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Holidays in India

Understanding India

Befitting its size and population, India's culture and heritage are a rich amalgam of the past and the present: From the civilizations, fascinating religions, variety of languages more than 200! and monuments that have been present for thousands of years to the modern technology, economy, and media that arises as it opens up to a globalised world, India will never cease to awe and fascinate the visitor

History

Indians date their history from the Vedic Period which scholars place in the second and first millennia BCE continuing up to the 6th century BCE, based on literary evidence This is the period when the Vedas, the oldest and holiest books of Hinduism, were compiled The earliest archaeological traces are from 7000 BC in Mehrgarh, which grew to be the "Indus Valley Civilization", which, in 3300 BC had well-planned towns and well-laid roads, but gave no evidence of weapons or fortifications This declined and disintegrated around 1900 BC, possibly due to drought & geological disturbances There is a major dispute over whether the textual descriptions in Vedic literature match with the archaeological evidence found in the Indus Valley The majority of the historians claim that they do not match, which means that Vedic people were not the same as the Indus Valley people The theory is that the Vedic people were later migrants, who encountered a civilization in decline and perhaps hastened that decline The minority view challenges this Aryan Migration or invasion theory, claiming that the Indus Valley people were in fact the ones who compiled the Vedas

The Vedic civilization influences India to this day The roots of present-day Hinduism lie in them Some rituals of Hinduism took shape during that period Most North-Indian languages come from Sanskrit, the language of the Vedas, and are classified as part of the Indo-European group of languages In the 1st millennium BC, various schools of thought in philosophy developed, enriching Hinduism greatly Most of them claimed to derive from the Vedas However, two of these schools - Buddhism and Jainism - questioned the authority of the Vedas and they are now recognized as separate religions

Many great empires were formed between 500 BC and AD 500 Notable among them were the Mauryas and the Guptas called the Golden Age This period saw a gradual decline of Buddhism and Jainism The practice of Buddhism, in particular, disappeared from the Indian mainland, though Buddha himself was incorporated into the Hindu pantheon Jainism continues to be practised by a significant number who are ambivalent about whether they consider themselves Hindus or not


Islamic incursions started in the 8th century in the form of raids Gradually the raiders started staying as rulers, and soon much of North India was ruled by Muslims The most important of the Muslim rulers were the Mughals, who established an empire that at its peak covered almost the entire subcontinent save the southern and eastern extremities, while the major Hindu force that survived in the North were the Rajputs Eventually the Mughal empire declined, partly under attack from the Marathas who established a short-lived confederacy that was almost as big as the Mughal Empire The Rajput and Mughal period of North India was the golden age for Indian art, architecture, and literature, produced the monumental gems of Rajasthan, and the Taj Mahal Hindi and Urdu also took root in medieval North India During the Islamic period, some Hindus also converted to Islam, either due to force, to escape the low social status that the caste system imposed on them, or simply to gain the benefits of being aligned with their rulers Today, some 13% of the Indian population and an overwhelming majority of Pakistan is Muslim


South India followed a different trajectory, being less affected by the Islamic invasion The period from 500 AD to 1600 AD is called the classical period dominated by great South Indian kingdoms Prominent among them were the Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and Vijayanagara empires who ruled from present day Karnataka and the Pallavas, Cheras, Pandyas and Cholas who ruled from present day Tamil Nadu & Kerala Tamil, Kannada and Telugu literature flourished during this time and has been prolific ever since Among them, the Cholas are widely recognised to be the most powerful of the South Indian kingdoms, with their territory stretching as far north as Pataliputra and their influence spreading as far east as Sumatra, Western Borneo and Southern Vietnam at the height of their power Some of the grandest Hindu and Jain monuments that exist in India were built during this time in South and East India, which were less subject to Muslim religious prohibitions

European traders started visiting India beginning in the late 16th century Prominent among these were the British, French and the Portuguese By the 19th century, the British East India Company had, one way or the other assumed political control of virtually all of India though the Portuguese and the French too had their enclaves along the coast There was an uprising by Indian rulers in 1857 which was suppressed, but which prompted the British government to make India a part of the empire Many Indians converted to Christianity during the period, for pretty much the same reasons as they converted to Islam, though forcible conversions ended in British India after 1859, when the British Government took over from the East India Company, and Queen Victoria's proclamation promised to respect the religious faiths of Indians

