The Incredible India

It’s almost time for https://semrushconf.in/. Trust me, I’ve already started missing you all and the opportunity to host you lovely people in my beautiful country. #FOMO

Nevertheless, I’m taking this opportunity to prepare a quick guide which would help you make the most of your trip to the incredible India.

Before I start, I want to tell you that you’re going to a super tech savvy country where you’ll see multiple tech solutions for anything you want – from travel to ordering food online to anything you want and you’ll find it very everything so cheap 🙂

I think I should begin now. Let me know if you’re interested to know some more things which are missing atm in this document, I’m happy to add my pointers on that too.

Basics

Greetings

I’m an International SEO and totally understand the value of localization, let me start from that. You won’t have issues with communication, most of the people in Bengaluru speak English, but let me share some “keywords” that will help you during your stay there.

While you can totally say hi/hello etc. but if you want to start your conversation with the local feel, you can press your hands together with a smile to greet Namaste. You can read more about it here.

Dhanyawaad is the hindi version of thank-you. I’m sure you Googled for it already. Again, you can press your hands together with a smile to greet this too, easy.

These are hindi words btw, but you’ll be in Bengaluru where the local language is Kannada which is totally different than Hindi, the language we speak at home. So, Kannada Gothilla helped me during my stay there, which means “I do not know Kannada”.  

That’s it! These 2+1 words would be enough to win some Indian hearts during this short stay.

Security

I spoke to some of my international friends about how excited they are for their visit to India. Security is one of the concerns sadly, especially for girls. But trust me, Bengaluru is a very nice city with a lot of lovely and the most welcoming people on this planet. Just stop thinking about this and enjoy your visit.

Additionally, you can save the following numbers in your phone, or you can ping/call me if you need any help there.

State Level Emergency Contact Numbers In Karnataka

Citizens call center: 155300

Child Helpline: 1098

Women Helpline: 1091

Rescue & Relief : 1070

Crime Stopper: 1090

Ambulance: 102/108

I’m sure this trip will change your perception on the security aspect in India. 

Local Phone Number

I would highly recommend you to take a local number. I was reading online and found some articles where people are talking about pre-activated tourist sims at the airport itself, just go for that.

Reference: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g297628-i2499-k10861537-Tourist_Sim_Card_Bangalore_Airport-Bengaluru_Bangalore_District_Karnataka.html

Food

Here comes everyone’s favourite – food and that too, Indian food. While India has 20+ major languages, it can easily beat any other cuisine in the world when it comes to variety. You can find a sneak peek here and the following photo (looks delicious, right?).

Zomato is a very popular platform to check ratings and reviews before you plan a visit to any restaurant and this is something you can bookmark for your trip, which would help you find restaurant near the conference venue. Also, some of my favourite dishes I can recommend are:

Dosa

You can’t miss this if you’re in this part of India. You can read more about it here.

Biryani

Biryani originally comes from Hyderabad, but there are plenty of restaurants in Bengaluru which can give you a taste of the authentic Biryani.

Important Note

Indians don’t like spicy food. You know this, right? Haha! I’m kidding. We love spicy food and trust me, you don’t know the “spicy” level I’m talking about. Clearly mention if you’re not good with spicy food to avoid any bad experiences, I don’t want you to come back yelling at me afterwards 😉

Travel

As I mentioned above, there are multiple options you’ve for your local travel. I would recommend Blacklane, Uber or Ola for the local travel. Traffic during peak hours can be horrible, so keep an eye on Google maps to get an idea on estimated travel time and increase that by 50% (at least) to be on the safe side, especially when it comes to airport taxis or anything urgent where you can’t afford any delays. For the payment part, cash is accepted happily, but you can also pay using digital wallets like paytm, phonepe, google pay etc.

Let me know if you need help with anything on this too. If you struggle with this (highly unlikely), I’m happy to book taxis for you using my account, I can PM you my whatsapp number if you think that can be helpful 🙂

International Credit Cards

Thanks Aleyda for the feedback, so here’s a section covering this point too. I checked my past trips in the Uber app on my phone, I see an option to select the country for the credit card while adding a new payment method, which means it’s totally okay to pay using your international credit card. You can find a useful reddit thread on the topic here.

Cash Payments

Ola is another popular taxi service in India, I would recommend downloading the app and setting up your account already, they allow you to pay in cash too (I think Uber allows that too, but Ola for sure – I just tested this for you). So, get some local currency at the airport if you prefer paying cash, or just to avoid any CC compatibility surprises. 

Others

Let me know if you want to hear more about anything else. This is just the first draft, I’m happy to add more to make it useful for you all 🙂

Have a wonderful visit to India. Looking forward to hear your experience in my beautiful country 🙂

Yours truly,

Nitin Manchanda

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