Walking through the market area of Hauz Khaas, one of the elite areas in the capital city of New Delhi, you might hardly find any new or different thing from those back in your home nation. However, if you choose to take a good stroll down the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, an old part of the capital city with squeezed lanes and burgeoning traffic, that is when you will see a contrasting image of lifestyle of India and an opportunity for your camera to click something new for it.
However, negating the orthodox perception that most of the people from outside India have regarding this country, the real India is way more than just poverty, population, and politics. Here are 5 pragmatic ways you should choose to understand the “real India”;
Take up a Volunteer program
This is one of the most suitable and altruistic way to interact with the local people, and understand the ground reality of the life, culture, and traditions. There are volunteer placement agencies which provide opportunities for gap year travelers to volunteer in India. This way you will not only be able to get close to the community but also can take part in making a difference in the lives of the less privileged. Definitely one of the best ways to know India!
Build up your gastronomical power
The culinary arts and cuisine variety in India is immensely dense. The taste of the same fish that you tried somewhere in North India would be poles apart, in taste, in the Southern part of the country; the level of deliciousness, however, remains unaltered. In India, the food preparation is one of the key factors that define the culture of the region. So, if you thought that ‘Chicken Curry’ was the only variety from India, you seriously need to travel more within the country.
Reach to the Pinnacle
The entire North and most of the East part of India is guarded by the mighty tall Himalayas. If you choose to go on a trek to any of the ranges, which you must, you will cross several small towns and villages that have communities residing there from the years of yore. The traditional difference from the metro cities will be visible as soon as you enter these areas. Volunteering India has programs in Palampur, a valley town in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which can be a good way to get a chance for trekking one of the ranges or visiting any of these small hill villages.
Shed off the communication barrier
According to an online survey report, the literacy rate in India is around 75%. Needless to say that you will not face any kind of problem vis-à-vis interacting with a local. However, it is a good practice if you get a chance to learn a few Hindi words while you are in India. People simply love it when someone from an outside country interacts with them in their own language.
Cricket is a separate religion here
If there is one thing that binds every Indian together and brings out the same emotions for the same subject, it is a match of Cricket. People in India are crazy about the game and the players of the international team are no less than demi-gods to them. If you get to know that a tournament is going on during your visit to India, do give a visit to the stadium; not to watch the match, but the craze in the audience… you will understand it then!
Every year, thousands of people travel to India for some or the other reason. People spend days, weeks, and even months to explore the country. Take numerous photographs, souvenirs and what not to take back memories. However, these five activities are a good way to not just take back memories, but make memories for life, sharing it with the local people and leaving behind a fraction of it as well.