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5 Reasons Why I Didn’t Like India

Whoa, India has some attractive reasons to visit! A super rich vibrant culture, AMAZING food that I absolutely love, nice people, tons of places to go, mountains to beaches to deserts, and a wealth of other perks. Unfortunately, I decided I didn’t like India.

My boyfriend and I decided to go after getting invited to a wedding- Hell yeah!

While we had some lovely experiences, India proved to not be for me. I’ve been traveling for nearly five years and many of these occurrences below happened to me many times before, but I found everything to be amplified in India by 10, and for that, I wasn’t impressed and I didn’t enjoy my time there.

WARNING: You are about the read the opinion of a single human being. This person went to India with an open mind, and formulated an opinion after a few weeks. This is not to turn anyone away from India. This is not meant to generalize the entire country (India is freakin huge.) This is an opinion and experience piece. Perhaps India had an off two weeks? Perhaps the wrong impressions were made? Who knows?

This is someone’s opinion after their experience in India, so take it as that, and that only.

Overly sensitive people and those who can’t handle reading an opinion of another person that’s not the same as theirs can stop reading now.

I’m sorry, but I didn’t like India. Maybe I’ll try it again another day, long down the road…Maybe.

I just felt so incredibly uncomfortable the majority of my time there. It was unfortunate.

Here are just a few of my unfortunate experiences, and why I doubt I’ll want to travel to India again…

The Nice Lie

Being super friendly and making you feel comfortable and then lying to you.

The problem: you don’t realize it’s a lie until too late.

The top two occurrences of this unfortunate situation…

The Friendly Taxi

Our Indian friend got us a taxi, he called this taxi his friend. He picked us up to go grab my dress and Garrett’s suit for the wedding.

He brought us to a rental shop, we got the suit, picked up my dress, went to the ATM (mistake), and then he all of a sudden needed gas (he didn’t). He requested 500R ($8) stating he was our taxi for the day, the evening and probably tomorrow too (another event for the wedding).

We didn’t want to be rude to our friend’s friend and he had been so nice! Since he was driving us around all day and such, we handed it over thinking, why not? He’s driving us, he deserved a few bucks (our friend told us we didn’t owe him anything, but we figured he deserved some money). There are plenty more details that made this scam so much more apparent (afterwards) and the pieces fit perfectly, he did a very good job. Needless to say, after the initial drop off we never saw him again. He wasn’t really a friend.

The kicker: As if stealing 500R wasn’t enough, this dude had the gall to order a large bottled water and tea and put it on our tab at the hotel he picked us up from without asking. We didn’t notice until we checked out the next day.

The Computer Dude

The second scam was in Rishikesh when my MacBook charger crapped out on me.

Not having a computer is not an option for me. I needed one and a trusted electrician I found online with three great reviews seemed to be the best and only solution.

He was so nice!! Making a long story short, I was promised a brand new original Apple charger and he gave me a bunk one. It was obvious to us it wasn’t a real Apple. I was insulted he thought I was that dumb.

The problem was, I was desperate for one so I bought it, but I didn’t give him the 5500R ($85) he wanted and only gave him 3000R. Still a lot of money ($46) for a non original. If he would have given me a real one-I would have given him his asking price, but he lied.

Apparently lying is a very a common thing. Even between locals. We saw the lying day in and day out with our experiences and even the locals around us. Deceiving others seems to be common practice. I wasn’t down with that.

Burning Holes Into My Soul

A slight exaggeration? Perhaps, but well justified.

If they stared any harder, I’m sure my soul would have permanent scarring from the laser beams that streamed out of their eyeballs that seemed to come from every direction.

I never ever had the desire to travel India alone, mostly for the unwanted attention such as gawking stares, but I was with my boyfriend and still got gawked at on the regular.

Gawked is actually too nice of a word, I need a more intense word to describe this. It was so bad, I FELT violated. I have been stared at plenty over the last few years of travel, but this…this was unprecedented. I have no further words.

Privacy = Nonexistent

So along with the staring… If that wasn’t bad enough, it was often done in close proximity.

The idea of privacy or personal space is nonexistent. I knew this coming to India, but the extent of it I wasn’t prepared for.

Strangers looked over my shoulder when I was checking my work email on my phone. Are you f-ing kidding me?

At our local friend’s house, everyone was so lovely, but at the same time, it got a bit annoying and creepy. People and children would just sit there with us and stare. For hours upon hours. I’m not exaggerating.

