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Sobre la India

India is a medley of fascinating colours and cultures, an historical legacy, a canvas of architectural masterpieces, and an extravagant exuberance of royal splendour. This land of sages and ancient legends is home to the eternal symbol of love – the Taj Mahal, magnificent forts and palaces of Rajasthan, emerald beaches of Goa and Kerala, ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora and the Golden Temple of Amritsar.

Crowned by Himalayas in the north and surrounded by oceans in the south, India offers a platter full of variety, packed in one country. Ranging from walking trails through Himalayan villages, to desert camps in the sand dunes, tribal and rural experiences, modern metropolitan cities, wildlife parks, serene backwaters, luxury trains, river cruises and adventure tours, the choice is only limited by your imagination!

  • Travel Tips of India

  • Currency

    India's currency is the Indian Rupee (INR). One Rupee is equal to 100 Paisa. Coins are in denominations of 50 paisa, 1, 2 & 5 Rupees. Notes are in denominations of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000.

  • Credit Cards/Travelers Cheque

    Renowned Credit Cards like American Express, Master Cards, Diners Club, Visa, are generally accepted by large establishments, including hotels, shops and airlines. We advice you to use travelers’ cheques of well reputed organisations like Thomas Cook, American Express and Visa. Please note that small shops and vendors may not accept credit cards or travelers’ cheques, therefore, we advice that at any given time you carry cash and loose change with yourself.

  • Climate

    Indian climate comprises of a wide range of weather conditions across a varied and large geographic area. Cool weather lasts from November to March, with December to February being the winter season. April marks the start of Indian summer, with peak summer commencing from mid May and lasting to the start of July. July to September is the monsoon season in most parts of India.

  • Clothing

    As a general rule, please remember that India is a conservative country. While the young generation is relatively modern, a large population of India, especially in non metro areas prefers to see people in covered clothing.

    Accordingly, we recommend that women should try and dress conservatively. Avoid tank tops or short skirts/shorts. The best outfit, especially during the summer months is a shirt or T-shirt worn with loose cotton trousers. These are comfortable, cool and easily washable. You can purchase them anywhere in India, at reasonable prices. If you are adventurous, try wearing the Indian 'salwar-kameez'. It is comfortable and free sized, and will guarantee a more friendly and receptive attitude from the Indian public.

    Indian winters can get chilly at night and early morning, but during the day the temperature could be as high as mid 20’s. Hence, it is recommended to wear layers that can be removed during the day.

    The Indian summer sun can be harsh. Remember to use sunscreen on exposed parts of the body. Covered clothing, a pair of sunglasses and a hat or umbrella would help in screening out harmful rays.

    Do not forget to remove your footwear when visiting a place of worship or mausoleum. At some places, you may even be requested to cover your head with a scarf and remove any leather apparel e.g. belts.

  • Experiencing Indian Roadways

    Even before you land in India, be very clear of what to expect on Indian roads - chaos, endless horn blowing, erratic driving, an occasional stray animal and an apparent lack of traffic rules would be a good start to create a picture of Indian driving conditions. However, amidst all this confusion, is a sense of direction, best known by Indian drivers! Be assured, you will be chauffeured by an experienced driver, who has grown up learning the tactics of Indian driving.

    Average driving speed in India is quite low, around 50-60 km/h. It is normal for drivers to stop frequently to ask directions; with the boom of new roads everywhere, maps are often not detailed enough or up to date, hence the age old way of discussing with passers by is very practical on the road!

    Watch out for cyclists, pedestrians and general traffic, when opening car doors – please bear in mind traffic can come from any direction! To ensure your comfort, please tell the driver if you wish to go faster or slower or stop for photographs or refreshments.

    Please bear in mind that due to poor infrastructure, distance is often deceiving in terms of driving time, as the latter is heavily dependent on road conditions. Please note that you do not need to reimburse the driver for his accommodation and meals. You may tip the driver, based on his service and your appreciation for those services. It is customary to tip the driver at the end of the day, but the amount of tip is entirely up to your satisfaction level with the service received.

  • Electricity

    Electric current in India is 220 -240 volts. India uses round pin plugs and socket sizes vary, therefore it is advisable to carry a multi-purpose adapter - one with a triple round pin plug would be most useful.

    Please note that the country is prone to frequent power failures and heavy voltage fluctuations. 3* standard and above hotels usually have 24/7 power backup, so you may not experience power outages at your hotel. However, smaller hotels, heritage havelis in remote areas, small shops and vendors may not be well equipped with large generators.

  • Food

    We would recommend you drink only purified bottled water. You can ask your tour escort for a few respectable brands for purified water. In restaurants, insist that a sealed bottle of water is brought to your table.

    Non vegetarian food should be eaten only at reputed restaurants and hotels. The meat at cheaper and smaller places could be of dubious quality. Beef and Pork are not easily available in India.

    Vegetarian food is easily available, cheap, and of excellent quality. Curd or yoghurt is served with most meals; it is a natural aid to digestion and helps temper the spicy food.

    It is not recommended to eat at street shops or stalls. The quality of food at small street shops could be poor and could lead to stomach infections.

  • Foreign Exchange

    You can exchange money at international airports where 24-hour exchange facilities are available through banks and approved money changers. You can also exchange currencies at nationalized banks and other banks in the country. Insist on a receipt when exchanging your money. Retain all exchange receipts with you, as without them you cannot reconvert your unspent money on your final departure from India.

