Category: Culture

Indian Heritage Sites Americans Would Love To Visit

India is a land of enchanting cultural beauty and continues to be so, attracting tourists from all corners of the world.

Americans form a big chunk of foreign tourists visiting Indian cities that reflect the diversity of this majestic country.

So here is a list celebrating India’s wealth of heritage. Here are a few sites that Americans would love to visit.

Thickumz

Cult Of Curvy Women - Thickumz

Cult Of Curvy Women – Thickumz

This is a funny one. You might not be aware but a lot of things are happening on the web these days. This is the case with Thickumz – the new series featuring sporty women with slim waists and curvy certain aspects of their body. Making their bodies temples these girls want to have a good time and tease some guys. Would that be popular in India? It already is! And it’s American-made, so it’s a win-win for both citizens.

Strongly recommended to visit their official website.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

It’s no surprise that when you talk about India and one of the first few images that pop up in your head is this majestic tomb located in Agra. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Made of white marble, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built in the 16th century for his wife.

This carries on the legacy for the Taj Mahal as an enamoring symbol of long-lasting romance. If any American tourist leaves India without paying a visit to this monument, then it won’t be a complete trip.

Qutab Minar

Qutab Minar

Delhi has a whole set of classic Islamic style monuments brimming with a rich past and culture. One of the finest specimens of this is the largest brick minaret in the world, the Qutab Minar. Not only the tower, but the whole Qutab complex makes for an interesting getaway to explore.

There are broken remnants and fragments of old Hindu and Jain temples, tombs (dargahs) of Sufi saints and British gardens. You can hop from timelines with every step. This gives you a classic Indian tourist experience.

Hampi

Hampi

Karnataka has some exciting places to wander off to like the Mysore Palace and several temples. But the greatest symbol of heritage here continues to be the magical site of Hampi. It once used to be the city of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century.

This city from the time long gone reflects a vibrant town culture, complete with lined streets, houses of elites and grand stone temples. The temples are also of different proportions and functions. For instance, there is a famous temple with chariot wheels attached to its structure, another shrine called the Hazara Rama Temple which has detailed designs narrating stories in its walls.

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort

There are various forts to visit in the desert state of Rajasthan, but one of the earliest and grandest has been the Jaisalmer Fort without a doubt. Located on the Trikuta Hill amidst the dunes of the Thar Desert, it attracts hordes of foreign tourists every year. You can buy authentic Rajasthani handicrafts and souvenirs located within the palace area or head to the havelis.

These have some remarkably intricate architectural designs and can be found in other old residences of the princes here, some of which have been converted into mini-museums. As people still live within its territory, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the only ‘living forts’ in the world.

Therefore, when you plan your next trip to India, make sure you soak in the culture and heritage of India.

Differences Between American And Indian Cultures

Traditional Indian Clothing

Both the Indian and the American cultures are very proud and rich heritages that are seemingly poles apart but are similar in some ways. The two countries constantly observe and gauge each other. They also inadvertently try to imitate each other and in that process we can spot the differences between the two unique cultures. Here are few of the pop-out differences, some quirky ones, and a few funny ones.

The purpose of this article is not to debate if one culture is better than the other but to give the American guest a better understanding of the Indian culture. In the last few decades the Indian and the American cultures have undergone unprecedented changes that have led to westernization of Indian culture as well as the Americans developing keen interest in practicing yoga and developing a taste for Indian cuisine.

  • There is a lot of importance given to society in the Indian culture. An individual’s actions have an impact on the society’s perception of that individual. Attending a school, interacting with people in a particular manner, wearing a certain outfit, and even the person one chooses to marry decides the type of individual you are.

The American culture emphasizes on the individual instead of trying to appease the society. An individual concentrates on his own aims and goals instead of worrying about the society.

  • Family is considered the next important priority. Children are molded in a particular way from a very early age and the significance of family is impressed upon them. They are guided on the part they will have to play when they grow up.

American children are brought up to be independent with unique views and opinions. Though family values are important, the individual is expected to take responsibility for his/her decisions.

  • Marriages are arranged by families rather than being decided by the bride and the groom. In rural India, arranged marriages are still the order of the day. Families decide who their son or daughter should marry and going against this norm spells trouble. This concept is gradually being supplanted by marriages of choice in urban India.

Independent young american

Families play no part in selecting a partner for the son or daughter.

  • Joint families are still encouraged in rural India, where parents, their son, his wife and children, grandchildren – all of them live in the same house. In urban India, the idea of nuclear families is more popular and prevalent.

The concept of joint family does not exist in the USA. Kids are considered old enough to support themselves when they turn 18. They move out of their parents’ and start on part time employment even as they attend college.