If we got up to do anything (sometimes even to just walk to the bathroom) we would get followed. I felt like I was in a circus and I was the freak show everyone wanted to see.

My boyfriend and I went outside to get some “fresh” air (fresh is a joke, this area was so polluted), but the reason being, all we wanted was just to be alone for maybe ten seconds… Nope. About 10 people followed- to do nothing more but stare. It just got to be too much.

To state that I was uncomfortable would be the understatement of the year.

rishikesh ganges river 5 reasons why i didn't like india

Selfies and Pics

Why would you want a picture with a random stranger?

I still don’t have the answer to this question but lots of people there apparently want it. Yes, I know it’s likely just for the “novelty (?)” factor of seeing a foreigner but…really??? Random strangers would come up to us and ask to take a selfie.

It was again, very uncomfortable, but that’s not even the worst part. At least these people asked, so I entertained them and said yes. Some people would just shove their phone in our face and take a pic. What.the.fuck. !? That- Just no… NO!

The most annoying occurrence, and I’m not sure if this should go here or under my lack of privacy category, was when I was asked for a picture while I was mid chew.

The background: This individual saw me a total of three days and got a picture before. I had not eaten in 10 hours. I was eating dinner, and, this, to him, was the perfect time to ask me to take a picture……….?!

Side note-I was hangry AF. Fuck off with your photo! Give me food!!!!

Pictures might seem a bit petty to be annoyed with, but after a few days with people constantly doing it to you… – no. At least celebrities get paid millions a year to deal with it.

Any Idea When or What?

I get the concept of time. I get that some cultures don’t get the concept of time/ just don’t care about it.

After all, I’ve spent the last 4.5 years living on Thai time. I like Thai time! I’ve adopted it. I’m cool with it. I get it.

India takes it to the next level, a level that seems next to impossible.

We were never told what time (or round about time) of when things would start or what they wanted or expected of us. It was as if we needed to read minds. Or maybe blindly follow along like puppets?

We ordered a taxi and asked for the time he would get there. We never got the time and when we walked out of our hotel that morning to grab food, he had been waiting for us. We had to pay extra for his wait time.

Were we supposed to be ready and waiting all day with our thumbs up our ass?

On the wedding day, we had no idea what was going on the entire time, and without divulging all the details for the sake of not offending anyone, we were quite unprepared for an event that was to last around 15 hours…15 hours+!!!!!!

Lastly, my own money was spent without my knowledge. Again, I’ll leave out specifics, but I was told my wedding outfit would be cheap. Cheap, as in let’s go to the market and pick out something nice but cheap for you- something very viable here.

Instead I was stuck paying $35 for a rental. If you haven’t traveled in this region, that might sound cheap, but in reality $35 for a rental of a garment is astronomical. I probably could have bought at least three awesome and wedding appropriate outfits to keep with that money. And again- it was spent without consulting me! My money! (My boyfriend was stuck with the same situation.)

For the record:

– Yes, I did my research but nothing could have prepared me for actually being here.

– Yes, I was careful with what I wore. Shoulders and knees covered. Still looked at as if I was a naked clown juggling puppies.

– Yes, we went further off grid than many people and I think this was a big problem for us. It’s unfortunate, as these experiences are meant to be more authentic, but instead, it was just downright the most uncomfortable position I’ve ever been in. In my entire life.

– Yes, the occurrences at the more tourist friendly Rishikesh weren’t as bad, but definitely still happened.

– Yes, we met some amazing people and saw some phenomenal places! This is not to generalize the entire country!

– Yes, I know I only spent two weeks and saw a small amount of the country, but I had enough of an introduction to the culture and people to understand that I don’t think I belong there. Yes, I’ve heard Goa is amazing and different. I’ll think about returning after I check off about 45 other countries off my list.

– Yes, I know this is just another culture and the way things are, but this is my opinion and my explanation of why I probably wouldn’t want to go back, and why I’m sorry I’m not sorry, but I didn’t like India.

I have the right to my opinion, just like a country has the right to keep in their own ways. It doesn’t mean I have to like it. Not everyone will enjoy every single place they go.

AGAIN- This is not meant to offend or generalize. I’m not ignorant- I understand this is their culture and the way things are. This is my opinion, and you should go to India to form your own.

I wouldn’t want to spend my precious time and money on a place that makes me feel so incredibly uncomfortable, and at the same time- Not give the country the appreciation that it deserves- because India is a fabulous country… All countries are in their own way.