    Some of the larger nationalized banks include the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sindh Bank, HDFC bank, ICICI, Canara Bank, Allahabad Bank and Union Bank of India. International banks such as ANZ Grindlays, Standard Chartered, Citibank, BNP, Bank of America, HSBC and others can be found in major metro cities. Most banks have 24-hour ATMs. American Express and Thomas Cook offices may be found in major metros and tourist cities.

    Banks timings are usually from 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs on week days and 1000 hrs to 1200 hrs on Saturdays. Please remember that not all banks will exchange foreign currency or travelers cheques — particularly in small towns.

  • Health Requirements

    No vaccinations are officially required for a visit to India. Travellers should check with their GP / doctor in their home country regarding the advisability of vaccination against typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus and Japanese encephalitis and malarial prophylaxis. Should you have transited a yellow fever area within 10 days prior to arrival in India, a vaccination certificate is mandatory. Prescription drugs are not widely available and visitors should carry any required medication with them. If carrying a lot of medicines, it is advisable to have a doctor's prescription stating that medicines are required for personal use.

    Carry a tube of mosquito repellent with you. Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Most incidences of stomach bugs are actually heat strokes. Fresh lemon juice with water or soda and coconut water are some of the most refreshing and re-hydrating drinks available and are advisable to be consumed in plenty to avoid dehydration.

  • Public Convenience

    In India, public toilet facilities are few, and we would advise you against using public toilets. Take every opportunity you can to use a clean toilet in places such as hotels and restaurants. It is worth making this a habit throughout your stay.

  • Public Transport

    Unfortunately, in India public transport like buses, local taxis and auto-rikshaws are not of a high standard. For all its guests, Travelite (India) ensures the provision of luxury tourist vehicles. However, should you wish to experience a local transport feature then please be vigilant of the following:

    • Taxis and auto-rikshaws fares change frequently. Before paying for your trip, insist on seeing the latest fare chart
    • Taxis and auto-rikshaws may not have meters in all cities. However, where they do, please insist on the meter being flagged in your presence. Where there are no meters, bargain a good price with the driver before you start your trip. You should ideally start bargaining with 50% of the asking price.
    • When using public buses, please ensure you get a ticket from the bus conductor when boarding the bus. For your own safety, please try and be seated in the bus. Should you have to stand in a moving vehicle, please place yourself as far from the door as you can, i.e. try and move towards the middle of the bus

  • Religion

    Four of the world’s main religions - Hinduism, Sikkism, Jainism and Buddhism - originated in India. Hinduism with its millions of gods is practiced by approximately 80% of the population, Islam by 12%, Christianity by 2.5%, Sikhism by 3%, Buddhism by 1% and small numbers practicing Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. Religion and spiritual life are closely intertwined with everyday life in India.

  • Shopping

    India is a country of bargains; if you are good at it you can make the most of it! We recommend our guests to be accompanied by their tour escorts when going shopping. Having a local person with you helps in negotiating better price and selecting good quality. It can sometimes be hard for tourists to negotiate with shopkeepers and distinguish inferior quality products from good ones.

    If having a tour escort is not an option, then we recommend you shop from reputed emporiums, government handicraft shops and fixed price malls.

    At all times, keep a close eye on your handbag and/or wallet. With a population of more than a billion, pick pocket is not uncommon in crowded places in India, so please be vigilant at all times.

  • Street beggars and hawkers

    Given the population and widespread poverty in India, it is more than likely that you will have an encounter with street beggars at some stage during your stay in India. Please be advised that India does not want to encourage street begging and the Indian government is constantly evaluating measures to reduce street begging. As general advice:

    • Don’t keep your wallet in the rear pocket. Keep it in an inside jacket pocket or side trouser pocket.
    • All valuables and important papers (jewelry, passports, return tickets, etc) should be kept in your hotel's safe deposit box. It is not advisable to carry these around, when sightseeing or shopping.
    If you have seen the famous 2009 Bollywood Oscar winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, then please beware that film is not far from reality. During your sightseeing and shopping excursions, you are likely to come across hawkers, who may try to sell you inferior quality products at exorbitant prices. For all group tours, we strongly recommend that you follow the advice of your tour escort. For independent travelers, we advice you not to engage in any conversation with street hawkers and when in doubt take advice from your driver or contact your 24/7 tour manager.

  • Tipping in India

    Tipping is a personal expense and depends entirely on the quality of services provided to you and your appreciation of those services. Whilst tipping is not mandatory, it is expected at restaurants and by drivers, guides and escorts. The following estimated guideline may help you in determining the tip amount, should you wish to tip any service provider in India:

    Restaurants: Approx 5 - 10% of your food bill
    Guide for half a day: INR 300 - 500
    Guide for full day: INR 500 - 600
    Driver for half a day: INR 250 - 350
    Driver for full day: INR 350 - 400
    Driver on outstation: INR 350 - 400 per day
    Escort: INR 400 - 500 per day
    Check-in and Check-out at hotels: INR 50 - 100
  • Indian Visa

    Specific Visas are granted for a variety of purposes. The principal types of Visa issued are mentioned below. Please contact the High Commission of India for further details if you are visiting India for purposes other than tourism. The visa application form is, however, the same. Separate forms are available for Pakistani and Bangladeshi Nationals.

