India lies between 8° 4' and 37° 6' north and 68° 7' and 97° 25' east thus placing it entirely in the northern hemisphere. The aerial distance from north to south is about 3,214 km and between east to west it is nearly 2,933 km. It has land periphery of about 15,200 km and covers an area of 3,287,590 sq. km (1,269,346 sq miles). In terms of area the country encloses, it stands as the seventh largest country in the world. The vast coastline of the country including mainland and islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar is 7,516.6 km.
The Great Himalayan Mountain Range secures most of the northern boundaries of India and separates it from Tibet and China. Two small independent countries of Nepal and Bhutan also border India in this northern mountain belt. Pakistan is situated on the western side and Bangladesh and Myanmar on the eastern border of India. Pakistan shares the Thar Desert and Punjab Plain with India. A vast stretch of densely forested and mountainous stretch of the Kachin Hills and Chin Hills lie between India and Myanmar which is also the separating border between the two countries. Similarly, bordered with Bangladesh it is mainly separated by the presence of the Mizo and Khasi Hills along with the water bodies of the Indo- Gangetic Plains.
The country can be divided into five distinct geographic regions: the Himalayan region in the north, the Gangetic Plain in the middle, the plateau region in the south and central part, the Thar dessert, and the costal plains and the islands lying in the Indian ocean and Arabian sea. In the northern Himalayan Mountain range Kangchenjunga on the border between the Indian state of Sikkim and Nepal is the highest peak measuring 8,598 metres. It is also the third highest peak in the world. The Himalayas in the north along with the Hindu Kush range and the Patkai ranges form a great arc. This arc of mountains acts as a natural front for the descending chilling polar winds.
The Gangetic Plain is formed from the river systems of the Indus and Ganges .Many rivers in the mainstream river system of the Indus and Ganges run parallel to the Himalayan Range, right from Kashmir in the west to Assam in the east, and irrigate most of the northern and eastern plains of India. Parallel to the Gangetic plain the Thar Desert is located on the western part of India stretching from the state of Rajasthan to some parts of Gujarat. The Thar Desert is the seventh largest desert in the world.
In the middle area of the country are the Deccan and Malwa Plateaus. The Malwa plateau spans over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, the average height of which is 500 meters, and the topography of the land slopes towards the northern side. The average elevation of the Deccan Plateau is two thousand feet above sea level. The surface slopes from three thousand feet in the west to fifteen hundred feet in the east. The plateau gently slopes from the west to east and gives rise to several peninsular rivers of south India such as the Godavari, the Krishna, the Kaveri and the Mahanadi which drain into the Bay of Bengal.
A vast stretch of land lies between the Bay of Bengal and the mountains of the Eastern Ghats. This stretch is known as the Eastern Coastal Plain which extends from West Bengal in the eastern part of India to the coastal plains of Tamil Nadu in the southern India. The Coastal regions have typically hot and humid weather conditions. The Western Coastal Plain is a narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, It extends from Gujarat in the north and extends through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, and Kerala.
One of the island parts of India - the islands of Lakshadweep - lie about three hundred kilometers off the coast of Kerala in the Arabian sea and consists of twelve atolls, three reefs, and five submerged banks, with a total of about 35 islands and islets. Similarly, lying in the Bay of Bengal near the Burmese coast the other Island parts of India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, consist of 572 isles.
Bird species exists in India.
species of fishes are found in India.
Largest subtropical desert in the world is in India.
of the Tigers in the world exists in India.
percent of plant biodiversity in the world is found in India.
species of flowering plants are found in India.
Visiting Leh Ladakh can be a great experience as these places have a lot of natural beauty. There are a number of attractions in Leh Ladakh that are filled with extreme pristine beauty, the list is inclusive of well- known ancient monasteries, other religious sites, palaces of the royalty, various gompas, mountain peaks, wildlife safaris, adventure activity spots and much more. Ladakh with a unique characteristic that is a blend of Indian, Tibetan as well as Buddhism linings make it a place which is worth paying a visit to.This beautiful hilly region, every year, is visited by a large number of local as well as foreign tourists. It is both a popular summer as well as a winter holiday destination. Its untouched beauty, snow-clad mountain peaks, lush greenery and secluded spots attract a lot of honeymooners too. That is not all. With the range of adventure activities that it has to offer such as trekking, mountain biking, rafting, mountaineering and so on, it is well-known amidst adventure enthusiasts too. Leh Palace,Stock Palace,Hall of Fame,Shanti Stupa,Jama Masjid,Temso Fort,Shankar Monastry,Tiger Hill,Pangong TSO Lake,Taglang La Pass,Likir Gompa are the places of attraction in Leh-Laddakh.
