Just another day in Milan, Italy

Library of Enlightenment

Sponsored Links:

"Because every Arjuna needs a Krishna.."

Tag: travel

Discover Spirituality with a Nature Trek by the Ganges at Rishikesh

Discover Spirituality with a Nature Trek by the Ganges at Rishikesh

24 Hours on Offroad Camps Eco Trail, Narender Nagar, Rishikesh   Guest Blog by Nitima, I had my very first mountain hiking experience on Himalayas with a Kumao girl Lakhi. She was playing with her dog near the camp, least aware that her naturally green […]

13 Best Amsterdam Travel Excuses for the Liberal Tourist

13 Best Amsterdam Travel Excuses for the Liberal Tourist

Why Amsterdam is such an underrated city!   Ever since I first landed here in Europe, I have always wanted to visit Amsterdam. Everyone loves this city and talks great things about it. There are always great reviews about the Netherlands, but Amsterdam was supposed […]

Travel Economics for the Nomadic Backpacker: India

Travel Economics for the Nomadic Backpacker: India

Why plan a trip to India in 2017?

Planning a trip to India is an optimal idea for any season. As you can always travel to one of the many beautiful places in India every month.

While the northern Himalayas and the North Eastern Jungles may be popular during the summer, the sandy beaches of Goa , the Palaces of Rajasthan and the temples of Hampi are popular in Winters. India has a lot to offer if you consider its multicultural past.

Vacation in India is unique for several reasons. For those interested in a luxury vacation in India, there is the Maharaja express. A luxury train priced so expensive that you need to be really loaded to see India like a King.

For the budget traveler, put on your running shoes and practice your bargaining skills. As if your are thinking of saving on a vacation tour, then India is the perfect travel destination.

So should I go to India or not?

International tourism in India is extremely low.

Why don’t foreigners prefer to visit India?

With around 8 million visits a year there are many reasons for this. The World Economic Forum considers various factors in determining its Travel & Tourism Competitiveness ranking.

From considerations on tourism infrastructure spending and price competitiveness to the cultural fabric and the business environment in the country, the index presents an explicit methodology.

India ranks high for Price Competitiveness and Cultural resources and business travel in the WEF Travel & Tourism Competitiveness ranking 2015.

While India ranks lower for ICT readiness, Tourist service infrastructure and Environmental sustainability, but the Real Incredible India is outside the cities, where none of these matter.

I have always seen a lot of value in India. Rich historical heritage and and an assortment of vegetarian delicacies you will not find anywhere else in the world.

But immersed in the path to quick economic development, the country is finally waking up to its environmental problems.

The pollution is still confined only to our crowded cities and we still have lush green forests. The Tiger population is reviving and India has now stepped across the path to digitalization.

The Travel Economics info-graphic below aims to summarize information on tourism to India. Understanding who visits India may help figuring out the main motivations for travelers.

Considering that currency fluctuations can affect your travel budget, the info-graphic below also presents a foreign exchange analysis of the Indian Rupee.

The motivation behind this study was to find the optimal time to travel to India considering macroeconomic trends.

Considering the economic growth and future rise in domestic tourism, a post demonetization visit to India is 2017 can be a great idea. 

If you are a person who looks at travel as an Investment, then a trip to India is an undervalued asset.

When is the best time to travel to India?

As a tropical country, a visit to central India is ideal for the winters from October to March. If you do land in the Off season, you can still head out to the hill stations which provide a respite in the warm season.

Hence , the best time to visit South India will be in the winters. While the best time to visit North India depends on where you plan to go. Rajasthan will be hot in the summers, while the Himalayan resorts are very welcoming.

The best time to visit India also depends on the economic trends and reforms.

Since 2015, India has changed a lot. The country has adopted digitalization with an attitude unforeseen before.

Amid the short term discomfort to tourists visiting India during the currency Demonetization, India has surpassed the challenges and has now become a cheaper place where money is valued more. Cracking down on the black economy can ensure foreign tourists visiting India a more hassle free trip.

With more transactions becoming digital, there is lesser scope of being coerced to pay higher charges to unscrupulous agents.

Such a major step will be succeeded with a low interest rate regime aimed to boost growth. Rise in Domestic tourism is expected in the medium to long term future.

Hence, Now may actually be the best time to visit India.

Just like when a smart investor picks up a wonderful stock at a low price, Travel to India post demonetization presents a huge opportunity.

Top reasons not to visit India

Don’t listen to that guy who says do not travel to India because there are lots of rapes and not enough of toilets. Of Course there are places not to go in India.

While the South Indian states have very little crime and a high human development index, incidents of crime is prevalent in the lesser developed parts of the country. The nation largely believes in respecting its guests.

There is political stability in the country and the government is taking huge steps to curb crime. In Spite of news about crime from India, data for per capita population shows a much lower crime rate.



Crime from India is an act of crime from 1 out of 7 people in the world. Of Course you may hear some bad stories, but that is coming from a country with over 1 billion people.

So is India safe for tourists?

Of Course it is safe to travel to India in 2017.

A visit to India is memorable in the countryside. Indian cities are very crowded and the rising pollution is a major concern. Nonetheless, very little of India is still industrialized. A visit to the forests in the North East of India can be a truly enriching travel experience.

How safe is the food in India?

In today’s age technology can help you with this simple issue. Just visit Zomato and read a review. If a bunch of people are alive posting feedbacks and reviews then the restaurant should be good.

Don’t just enter any place you find on the road. Most mid priced places offer high quality food feeding several people everyday.

Hot vegetarian food should be chosen if you are entering an unknown restaurant.

Try to have bottled water in India. Do not drink water from the tap!

Tap water in bathrooms and the kitchen is not safe in all parts of the country. Most Indian houses install a water purification system or just buy bottled water.

