Welcome to India
India is country of multiple surprises and endless fun. From the gigantic Himalayas and the wonderful Mughal-era buildings to an exotic wildlife population and a vibrant cultural heritage, there’s so much to see and explore for everyone.
Country Quick Facts
Also referred to as the Republic of India, India is located in South Asia and famous for being world’s most populous democracy. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea on its south and southwest respectively. The country shares its borders with Pakistan on the west, China, Nepal and Bhutan on the northeast and Bangladesh and Myanmar on the east. There are several things that India can boast of - one of the fastest growing economies, a nuclear power and above all a multi-ethnic society. India has 29 states and 7 union territories.
Area: 3,287,263 sq. km
Population: 1.3 billion
Capital: New Delhi
India’s population is a diverse one, Hindus (79.80%) being the majority and Muslims being 14.23%. The rest of the population is comprised of Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and others. While Hindi is the official language of the country, English is widely spoken in both business and administrative sectors. India is also home to multiple tribal groups that constitute about 7.5% of the total population. Hinduism (followed by Hindus) has the largest number of followers in the country. Other religions are also freely practiced and preached in the country.
The official currency of India is Indian rupee, abbreviated as INR. One rupee equals 100 paise (singular paisa). However, coins of 25 paise are no longer in use; they are not legal tender anymore. Coins that are in common use include 50 paise, 1 rupee, 5 rupees and 10 rupees. Bank notes are available in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000. The average exchange rate of the Indian rupee is 0.015 per US dollar in 2018. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the main body which issues and regulates the use of currencies whereas the State Bank of India (SBI) is the largest public sector bank in the country. Banking in India operate from 9:30 am till 4:00 pm on weekdays; Saturdays are half days and Sundays are closed. ATMs are available in good numbers all across the country. If you plan to withdraw money or use your credits cards during your holidays in India, don’t forget to inform your bank ahead of time so as to void any kind of discrepancies.
India is a huge country with a diverse topography. So, it experiences different types of climatic conditions from one region to another. Overall, the country’s climate is said to be hot tropical. Main seasons in the country can be categorized into winter (November-February), summer (March-June) and monsoon (July-September). For travellers, the period between December and March is the best as most parts of the country has warm days and cool nights, except the north which experiences chilly nights. During hot summers, most Indians travel to hill stations in the country to beat the scorching heat. The average temperature during winters varies between 10-15°C and 20-25°C in the north-western India and south-eastern India respectively whereas the average temperature during summers remains around 30-35°C in the peninsular India. The central India is hotter during this season.
Time: The IST (Indian Standard Time) is 5:30 hours ahead of the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
Electricity: The standard voltage in India is similar to most countries in the world - 220 volts at a frequency of 50 Hz. People visiting India from countries with 220-240 volt electricity will only need a plug adapter to use their electronic appliances or devices. The power sockets used in India are either 3 pin (Type D) or 2 pin (Type C).
Weight & Measurement: India follows the metric system of weight and measurement, introduced in 1956 by the Government of India.
Telecommunications: India’s telecommunication network has the distinction of being the second largest in the world. There are not many public or payphones in India (except at the airports). But private STD/ISD/PCO call booths are easily available for local and international calls. Charges for making telephone calls vary depending on the operator being used and the destination.
Top Cities of India
There are 46 cities in India with a population of 1 million or more. Some of the most famous cities in the country are as follows.
Food & Drink
The popularity of the Indian food and drink has reached every corner of the world. Thanks to the many civilisations that have influenced how delicacies are prepared in the country over the years and as a result have given rise to a wide range of multiple culinary styles. Every specific region in the country is known to have its own variations and specialties - from the spicy meat and Mughlai dishes of the north to the traditional vegetarian dishes of the south.
It is also known as the Roghan Ghosht and is nothing but a goat meat having its origin from Kashmir and Persia.
It has its origin from the Indian subcontinent. In this dish, the main ingredients are none other than the butter, chicken, spices, ginger and garlic.
It is the spicy rice that comes in the form of veg and also non veg. In case of non-veg, it is made from meat/chicken, rice and other spices.
It is the most commonly consumed cuisine of South India but is loved all over the country. It comprises of rice, methi, potato and curry leaves.
Idli & Sambhar
Idli and Sambhar is yet again a dish from the Southern India and has varied variations. Idli is made from the rice paste and Sambhar is a curry used with the same.
Lassi is wholly recognised as one of the most common drinks in Punjab. It is made up of yogurt, spices, water and also some fruits sometimes.
This is also a popular dish in Punjab however is considered as one of the most consumed food item in India. The Bhature are fried in oil with Chole acting as a curry to be eaten with it.
It is a vegetarian dish carrying utmost relevance in Gujarat. It consists of a batter that is produced from rice and made with bhesan.
Hailing primarily from Kolkata, Rosgolla is a spongy dessert that consists of a syrup and is also populated in the Indian subcontinent.
Culture of India
India is a hub of languages and dialects though it does not have any particular official language. However, Hindi is considered to be a language spoken by majority of the country’s population. It comprises of 28 states and 7 territories with approximately 23 languages identified officially by the Constitution of India.
