India is big and the weather is much different depending on the exact location. Weather is also dictated by the time of the year. Dry season means a lot of dust everywhere, while the raining season brings moisture and mud.
You should avoid bringing your best pair of shoes or snickers because walking surfaces in India are uneven and dirty so there is a big chance of shoe damage. My girlfriend brought new pair of Adidas shoes to India, and guess what, after India she had to buy another pair.
Best bet is to bring durable trekking shoes that are also comfortable. Take waterproof shoes if you plan to go in rainy season.
Also, if you are going in winter time, take some flip flops. Bathroom floor might be very cold so that’s why. Actually, take flip flops always because bathroom floors are wet- read more about wet floor bathroom.
Here are some unexpected hygiene issues I encountered in India:
Dirty beddings – Low and middle budget hotels will not change sheets for new guests, they change sheets once a month or so. If you prefer not to sleep in same sheets as a previous few guest ask hosts to put clean sheets
Even clean sheets are not really clean – Indians wash the laundry in cold water, sometimes also in rivers (Varanasi is a good example of river washing) so some stains will stay on the bedding.
Wet floor bathroom – your bathroom might look like on the picture- shower is attached to the wall which makes the floor wet with water and soap. TheSink might also leave its things on the floor. It happened to me that I washed the teeth and felt some fluid dropping on my feet- just to realize that the sink has a big hole and no discharge pipe.
Cows shitting everywhere – religious places like Haridwar, Varanasi, Rishikesh- they are filled with cows which leaves a big amount of cow dung.
All kind of animals eating garbage – India is full of garbage and cows, buffalos, pigs, monkeys- they all feed there
No toilet paper – the only expansive thing in India is toilet paper because locals don’t use it, they use left hand for dirty work. You can bring your own toilet paper, buy it or do like the locals do.
Spitting on streets – it is OK to spit on the streets of India, don’t be surprised if, every once in a while. your taxi drivers opens the window to spit- that’s perfectly ok and not showing bad manners
Using hands for serving food and eating – Indians are practical folks, they have a saying “Why would I use fork when God gave me 5 fingers”. That doesn’t mean that the food is dirty because of it. They wash their hands very often and avoid using left hand when touching the food (for the reason look under “no toilet paper” bullet)
India is very noisy
This is not hygienic shock but for me it’s still a shock – Hindus believe that if they make noise gods will hear them. In traffic – car blinkers are rarely used. Instead, indians preffer to use honks. Traffic roads are full of honking noise.