India Travel Info

All the things you need to know
before traveling to India.
Spirituality is the common thread that weaves its way through the vast and complex tapestry that is contemporary India. The multitude of sacred sites and time-honoured rituals are testament to the country's long, colourful, and sometimes tumultuous, religious history. And then there are the festivals! India hosts some of the world's most spectacular devotional celebrations, from formidable city parades celebrating auspicious events on the religious calendar to simple harvest fairs that pay homage to a locally worshipped deity.

History and Geography

India, originated from the local historical name of Indus River. Nestled next to Nepal, China and Bhutan in the North, Pakistan in the Northwest and Bangladesh and Myanmar in the East, India is the seventh largest country in the world enveloping total area of 3,287,263 sq.m.

With over one billion people, it is the second most populous country in the world. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhihism, Sikhism, Islam, Vaishnavism and Christianity are the various facets of religion in India.

It is synonymous to a potpourri of cultural diversity, rich architecture, forts, rivers, pristine snowcapped peaks, rich cultural heritage, royal legacy, folklores, classical music, folk dance, arts and exotic cuisine.

A very large section of the Himalayas are in India namely Arunachal, Sikkim, Utaranchal, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and Eastern Karakoram. Majority of the peaks stands above 7000m and are waiting to be explored with promises to make your India adventure travel more memorable. This has opened up plenty of scope for adventure tourism in Indian subcontinent.

Communication

In today's time, India has come a long way to becoming the future Information Technology superpower and one of the largest generators and exporters of software. Since 1837, postal service in India has improved immensely with the use of computers and other latest technology for postal operations. In fact the Indian post office is regarded as the largest postal systems in the world and very reliable one. India has more than 154,000 post offices in different regions of India. Indian Postal System offers airmail services daily to all parts of the world. Air parcels take approximately two weeks, while surface mail can take up to three months. Most airlines offer discount airfreight rates. Parcels are handed over to the concerned person at the post office only after thorough inspection by custom officials. The Money Order department of the Indian Post office has 77 VSAT centers which in turn are connected to 610 Extended Satellite Money Order Stations. More than 10 lakh money orders are transmitted through this network every month.

In terms of coverage, quality and range of services, the Indian telecommunication network has undergone major progress. India with its satellite earth stations provides international calling; 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean Region), four gateway exchanges operating from Mumbai, New Delhi, Calcutta, and Chennai and submarine cables to Malaysia, UAE, Singapore and Japan, and Fiber-Optic Link around the Globe (FLAG) with landing site at Mumbai (Bombay). There are several IT companies which have set up a network of wireless radio in the different regions of India to allow users to exchange voice, data and video over Virtual Private Networks. In most of the towns in India there are private STD/ISD call booths with fax facilities and direct dialing for both interstate and overseas and they have a digital meter for showing the cost. Cost for international calls depends on the country you are calling. Hotels in India also provide facilities like STD/IAD calls, fax and internet service. But comparatively, local STD/ISD call booths charge reasonable money than hotels. You can even purchase phone cards in cities but in the Indian Himalaya you may get deprived of this facility. Mobile phones in India have made the communication very easy for travelers and Indians. But in hilly regions and mountains, mobile phones may not operate efficiently due to limited reception. In most parts of India there are cyber cafes for providing internet access using DSL, Wi-Fi, Cable, Satellite and Dial-up connection.

Accommodation

Accommodation in India varies according to your budget. From 5 star hotels, resorts, guest houses and lodges to rental apartment, you can have the best accommodation. India being one of the major travel destinations in the world nurtures its tourism potentials. Henceforth, India regards high quality and safe accommodation as top most priority for attracting more international tourists and blossom Indian tourism industry. All the major cities and popular villages in India provide superb accommodation. If you go to remote areas, though you may not get to have the luxury stay but you will find local Indians very eager to offer you the best possible accommodation.

Clothing

Proper clothing is an important aspect of traveling. You need to dress according to your travel theme and weather. If you are going for mountaineering, you must be well equipped with items like
  • Good underwear - expedition weight bottoms
  • Fleece jacket
  • Storm parka and pants
  • Expedition parka
  • Weather-friendly hats
  • Gloves and mittens - mountaineering boots
  • High quality socks
  • Gaiters
  • Sunglasses
  • Small first aid kit
  • Hand warmers
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen and small thermos.
Likewise, trekking can be more fun and pleasurable if you have items like
  • Lightweight walking boots
  • Spare laces
  • A pair of track shoes
  • Warm jacket
  • Woolen shirts and thick sweaters
  • Windproof/waterproof trousers
  • Thermal underwear - a tracksuit
  • 2 pair of loose fitting long shorts
  • Lightweight long sleeved shirt
  • A woolen hat, a pair of gloves
  • 1 pair of sandals, thick woolen socks and other personal equipments and accessories.

There are certain remote rural areas in India where locals are conservatives about clothes and wearing body revealing clothes are regarded socially unaccepted. Make your stay in India most comfortable and enjoyable by selecting the India-friendly clothes.

Weather and Climate

Climate in India varies from region to region. The Himalaya and the Thar Desert play contributing roles in India's climate. Meteorologically, climate of India has been categorized into seven climatic regions; the Himalayas, Assam and West Bengal, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the Western Ghats and coast, the Deccan and the Eastern Ghats and coast.

Generally, India climate experiences summer from March to June, rainfalls from June to October and winter from November to March. Northwestern regions of India have summer season from April to July and the other parts from March to June. April gets hotter in the Western and Southern India and May in the northern parts. In the coastal regions temperature usually gets around 36C in summer.

Ladakh and Zanskar, Spiti, northern Kinnaur and some areas of northern Uttaranchal has low humidity most of the time, not more than a few centimeters of rainfall a year with occasional heavy rainstorms during July and September and the coldest temperatures found anywhere in the world during the winter season.

Climatically, these regions are most travel-friendly in September. In case of the Kashmir Valley and the lower Warvan and Chenab valleys in Jammu and Lahaul, April and May bring about heavy precipitation, months from December to March experience heavy snow falls and the months from May to mid-October are comparably more favorable for traveling.

During November and December the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala experience most of their rainfall from the northeast monsoon whereas 80 percent of the country receives most of its rainfall from the southwest monsoon from June to September. Most ideal time for traveling to India is during October to April, when temperatures being less hot are comparatively favorable for travelers.

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