    Visitors to restricted/protected areas need Special Permits and for this purpose an additional form has to be completed. Please contact the High Commission of India, in your country if you wish to ascertain whether any of the places you intend to visit fall in the category of restricted/protected areas.

  • Requirements for Visa
    • 1. Original passport valid for at least 6 months
    • 2. Appropriate Visa Fee
    • 3. Two Passport size Photographs (5 photographs in case of Pakistani Nationals)
    • 4. Supporting Documents, where necessary
    • 5. Duly completed Application Form (Pakistani and Bangladeshi Nationals need to apply on special application forms)
  • Additional requirements for different types of Visa are given below
    • Tourist Visa: Tourists wishing to visit India will normally be granted a Tourist Visa, effective from the date of issue. Tourist Visas are non-extendible and non-convertible. People who have to visit India frequently may be granted tourist Visa for a longer duration.
    • Business Visa: Business Visas are normally granted for 3 or 6 months. However, multiple - entry Business Visa for up to 2 years validity may be granted to technicians/experts going to India in pursuance of bilateral agreements or joint venture projects, having government approval.
    • Student & Employment Visa: Student Visa can be obtained on furnishing proof of admission to recognized Universities/Institutions in India. Employment Visa can also be obtained on furnishing of proof of employment with companies in India.
    • Transit Visa: Transit Visas are valid for halts of up to 72 hours in India. The visa remains valid within 15 Days from the date of issue and must be obtained before departure. Transit Visa cannot be obtained from immigration counters at ports of entry in India. Evidence of onward travel to a destination outside India is required.
    • Entry Visa: Entry Visas are issued to persons of Indian origin for duration of up to 5 years. These can be obtained, depending on the purpose of visit and eligibility, on a case by case basis.
  • Festivals Of India

    India, the land of colour and celebrations, is a rich country exuberating festivities 365 days a year! The large population, geographic and cultural variety, and the number of religions practiced by the people of India, makes every day an occasion and a reason to celebrate! Where ever you are in India, you will never be far from festivities…

    We present to you, our hand picked selection of few popular Indian festivals from different parts of the country that are sure to impress tourists. Not only are these festivals entertaining, they are also educative, allowing you to learn more about our country, its people and their customs and beliefs.

    So come along and celebrate the festivals of India!

    Contact us at for festival dates and tour bookings.


    THE ELEPHANT MARCH, Thrissur & Trivandurum : The Great Elephant March is celebrated with a large gathering of Indian tuskers touring around Kerala - all decked up and ready to be worshipped and pampered! Elephants are associated with the famous Hindu God with a trunk – Lord Ganesha, who is worshipped as the lord of wealth and fulfillment. Rather than being a religious occasion, the elephant march is a unique festive occasion, enjoyed by both locals and tourists in Kerala
  • DESERT FESTIVAL, Jaisalmer : The Desert Festival of Jaisalmer, as the name suggests, is held in the deserts of Jaisalmer, in January (or February) every year. Celebrated with a number of cultural events, camel races, folk music and dance shows, turban tying competitions etc, the festival brings to life the traditions of the nomadic desert life of Jaisalmer. The rich culture of the region is on display during this three day long colourful extravaganza. The festival attracts a large number of foreign tourists, who are intrigued by the unusual customs of the region.
  • INTERNATIONAL KITE FESTIVAL, Ahmedabad : In India’s western state of Gujarat, the International Kite Festival is held in Ahmadabad on January 14, to coincide with the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. It is a day when families and friends meet outdoors playing and competing against each other's kites. The people of Gujarat celebrate Uttarayan with a lot of enthusiasm and all business comes to a grinding halt for a couple of days. The festival lures expert kite-makers and fliers not only from major cities of India but also from around the world! A plethora of designer kites are also put on display. The festival is also a celebration to mark the end of winter.
  • PONGAL, Tamil Nadu : Pongal, a huge harvest festival in southern India, is India's equivalent of Thanksgiving and is celebrated with much enthusiasm. The festival is an important one because much of the state relies on agriculture to generate an income. The most important part of the festival is cooking the Pongal dish, made out of boiled milk and rice, on the auspicious second day. Families gather to feast and dance.

  • BIKANER CAMEL FESTIVAL, Bikaner : The Camel Festival is held in Bikaner in Rajasthan, every year in the month of December or January. It is a festival when the ships of the desert are seen at their best - camels fascinate tourists from all over the world! The Bikaner camel festival is a spectacle of unusual camel performances including camel races, camel dances, and the bumpy, neck shaking camel rides. The festival starts with the procession of beautifully decorated camels, heading towards open sand grounds. The Camel Pageant is held on the first day where the camel owners show off their decorated camels. Competitions are held for best decorated camel, camel milking and the best camel hair cuts. Camel dance performances are also held, where camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their drivers. Camel races also take place, with thousands of locals and tourists cheering the camels. The evenings end with a rendezvous with the folk music and dances of Rajasthan. The jubilant, skirt swirling dancers, the awe inspiring fire dances and many other equally interesting performances entertain the visitors. The grand finale is a magnificent display of fireworks, illuminating the desert city of Bikaner.
  • REPUBLIC DAY PARADE, New Delhi : In celebration of the Constitution of India being founded in 1950, a spectacular Republic Day parade is held in New Delhi on 26 January every year. The parade, which marches down Delhi's central Rajpath Avenue, features the three divisions of the armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) who showcase their strength and stride. It also includes traditional dance troupes from various regions of India, and culminates with a dramatic aero show by helicopters and other aircraft.

