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India - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Visa: Ministry of External Affairs
Diplomatic representations: Indian Missions Abroad

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

Taxis and auto-rickshaws are available in large cities and fares are charged by the kilometer.

Most of the drivers can understand English, though not all can speak English.

A metro system is operational in Kolkata.

A metro system was opened in Delhi in 2004. It is spreading its network to reach sub-urban districts like NOIDA, Gurgoan and Faridabad.

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

Air routes connects over 70 cities.
There are also ships from Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai (Madras) to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands( Shipping Corporation of India). and from Kochi and Calicut to the Lakshadweep Islands.

There is a catamaran service from Mumbai (Bombay) to Goa.


The Indian internal railway system covers much of the country and is relatively inexpensive.
An extensive network of bus services connects all parts of the country.

A large number of chauffeur-driven tourist cars are available in the main tourist centers.

Rail companies: Indian Railways
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Indian Airlines National Yes Yes
Jet Airways Major Yes No
Kingfisher Airlines Low-Cost Yes No
Spice Jet Low-Cost Yes No
Go Air Low-Cost Yes No

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: One must be very cautious when driving because of the bad condition of the roads and chaotic character of the traffic.
Driving around India is not recommended. Moreover self-drive cars are not generally available in the country. It is recommended to have a licensed and experienced local driver who has a "feel" for local roads and driving conditions.
The third party insurance liability is compulsory.
Road maps: Maps of India
Find an itinerary: Make my trip

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: Delhi: testimony of the Muslim time.
Agra: testimony of the Moghols times: the Taj Mahal and the fort of Agra. The Taj Mahal, became the tourist symbol of India.
Goa: Former Portuguese enclave on the Western coast, gained its tourist reputation in the 60s, at the height of the hippy period.
Cultural: Rich cultural heritage and an element of mysticism. Various fairs and festivals: Pushkar fair, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund mela. Rajasthan, Udaipur (the most romantic city). Is famous to be the center of theater, dance, painting and art craft activities. Some Indian sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, consult the website UNESCO
Nature: Rich forest cover with some beautiful and exotic species of wildlife: Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, and Corbett National Park.

For ecotourism in India, tourists can go to places such as Kaziranga National Park, Gir National Park, and Kanha National Park.

Religious: Vaishno Devi, Golden temple, Char Dham, and Mathura Vrindavan.

Varanasi (formerly Bénarès): the holiest of the holy cities. The Indian pilgrims come to bath in the waters of the Ganges, supposed to wash all the sins. The most sacred is the Manikarnika Ghat; you will be able to attend cremations, but leave your cameras in your hotel. Go sit down in Dasawamedh Ghat to observe ablutions.

Beach: Variety of beaches : Goa, Kovalam, Puri, Mahabalipuram, and Andaman & Nicobar.
Winter sports: Winter sports in India bring out the best of adventure in Indian outdoors: Skiing, Heli-Skiing, Mountaineering, Ice Climbing etc.
Outdoor activities: Camel safaris, Rock climbing, Trekking, River Rafting, Para Gliding, Camping, Biking & Cycling, Golf.

For trekking: Ladakh, Sikkim, and Himalaya. For skiing: Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir Tourists flock to Uttranchal, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh for whitewater rafting . Visit: India Adventure.

Shopping: From the semi precious stone to a trendy leather shoe, Indian market is the ultimate destination for the shoppers around the world.
Tourism organizations: Ministry of Tourism

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: No obligatory vaccinations, but all travelers arriving from Sub-Saharan Africa or other yellow-fever areas must have évidence of vaccination against yellow fever.Vaccinations against Poliomyelitis, Meningococcal meningitis, Rabies, Cholera are recommended.
Risk of malaria exists. Other diseases like Dengue fever are present . H5N1 avian influenza has been identified among birds in this country.
Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilized. Milk should be boiled in case unpasteurized or otherwise also
For further information on sanitary conditions: The World Health Organization web pages devoted to India

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: New Delhi (GMT+5:30)
Summer time period: None
Climate: India has broadly three seasons: warm, wet and cool. Heat begins to rise in the plains of the North in February and becomes unbearable in April - May. The monsoon appear towards the end of May in the South, then heads to the North, then covers the whole country in the first week of July till the end of October. There are even some cold nights in December - January. The extreme South remains warm all year long.

Autumn and Winter are undoubtedly the best times to visit India.

Useful links:

    Eating

    Food specialties: Each region in the country has its own cuisine and style of preparation.

    Food is broadly categorized into six tastes - sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter and astringent. Side dishes and condiments are chutneys, curries, daals and Indian pickles.

    Milk-based desserts and gulab jamuns are popular.

    Drinks:

    Tea (often ready-brewed with milk and sugar unless ‘tray tea" is specified) and coffee are most widely drunk. Butter-milk (called ‘lasi’ in Hindi ) is a popular drink in the Northern parts of the country.

    All forms of alcoholic drinks including wine are easily available in the country. Large quantity of beer is produced & consumed within the country.
    Dietary taboos: The left hand is considered unclean and to use the left hand when eating or receiving food is considered vulgar and unclean.

    Hindus consider the cow as sacred and never eat beef. Muslims consider the pig unclean and never eat pork. If they are not on the menu then one would not ask for them for risk of offending the restaurateur.

    Speaking

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