1. Pollution 2. Rabies shots

1. I just read in a recent Economist that the pollution in India particularly New Delhi was worse than Beijing. The picture shows very dense pollution in the air. Would anyone care to comment if that was an issue at all. No one has mentioned it in the Forum so I am thinking it wasn't.

2. I am thinking of getting a rabies vaccine but the Travel Clinic is saying not necessary. However, I understand that giving dogs a rabies vaccine is not that common in India. On your trip did you notice many animals roaming around freely?


  • edited November 2016
    We were there last January, and, yes, the pollution was pretty bad in Delhi. We were told it was not as bad as usual as they were doing a three week experiment in reducing levels by trying an odd/even driving day procedure. I just read an article last week or so about the very high levels recently. As I recall, it was being attributed to weather conditions and the burning of fields in nearby areas. I felt the air was dank in Varanasi, but that could have been more mind over matter as a reaction to the crematories beside the river. I did not feel it was a deterrent to the trip.
    Of course there are loads of animals roaming about, especially cows. I never saw any of the dogs that seemed rabid or even ill. We have a very thorough travel clinic (Kaiser), and had all recommended vaccinations ( we already had most of the necessary ones after traveling to Africa and Southeast Asia) and dutifully took the prescribed malaria meds. There was no mention of a rabies shot. Honestly, I never even realized there was a proactive rabies shot for humans, just reactive shots. I really did not see a need for it. I would go by the advice of the experts.
  • edited November 2016
    We were in India about three years ago and believe I did mention the really bad poluted air in Delhi. One cause is the burning trash heaps everywhere.
    There were stray dogs all over the place, they all look the same, lean mid brown in color. It is totally obvious to me to keep away from them, but in our Tauck travel group on our Africa tour, where they have the same dogs, we were making our way over the beach in Zanzibar to our dhow boat trip, a stray dog came running over to us, and guess what, a number of the supposed well educated group that Tauck is supposed to attract, began petting the dog, yes crazy!
    We have not had rabies shots. However, on one of our early trips to a travel clinic, it was suggested we have rabies shots to Costa Rica, we declined, pointing out, that in fact, you see very few animals in Costa Rica.
  • Here is a link to give you an idea of what the air looked like when we were there January '16. This is a pre-tour day where we had a fabulous adventure! The concierge at the Oberai negotiated and helped us plan a day out and about! This is a photo of part of our 3 hour ride through Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, on a rickshaw. We are attempting to cross an intersection...you will get an idea of what the air is like as well as the traffic...again, we were there during a time when they were experimenting with pollution reducing measures and traffic was minimized! I can only imagine what this would have been like at another time! It was a great adventure!!

  • Ah yes, I remember the motto for driving in India, good brakes, good horn and good luck! Awesome Joyce, gives a much better idea than just a photo!
  • We just came back from the Northern India & Nepal tour and the pollution was very bad! Schools were closed so the children would not have to go outside. We were staying at the Oberoi in Dehli and didn't realize there were buildings nearby. Buy a good face mask with built in filters and take it with you. You will need it. We did not get rabies shots. There are dogs everywhere but they were usually sleeping or on the move. We just avoided them. This trip is fantastic and a nice mix of cities and safaris. Long days but worth it.
  • Pollution is worse than Bejing. Get used to it. Pervades the whole country (except Kerala). Still, it's the trip of a lifetime to one of the most fascinating places in the world.
  • We were in India (including Delhi) in March of this year, and while I think the air pollution is more/less noticeable depending on the weather at the time (same with Beijing), no one in our group of 30 expressed any discomfort about it or wore masks. During our visit Delhi was hazier than cities in the US, but air quality was a non-issue.

    As others have mentioned, street dogs are common in India, and so long as you don't feed them or bug them, they are remarkably indifferent to people. We occasionally saw a few get energized/agitated, but it was only when other street dogs were nearing their "territories". (And they don't like hot air balloons and the sounds the burners make!) I do not see any need for rabies shots.

    Consider looking at some of the many recent Delhi travel videos people continually post on YouTube to get a better sense of the scene.

    The India trips are really good--you will have a great and memorable time.
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