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India

Land of exotic temples, magnificent royal residences, incredible scenery, enticing cuisine and hospitality making this land an idyllic place to visit !

When to go, weather

The finest period to visit India depends on where you desire to go and what you desire to do as India has a diverse geographical region. The southern zones are the good destinations in the winter months (November to March), as temperatures are mild and game viewing in the national parks will be the best options. Comparatively winter temperatures in the north may become harsh, but this is an excellent time for bird watching, as the migrant species arrive in this period. Summer weather (April to June) in the south is mild and this is the perfect time for beach holiday or cultural tours in this region. Whereas in the north region, summers are an excellent time to visit the Himalayas. Although the temperature will be high, summer is considered a good time for game viewing.

Getting there

GETTING TO INDIA

By Air

The major points of entry are Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. There are also many connections to to Bangalore and Hyderabad from other Asian countries. However in recent years, to accommodate the increasing traffic, many other airports have been upgraded to take in international flights. Among these are Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Calicut, Cochin, Coimbatore, Dabolim in Goa, Guwahati, Jaipur, Mangalore, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram and Varanasi.

By Land

From Nepal buses cross the border daily, usually with connections to New Delhi, Lucknow, Patna and Varanasi. However, it's cheaper and more reliable to take one bus to the border crossing and another from there on. The border crossings are (India/Nepal side) Sunauli/Bhairawa from Varanasi, Raxaul/Birganj from Patna, Kolkata, Kakarbhitta from Darjeeling, and Mahendrenagar-Banbassa from Delhi. 

From Bhutan the Bhutanese Government runs a service to/from Phuentsholing. These buses depart from Kolkata's Esplanade bus station at 7PM on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and from the Phuentsholing Bhutan Post office at 3PM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The journey takes around 18 hours and costs 300Rps/Nu. The buses are comfortable

From Pakistan there is now a bus service across the 'Line of control' between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir, however it is not open to foreign tourists

From Bangladesh there are a number of land entry points to India. The most common way is the regular air-conditioned and comfortable bus services from Dhaka to Kolkata via Haridaspur (India)/Benapole (Bangladesh) border post

Visa

Everyone except nationals of Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal needs a visa to visit India. This must be obtained before arrival and we recommend that you contact your local Indian embassy or consulate when planning your trip.

Currency

USD1= INR 60

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend you protect your trip to India by purchasing travel insurance, especially for unexpected trip cancellation and trip interruption (for specific covered reasons), as well as medical coverage for accident or illness and related evacuation expenses that may be incurred during your trip.

Health Issues

You may need to take malaria prophylactics or have some other vaccines like polio, typhoid, and so on before you travel. But before you plan something we strongly recommend that first you visit your doctor at least four weeks before the date of the departure.

Culture & History

The culture of India has been shaped by the long history of India, its unique geography and the absorption of customs, traditions and ideas from some of its neighbors as well as by preserving its ancient heritages, from the Indus Valley Civilization onward. India's great diversity of cultural practices, languages, customs, and traditions are examples of this unique co-mingling over the past five millennia. India is also the birth place of several religious systems such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, some of which have had a great influence also in other parts of the world. From the thirteenth century onwards, following the Islamic conquests and the subsequent European colonialization, the culture of India was influenced by Turkish, Persian, Arabic and some European (notably, British) cultures. The various religions and traditions of India that were created by these amalgamations have influenced South East Asia and some other parts of the world.

India has been inhabited by humans for as long as 75,000 years, with early civilisations flourishing as early as 3300 BC. Subsequent civilisations showed advanced technology and infrastructure with drainages systems and houses made of brick appearing sometime between 2600 and 1900 BC. Over the centuries, India both influenced and was influenced by other nations and kingdoms, with far reaching trade, conquest and migration spreading the subcontinent's culture far and wide. Trading with the Romans, Persians and Greeks ensured that Indian culture had an impact on civilisations that seemed worlds away. Empires rose and fell over the centuries, with the wealthy Mughal Dynasty ruling most of India by 1600. At the same time, different European nations started showing an interest in India after being brought to the area for trade. The Portuguese, Dutch, British and French all had vested interests in India, with the British East India Company being given the rights to trade in India in 1617. The 1857 rebellion and War of Independence culminated in the decline of Mughal rule and were considered the first movements against the British Raj's heavy handed rule of the country.Although it took decades, India finally gained independence in 1947 under Mahatma Gandhi and soon changed the face of India's future.

