India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It covers an area of 32, 87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. As you travel, India offers a range of vast tourism choices, diverse in land and nature, people, tribes, cuisine, faiths, dance forms, music, arts, crafts, adventure, sport, spirituality and history.
From world-class airports and hotels, luxurious shopping malls, restaurants, pubs and cafes to overcrowded streets and alleyways, in the same cities, filled with thousands of little shops offering every possible modern and ethnic product and native street food is a fascinating experience.
Weather and Climate
The climate in India varies from a tropical monsoon climate in the south to a temperate climate in the north. If you are thinking of visiting India then the best time to visit is as per individual cho...
Weather and Climate
The climate in India varies from a tropical monsoon climate in the south to a temperate climate in the north. If you are thinking of visiting India then the best time to visit is as per individual choice and the kind of activities he /she wants to participate or wish to take tour.
There are mainly 06 seasons in India, depending on weather and climatic conditions. This gives clear cut idea of India’s temperature and weather conditions.
Seasons in India
Seasons remind us that change is the law of nature and a sign of progress. In India, there are mainly six seasons as per the ancient Hindu calendar (the Lunisolar Hindu). The twelve months in a year are divided into six seasons of two-month duration each. These seasons include Vasant Ritu (Spring), Grishma Ritu (Summer), Varsha Ritu (Monsoon), Sharad Ritu (Autumn), Hemant Ritu (Pre-Winter) and Shishir Ritu (Winter).
However, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), there are four seasons in India like other parts of the world.
Spring Season (Vasant Ritu)
The spring season in India is a season of two-month duration which are March and April. It is a pleasant and beautiful season with an average temperature of 30-32 degree centigrade. It starts after the winter and lasts till summer starts. The day becomes longer and nights become shorter in this season. Besides this, many famous Hindu festivals are celebrated in this season such as Holi, Vasant Panchami, Gudi Padwa, Baisakhi, Hanuman Jayanti, and more.
Summer Season (Grishma Ritu)
It is also a two-month duration season that includes the months of May and June. In this season, the weather is very hot in most of the parts of India. This season starts with the end of April and lasts till the end of June. It comes after spring. The average temperature remains around 38-45 degree centigrade. The days are longest in this season while the nights have the shortest duration.
Although this season may be annoying, it is good for the crops as they ripen only in the summer season. The major Indian festival celebrated in the summer season are Guru Purnima and Rath Yatra.
Monsson (Varsha Ritu)
It includes the months of July and August. As the name indicates, rainfall occurs in most of India in this season. As compared to the summer season, the days are short and nights are long in this season and the average temperature remains around 34 degree centigrade. It is sometimes called 'green season' by the officials of the tourism sector.
The earth is carpeted with greenery, birds sing melodiously and level of water rises in the rivers, ponds and canals in this season. The important Hindu festivals that are celebrated in this season are Onam, Krishna Janmashtami, and Raksha Bandhan.
Autumn (Sharad Ritu)
The season of autumn comes in the months of September and October. The hot and humid weather starts disappearing and leaves start falling off the trees in this season, so it is also known as the fall season. The sky becomes clearer as compared to the monsoon season and clear moon can be seen in the sky along with countless starts that look like pearls scattered in the sky.
It starts after the monsoon or rainy season and lasts till the start of the pre-winter season. The average temperature in this season remains around 33 degree centigrade. The length of the day and night is almost equal in this autumn. Equinoxes also occur in this season. It is an event in which the Earth's axis is titled in a way that it is neither inclined towards nor away from the Sun.
The major Hindu festivals that are celebrated in this season are Navaratri in which Hindu devotees worship the nine different forms of Goddess Shakti, Sharad Purnima which is celebrated as the harvest festival, and Vijayadashami (Dussehra) to celebrate the victory of Ram over Ravana.
Pre-winter (Hemant Ritu)
This season comes in the months of November and December. It starts with the end of October and lasts till the start of winter season or January. So, it precedes the winter season.
This season is moderately cold with an average temperature of around 27 degree centigrade. It is the transition from autumn to winter and is the most pleasant and enjoyable time of the year. The days become shorter than nights and the nights are foggy, colder. Rainfall is occasional in this season. The important Hindu festivals which are celebrated in this season include Diwali and Bhai Dooj.
Winter (Shishir or Shita Ritu)
The winter season in India comes in the months of January and February. This season lies between pre winter and spring season. This season is characterized by dryness, cold winds, occasional rainfall and snowfall.
It is the coldest season of the year with an average temperature of around 20 degree centigrade and the weather is affected by air pressure. . In some region’s temperature falls below 0 degree centigrade and snowfall is also very common in most of the hill stations of India in this season.
The major Hindu festivals celebrated in winter season include Pongal, Shivratri, Lohri, and Pongal.
Visa & Travel Permit
VISA POLICY India requires citizens of most countries to hold a valid passport and apply for a travel visa at their local Indian embassy or consulate, before their visit. Travellers can apply direc...
Visa & Travel Permit
India requires citizens of most countries to hold a valid passport and apply for a travel visa at their local Indian embassy or consulate, before their visit. Travellers can apply directly by mail or in person, or through their local travel services company. India has recently implemented an online method for citizens of 168 countries to apply for an e-Tourist Visa.
Nationals of Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal do not require a travel visa to enter India. Citizens of Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, South Africa and Uruguay are not required to pay a fee when obtaining an Indian visa.
A Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required to enter the states of Nagaland and Sikkim and some parts of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal. A Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required to enter the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of Sikkim. Special permits are needed to visit the Lakshadweep islands.
As a measure to boost tourism, the Indian Government implemented a new visa policy in November 2014, allowing tourists and business visitors to obtain a "visa on arrival" at 28 international airports, by acquiring an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) online before arrival, without having to visit an Indian consulate or visa centre. In April 2015, the "visa on arrival" scheme was renamed "e-Tourist Visa" (or "e-TV") to avoid confusion.
The e-Tourist Visa facility requires a tourist to apply online on a secure Government of India website, at least four to thirty days before the date of travel. If approved, the visitor must print and carry the approved visa with their travel documents. The visa allows holders of an ETA to enter and stay anywhere in India for a period of ninety days except for citizens of US, UK, Japan and Canada. Citizens of these countries can stay for up to 180 days at a time. An ETA can be obtained twice in a single calendar year.
Visa on arrival facility is extended to the citizens of the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu and Vietnam, China, Macau , Hong Kong, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, East Timor, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, Malaysia, Mongolia, Monaco, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Turks and Caicos Islands, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela. The facility should eventually be expanded to about 180 countries.
More Information regarding Indian Visa :
To know more about Indian Visa, please visit :
e -Visa Help desk : 91-11-2430066(24x7)
Culture, Cusine and Clothing
Culture and Society Indian cultural history spans more than 5000 years. During the Vedic period (c. 1700 – c. 500 BCE), the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, theology and literature...
Culture, Cusine and Clothing
Culture and Society
Indian cultural history spans more than 5000 years. During the Vedic period (c. 1700 – c. 500 BCE), the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, theology and literature were laid, and many beliefs and practices which still exist today. India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nation's major religions. The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of the Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras, the Bhakti movement, and by Buddhist philosophy.
Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm in India, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas. An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages arranged by their parents or other family elders. Marriage is thought to be for life, and the divorce rate is extremely low, with less than one in a thousand marriages ending in divorce.
Many Indian festivals are religious in origin. The best known include: Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Thai Pongal, Holi, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, and Vaisakhi.
Men and women wear traditional Indian dresses apart from the western dresses.
Women either bear saris or churidars and kameez or Shalwar kameez or in Kashmir region in embroidered hijab and Kameez and jeans in metro cities For men, the traditional dress a similar but shorter length of cloth, the dhoti, and the pagri (a turban or a scarf worn around the head as a part of a tradition, or to keep off the sun or the cold). Also men wear Kurta (for upper body portion ) and Pyjamas ( lower portion ) As the trend changing and both men and women adopting western style of dressup.
Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other, using locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruit around India.
The foundation of a typical Indian meal is a cereal cooked in plain fashion, and complemented with flavourful savoury dishes. The latter includes lentils, pulses and vegetables spiced commonly with ginger and garlic, but also more discerningly with a combination of spices that may include coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon and others as informed by culinary conventions. In an actual meal, this mental representation takes the form of a platter, or thali, with a central place for the cooked cereal, peripheral ones, often in small bowls, for the flavourful accompaniments.
India is a land of festivals and fairs. Virtually celebrating each day of the year, there are more festivals celebrated in India than anywhere else in the world. Each festival pertains to different oc...
India is a land of festivals and fairs. Virtually celebrating each day of the year, there are more festivals celebrated in India than anywhere else in the world. Each festival pertains to different occasions, some welcome the seasons of the year, the harvest, the rains, or the full moon. Others celebrate religious occasions, the birthdays of divine beings and saints, or the advent of the New Year. A number of these festivals are common to most parts of India. However, they may be called by different names in various parts of the country or may be celebrated in a different fashion. Some of the festivals celebrated all over India are mentioned below. However, this section is still under enhancement. There are many other important festivals celebrated by various communities in India and this section shall be further enriched with information about them.
Most Important Festivals:
Diwali - Festival of lights. (From International tourist point of view, the Best places to celeberate Diwali is Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur, Amritsar)
- Deepawali or Diwali, is a festival of lights symbolising the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word 'Deepawali' literally means rows of diyas (clay lamps). This is one of the most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika (October/November). This festival commemorates Lord Rama's return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile.
- The most beautiful of all Indian festivals, Diwali is a celebration of lights. Streets are illuminated with rows of clay lamps and homes are decorated with colours and candles. This festival is celebrated with new clothes, spectacular firecrackers and a variety of sweets in the company of family and friends. All this illumination and fireworks, joy and festivity, signify the victory of divine forces over those of wicked.
- The Goddess Lakshmi (consort of Vishnu), who is the symbol of wealth and prosperity, is also worshipped on this day. In West Bengal, this festival is celebrated as Kali Puja, and Kali, Shiva's consort, is worshipped on the occasion of Diwali.
- In the South, Deepawali festival often commemorates the conquering of the Asura Naraka, a powerful king of Assam, who imprisoned thousands of inhabitants. It was Krishna who was finally able to subdue Naraka and free the prisoners. To commemorate this event, people in Peninsular India wake before sunrise and make imitation blood by mixing kumkum or vermillion with oil. After crushing underfoot a bitter fruit as a symbol of the demon, they apply the 'blood' triumphantly on their foreheads. They then have ritual oil baths, anointing themselves with sandalwood paste. Visits to temples for prayers are followed by large family breakfasts of fruits and a variety of sweets.
- Another story of king Bali is attached to the Diwali festival in South India. According to the Hindu mythology, King Bali was a benevolent demon king. He was so powerful that he became a threat to the power of celestial deities and their kingdoms. And Lord Vishnu came as the dwarf mendicant Vamana, to dilute Bali's power. Vamana shrewdly asked the king for land that would cover three steps as he walked. The king happily granted this gift. Having tricked Bali, Vishnu revealed himself in the full glory of his godhood. He covered the heaven in his first step and the earth in his second. Realising that he was pitted against the mighty Vishnu, Bali surrendered and offered his own head, inviting Vishnu to step on it. Vishnu pushed him into the nether world with his foot. In return Vishnu gave him the lamp of knowledge to light up the dark underworld. He also gave him a blessing that he would return to his people once a year to light millions of lamps from this one lamp so that on the dark new moon light of Diwali, the blinding darkness of ignorance, greed, jealousy, lust, anger, ego, and laziness would be dispelled and the radiance of knowledge, wisdom and friendship would prevail. Each year on Diwali day, even today, one lamp lights another and like a flame burning steadily on a windless night, brings a message of peace and harmony to the world.
Holi– Festival of Colours (Places to celeberate from International tourist point of view are Mathura, Jaipur, Udaipur, Delhi and Goa)
Holi is a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the "Festival of Love", the "Festival of Colours", and the "Festival of Spring". The festival celebrates the eternal and divine love of Radha and Krishna.
Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. It is also sometimes called as the “festival of love” as on this day people get to unite together forgetting all resentments and all types of bad feeling towards each other. The great Indian festival lasts for a day and a night, which starts in the evening of Purnima or the Full Moon Day in the month of Falgun. It is celebrated with the name Holika Dahan or Choti Holi on first evening of the festival and the following day is called Holi. In different parts of the country it is known with different names.
In Holi people smear each other with colours and drench each other. Water guns and water-filled balloons are also used to play and colour each other. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children, and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes come together to throw coloured powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. In the evening, people dress up and visit friends and family.
Christmas – Birth of Jesus Christ (Shilong, Mumbai, Kerala, Pondicherry, Goa)
Christmas originates from the word Cristes maesse, or 'Christ's Mass'. The first Christmas is estimated to be around 336 A.D. in Rome. It is celebrated on 25th December all over the world, to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is regarded as one of the most important of all Christian festivals. It is a public holiday in India and most of the other countries.
There is the widely accepted Christian legend of the New Testament relating to the birth of Christ. In the story, God sent angel Gabriel to a girl named Mary, a virgin. Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God, and the child would be named Jesus. He would grow up to become a king, and his kingdom would have no boundaries.
The angel Gabriel also visited Joseph and told him that Mary would give birth to a child and advised him to take good care of her, and not to abandon her. On the night that jesus was born, Mary and Joseph were on their way to Bethlehem to get their names registered as per the rules then. They found refuge in a stable, where Mary gave birth to Jesus at midnight and laid him in a manger. Thus Jesus, the Son of God was born.
Christmas celebrations begin with a midnight mass, which is considered to be an essential part of the celebrations, it is followed by merrymaking. Children in brightly colored dresses, accompanied by an orchestra of drums and cymbals, perform group dances using gay-colored sticks.
St. Benedict, alias Santa Claus, is a legendary chubby oldie figure, clad in red and white dress, who rides the reindeer and forms a significant part of the celebrations especially for children. He loves kids and gets chocolates, gifts and other desired goodies for them, which he apparently places in their stockings at night.
People sing carols in the glory of the Lord during Christmas. They go from door to door preaching the message of love and brotherhood.
The Christmas tree is popular all over the world for its grandeur. People decorate their homes with trees and hang mistletoe in every corner. After the church mass, people engage in friendly visits and feast and by exchange of greetings and gifts, they spread the message of peace and goodwill.
There are some popular churches in India specially in Goa, where Christmas is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. Most of these churches were established during the Portuguese and British regime in India.
Some of the major churches in India include St. Joseph Cathedral and Medak church in Andhra Pradesh; St. Cathedral, The Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa; St. John's Church in Wilderness and the Christ Church in Himachal Pradesh; Santa Cruz Basilica Church and St. Francis Church in Kerala; Holy Christ Church and Mount Mary Church in Maharashtra; Christ the King Church and Velankanni Church in Tamil Nadu; and All Saints Cathedral and Kanpur Memorial Church in Uttar Pradesh.
Dussehra - Vijaydashmi (Kullu, Mysore, Kolkatta, Varanasi)
Dussehra, also called Dasara or Vijayadashami, in Hinduism, holiday marking the triumph of Rama, an avatar of Vishnu, over the 10-headed demon king Ravana, who abducted Rama’s wife, Sita. The festival’s name is derived from the Sanskrit words dasha (“ten”) and hara (“defeat”). Symbolizing the victory of good over evil, Dussehra is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Ashvina (September–October), the seventh month of the Hindu calendar, with the appearance of the full moon, an event called the “bright fortnight” (shukla paksha). Dussehra coincides with the culmination of the nine-day Navratri festival and with the tenth day of the Durga Puja festival. For many, it marks the beginning of preparation for Diwali, which occurs 20 days after Dussehra.
