5 Tips For Travelling To India For The First Time

So this year the number of FTA’s (Foreign Tourist Arrivals) in India is expected to rise well beyond 7 million. The reason? India is mysterious, unfathomable, exquisite, crazy and mind-boggling – A roller-coaster ride you won’t forget soon! Like every other place, though, India has its unique quirks and traditions and comes with its very own “operating manual”. So if you’re planning on visiting the “Land of Diversity” soon, here are a few things (thanks to our friends at distancesfrom.us for compiling this list for us) you need to keep in mind while touring India:

  1. Make a bucket-list of destinations

Truth is, India has so much to offer, you’re going to ultimately have to make a check-list of places you want to visit and then plan your route wisely according to that. Otherwise you can get lost in a maze of colorful distractions and end up getting exhausted and detracted. The Taj Mahal, The Golden Temple, national parks, tiger reserves, the Kumbh Mela (the biggest religious congregation in the world), The Rashtrapati Bhavan (the residence of the president of the biggest democracy in the world), the beaches and holiday resorts in Goa, and the Yoga asylums in Rishikesh can top the list.

  1. Timing is everything

Based on your reason for visiting India, it’s very important to know the seasons and weather forecasts. Your safest bet is to avoid the peak of the summer (between May and July) when temperatures can rise up to an unbearable 50.6 °C (123 °F), and monsoon (usually August) when delayed flights, floods and traffic jams can pose a problem for those on a tight schedule. Its also a good idea to look up the important dates for every place you plan on visiting. For example, the Rashtrapati Bhavan is open for public only on weekends and the tigers are best spotted from May to June if there isn’t too much dust and you can take the sun. So to sum it up, don’t jump into something without considering the timing.

3.Look after your health

Make sure you are properly vaccinated against any ongoing epidemic. You can find great health facilities in India so don’t worry on that account. But be sure to drink bottled water as cholera, rotaviruses, dengue are not uncommon. Wash any freshly bought fruits with bottled water too. India is famous for its delicious, spicy street food, but don’t sample anything unless you are sure of the hygiene factor of the food. There is always a slight chance of catching gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Also, don’t travel without a trusted mosquito repellent lotion

4.Pick your attire wisely

India is so culturally diverse that there is a very little chance that you could wear something that’ll be considered completely outrageous. Western clothes aren’t frowned upon either, but women should take care to dress modestly. Women should also carry a scarf and cover their hair while entering places of worship. It also helps protect from the sun on hot summer days. Men can use a wide brimmed hat for that purpose.

 

  1. Brush up your knowledge of Indian customs

Locals are welcoming, hospitable and very eager to help. They are fairly well versed in English too. But India is home to Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains and Christians. Make sure that you don’t do anything that’s offensive to any of them. Generally speaking:

  • Avoid hitting or insulting animals (some of them are sacred). Be specially respectful toward temple animals
  • Take off your shoes while entering temples. Women should cover their hair.
  • It’s considered inappropriate for men and women to touch, so be careful in offering your hand to anyone – even for a friendly shake.
  • Using your left hand for eating or touching sacred objects is a big NO-NO
  • Milk is a sacred beverage and drinking alcohol at public places is not encouraged
  • Its very unethical to disrespect beggars, priests, temple animals, eununchs, elders and Ficus religiosa or sacred fig (“Peepal” tree)

So just keep these few things in mind and enjoy your trip to India. Namaste!

SMS based booking through BSNL

User should have the following:

  • 1. BSNL SIM card installed.
  • 2. Java enabled mobile phone.
  • 3. Andhra Bank Prepaid card.
  • This is a menu driven application where user has to enter the details asked for in simple step-by-step process to get the ticket.

Registration

  • Install the application.
  • Select the Register option to get the mPIN.

Booking

  • Click the icon BSNL Prepaid Card
  • Select Ticketing > Train (IRCTC)
  • Fill up the journey details such as From stn, To Stn, Train No, DOJ, Class, Quota, passenger details.
  • Enter the mPIN to get the ticket information.
  • SMSes: without charges.
  • PG Charges: Currently NIL
  • Agent Service Charges: As applicable.
  • Helpline No. : 040-39849644
  • Helpline Email : bsnl.support@pyrogroup.com

Note : This service will not be available between 0800-1200 hrs (You can’t book tatkal ticket using your mobile). However, the ticket can still be booked using mobile through IRCTC main site www.irctc.co.in

Indian Railways Ticket Booking using USSD (Menu-based dialling)

USSD Services are currently offered by:-

  1. Airtel Money

Currently only Airtel is providing train ticket booking using USSD.  Below are the steps to follow for booking your train ticket using Airtel money service.

Step 1: Register for Airtel Money

Getting airtel money is super-easy! Register in 3 simple steps:

  1. fill in your basic details like Name and Date of birth
  2. select mPin
  3. enter the One-Time Password (OTP)
  4. http://www.airtel.in/money/register-now/ Visit this link for registration.

Step 2: Load Cash to your Account

Load cash now in just 3 easy steps using

  • Netbanking
  • Credit card
  • Debit card or Maestro Card

Step 3: Book Train Ticket using USSD

  • Dial *400# from your airtel mobile
  • Select “Book Tickets” and then “Rail booking” (On my Airtel mobile it is option 6)
  • Choose “Reservation” ( if you wish to search trains & choose) or “Easy book” ( if you know the train number)
  • Follow the instructions in the menu

Note: When you select ‘Reservation’ for the first time, you will be asked to enter your IRCTC user ID (associated with the mobile number) and upon validation you can continue to book your ticket

  • PG Charges: Currently NIL
  • Agent Service Charges: Currently NIL
  • Helpline No.: 121
  • Helpline Email : 121@airtelmoney.in

And also once you have booked your IRCTC Train tickets, you can check the ticket Status at Pnr Status

Note : This service will not be available between 0800-1200 hrs (You can’t book tatkal ticket using your mobile). However, the ticket can still be booked using mobile through IRCTC main site www.irctc.co.in

How to Book Indian Railways Ticket using SMS 139

Train Ticket Booking On SMS

Book your train tickets in just 2 Simple SMS’s

ANY TIME! ANY WHERE!