Kalimpong is a small hill station situated in the northern part of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. This town is beautifully blessed with some of the most breath-taking mountains, gardens and lakes and is often regarded as a paradise for nature lovers. From unlimited adventure options, to mesmerizing views of the mountains with delicious local food, historical temples and monasteries, Kalimpong offers many tourist spots for the visitors. A significant number of tourists also visit this town, for its mouth-watering Chinese food and local merchandise, which are available on road side shops all over the city. It is often said that every building or monument of Kalimpong has got an interesting story attached with it and is backed with a rich history and culture. The main places of tourist attraction in Kalimpong are- Deolo Hill, Dr. Graham's Home, Kalimpong Cactus Nursery, Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Gompa and Crockety.
The Taj Mahal looms like a fairy tale from the banks of the Yamuna River. It has a rich history dating back to 1630 AD and is actually a tomb that contains the body of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He had it built as an ode to his love for her. It's made out of marble and took 22 years and 20 000 workers to complete. The designs of this structure incorporate Persian and Mughal architecture. The highlight of the structure is the tomb which is a large structure made completely of marble. There is a dome made of marble that surmounts this region. It is spectacularly designed.The exterior decorations are as impressive as the interiors and are consistent with the surface area and the proportionality of the designs is meticulously planned and executed. Paint was the chief constituent for the decorations.
Agra Fort is one of the finest Mughal forts in India. It was originally a brick fort that was held by a clan of Rajputs. However, it was subsequently captured by the Mughals and rebuilt by Emperor Akbar, who decided to shift his capital there in 1558. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna River, this fort and the Taj form a unity of monuments. Both structures complement each other given that they are in the same vicinity. You can enter the fort through the Delhi or Amar Singh Gates. The bigger entrance is the former. As you go in the fort complex through the Delhi gate, you approach the inner portal. Also called the Hathi Pol this entrance is a magnificent one..The whole complex has intricate carvings and most structures inside are made of pure marble. The influence of Indo-Muslim art is strong in these surroundings.
Listed among the World Heritage Sites,Fatehpur Sikri ranks among the mostly visited spots in India. Situated at an easy distance from the city of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Fatehpur Sikri is an important specimen of the Mughal dynasty. By going for tours to this historical site, you can get a feel of the rich historical culture of medieval Mughal India .Fatehpur Sikri was made the political capital of the Mughal Empire by Emperor Akbar from the period of 1571 to 1585. The capital was later shifted to the city of Agra. There are majestic buildings built by Akbar in Fatehpur Sikri. There is a fort in the site which is a blend of Mughal and Persian architecture. The ideal time for undertaking tours to Fatehpur Sikri is between the months of November and February. The weather is this part of the year is pleasant with sunny skies and little rainfall. Fatehpur Sikri is also well accessible as it is well connected with other parts of the country. The nearest airport is located in Agra. By roadways, Fatehpur Sikri is connected with Delhi, Jaipur and other places.
Fatehpur Sikri is considered as one of the architectural legacies of Emperor Akbar. It consists of beautiful palaces, halls, and mosques. Some of the major monuments in Fatehpur Sikri are: Buland Darwaza, Diwan-i-Khas- Hall, Panch Mahal, Jodha Bai Bhawan , Birbal Bhawan, Diwan-i-Aam and Karawan Sera.
The smallest Union Territory of India, 'Lakshadweep', typically accessed from Kochi (Kerala) ,is a group of beautiful islands, located some 400km off India's west coast into the Arabian Sea. However, there are only 36 islands having a total area of 32 sq. kilometers. It's made up of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. Ten Islands are inhabited. Perhaps the charm of Lakshadweep islands lies in their remoteness. Far off the beaten track, they attract no hordes of merry makers to their shores. Or perhaps it is the beauty of the islands densely covered with coconut palms, and threaded by an unbroken line of creamy sand; each island serenely set in a sea whose waters range from palest aquamarine and turquoise to deepest sapphire and lapis lazuli. Yet again, may be the unique charm of Lakshadweep lies in the fact that each island, a tiny principality in itself, has existed from time immemorial, with little influence from the outside world. The islands, though all equally mystical and beautiful, each offers a unique blend of tourist spots. Some islands have been promoted for diving and water sports, still, others have been developed so that people enjoy the charm of relaxation and natural enjoyment.