India is acknowledged worldwide with varied names which include ‘Bharat’ and ‘Hindustan’. Apart from this, Indians have adopted the Devanagari script for all their writing purposes in the Hindi language. Being renowned as the birthplace of Hinduism and Buddhism, with more than 84% of its population identified as an ardent follower of Hinduism. The other religions presently being followed in India are Christianity and Islam (13% followers). This lovable nation is known for its unity and highly down to earth nature. The people here consider their visitors as their god, following the popular expression of ‘Atithi Devo Bhawa’.
Discussing about the attire worn by the country’s population, you will find it to be very unique. The female population here will be seen wearing silk draped saree that looks way too beautiful than anyone could even imagine. On the other hand, men wear kurtas. In case of any kind of traditional or cultural events, they wear dhotis mainly. However, some wear it during their daily routine too.
The festival of India that carries the utmost priority and relevance here is none other than Diwali. Also named as the ‘festival of lights’, this even is celebrated all over India. Apart from this, ‘festival of colours’ i.e. Holi is also considered to be one of the majorly rejoiced events in India.
Top Activities in India
Self Drive Travel in India
Are you surely concerned equally about the journey too apart from the destination? In case your answer is a big YES, then self-drive trips are an apt decision for you. You can drive and that too endlessly with your own car and that too without even experiencing a single hustle in between.
You are not only going to reach your destination at your own comfort but also with a simultaneous view of varied dense forests, highways, mountains and lakes all along your travel. There is no need to follow any strict guidance, itinerary or time table, instead here you can easily plan your itineraries as per your needs and also amend it whenever you want to with an intention of elongating your trip or shortening it.
Self-Drive travelling in India is considered to be a limelight of this nation. There are many routes meant with the sole intention of facilitating the adventure seekers with a satisfactory overlanding experience. Irrespective of the time period from which it has come up into the picture of India’s travel, self-drive in India has gained much fame in a really short span of time. Ladakh, Jaipur and Sikkim ate considered as one of the most prominent destinations for a fly drive trip.
Urban Adventures in India
Snorkelling Serves As The Best Option To Gain An Incredible Experience Adventure And That Too Without Any Risk. If You Are Not Interested In Going Deep Into The Water But Still Want To Try Some Kind Of Water Sports, You Can Surely Go For Snorkelling. Andaman Serves As One Of The Best Spots For Snorkelling Activities. In This, You Will Be Swimming With Water But Would Also Be Equipped With All The Necessary Equipment Meant For The Safety Of The Person. In Andaman, You Can Have An Elephant Ride In Water Leaving You Awestruck With Each And Every Moment.
India Is A Hub Of Adventure Activities, This Is Because The Same Are Available In Abundance Here. In Case You Are Experiencing A Dire Need Of Witnessing Any Paragliding Activity In India, Then Uttarakhand Is A Perfect Choice. Situated In Uttarakhand, Kunjapuri- Is A Great Spot For You To Indulge In This Practise While Having Some Of The Charming Glimpses Of The Sunset And Sunrise. Apart From This, You Shall Also Be Facilitated With The Splendid Views Of Varied Peaks Including The Gangotri And Banderpunch. This Has To Be Believed That The Views From The Above Are Way Too Beautiful Than You Might Witness From Lowlands.
Considered As One Of The 10 Largest And The Deepest Caving Destinations In The World, ‘Meghalaya’ Stands Out To Be A Perfect Caving Spot For Millions Of Tourists Each Year. Explore The Large Caves In The Wild And Groove Into The Finest Adventures In Meghalaya. Talking About The Best Caves In This Region, Krem Chympe, Krem Liat Prah, Krem Ri Blai, Mawsmai Cave And The Siju Cave Are Some Of The Most Prominent Ones Here. The Cost Of Pursuing This Activity Is Totally Vice Versa Of The Number Of Participants I.E. The More The Participants, The Lesser Is Its Cost. In Case You Need To Know The Apt Time For Visiting The Caves, You Can Surely Give This One A Try From November To March Due To The Water Level Being Low During This Time Period.
Despite Of The ‘Hot Air Balloons Adventure’ Being Witnessed As A Brand New Activity In India, It Is Experiencing A Steady Rise In The Usage And That Too Especially Between The Honeymoon Couples And The Families On Vacations. The Hot Air Balloon Will Enable All Its Practitioners Have A Bird’s Eye View Of The Large Forts, Palaces, Small Villages And Varied Sand Dunes. The Balloon Flights Are Offered By Jodhpur, Pushkar, Jaisalmer And Jaipur Too, And Thus You Can Have A Glimpse Of Beautiful Landscapes From The Above. Anytime, You Visit Rajasthan It Is Highly Recommended For You To Try Out This Outstanding Adventurous Stuff With A ‘Not So High Cost’.
Searching Out For One Of The Top Destinations In India For Mountain Biking, Manali Has Every Time Proved To Be A Great Choice. India Is A Perfect Hub For Biking Lovers And The Mountain Bikers As This Place Has Much More To Offer In The Same Than You Can’t Even Imagine Of. Manali Is Crowned As The Best Destination For Serving As A Commencement Point To The Some Of The Biggest Biking Expeditions In India. This Beautiful Place Facilitates You With The Most Scenic And The Exotic Routes Leading To The High Himalayas.