Dussehra is celebrated with great fervour and fanfare. In North India, it incorporates Ram Lila, a gala theatrical enactment of Rama’s life story. Effigies of Ravana—often along with those of Meghnada (Ravana’s son) and Kumbhkarana (Ravana’s brother)—are stuffed with firecrackers and set ablaze at night in open fields
Durga Puja – Durgotsava or Navaratri (Kolkatta, Assam, Bihar)
- Durga Puja is a famous Hindu festival mostly celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Odisha and Bihar. It is believed that this festival exemplifies the victory of good over evil, as Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasur.
- The festival of Durga Puja is celebrated for ten days in the Ashwin month. However, in the actual sense, the festival commences from the sixth day. It is believed that on this day only Goddess Durga came on Earth.
- The five days of Durga Puja are observed as Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami. Each day has its own meaning and significance. The first day of Durga Puja festival is known as Mahalaya. It is said that on the day of Mahalaya there was a clash between the demons and devas.
Navratri is majorly celebrated by North Indians whereas Durga Puja belongs to the East-Indian culture involving people from Bengal and Orissa. While Navratri, as the name suggests is the festival of nine nights, followed by Dussehra. Durga Pooja and Navratri falls simultaneously same time.
Janmashhtmi – Birth of Lord Krishna (Mathura, Vrindavan, Dwarka)
- Lord Vishnu is invoked in his human incarnation as Krishna on his birth anniversary in the festival of Janmashtami. This festival of Hindus is celebrated with great devotion on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Sravana (July-August) in India. According to Hindu mythology, Krishna was born to destroy Mathura's demon King Kansa, brother of his virtuous mother, Devaki.
- Men and women fast and pray on the occasion of Janmashtami. Temples and homes are beautifully decorated and lit. The temples of Vrindavan, in Uttar Pradesh witness an extravagant and colourful celebration on this occasion. 'Raslila' is performed to recreate incidents from the life of Krishna and to commemorate his love for Radha. This festival is also known as Krishnastami or Gokulastami.
- The image of the infant Krishna is bathed at midnight and is placed in a cradle. Devotional songs and dances mark the celebration of this festive occasion all over Northern India.
- In Maharashtra, Janmashtami witnesses the exuberant enactment of Krishna's childhood endeavours to steal butter and curd from earthen pots beyond his reach. A matka or pot containing these is suspended high above the ground and groups of young men and children form human pyramids to try and reach the pot and eventually break it.
- Ganesh Chaturthi -Vinayak Chaturthi (Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Hyderabad)
Onam -Harvest festival of Kerala (Kerala)
- Onam is an annual Hindu festival celebrated in southern Indian state of Kerala. It is a harvest festival celebr
- ted by Malayalis whose date is based on the Panchangam and falls on the 22nd nakshatra Thiruvonam in the month Chingam of Malayalam calendar, which in Gregorian calendar overlaps with August–September.
It is a harvest festival, one of three major Hindu celebrations along with Vishu and Thiruvathira, and it is observed with numerous festivities. Onam celebrations include Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Pookkalam (flower Rangoli), Onathappan (worship), Onam Kali, Tug of War, Thumbi Thullal (women's dance), Kummattikali (mask dance), Onathallu (martial arts), Onavillu (music), Kazhchakkula (plantain offerings), Onapottan (costumes), Atthachamayam (folk songs and dance), and other celebrations. It is the New Year day for Malayalis.
Raksha Bandhan – Brother and Sister bond of protection (North India and Maharashtra)
- Celebrated on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Sravana (July/August), this festival celebrates the love of a brother for his sister. On this day, sisters tie rakhi on the wrists of their brothers to protect them against evil influences, and pray for their long life and happiness. They in turn, give a gift which is a promise that they will protect their sisters from any harm. Within these Rakhis reside sacred feelings and well wishes. This festival is mostly celebrated in North India.
- The history of Rakshabandhan dates back to Hindu mythology. As per Hindu mythology, in Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas had torn the corner of her sari to prevent Lord Krishna's wrist from bleeding (he had inadvertently hurt himself). Thus, a bond, that of brother and sister developed between them, and he promised to protect her.
- It is also a great sacred verse of unity, acting as a symbol of life's advancement and a leading messenger of togetherness. Raksha means protection, and in some places in medieval India, where women felt unsafe, they tie Rakhi on the wrist of men, regarding them as brothers. In this way, Rakhi strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters, and revives the emotional bonding. Brahmins change their sacred thread (janoi) on this day, and dedicate themselves once again to the study of the scriptures.
Pongal -Tamil Harvest Festival (Madurai and Thanjavur)
A harvest festival, Pongal is popular festival in south India.The festival is celeberated in a traditional costume, through dances, bonfires and songs to celeberation. People even decorate their homes with beautiful rangolis, using coloured rice and power petals, symbolising the nurturing harvest produced by farmers.
Guru Nanak Jyanti (Amritsar)
- Guru Nanak Jayanti, the foremost of all the Gurupurabs or anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus, is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, who ushered in a new wave in religion. The first of the 10 Sikh Gurus, Guru Nanak was born in 1469 at Talwandi, near Lahore. The disinclination to accept the practice of several religions in society, professing different deities drove the much-travelled leader to break free from the shackles of religious diversity, and establish a religion based on a single God who is the eternal truth. The festive event of Guru Nanak Jayanti includes the three-day Akhand Path, during which the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs is read out from the beginning to the end without a break. On the day of the main event, the Granth Sahib is ornamented with flowers, and carried on a float in a proper procession throughout a village or city.
- The procession is headed by five armed guards, representatives of the ‘Panj Pyaras,’ who carry the Nishan Sahibs or the Sikh flag epitomising their faith. Religious hymns from the Granth Sahib are sung throughout the procession, marking a special feature of the event. The procession finally leads to a Gurudwara, where the gathered devotees get together for a community lunch, which is called Langar.
Maha Shivratri – The Great Night of Lord Shiva (Varanasi, Guwahati, Haridwar and Rishikesh, North India)
Maha Shivratri is an auspicious Hindu festival and is considered to be the most important and celebrated Shivratri among the 12 others celebrated in a year.
It is predominantly a Hindu festival, celebrated annually in honour of Lord Shiva, the God of destruction. Devotees celebrate the grace of Lord Shiva on this day.
Maha Shivratri, literally translates as ‘the great night of Shiva’ and according to legend, it is on this night that Lord Shiva performs his heavenly dance or ‘tandav’.
Maha Shivratri is considered especially auspicious as Shivratri is supposed to be the night of convergence of Shiva and Shakti, which in essence mean the masculine and feminine energies that balance the world. In Hindu culture, this is a solemn festival that marks the remembrance of ‘overcoming darkness and ignorance in life’. Different legends, throughout history, describe the significance of Maha Shivratri and according to one of them, it is on this night that Lord Shiva performs his cosmic dance of ‘creation, preservation and destruction’. Another legend dictates that on this night, offerings of Lord Shiva’s icons can help one overcome and let go of their sins and start on the path of righteousness, allowing the individual to reach Mount Kailash and achieve ‘moksha’.
Hemis – Birth of Padmasambhava (Ladakh)
- Marking the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, Hemis Festival is not only one of the most important Buddhist celebration in Ladakh but is also the most popular festival amongst tourists. Held in one of the most-visited monasteries in Ladakh, Hemis Gompa, the festival is a two-day event that is celebrated on the 10th day of the fifth month of Tibetan Calendar, which is the month of June/July in Gregorian Calendar.
