M. Destination


India Travel Information

Introduction

India has been changing and re-shaping itself for as long as anywhere on earth, forever producing new forms of culture and absorbing new influences. Visiting the subcontinent, you’ll see spectacular carved temples and gleaming marble palaces, lonely Himalayan lamaseries and far-flung dusty villages where council meetings are held under the shade of a banyan tree, plodding camels, holy cows, snake charmers and wild-haired sadhus: you’ll also find a dynamic state racing into the twenty-first century. The boundaries of modern India, fixed some fifty years ago, are merely the latest in a four-thousand-year sequence of redefinitions that have produced one of the most heterogenous societies in the world. The land where the Buddha lived and preached, and where the Moghul Muslims erected the Taj Mahal, has recreated itself as both a majority Hindu nation and the world’s largest secular democracy, home to almost one thousand million people.
Many first-time visitors cannot see past the grinding poverty of the country’s most disadvantaged citizens. Others expect a timeless ascetic wonderland and are indignant to find that materialism has its place here too. Still more find themselves intimidated by what may seem, initially, an incomprehensible and bewildering continent.

This guide is intended to lead you through the states, cities and towns of India, offering historical, architectural and cultural information to enrich your trip, whether you intend to travel for a few weeks or several months. The guide’s intention is to spare you the mistakes and anti-climaxes that can spoil the best-laid plans, and to direct you towards off-beat delights as well as world-famous landmarks. It covers specific states and regions by introducing the major sights, surveying the history, and summarizing the major travel routes. In each town we’ve detailed the best places to stay and eat, reviewing palace hotels of faded grandeur alongside inexpensive lodges and simple pilgrim guesthouses, and Mughlai restaurants next to village food stalls. We haven’t set out to list the cheapest options everywhere, because in India, as anywhere else, the cheapest can easily be the worst. As well as providing detailed accounts of all the major sights, we provide the information you need to search out performing arts, enjoy Indian cinema, explore ashrams and religious centres, and get swept away by the fervour of the great festivals.

The best Indian itineraries are the simplest. To imagine that there is some set list of places you must go, or things you must see, is a sure way to make your trip self-defeating. You couldn’t see everything in one expedition, even if you spent a year trying. Far better then, to concentrate on one or two specific regions, and above all, to be flexible. Although it requires a deliberate change of pace to venture away from the cities, rural India has its own very distinct pleasures. In fact, while Indian cities are undoubtedly adrenalin-fuelled, upbeat places, it is possible – and certainly less stressful – to travel for months around the subcontinent and rarely have to set foot in one.

The information under Basics provides an overview of the practical aspects of travelling in India. To put it simply, it’s not as difficult as you may imagine, or may be told. Some travellers impose an exhausting sequence of long-distance journeys and other privations upon themselves that no Indian would dream of attempting, and then wonder why they’re not enjoying their trip. Although becoming overtired is an almost inevitable part of travelling around India, getting ill – despite the interminable tales of Delhi-belly and associated hardships so proudly told by a certain type of India bore – certainly isn’t. If you give yourself time to rest there’s no reason why you should pick up anything worse than a headache. Food is generally extremely good, especially in south India, famed for its creative vegetarian cuisine; water can be bought in bottles, just like anywhere else in the world, and there are plenty of comfortable, inexpensive places to stay. Though the sheer size of the country means that travel is seldom straightforward, the extensive road, rail and air links ensure that few destinations are inaccessible, and fares are invariably cheap. Furthermore, the widespread use of English makes communication easy for the majority of Western visitors. Journeys may be long – a four-hour bus ride is normal, and travelling constantly for thirty hours not uncommon – but they can provide some of the very best moments of a trip: punctuated with frequent food stops and memorable encounters, and passing through an everchanging landscape. For long hauls, much the best way to go is by train; with computerized booking now established almost everywhere, the Indian rail network is as efficient as almost any in the world. Rail journeys also offer the chance to meet other travellers and Indians from all walks of life, and a constant stream of activity as chai-wallahs, peanut-sellers, musicians, astrologers and mendicants wander through the carriages.

