the public religious sensibilities.

Shoe stand in front of a temple in India

Shoe stand in front of a temple in India

Do Not Give Or Take Things With Your Left Hand

Avoid taking or giving things with your left hand since it is filthy in Indian culture. It is improper and unlucky to accept prasad or give alms with the left hand, especially in religious settings. Therefore, the right hand must always be used whenever there is contact with food, when passing or taking goods, or when engaging with others. 

Don't Wear Tight Or Revealing Clothes

India is a country with a combination of modern and traditional thinking, and the attire for ladies differs from region to region. You can wear whatever you want in urban areas like Goa, Delhi, or Mumbai. However, modest clothing and covering up too much skin are strongly advised in small towns and cities, especially in rural India. Choose outfits that cover your shoulders and knees instead of wearing anything too revealing like shorts, tank tops, or miniskirts.  It will not only help you avoid unwanted looks, but it will also make it easier for you to blend in. If you are attending a place of worship, be sure to wear a stole or scarf. 

Do Not Point Your Finger Or Touch Anything With Your Feet

Never point your finger at anybody as another etiquette guideline. This is viewed as impolite. Utilizing your entire hand or your thumb to call attention to someone or something if necessary. Additionally, it is regarded quite rude to touch someone or something with your feet, especially books and educational equipment. Indians reverently touch the artifact with their hands and bring it close to their eyes as a sign of repentance if it is accidentally touched.

Never point your finger at anybody in India

Never point your finger at anybody in India

Do Not Expect To Pay For Everything With A Credit Card

In India, cash reigns supreme. There are equally as many premium shopping centers, shops, restaurants, and hotels without the ability to accept credit cards. Cash is your savior in these circumstances because debit cards are occasionally also not accepted. Additionally, it's far simpler to get an ATM in a city than it is in a small village or town. Therefore, be sure to always have a sufficient amount of cash on you. Keep your smaller change for tipping, parking, and other small purchases.

Don't Eat Street Food Without Caution

While the street food in India is famous, it's important to practice caution when eating it to avoid getting sick. Eat only from street sellers that make food in front of you using clean cooking tools, and stay away from food that has been left out for an extended period of time.

Eat street food with caution in India

Eat street food with caution in India

Do Not Expect Everyone To Speak English

India has a wide variety of languages and cultures. There are many different languages spoken in the nation, and each region has its own unique dialect. Even while you can get by with English in some locations, it's worthwhile to acquire a few regional vocabulary and phrases if you plan to travel outside of urban areas. This can also help you develop local friends because they will sense that you appreciate their culture.

One of our finest bits of advice is definitely to venture off the beaten path in India. If you have the time, we recommend you explore beyond the typical tourist hotspots because India has so much more to offer than just the golden triangle. 

We had several of our most genuine and unforgettable travel moments when we went to less-frequented locales. Laluri Village and Spiti Valley in the Himalayas, Ujjain and Orchha in the center of the country, and Meghalaya Ziro and Tawang in the northeast are just a few of India's amazing off-the-beaten-path locations. Connecting with more locals is another method to experience true India.

Visiting Popular Tourist Destinations In India

Visiting Popular Tourist Destinations In India

Things Banned in India

Apart from the above 10 things, there are also several things banned in India, such as:

  • Beef: Cow slaughter and consumption of beef are banned in many states in India due to the cow's sacred status in Hinduism.
  • Tobacco: Smoking in public places is banned in India, and the sale of tobacco products near educational institutions is prohibited.
  • Plastic bags: Several Indian states have banned the use of plastic bags due to environmental concerns.
  • Pornography: Possession and distribution of pornography are illegal in India.

Additional Tips for Traveling to India

If you're planning a trip to India, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Get vaccinated: India is a country with high incidences of communicable diseases like hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and cholera. It's important to get vaccinated before traveling to India.
  • Get travel insurance: It's always a good idea to get travel insurance before embarking on a trip to India. Travel insurance can cover medical expenses, lost luggage, and trip cancellations.
  • Carry local currency: While most places in India accept credit cards, it's always a good idea to carry local currency for smaller purchases.
  • Learn some basic phrases: Learning some basic phrases in Hindi, such as hello, thank you, and how much, can help you communicate better with the locals.

In addition to the tips listed above, it's important to note that obtaining the appropriate visa is essential when traveling to India. Different types of visas are available depending on the purpose of your visit, such as tourist visas, business visas, and medical visas. One more thing to note is to research and obtain the correct visa for your specific needs.

Fortunately, applying for a visa to India has become much easier with the availability of online visa applications through the India Immigration Services website. This website offers a streamlined process for obtaining a visa and allows travelers to apply from the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, applying online can often result in faster processing times and reduced wait times compared to applying in person. Once your application is submitted, you can track its status and receive updates via email.

So if you're planning a trip to India, follow these tips about things not to do in India, you can help ensure a smooth and stress-free trip to India. Don't forget to obtain the necessary visa and take advantage of the convenience of online visa applications. Apply for your visa right now and enjoy a hassle-free trip to this beautiful and culturally-rich country!