This one just wasn’t for me…

I aim to travel the world and experience as much as I can, but the reality is, not all experiences and places are going to be entirely positive and magical.

So I (we) didn’t like India to the point where my boyfriend and I changed our flight to escape a week earlier. I know many enjoy India and I can see the positives of it. I even had many firsts in India. For me, the taste I got just wasn’t pleasant enough for me to stay or have a desire to return anytime soon.

I’m sorry, but from my experience, I didn’t like India.

Thank you, but no thank you, India.

What was your experience there? How did you like India?

Try pinning me for later. Promise it feels good to share!

Why I didnt like india

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  1. After reading your blog and most of the comments, I have to say its full with comments and exaggerations meant to offend the sentiments of people from a country, you deemed as a third world country from the very beginning of this blog if choice of words for title is anything to go by. (Why I didn’t like India not why I didn’t like so and so Indian cities ). You made opinions about whole Indian diaspora of 1.3 billion people based on brief stay of two weeks at some poorly selected locations for travelling. Wow!

    You traveled to India to attend a wedding ceremony without having any prior knowledge of the whole rituals and rites of Indian wedding and ended up blaming: it went on and on for 15 hours. What were you thinking: it would be like let’s say, ‘I do’, pop a bottle of champagne and go to your merry way. Even that type of wedding go on for full day or weeks if you include all functions. Go and search on google, there are so many foreigners who come to India round the year to attend Indian weddings through portals like JoinMyWedding and many more. You attended your friend’s wedding, a friend you knew enough about to attend her wedding even then you had trouble in finding a friendly face.

    Visiting Delhi was worst decision you have made especially when you had taken no precaution against pollution. Knock, knock! Delhi is most polluted cities in the world. If you were searching for a ecofriendly state you should have visited Kerela, its called tourists paradise for reason. Delhi is national capital and industrial zone of India, inviting millions for aspiring students and job seekers from every corner of India, so you can’t find the privacy at place where everybody fighting for space.

    Staring and clicking photos, sorry but I visited places both in Rishikesh and Delhi teeming with foreigners greeting cheerfully, ‘Namaste’ at every turn without any purpose. I didn’t see any Indian enthusiastic about taking selfie unless a foreigner ask for it. In fact its common habit found among foreigners to take photos of everyting, they find unusual. A women is bathing on Ganga ghat, take selfie. A women dressed in traditional wear, take selfie. A vendor is selling bhel puri, take selfie. Its like we are nothing but baboons about to be extinct in few years and most humiliating part we can’t object because they are nothing but innocent researchers capturing picture of poor and hungry people in India to show true reality of India. Some of them even ask their travel agents to take them strictly to the places where they can find only slums because India is nothing but a BIG slum in their opinion. Research or not, its violating someone’s privacy, who don’t even understand such terms exist. So, I think it goes both ways but you already know that.

    You whining about about being cheated when you knew from the very beginning that the guy was a fraud and your sentiment contradicts your statement. If you were that smart to recognize a fake charger then I think you were smart enough to google Apple service center in Delhi. There are not too many since Apple is not popular and affordable brand here so you wouldn’t have problem in locating authorized center. Same goes for the taxi driver incident, for someone who boast of being a travel expert and expat with experience of 4.5 years. You don’t even know the basic do’s and don’t of traveling. Never trust a stranger who thinks you are a stranger. If you have this naive attitude of trusting friends of friends, you end up being broke whether in US or Jamaica.

    People were staring at you, might be because they where wondering ‘why this gal is looking like death warmed over her or she is hiding a loaded gun’. Its something happens to everybody when they land in foreign territory with dumbstruck expression on their face. At least they were not thinking that you were a terrorist and think of calling to 911. That would have been most freaking thing to do but Indian were treated like that all time in your country. Perhaps, if you had stopped wearing expression of distate at every turn like you sniffed something awful and made sincere efforts in integrating with masses, it would have been a more exciting opportunity to learn the richness of a culture that has been passionate curiosity of many historians and explorers since medieval age but I hardly think doing a comprehensive blog based on established facts and extensive research was ever your agenda otherwise this article wouldn’t wrapped up in just five reasons for not liking India after visiting only few cities in narrow time period of 2 weeks. The title of the blog itself spoke volumes for your racist attitude towards Indian culture and Indian people in general. You wouldn’t be the first nor the last. But I think your travel experience will be less painful and more soul warming if you scribble out your nitpicking blindfold from your list of must have things when you visit a third world country. Don’t forget this third world country is world fastest developing country. That wouldn’t be possible if Indians were lazy ass with no value for time and money.

