I can staunchly, with authority, say that I have covered the length and breadth of India as best as I could except for Kashmir in the North and Gujarat in the West.
India as a whole is really easy to travel albeit communicating with people from different regions can get a little tedious at times. Comprising of 29 states and 7 union territories, it does take a lot to travel across this massive country.
Since I started travelling the one thing which has astonished me is that every 50 kilometres or so the language and culture changes in India.
Tradition in India is imperative to the society and every community has different ones; this is probably the only reason why there are over 100 holidays in India.
Even with all the untowardly things that keeps creeping up on the news/social channels, travelling in India is extremely safe but at the same time can be challenging at times.
I remember losing my belongings in a remote village high up in the Himachal Mountains and ended up being treated like one of their own until my things were located.
I have had the misfortune of travelling without a ticket on a train in Mysore due to an emergency; fellow passengers along with the train staff made sure that I reach my destination without any hiccups and even pulled in money to pay for the penalty (I can never forget such a nice gesture).
Being stranded on a highway in the middle of the night due as I couldn’t reach my connecting bus on time. I honestly thought I would get mugged for sure (this was in Mumbai – Goa highway); however a group of friends travelling to Goa gave me a lift in their caravan and I had a blast for the next 300 odd kilometres.
Hitchhiking in India is quite a viable option, but do refrain from getting into vehicles without striking a conversation first. These are just some of the instances which assure me that my fellow countrymen are always there to help people stranded in less than ideal situations.
I even had a few opportunities to help people on the road majorly with translation (India speaks over 1700 different dialects) as people from different regions find it difficult to communicate.
Once we get over the communication barrier, life becomes much easier and smooth. Speaking English and Hindi in India can be immensely helpful (speaking from personal experience).
English is more common in Eastern and Southern India whereas Hindi helps out in Northern, Western and Central India. Most people in the country can communicate with just hand gestures and expressions if nothing else works; well it works for me at least in my travels.
People by nature are always willing to help out if required but one has to approach, open up to them for the same.
Even after traveling extensively in India, there is still so much to explore in this incredible land. My adventures have only just begun…