About India

Introduction

India has been changing and re-shaping itself for as long as anywhere on earth, forever producing new forms of culture and absorbing new influences. Visiting the subcontinent, you’ll see spectacular carved temples and gleaming marble palaces, lonely Himalayan lamaseries and far-flung dusty villages where council meetings are held under the shade of a banyan tree, plodding camels, holy cows, snake charmers and wild-haired sadhus: you’ll also find a dynamic state racing into the twenty-first century. The boundaries of modern India, fixed some fifty years ago, are merely the latest in a four-thousand-year sequence of redefinitions that have produced one of the most heterogenous societies in the world. The land where the Buddha lived and preached, and where the Moghul Muslims erected the Taj Mahal, has recreated itself as both a majority Hindu nation and the world’s largest secular democracy, home to almost one thousand million people.
Many first-time visitors cannot see past the grinding poverty of the country’s most disadvantaged citizens. Others expect a timeless ascetic wonderland and are indignant to find that materialism has its place here too. Still more find themselves intimidated by what may seem, initially, an incomprehensible and bewildering continent.

This guide is intended to lead you through the states, cities and towns of India, offering historical, architectural and cultural information to enrich your trip, whether you intend to travel for a few weeks or several months. The guide’s intention is to spare you the mistakes and anti-climaxes that can spoil the best-laid plans, and to direct you towards off-beat delights as well as world-famous landmarks. It covers specific states and regions by introducing the major sights, surveying the history, and summarizing the major travel routes. In each town we’ve detailed the best places to stay and eat, reviewing palace hotels of faded grandeur alongside inexpensive lodges and simple pilgrim guesthouses, and Mughlai restaurants next to village food stalls. We haven’t set out to list the cheapest options everywhere, because in India, as anywhere else, the cheapest can easily be the worst. As well as providing detailed accounts of all the major sights, we provide the information you need to search out performing arts, enjoy Indian cinema, explore ashrams and religious centres, and get swept away by the fervour of the great festivals.

The best Indian itineraries are the simplest. To imagine that there is some set list of places you must go, or things you must see, is a sure way to make your trip self-defeating. You couldn’t see everything in one expedition, even if you spent a year trying. Far better then, to concentrate on one or two specific regions, and above all, to be flexible. Although it requires a deliberate change of pace to venture away from the cities, rural India has its own very distinct pleasures. In fact, while Indian cities are undoubtedly adrenalin-fuelled, upbeat places, it is possible – and certainly less stressful – to travel for months around the subcontinent and rarely have to set foot in one.

The information under Basics provides an overview of the practical aspects of travelling in India. To put it simply, it’s not as difficult as you may imagine, or may be told. Some travellers impose an exhausting sequence of long-distance journeys and other privations upon themselves that no Indian would dream of attempting, and then wonder why they’re not enjoying their trip. Although becoming overtired is an almost inevitable part of travelling around India, getting ill – despite the interminable tales of Delhi-belly and associated hardships so proudly told by a certain type of India bore – certainly isn’t. If you give yourself time to rest there’s no reason why you should pick up anything worse than a headache. Food is generally extremely good, especially in south India, famed for its creative vegetarian cuisine; water can be bought in bottles, just like anywhere else in the world, and there are plenty of comfortable, inexpensive places to stay. Though the sheer size of the country means that travel is seldom straightforward, the extensive road, rail and air links ensure that few destinations are inaccessible, and fares are invariably cheap. Furthermore, the widespread use of English makes communication easy for the majority of Western visitors. Journeys may be long – a four-hour bus ride is normal, and travelling constantly for thirty hours not uncommon – but they can provide some of the very best moments of a trip: punctuated with frequent food stops and memorable encounters, and passing through an everchanging landscape. For long hauls, much the best way to go is by train; with computerized booking now established almost everywhere, the Indian rail network is as efficient as almost any in the world. Rail journeys also offer the chance to meet other travellers and Indians from all walks of life, and a constant stream of activity as chai-wallahs, peanut-sellers, musicians, astrologers and mendicants wander through the carriages.

Clothing in Indian

India is truly a nation which symbolizes ‘unity in diversity’ phenomenon. Just as it many so many states, languages, religions, it has its different yet peculiar clothing. Indian clothing or dresses represents its culture and tradition. Indian clothes will change with different states and cities. Clothing in India is usually bright and colorful especially for women. One might see a huge difference in terms of clothing as one travels from the urban areas to the rural ones. Urban Indian clothing has changes in the past few decades and has become more contemporary at par with the global fashion. In rural areas, people still wear traditional dresses according to their cultures.

