India is a secular land, which takes pride in its diversity, which ironically gives a boost to the harmony and beauty of the land. The lifestyle, cuisine, language and every other part of culture of a local in Jammu and Kashmir will be distinctively unique when compared to someone who is living along the Indian Ocean coastline of Kanyakumari. When it comes to travelling to India, it is very essential to know some basic phrases in local languages. What are the top languages to know if you are traveling to India?

English

Thankfully, almost all youngster and a huge chuck of older generation are well versed in English. Local service providers and street vendors would be able to understand your requests, as they are familiar with many English words related to their service. For instance, a waiter in a restaurant would know the terms like ‘bring me water’, ‘less spicy’, ‘vegetarian’, ‘how much’, ‘bill please’ and so on. Thus, with basic words of English, you can explore all the metro and semi-rural regions of the country.

Hindi

One of the official languages of the country, Hindi is spoken in numerous different states. Most of the North India, Karnataka and western part of the country speak Hindi or any language similar to Hindi. If you are versed with basic phrases in Hindi, you can easily survive in the northern part and western part of the country.

Bengali

About 8% of the population knows Bengali. It is the largest spoken language after English and Hindi. If you are traveling to the eastern part of the country like Tripura, Jharkand, Assam, West Bengal and others, you need to be familiarized in Bengali.

Tamil

About 6% of the population knows Tamil. Tamil Nadu is one of the few states, which are not familiar with Hindi. With the knowledge of Tamil, you can explore, Tamil Nadu, borders of Karnataka, borders of Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Island and Pondicherry.

Malayalam

Only 3% of people speak Malayalam. However, you can always find Malayalam-speakers in almost all the states. Malayalam is quite common in Kerala and Lakshadweep islands.

Marathi

Spoken by 7% of the population, this language is quite common in western part of the country like Goa, Maharashtra, Daman, Diu, Nagar Haveli and others. Around 72 million people speak this language in the country. Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu regions speak Gujarati too.

Urdu

It would sound similar to that of Hindi. It is quite common in most of the North Indian states. Any state with Hindi population can communicate and understand Urdu, with ease. Even southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telengana have a good population of Urdu speakers.

It is not practically possible to learn all the languages of the country. If you are choosing to visit a certain state, learn important phrases of the specific language. But if you are looking to India tours then you must know about these places and famous languages.

  • Arunachal Pradesh – Bengali
  • Andaman and Nicobar Island – Bengali and Tamil
  • Andhra Pradesh – Telugu and Urdu
  • Assam – Assamese and Bengali
  • Bihar – Hindi
  • Chandigarh – Punjabi and Hindi
  • Chhattisgarh – Hindi and Oriya
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli – Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi
  • Daman and Diu – Gujarati and Hindi
  • Delhi – Hindi
  • Goa – Konkani, Hindi and Marathi
  • Haryana – Hindi and Punjabi
  • Himachal Pradesh – Hindi and Punjabi
  • Jammu and Kashmir – Kashmiri and Hindi
  • Jharkhand – Hindi
  • Karnataka – Kannada and Urdu
  • Kerala – Malayalam and Tamil
  • Lakshadweep – Malayalam and Tamil
  • Madhya Pradesh – Hindi and Marathi
  • Manipur – Manipuri and Bengali
  • Meghalaya – Kashi, Garo and Bengali
  • Nagaland – Naga and Hindi
  • Odisha – Oriya and Bengali
  • Puducherry (Pondicherry) – Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu
  • Punjab – Punjabi and Hindi
  • Rajasthan – Hindi and Punjabi
  • Sikkim – Nepali, Hindi and Bengali
  • Tamil Nadu – Tamil and Telugu
  • Telangana – Telugu and Urdu
  • Tripura – Bengali
  • Uttar Pradesh – Hindi
  • Uttarakhand – Hindi and Urdu
  • West Bengal – Bengali and Hindi

Author Bio: Hi I am James Smith, a professional Content Writer and Traveler so I love to write about destinations and places which are famous or unexplored for tourists so currently I am writing for TravelogyIndia.