Goa is the Western coastal state of India associated most with touristy beaches, a happening nightlife and over 300-year old Portuguese architecture. Visibly different from the rest of the country, Goa has characteristic colourful houses, lush green fields and a soothing languidness in the atmosphere. The charming villages of Goa are ideal for a laidback morning walk or an aimless evening stroll. With its 131-km-long coastline, Goa is an important destination in every tourist's itinerary.Sun, sand and sea being the major attractions, Goa is a perfect heaven for the ones who need and want relaxation.Goa is one of India's special places, a State seemingly blessed with fabulous weather, even more fabulous beaches, delightful people, good food, hill-top forts, little white-washed churches, soaring Portuguese-era cathedrals, a unique cultural legacy-small wonder, therefore, that Goa is one of India's prime holiday destinations. Goa has an impressive infrastructure of hotels and beach resorts, restaurants and bars, which cater to all price ranges, from top-notch 5-star luxury, to hippy flop-shops.
The celebrated "Pink City" and renowned capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh ll on 18th November 1727. This Royal place is famed for its heritage, culture and architecture. The capital turns out to be an ultimate tourist destination due to its royal palaces, peaceful temples and striking havelis. Other than royal attractions, Jaipur displays beautiful handicrafts and fabulous jewelry.Tours to Jaipur in Rajasthan India mainly involves visit to the numerous forts, palaces, havelis and temples and various other landmarks that testifies the grandeur of past of the city. The must visit places in Jaipur are City Palace and S.M.S. ll Museum, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Jaigarh Fort, Amer, Nahargarh Fort, Central Mueseum, Birla Planetarium, Laxmi Narayan Temple and Kanak Vrindavan.
Along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism. Not only does it attract domestic travelers, Jaipur is often an important stopover for foreign tourists. Jaipur also serves as a stepping stone for those who want to travel to the interiors of Rajasthan. Whether it is the majestic Jodhpur or Jaisalmer, the desert city of Rajasthan or quite simply the lesser-known Shekhawati region, Jaipur serves as a starting point for all these places and more. So far, traveling within Rajasthan was restricted to road and rail. However starting September 2016, Rajasthan's three major airports (at Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur) will be connected by flights.
Jaisalmer, the desert town, is carpeted with golden sand. Bold Rajasthani attires and the yellow landscape of the city form a distinctive contrast. Where camels are seen in abundance, where an iconic hill-fort stands above the city with imposing walls, where you can find the best examples of par-brilliance inscriptions; it's Jaisalmer. There is no wonder why this beauty has been acclaimed as one of Rajasthan's top tourist attraction. Talking about its most priced property, Jaisalmer Fort is built from yellow sandstone that complements the deserted backdrops. In the presence of sunlight, especially during sunset and sunrise, the fort looks exceptionally magnificent.
Encircled with imposing walls, Jaisalmer Fort is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as one of the 'Hill-forts of Rajasthan'. The Jain Temples are yet another reason to place Jaisalmer in the top of your priority list. Almost every inch of these temples have been adorned with immaculate carvings that are sure a treat to the eyes.This otherwise deserted land is modernized and has a beautiful lake to spend time in during the sunset. Formerly used as a major water source, Gadsisar Lake is flecked with the ruins of temples and shrines. Jaisalmer Fort, during the Desert Festival gets flocked by myriad of visitor. The festival is celebrated in the month of February; snake charmers, puppeteers, folk performer and acrobats steal the show. Jaisalmer is all about heritage, grandeur, simplicity, culture; and magnificence in all of that.
