India Travel Guide
India is the classic destination in Asia for the western traveller looking for the exotic, with a culture teaming with vibrant and sometimes otherworldly sensibilities, from the still crazy psychedelic to the remnants of stuffy colonialism and British Empire, a plethora of colourful flora and fauna, outstanding beaches and the glitz of Bollywood!
India has a mainly tropical climate with four seasons:
January and February
March, April and May
- Monsoon Season
June, July, August and September.
- Post Monsoon Season
October through November and December.
Due to India's diverse geography, various areas are prone to high humidity, flooding, draught, tropical hurricanes and monsoons.
India has a rather creative transport system that is not known for either its punctuality or reliability of services, which are often delayed extensively and in some cases cancelled altogether, so try to allow yourself plenty of time to get to any destination!
Busses are available throughout India and range from overcrowded service busses to private luxury busses that require booking in advance. Road travel is generally not considered to be that safe due to the uneven road surfaces and erratic driving culture and so long distance travel can be more comfortable by train.
There are a large network of train services that run several services throughout India and which are operated by Indian Railways.
There are plenty of bicycle hire shops available and it is worth trying the bike before you hire it. The main roads in the cities and large towns are generally extremely chaotic but cycling on the quieter back lanes is a wonderful way to take in much of the scenery.
Traffic drives on the left hand side and the driving culture is often erratic and with little regard to traffic law and driving is therefore not advised. In order to hire a car you will need an International Driving Licence and in most cases be over 25 years of age. There are rental agencies at many of the airports and major towns and cities. Another alternative is to hire a car with a driver which can be a great option due to their knowledge of the local area and experience with the nature of the traffic.
Rickshaws and Auto Rickshaws are a common and often cheap means of transport in many of the urban areas.
Most international visitors will enter via one of India's four main International Airports; Indira Gandhi International Airport,New Delhi. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. Netaji Subhash Chandra Basu International Airport, Anna International Airport, Kolkata and Chennai.
The cuisine in India is colourful, diverse, rich in spices and in some cases extremely hot due to the love of chillies. Vegetarian food is widely found and there is a bountiful supply of fruits such as mangoes, bananas, oranges, pineapple, coconut, apricots and peaches. The meats most widely used are chicken and mutton, the use of pork is not popular due to the Muslim religion.
Different regions have there own specialities; in the south the use of rice, fish, coconut and pulses are used to create dishes such as the curry Sambhar, the vegetable dish Avial, rice pancakes called Dosa. To the east, fish and rice dishes such as the fish curry known as Maccher Jhol are popular. Cuisine in the west is known for its vegetarian dishes such as Dhokla, Shrikand, Undhiu Kand Na Bhajia. To the north you will find a variety of breads such as naan and chapatti and several dishes are well spiced and make use of lentils, vegetables and rice such as the lentil curry Daal and Tandoori chicken.
India Shopping Guide
From markets to shopping malls, India has it all. Delhi is well known for its street markets such as Dilli Haat and the vast Chandni Chowk shopping district where you can obtain a wide range of goods from antique furniture to beautiful fabrics and homewares If your a lover of shopping malls then head for Delhi's Citywalk or to the many shopping malls in Mumbai.
Carved products made of wood, stone and marble are often of excellent quality and can be found throughout much of India as well as jewelry which is also beautifully made and often found at its best in cities such as Delhi. Street vendors will expect you to haggle as the price is often set much higher than it should be, so it is a good idea to have a really good shop around for the item you are looking for as quality and price will vary, alternatively ask someone who you trust what a reasonable value of the item would be.
Regional Travel Guide To India
India has a diverse landscape and built environment, somewhat resembling a continent in its own right, with three distinct coasts, the worlds most impressive mountain range to the north and a huge central plateau, covering everything from cold high altitude and drought ridden desert to tropical rainforest and savannah...
