Priding itself on its rich heritage, India is a captivating kaleidoscope of experiences that never fails to enthral its visitors. As one tours the country from North to South & from East to West, one finds that India is blessed with scenic natural beauty, refreshing landscapes, heritage attractions, lovely beaches & backwaters making it a paradise for tourists who come to explore this mystical land.
Tourists can witness awe-inspiring valleys, ravines, fresh water tributaries, snow-capped mountain peaks & undulating meadows in the incredibly romantic states of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Travelling south-west one enters the desert state of Rajasthan that is dotted with age-old historical monuments which provide interesting insights into India’s medieval past. In Central India, the temple town of Khajuraho mesmerizes tourists with its erotic stone sculptures that signify cosmic unity through the gratification of earthly desires.
Moving further south along the west coast, one finds the beach paradise of Goa that offers the perfect blend of sun, sand and serenity that tourists desire on their holidays to India. A trip to Kerala is a must for those looking for spiritual bliss in the lap of nature. Do include the alluring archipelago of the Andaman and Nicobar islands and the Lakshwadeep islands in your itinerary which are famous the world over for their turtle-nesting beaches, turquoise blue waters, abundant marine life and scenic natural beauty. With its awe-inspiring natural beauty & warm friendly people, India is a land which draws millions of tourists to its shores each year and pampers them with its legendary hospitality; offering those memories that last a lifetime.
Read this India travel guide to find some important travel information before you board your flights.
Important Tourist Destinations in India
Delhi – Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur – Ajmer – Udaipur – Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai – Thekkady – Kumarakom – Cochin – Mysore – Bangalore – Goa – Mumbai.
For information on visa procedures and regulations for British nationals, visit www.vfsglobal.co.uk/India/. Other travellers must check the visa guidelines from the relevant embassy/ consulate or consult their travel agent.
Indian Culture & Lifestyle
India presents a fascinating kaleidoscope of cultures, lifestyles, traditions, languages, festivals and beliefs. The highly multicultural society with a number of religions which observe vivid festivities and traditions make India a country with a rare amalgam of people and cultures not seen anywhere else. Blessed with rich heritage, splendid natural grandeur, a strong economic system and replete with resources of all kinds, the country has made great strides in the field of medicine, information and technology. India also boasts the largest and the fastest growing middle class in the world with its people popular for their warm, caring and hospitable attitude. Royal forts and palaces, castles, monuments, temples, golden sandy beaches, snow-clad and sky-piercing Himalayas, meandering rivers and sprawling ocean form some of the best tourist attractions in India.
Best Time to Visit India
Being a tropical country, India experiences a fairly hot & humid climate and one encounters the following seasons in a year.
- Summers [April, May, June],
- Monsoon [July, August],
- Autumn [September, October]
- Winters [Nov, Dec, Jan]
- Spring [Feb, March]
January and February experience a cold climate characterized by chilly cold mornings and evenings and mostly sunny days. Between March and June, most parts of India experience dry, dusty and unpleasant weather which is followed by monsoons that begin in June and lasts upto September. The autumn season begins in October followed by the onset of winters November. Being a large country, there are certain climatic variations which exist between different regions which are elucidated below. Tourists are advised to plan their itinerary to India keeping in mind these pointers.
Northern Plains: April to mid-June experience a hot climate while it is almost freezing in winters between November and February. It rains heavily between June and September in this region.
Central India: Owing to its unique topography, Central India escapes the full brunt of the scorching summer heat but it rains heavily between July and September. Temperatures fall sharply in the evening during winters.
Western India: Being close to the sea, Western India experiences a moderate climate but the humidity is quite high in summers while winters are pleasant as compared to the North. Proximity to the sea, results in frequent rainfall all throughout the year.
South-West: Humidity is quite high in South-West India during summers and the region experiences monsoons between April and July. The most pleasant weather is between November to March.
South-East: States like Tamil Nadu experiences the retreating monsoon season between October and November. Overall the temperature and humidity remains high all throughout the year in this region.
North-East: Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the North-Eastern States, experience heavy rains all year long as the rain –bearing clouds from the Bay of Bengal collide with the imposing Himalayan mountain ranges resulting in moderate to heavy rainfall from January to December.
Find the latest airfares and discounted offers on flights to India operating from UK.
Preferred Airlines to India from UK
Jet Airways | Air India | British Airways | Emirates | Lufthansa | Etihad Airways | Qatar Airways | Gulf Air | Oman Air | Virgin Atlantic | Kuwait Airways
Travel Tips for holidays in India
- Many parts of the country experience extreme weather conditions both in summers as well as winters. Research the internet before booking flights to India.
- Although the country is largely considered to be safe for tourists, travellers should exercise caution before venturing into places which have for long been marred by the unrest, riots, terrorist attacks and insurgency. Check out the FCO’s advice with respect to the same.
- Consult your GP and get all the important immunizations and vaccinations couple of months before you travel. Many parts of the country including the cities of tourist interest are known to have standards for hygiene and food far less than those observed in the western countries.
- The country has not been able to free itself from the clutches of Malaria, so carry the necessary medication along.
- Getting hospitalised in India is one thing no tourist would want. However, in case you do land up in one, ensure that its one of the renowned hospitals.
- Hotels in India offer a wide range of choice. Check the details of the hotel on the internet or ask for advice before booking a cheap hotel in a remote area.
- While at the destination, leave your important and valuable belongings at the place of stay if you feel it is safe to do so. Most tourist spots in India witness incidents of pick pocketing and snatching.
- Always carry a copy of your passport or any other form of identification proof while travelling in India or any other foreign destination.
- For more travel tips on travelling in India or India travel advice, check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website’s following link: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia-oceania/india
India: A Brief Etiquette Guide
India being a culturally conservative country, expects its visitors to adhere to certain established cultural code of conduct. Though it is not possible to list out all the norms and etiquettes that a guest is expected to follow, as a foreigner you can find your way through by observing the habits and mannerisms followed by others.
Indians are, in general, very warm and friendly towards foreigners and even if you err in your social interactions, it will be ignored with a smile. However, keep the following things in mind, once you land in India:-
- ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’ is the most common greeting and is said with joined palms held near the heart and a slight bow of head.
- Shaking hands is a common way of greeting in India, but keep in mind that Indian women do not always prefer to shake hands with men. Wait for them to extend their hand.
- In most households, you will have to take off your shoes before entering the house. This practice is strictly followed in all the places of worships such as temples, mosques and gurudwaras across the country.
- In India, hierarchy is most important so, greet the eldest or the senior most person first.
- Most Indian food is eaten by hands, for some dishes you would require a tablespoon and fork.
- Food is often served in a particular order with the guest of honour being served first. Women typically serve the men and eat later.
- In any lunch or dinner you attend, leave a small amount of food on your plate which indicates that you are satisfied. Finishing all your food means that you are still hungry.