I'm so excited and look forward to the prospect of travelling/backpacking.
I'm a novice in this field hence there's so much to learn but I really don't know where to start!
I'm planning to go India for 1 month or 2 early next year myself and I'm just wondering whether it's a rather safe place for a first time traveller to explore.
It's either that or well, should I just follow a tour? But there'll be a lot of restrictions and I won't be able to go with the flow. Plus it's extremely dear! I don't know... any advice?
In terms of security it may not quite be as good as most of the developed countries, but still relatively safe. The most common thing will probably be to make sure you don't get ripped off, especially with things like taxis. As a female you may get the odd rude remark or looks but these are superficial - if you cover your knees/shoulders and don't wear anything too tight you'll probably get a bit more respect from the locals.
In terms of a first trip, India is quite an intense place to visit. Its culture is very extremely different to Western countries, throw in its mass population, quite a lot of pollution, and little regulation (ie. traffic, food) and it will probably be quite a shock! I consider a culture shock a good thing, but when you first arrive as a first time traveller it might get overbearing.
Are you travelling alone? If so, I would advise you try start off with some kind of short tour - something focused on young and more adventurous people, perhaps for 2 weeks. From then you could probably get used to things a bit more and build up the courage to do things on your own. I'm not normally a huge advocate for tour groups (like many on this site), but in your circumstance I think a short tour would be good. You'd also get to try travelling both as a tour and independently, and then you can see what you like for future travels.
i personnally have not travelled to india. but some of my friendsm, who been there, always advise to be carefull with the drinking water as it may upset your stomach. it would be better to consume bottled or boiled water rather to have the water from the restaurant.
yea, i think western will have a cultural shock for 1st timer in india.