India has some incredibly beautiful and tranquil beaches that offer perfect conditions for swimming, snorkeling and watersport activities. Some of the most popular beach areas in India are at Goa, Maharashtra, Chennai, Orissa and Kerala... more about the Best Beaches in India
India is a real adventure playground and offers great opportunities to really enjoy many of India's natural resources with activities such as skiing, mountaineering, trekking, mountain biking, river rafting and safaris... more about India Adventure Travel
There are simply hundreds of religious festivals, fairs and events taking place throughout the year all over India... more about India Festivals and Events 2013-2014
India Travel Tourist Attractions Guide
India has a wealth of history and culture that has been beautifully preserved in several attractions, in particular several Palaces and Forts, below is a glimpse of some of the most popular and well visited attractions of India:
India Deserts of The Central Deccan Plateau Travel
The area that makes up the Deserts of the Central Deccan Plateau is a large plateau that is nestled between the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats and the Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges in the south of India... more about Deserts of the Central Deccan Plateau
- Khajuraho Temples
There are around 20 Hindu and Jain Temples
located on this vast site which are all intricately carved both inside and out and display scenes of an erotic nature... more about Khajuraho Temples
- Jog Falls
Also known as Gerusoppe Falls this is the tallest plunge waterfall in India and incredibly impressive during the monsoon season... more about Jog Falls
- Keshava Temple
The Keshava Temple has been ornately carved inside and out and features several excellent sculptures that have been beautifully preserved throughout... more about Keshava Temple
- Mysore Palace
A beautiful palace located in the city of Mysore which contains excellent architecture and interior design... more about Mysore Palace
- Borra Caves
It is here that you will discover many stalagmite and stalactite formations as well as the important Lingam of the Lord Shiva... more about the Borra Caves
- Elephanta Caves
Located on Elephant Island the Elephanta caves have been intricately hewn out rock and contain several impressive pillars, sculptures, carvings and shrines... more about the Elephanta Caves
East Coast of India and The Bay Of Bengal Travel
The east coast is positioned alongside the Bay of Bengal which is the largest Bay in the World and the Eastern Ghats mountain range, the whole area is rich in natural habitat and wildlife... more about East Coast And The Bay Of Bengal
- Jagannath Temple
A vast complex of structures containing several shrines dedicated to the Hindu god Jagannath... more about Jagannath Temple
- Konark Temple
Also known as the Black Pagoda the Sun Temple
is beautifully carved on both the exterior and interior and was designed to look like the Sun god Surya's chariot... more about Konark Temple.
- Udayagiri And Khandagiri Caves
Udayagiri Khandagiri Caves are sited opposite each other and contain several inscriptions, carvings and statues... more about Udayagiri And Khandagiri Caves
Indian Empires Of The North Travel
The area that makes up the Empires of the North was largely shaped by the Mughal Empire who's architectural styles and structures still live on and continue to impresses today... more about the Empires of the North
- Humayan's Tomb
This impressive tomb was commissioned by Hamida Banu Begum who was Humayan's wife... Humayan's Tomb
- Red Fort
The Red Fort is an impressive display of Mughal architecture and was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
and has several structures inside such as the Diwan-i-khaas assembly hall... more about the Red Fort
- Tughlaqabad Fort
The Fort was built by Ghiyath ud-din Tughlaq as a means of defense against the Mongols and would of originally been a vast complex, although it lies mostly in ruins today... more about Tughlaqabad Fort
- Agra Fort
Also known as the Red Fort Of Agra this impressive Fort is essentially a walled city steeped with history and several
superb structures... more about Agra Fort
- Taj Mahal
India's most well known and inspiring monument that
was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal... more about Taj Mahal
Golden Triangle if India Travel
One of the most popular ways to explore India is via the Golden Triangle where Delhi, Agra and Jaipur are visited and you will find some of the most culturally rich areas, filled with immense history and superb architecture... more about the Golden Triangle
The city of Delhi is well known for its history and culture and contains buildings such as Lotus Temple, Red Fort and Humayan's Tomb... more about Delhi
- Agra Fort
The enormous walled city is also known as the Red Fort of Agra and has several important structures within its walls... more about Agra Fort
