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India is alive with vibrant colors. Its most famous monument – the Taj Mahal – is hauntingly beautiful; however, its beating heart is found alongside the Ganges in Varanasi. The tropical splendors of the south make it the perfect destination to relax, experience Ayurvedic treatments, and enjoy delectable food.
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Destinations > India > Need to Know
Northern India sizzles with a colorful vibrancy like no other. The splendor and romance of Rajasthan are evident in the glamorous palaces and forts of the maharajas that have been transformed into luxury hotels.
The cool hill stations in the Himalayan foothills and tea plantations sit alongside vibrant and chaotic cities.
The tropical southern part of India is vastly different from the north – both in its character, scenery, and cuisine. It is renowned for its relaxed, almost spiritual culture, lush scenery, welcoming people, gourmet food, and amazing spas and resorts.
India has vast climate changes from the north to the south. The most comfortable time to visit most of India is during the cooler months of October to March. The summer months between April and June are hot with temperatures in central India reaching up to 113°F. This would be the ideal time to visit the hill stations such as Shimla and Darjeeling for a cool retreat.
Delhi is sprinkled with glittering gems; captivating ancient monuments,
magnificent museums, and some of the subcontinent's best places to eat.
A vibrant melting pot, Delhi encapsulates two very different worlds, the ‘old’
and the ‘new’.
Whilst not widely known as a wildlife destination, India offers Asia’s greatest nature experiences for travelers with an excellent network of national parks and safari lodges. The big cats such as Tiger and Leopard are widely distributed and often seen on jeep safaris.
Few places in India are as colorful or charismatic as Varanasi. The city is the
beating heart of the Hindu universe, and the Ganges the river of salvation.
Watching the sun rise over the Ganges is a spiritual experience.
The cool hill stations of southern India are excellent retreats from the
bustling and chaotic cities. Laden with lakes, tea plantations, sanctuaries
, and national parks, they are perfect for escaping the heat.
Kerala is a tropical state of backwaters, beaches, house boats, and Ayurvedic
treatments. An ancient port of call for the Chinese, Arabs, Jews, British,
French and Portuguese, this history is reflected in its buildings and local
From historic cities rich in forts and palaces, bazaars and color, to superb countryside homestays and fascinating villages, this desert state is the source of much of India’s most iconic images and experiences. Don’t miss it.
Country Code for India: +91
Visa Global Assistance: 000 1 17 then 866-765-9644
Emergency Services: Ambulance: 102 Fire: 101 Police: 100. The emergency numbers apply to New Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai, but may not always have English speaking staff.
By and large, India is a very hospitable place to visit. Take care to avoid religious offense, however. In particular, respect all religious faiths: do not touch a holy man, do not pose for photographs on religious statues, and remove shoes and socks when entering temples. Try to find out as much as you can before you arrive, read about the religion and culture, learn about local rules and values, and even learn some of the language. Be sensitive to cultural differences. Note that kissing and cuddling is frowned upon in public. On the whole, remember that patience, friendliness, and courtesy are highly valued virtues that will win you the respect and confidence of the Indian people. If you give the impression of being from a different country, the chances are that you might be stared at. This may seem over-familiar to some, but it is merely curiosity and you should not take offense. Indians believe in sharing happiness or sorrow and a festival is never far away.
Electrical Plug: Indian
Special Tip: While the Indian electrical plug is the official socket type, various other sockets are found throughout India including the similar South African plug and the European plug.
Voltage: 220-240 volts
Modem Plug: USA
Luggage for internal flights
Economy Class 15kg
Inter-city transport in India may not be the fastest or the most comfortable in the world, but it’s cheap and goes more or less everywhere. You generally have the option of train or bus, sometimes plane, and occasionally even boat. Transport around town comes in even more permutations, ranging in Kolkata, for example, from human-pulled rickshaws to a state-of-the-art metro system. Whether you’re on-road or rail, public transport, or a private vehicle, India offers the chance to try out some classics: narrow-gauge railways, steam locomotives, the Ambassador car, and the Enfield Bullet motorbike – indeed some people come to India for these alone.
Hindi, English, and 16 other official languages.
The following business hours should be considered as a guideline as there are regional variations. Government organizations and private businesses are usually open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Some of them may be open on Saturday, but all are closed on Sunday. Shopping hours are generally Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Some shopkeepers may take a siesta. Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm, and on Saturday morning until about noon. The main post offices may have longer hours. Banks are usually open Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm and 10am to 12.30pm on Saturday. Restaurants are usually open until 11pm, with nightclubs and discos closing much later.
Local guides: We recommend tipping your local guide for their service on your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline INR120-180 per person, per half day (more for a full day) can be used. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of the guide's service quality and the length of your trip.
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants add INR20-50 to your bill. More up-market restaurants we suggest up to 10% of your bill.
Monuments and temples where you are required to remove your shoes will charge a small fee for shoe minding - usually, INR10-20 is sufficient. Toilets often have an attendant and there may be an official charge of INR10-20 signposted; if not, a small tip of a similar amount to the attendant is appreciated.
The Travel Corporation has partnered with the company Sherpa to provide travelers with the latest government and health restrictions. Simply enter the country you want to travel to for information on safety regulations, border closures, quarantine requirements, your travel visa, and more using the Sherpa travel tool.
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