    NAGAUR FAIR, Nagaur : The picturesque town of Nagaur is home to the famous Nagaur Fair, Rajasthan’s second largest cattle fair held every year during the month of January or February.
    Nagaur Fair is renowned for its cattle trading including cows, bullocks, oxen, camels and horses. Rajasthani villagers are seen wearing colourful turbans and flaunting their long moustaches. Regional crafts such as wooden artifacts, iron craft and leather accessories are available in abundance during the fair. Various games such as tug-of-war, camel races, cock & bullfights intrigue locals and tourists alike. The festival comes to life with folk music and dance performances by local village artists.
    Flocked by thousands of tourists every year, the Nagaur fair is a unique experience - a spectacle of colours that signifies the true essence of Rajasthan, allowing you to experience the local lifestyle and blending yourself in the colourful culture of Rajasthan.
  • TAJ MAHOTSAV, Agra : The Taj Mahotsav is a 10 day carnival held in the month of February every year, at Shilpgram, near the magnificent Taj Mahal, in Agra. The festival commences with a spectacular procession inspired by Mughal splendour, with elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artists and master craftsmen recreating the glorious past of the Mughals. Taj Mahotsav offers a great opportunity for local artists to display their exquisite works of art and folk musicians and dancers to perform on stage for visitors. The festival is an intriguing journey into the customs and traditions and local lifestyle of the erstwhile Mughal era, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
  • KHAJURAHO DANCE FESTIVAL, Khajuraho : Khajuraho Dance Festival is held every spring in the town of Khajuraho, to celebrate the glory of the fascinating Khajuraho temples. This festival is a cultural extravaganza, celebrating Indian arts - dance and music learnt from generation to generation. The Khajuraho Dance Festival presents the best classical dances of India, performed by well reputed dance groups from around the country.

  • SURAJKUND CRAFTS MELA, Surajkund, in Faridabad district : Into its 25th year this year, the Surajkund Crafts Mela showcases the finest handloom, handicrafts, and Indian cuisine. Surajkund becomes alive with the rhythm and beats of folk dances and riot of colors. Over 400 artisans display and demonstrate their crafts from all over India. There are also cultural programs, and an amusement zone for children.T he mela has a different theme every year.


    HOLI, All over India, particularly in the north : Holi is commonly referred to as the "Festival of Colors". People exuberantly throw colored powder and water all over each other, have parties, and dance under water sprinklers. On the eve of Holi people light bonfires to mark the occasion and ward off evil spirits. Holi is a very carefree festival that's great fun to participate in if you don't mind getting wet and coloured!

  • ELEPHANT FESTIVAL, Jaipur : The Elephant Festival is a unique event held annually in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. As the name suggests, the Elephant festival is in honour of the Indian tuskers. Groomed to perfection, glittering in gold, row upon row of elephants catwalk before an enthralled audience. Elephant races, elephant-polo matches and a most interesting tug of war between elephants and men, are all part of this spectacular event.

  • MEWAR FESTIVAL, Udaipur : The Mewar Festival is celebrated to welcome the arrival of spring. The festival is celebrated in the romantic lake city of Udaipur and coincides with the Gangaur Festival. The highlight of the Mewar festival is a procession of Rajasthani women, dressed in colourful saris, carrying idols and images of goddess Gauri to the serene Lake Pichola. An unusual procession of boats on the lake, amidst loud chanting of folk Rajasthani ballads, offers an exhilarating finale to this splendid celebration. The festivities also feature cultural events where Rajasthani culture is portrayed through folk songs, dances, drama performances, and a colourful display of fireworks.

    THRISSUR POORAM, Thrissur, Kerala : Thrissur Pooram is the biggest and most colorful temple festival of Kerala. It is celebrated in Vadakkumnathan temple in the Thrissur district. The festival is famous for its unique decorated elephant procession (Kudamattom), which involves participation of elephants from various temples across Kerala. Apart from this splendid procession, other attractions of Thrissur Pooram festival include a spectacular display of colorful fireworks, parasol exchanges, an umbrella showing competition, and drum concerts. Lasting for 36 hours, the festival draws the largest crowds in Kerala, fascinating locals and tourists in the region.
  • BAISAKHI, Punjab : Baisakhi is a harvest festival, a Punjabi New year festival, and commemoration of the founding of the Khalsa….. all rolled into one occasion. Baisakhi is celebrated with a great deal of feasting, dancing, folk music, and fairs. A carnival atmosphere prevails in the area surrounding the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

  • MAY

    INTERNATIONAL FLOWER FESTIVAL, Gangtok, Sikkim : The International Flower Festival held annually in May, in Gangtok in the state of Sikkim, is one of the most popular flower shows of India. This festival features exotic varieties of local flowers, orchids and other plants of Sikkim. During this time, the state of Sikkim blooms with about 600 species of orchids, 240 species of trees and ferns, 150 varieties of gladioli, and 46 types of rhododendrons, along with a variety of magnolias and many other foliage plants. The flora displayed in the Gangtok Flower Festival mainly comprises of climbers, alpine plants, cacti, herbs orchids, creepers, gladioli, ferns, roses, etc.
  • JUNE