Located approximately 150 kilometers from Jaipur, the Ranthambore National Park is one of the popular national parks in India in the incredible state of Rajasthan.Ranthambore National Park, which is also home to the ancient ruins of the Ranthambore Fort lies in Sawai Madhopur District connected with major cities of Rajasthan state and Located at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya hill range.The park covers an area of Approximately 400 sq Km and if combined it with the area of sawai man singh sanctuary area,it is around 500 Sq km.Ranthambore National Park is dotted with structures that remind you of bygone eras.There are many water bodies located all over the park, which provide perfect relief during the extremely hot summer months for the forest inhabitants.Tigers at Ranthambore National park have been known to even hunt in full view of human visitors. These tigers are famous for being seen in the daytime too, due to their lack of fear of human presence in vehicles. This lack of fear of humans is excellent for tourists, as they get to see the tigers often. Apart from its tigers, Ranthambore boasts a healthy population of spotted chital deer, nilgai, jackal, jungle cats, sambar, chinkara gazelle and wild pigs, as well as the slightly rarer sloth bear.This National park is a wildlife enthusiast and photographer's dream. It offers excellent accommodation and internal transportation facilities. The park remains open every year from October to May.
Home to several animal, bird and plant species, the Jim Corbett National Park in the foothills of the Kumaon Himalaya is one of the refreshing and thrilling winter escapes in North India. The breathtaking environment of hills, waterfalls, rivulets and dense forest teeming with many rare species of plants simply makes it a haven for naturalists. It is the oldest national park in India and is also the first Tiger Reserve. The Jim Corbett National Park is spread over an area of 521 square kilometers and is home to several animal species like tiger, leopards, jungle cat, fishing cat, leopard cat, barking deer, sambar deer, hog deer and chital, Sloth and Himalayan black bears, Indian grey mongoose, otters, yellow-throated martens, Himalayan goral, Indian pangolins, and langur and Rhesus macaques. Amongst the bird species the crested serpent eagle, blossom-headed parakeet and the red jungle fowl are the major attractions. During the winter season the Jim Corbett National Park becomes one of the busiest wildlife safari zones in India. Thousands of wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world pay a visit to get hold of the lush green laden wilderness on their wildlife safari tour in Jim Corbett National Park.
Situated on the south-western coast of India, Alappuzha is also known by its anglicized name Alleppey. Gifted with immense natural beauty, Alappuzha's backwaters have been the mainstay of Kerala's tourism. Alappuzha port used to be one of the busiest trade centers and traded with the Persian Gulf regions and even Europe. Close to Alappuzha lies Kuttanad, the 'Granary of Kerala', where farming is done below sea level. In early 20th Century, the then British Viceroy Lord Curzon, while visiting Alappuzha, was fascinated by its scenic beauty and declared it as the Venice of the East. Alappuzha, whose foundations were laid by Travancore's Dewan Raja Kesava Das in the second half of 18th century, had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome. Even travelers like Pliny and Ptolemy have mentioned about places in Alappuzha in their works. It was because of the efforts and foresight of Raja Kesava Das, who constructed roads and canals to improve transportation, that Alappuzha became a premier port town. Alappuzha offers an array of lodging and boarding options to choose from. Being the capital of backwater tourism, no trip can be complete without a stay in the houseboats. These uniquely designed houseboats have AC as well as Non-AC single, double or triple bedrooms.
The south-west state of India, Kerala is one of the major tourist destinations in the country with its silvery coast, serpentine backwaters, coconut grove swaying to the south-west wind and Western Ghats covered in aromatic spice and tea plantation. There is no dearth of places to see in Kerala and Munnar is one such place. Located at about 5,200 ft above the sea level, Munnar is a beautiful hill station in the district of Idukki, Kerala. Once the summer resort for the British, Munnar is known for its pleasant climate and pristine beauty. The rolling hills covered in mist intersected by the winding road, the dark emerald green coloured plantation and the few lone houses in midst of it will instantly make you fall in love with this place. Munnar is a very popular destination among the honeymooners. It is also an ideal place for nature lovers, wildlife lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. You can indulge in boating, trekking and paragliding. Munnar is the perfect place to hang your shoes and just soak in the calm and relaxing atmosphere. People flock to this place to see the lush greenery and the sprawling tea plantation. Other interesting places to visit in Munnar include Chinnar, Thattekad and Eravikulam wildlife sanctuaries. These protected areas are home to many of the endemic and threatened species like the grizzled giant squirrel, the sambar, the gaur, elephants, Niligiri langur, the Nilgiri wood-pegion and Nilgiri Thar. The valley is also famous for the Neelakurinju flowers that bloom once in 12 years. During this time, the valleys and hills get blanketed by the purple-blue blooms. Here is a list of some of the attractions in and around Munnar.
