India is country with variety in diversity, with customs and traditions, away from the personal life being displayed in public and above that brings a cultural shock to the first timers. There are high rising shopping Malls where you might see people spending thousands of rupees everyday but next to that there is a slum where the occupants don’t even get one meal a day.
You might see people following there traditions even in public where the younger touch feet of elders, women keep their head covered with their scarf, in the rural areas do not mix up with men and hide their face from their father in laws or any elderly men in the village or try to remain in a group of women. You also want to know little more about the country before you fly to India. Perhaps the following details would be able to clear all your doubts. Still if you have any you are welcome to ask us at your convenience, through telephone or e mail.
Q. Where should I fly to when I travel with Shimla Walks?
A. We are located in Shimla, a hill town 375 kilometres north of Delhi. All our tours begin from Delhi and end there so you should fly to Indira Gandhi International Airport New Delhi. Oour representative shall be there with your name on the paging board Shimla Walks Welcome’s Mr. / Mrs / Ms. So and so…….
Q. I do not want to take of my shoes when I enter the temple.
A. That will not be possible. As per the tradition in India everyone has to remove the shoes before we enter any religious places, in some cases at Church also, e.g Christ Church Shimla. So you have to remove your shoes. If you are little extra careful about them as they are expensive, you are welcome to wrap them in a piece of cloth of plastic and keep them in your bag and take them along.
Q. Can I go in with socks on?
Q. Do I need a sleeping bag?
A. Yes. Only you are going on a Village Walk with us, you must bring your own Sleeping Bag. For other tour you will be staying in hygienic hotels and Home Stays so you wont require that.
Q. I like to have a nightcap in the evenings. Is it safe for me to go to the hotel’s bar at night?
A. For women it is not very common for women to go to the bars in India but as far as you are in your hotel. You can do that.
Q. Do cell phones work in remote areas in India?
A. Yes they do. Your would have problem in getting signals at some places. But as far as you are in a village or a town in the hills your cell phone will receive network. Please remember that in India for every state there is a different plan of tariff but long distance calls within India, from state to state are also not very expensive. It is suggested to buy an Indian number when you arrive here. You international call, making and receiving would be exorbitant.
Q. One of my friend specifically warned me against Air India?
A. Your Indian friend is absolutely right. The basic problem is with their toilets. Never clean. This is what we have heard from our past customers.
Q. Will the hotels provide shampoo, conditioner, towels etc?
A. Hotels and home stays do but in case you are on a Village Walk you must bring your own.
Q. Do we tip our guides and driver?
A. Indeed yes. You’ll have an experienced Guide in Delhi and then a Guide cum Escort for throughout your trip starting from Chadnigarh / Kalka / Shimla. This is the man who has done this trip repeatedly, every time with different people, and enjoys his work. Plan to tip in way that he / she is well taken care off.
Q. Can I wear shorts?
A. This is not a good idea when you in the rural areas. It is better to remain in pants or capris.
Q. What is the best time of year to travel to India?
Q. We are already in India. Can we join the group somewhere in between?
A. Yes of course. If you are in India you are welcome to call us on any of the numbers given on our website and we shall guide you accordingly.
Q. Do people speak English?
A. Many people in India do speak good English. If they don’t at least they understand what you say. Your Tour Leader will also be there to help you.
Q. What are the trains like?
A.Travelling by train in India is quite an experience. The trains that we are using for our itineraries, (Shatabadi Express Trains) they are the fast trains, with more comforts in comparison to other trains. They have pushback seats with cushions, provide you mineral water, food as per the time of travel, newspaper, tea / coffee and also you can ask for a helper to take out your luggage from the rack.