Indian clothing for women is something that allures almost everyone’s attention. It is one of the most sensuous yet serene clothing throughout the globe. The sari that is worn by Indian women is considered to be one of the most elegant and beautiful dresses in the world. A sari is a long piece of cloth that is wrapped by in different styles. The salwar kameez is also another dress form popular for females. It consists of a loose trouser and a long loose shirt with a dupataa around it. The clothing from India especially the Indian drapes and folds have captured the glamorous platform of global fashion with its enchanting detailing and concepts in recent years. The women in parts of Rajasthan and Gujrat wear traditional dresses known as the ‘lehenga choli’. A ‘lehenga’ is a colorful long skirt while a ‘choli’ is like a short top. These women also cover their heads with a cloth known as the ‘odhani’ which is quite similar to the ‘dupataa’. Tribal women in India wear unique costumes, which are woven, styled and colored in their own traditional style. India women’s clothing might change with changing states however; its essence and its beauty will be seen all across the country. Indian women are also known for their heavy ornamentation. Indian ornaments

Like men across the globe, most Indian men wear pants and shirts. Rural men may be found in something called as a ‘dhoti’ which is a cloth draped around the legs. A long loose shirt which is known as a ‘kurta’ is also wore by some Indian men.

Indian wedding dresses are famous for their dazzling beauty and embroidery all over the world. One can see a typical Indian bride in an ornamented ‘Ghaghara’ (skirt) worn with a beautiful ‘choli’ and an ‘odhani’ on her wedding day. This is usually accompanied with heavy gold jewelry studded with colored stones. Bridal attire also varies with caste and class in Indian society. Some brides are required to wear and drape saris woven in their community traditions on their wedding. Men traditionally wear what is known as a ‘sherwani’ with a scarf and a bright turban on their wedding day.

With every Indian city that one goes to, one will find a fresh tinge of color in its clothing and yet the core or the essence will always remain same throughout the country.

Indian weather

India has tropical weather. Indian weather conditions vary with the land and topography. The weather of India cannot be generalized as it varies significantly from region to region. The seasons of India is mainly defined by summer, rainy and winter. The most pleasant time to visit India is during winters i.e. mid-October to mid-March in the north and November to February in the south India.

The climate in the central India is more or less directed by the north and south of Indian climate depending upon the proximity. However the hilly regions of north get extremely cold and bitter during December and January and one should avoid going to these places during this time. India’s northern plains are the first to experience summer during the end of March and it builds up in the month of April, May and June. During June, the temperature soars up to almost 45 degree Celsius. The southern India experiences hot and humid climate during this month. The best places to visit during this time are various hill-stations which give you the cool pleasant atmosphere you were just wishing out for to beat the Indian heat.

One can get wet in the first monsoon showers which break during the last week of May or first week of June. Indian monsoons have its own beauty in its dancing peacocks, happy farmers, wet soil, and the greenery around! Though monsoon begins from the southwest and southeast coast of India, the short gutsy northeast monsoon brings rain from around October to early December.

The rainy season ends around October. This season is very feasible for the tourists of India because it is neither too hot nor too cold during this time. The northern cities including Delhi get extremely chilly during December and January. In the southern cities, the temperatures become somewhat warmer during this period.

Most Indian festivals like Diwali and Holi are celebrated during the period of October to March. One can really enjoy these festivals during this time. The hotel tariffs during this entire period are high. In India, weather conditions vary with different geographical regions. But the average temperature and weather of India can be called the hot tropical type. India can be selectively traversed during all the three seasons by the discerning tourist.

Indian weather cycles and the moods of nature have given birth to many religious rituals, which form an intricate part of traditional cultural and religious activities. This is because a large part of India’s population is settled in the villages, and vast majority of its people depend on agriculture for their sustenance. Indian Gods and Goddesses are known to be representative of different elements of nature and the life of Indian tribal people is ruled by their intimacy with nature and hence the weather..

Religion & festivals

Religion

According to the constitution of India, the country is a secular republic. Indian citizens are free to follow any religion and faith. Indians worship different Gods in many different ways. Religion with its rituals and philosophy forms the life style of any average individual born and brought up in India.

