Travel India the goMowgli way!

Not just another Indian travel guide!

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Should I even bother reading the entire guide?

We think you should!

Because all of us know about how the mighty Alexander the Great wandered for thirteen years and captured every nook and corner that he came across. But when he arrived at the banks of the remarkably huge river Indus, he was clueless about where to go. That is how India welcomed him! And this is how India welcomes everyone even today.

So if you do not want to be lost like Alexander, use this guide and explore India without much difficulty.

No, don’t worry. This is one of the simplest guides to India you will lay your hands on. We do not take you on a virtual tour of this e-book and there is no prescription about how to use this. Only thing – you will have to scroll through the pages and voila! The job will be done.

So go ahead and enjoy the read!

Getting started - the traveler's conundrum!

When travelling to India, it is always better to have a basic awareness on what to expect and how to tackle the abundant challenges it poses to ones who are not used to its ways.

What most people fail to realize is that India, on a platter, can offer a range of experiences given its vast geography, demography and cultural diversity! But with some planning you can convert the overwhelming experience into a pleasant and memorable one.

We at goMowgli realize how mind boggling this can be and are constantly determined to put you at ease and giving you pointers and hacks on making your ‘Great Indian travel experience', a memorable one.

India – the thriving organized chaos!

The first thing that you will come across on any blog about India is the hustle & bustle on Indian streets. Do not expect a red carpet here. Like any other country, even this country initially can be confusing.

India is even more confusing because it is one country only on the map. In reality, India is a culmination of “many countries in one”. So drop all expectations, be prepared for your plan to go haywire and just go with the flow.

Just to tell you a bit more about India – it is 29 states rolled up in one. Each state has a different language (there are hundreds of dialects), different food habits and different ways of life. Though the urban areas and cities look similar (except the languages) you can expect vast differences in the rural areas of different states. Sometimes even the clothing varies from place to place. You will pick up new words in India as you move along. Don't be surprised if people are unable to comprehend these after you walk past the region. Enjoy this experience while you are here.

But when you arrive in India, you slowly come to an understanding that in spite of all the differences we, Indians, still stand as one!

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The ABCs - Getting down to the basics!

Some common greetings in Hindi are:

“Namaste” (num-mas-tey) – Hello!

“Shukriya” (shook-reeya) – Thank you!

“Aap kaise hain” (aap-kay-say-hay) – How are you?

Kitna hain” (keeth-na-hay) – How much?

Naam kya hain” (naam-kya-hay) - What is your name?

“Theek hain” (tik- hay)- It’s okay or Its alright.

To deal with shopkeepers and hagglers:

“Bahut zyadaa” (ba-hooth- zyaa-daa) – It’s too much

“Kam karo” (come- karro) “Reduce it”

“Nahi chahiye” (naa-hee-chaa-hee-ye) – “I don’t want it”

To deal in restaurants and eat outs:

“Teekha kam karo” (thee-kaa-come- karr-oh) – “Make it less spicy”

“Namak kam daalo” (num-muck-come-daalo) – “Add less salt”

Challenging the mind-set – Debunking the trash talk!

A lot has been spoken about this country – few positive and a lot negative. It is unfortunate to point out the fact that India has a very misguided reputation. But like we have mentioned earlier, this country is like any other country in this world, with its own character of course.

And we are here to tell you that it is not all that bad. It is not rocket science to figure out the know-hows of India. A lot of solo travelers, especially women, are put off with the idea due to the negativity propagated by the media. But there are numerous solo women travelers, who have traveled with us, who say otherwise! To all of them, there has never been a country that is as fascinating and frustrating as India. And the only thing they have got to say is, “It is all worth it!" Just a quick search on the internet will put your nerves to rest when you will read about travelers mentioning how helpful people in this country are. And all the bad that happens, can really happen to anyone anywhere in this world, not just in India.

There are many reasons why you should come to India. Its is not just a country - It is an experience! Your outlook about life takes a 360 degree turn and your learn to take things in your stride as they come along. Not just that, India prepares you for life. It helps you understand what contradiction could really mean by being a part of the contradiction.

To add to that, what many fail to realize is that India is on a fast track to development. It is funny when we hear people quoting India to be ‘the land of snake charmers’. Amusingly, we take it in our stride and intend to change that reputation about India. When you come to India, we guarantee you wouldn’t really ever find a snake charmer, but McDonalds and KFCs and cozy Bistros in abundance to welcome you!

So all you need to do is to come here with an open mind and enjoy the experience. You will meet some not-so-pleasant characters but all you need to do is exactly what you would do back home – ignore them! Shun the fear and trash the negative talk around you. Because the pleasant memories you garner in India will outnumber the unpleasant ones. You will also make some friends for life!

This is what will make your journey worthwhile.

Read more on this link

Arrival & VISA

India is well connected with the world. Most of the major airlines around the world fly into India. So reaching India is quite simple. But every tourist coming to India needs to obtain a VISA and that may be cumbersome.

To know more about the VISA system, please check this link.


  • Citizens of 113 countries are eligible to apply for the E-VISA.
  • E-VISA is valid for 30 days only.
  • Arrival on E-VISA is permitted only at selected airports.

Airports where arrival on E-VISA is permitted:

Ahmadabad, Delhi, Kochi, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Gaya, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram/ Trivandrum, Bengaluru/ Bangalore, Goa, Lucknow, Tiruchi, Chennai, Jaipur, Varanasi, Mumbai

Consular services center for other VISAs:

  • You have to fill in a form to obtain the VISA for 3 to 6 months.
  • Apply online before visiting the consular services center.

Some quick tips:

  • Indian tourist VISA is valid from the date of issue and not from the date of arrival.
  • While printing photographs for VISA and other travel documentation , print a few more. You may need some in India while applying for a local SIM card or other paper work, in case any.
  • Use the name of a hotel or a tour company as a reference in the form if you do not have a friend in India.
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Which destination? Which gateway city?

Golden Triangle - New Delhi

Himalaya range - New Delhi

Rajasthan - Jaipur
Pushkar Festival - Jaipur
Khajuraho Trails - Varanasi

Buddhist Trails - Gaya

Kolkata - Kolkata

North East - Guwahati
Hornbill Festival - Guwahati

Goa - Goa
Mysore/ Hampi - Bengaluru
Pondicherry/ Madurai - Chennai

Kerala - Kochi
Gothuruthu Boat Race - Kochi

Transport in India – Your code and hacks!

India provides a vast network of travel modes within the country. But it can be a daunting task to choose between options if you don’t have a fair understanding of the know hows.

IRCTC e- Generation booking system - Your Hack!

  • First, IRCTC e-generation only accepts AMEX cards (VISA and MASTERCARDS are not accepted).
  • Create a login ID and password by providing your Indian local phone number and address.
  • You can book your tickets on IRCTC website from 00:30 hours to 23:20 hours daily.
  • Once you are through with the login, it becomes mandatory to understand the different passenger classes, time allotted for booking (For Tatkal* only) and basic train status abbreviations. Here is a simple guide to Indian Railway system.
  • Foreign Quota - A dedicated quota system has been set up in order to provide facilities to foreign travelers and NRIs. Tickets under different passenger class can be availed at the booking centers at the railway station or through various travel agents. The payment need to be in US Dollars, Euros or INR and passport should be provided for authentication.

*Tatkal is a special quota which consists of set limit of seats which can be booked the previous day of the departure of the train. The portals for booking open from 10:00 hrs. It is best to book promptly at 10:00 hours as the seats get filled faster than you bat your eyelids!

Our ultimate hack on Domestic travel in India.

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