Wednesday, February 10, 2021


India Flag

Why visit India?
Offers travelers ancient culture, architecture, art, beaches, caves, culture, festivals, history, monuments, museums, nightlife, plantations, religious shrines, skiing, spectator horse races, temples, theatre, vineyards, and waterfalls.

Photo Credit: Sathish Kumar Periyasamy/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Carpets, dolls, gems, musical instruments, paintings, saffron, shawls, silks, and tea.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Chaats (snacks). Dhokla (chickpea snack). Masala Dosa (rice crèpe). Rogan Josh (lamb curry). Vada Pav (potato sandwich).
  • Local Drink to Try: Assam Tea (black). Chhaang (alcohol). Feni (spirit). Hadia (rice beer). Lassi  (yogurt). Naan (flatbread). Nilgiri Tea. 

Bada Bagh Temple (Barabagh), Rajasthan, India. Photo Credit: Volker Glätsch/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Hindus believe bathing in the Gange River will wash away your guilt.
  • Ayurvedic Medicine is deeply rooted and remains in practice.
  • Traditional weddings are an elaborate three day event. The Wedding Ceremony averages up to two hours followed by a Reception on the third day.
  • Second-most populous country in the world.
  • Ongoing disputes with neighbors China and Pakistan.
  • Climate is attributed by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert.
  • Has over 500 wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Second largest military in the world.
  • Agricultural growers of cotton, jute, oilseed, potatoes, rice, sugarcane, tea, and wheat.
  • Largely exports chemicals, engineering goods, jewelry, manufactured leather goods, petroleum products, software, and textile goods.
  • Has no national language.
  • Birthplace to Yoga Sutras (short verses used in yoga).
  • The ivory white marble Taj Mahal (Agra) was built to hold the tomb of the emperor's wife.  
  • Marriages are commonly arranged by parents or family elders.
  • Although illegal, Bride Dowry (cash or gifts) is still being practiced.
  • Bride Burning, death for failure to contribute to a Bride Dowry is known to occur, even though it's illegal.
  • Women commonly wear a sari, a single long piece of cloth (six yards long), knot tied around the waist and then over one shoulder.
  • Men commonly wear dhoti (similar to the sari) and pagri (turban).
  • Shalwars (pants) are wide at the waist with cuffed ankle bottoms.
  • Kameez is a long tunic shirt worn by men.
  • Cooking spice stables include cardamon, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. 
  • Most popular sport is cricket.
  • Historically, traded spices with Asia and Europe.
  • Largest producer of tea in the world.
  • Cow slaughter is largely banned.
  • Sundarbans National Park, has the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world. 
  • Built during the "Golden Age", Mahabodhi Temple (Bodh Gaya) is their oldest temple.  
  • Third largest rail network in the world.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Photo Credit: Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Army Day, Development Film Festival, Heritage Walk Trivandrum, Indian Sports Honours, Indore Fashion Week, Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, National Youth Day, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Ragam Festival, Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally, Swathi Sangeethotsavam, The Great Indian Film & Literature Festival, (February) Bangalore Fashion Week, Hyderabad Queer Pride, International Yoga Festival, Khajuraho Dance Festival, Lavasa Women's Drive, Mahindra Blues Festival, Maramon Convention, Rose Festival,(March) All India Police Band CompetitionFICCI Frames, India Fashion Week, Kitab Festival, (April) Lakme Fashion Week, Nirbhaya Samaroh, (May) Kerala Fashion League, (June) Mid-India Yearly Meeting, Sindhu Darshan Festival, (July) Elite Model Look India, Kargil Vijay Diwas, FPAI Indian Player of the Year, (August) Freedom Jam, (September) Bandra Fair, Mage Parab, Mysore Fashion Week, Pune International Literary Festival, Thunderstrock Festival, (October) ATMOS Festival, India Film Project, Indian Super League Hero of the League, Torawati Rajput Sabha,(November) Great Indian Rock,  Indian Super League Emerging Player of the League, (December) Cochin Carnival, Indian Sudoku Championship, Nandikar's National Theatre Festival, National Tribal Dance Festival, Natyanjali, Serendipity Arts Festival, and Vijay Dibos.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Pongal, Uttarayan, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's Jayanti, Mahatma Gandhi's Death Anniversary, Onam, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti, Arunachal Pradesh, Vishu, Cheti Chand, Kanshi Ram's Jayanti, Bihar Day, Rajasthan Day, Utkala Dibasa, Pana Sankranti, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's Jayanti, Samrat Ashoka's Jayanti, Puthandu, Pohela Boishakh, Bihu, Labour Day, Maharashtra Day, Gujarat Day, Rabindra Jayanti, Annexation Day, Telangana Formation Day, Maharana Pratap Jayanti, Valmiki Jayanti, Accession Day, Sardar Patel Jayanti, Karnataka Rayjotsava, Andhra Pradesh Raashtra Avatharana Dinotsavam, Haryana Foundation Day, Madhya Pradesh Foundation Day, Kerala Foundation Day, Chhattisgarh Foundation Day, Kanaka Jayanti, and Armed Forces Flag Day.    