    Vasudhaiva kutumbakam!

  2. Hi, I am a foreign expat trailing spouse living in Gurgaon for 2 years now. Locals ask me, Do you like India? I can’t comment right away. What I liked about my life here… nice jewelry, dress, authentic curry, peacock and monkey and cow I encounter on a daily basis… But so many things I find I didn’t like about my life here (*_*;. I thank you for your blog. Now I know I’m not the only one. I hope I can come back here to feel different when I have a chance to visit as a tourist. For now, I’m glad that my days here is almost over.

  3. As a Indian staying in USA, I feel the same like you folks feel in India. American attitude and way they treat people of minority is completely ridiculous! Let alone the locals even the government acts like we are a burden on them when in reality we are way more qualified and better employed than them. I hate the fact that I cannot drive my car in a hoodie without cops thinking I’m a thug and arresting me ( I would never have to think about this in India). The women in USA act like h*es who only hang around with wealthy guys and once theirs no fun anymore they abundant them, as compared to Indian women who stick around no matter what happens. I feel India is the safest and the best country in the world. I really want to return to India and live my life without any worries

  4. Hi!
    I’m not a reader of your blog and found it by googling “why do I have such a bad time in India” : /
    Apparently I’m not alone!

    Me and my girlfriend were invited to a wedding of my colleague. Long story short, 2 days after landing and even before attending the wedding, we were looking for an early tickets to save ourselves and getting out of there! that never happened though because of my friend and we stayed two weeks. The worst two weeks of holidays I’ve ever experienced!

    Everything that you mentioned happened to us! EVERYTHING!

    They stare at you like the way you killed their entire village! It’s not even staring… It’s something else! It’s like they hate you… They stare with some weird mad face which gives you a very ugly vibes…

    Lying, stealing,cheating, chaos, being ripped off. dirt, Zero understanding of privacy. I couldn’t relax at all.

    Tried Qutub Minar and Golden triangle… a security guard took my phone to take pictures of me and my girlfriend and then asked for money. Had to pay to get my phone back.

    I thought Uber is safe, “I don’t have change” is the most common thing you’ll hear if your credit cards are blocked for security reasons and have to pay in cash. When ever I contacted Uber that a driver didn’t give me back the change, They immediately refund me, it’s like it’s a very common thing happening to tourists in India.

    Wassup with everyone taking photos with us? Some without even asking! Some just trying to put us in their background! why do you even need a photo with a stranger that you just meet on street? They are obsessed with taking photos!

    India? Never again…

  5. My husband and I (over 60) of Indian origin but born in Kenya now live in UK. Husband hadn’t been to India since 1974 and I had been twice before to visit family in Punjab. After retirement We were really looking forward to our trip – Agra, Rajasthan, Amritsar, Goa, roughly a month. We faced scams, lies on a daily basis. The noise, filth and lack of personal space. We thought we are going home and it was the most unfriendliest place. People in shops and taxis were out to get you. All the shoving and pushing with no regard or respect.

    We saw some very interesting historical sights but everywhere there was an incident that made us feel very uncomfortable.

    We were counting our days when we would get home. Never going to that god forsaken place again.

  6. I just came back from India and could’t agree more. This country is gross, poop everywhere and Indians are sooo slow and unfocused.

    The powerty, liars, stealers and yep, the smell and pollution.

    Once I saw couple of Indian men throwing out garbage out of the running train, I totally lost all my respect with this, so called “culture”.

    People, do not travel there. It’s not worth it. All you get is being scammed and might end up with some disease.

  7. Hi Nina,

    I was born and raised in India and lived there for several decades before moving to the UK. And i can now understand and relate to all of the issues that you mentioned in your article after being exposed to different cultures and travelling to Europe and North America.

    First of all, by and large, India is not a safe place for women. You won’t find many women travelling on their own there. They are almost always accompanied by Men. You are taking a big risk by choosing to travel on your own.

    Staring seems to be almost hardcoded in the DNA esp. of Indian men. They do not conciously realize or understand that what they are doing is something wrong. Call it ignorance. If poor children are staring at you then it means they want something. It could be food or money.

