India can be called a world in its own with so much to see and get acquainted with a civilization, which is the oldest in the world. When you have come to India, you should be assured of one fact here you will find unity in diversity. Get acquainted with this culturally rich land which has got nature’s blessing in abundance. It is known to all that India is gifted with enthralling beauty of nature and has maintained rich cultural heritage. Ultimately a bulk of tourists alight on the ground of this graceful country every year.
India is a tourist’s dream come true for more reasons than one. India has the majestic Himalayas forming a crown in the north, the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean washing its shores on three sides. The Indian deserts are filled with stunning palaces, lush greenery, and placid lagoons that seem to possess magic of their own. India is noted for the hospitality of the people who speak 1,500 different languages.
On your tour to India you may visit the world’s largest delta, Sunderbans with mangrove forests and royal Bengal tigers or pay a visit to the temple city Varanasi. Explore the royal grandeur and saga of the bygone era in the palaces of Rajasthan with a stunning backdrop of the Thar Desert. You can go for scuba diving and snorkeling in the Andaman Islands and the Lakshadweep.
Tourists may be greeted in an unusual way and you may be surprised by the crowds at Pushkar or the crowded streets at the metropolis Mumbai and Kolkata. But the visit is worth it when you see the breathtaking Taj Mahal in Agra, Red Fort in Delhi or for that matter Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. You will have a lot of memories to take back home. The top destinations in India are Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur, Bangalore, Agra, Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan, and Uttaranchal, etc.
[stab name=’Getting In and Around’] One may reach India by airways and railways. India has several international airports in metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Chennai. Apart from them there are some other international airports in Bangalore, Kochi, Ahmedabad, and Amritsar. The tickets for flights from Delhi are inexpensive. For the citizens of neighboring countries flights are convenient. From Kathmandu the most convenient overland route to Delhi and other northwestern regions is Sunauli. It is wise to choose Birgang to cross the border and enter the eastern region to spend holidays in India.
India has two peninsula ports open in Mumbai and Chennai for passengers. Thus, you can also choose to travel to India via waterways. Travelers coming from Nepal or Pakistan have the convenience of trains and buses for getting here. Two trains run between India and Pakistan: the Samjhauta Express from Lahore to Attari near Amritsar in Punjab and the Thar Express from Munabao in Rajasthan to Khorapar in Pakistan. A train from Khejuri in Nepal arrives at Jaynagar in Bihar. But because of the absence of onward connection in Nepal, travelers generally take to flight or bus. Apart from railways, you may reach India by car as well. The Attari/Wagah border is the only cross border point. If you have your own car, a Carnet de Passage must be with you while crossing the border.
There are numerous choices for getting around this country. Domestic airports are scattered all over the peninsula. The most important Airlines in India are: Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara, and Alliance Air. In recent years the Government of India liberalized Indian Aviation rules for private airlines. Consequently, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, and Air Sahara are treading the overseas routes. These airlines connect more than 80 cities across the country.
India has the longest railway network. The rail lines cover an area of 63,000 km. Railway transportation is operated by Indian Railways. Rail lines connect India with its neighboring countries as well. Metro rails in metropolitan cities are a cheap and one of the best means to travel in India. Trams are frequently used to reach nearby areas.
After railway, buses are the cheap and easy mode of traveling. Bus services are provided by both private owners and the government. Buses for long distance are also available. India carries the dignity to possess a huge network of highways covering about 65,569 km. A majority of the roads are in a vehicle-friendly condition.
Vans, taxi, cars, and rickshaws are easily available to take you to various places within the city or town.
[stab name=’Leisure’]India is a wonderful mixture of various cultures and traditions. You are sure to get a glimpse of the sundry color of Indian culture during your tour to this land of sublime beauty. Strolling idly or lying on the golden or gray palmy beaches of Kerala, Mumbai, and Goa can give you the best of leisure you wish to have. Juhu and Chowpatty beaches of Mumbai are regarded as the best for leisure beach tourism. Goa also boasts some wonderful beaches such as Anjuna Beach, Calanguate Beach, Baga Beach India, and Kovalam Beach.
India is a land of festivals. So tourists can get true entertainment through the celebration of these grand festivals. Holi, a grand festival of colors, is celebrated with full enthusiasm in Mathura. The Pushkar fair of Rajasthan attracts many foreign tourists.
India boasts of rich art which includes architecture, literature, music, dance, cinema, and radio, etc. You can go to any stadium and enjoy classical dance or music performances. Besides these there are organizations such as Mahindra Club and many more which entertain their customers by organizing various events such as face paintings, storytelling, balloon toys, and treasure hunts.
If you are desirous to enjoy a hot night full of music, dance, merriment, and revelry, the best option is to go to nightclubs or pubs. Some well-known nightclubs of Bangalore are: Jockey, Styx, Athena, Tuscan Vern, DownTown, etc.
[stab name=’Places to see’]
The list of interesting places in India is endless. However, some of the must-visit places include:
Ladakh: A place where you can feel peace and contentment amid breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys.
Kashmir: The heaven on earth.
Manikaran (Himachal Pradesh): A Sikh temple with hot water springs.
Golden Temple (Amritsar): Also known as Harmandir Sahib is a Sikh Temple made of gold and is surrounded by a pool of nectar (holy water).
Haridwar: A Hindu place of worship sited on the banks of the sacred river Ganges.
Agra: A place famous for the monument of love – the Taj Mahal, and several other tourist destinations such as Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandra, Agra Fort, etc.
Rajasthan: With its royal heritage of various palaces and forts, including the Chittorgarh Fort, Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jaisalmer Fort, Keoladeo National Park, etc., the state of Rajasthan is a perfect showcase of the stately lifestyle of the Kings and Queens of the past.
Gir Forest National Park (Gujarat): Encounter Lion – the king of the forest at Gir.
Delhi: The heart of India is home to several tourist places, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid, Old Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, Iskon Temple, Lodhi Gardens, World of Wonders, etc.
Mumbai: Mumbai, the film city, is famous for the Gateway of India, Elephanta Caves, Essel World, Juhu Beach, etc.
Khajuraho temples (Madhya Pradesh): The temples associated with erotic art have a profound meaning. Explore the mysteries of these ancient temples.
Orissa (Odisha): Konark Sun Temple is a 13-century temple located in the state of Orissa. Other famous places in Odisha include Jagannath Temple, Lingaraj temple, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Dhauli, and Rajarani temple.
Follow these tips to make your tour to India a memorable one:
- Wear comfortable clothes as summers are very hot and winters are pretty cold in India.
- Even though most of the Indians speak English language, yet it is suggested to keep an English to Hindi dictionary handy. In the Northern part of India, Hindi is the second most spoken language.
- The shopkeepers levy hefty prices. Try to bargain while shopping at the local shops. In the branded showrooms, the prices are same for all.
- India has become unsafe for women. It is best to stay in groups rather than walk alone.
- Prefer to travel in private taxis or tourist buses rather than picking the local transportation as it is unsafe for tourists. Some nasty folks try to fool the tourists or make fun of them. It is best to stay away from them.
- In certain places like Goa beaches, etc., you may see vendors of various age groups selling jewelry claiming it to be real crystal, do not buy anything from them unless you are sure of the quality as most of the times it is fake. It is best to buy certified gems, etc., from reputed jewelers. The best places to buy jewelry in India are Surat (Gujarat), Kasol (Himachal Pradesh), and Hyderabad.