  • Dress code is considered important, especially for women. Clothing that is deemed appropriate and respectable for women include sari, Salwar kameez, chudidar, and long skirts. Revealing and tight-fitting clothes are frowned upon, particularly in rural India. In recent times, however, this moral policing has been challenged by many women’s organizations and women in cities and larger towns do not hesitate to dress as they please.

American woman do not have any restrictions on how they should dress though the unwritten rule is to dress appropriately as the occasion demands. There are always formal and informal dress codes to adhere to.

Hope you found this article informative! Do check out “Differences between American and Indian Food

Cultural Shock Americans Travelling To India Should Expect And How To Avoid It

Most tourists from Western cultures complain of the culture shock they experience when they visit India. This is quite natural because adjusting to any unfamiliar culture can be a challenge. There may be some fundamental beliefs you’d assumed to be universal that are not followed in this culture. True, you have pored over a dozen guide books, but there’s always something you might have missed and it is never too early to start preparing to counter the culture shock that is inevitable…

People, People, Everywhere!

Best outfit for India Trip

The first shock to hit you as soon as you land the country is the sheer mass of humanity that engulfs you. With a huge population of over a billion, the crowd in marketplaces, on the streets, malls, and everywhere else, can be overwhelming! Forget your personal space and be ready to be surrounded by faces.

Helpful Tip: Indians are generally very friendly and hospitable. Dress well and be clean and neat. It is a good idea to buy a couple of Indian dresses so you blend in the crowd. You will be respected and treated well. Be prepared to fend off beggars and street hawkers.

Garbage And Trash

The greatest eyesore in India is the abysmal condition of waste and trash strewn everywhere. Though the government has stepped up all efforts to improve the system of garbage disposal management, the progress is painfully slow. There is a paucity of trash cans in public places in all cities and towns. You may see heaps of trash in the corners of streets. Sometimes these trash piles are set ablaze, sending out dark spirals of smoke.

Helpful Tip: Always have a couple of plastic bags in your backpack for collecting the trash you may throw during the day. Wait till you reach your hotel to throw it.

Pollution Problem Is Serious In India

Cute mask to brink in your travel

Environmental pollution is cause for serious concern for American tourists to India. You can see that waste disposal and garbage removal are not well-organized. In some places there is lack of proper sewage treatment. Monsoon showers can flood the streets of most cities.

Due to the sheer volume of vehicular traffic, the air is perpetually clouded by smog. Not only are the horns of vehicles blaring, you can also hear loud music playing from venues of political meetings and other celebrations. If your hotel is in the vicinity of any of these venues, bid goodbye to sleep!

Helpful Tip: Bring a pack of surgical face masks and ear plugs. Carry bottled water wherever you go.

Chaotic Traffic And Blaring Horns

India is a land of hundreds of languages and even more dialects but there is one special language that will catch your attention (and potentially render you deaf!), and that is the language drivers ‘talk’ with the horns of their vehicles. The traffic is huge and it will seem dangerously disorganized and utterly chaotic, not to mention, noisy, to the American eye and ears.

It can be frightening to watch cows, dogs, and chicken wander on busy roads as the drivers expertly meander through the traffic, conversing incessantly with their horns or hand gestures. Road accidents are a common sight. This article featured in The Indian Express says it all.

Helpful Tip: Traffic is bad, but traveling by public transport is worse. Ask your hotel to arrange for a reliable cab service to take you around the city. It is much more convenient as you can escape standing in long queues waiting for public transport. And your cab driver will be a tourist guide too.

Beware Of Beggars And Scams

Beggars in the street

As a foreigner, you will be the target of all beggars and scams. There are so many ways in which you can be duped. Read about typical scams that happen and brace yourself to face any such fraud. Do read this forum to learn about popular scams as recounted by other travelers. As always, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Be relaxed and don’t let the possibility of a scam spoil your vacation to India. Don’t give in just because somebody is persistent. May common sense prevail at all time. There are beggars everywhere, especially in tourist locations. There may be very disabled beggars and even very young children vying for your attention.

Helpful Tip:It is hard to ignore them but have a read through these rules on how to deal with beggars in India. Be on guard even when you are kind.

Tummy Trouble

Try as hard as you may, you just can’t avoid getting your tummy upset, sometimes even by drinking water. Travelers getting diarrhea is very common in India, so common that it is almost inevitable. You may drink only bottled water and use water purification pills but even a tiny gulp of water when you brush or bathe can upset your stomach severely.

Helpful Tip: Carry bottled water wherever you go. Also carry emergency medication and ORS with you. Avoid eating food from the roadside eateries if you see flies hovering over them. Even if you decide to subsist on just fruits, wash the fruit thoroughly.