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Destination: India. An essential travel guide.

WHY TO VISIT INDIA

Country of excess, India provokes very intense feelings in those who venture there. Delhi, the capital, offers many treasures that the country has as a whole: Countless museums, all categories of restaurants with delicious food, magnificent monuments, various cultural events, all of which can be discovered within the two different worlds of Old Delhi and New Delhi. Agra, 2 hours by train from Delhi, is well known as the home of the Taj Mahal, a beautiful white marble palace built at the request of Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his love for his deceased wife, this building is justly famous and considered unequaled in its serene beauty by many throughout the world.

You should not miss Benares (now called Varanasi), the holy city on the west bank of the Ganges, where you will see various funeral processions on their way to cremations, as well as the pilgrims that come to wash away their sins, also you can discover the Vishwanath Temple, also known as the Golden Temple. Goa, the smallest state, made famous by the hippies during the sixties; has great beaches and coconut palms, a relaxing tropical atmosphere and the people seem to be friendly and happy.

In southern India, you will be astonished at the beautiful landscapes of Kerala; the rice fields and tropical plants, the endless beaches and the Thousand and One Nights Palace, the wildlife, rich spices and iridescent colors.  Mumbai will turn your head with its excessive and heterogeneous world: Traffic congestion, continuous deafening noise, pollution - everything takes place against a backdrop of impressive sights with a multitude of bazaars, very fashionable boutiques and establishments at the forefront of the twenty-first century. Here, the abject poverty rubs elbows with the air-conditioned shops. However, this city has a special charm you cannot ignore.

Madurai with its temple, Udaipur with its palace on Pichola Lake, Jodhpur with its Fort close to the desert, or the various national parks and safaris, where you can see the splendid tigers, all of these will offer wonderful visits during your trip to India. Many travelers are touched by this country: Some of them come back with a tenacious nostalgia close to that of addiction. Your challenge will be to define what makes it so charming and deeply moving that you will probably want to come back: In any case, you will almost certainly find that one visit is not enough!

Source: http://www.thebesttimetovisit.com/

WHAT TO SEE IN INDIA

Top destinations in India are:

  • Rajasthan
  • Agra
  • Kerala
  • Varanasi
  • Ellora & Ajanta Caves
  • Delhi
  • Goa
  • Ladakh
  • Amritsar
  • Mysore

WHEN TO GO TO INDIA

Best period to visit India is from November to April.

It is not easy to describe the climate of such a vast country: However, it can be mainly divided into three different seasons, a hot season, a wet season and a cold season. The hot weather is mainly between February and May in the north and during these months the heat gradually rises to reach the top of the mountains in May.

Temperatures can exceed 45°C in the Centre. In late May, the monsoon begins with heavy cloudbursts, thunderstorms and storms becoming gradually stronger from the south to the north, then it extends to the entire territory, ending in October, except on the southeast coast where it is the worst between October and December. Temperatures fall significantly in the north between October and January, while in the south they are constantly temperate.

The best time to visit India therefore depends on the area, although the season from November to February is the best for the majority of them. If you want to visit the northeast, Kashmir or the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, it is advisable go between April and September. On the other hand, during the monsoon is quite a good time to visit the Rajasthan desert and the northwest of the Himalayas.

Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of India.

  • H Kumbh Mela: Major festival held at four holy cities in rotation, with each location hosting once every twelve years: Allahabad (UP), Nasik (Maharashtra), Ujjain (MP) or Haridwar (Uttarakhand). The Allahabad event is the most important and drew 120 million people in 2013; there are also Ardh (half) Kumbh Melas in between, the next at Allahabad in 2019.

  • M Ramadan: The month during which Muslims may not eat, drink or smoke from sunrise to sunset, and should abstain from sex. Muslim areas tend to come alive in the evenings as locals break their fast after prayers (iftar) and shop for Id. Estimated future dates are: May 27 to June 25, 2017, May 16 to June 14, 2018, and May 6 to June 4, 2019.

  • M Id ul-Fitr: Feast to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The precise date of the festival depends on exactly when the new moon is sighted, and so cannot be predicted with complete accuracy. Estimated dates (though these may vary by a day or two) are: June 26, 2017, June 15, 2018, and June 5, 2019.

HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH INDIA

Travelling to India by air is the easiest way: You land in Mumbai, Delhi or Madras. To travel within the country, domestic flights have recently increased. The train is a possible option, despite its slowness it is cheap and goes everywhere. The buses are less crowded than trains at almost the same price but they are not very comfortable. In large cities, there are a lot of taxis, rickshaws and tongas.

by plane, main airports are:

by train

by car

GENERAL INFORMATION ON INDIA

country entry requirements: passport + visa (check your visa requirements)

health tips & vaccination: drink only bottled water and avoid ice. Malaria vaccination is recommended during rain season and near the coast.

local currency: Indian Rupee

local time zone: GMT+5:30

electricity: type C, D and M (230 V, 50 Hz)

mobile phone operators:

WHAT TO DO IN INDIA

typical food in India

  • Dhal: Lentils; there are dozens of varieties and they come stewed, fried or ground up into flour as an essential ingredient for pastries and fritters
  • Pakora: Deep-fried vegetables in lentil-flour batter, a favourite portable snack
  • Samosa: Triangular pastry parcels, stuffed with potato and pea curry
  • Thali: A platter of rice, chapattis, vegetable curries, meat dishes and more; in many parts of India, this is a just described a "meal"
  • Naan: India's favourite bread, cooked in the tandoor (clay oven)
  • Tandoori chicken: A Punjabi speciality, spiced chicken marinated in yoghurt, cooked in the tandoor
  • Paneer: Soft Indian curd cheese cooked in sauces or spiced and grilled
  • Jalebi: Deep-fried batter in sweet syrup, poured out in a nest of orange squiggles
  • Dosa: A pancake made from fermented rice-flour batter, serve with curry dips or stuffed with vegetables curry, originally from the south
  • Chai: Sweet, strong Indian tea, best sampled from roadside chai-wallahs
  • Kingfisher: India's most popular lager

souvenirs from India

  • fabrics
  • silverware
  • carpets and rugs
  • leatherwork
  • gems
  • antiques
  • pickles, spices, coffee and tea
  • clothing and chappals
  • pashmina shawls
  • jewellery
  • perfumes
  • soap
  • handmade paper
  • incense
  • puppets
  • musical instruments

SIMPLE DICTIONARY

Hello: Namaste

Goodbye: Alavida

How are you?: Kya haal hai?

Thank you: Dhanyavaad

What is your name?: Aapaka naam kya hai?

How much is it?: Yah kitane ka hai?

Sorry: Maaf keejiye

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