India Travel Guide

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India Information

Population: 1 065 070 607

Time Zone: GMT + 5.5

Driving side: Drive on the left hand side of the road

Languages: Hindi Bengali Telugu Marathi Tamil

Religion: 81% Hindu
12% Muslim

Emergency #: Police Emergency: 100
Fire Emergency: 101

India Local Customs

Woman should wear loose fitting clothing that covers as much as possible. Men should avoid wearing shorts because these are considered bizarre. Shoes are not to be worn in places of worship.

India Culture

In India, religion seeps into every facet of Indian life and is mainly based on the religion of Hinduism with the three basic practices being worship, the cremation of the dead and the rules and regulations of the caste system.

The Indian film industry is centered on Bombay and is one of the largest and most glamorous in the world. Indians love their cinema and pride themselves on their success.

There is no Indian language, which is why English is still widely spoken almost half a century after the British have left India, and partly because the efforts made to promote Hindi as the national language has a major stumbling block. Hindi is the predominant language in the north, but in the south it bears little relation to the Dravidian languages.

Indian art is based on religious themes and development and as such requires a little basic knowledge of the country's faiths. Classical Indian dance, Hindu temple architecture and sculpture, the military and urban architecture of the Mughals, miniature painting and mesmeric Indian music are some of the highlights of the Indian culture.

India Popular Destinations

Jaisalmer Jaisalmer is a fortress, which lies close to the border with Pakistan. The city looks as if it is straight out of an Arabian fairy tale. Jaisalmer was founded in the 12th century and is a golden sandstone city with magnificent fortress atop the mountain and has numerous carved stone and wooden havelis. At sunset, the city glows with the luminescence of a mirage. There are winding lanes and formidable gateways, a maharaja's palace, ceremonial courtyard and beautifully carved Jain temples. Unfortunately Jaisalmer is crumbling at an alarming rate, and this has finally brought local, governmental, tourist and archaeological interest groups together.

Kanha National Park This is one of India's largest and most remote national parks with forest and lightly wooded grasslands supported by an extensive network of rivers and streams. There is a variety of wildlife including leopards, chital and the tiger. The park is closed from 1 July to 31 October.

Kerala Backwaters This is a complex network of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals fringing the coast of Kerala. Boats cross shallow, palm-fringed lakes and along narrow shady canals where coir, copra and cashews are loaded onto boats. You have a chance to see traditional boats with huge sails and prows carved into the shapes of dragons.

Cave Temples at Ajanta & Ellora The Cave Temples at Ajanta and Ellora were created by Buddhist monks and fashioned out of rock by little more than simple hand-held tools. The Cave Temples are well deserving of their World Heritage status and are impressive to see.

India Beaches

Asvem - Asvem is an idyllic haven that has drawn Olive Ridley turtles for centuries and remains off the beaten tourist track.

Palolem Palolem is India's most photographed beach with a gorgeous crescent of sand backed by coconut palms and a handful of laid-back shacks offering fresh fish and cold beer.

Moving Around India

Domestic Airlines - India's major domestic airline, Indian Airlines, has an extensive network. The country's international carries, Air India, also operates domestically. Deregulation has improved the service and swollen the number of secondary operators. The most stable of the new competitors is Sahara Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.

The Indian Railway System At time the rail travel can be uncomfortable and frustrating, but it is an integral part of the Indian travel experience. There are a number of different classes and a number of different trains.

Buses The bus service varies from state to state and there is often a choice of buses on the main routes such as ordinary, express, semi-luxe, deluxe, deluxe air-con and even deluxe sleeper. There are private buses as well as government buses. Private buses tend to be faster, more expensive and more comfortable. Bus travel is generally crowded, cramped, slow and uncomfortable.

Car The roads in India are notoriously the most dangerous in the world. If you rent a car and attempting to traverse the chaos that passes for traffic is suicide. With that said, renting a car and a driver who knows the roads is in many ways the best way to get around.

National festival and holidays

The Republic Day Festival This festival is held in Delhi every January. There are elephants, a procession and plenty of military might.

Hoil - This is the most exuberant Hindu festival and is held in February. Hoil marks the end of winter and involves the throwing of water and red powder over as many people as possible in one day.

The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi This festival takes place in August or September and is dedicated to the popular elephant-headed god Ganesh. Shrines are erected, firecrackers let off, clay idols are immersed in rivers or the sea and everyone tries to avoid looking at the moon.

Diwali This is the happiest festival of the Hindu calendar and is celebrated for five days in November. A number of gods are honoured in this celebration.

Useful India Links

India Resorts Survey
Extensive listing of holiday spots in India

Forest Department Website
Through this website you can know about forest department lodges of West Bengal State of India.

India Travel Tourism
India travel guide offers tour information on popular destinations, culture of India, wildlife tourism, and honeymoon destinations.

India Tours

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