    Lying, stealing and cheating is all too common even among locals, let alone foreigners. General mentality is that, all foreginers esp. white people are loaded with money and there is no harm in taking some money from them. So you must always be prepared to be ripped off.

    There is no concept of privacy in Asia and it is not just India. Expecting privacy in a country choke full of billion people is absurd.

    I am sorry, but for someone who claim to be an experienced traveller, your research wasn’t adequate. Whatever that i have mentioned here can be easily found through little research on Google. And people should pay attention to other people travel experiences. Sometimes it could be the difference between life and death.

    Imagine ignoring the advice of all the travellers and going to El Paso–Juárez for holiday. You would be lucky to come back in one piece.

    India may have thousand faults but it is not a dangerous place. You won’t get hijacked or killed for few bucks. With adequate research and precaution, you can enjoy travelling most countries in the world. So don’t let this 2 weeks experience stop you from travelling to India again.

    1. I totally agree Geek-each word.
      I am a European but have lived few years in India.
      And also think research wasnt done fully.
      All these things are mentioned almost everywhere, how can one not find it??

  8. This comment section is full of racist people. Read colonial history then you’ll understand why we are a developing country. We don’t have looting and killing culture like west. West build up by looting whole world. If you don’t know past then you can’t understand present.

  9. Hey Nina, sorry about all those situations you had to face in our country. You are very honest! Well, you are still lucky since you had been in the country for just two weeks, you can’t imagine what unimaginable things you might have encountered if you explored the country widely. Everything you wrote is just about 10% of overall reality. It is actually worse than you wrote. You are just being generous. It is best to have the right person to guide anyone everywhere safely especially educated people.

    Being an Indian, we face the same situation and random people in this country are truly deceitful not just tourist, I do not wish to hear anything bad about the country being such a bad place to visit, but it is true with my own personal experiences, though we are still trying to improve everything so that one day our nation can change and be a better place to live/visit than ever, we can’t see these changes soon enough so as of now, always take care of yourself and trust your own survival instinct.

    I know you had to go through all these kind of situations, we deeply feel sorry. Next time when you visit the country, it is best to have someone you know to guide you all in this country.

    In case if you plan your next visit in India, don’t hesitate to write to me or write to someone who you can trust. I am soon starting a new website to bring good changes in our nation. You have a great life and keep going on with your good job.

    Sincerely, Joe.

  10. I have lived both in India and US for long time, so I can relate to both.

    People here only talk about problems in India and ignore problems in other countries.
    No body seem to do a comparison for the statements they are making.
    There are exact parallel issues even in other countries.

    Those who talk about privacy, In US people ask ‘How long have you been in the country?’
    I believe this is rude to ask, How can this be respectful to one’s privacy.
    This same thing is asked even in India if I say, I am a US immigrant. So there is no
    culture here.

    Comparison is more difficult, but one should not ignore that.

    1. Sure, if the comparisons are equal… That’s a curious question but I can see how it can be a bit rude but “that level of invasion of privacy” pales in comparison to people in MY bed and literally following me to the bathroom and waiting outside…

      1. I travelled India for 2 month from top to bottom, had a ‘break’ in Nepal for 6 weeks and we are due to head back into India for another 5 weeks and I don’t want to go! I try to explain to my husband how awful I find India and your post has helped me tell him. I too researched India and having lived in SE Asia before and coming from Europe I am in shock. Yes you hear about the inappropriate behaviour of others but “I’m with my husband” seemed to be my thought process. I’m not a solo female traveller but the soul stealing stares are the exact way I would describe them and aimed right at my chest even tho I am covered with a wrap. I have taken to stopping and catching their eyes and they look away so they know what they’re doing is wrong. The lying and tourist tax isn’t as much of a problem for me. We have it daily but it’s just something that happens but the treatment of me because I’m a woman is unacceptable.
        A man got on the train an moved his arm so he would touch my breast, I shoved him away and he put it back, I told him off in his face and he laughed to his friend. All the while I had to stop my husband from tackling him. What the fuck is wrong here. I would never recommend anything went to India to visit.
        Oh and the timing this is just Indian, I have experienced that with Indians in Europe,I just wouldn’t have paid for the taxi waiting time. I find it I make a fuss and say no enough times then they don’t make you pay, again this may have been a scam.