As a part of your visa process to India, you will have to get vaccinated for precaution.

Most importantly, do not take food from strangers while traveling.


Travel Caution!


As a tourist to India you really don’t want to carry too many expensive gadgets and jewelries. This is advice I would give to anyone visiting Europe too.

My visiting father was pick-pocketed in Milan and I know at least 10 friends who have faced pickpockets in Barcelona. If you look different, you will catch a little attention.

So always be alert and hold on tight to your belongings. Just as tight as you would hold it in European tourist hubs.

Travel & Economics Info-graphic summary

  • Seasonality in Tourist arrival trends in India and the west (US and Europe) complement very well.
  • India enjoys peak season during the western off season and an off season during western peak season.
  • India sees a fall in Inflation rates following the Demonetization of large currency in November, 2016 which has led to a stronger rupee.
  • However as India moves into a lower interest rate regime, a rise in Inflation should happend in the near future.
  • With stable Government Debt to GDP ratio and steady Current Accounts, the Indian economy is expected to soar ahead. Indian Tourism may fall lower in Price Competitiveness with an increase in domestic tourism.
  • The advent of the Goods & Services tax (GST) will ensure an efficient hospitality sector and increase India’s overall ranking in the WEF Travel & Tourism rankings.

  • India is currently in a sweet spot with lower Terms of Trade, for foreign tourists seeking a budget travel.
  • Though the Indian Rupee may fall slightly in the coming years, the rise in Domestic Tourism (post reform growth) may make Travel to India more expensive ahead.
  • Taking advantage of Off season travel can be a great idea currently as there is always some place you can visit in every season in India.


Read more interesting stories at MilanKaRaja.com

Himalayas: Travel prescription for the urban claustrophobic

Himalayas: Travel prescription for the urban claustrophobic

Why you need to disconnect with the Yaks at the Himalayas? Pandas and Cats have really made life better for the busy urban employee. The social media stars from the Animal kingdom are yet to see competition from the Yaks. These beautiful creatures live in the […]

Italy & Germany: Indian family trip in Europe with Parents

Italy & Germany: Indian family trip in Europe with Parents

10 things to prepare for an Indian family trip to Europe My elder brother and me have been living in Europe for over 5 years now. While I moved to Milan for study and then work, my brother is now a proud Doctorate at a […]

Venice: Why the season is important for European travel

Venice: Why the season is important for European travel

Traveling to Europe for the first time?

Make sure the season is appropriate to make the best of your time in Europe. Surprisingly, most tourists are so busy preparing the documents that they don’t research well about the weather.

I myself reached Milan wearing thick winter clothes on a warm sunny day. I was flying in from Moscow though so was obviously over dressed. The Season is very important for European travel. Traveling to Venice for the third time, I was convinced of this.

You need to plan your activities in advance based on the weather forecast. Very import to have the best time traveling Europe.

Venice in Summer
Venice in Summer

Venice: Case study for seasonal travel

Speaking from personal experience of visiting Venice in Summer, Autumn and Winter, I have begun to realize the big difference climate can make to your trip.

Summers are the best when it comes to most Italian cities. Longer days allow you to see much more with increased daylight. While the winter fog may allow you to enjoy off season prices with a more private travel experience.
You could travel lighter in Summers sporting your pricey Made in Italy shades. While in Winters you may get to sample the best Italian food in off season prices.

Finding the washroom during Summers can be challenging, while in Winters you would be welcomed in every little shop like royalty.

Do check the Farini Bakery for some nice warmth, fresh coffee and XL size muffins. Dont know if it the best muffin made in Venice, but you really don’t want to be searching through the Venetian maze to find places.

Though the weather is pleasant in the summers the alleys will be full of crowded tourists. In Winters you may visit the little pubs located towards Piazza San Marco. Have not yet sample Made in Venice Liquor except for the Vino della Casa.

Winter in Venice is cosy and mysterious, but the summer allows you to make Venice a true coastal vacation experience with swimming, boat rides and hoards of tourists.

As an Age of Empires fan, boating through Venice in the summer is an exhilarating experience. With magnificent monuments in white welcoming you along the islands. I actually saw a lot of tourists from Asia in the December winter.

The fog was so intense that we could hardly see the magnificent structures across Piazza San Marco on the Islands separated by around 200 meters of water.

Venice in Winter
Venice in Winter
Venice in Winter
Venice in Winter

The glass is half full of water and half full of air

It all comes down to your taste in movies finally. If you like mystery like Sherlock Holmes, then you may be a winter person. If you like Mediterranean adventures, then you are a Summer person. Whatever the time you pick, try to see the glass as full with half water and half air and you will end up having a very memorable vacation in Europe.

If you really long for the Sun so much,make sure to hit the souther Italian cities. Even Rome welcomed us with great sunshine in mid December.

Make sure to diversify your visits across latitudes, is what a Traveling Finance guy would recommend. Visit a few cities across countries in a visit, not too many and not too few.

Rome in Winter
Rome in Winter


My parents prepared to return to India, covering Germany and Italy in detail. With a nice bus trip through the Swiss Alps, I have to say that I couldn’t have planned a better itinerary than this.

The winter was tough, but the Christmas markets bring cheer and celebrate the cold across European cities. With warm Gluhwein and elegant toy shops that even forbid photographs because the stuff is so good inside.


Read more interesting stories at milankaraja.com

Milankaraja knows the best. Look no more. Bushlark could be the ultimate travel app.


Lessons for Indian tourism: Dents in Incredible India

Lessons for Indian tourism: Dents in Incredible India

Tourism is more than fun and games for the Host country That is me up there with an Indian map and an incredible India T-shirt. I had it as my Facebook profile picture for sometime. As innocent as it may sound, I was doing my […]

%d bloggers like this: