7 Etiquette Tips For Travelling In India

It’s so easy to offend local people in India and create a problem for you if you’re not accustomed to basic etiquette. Heading to India soon? Heed these etiquette tips:

Never drop or touch money or food with your feet: Feet, In India, are considered to be the lowest and the least clean part of the body so don’t use them for anything but only walking. Don’t point them to anyone, sit cross-legged, don’t put them on the table when sitting in a group. It is considered rude and moreover spoiled if you touch food or money with your feet.

Try not to be too touchy: As per Indian culture, touching strangers is forbidden. It’s believed in Hinduism that by touching someone you share their Karma, hence not many people (particularly the older generation) like too much touching. When meeting or greeting someone, try not to shake hands with them, rather join both palms together to greet. 

Respect the religion: Religion in India is a big thing, and not many people are ready to hear anything against it, particularly from those who are not a part of their religion. Stay away from conversations that may affect someone’s emotions.

Cover up in temples: It is pretty likely that you will stumble upon a temple while travelling in India. So make sure you cover your knees and shoulders while visiting them, because, in India, any kind of nudity is not acceptable.  

Be prepared to pay more than locals: Just like Taj Mahal, most of the tourist attractions like museums and art galleries and national parks have a slightly higher admission fee for foreigners than that of Indians. So don’t be surprised when you will be asked for a different price.

Leave your slippers outside: Just like in a majority of other countries in Asia, in India too, it is expected to leave the slippers outside when visiting someone’s house. This particularly applies while visiting a temple, or any sacred place.  

Don’t smoke or drink too openly: Drinking, smoking, or any kind of intoxication is considered uncultured in India. Though a big percentage of Indian population still drinks and smokes tobacco, it’s still not done openly in public, particularly in front of your family.

Author: Dev

Hi, I am Dev, and I've been travelling the world full-time for over 2 years now.