  11. I am Indian much of what you say is true (although from a western perspective.) Indians do not have the same concept of time/urgency, as this can be very frustrating. Absolutely no concern about keeping things on a certain schedule. And yes, the staring and lack of privacy- I can only imagine. I guess many Indians are very curious about seeing white people, maybe its strange and exotic to them because for all you know, they may have never seen white people before, so its really harmless, but yes, I get that its annoying. And of course, the scams. Many Indians are very poor and earn very little, so they see a white person and in their minds, you are rich so they see an opportunity to make some money. This is the rational behind it, but I am certainly not justifying it. I always tell people India is not for everyone, it takes a certain type of person to enjoy…and even then there is no guarantee!

  12. Nina,

    You’re article is extremely on point and less extreme for someone that only visited for two weeks. The fact that you were even mild tempered with your article shows your experience with traveling.

    I had a hard time going to mainland China and assimilating there. The rudeness, honking, hygiene (from tier 4 cities like chaozou to tier one cities like Shanghai) but at least there is a night life there.

    I’ve been coming here for 10 years because of my father’s/family software business. This is the most difficult place to stay even after 10 years.

    I’m a city boy that grew up in LA and moved to NYC in my mid 20s. The night life here is better now but still not worth it. I dread and get anxiety attacks before I come here.

    Everyone going against you is somewhat of a resident here, believe that. The majority of people would not come here or come back. I would never recommend any of my friends to come here because they’d be furious at me for telling them to do so.

    I’ve been to Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore, Pondicherry, you name it. No, it’s not cleaner not to us the change is very minuscule like viewing a TV that’s 1080i HD vs 1080p HD.

    The dirtyness, the immaturity and naive ness is just insane. There’s fecal matter everywhere. Although I went to those cities I just stopped. I can’t poop at 95% of the restrooms I encounter.

    I rather stay at the office or go to the best mall in town to watch a movie and get something to eat, or the local modern bar.

    You’re on point, unbiased. People getting angry or defensive are the people that can’t acknowledge the faults of this country and government.

    It has somewhat to do if the caste system. They feel like picking up or cleaning after yourself is “beneath them”. Of course I don’t mean everyone.

    The education system at the city and state schools are inadequate. It doesn’t prepare the kids to assimilate to international companies. I don’t know how many times I had to train guys to properly wash their hands, email a proper reply, clean up their trash at the overseas office.

    The government, oh man how corrupt it is. It’s almost no better than a communist/socialist state. They need to clean house in their state and central governments. It’s corruption is out of this world. Hiding number of deaths in natural disasters, taking money instead of investing in infrastructure and improving the standard of living of the average citizen, the most eniffecient bureaucratic system in the world, chief ministers (state governors) viewed almost as deities, it’s just crazy

    No Nina, you’re giving anyone that’s not Indian a clear and honest view of what they’ll experience here in India 100%.

    With all my criticisms, again I made friends here, there are good times, but if it wasn’t for work I’d never come here. Only to visit (for a short period of time) and go to weddings of friends I’ve made here. Again the truth hurts, the average person wouldn’t be able to assimilate comfortably here. Again it’s how you experience it as well. If you stay in the Sheraton 24/7 or stay in gated elite communities provided by big companies/conglomerates than it might be ok.

    I had to stay here for nearly 3 months this trip dealing with corrupt state and central officials and just an extremely inefficient process (for everything you can think of)

    Getting ripped off is a given. I’ve been coming here 10 years now so I know. Uber helps a lot but you always deny the first, 2nd charges. Everyone will overcharge you if you’re not with a local.

    This article is the real deal, take this in before you decide to come here tourists.

  13. Hey Nina! I’m so sorry you had to go through all these on your visit to India. Maybe next time, we’d behave better and maybe that time you’d like the place and be comfortable much more.
    Most of the comments here tend to ask you to visit a certain place and all, but I really hope wherever you visit next time, you’d have a great experience.
    Have fun and take care.
    ~ Tanmayi.

  14. I originally come from India and agree with everything you have written. This is why I live in the West and will never go back.

  15. Reading this it was such a relief! I’ve been in India for a month now, and have to be here three more months (due to my research). Came here excited and open minded, but after a month I feel frustrated. Why? ALL those things you wrote in article happen to me daily! Also, I would add huge amount of dirt everywhere and pollution. And people not being honest, even tho you are “friends”!

    1. It’s unfortunate. I’m willing to go back and try out some other spots though. Just not jumping to do that anytime soon 🙂 I hope things start to turn around for you!