    GANGA DUSSEHRA, Varanasi & Haridwar : Ganga Dusshera is a holy festival, devoted to the worship of the Holy River Ganges. It is believed that the ‘Gangavataran’ (the descent of River Ganges) took place at this time. On this day, holy places along the Ganges plain such as Varanasi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, hold special significance. A large number of devotees flock to numerous ghats located along the banks of River Ganges to worship and wash away their sins in the holy water. At dawn and dusk, the banks of River Ganges are lit up with thousands of earthern lamps and candles with priests performing holy rituals and worshipping the River Goddess.
  • URS FAIR, Ajmer Rajasthan : Held in the holy town of Ajmer in honour of the Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Urs Fair is marked by special prayers offered at the mosque, and huge amounts of food offered from the large, steaming cauldrons that were a gift from Emperor Akbar. While quwallis are sung at night, the celebrations unite people of all faiths, and the complete town is decorated with buntings, and wears the spirit of festivity. It is an occasion for thousands of believers to congregate at the shrine and offer their prayers. All of Ajmer seems to take on a festive air and several programmes are organized to mark the festival.
  • JULY

    HEMIS FESTIVAL, Ladakh : The Hemis Festival is held every year in the Hemis Monastery, the biggest Buddhist monastery of Ladakh. It is celebrated on the tenth day of lunar month in the Tibetan calendar. The festival is celebrated in the commemoration of the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava. Hemis festival is celebrated with a colourful fair displaying some of the most exquisite handicrafts of Ladakh region and the display of the two-story high 'Thanka' of the monastery. The Thanka is beautifully embroidered with pearls and semi-precious stones, and depicts Guru Padmasambhava –it is put on display once in twelve years.
  • MANGO FESTIVAL, New Delhi : The Mango Festival is celebrated in India’s capital city, New Delhi, every year in the month of July. Held at Talkatora stadium, it is one of the most awaited fairs in the capital city. The festival also marks the advent of mangoes and presents more than 500 varieties of this king of fruits. Mangoes from different states of the country, are brought under one roof, where visitors can taste the summer fruit and learn more about each variety. Given the exotic seasonality of mangoes, the festival is a tasteful delight for locals and tourists visiting the capital region.

    NEHRU TROPHY BOAT RACE (SNAKE BOAT RACE), Alappuzha, Kerala : Nehru Trophy Boat Race (also referred as ‘snake boat race’) is an annual event organized in Alappuzha, Kerala. It is held every year on the second Saturday of August. The event is promoted as a major tourist attraction by the state of Kerala and draws a large number of domestic and international tourists. The first boat race was held in the year 1952 in honour of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, hence deriving its name ‘Nehru Trophy Boat Race’. Each boat comprises of approx 150 men, of which 4 are helmsmen, 25 singers and 125 oarsmen. The most remarkable feature of the Boat Race is the depiction of great team spirit – the race displays the importance of being united and in harmony with nature. One of the most famous boat races of Kerala, Nehru Trophy Boat Race promotes unity and fraternity among people.
  • JANMASHTAMI, Vrindavan & Mathura : Janmashtami, marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, one of the most popular Hindu Gods. The epicenter of the festival is Vrindavan and Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. However, the Janmashtami euphoria spreads all across India. Festivities include various rituals being performed by followers. Temples all over India engage in various ceremonies and prayers in honour of Lord Krishna. The festival is celebrated all across the country with the chanting of shlokas, readings from religious texts, singing devotional songs and a number of dance and drama performances depicting the life of Lord Krishna.
  • TEEJ, Rajasthan : The Teej is a much anticipated monsoon festival for women. It commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Women apply henna to their hands and feet, get dressed up, and parade around. Artists such as folk singers and dancers follow the procession. Caparisoned elephants, bullock carts, and chariots add to the delightful spectacle.
  • RAKSHA BANDHAN, All Over India : The Teej is a much anticipated monsoon festival for women. It commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Women apply henna to their hands and feet, get dressed up, and parade around. Artists such as folk singers and dancers follow the procession. Caparisoned elephants, bullock carts, and chariots add to the delightful spectacle.
  • EID UL FITR, All Over India : Eid ul Fitr or the 'festival of fast breaking' is the most celebratory of all Muslim festivals. The festival is significant as much for its timing, as for its religious implications. It is celebrated after the long fasting month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar). The festival of Eid ul Fitr marks the beginning of celebrations for a period extending over three days. Women prepare sweets at home and all Muslims are seen adorned with new dresses on this day. Eid ul Fitr is synonymous with joy and thanksgiving. Such is the spirit of this great festival that even a lot of Non-Muslims participate in Eid celebrations in India.