Gone are the days when people used to stand and wait in queues for long hours for booking train tickets at the counters!!

Prerequisites to book a ticket through SMS on 139 –

  1. User should be registered on IRCTC’s website (www.irctc.co.in)
  2. User should have MMID & OTP (One Time Password) for IMPS Transaction
  3. Same Mobile Number should be registered with Bank & IRCTC

Step 1 (Booking the ticket): Send below SMS with Journey & passenger information to 139

BOOK <TrainNo> <FromCity> <ToCity> <TravelDate(DDMM)> <Class> <Passenger1-Name> <Age> <Gender> <Passenger2-Name> <Age> <Gender> (upto 6 passengers)

For Example:
BOOK 12420 NDLS GZB 2606 2S Rakesh 55 M Sarita 53 F

If the format sent is valid, you will receive a response SMS from 139

Trans Id: 34004567 Ticket Amount: 120 IRCTC SC: 11.24 Total Amount: 131.24 Seat: AVAILABLE-0095. For Payment SMS PAY <34004567> IMPS <MMID> <OTP> IRCTCUserID to 139 to book ticket.

Step 2  (Paying for the ticket):For payment, send SMS with the following information to 139

PAY <Transaction ID as received> IMPS <MMID as received from bank> <OTP as received from bank for this transaction> <IRCTCUserID>
For Example:
PAY 340045667 IMPS 98453672 453289 Rakesh

Confirmation SMS will be received from 139 on successful booking of the ticket

Your ticket booked successfully. PNR is: 2345678901 Ticket No: :0672261674 Booking Status: Rakesh CONFIRM C1 76 WS Sarita CONFIRM C1 77 Ticket Amt: 120.0 SC: 11.24 Src: New Delhi Dst: Ghaziabad Date of Journey: 26/06/2013 Sch Dep 12:30 hrs

Ticket Cancellation Procedure using SMS:

Case 1: If the ticket has to be completely cancelled

Send below SMS with the following information to 139

CAN <10 Digit PNR> <IRCTC UserID>
For Example:
CAN 2345678901 Rakesh

If the entered information is valid, you will receive the following response SMS from 139

We have received your request for cancellation of tickets for < Passenger 1 Name> for PNR Number 2345678901. Please confirm the cancellation by sending YES to 139 or for any change in cancellation data, send a fresh request.
Once the cancellation is confirmed, you will receive the following response SMS from 139

Your ticket for <Passenger 1 Name> with PNR Number:2345678901 is cancelled. Amount: 60 will be refunded in your account.

Case 2: If the ticket has to be partially cancelled

Send below SMS with the following information to 139

CAN <10 Digit PNR> <IRCTCUserID> <Passenger Number>
For Example:
CAN 2345678901 Rakesh 1/2/3 (Upto 6 Passenger)

If the entered information is valid, you will receive the following response SMS from 139

We have received your request for cancellation of tickets for < Passenger 1 Name> for PNR Number 2345678901. Please confirm the cancellation by sending YES to 139 or for any change in cancellation data, send a fresh request.
Once the cancellation is confirmed, you will receive the following response SMS from 139

Your ticket for <Passenger 1 Name> with PNR Number:2345678901 is cancelled. Amount: 60 will be refunded in your account.

Indian Railways Ticket Booking using USSD (Menu-based dialling)

Note : This service will not be available between 0800-1200 hrs (You can’t book tatkal ticket using your mobile). However, the ticket can still be booked using mobile through IRCTC main site www.irctc.co.in

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

*How to generate MMID *How to receive OTP *List of Banks http://www.npci.org.in/bankmember.aspx

OTHER SERVICES OFFERED THROUGH 139
139 Call:
*PNR Enquiry * Arrival Departure Status * Seat Availability
*Fare Enquiry * Dial a Ticket

139 SMS: SMS HELP to 139 for Keyword Information
* PNR Enquiry * Arrival Departure Status * Seat Availability
*Fare Enquiry * Time Table* Train Name/Number * Location

139 USSD: Dial *139#
* PNR Enquiry * Arrival Departure Status * Seat Availability
*Fare Enquiry * Time Table* Train Name/Number * Location

24*7 HELP LINE NUMBERS: Call: 139 or SMS TKT to 139

Top 25 Tourist Destinations in India

Best 25 Tourist Places.

There are thousands tourist places in India but I am selecting only 25 of them which I feel are best and suggest you to visit during your travel to India.

Tourist Destinations in North India.

1. Taj Mahal

2. Golden Temple of Amritsar

3. Badrinath and Kedarnath.

4. Jaipur : Amber Fort, Jal Mahal,Hawa Mahal.

5. Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan

6. Udaipur

7. Varanasi.

8. Kullu and Manali.

9. Leh and Ladakh

10. Khajuraho Temples with Orchha Forts and Temple

Tourist Destinations in South India.

11. Ajanta and Ellora Caves.

12. Kanyakumari.

13. Hampi.

14. Mysore.

15. Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

16. Madurai ,Tirupati

Tourist Destinations in East India.

17. Jagganath Puri.

18. Bodh Gaya

19. Darjeeling

20.

Tourist Destinations in East India.

21. Dwarka.

21. Somnath Mahadev Temple.

22.

23.

24.

25.