Madurai is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of south India. Situated on the banks of Vaigai river in Tamil Nadu, the city is known for its Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. Apart from being a pilgrim town, a popular tourist destination, a cultural hotspot and the erstwhile capital of the Pandyan dynasty Madurai is also known for its food, cuisine, architecture, shopping and endearing people. Madurai's recorded history goes back to the 3rd century BC as It is mentioned by Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to India as well as Kautilya. The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is the geographical center and the fulcrum around which the daily life of the locals revolve. Festivals of Madurai are popular and attract a lot of visitors. Meenakshi Tirukalyanam, the 10-day annual festival celebrated during April-May, attracts over a million visitors. The Jallikattu, the game of taming angry bulls, is similar to the Pampalona Bull Run held in Spain.
Mumbai, previously known as Bombay is one of the most populous and biggest cities of Maharashtra. The sky-soaring infrastructure and roaring waves of Arabian Sea add the perfect glint to Mumbai's cityscape. Zoom in and you get inevitable hustle and bustle around every nook.You'll find pilgrims gathered to offer prayers in Haji Ali Dargah, Siddhivinayak Temple, ISKCON, Mumba Devi Temple, St. Thomas Cathedral and others. There are people shopping till they drop at Colaba, Linking Road and Fashion Street. Tourists striking pose near Gateway of India, Bombay High Court, and Band Stand etc. Mumbai is one of the most populous cities of India and surely the one developing tremendously.In spite of this brisk pace of life here, there always are beaches of Mumbai to offer you the much needed tranquility. Marine Drive and Aksa Beach, Marve Beach, Madh Island Beach and several others are ideal spots to unwind at. This is where Bollywood resides and thousands of people come to Mumbai in order to get associated with the cinema world. This is one of the reasons why Mumbai is also known as "The City of Dreams.
Depending on the purpose of your visit and nationality, you can get an online e-Tourist Visa (30 days), a visa on arrival (30 days), a tourist visa (3 months or more, depending on nationality)An Indian visa is valid from the day it is issued, not the date of entry. For example, a 6-month visa issued on January 1 will expire on June 30, regardless of your date of entry. valid for 6 months can have maximum duration of stay of 90 days per visit, depending on citizenship. It's wise to ask for a multiple entry visa even if you aren't planning to use it - they cost the same, are handed out pretty liberally and come in handy if you decide last minute to dip into one of the neighboring countries.
Government of India has introduced e-Tourist Visa Facility (eTV) scheme for the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands,Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
The eTV is allowed for a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility by the Immigration Officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Goa airports. eTV is allowed for a maximum of two times in a calendar year to a foreigner with a minimum gap of two months between two visits. eTV shall be non-extendable and non-convertible.
The foreigners of above mentioned countries may avail of eTV for a period up to 30 days for tourism, medical treatment, casual business or to visit friends/relatives, etc. The eTV facility is not applicable to the holders of Diplomatic/Official Passports. Further, eTV shall not be granted to the foreigners who have permanent residence or occupation in India. Such persons can visit India on normal visa, as applicable.
The documents required for Tourist Visa On Arrival are:
The photograph to be uploaded should be in JPEG Format, size should be minimum 10 KB and must not exceed 1 MB.
India is home to an extraordinary variety of weather conditions depending on the climatic regions. Climatic regions range from tropical in the south to temperate and alpine in the Himalayan north, where elevated regions receive sustained winter snowfall. The nation's climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert. The Himalayas, along with the Hindu Kush mountains, prevent cold Central Asian Katabatic winds from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes. Simultaneously, the Thar Desert plays a role in attracting the moisture-laden southwest summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall. Though the Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle of India, the bulk of the country can be regarded as climatically tropical.
The climate of India comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a vast geographic scale and varied topography, making generalisations difficult. Based on the Köppen system, India hosts six major climatic subtypes, ranging from arid desert in the west, alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, and humid tropical regions supporting rainforests in the southwest and the island territories. Many regions have starkly different microclimates. The nation has four seasons: summer (March, April and May), a monsoon rainy season (June to September), a post-monsoon period (October to November). And winter (December, January and February)
Summer Season: Summer in north India is really hot. The temperature in the Indian sub-continent starts rising from March onwards. The Earth comes closer to the Sun and the months corresponding to these changes are from mid-March to June. The wide stretch of land mass in north India gets heated by the direct sunrays falling on the surface and also because of close proximity with the Sun as an astronomical phenomenon. Greater distance from a water body like a sea or ocean also does not help in moderating the heat. The average temperature during this period is around 32-40°C (90-104°F), rising to 50 degrees Celsius in some places.