    ONAM, Kerala : Onam is the biggest festival celebrated in the South Indian state of Kerala. Onam Festival falls during the Malayali month of Chingam (Aug - Sep) and marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali. Carnival of Onam lasts for ten days and brings out the best of Kerala culture and tradition. Intricately decorated ‘Pookalam’ floral decorations on the ground; elaborate grand meals called ‘Onasadya’; ‘Vallamkali’ fascinating boat races; decorated elephant processions and exotic dances are some of the most remarkable features of Onam - the harvest festival in Kerala. The beauty of the festival lies in it's secular fabric - people of all religions, castes and communities celebrate Onam, spreading the message of peace and brotherhood.
  • DURGA PUJA, Kolkata : Durga Puja, the most important festival of Bengalis signifies the worship of 'Shakti' or the devine power. It is celebrated throughout India, but more so in the state of West Bengal, with Kolkata being the central hub of celebrations. Durga Puja commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. Temples are lit up with thousands of lights, earthen lamps and candles and carnivals are held to celebrate the festival and spread the joy. Singing, dancing, drama performances along with rich Indian delicacies and sweets mark the celebrations of Durga Puja.
  • Ladakh Festival, Ladakh : Ladakh festival takes place annually from 01 - 15 September every year in Leh and the villages of Ladakh. The festival highlights the sports and culture of the region. It has plenty to offer tourists, including polo-match, music concerts, mask dances from the monasteries, motorbike / cycle expedition to Khardung-la, Thanka painting exhibition, archery, river rafting, and folk songs. A delightful cultural experience to enjoy in the Himalayas!

    MARWAR FESTIVAL, Jodhpur : The Marwar Festival is celebrated in the blue hued city of Jodhpur, in Rajasthan. A two day long event, the festival takes place during the full moon. The Marwar Festival is mainly dedicated to the folk heroes of Rajasthan.
    The festival features Rajasthani folk music, dance and drama performances, bringing to life the myth and legends of the region. The festival also holds various competitions including the regal games of horse riding and horse polo.
  • DUSSEHRA, various places across India : The festival of Dussehra is an important celebration in many parts of India. It is celebrated with great fanfare in most parts of North India, some parts of south India, and in the form of Durga Puja in West Bengal. Dussehra is a popular Hindu festival, which marks the defeat of Ravana by Lord Rama. Dussehra also symbolises the triumph of warrior Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. To mark the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana and celebrate the joy, paper statues of Ravana are set on fire on Dussehra day, followed by carnivals held in the cities and suburbs. Celebrations are in the form of religious ceremonies, followed by carnival entertainment with rides and games, music, dance and drama performances, grand feasts and a lot of Indian sweets.
  • DIWALI, various places across India : One of the most popular Hindu festivals, ‘Deepawali’ or ‘Diwali’, is celebrated to mark the homecoming of Lord Rama from exile. Also called the 'Festival of Lights', Diwali is symbolized by people lighting up their houses, shops, offices with lights, earthen lamps and candles. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek divine blessings of Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth. After the religious puja ceremony, friends and family share a grand feast and sweets, followed by a splendid display of fireworks on almost every street of the country. Diwali gifts are exchanged amongst all near and dear ones.
  • NAVARATRI, Across India : Navaratri is a nine day festival that celebrates the Mother Goddess in all her manifestations. Worship and fasting take place in the daytime, while the nights are reserved for feasting and dancing. The festival culminates with Dussehra, the victory of good over evil, on the tenth day.


    PUSHKAR FAIR, Pushkar : Pushkar festival, held every year in the month of October / November in Rajasthan, is world famous for its camel trading, cattle auctions and camel races along with traditional activities like folk music and dances, colourful village shops and eateries serving traditional delicacies.
    Flocked by thousands of tourists every year, the Pushkar fair is a unique experience - a spectacle of colours that signifies the true essence of Rajasthan, allowing you to experience the local lifestyle and blending yourself in the colourful culture of Rajasthan.
    The Pushkar fair also coincides with full moon day of ‘Kartik Purnima’ when thousands of devotees immerse themselves in the Holy Pushkar Lake. Witness the rituals and see the believers wash away their sins, understand the customs and traditions and experience a stay at desert camps within walking distance to fair grounds….with a visit to the fascinating Pushkar festival.
  • HAMPI FESTIVAL, Hampi : The Hampi Festival is celebrated in the deserted city of Hampi (in Karnataka), once the capital of the historic Vijayanagar Empire. Every year, the city of ruins, Hampi, plays host to a festival of dance and music, known as the Hampi Festival or Vijaya Utsav of Karnataka. The Hampi Dance and Music Festival attracts some of the most distinguished artists from the field of art, dance, music and drama. Splendid performances by reputed artists, against the backdrop of the ancient city of Hampi, is a fascinating experience. Other attractions of the festival include magnificent fireworks, puppet shows and elaborate processions, bringing back to life memories of the bygone era.
  • ELLORA FESTIVAL, Aurangabad : The Ellora Festival is held every year in the Ellora Caves, situated at a distance of approximately 30 km from Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra. Ellora festival is a festival of dance and music, showcasing some of the best talents of the region. Some of the most distinguished singers as well as dancers of the country participate in this festival, performing against the backdrop of the structural magnificence of the ancient Ellora caves. This is a unique time to visit Aurangabad and see the city sparkle in the lights and celebrations of the Ellora festival.
  • KOLAYAT FAIR, Bikaner : The Kolayat Fair held in Kolayat, Bikaner is also called the 'Kapil Muni Fair'. This fair is observed on the banks of Lake Kolayat. On the day of the festival, devotees take a dip in the lake to wash away their sins. The 52 Ghats along the banks of Lake Kolayat, are lit up to sparkle with festivities. Devotees and pilgrims perform their religious rituals and offer prayers, sugar drops, sweets and milk pudding to the deity. With a serene finale at dusk, several oil lamps are lit and floated on leaves in the calm lake water.
  • GANGA MAHOTSAV, Varanasi : Held along the banks of the holy Ganges River, this unique and mystical festival features cultural programs of classical Indian music and dance. The highlight of the festival is on the last day, when more than a million clay lamps are floated down the holy river Ganges at dusk amidst chanting of Vedic Hindu hymns.