- On this popular festival in Ladakh, Cham Dance and other traditional dances are performed in Hemis Monastery on the beats of drums and cymbal and on the tunes of long pipe like Tibetan music instrument. On both days, giant thangkas (Buddhist paintings) are unfurled for the public. In fact, every 12th year, the largest thangka in Ladakh is unfurled in Hemis on the first day of the festival for the public to see.
There is no better time to visit Ladakh than during Hemis Festival as HemisGompa becomes a hub of celebrations. During the festival , sacred dances, contradictory explanations and special musical performances are the major highlights. Buddhist lamas and monks gather at the HemisGompa to perform the sacred Mask Dance. This also gives you an opportunity to experience life of Ladakhi as it is an occasion for villagers and families to come together and socialise. This tour also takes you other beautiful monasteries of Ladakh and Nubra Valley, a must visit place in Ladakh which lies on an extraordinary trans-Himalayan trade route which originated with the Silk Road in medieval period.
Lodhi -Punjab Folk Festival (Entire Punjab and Delhi)
Lohri is essentially a harvest festival mostly celebrated in Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. People celebrate it with great fun, excitement, and enthusiasm. The customs and traditions may slightly vary from one region to another but basically all of them are attached to the harvesting of the Rabi crops. The North Indian people celebrate this festival to mark the end of winter solstice. The harvested fields and front yards are lit up with flames of bonfire and people sit around it and engage into singing, dancing, and merry-making.
• Lohri signifies the fertility and joy of life. People sit around the bonfire and throw puffed rice, sweets, and popcorn into the flames.
• In the morning children of the locality gather in their new dress and go to every home singing songs of praise of Dulla Bhatti or the Robin Hood of Punjab. Dulla Bhatti used to rob the rich people and distribute the wealth among the poor and underprivileged. People give the children money, sweets, peanuts, etc. The earning is known as Lohri Loot. They sing: "Dabba bharaya leera da; Ai ghar ameera da" which means – “Box filled with cloths strips, this house is of the rich. And those who weren't that generous had to face a bunch of kids chanting the following:” "Hukka bhai Hukkaa - Ai ghar bhukka" meaning – “Hukka! Oh! Hukka! this house is full of misers!”
• As the sun sets in the evening, huge bonfires are set and lit up in the harvested fields or in front of the house. For that purpose, logs of wood are piled up together. Once the bonfire is lit up, people go around the fire three times, giving offerings of popcorns, peanuts, rayveri and sweets. Then, everyone dances to the beats of dhol (traditional Indian drum). People say a slogan while throwing rice and popcorn in the flame – “Aadar aye dilather jaye” which means “may honor come and poverty vanish”.
• People also pitch the sticks of sugarcane into the fire and an aroma of burning sugar spreads in the atmosphere. Little girls and boys then light fireworks and sparklers which adds more fun to the festive night. The singing and dancing continue all through the night.
• There is another belief that when people throw sesame seeds in the fire they ask for sons. The saying is that “as many as the elder brother's wife throws, so many sons the younger brother's wife will bear”. Sounds funny!!! That’s why in those households where there is a new-born son or a newly-wed man and wife, Lohri is celebrated with even greater enthusiasm.
• The Prasad of sesame or til, peanuts, rayveri, puffed rice, popcorn, gajak, and other sweets are distributed. And this symbolizes a prayer to Agni for abundant crops and prosperity.
• After the Parikrama of the bonfire, people meet friends and relatives and exchange gifts and greetings. Post that everyone sits to dine together. and gorge on Sarso Da Saag (cooked mustard herbs) & Makke Di Roti ((multi-millet hand-rolled bread) served with home-made white butter.
• The menfolk of most of the villages of Punjab or Haryana or Himachal Pradesh perform bhangra on this day. Bhangra is a famous dance form for the immense energy put in every step. This dance establishes the potency, vivacity, and exuberance of people, in anticipation of money coming in after the cutting of a good harvest. During Lohri celebration, the drum plays a very important part giving the prime accompaniment to the folk music.
• The 1st Lohri of the newly-wed couple or a newborn baby is an important one. The immediate family members are invited for a grand feast and that is followed by an exchange of gifts. Once the party is over, the traditional singing and dancing continue. The new bride and the newborn baby are pampered by everyone on this day.
Eid – Ul – Fitr – Marks the end of Ramadan (Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai)
- Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id), is a festival of great rejoice, special prayers and exchange of greetings and gifts mark this festival of Muslims. Id-ul-zuha, the festival of sacrifice is celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety in India and the world. It is called Id-ul-Adha in Arabic and Bakr-Id in the Indian subcontinent, because of the tradition of sacrificing a goat or 'bakr' in Urdu. The word 'id' derived from the Arabic 'iwd' means 'festival' and zuha comes from 'uzhaiyya' which translates to 'sacrifice'.
- According to Islamic belief, to test Ibrahim, Allah commanded him to sacrifice his son Ismail. He agreed to do it but found his paternal feelings hard to suppress. So he blindfolded himself before putting Ismail on the altar at the mount of Mina near Mecca. When he removed his bandage after performing the act, he saw his son standing in front of him, alive. On the altar lay a slaughtered lamb.
Joyous festivities and somber rituals mark this event. Every Muslim owning property worth 400 grams of gold or more is expected to sacrifice a goat, sheep or any other four-legged animal during one of the three days of the festival. This symbolises devotion to Allah and his desires. The sacrificial meat is then distributed and partaken of after the Id prayers.
- The festival also marks the completion of Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia).
Getting to India
How to get to India Most travellers visiting India fly into the country and it’s not difficult to find good flights: there are multiple direct services from the UK, US , Canada, Europe, far E...
Getting to India
How to get to India
Most travellers visiting India fly into the country and it’s not difficult to find good flights: there are multiple direct services from the UK, US , Canada, Europe, far East Asia, Middle East, Australia and South Africa. There are many airlines that fly to India, and these flights usually arrive into Delhi , Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad , Kolkata, Cochin, Jaipur, Amritsar and Bengaluru without any stops.
As with any destination, fares vary with the seasons. For travel in India fares are highest from November to March, typically when it’s the best time to visit most of the country.
The shoulder seasons of April to May and August to early October are cheaper, and you’ll get the best flight deals during the low season of June and July. Bear in mind that air fares are higher during India’s main festivals and events, such as Diwali in October/November time.
How to travel around India
Once in India, getting around is another thing to wrap your head around and requires some forward planning. Intercity transport in India isn’t considered the most comfortable, quick or efficient, but it is affordable. Wherever you need to go, there’s most likely a route there. The main options are train or bus, but also occasionally plane or boat, and within cities, there are also rickshaws and metro systems.
For longer distances, make use of the cheap long-distance trains, on which journeys are an experience in themselves. If you’re willing to pay a little more for the higher classes of carriage, you can expect to have a reasonably hassle-free and comfortable journey.
Cheap short-haul flights are another good option for India travellers.
Best time to visit India
When is the best time to visit India? The best time to visit most of India is during the cool and dry season, between late September and March. Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh a...
Best time to visit India
When is the best time to visit India?
The best time to visit most of India is during the cool and dry season, between late September and March. Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are ideal at this time of year, and temperatures in Goa, South India, Maharashtra and central India remain quite comfortable.
However, from March onwards, the Himalayas grow more accessible for hikers. The trekking season reaches its peak in August and September while the rest of the Subcontinent is being soaked by the rains.
What is the best month to visit India?
The best months to visit India would be either November or February. These months are in the shoulder season between peak tourist months of December and January.
Visiting India in winter
Mid-winter sees the most marked contrasts between the climates of north and south India. While Delhi, for example, may be ravaged by chill winds blowing off the snowfields of the Himalayas, the Tamil plains and coastal Kerala, more than 1000km south, still stew under fierce post-monsoon sunshine.