    2. This is my second time in India and I came again for a project for 4 months. 5 weeks passed and started to count days back, I ve never done this before anywhere in the World. I totally agree with you especially being not honest is pretty common or being forgetful. I can smell the polluted air sometimes in my 5 stars hotel as well. The food would be great but all just chilly and curry so you cannot enjoy the real tastes. What I hate most that there is no freedom I always need someone to come with me as I am a woman, therefore my only privacy is jn the hotel room.

  16. Agree 100%!

    I came to India with an open mind and while I have seen some amazing things and had some great experiences I’m really tired of the scams round every corner. It seems everyone is just out to con you out of your money.

    That, alongside the noise, filth and pollution, doesn’t add up to an enjoyable experience.

    I’m thinking of changing my flights too and getting out of here asap..

  17. I returned from India yesterday (Golden Triangle and Rishikesh) and totally understand your personal view of India. The chaos, pollution, scams, disabilities, dirt and invasion of personal space meant I could not relax at all. Having travelled to other past of Asia I thought I’d be prepared.
    In a few years I may visit Southern India but feel I need to regroup, take a very deep breath and travel to other destinations first.

    1. Southern India where I stay is similar. Though they tend to be a bit more innocent and better because of that “southern hospitality” in their own way.

      But similar

  18. I’m one of those people that believe they don’t need to go somewhere to know what it’s like (I read and watch a lot about the world). But I like to travel everywhere to be able to experience it myself.

    I knew India was most likely not my cup of tea, but I consider myself very open minded and wanted to see for myself. For me it was way worse than I expected. That level of pollution, chaos, misery and deceit is something you just can’t understand until you experience it with your own senses. But for me what makes it even worse, is that having been all over the world and being able to compare, India is by far the worst country I have ever been to in terms of pollution, higiene, poverty, misery, living conditions and almost the worst in terms of deceit.

    You would think after my first trip I would have never returned but in fact I joined a friend who was totally obsessed about India because I wanted to understand why people go there at all and even like it. What I learned is that a lot of people who enjoy India haven’t travel extensively so have experienced no or very few other non-western environments and many are on a PERSONAL journey (that has nothing to do with the place itself) in which if they can survive the shittiest place on earth they can survive everything. I realized many of them do it by being on drugs most of the time… Escaping from the very reality of the country they are visiting and saying they like…

    Everyone is a different type of traveler so to each his own.

  19. I have been living in Bangalore for almost a year, and I am from Egypt, a place that, to many, would seem to be very similar. But it isn’t…

    I have been going through the same problems you listed in the post for the entire year, and on a daily basis. Yes I appreciate the experience, yes I have amazing friends, but the interaction, and the living situation is indeed very uncomfortable.

  20. I respect your opinion. Everyone’s got their own views and perspective and you gotta respect them instead of criticizing. Me, being an Indian, would suggest you to go to Leh Ladakh which is in the north in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. People out there are amazing! Believe me! They are extremely sweet and will never put you in a scam. Besides that Leh Ladakh is beautiful. You can check it out on the net. It has many beautiful places to visit. Maybe your opinion and views towards India will change.

  21. Last week I met a young American in New Delhi, who was contemplating exceeding her visa after one month of stay and she couldn’t stop appreciating life-changing experiences. Probably, you got along with wrong people. Your blog is sheer exaggeration. While you’d be stared at most places in the country, and many may ask for a selfie, and the concept of privacy is alien, despite your caveats this write up gives distorted picture of what India is and the most part of the blame goes to the person whose wedding you went to attend. Visit to a North Indian wedding could be overwhelming for a westerner who’s looking for a homeland comfort in India. Visit again very soon and take some time to visit Gurgaon, which is the technology capital or the malls in South Delhi, you would find them better than most in America. And have a responsible host, this time. BTW Indian weddings are big and middle class brides on an average spends more than 500 dollars on their one of the many outfits, same goes for the groom. Relatives and friends are expected to dress well, so frankly you didn’t spend a fortune. Nobody forces you to see all the ceremonies in those 15 hours, just wonder who stopped you from going away if you were not interested? Your experience is defined by the people around you, probably you had the wrong ones while in India. Whichever place you go next, go with open heart and mind. You will end up appreciating more!

    1. Sheer exaggeration? No, your blind nationalism and your ignorance of other countries and limited travel makes you think like this.

      Most people in the world can’t handle this. None of my Indian clients like going back. But all to you if you want to continue being brainwashed and conditioned with the corrupt government’s nationalist agendas.