  • CHHATH PUJA, Banks of River Ganges : The north Indian festival, traditionally celebrated by the people of Bihar, has grown to be a big occasion in Mumbai as well. Chhat Puja is devoted to worshiping the sun. People flock to the holy river Ganges to offer prayers to the Sun God at sunset. Hymns and folk songs are sung, and women fast and pray for the wellbeing of their family and friends.

    CHRISTMAS, various places across India : Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and conveys his message of love, tolerance and brotherhood. It's a celebration of humanity and mankind. Though Christmas is primary a festival of Christian calendar, it is celebrated as a universal festival through out India. Christmas is the most important festival of Indian Christians, but celebrated with equal joy by non Christians as well. In India, people decorate banana or mango trees instead of traditional pine trees. They also light small oil-burning lamps as Christmas decorations and fill their churches and homes with red flowers. Gifts are exchanged between near and dear ones, prayers are held in the church, followed by a grand feast. Unlike their western counterparts, Indians are not big turkey eaters; so, don’t be surprised to see a grand Christmas feast that is pure vegetarian! Although at most places turkey, chicken, lamb or fish will be served.

    Kochi Carnival is held in the last week of December, in Kochi, every year. Fort Kochi is decorated and tourists flock to this lovely port city to participate in the festivities. Inception of the Kochi carnival can be traced back to the Portuguese New Year revelry, held here during the colonial days.

    Preparations generally begin months in advance for hosting the carnival, which involves unique activities such as Kalam Vara (floor drawing), tug-of-war, bicycle race, swimming in the sea, beach volleyball and a variety of north and south Indian dance performances. The highlight of the carnival is the massive procession led by embellished elephants accompanied by drums and music. Color white dominates the concluding 10 days of December, during the Kochi Carnival. The festivities and revelries continue till midnight of December 31st with fireworks marking the grand finale.

  • MT ABU WINTER FESTIVAL, Mt. Abu, Rajasthan :

    The cool, green hill settlement of Mt Abu in Rajasthan becomes vibrant during the annual Winter Festival which captures the spirit of Rajasthan tribal life and culture. Enjoy ceremonial processions, folk performances, fireworks, and competitions such as skating races, boat races, horse races, and tug-of-war. A mix crowd of locals and tourists alike make the festival enjoyable for all.

  • Indian Cuisines

    The finest of India's cuisines are as rich and diverse as the country's civilization! Indian cooking is a form of art that has flourished through generations purely by word of mouth. Indian cuisine, renowned for its exotic gravies, is wide ranging in variety, taste and flavour. Given the geographic diversity of the country, each region has its own cuisine and distinct style of preparation.

  • North Indian Cuisine

    North Indian flavours have become an important part of international cuisine. Beloved for its specialized 'Tandoori' dishes, North Indian cuisine is popular world wide, be it with the Asians, Brits, Americans, Aussies and now even the Kiwis! The conventional Indian Tandoor is now widely used and advocated by the likes of Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay.

    Food from North India is characterized by its thick and tasty gravies. Bread is preferred over rice. North Indians love chillies, saffron, milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, ghee (clarified butter) and nuts. Their meals are hearty and often include several specialized non-vegetarian Mughlai dishes (especially chicken) and famous vegetarian delicacies. Sweets, especially those made of milk and ghee (like mithai, rus-malai, kheer, rabri) are a huge favourite too !

  • West Indian Cuisines

    West Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat are largely vegetarian, owing to their hot and dry climate. Due to the peculiar climate conditions, vegetables are preserved as pickles and chutneys, so they last longer and can be consumed throughout the year.

    The state of Maharashtra, which includes the city of Mumbai (land of Bollywood) is famous for its coastal food and extravagant meals prepared with strong Gujarati influence. Peanuts and coconut are important ingredients as they are freely available in the region.

    On the extreme west, the Indian beach paradise, Goa, specializes in fresh fish and exotic seafood. The local Goan dishes have a strong Portuguese flavour, with extensive use of chillies (like the famous Nandos Peri-Peri) and coconut.

  • East Indian Cuisine

    Simple is the key word for food of this region of India. Steaming and frying are popular methods of cooking. In coastal regions fish is the non-vegetarian food of choice. The people of no other region in India can rival the love for sweets and desserts that Eastern Indians have! The geographical location of this region means its food bears the strong influence of Chinese and Mongolian cuisine.

  • South Indian Cuisines

    South Indian cuisine is perhaps the hottest of all Indian food. Meals are centered around rice or rice-based dishes and dosa (south Indian crepe made from rice and lentils). Rice and / or dosa is combined with Sambar (a soup-like lentil dish tempered with whole spices and chillies) and rasam (a hot-sour soup like lentil dish), dry and curried vegetables and meat dishes, fish and prawn dishes, and a host of coconut-based chutneys and poppadums (deep-fried crispy lentil pancakes). South Indians are great lovers of dark filter coffee.