Faqs

1.Do I need a visa to travel to India?

Everyone except nationals of Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal needs a visa to visit India. This must be obtained before arrival and we recommend that you contact your local Indian embassy or consulate when planning your trip.

2. Is the country safe to travel?

ndia is as secure as any other foreign location you visit for the first time. Indians are very hospitable and helpful people. Moreover, we will be there to take care of you in every step of your way and to instruct certain basic precautions. Like it is a very good idea to lock away your spare currency, traveler’s cheques, passports and precious jewellery in the hotel safe. Moreover, be aware while walking around alone at late night, particularly in the deserted areas or small towns because everything closes early. If possible, avoid travelling late night and never leave your luggage unattended at the airport or train station.

3. Can I use my credit card in India?

ATMs linked to the international networks are situated in the main cities, as well as an increasing number of the smaller towns. But, make sure that you have a four-digit PIN code for your card, as Indian ATMs require this.

4. What is the electricity supply in India and what plugs are used?

The electricity supply is 230 – 240 volt, with three round pin plugs. Most western visitors will require an adaptor. If you plan to travel a lot in the future, it is better to get a combination voltage converter and a plug adapter.

5. Will I be able to access the internet?

Internet connections are available in the most part and places of India and are reasonably fast, except in some more remote rural areas. Wi-Fi access is accessible at most good hotels and growing number of cafés in the larger cities.

6. Is India a good destination for family traveler?

With its many diverse landscapes and attractions, India is an admirable destination for the family traveler. Some of the good options are beach holidays and wildlife adventures in the national parks, while many monuments have sight and light shows that will capture children’s imagination. For teenagers, the many outdoor activities, such as camel safari and trekking, are an illustrative card. Without the second thinking, the big challenge for families travelling in this country might be the distances that need to be covered between cities. Air travel and railway journeys are usually the most comfortable forms of traveling, and are strongly recommended to those with the young children

7. What kind of food will I be able to eat in India?

Indian cuisine has several variations, with each region famous for its own techniques, ingredients and spices. In northern regions, meat dishes are very popular, which are usually made with chicken, mutton or lamb whereas in southern part vegetarian cuisine is most favored. In addition, seafood is also readily available, particularly at the coast. While Indian cuisine tends to be spicy, most restaurants will gladly prepare a milder variation of the meals on the request of their customer. Almost all restaurants offer the western dishes in most towns and cities and large centres such as Delhi and Mumbai serve a wide selection of cuisine from Indian to Mediterranean and Chinese to even Mexican.

8. Is the tap water safe to drink in India?

It’s best to avoid drinking the tap water. Bottled water is easily available, but it’s a good idea to check that the seal on the bottle is undamaged or not before you purchase it. In every area for the tourists packed bottled water is recommended. Though, local brands are also available but it's recommended to use the some popular and major brands like Bisleri, Aqua 100 and Kinley to save you from the unwelcomed problem.

9.Is it good enough to take photos everywhere in India?

Basically taking snaps of some scenario won’t reward any problem but when taking photos of anyone or any places, especially of women it is advised to take permission prior actually taking. Always grant for request before taking photos at a religious site or ceremony, or of people bathing on the river banks. It is prohibited to photograph military installations, which can include some the train stations, bridges and airports also.

10.Is there anything I need to know about visiting religious sites?

Remember to dress a little more conservatively – don’t wear shorts or sleeveless tops. You may need to take off your shoes or remove all leather items (don’t worry, the shoe minder will take good care of them). Check that photography is allowed before taking any snaps. Bear in mind that some sites might not admit women or might be reserved for followers of that faith.

11. Can I wear shorts?

It’s not recommended except in the very touristy areas of Delhi. You might see others wearing them elsewhere, but it’s not the best idea. Bring a pair if you like but to be safe, count on wearing light pants or longish skirts. Capris are fine.





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