  22. Ha ha.. Most of your observations are true and these “Indian” experiences are subjective.. I am from India and I live in the US. I miss the same chaos that you find annoying. All of these make the visit to India memorable. But, I respect your opinion.

    And regarding the pollution and cheating, Not all of India is like this. Many visit only the urban India and come to a conclusion. The backbone of India is her villages. In rural India, the air is clean and the people are innocent.

    Thanks for visiting our Country.

    1. Thanks for commenting! That’s exactly right and why I made it a huge point to say that this was my single experience in this one place in India. I know it’s not that everywhere. I also went to a rural area three hours away from New Delhi and the pollution was atrocious. Rishikesh was much better for me and less polluted. So I saw the difference. I love the off the track stuff but I didn’t like it as much in India for my reasons above. Happy travels!

  23. Nina, your screaming sounds more like you were backpacking, trying to save every penny, complaining for couple of $$ you spent. Mention the name of the hotel where your taxi driver ordered bottle water & tea without your permission. Your friend must have arranged some local cheap taxi that the driver ask you money for fuel. Your first mistake was going to Rishikesh when it’s your first India trip.

    Anyway good luck with your quest. If you ever plan to return, please do your homework well. Just my opinion that you are another ignorant American

    1. Thanks for the comment Robin! I’m not sure who is screaming? I’m not. I actually really liked Rishikesh too, not sure why that’s a mistake? And who said I was trying to save every dollar? I just don’t appreciate being scammed like every other human on earth wouldn’t. Thanks for the judgement, I guess everyone has a right to their own opinion! Right?! Which is exactly what this piece is, my own opinion. If you didn’t like it, I respect that. Just do me a favor and respect mine as well because we’re all different. Happy travels!

    2. Robin, your blind nationalism is the reason why this country won’t improve.

      I’m hoping the new generation that travels and informed by the internet sees how corrupt this government is and improved on infrastructure and education

  24. I pity you, you haven’t seen the real India yet !

    India has a lot of diversity in culture and linguistics. The culture, languages, and cuisine vary by state to state. Some states are popular .., rich and cater to tourists, while others are infamously poor & uneducated but offer more of an untouched view to those visiting from outside India…,

    Scams can happen anywhere in the world/globe.

    Indians have always welcomed everyone with warm & friendly smiles….
    It is impossible not to be astonished by India. Nowhere on Earth does humanity present itself in such a dizzying, creative burst of cultures , traditions and religions, races and tongues, Its INCREDIBLE INDIA !!!

    1. I’ve been coming here for 10 years. What she explained is the real India, whether you accept it or not.

  25. Ah, so sad! I spent 4 months as a solo female traveling all over India – and yes, I am sure your 4 reasons why you dont like india were tough for you to see past, I just feel bad that you weren’t able to! The greatest thing that I learnt in my time in India is that all around you, all you will see in your initial glance is complete shit, but hopefully that will teach you how to search for the beauty in it, as beauty can always be found (even under all the pollution, curious staring locals, and the taxi driver who wanted a .75 water and .20 cent tea (even if not on his tab) and who’s monthly salary is definitely way less than the amount you got paid for writing this article, debatably maybe even his yearly. But its the craziest place you’ll ever experience and if your purpose in sharing these reasons is to tell people they should not go if they will get caught up on these things, then I agree – those people, please do not go. India does not need you there and it most definitely didn’t not ask you to come. The honking will never stop, no matter how many times you say ignorantly for them to, and the people will always stare – (personal trick- if you smile at them 90% smile back with zero repercussions (I’ve tested this theory on nearly 1 million of them haha)

    1. I said the exact the opposite several time- this is NOT to dissuade anyone. So happy you enjoyed it! I’d rather be elsewhere. Not everyone enjoys every place they go. It’s very simple.

  26. This is exactly my experience. I’ve been to dozens of countries, most of them developing, and loved them all except for India. Not only did I have Delhi belly for most of my two weeks, I felt as if I was constantly on the defensive for a million little lies, deceits, and comments. I even got shanghai’d by a taxi driver and driven to an entire town I didn’t want to go to. And even as a guy, some of the comments I heard about women were unbelievably objectifying. The dirtiest part of sub-saharan Africa is exponentially cleaner than India: I won’t return unless I have a really, really good reason.

    1. Well I always said India was a small step above Africa in terms is sanitation and hygiene. I guess I was wrong I was only assuming as I never been to Africa. I apologize Africa.