- Taj Mahal
India's most famous landmark was built for Mumtaz Mahal who was the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
and who died shortly after giving birth to their 14th child... more about the Taj Mahal
- Hawa Mahal
The Hawa Mahal Palace in Jaipur was designed to look like a crown and has a wonderful facade
full of enclosed balconies containing stone lattice work... more about the Hawa Mahal
- Jantar Mantar Observatory
An impressive collection of astrological instruments built on a grand scale and still in good working order... more about the Jantar Mantar Observatory
- City Palace
City Palace is a vast complex superbly decorated inside an out
and is a wonderful example of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture... more about City Palace
Himalayan Foothills of India Travel
The Himalayan Foothills are situated in the north of India and follow the lower ranges of the Himalayan mountain range, which features superb scenery, rugged landscapes, lush green valleys, dense forests and plenty of Hill Stations... more about the Himalayan Foothills
- Amarnath Temple
This important cave temple
contains a shrine to the Hindu god Shiva and is a very popular pilgrimage site... more about Amarnath Temple
- Dal Lake
Covering an area of around 18 square kilometers
this urban lake is well known for the beautiful Mughal Gardens that surround it... more about Dal Lake
- Corbett National Park
Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and is known for its natural beauty and wild Tiger population... more about Corbett National Park
Kerala and The South Coast of India Travel
This beautiful area is positioned between the Western Ghats mountain range and the Arabian Sea and is well known for its hospitality, superb beaches, dense forests, wildlife preserves and plenty of attractions... more about Kerala and the South Coast
- Shore Temple
The beautifully carved Shore Temple is located along with several other structures at Mahabalipuram which also contains rock cut temples known as Rathas which are unique to the area... more about Shore Temple
North Eastern India Travel
This is one of the more rural areas of India that has plenty of natural habitat and is well known for its bountiful supply of wildlife, waterfalls, lakes and green vegetation... more about North Eastern India
- Tawang Monastery
The monastery is a vast complex that contains many areas of interest such as the library and a very large gilded statue of Lord Buddha... more about Tawang Monastery
The Plains Travel
The Plains is a vast area that is steeped with heritage and culture and considered to be heart of the country... more about the The Plains
- Golden Temple
This stunning golden Temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib Gurdwara
and is an incredibly spiritual and sacred site... more about the Golden Temple
- Mahabodhi Temple
This impressive temple is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists as it is located where Buddha obtained his enlightenment whilst sat under the Bodhi Tree... more about the Mahabodhi Temple
Mumbai, Goa and The West Coast of India Travel
Mumbai, Goa and the West coast contains some of India's best beaches and lies inbetween the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats... more about Mumbai, Goa and the West Coast
- Gateway Of India
The Gateway Of India is a superb monument which stands dominating the waterfront, ready to greet those who arrive by water... more about the Gateway Of India
- Marine Drive
Marine Drive is a C shaped boulevard which gently curves around the naturally formed bay in Mumbai and links with the popular beach called Girgaum Chaupati... more about Marine Drive
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Located on the outskirts of Mumbai, the park offers a wide range of flora and fauna as well as the interesting Kanheri Caves... more about Sanjay Gandhi National Park
- Chapora Fort
Built to protect against the Hindu raiders,
the Fort is excellently positioned with commanding views in all directions... more about Chapora Fort
- Mehrangarh Fort
The impressive Fort is also known as the Sun Fort and stands in a commanding position overlooking the city of Jodhpur and contains several structures, galleries and ornately decorated period rooms... more about the Mehrangarh Fort
- Modhera Sun Temple
A unique site dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Lord Surya, that contains several important structures such as the Surya Kund that have been carefully carved upon... more about the Modhera Sun Temple
- Somnath Temple
Considered to be the most sacred of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines to be found in India, the temple is an important pilgrimage site for Hindu's and contains beautiful carvings throughout and has a rich and colourful history... more about Somnath Temple