India has also created a platform for many religions from all over the world. However the main religions of India are Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. Over 80% of Indians practice Hinduism, 13.45% of Indians practice Islam, 2.35% Christianity and 1.94% Sikhism. Popular faiths like Jainism and Buddhism which have originated in India are practiced all over the world today. But Parsis and Judais are a disappearing minority in India now.

All religions of India have a wide reach and are recognized for their strength all over the globe. Indian society follows a rigid caste system. Indian people normally marry within their own communities and castes. Most Indians have a tolerant attitude towards other castes and communities. India has preserved its secular outlook through volatile a history of foreign invasions.

Communal clashes in India do occur but more often than not they are based vested political interests than genuine religious differences. The freedom to practice any religion of his choice is a fundamental right of every Indian citizen. There is an ongoing attempt to modify the Indian constitution in order to establish a uniform civil code for all Indian citizens. This concept is still in the process of taking manifestation as a directive principal. Religious communities follow their own personal codes for now. However Indian law is the same for people of all communities in India.

Based on the religion, there are many religious festivals that are widely observed in India and they hold a great importance for the people. India’s secular governance states that no religious festival should be given the status of a national holiday. Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Dussehra and Sankaranthi are the most popular Hindu festival in India. The Islamic Eid festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-Ul-Adha are the most celebrated among the Muslims. Christmas, Budhha Jayanti and Guru Nanak’s Birthday are holidays among the remaining religious groups. However, the best part is that be it any festival Indians from all castes and communities come together to celebrate the event.

Festivals

Indian festivals speak of India’s rich cultural and traditional background.The colorful festivals are an integral part of every Indians. The festivals play an important part in promoting the traditional handicrafts and tourism of India. The rich cultural heritage of India attracts the Western world during the celebration of important festivals like Onam, Holi, Durga Puja and many more. Every region celebrates their festival according to their regional customs and rituals. The commonness in all the celebration is that it celebrates humanity. Some of the common rituals, which are followed in most of the festivals, are processions in the streets, decoration of homes and sacred places such as temples and traditional and folk song and dance performances. Most religious festivals have elaborate prayers, traditions, customs and rituals attached to them. The elaborate celebration and the multitude of festivals in India, each with their own unique legends and significances often awe the foreigners who come to visit India.

Important Places to Visit in India

Important Place in India

India – the country of incredible impossibilities where bullock carts and Jets co-exist in just right concord. Where one can find such a unique concord of tradition and modernity? The slogan “Unity in Diversity” perfectly suits with India. Having a tremendous range of place of tourist interest, amazing wildlife sanctuary and parks, cultural heritage palaces, architecturally beautiful structures, India is indeed a best place to visit. Apart from these tourists, there are also many alluring cities and places in India which are worth seeing for their own different-different importance.
Here are mentioned about some important places in India which are popular among tourists in all over the world for their unique features.


Central India :

The major part of Central India is Madhya Pradesh. Located in the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh is the largest state in India. The capital of Madhya Pradesh is Bhopal which is also popularly known as the City of Lakes. Other important cities of Madhya Pradesh are Gwalior, Indore, Khajuraho, and Panchmarhi. Madhya Pradesh has wealth of many architecturally beautiful monuments & forts, exhilarating wildlife sanctuaries & national parks including Kanha National Park & Bandhavgarh National Park and exotic culture. Superb fort in Gwalior, marble rocks in Jabalpur, Buddhist site at Sanchi, spectacular temples of love in Khajuraho are some worth seeing destinations in Madhya Pradesh, Central India. The central state of Madhya Pradesh is surrounded by Vindhya and Satpura mountains.

North India :

Knowingly North India is the most important part of India. There are many important places of tourist interest in North India. North India has wealth of many important places of tourist interest. Ganga, Yamuna and sources of many other important rivers are in North India. There are three main religions in North India – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The might Himalayas is situated in North India which is popular among tourists for adventure and sports. Blazing Thar Desert, monumental heritage, exciting wildlife sanctuaries, diverse culture, timeless monuments, stunning cities are some of attractions of North India.

South India :

Separated by Vindhya Mountain range from North India and surrounded by three oceans – the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, linguistic-cultural region of India, South India has four states – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The land of South India is filled with many architecturally beautiful monuments, forts, palaces, temples and churches. The charismatic land of South India is also filled with cultural excitement and many breathtakingly beautiful beaches. In fact, entire South India is full of landscaped locations and fascination. During your South India Tours, the India never fails to capture you with its fascination.

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