Visiting India in December to February
The months of November, December and January are peak tourist season for the beach towns of not only Goa but entire India, except remote hill areas. At this time the coastal areas are blessed with dry weather and balmy temperatures post monsoon. Over Christmas and New Year, Goa is overwhelmed by domestic tourists as well as international visitors. If you plan to travel here in December and January, we recommend booking your transport and accommodation well in advance.
Since last decade, over in Delhi, the winter months are some of the worst for the city’s air pollution levels. It is in winter when Delhi experiences the worst of its smog.
When to visit India in Spring
As spring gathers pace, the centre of the Subcontinent starts to heat up again, and by late March thermometers nudge 33°C across most of the Gangetic Plains and Deccan plateau.
Visiting India in March to August
Holi, the festival of colours, takes place in March. If you’re lucky enough to be in India during Holi festival in March, you will experience an amazing atmosphere of fun, celebration and bright colours. March is also considered the best time of year to visit the wildlife parks of central India, such as Ranthambore and Kanha. Temperatures in the northern parts of the country, reach soaring heights of 36°C to 40°C, particularly in Delhi.On the coast, places like Goa and Kerala get a heavy rainfall and intense humidity during the month of May. Temperatures peak in May and early June, when anyone who can retreats to the hill stations.
Most domestic and international tourists escape to the Indian countryside and visit the hill stations, in Leh and Ladakh. If you do visit India during the monsoon season, you should pack pack waterproof clothing and sturdy shoes.
Avoid the coastal areas of the country during the summer months, as conditions are poor and most of the Goan beach resorts close down. Instead, head inland to the countryside of Tamil Nadu and visit some of India’s hill stations.
In the north of India, July and August are great months to visit the hill stations of Ladakh. Rajasthan also manages to escape the humidity and rainfall of the monsoon, more than other areas. Prices also drop outside of the peak tourist season, so this is a good time to grab a bargain.
Visiting India in September to November
October and November are suitable times to visit Delhi and the Golden Triangle, as there are more bearable temperatures, similar to in February and March.
However, during October and November, you may encounter a lot more tourists at the popular sites and landmarks. Crowds can become a nuisance for places like the Red Fort or the Taj Mahal. Both domestic and international tourists visit the capital at this time.
September and October are good months to visit Kerala, as it has a more comfortable climate, with less humidity, a cool wind and breeze.
Diwali, one of India’s biggest festivals, takes place at this time of year. The festival of lights, usually begins in October or at the beginning of November.
When to visit Wildlife National park
To visit Wild life national Parks, the best time is from October till March. However, if you can stand out the increased heat in April, the thinner vegetation and the lower waterholes, provides very good chances to locate “tiger” there in the national park.
In India, generally all the national park remains closed from May till September end. So, if you are interested in wildlife then we recommend you no to plan trip this time of the year.
When is Season time in Each Area?
Best time to go is October to March, but it doesn’t really kick off until mid-November. This is a winter area, just like Goa. At other times of the year it gets too hot. No matter the season, in the afternoon the sand in the desert will burn your feet, but at night the wind from the Himalayas sweeps through and you have to put on socks to even walk on the cold sand!
Delhi & surrounding.
October to March is your best time to go to Delhi, although best avoided around January. It gets pretty cold! April and May are scorching hot.
Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu.
Monsoon starts earlier in the south of India than it does in Goa and eventually Bombay. Season time in North Goa is October-March or April, peaking in December with huge parties around New Years. In South Goa, you have less time, more like November through March.
Season in Kerala and Tamil Nadu is shorter even shorter, but along the same time frame. Once April hits in Kerala the humidity hits you like a brick. It was April 12 when I wrote this and I was in Kerala hiding inside from it the horrible stickiness and rain.
If you will be spending a week or more in Goa (which I highly suggest) then do check out my $25 e-book. The Insider’s Guide to Goa is 170-pages long and will guarantee you have the best time in Goa, meet other travels, and chill at all the coolest places. Click here to purchase. I have information on what to do off-season and in peak-season.
Season in the mountains starts in April and ends by October. It’s the exact opposite of Goa. Tourist influx peaks during May and June, but the snow is just finished melting in May.
Manali in off-season
Uttarkhand (valley of the flowers).
There is only one month that is worth visiting the Valley of the flowers: ¬¬¬¬¬end of July. At this time the flowers will be at their best! June through September is the only time you won’t see the valley covered in snow.
I had someone tell me that if you go in the heat it is best because the animals will be out searching for water. I haven’t been to a park yet, and wanted to go in monsoon. After hearing his advice, I might wait until the rains dry up.
East Coast, Pondicherry
There is a NE monsoon as well which hits at a different time that the SE monsoon that pummels Goa over. In November and December the East side of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and north of there will get hit pretty hard.
Darjeeling, Sikkim, Calcutta
Calcutta sees the monsoon and gets close to flooded during May-Sept, same as Goa. You’d be best to go late September through November… but no later because it’ll be way too cold. You can also go in April and May before the next monsoon comes.
What is different during off-season?
Many guesthouses are closed. In Goa, all beach shacks are torn down every monsoon and that can include small beach huts. Even if they aren’t torn down, they aren’t open. You cannot stay on the beach in monsoon. A couple budget guesthouses stay open in Anjuna and Chapora, but most likely you’ll end up in a hotel that is over your budget, even at 50% monsoon discount.
Popular restaurants, especially those ran by foreigners are closed as they choose this time to go on vacation or renew visas. Ciao Bella, Sakana, Basilico, Villa blanche… all my favorite restaurants (I could go on and on) are closed. The owners are traveling or visiting home.
Even local restaurants sometimes close if their main clientele are foreigners because they won’t turn a profit. Actually, you have to get a special permit to stay open during monsoon if you’re by the sea.
When I was in Manali, I didn’t get to try any recommended restaurants apart from Drifter’s and Johnson’s because of off-season closures.
Some routes are completely shut off, for example the Rohtang pass into Leh from Manali. This caused us a huge headache when we were stranded and had to hire a care in Sarahan, as no buses would take us further north.
It is not only an inconvenience, but prevents you from seeing what you came all this way for, and in my case cost me an extra 4,000 rupees I wasn’t planning on spending on transportation. It’s no one’s fault but my own not planning my trip out! Make sure you don’t make that mistake because if the road were open… you’d for sure die trying to drive it.
Outdoor activities are limited or shut down completely due to fewer travelers to make up the group. The rafting and canyoning in Goa near Palolem closes during monsoon (although that might be due to the river being too high), and the trekking and adventure sports in Manali are hard to come by during off-season. Foreigners, mostly Aussies and Kiwis, who go on vacation at low season, run many of these sports.
If you want to learn yoga, get reiki, get massages, or learn to meditate and all those other fun mystical things, keep in mind some of the best artists and spiritual leaders in each field are away during off-season. They sometimes move their practice along the tourist path where the tourists head to next. In most cases, they do six months in the mountains and six months in Goa. Rajasthan is pretty similar in off-season as it is on season. I was there right in between the switch and loved it (October).
If you would like to become a masseuse or yoga teacher yourself, you need to make sure classes are open. Because the class might include only you, the teacher may not see it as worthwhile to teach or may increase the price to make it worthwhile.
You might not see the “best” of the town. For example, in Goa during monsoon I wouldn’t like to have any of my friends from home visit because I couldn’t show them all my favorite places. The best places. Every restaurant is closed, most clubs, there are no trance parties, no flea market, or Saturday night market! It’s gorgeous in monsoon and nice to experience, but it’s not what people come to Goa for.
Accommodation units : you can easily find different price range hotels in every corner of India as per budget suitable for you. Various types of accommodations as per th...
Accommodation units :
you can easily find different price range hotels in every corner of India as per budget suitable for you.
Various types of accommodations as per the individual traveller budget are like -
In remote areas like foothills of Himalayas or other states or remote areas , you have a choice of home stay, locals will offer you stay as cheap as possible per night and you can enjoy local food at incredibly low price and intermingle with the local family.
