Sunday, March 6, 2011

How India Travels!

People in India travel a lot especially during festivals, in weddings, on holy occasions and in holidays. The most eager traveler is the rural folks who are not privileged enough to go on holidays.  The people of the country are tradition keepers hence change does not come fast. 

India still travels in rail. The Indian Railway provides the most popular mode of transport to the people. Incidentally it is the cheapest as well as most networked system. No wonder Indian rail journeys are most written about. The journey can be very comfortable if you are traveling in air conditioned class with a reserved berth. But not many can afford it.  

The largest number of travelers crowd the trains and buses during holy occasions like the Kumbh Mela.  This is followed by those going in to attend a political rally. Seasonal travel during holidays - Diwali, Post Exam (summer), Holi, Marriages, create the worst kind of rush in the trains. The tickets are booked in advance and it is very difficult to step in the sleeper class.  

Bus is another mode of cheap transport in the land - and worst. Most of the state run buses are ill equipped for luxury and comfort but then they are the cheapest. For luxury and comfort the answer is luxury bus services. They are costly but nevertheless preferred by upper class since travel by personal car is costlier. 

Air Travel is unthinkable if you have less money or your company does not sanction. Most of the air travelers are Government employees, Employees of big companies and the jet set who have fat load of money. The middle class flies only in emergency or during pressing need for quick travel.     

It is the only way. If you wish to experience the land from close train travel is the best followed by a bus or  taxi. Taxi is very costly used only by corporate big wigs and tourists on holiday. For holiday makers from foreign countries taxi is most recommended. It is most comfortable to travel for short distances from one destination to another. Car Rentals and Motor Home rentals are available as well but it is not yet very popular in India.    

Traveling Attire in India

India is a diverse country with varied climate and weather conditions. It is a country where lifestyle changes from one place to other. This is the impact of diverse culture which is ever evolving. The major difference can be noted in culture are in spoken language or dialect, food preferences and attire. 

Physical features are common though ethnic differences can be noted. Tribal and other ethic communities are more varied and distinct. People in Central plains and Deccan are look alike with minor differences.  Due to the size of the country an amazing diversity is prevalent. This is what is appealing about this land where landscape, people and weather changes by the distance.

Visitors from foreign countries as well as many locals are stunned by ever changing India. But in spite of differences people exhibit some common characteristic. The people of this country love age old tradition which they do not distance from even under the garb of modernity.

Hence tourist interested in assimilating with the people while on visit should first realize the local traditions. Wearing local dress is found to be more acceptable by Indians. Another benefit is revealing dress is avoided since some people are not used to it. Revealing outfit may invite a bunch of eve teasers which can be trouble some. 

There are dresses in local communities which are typically for men and women. While women have more covered up garb, men can wear scanty clothing in case of heat and humidity. The urban class in this land  has a common dress code i.e pant and shirt for men and sari or salwar kameez for women. Some women  and all young girls in cities wear jeans, t shirts and frocks. But older women prefer traditional garments especially if they are divorced of widowed. The wedding dress is rich embroidered or embellished with colorful motifs made of gold silver threads called Zari.        

In rural areas customary dress is very common and typical to the region. Hence every region or state in the country has its own traditional garb.  This applies to the whole sub continent - Pakistan, Nepal, Bangla Desh and neighboring island Sri Lanka.  People in states have distinct clothing choice especially in rural areas. 

The Indian clothing is highly colorful and embellished at times though instances of plain garb can be encountered especially among the poor or very conservative lot.  During festivals lot of dress styles emerge colorful, sparkling  bright and as vivacious as the occasion. Similarly in marriages gaiety of the event is best expressed by traditional  garbs - kurta pajama, sherwani, salwar kameez, colorful embroidered saree, lehanga choli and lungi. The latter is more popular in Southern India.  

In Northern India and Pakistan Shalwar Kameez is more popular. It is Like the sari this dress has crossed International boundaries and hence is available in stores in Dubai, UK, USA and other parts of Europe. The top rated fashion designers in Pakistan have glamorized this dress. 

The saree is popular all over India and appears in mind boggling  patterns, colors and designs. The fashion industry is burgeoning in the country. Hence traditions Indian Sari  & Suits are popular in many countries. There are many stores which sell these online. In many foreign countries shops keep fashion and traditional clothing from India. The traditional clothing with regional flavors are not available anywhere else. One can buy such garbs while on tour to that destination.   

Traditional garments in the sub continent compliment the society and are user friendly. They are weather compliant and soothing to the eyes of the locals. Hence you as foreign tourist will feel at home among the ethnic lots.