Rainy Season: Due to changes in global wind direction and the hot stretch of land masses in the sub-continent, wind starts blowing from the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, confronts high hills and changes its direction to blow towards northeastern India from a southwesterly direction and so the name – southwest monsoon. The southwest summer monsoon, a four-month period when massive convective thunderstorms dominate India's weather, is Earth's most productive wet season. Since, the wind blows over the ocean, it picks up moisture and brings rainfall to the plains.
Post-Monsoon: The period succeeding the Monsoon is distinct from the geographical point of view as there is considerable change in the wind direction and climatic conditions. This period is termed the Post-monsoon season and falls roughly between the months of October to December. The weather is pleasant and cool during this period from October to December. This is the period when the earlier wind direction during the monsoon season turns exactly opposite, i.e. the south-west monsoon winds changes its direction to a north-east wind. This is the reason it is called the time of the "retreating monsoon". The wind blowing from the north-east to south-west direction brings with it dry and cool air from Central Asia. The sky becomes cloudless and little or no precipitation occurs. This signifies the onset of dry climatic conditions and prepares the stage for the winters to come. In north and north-western India, people start enjoying the season as there are a number of festivals lined up one after another.
Winter Season: After September, this is the time when astronomical changes take place and direct sunrays of the Sun start falling south of the Tropic of Cancer while the north side receives slanted rays having less heat of the Sun. Also, due to the end of the rainy season, there is much moisture and coolness in the air which adds to the dropping of the temperature. After the rainy season and downpour of precipitation, most of the heated land is quenched and cools off. The temperature of the mainland starts falling across India. The fall in temperature is measured to be about 0.6 °C (1.08 °F) per degree of latitude due north. The coldest months in India are December and January, when temperatures drop to an average of around 10-15°C (50-59°F) in the northern part of the country including north-west and north-east India. However, the average temperatures are higher in the eastern and southern parts of India due to the vicinity to the sea, where they are recorded to be around 20–25 °C (68–77 °F). The temperature in the southern part of India is comparatively moderate and less harsh. The winters are an ideal time to visit India as one can experience both temperate and tropical climate during this time in the same country.
India has major International airports known as Gateway Airports in all of its four major cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata The airports at these cities are either new or undergoing development. Delhi has unveiled its brand new international Terminal 3, and is one of the largest in the world. Mumbai's swanky new Terminal 2 (T2) was inaugurated last year. The other major entry points in the country are Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Kochi. There are many non-stop, direct and connecting choices to these cities from Europe, North America, Middle East and Australia. Africa is also connected to Delhi and Mumbai.
From the United States, United Airlines offers nonstop daily service to Delhi and Mumbai; Air India offers daily non-stop service to Delhi and Mumbai from New York and Chicago. Various European airlines offer connecting service through their European hubs from most major US cities and various Asian airlines offer connecting service from West Coast cities to India through their Asian hubs. Jet Airways also flies from New York to Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai via Brussels.
Entries from Europe and North America are possible using many European airlines such as Lufthansa, Finnair, British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France and Virgin Atlantic. Connecting from the Gulf countries one can fly through Air Arabia, Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Air India and would be the easiest way to come to India.
India has several international ports on its peninsula. Kochi, Mumbai, Goa and Chennai are the main ones handling passenger traffic, while the rest mainly handle cargo. However, due to the profusion of cheap flights, there no longer appears to be any scheduled ferry services from India to the Middle East.
Some cruise lines that travel to India include Indian Oceans, Eden II, and Grand Voyage Seychelles-Dubai.
If travelling to India overland from Pakistan there is only one border point operating between these countries and that is Wagah border post near Amritsar in the Punjab. Through this border, the train service Samjhauta Express runs from Lahore to Attari near Amritsar in the Punjab. There is one open border crossing between India and Myanmar at Moreh in Manipur, but special permits are required to reach the border from either side. The Nathu La pass in Sikkim which borders Tibet in China is the only open border crossing between India and China. For now though, only traders and pilgrims are allowed to cross the border, and it is still not open to tourists. Special permits are required to visit the pass from either side.
From Nepal buses cross the border daily via the border point of Sunauli, Jamunah, Banbasa, Jogbani, Raxaul and Kakarbhitta to the Indian cities of New Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Kolkata, Darjeeling and Varanasi.