Motels, Resorts, Inns, Guesthouses.
Very Old Havellies (Old houses or the palaces belonging to ancient time/kings/queens) are now converted into hotels by maintain their inheritance character and looks. One can have the feel like Maharaja or Maharani while staying at such palaces as well as heritage hotels.
3 Star/4 star/5 Star modern international standard hotels.
Luxury hotels and large Villa type properties are also there for high end luxury clients.
Beside above units of accommodation, India offers stays in Houseboats in Kashmir, Kerala and various cruises running on Indian rivers.
Transport in India is available through all the means like any other country. Public transport is the primary mode of road transport for most of the Indian citizens, and India's public transpor...
Transport in India is available through all the means like any other country.
Public transport is the primary mode of road transport for most of the Indian citizens, and India's public transport systems are among the most heavily used.
Various mode of transport is used in India are:
Human/Animal powered like
Walking, Palanquins, Bullock carts/Horse carriages, Bicycles, Human-Pulled Rickshaws, Cycle Rikshaws.
Bus System , Motor Vehicles Like
Two Wheelers, Automobiles, Utility vehicles, Taxis, Pre-paid Taxis, Auto.
India offers large rail network to its citizens as well as international tourists who wish to travel in style and luxury. Commuter Rail transport, Suburban Rail, Metro, Monorail, High speed rails like Shatabdi trains and Rajdhani trains connecting various destinations. Beside this many luxury tourist trains operates in India.
Air India is India's national flag carrier. IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet and Go Air are the major carriers in order of their market share. These airlines connect more than 80 cities across India and also operate overseas routes.
he Airport Authority of India is the body that manages both the International Airports in India as well as the Domestic Airports in India.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) manages a total of 125 Airports, which includes 81 Domestic Airports, 11 International Airports, 25 Civil Enclaves at Defence Airfields and 08 Customs Airports. AAI is responsible for creating, maintaining, upgrading, and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India and works under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Ports and Shipping and Inland waterways are the other mode of transport used for various purposes.
India’s unit of currency is the rupee, usually abbreviated ₹ and divided into a hundred paise. Almost all money is paper, with notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees. Coins in circul...
India’s unit of currency is the rupee, usually abbreviated ₹ and divided into a hundred paise. Almost all money is paper, with notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees. Coins in circulation are 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 rupees, the latter two gradually replacing the paper versions, plus (rarely seen) 50 paise.
Don’t accept torn banknotes, since no one else will be prepared to take them and you’ll be left saddled with the things, though you can change them at the Reserve Bank of India and large branches of other big banks. Don’t pass them on to beggars; they can’t use them either, so it amounts to an insult.
Large denominations can also be a problem, as change is usually in short supply. Many Indian people cannot afford to keep much lying around, and you shouldn’t necessarily expect shopkeepers or rickshaw-wallahs to have it (and they may – as may you – try to hold onto it if they do). Larger notes can be changed for smaller denominations at hotels and other suitable establishments.
Changing money in regular banks, especially government-run banks such as the State Bank of India (SBI), can be a time-consuming business, involving lots of form-filling and queueing at different counters, so it’s best to change substantial amounts at any one time. You’ll have no such problems, however, with private companies such as Thomas Cook, American Express or forex agents. Major cities and main tourist centres usually have several licensed currency exchange bureaux; rates usually aren’t as good as at a bank but transactions are generally a lot quicker and there’s less paperwork to complete.
Outside banking hours (Mon–Fri 10am– 2/4pm, Sat 10am–noon), large hotels may change money, probably at a lower rate, and exchange bureaux have longer opening hours. Banks in the arrivals halls at most major airports stay open 24 hours.
Wherever you change money, hold on to exchange receipts (“encashment certificates”); they will be required if you want to change back any excess rupees when you leave the country and to buy air tickets and reserve train berths with rupees at special counters for foreigners. The State Bank of India now charges for tax clearance forms.
Credit Cards/Travelers Cheque
Renowned Credit Cards like American Express, Master Cards, Diners Club, Visa are generally accepted by large establishments, including hotels, shops, restaurants and at shopping places. Please note that small shops and vendors may not accept credit cards or travellers cheques, therefore we advise that at any given time you carry cash and loose change with yourself.
Tipping and baksheesh
As a well-off visitor you’ll be expected to be liberal with your tips. Low-paid workers in hotels , restaurants , Tourist drivers often accept lower pay than they should in the expectation of generous tips during the tourist season.
Tipping is a personal expense and depends entirely on the quality service provided to you and your appreciation of those services. Whilst tipping is not mandatory, it is expected at restaurants and by drivers, guides and escorts. The following estimated guideline may help you in determining the tip amount, should you wish to tip any service provider in India.
-Restaurants: Approx. 5 - 10 % of your food bill.
-Guide for a half a day: INR 300-500
-Guide for a full day: INR 500-600
-Driver for half a day: INR 250-350
-Driver for full day: INR 350-400
-Driver on outstation duty: INR 350-400 per day
-Escort: INR 400-500 per day
Check in and check – out at each hotel: INR 50-100 Per check in or Check out.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India A site or place that is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a site of physical or cultural importance...
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
A site or place that is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a site of physical or cultural importance is known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that aims to promote peace and security in the world by performing important roles in different fields, such as education, science, culture, etc. Accordingly, it is involved in the identification and preservation of natural and cultural heritage sites found anywhere in the world. It believes that a place of physical or cultural importance should be protected and preserved for the public and future generations to learn and appreciate the past.
As of 2020, there are a total of 38 UNESCO world heritage sites in India, out of which 30 are cultural sites, 7 are natural sites and the remaining one is a mixed site.
List of cultural world heritage sites in India
- Taj Mahal, Agra
- Agra Fort, Agra
- Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
- Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
- Sun Temple, Konark
- Mahabodhi Temple Complex, Bodhgaya
- Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
- Red Fort Complex, New Delhi
- The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
- Churches and Convents of Goa
- Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
- Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh
- Group of Monuments at Hampi, Madhya Pradesh
- Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka
- Elephants Caves, Maharashtra
- Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi
- Great Living Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu
- Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
- Qutub Minar, Delhi
- Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai
- Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat
- Hills Forts of Rajasthan
- Rani Ki Vav, Patna
- Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University), Bihar
- Mountain Railways of India
- The Historic City of Ahmedabad
- Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai
- The Pink City, Jaipur
- The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, Chandigarh
- Natural World Heritage Sites in India
- Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan
- Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand
- Western Ghats
- The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), Himachal Pradesh
- Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
- Kaziranga National Park, Assam
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam
- Mixed World Heritage Site in India
- Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim
Famous Museums in India
A museum refers to a place where artifacts and other objects of old times related to history, science, art, culture and rich heritage of a country are stored and exhibited. Every country has preserved its rich heritage in the form of museums. India also has lots of magnificent and world-famous museums, which are described below:
List of famous museums in India:
- National Museum, New Delhi
- Indian Museum, Kolkata
- Government Museum, Chennai
- Rail Museum, Delhi
- Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur
- Calico Textile Museum, Ahmedabad
- International Dolls Museum, Delhi
- Prince of Wales museum, Mumbai
- City Palace Museum, Jaipur
- Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram
- Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Kolkata
- HAL Aerospace Museum, Bangalore
- Crafts Museum, Delhi
- Dakshinachitra Museum, Chennai
- Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
- Vintage and Classic Car Museum, Udaipur
- Sarnath Museum, Varanasi
- Patna Museum, Patna
- Shivalik Fossil Park, Himachal Pradesh
- Chitra Museum, Goa
- Folklore Museum, Mysore
- Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
- Paldi Kite Museum, Ahmedabad
- Wax Museum, Kanyakumari
- Island Museum, Hyderabad
- Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, Delhi
- Dogra Art Museum, Jammu
- Mani Bhavan, Mumbai
- Partition Museum, Amritsar
- Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh
India is home to a large variety of wildlife.