"Gateway of India", Mumbai, India. Photo Credit: Walkerssk/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Air pollution, malnutrition of children and poverty are an issue. 
  • Plan to dress conservatively.
  • Traveling between regions you'll experience changes in attire, cuisine, customs, language, religion, and traditions.
  • Avoid public display of affection.
  • Kerala Massages are popular. A method using herbal medicated oils with heat and steam.
  • Public smoking is prohibited.
  • Avoid standing with your hands on your hips, as it's considered aggressive behavior.
  • Remove shoes while visiting monuments, mosques, and temples.
  • Satellite phones require a permit.
  • Swaraj Dweep (Havelock Island) is known for their beaches, dive sites, and woodpeckers.
  • Adhere to Beach Warning signs, undertows can be powerful and deadly.
  • Do not travel to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Telangana, Tripura, or along the Pakistan Border.
  • Targeted theft crime is known to occur in tourist areas.
  • Credit card ATM cloning is common.
  • A permit to buy, consume, or transport alcohol could be required. Varies by location. 
  • Same sex relations is illegal.
  • Surrogacy is illegal to travelers.
  • Present diseases: Malaria, Rabies, Tuberculosis (TB), and Zika Virus.
  • To drive, requires an International Drivers License.
  • Public transportation is prone to overcrowding.
  • Do not drink tap water. 
  • Sanitation is often considered below our standards.
  • The quality of medical care and treatment varies by locations.

Delhi, India. Photo Credit: Rhiannon/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and two blank pages for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Yellow Fever vaccination required from select countries. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $5,000USD.

Thar Desert, Jodhpur (Rajasthan), India. Photo Credit: Rhiannon/Pixabay 

Monsoon Season is June - October. 
Subject to cyclones, earthquakes, flooding, humidity, mountain snowstorms, typhoons.

Lingmala Waterfall, Maharashtra, India. Photo Credit: Ron Mitra/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: October - March
  • Coldest Months: December - January
  • Hottest Months: April - May
  • Peak Season: November - March

Ellora Caves (Elura) Maharastra, India. Photo Credit: Simon Hallo Fraser/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Agra Fort, Ajanta Caves, Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda Bihar, Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), Churches and Convents of Goa, Elephanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Fatehpur Sikri, Great Himalayan National Park, Great Living Chola Temples, Great Living Chola Temples, Great Living Chola Temples, Group of Monuments at Hampi, Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Historic City of Ahmedabad, Humayun's Tomb Delhi, Jaipur, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Khangchendzonga (Kangchenjunga) National Park, Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Mountain Railways of India, Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Qutb Minar and its  Monuments, Delhi, Rani ki vav (The Queen's Stepwell), Red Fort Complex, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Sun Temple Konârak, Sundarbans National Park, Taj Mahal, The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, The Jantar Mantar, The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai, and Western Ghats.

Ganges (Ganga) "Sacred River", India. Photo Credit: Simon Hallo Fraser/Pixabay 

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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

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