Get a Local Touch
It will come in handy if you learn some common words of Hindi. Indians love it when foreigners say a word or two in the local language. Also, apart from reading as much as you can about India and the region you are going to, an offbeat suggestion is to rent DVDs of some famous Indian movies. Indian movies speak a lot about Indians. If you are going to South, get a South Indian movie, if you are going up North or West, get a Hindi movie. Indians love their movies and movie stars. Especially in South India, if you happen to know the favorite actor of the driver and can exchange a few dialogues on the subject, you have made a good friend who will eagerly look after you. But be warned, different states in South have different film industries. So be sure to learn about the right films for the right state. Regional films are highly popular in South. How to travel in India is about how well you can connect with the locals.
You can also try and develop a taste for Indian music. The most popular form of Indian music today is that produced by the films. Every region generally has its own film industry and hence its own regional music. However, Hindi – Bollywood music is quite popular in North and Western region of India.