India is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world and contains three of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots – the Western Ghats, the Eastern Himalayas, and the Indo-Burma hotspot.
In response to decrease in the numbers of wild animals, human encroachment and poaching activities, the government of India established a system of national parks and protected areas in 1935, which was subsequently expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial habitat. Further, federal protections were promulgated in the 1980s.
India is home to several well-known large animals, including the Indian elephant, Indian rhinoceros, Bengal tiger, Asiatic lion, Indian leopard, snow leopard, and clouded leopard.Bears include sloth bear, the Himalayan black bear, the Himalayan brown bear, and deer and antelopes include the chausinga antelope, the blackbuck, chinkara, chital, sambar (deer), Tibetan antelope, goa (antelope), Kashmir stag, and the barasinga. It is home to big cats like Bengal tiger and Indochinese tiger, Asiatic lion, Indian leopard, Indochinese leopard, snow leopard, and clouded leopard. Various species of caprines, including Bhutan and Mishmi takin, Himalayan and red goral, Himalayan serow, red serow, Himalayan tahr, and Nilgiri tahr, as well as the kiang and Indian wild ass can be found. Reptiles like king cobra, Indian cobra, Indian python, reticulated python, and gecko are common. Birds include Indian peacock, great Indian hornbill, painted stork, greater and lesser flamingo, and Eurasian spoonbill.
There are about 18500 taxa of flowering plants from India. Flora and Vegetation of forest cover ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and Northeast India to the coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India, and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain. Important Indian trees include the medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies. Bamboo gardens are extremely common in jungles as well as villages. States like Sikkim and West Bengal have orchids. The national flower of India, the lotus flower, is common in lakes and ponds.
India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It covers an area of 32, 87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights...
India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It covers an area of 32, 87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.
General Tips on India
1. Prepare yourself to see Cultural Change When you first arrive in India, it is essentially guaranteed that you will experience cultural shock. There is no use trying to fight it. Instead, prepare...
General Tips on India
1. Prepare yourself to see Cultural Change
When you first arrive in India, it is essentially guaranteed that you will experience cultural shock. There is no use trying to fight it. Instead, prepare yourself and accept that things will not be the same as you are used to back home. Try to open your mind and leave your expectations at home. Nothing can prepare you for the traffic of Mumbai or Delhi, where you'll dodge and weave past tuk- tuks and minibuses or when you reach a stoplight and children approach your car, banging on the car windows for food and money. There's no way to equip yourself for everything you're going to see, feel or hear during your time, so brace yourself for the unexpected by traveling with an open mind and taking everything as it comes.
2. Bring Your Camera
India is a street photographer's dream for a reason. There's so much to see and capture at any given moment. Your camera will showcase moments, experiences and encounters that you're too busy to notice, like a little boy picking up fruit at a street stall or an elderly woman looking up from a massive pile of saris. Plus, you'll leave with impressive photos to share stories of your incredible adventures when you return back home.
2. People DO speak English in many places
It is one of the languages that is taught in schools in India and if you’re going to be on the tourist trail, which most people are, you won’t have many issues with this.
4. You should get health insurance for India
You really shouldn’t travel anywhere without travel insurance and India is no exception. If you get ill or injured, any medical treatment you require will be covered by your insurance and reimbursed. Some insurance policies will also cover you for theft, lost luggage, cancellations and anything else that can go wrong during your trip. This will give you peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens you will be taken care of.
5. India is seasonal in part due to the monsoons which are not always fun to travel in. The months that lead up to a monsoon are incredibly hot and are best to be avoided.
6. Northern India, including Delhi, can get very cold in the winter (jackets, boots, gloves) so bring warm clothing if you are coming in December and January.
7.The mountains close up in the peak of winter because the roads are impossible to drive on. There are areas called “passes” that shut when the roads are too dangerous and this can leave you stuck somewhere or ruin a planned trip. Traveling to the Himalayas in November to February is best avoided.
8.If you are traveling to India with your partner, avoid hugging, kissing or holding hands in public. These types of public displays of love are considered inappropriate in Indian culture and they will be frowned upon. Keep your affections discreet out of respect for the locals.
9. You need a VISA to visit India. Specific Visas are granted for variety of purposes. Please contact the High Commission of India for further details if you are visiting India other than tourism.
Visitors to restricted /protected areas need Special Permits and for this purpose an additional form has to be completed. Please contact the High Commission of India, in your country if you wish to ascertain whether any of the places you intend to visit fall in the category of restricted/protected areas.
Requirements for Visa
- Original passport valid for at least 06 months.
- Appropriate Visa fees
- Two Passport size photographs or varies, depend upon nationality.
- Duly completed application form, along with supporting documents, where necessary.
Kinds of Visa
Tourists wishing to visit India will normally be granted at tourist Visa, effective from the date of issue. Tourists Visas are non-extendible and non-convertible. People who have to visit India frequently may be granted tourist Visa for a longer duration.
Business visa are granted for 3 or 6 months. However, multiple- Business Visa for up to 2 tears validity may be granted to technicians/experts going to India in pursuance of bilateral agreements or joint venture projects, having government approval.
Student and Employment Visa:
Student Visa can be obtained on furnishing proof of admission to recognised universities/Institutions in India. Employment Visa can also be obtained on furnishing proof of employment with companies in India.
Transit Visas are valid for halts of up to 72 hours in India. The Visa remains valid within 15 days from the date of issue and must be obtained before departure. Transit Visa cannot be obtained from immigration counters at ports of entry in India. Evidence of onward travel to a destination outside India is required.
Entry Visa are issued to persons of Indian origin for duration of up to 05 years. These can be obtained, depending on the purpose of visit and eligibility, on case to case basis.
10. The cheapest places to fly in and out of tend to be Delhi and Mumbai. Sometimes Calcutta, and if you are going to Goa you can do a charter flight from some places.
11. On transport in India, do not take anti-anxiety pills or sleeping pills (unless you take them normally) to help you sleep as it sets you up as a target for theft. You should be careful not to take food and drink from strangers unless it’s a family.
12. While you travel on train, you can lock you bag under the bottom of your seat.
13. Download the “Indian train status” app which seems to be only for Android and is always up to date on the train timings. Trains are delayed a lot and there’s no point sitting at the station hours before your train.
14. Sadly, women shouldn’t go out at night alone in the cities. Yes, there ARE a tiny very small percentage of men here who truly believe that women out late alone or women dressed against their idea of the norm, deserved to be harassed. It’s tragic.
15. Be kind but not overly friendly. You might find it strange that in the culture, it’s not common for a woman to smile and chat with a stranger who is male, but if you are too nice it will put off the wrong idea.
16. Do not take photos with dudes when they ask! It’s weird and they’ve got to knock that off.
17. Only get really verbally angry if you need to. If a man touches you and you do not like, YELL at him. People will back you up. 99.9% of people here are GOOD and will be just as outraged. To stay safe, try to stay calm even if you are being scammed or stared at. You can calmly say that you will get the police if you think are being scammed, and you can tell a man firmly to look away without cursing.
18. Try to get transportation or tourist taxi from your hotel or the tour operator through you are traveling. Check and authenticate your address before traveling or hiring an auto etc.
19. Don’t let the driver bring a friend… ever.
20. STAY OUT OF IT. See a child getting slapped? See a dog getting a rock thrown at it? Sadly, stay out of it. Indian women do slap their kids sometimes. It’s a different culture. Many people hate dogs here as dogs can be aggressive and bite. You can’t change a culture and a person who would harm a dog is an asshole, so imagine if some foreigner tries to correct them…. they will be furious
21. Know a few words in Hindi!
- Namaste- Hello
- Acha- good
- Acha na-he- not good
- Teek hay- right, yeah or say ha/ haji -yes
- Bus- stop (for a rickshaw driver is handy. You can add yaha-here)
- Kitna rupia- how much?