  • Magic of Indian Spices

    They made ancient India, the richest nation in the world,
    Ancient Romans bartered slaves for them,
    Arabs risked their lives trading them,
    Columbus discovered America while searching for them,
    The Dutch and English Empires fought over India for them,
    The British ruled India for centuries & made a business of them,
    It was not for Gold, Pearls or Diamonds...history was created with the magic of Indian Spices!

  • India is known the world over as 'the Home of Spices'. No country in the world produces the amount of spices that India does - close to 3 million tones of spices valued at more than US$ 4 billion a year. Today, India is one of the largest exporting nations of spices in the world.

    The climate of India is ideal for the growth of almost all spices. Garlic, ginger and caraway seeds come from North India, while fenugreek, red chillies and fennel originate in West India. East India is abundant with ginger, turmeric and large cardamoms. South India is known for cardamom, mace, cinnamon, clove, pepper and even vanilla.

    There is a popular belief that spicy foods are bad for health. Contrary to this belief, Indian history supports the medicinal properties of spices and considers them good for health. Spices are well known as appetizers and digestives and are considered essential in culinary art all over the world. Some of them have anti-oxidant properties, while others have preservative properties and are used in some foods like pickles and chutneys. Some spices also possess strong anti-microbial and antibiotic capabilities. Many of them possess medicinal properties that have a profound effect on human health, since they affect many functional processes. For example ginger is believed to prevent dyspepsia, garlic reduces cholesterol and hypertension, pepper serves as an antihistamine, and turmeric acts as a natural cosmetic and an antiseptic for internal and external injuries.

    Although every state in India uses spices in their daily cooking, some spices are more posh than others and come at a higher price. From the north Indian state of Kashmir comes the world's most expensive spice - 'saffron'. Saffron appears like orange strands, which are the stigmata of the Crocus Sativus. One gram of saffron requires the stigmata of 1500 flowers and the spice is so dear to Indians that its vibrant orange colour is represented in the Indian flag!

    The various Indian spices together create that typical Indian aroma and the delicious Indian flavour loved worldwide. Indian celebrity chefs seldom talk about their secret ingredient, 'the garam masala', which adds a special zest to any Indian dish. Simply spoken, garam masala is the magic created by the combination of cardamom ('ilaichi'), cinnamon ('dal chini), cloves ('laung'), dry coriander powder ('dhania'), black pepper ('kali mirch'), and cumin ('jeera'). Indians believe that garam masala is the key ingredient in any special Indian dish. So next time you try your hand on Indian cooking, don't forget this magical spice powder, called 'garam masala'!

  • Tourist Info - India

    Location : South Asia.
  • Area : 3,166,414 sq km (1,222,582 sq miles).
  • Capital : New Delhi.
  • Government : Republic since 1947.
  • Language

    The main language is Hindi which is spoken by about 40% of the population; English is also enshrined in the constitution for a wide range of official purposes. In addition, 17 regional languages are recognized by the constitution. These include Bengali, Gujarati,Oriya and Punjabi, which are widely used in the north, and Tamil and Telugu, which are common in the south. Other regional languages include Kannada, Malayalam and Marathi. The Muslim population largely speaks Urdu.

  • Religion : About 82% Hindu, 12% Muslim, with Sikh, Christian, Jain, Parsi and Buddhist minorities.
  • Time : GMT + 5.5
  • Electricity : 230-240 volts AC, 50Hz. Some areas have a DC supply. Plugs used are of the round two- and three-pin type.
  • Telephone : Country code: 91
  • Mobile Telephone : Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is limited to major towns but is increasing all the time.
  • Internet : E-mail can be accessed from an increasing number of hotels and from Internet cafés across the country, many now with Wi-Fi.
  • Post : Airmail service to Western Europe takes up to two weeks.
  • Post office hours : Regional variations, but generally Mon-Sat 1000-1300 and 1330-1630 in bigger towns and cities.
  • Contact Information
    Indian Ministry of Tourism in India
    88 Janpath, New Delhi, 110001, India
    Tel: (011) 2332 0008.
  • STD codes of India

    Telephone Numbers & STD codes

    Ahemdabad Bikaner Jaipur Patna
    079 0151 0141 0612
    Agra Bundi Jaisalmer Pushkar
    0562 0747 02992 0145
    Ajmer Chennai Jodhpur Pune
    0145 033 0291 020
    Alwar Chandigarh Kota Rajkot
    0144 0172 0744 0281
    Aurangabad Chittorgarh Lucknow Ranthambore
    02432 01472 0522 07462
    Bangalore Coimbator Manipal Sariska
    080 0422 08252 0144
    Barmer Dholpur Mount Abu Shimla
    02982 05642 02974 0177
    Beawar Dehradun Mumbai Srinagar
    01462 0135 022 0194
    Bharatpur Delhi Mussooree Udaipur
    05644 011 01362 0294
    Bhilwara Deogarh Mysore Vadodara
    01482 06432 0821 0265
    Bhopal Fathepur Sikri Nagpur
    0755 05619 01582
  • "Useful Telephone Numbers

    Emergency Numbers
  • Police : 100
  • Fire : 101
  • Ambulance : 102
  • Crime Police : 1090

  • General Telephone Numbers
  • Railway Enquiries : 131
  • Indian Airlines : 140
  • Hindi Servic : 177