India is a stunningly diverse country in both its culture and geography. However, if you plan to take a trip to India, there are various things you should know about it so that you can prepare yourself to have a simultaneously enjoyable and safe time in this South Asian territory.

You need to get vaccinated before you travel 

The illnesses that circulate in India — and against which you can obtain vaccinations in advance — include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, typhoid, and hepatitis A and B.

Lonely Planet advises: “Contact a health professional at least eight weeks before you travel to ensure your jabs are up to date.”

You can guard against the risk of contracting malaria 

It would be advisable for you to take a suitable anti-malarial prophylaxis course and follow the guidelines for it. Usually, you begin the course before you leave for India and continue with that course after you return home.

Travel insurance is essential 

Public hospitals are poor in India, while its private clinics and hospitals require you to pay before you can receive treatment from them.

When taking out travel insurance, make sure it will cover you for emergency evacuation.

You should book travel well before you need it 

This can include booking tickets for popular train routes, but how will you get to India in the first place? Keep in mind that, as a result of making prior arrangements online, you can get the best P&O cruises that go to India.

Local SIM cards make things easier 

You could get hold of an unlocked phone, whether in your home country or India itself, before asking a phone shop in the latter to provide you with a local pay-as-you-go SIM package.

How to greet native Indian people 

The standard manner of greeting these people is saying “namaste” with your hands held together in a prayer-like fashion before your chest.

Indian people take religion very seriously 

For this reason, if you want to enter a particular temple, mosque, monastery, or gurdwara (Sikh shrine), always check what rules apply for visits to it. You might not be permitted entry at all if you don’t follow the relevant faith.

English is widely spoken in much of India 

This is certainly the case in the country’s south and north-eastern states, and that’s quite a relief given that, as revealed by Culture Trip, India has 22 official languages and 1,721 other languages.

India states differ in their cultural sensitivity 

For example, while Goa and the north-eastern states are on the more liberal side, Haryana and Rajasthan are just two states that are much more conservative. You should therefore consider researching cultural norms of any particular India region you intend to visit.

Carry cash when and where possible 

Many businesses in remote parts of India only accept cash — and ATMs that do exist in India are notoriously unreliable. For example, they can often be out of order or run out of cash, meaning that you should keep a good supply of it at close hand.