- Krupiyah- please & shukriyah- thank you
- Mutlub- meaning? Apka mutlub ho? (what do you mean?)
- Ek bottle Pani dedo- give me 1 bottle water (krupiyah- please!)
- Madat- help
1, 2, 3, 4, 5- ek, do, teen, cha, panch
22. Don’t take out more than 10,000 Rs from the ATM at a time. That’s about $160. If you bank with someone like Charles Schwab who doesn’t charge ATM fees you can save a lot of money and take out even less, like 5,000 Rs. at a time.
23. Travel with a buddy to split room costs in two! Curries are usually big enough for two as well, so you can cut your food cost in half as well. Few of the dishes are taste worthy.
- Palak paneer is spinach and cottage cheese (although not the cottage cheese we have in America, cubes of cheese). It’s very tasty. This is a veggie favourite.
-Butter chicken or Tandoori Chicken is a meat eaters’ favourite in the North and is a dish you HAVE to try while here. Same goes for chicken tikka. Indian Roti (Bread – like Butter Naan or simple Roti ), guests likes a lot. One must try. Ask for less butter and cream if you don’t want to put on 10 pounds while you’re here.
24. Typically families will have either roti and chapati (bread) or rice with their meal, but most tourists order both because while eating with your fingers some find it easier to pick up the rice and curry with the bread. You can really just go for it with your hands though and dive into the rice. It’s nice and you can get the perfect bite not having things falling off a fork!
25. In the South, you’ll get healthier curries (less cream) and will notice they have more coconut milk. You must have a masala dosa!
26. On the coast, you have to get “fish curry rice” or “prawn curry rice” as well as fried prawns and calamari.
27. You won’t have a lot of beef, especially up North. In Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan, and other huge areas of the country you won’t find it on a single menu (even the 5-star hotels). If you do, it’s actually water buffalo. In Maharashtra, it’s illegal. In Goa there is beef and in Kerala there is beef.
28. Unless you’re in a great restaurant in the city of a tourist area like Goa, don’t get “American” food. It’ll be Indianized and not tasty. Definitely don’t get Mexican food! If you really want something “Western” then go for a sizzler which will be meat and veggies on a hot plate.
29. If you want a bit of everything, get a thali. The plate will have a curry, rice, bread, pickle, and dal (chick pea thick soup, kind of). Depending on where you are, the thali will be totally different. For example, in Goa the fish thali is to die for!
30. To drink: salt or sweet lime soda, chai (tea that is milk tea & about 5 rs), and lassi! Lassis are yoghurt fruit drinks.
31. Know a few words in Hindi!
- palak – spinach (could also be called saag)
- paneer- cheese
- aloo- potato
- jeera- cumin, you’ll often see jeera rice as an option
- mattar- peas
- chana- chickpea
- kofta- kofta will be a ball of veg usually, although it may confuse as in Middle Eastern food it’s meatball.
masala- this refers to a spice mixture which is often used or can mean a variety of veggies as in “masala omelette” which would be an omelette with chili, onion, and tomato.
- papadum- you can’t get these everywhere but they are similar to a tortilla but made of lentils.
- pakora- means deep fried.. if it’s pyaj pakora it’s onion, you could have gobi or anything really. It is (i think) the same as bhaji which is fried, as in “chili bhaji” a deep fried chili served with ketchup…mmm!
- raita- yoghurt side, used as a condiment
32. Try not to have huge expectations on seeing and doing everything you want. Transportation takes longer than you’ll guess and you might have to cut places off your itinerary. Try not to stress. So, to dive into it, Rajasthan is the awesome desert state. Popular spots re Jaisalmer (camels), Pushkar (holy lake), Udaipur (floating palace), Jaipur (pink city), and Jodhpur (blue city).
33. Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand are the mountain places and in that state, people chill in Manali and go trekking. Usually Delhi is next from here, and people hit up Agra from there.
34. Rishikesh would be done while up North as well and is the place made famous by the Beatle’s. Goa is the hippy place, but this is a close second.
35. Kerala is “gods own country” and is stunning with rolling tea fields, perfect beaches, and Nature parks.
36. You’ll want to do a safari somewhere but there are so many options, it will really depend on your itinerary. They are more expensive for foreigners than Indians, as are all government tourism sites (example: Taj Mahal). Not only India does this, but many developing countries in Asia.
37. If you want something different, I’m all about Karnataka and NE India. Karnataka is a hidden gem and NE India is a Tibetan influences Buddhist area in some places, and tribal in others. It’s SO cool.
38. Don’t overpack. You will get lots of medicine here in India, except something like birth control which is only in big cities and Goa (from what I’ve found so far). Don’t bring more than one pair of jeans. Don’t pack like you are going to another world. You will still want cute clothes and practical things.
39. There is staring. It’s not only men but in some rural areas, women may stare. It can be unnerving when you are on a train trying to sleep and every time you peek out you see 10 eyes on you. Such is life.
40. It’s not a big “thank you” culture. Thank you ’s are understood here so if you tip high, don’t expect a big thank you but instead just a nod.
41. There’s a “me first” attitude that is very Indian. When driving, people honk and pass constantly even if they are going to continue the same speed ahead. The roads are insane. When getting off a plane, people in the windows seats are pushing out to the isle to push to the front to get off the plane first. It makes no sense, but absolutely happens in so many scenarios.
42. Indians don’t say no. Okay they do, but not often to tourists! If you ask a question, try not to make it yes or no, because when they don’t know the answer they often say “yes”. “Is the SIM card shop this way?” “Yes” even though they don’t know what you even asked. They don’t like to disappoint particular in small and satellite cities.
43. First step is preparation and prevention. You should make sure you have vaccinations and required boosters. Bring your own birth control (pills, protection of other kinds) as you will have a hard time finding it here.
44. You will get Delhi belly at some point if you are here a long time. Don’t panic. If it’s been a few days, seek help. Don’t take Imodium as it’s better out than in. If you have the shits, you should get a stool test done at a clinic. Do not just go to the chemist and take whatever random antibiotic he happens to have closest to him when you walk in. You destroy your immune system doing this over and over.
45. Mosquitos… they are the devil, no? You should wear spray when in areas that have them. There is no prevention to Dengue and no cure. It has to leave your system. Malaria has a cure and should be treated immediately. It’s not usually a big deal in India as the strain isn’t the same as in some places like areas of Africa.
46. Tylenol isn’t a thing everywhere. even in UK they say paracetamol … remember to use the “science” name not the brand name when you ask the chemist for drugs.
Bring Traveler’s Diarrhea Tablets
Unfortunately, one of the common experiences that many travelers to India encounter is the dreaded “Delhi Belly.” No matter how careful you may be, your body will not be used to the array of different bacteria that is in the water and food in India. This is why it is good to have traveler’s diarrhea medication with you – before you need it.
47. Many temples will ask you to take off your footwear before entering. So, it is a good idea to wear shoes that you can easily slip on and off, like sandals. If you are worried about your shoes getting stolen from the front of the temple while you are inside, you can keep them in your backpack or give the temple attendant a few rupees to keep an eye on them.
48.Whenever you are in a busy public place, be on your guard to make sure that your personal belongings are safe. Don’t carry your wallet, passport or phone in your back pocket – keep it in your front pocket or in a zippered pocket. Don’t wear a lot of expensive jewellery or accessories – keep it simple and only carry the basics. If you have to walk late at night, walk with a companion, whether it's a guide, a friend or a family member. And always, stay calm. It's easy to get caught up in the chaos of it all, so let yourself have some moments of reflection before reacting.
49.Carry Handsanitizer: It is a good idea to carry these around with you, as they are rarely found in public washrooms.
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