The major post of the Indian-Bangladesh border is at Petra Pole in West Bengal about 82 km from Kolkata. Apart from that a friendship train travels across the border and is called the "Maitree Express". There are buses from Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh to Kolkata and Agartala.
The only access point by road from Bhutan is through Jaigaon in West Bengal. The Royal Bhutanese Government runs a service though this entry point between Kolkata and Phuentsholing.
In a few of the cities, metro trains or "tube trains" offer a very convenient, comfortable and cheap means of transport. There is a metro train service in Delhi to roam around the city center in a very swift and cheap way. Similarly, Kolkata also has a tram network. It moves around the city connecting the important landmarks all across the city.
The city of Mumbai has got a convenient metered taxi service followed by auto-rickshaw and a local train network. In some cities where there is no metered taxi service then hiring a car in those towns is a good option but that depends upon the places one wants to visit. If the tourist places are limited to the big towns and cities then hiring a car is recommended. In the small towns of North India auto-rickshaws are fit for local visits as they also provide a cheaper option compared to taxis and are suitable for the narrow streets of the old cities. The drivers charge according to a meter reading but many times tampered meters are used to make some extra dollars.
In most of the cities in India buses provide a cheap means to roam around. There are also various buses in terms of comfort and cost ranging from state-owned buses to air conditioned Volvo buses having reclining seats and sleepers. In fact, most places can only be reached by buses as railways are not that developed in those areas.
Hotels in India range from 5-star deluxe, 5- and 4-star hotels, which are fully air conditioned with all luxury features, 3-star hotels, which are functional and have air-conditioned rooms, to 2- and 1-star hotels, which offer basic amenities. Modern and boutique hotels also are available in all large cities and popular tourist centers. Business people are also well catered for. To experience full-on lavishness there are a number of palace hotels in Rajasthan and Shimla. Hotel services in the luxury and business range are comparable with other major cities and therefore can be very pricey particularly during tourist high season which runs from early October to February. However, even if you are not staying in 5-star hotels you can still enjoy some of the luxury by booking in a spa service or have a meal at one of the restaurants.
The currency in India is the Indian rupee and signs on the notes are named in most Indian languages, Currently-used banknotes come in denominations of 1 Rupee, 5 Rupee, 10 Rupee, 20 Rupee, 50 Rupee, 100 Rupee, 500 Rupee and 2,000 Rupee. 1 Rupee and 5 Rupee notes are less common than their coin counterparts, but they still can be found. It is always good to have a number of small notes on hand, as merchants and drivers sometimes have no change to return back. Many merchants will claim that they don't have change for big notes so It is best not to buy unless you have the exact change.
In many cities and towns, credit cards are accepted at retail chain stores and other restaurants and stores. Small businesses (including hotels and guest houses) and family-run stores almost never accept credit cards, so it is useful to keep a moderate amount of cash on hand.
ATMs are a plenty across India. Most ATMs will pay out at most 10,000 each transaction - some will pay 20,000. The State Bank of India (SBI) is the biggest bank in India and has the most ATMs, and ICICI bank has the second largest network of ATMs. International banks such as Citibank, HSBC, Deutsche Bank (part of Global ATM Alliance), RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland) and Standard Chartered have a significant presence in major Indian cities.
Electricity in India is 240 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. You will require a voltage converter if you are carrying a device that does not accept 240 Volts at 50 Hertz. Electrical power outlets in India generally accept the two round pins and three round pins arranged in a triangle.
Going to India, you have to adapt to a new climate, new food and hence some travelers to India might become slightly ill during their stay. However, with precautions the chance and severity of any illness can be minimized. Don't stress yourself too much at the beginning of your journey so as to allow your body to acclimatize to the country. For example, take a day of rest upon arrival, at least on your first visit. Many travelers get ill by wanting to do too much in too little time. Be careful with spicy food if it is not your daily diet. No vaccinations are required for entry to India, except for yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area such as Africa. Tap water is generally not considered safe for drinking at many installations, even by the local populace. However, many establishments have water filters/purifiers installed, in which case the water may be safe to drink. Packed drinking water or bottled mineral water is a better choice. It is very important to stay away from the many stray dogs and cats in India, as some of them might carry rabies. Smoking in any public place is illegal in India, compared to all states in the Southern State of Kerala, and is very strict on this as police will fine you on the spot when found smoking in public areas.