About the country
India is a vast stretch of land stretching from the Himalayas in the north from Jammu and Kashmir to the tropical trees and seas of Kerala. Blessed with diverse culture and intensely beautiful landscapes, people, and wildlife, India is a must-visit place for adventurers. Home to some of the world’s most iconic monuments, astounding temples, mystical monasteries, frenetic streets, and traditional market, India will capture your heart and mind. From mythical Hindu lore to the surreal grandeur of the desert, there is numerous attraction in India. As you explore around Hindustan, the beauty unfolds in front of your eyes. Visiting India is an exciting chance to relish the magnificence of natural and cultural beauty.
Geography: India lies on the Indian Plate and is the seventh-largest country in the world.
Capital: The capital city of India is New Delhi.
Area: The total area of India is 1,269,219 sq. km.
Population: The current total population of India is 1,350,438,098.
Political system: India is a federal parliamentary democratic republic where the president is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of government.
Major religion: Hinduism is the major religion of India.
Time zone: The standard time zone of India is UTC +5:30.
Official language: The official language of India is Hindi.
Working hours: According to the law, a person cannot work for more than 48 hours a week and not more than 9 hours a day.
Electricity: Most cities and towns are supplied with electricity. The standard voltage in India is 220V.
Almost all the visitors who wish to travel to India require a valid visa. However, through the years, this process has been made easier with the introduction of online applications. Citizens from countries like UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many others can apply for an e-tourist visa which allows them to visit for one month. For countries not on the list, you should organize visas in advance which are valid for up to one year. In the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia visas are issued by third-party companies. Apart from these countries, visas are issued by the local Indian embassies or consulates. Find more information related to Indian Visas at the official website of the Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/.
How to reach the country
The typical and popular way to enter India is by flight. After you get your visa and tickets ready, you can leave for India without any hassle. Flights from countries like UK, USA, and Canada provide nonstop flight services to the passengers. Your flight fare differs according to the season you are travelling in. During the peak season; from November to March, the flight prices are the most expensive. As such, this season is also the best season to travel to India. The prices are relatively low during April, May, and August to early October. The price reaches its peak during Diwali as Indians all over the world return home.
A popular destination to visit
India is a very large country and, as an explorer’s paradise, you could spend a lifetime trying to cover all of it. But there are some popular places you should not miss out on while in India. The Golden Triangle consists of three states Delhi, Agra, and Rajasthan is one of the best tour combinations across the country. If you want to visit the ancient religious sites and explore traditional cultures, you can head east to the holy city of Varanasi. For immense natural beauty with mountains, lakes, forest, and Tibetan/Buddhist culture, you can explore the northern side of the country towards Himachal Pradesh. In the southern part of the country, you can visit Kerala and to relax beside the ocean you should head towards the western side to Goa. Other popular destinations are Leh-Ladakh, Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Andaman.
Internet and communication in the country
Upon reaching India, the best choice is to acquire a sim card. Sim cards are easily available in cell phone shops and network outlets. Activating your Indian sim card can take up to 48 hours. To acquire a sim card, you must provide your passport details and fill in a registration form and pay a fee of INR 50-250. Network providers like Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea are some of the largest telecommunications networks in the world with wide coverage. Wi-Fi is also available in almost every hotel, restaurant, and most parts of the nation. However, the connectivity and speed may fluctuate so, you should always carry enough top up balance on your cell phone. With your Indian sim card, you can also make international calls but the fee varies according to the country you make a call to.
Local currency and foreign exchange
The local currency of India is the Indian rupee(INR). There are restrictions for bringing Indian rupees to the country. Visitors and travellers heading to India cannot bring any amount of Indian currency into the nation. But, if you are a resident in the country then you can bring up to INR25,000 with you. If you are travelling to India on a tourist visa then you should bring cash, a chequebook, and electronic cards in foreign currency. You can exchange your cash for INR once you arrive in India. Banks and licensed currency exchange bureau will exchange your foreign currency into INR(Indian rupee). To check the exchange rates of Indian currency, refer to the information at https://www.nrb.org.np/fxmexchangerate.php.
Make sure your money is not damaged as no one accepts damaged money except the bank of India. You should also carry small cash for your convenience as the shopkeepers there tend to be short in supply for change.
Weather and climate
India’s climate can be classified as hot tropical except for the northern states such as Jammu, Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh. Also, the hill stations like Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Kalimpong have cooler and more continental influenced weather. Summer is very hot in India and the temperature can rise to 45 degrees Celsius. The summer season starts from April till the starting of October and the heat peaks in June. Also, during June, the monsoon rain spreads across the nation. The plains in the north are hit with cold waves every December and the temperatures can drop below 5 degrees Celsius. Hence, the best time to visit India is ideally from late October to the end of April.
People, culture, and festival
India is home to over a billion people and the population there is composed of thousands of small ethnics and tribal groups. While in India, you must keep in mind that certain habits that are normal to you might be offensive to the locals. So, some etiquettes you must follow in India are taking off your shoes before entering a religious site, eating etiquettes, wardrobes, and seats for women, and public display of affection, etc. With diverse religions and cultural backgrounds, India celebrates several festivals of different types and colours. Some of the most colourful festivals celebrated in India are Holi, Durga Puja, Eid, Deepawali, Maha Shivaratri, and Ganesh Chatur. If you get the chance to celebrate one of these festivals, you will remember this joyous experience lifelong.