Non-violent resistance to British colonialism under Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi led to independence on 15 August 1947 However, independence was simultaneously granted to the secular state of India and the smaller Islamic state of Pakistan, and the orgy of Hindu-Muslim bloodletting that followed Partition led to the deaths of at least half a million and the migration of 12-14 million people

Free India under Nehru adopted a democratically-governed, centrally-planned economy These policies were aimed at attaining "self-sufficiency", and to a large extent made India what it is today India achieved self-sufficiency in food grains by the 1970s, ensuring that the large-scale famines that had been common are now history However these policies also led to shortages, slow growth and large-scale corruption After a balance-of-payments crisis in 1991, the country adopted free-market reforms which have continued at a meandering pace ever since, fueling strong growth The IT and the business outsourcing industries have been the drivers for the growth, while manufacturing and agriculture, which have not experienced reforms, are lagging About 60% of Indians live on agriculture and around 25% remain in poverty

Relations with Pakistan have been frosty They have fought three or four, if you count the Kargil conflict of 1999 wars, mostly over the status of Kashmir The third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming Bangladesh China and India went to war in 1962 over a border dispute An unprepared India was defeated by China Viewed as a "betrayal" in India, the defeat still rankles Though current relations are peaceful, there is still military rivalry and no land crossings are allowed between the two countries, though one border crossing between Sikkim and Tibet was re-opened in 2006 for trade but not tourists The security concerns over Pakistan and China prompted India to test nuclear weapons twice including the 1974 tests described as "peaceful explosions" India wants to be accepted as a legitimate nuclear power and is campaigning for a permanent Security Council seat

India is proud of its democratic record Constitutional government and democratic freedoms have been safeguarded throughout its 60 years as an independent country, except for an 18 month interlude in 1975-1977, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency, suspending elections and human rights

Current concerns in India include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan, terrorism, over-population, corruption, environmental degradation, continuing poverty, and ethnic and religious strife But the current obsession, at least among the educated elite, is over whether India will be able overtake China in economic growth

Politics

India is a republic, with the President as the Head of State The President is elected by an electoral college, which consists of all elected members of parliament and all elected members of the various state assemblies Each elector is given a different number of votes, such that the national government and the state governments have an equal say in the appointment of the president, and less-populated states are not at an unfair disadvantage

The parliament is based on the British Westminster system, consisting of two houses The lower house, known as the Lok Sabha House of the People is popularly elected by the people The upper house, known as the Rajya Sabha Council of States is largely elected by the people through popular vote, though several members with expertise in specific fields are also appointed to it by the president The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is the leader of the majority party in both houses

In practice the Prime Minister is one who wields the most authority in government, with the President being the nominal head of state

Time Zone

Indian Standard Time IST is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time GMT+55 Daylight Saving is not observed

Geography

Mountains, jungles, deserts and beaches, India has it all It is bounded to the north, northeast and northwest by the snow-capped Himalayas, the tallest mountain range in the world In addition to protecting the country from invaders, they also fed the perennial rivers Ganga, Yamuna Jamuna and Sindhu Indus on whose plains India's civilization flourished Though most of the Sindhu is in Pakistan now, three of its tributaries flow through Punjab The other Himalayan river, the Brahmaputra flows through the northeast, mostly through Assam

South of Punjab lies the Aravalli range which cuts Rajasthan into two The western half of Rajasthan is occupied by the Thar desert The Vindhyas cut across Central India, particularly through Madhya Pradesh and signify the start of the Deccan plateau, which covers almost the whole of the southern peninsula It is bounded by the Sahyadri Western Ghats range to the west and the Eastern Ghats to the east The plateau is more arid than the plains, as the rivers that feed the area, such as the Narmada, Godavari and the Kaveri run dry during the summer Towards the northeast of the Deccan plateau is what used to be a thickly forested area called the Dandakaranya which covers the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, the eastern edge of Maharashtra and the northern tip of Andhra Pradesh This area is still forested, poverty stricken and populated by tribals This forest acted as a barrier to the invasion of South India

India has a long coastline The west coast borders the Arabian Sea and the east coast the Bay of Bengal, both parts of the Indian Ocean

Climate

In India, it rains only during a specific time of the year The season as well as the phenomenon that causes it is called the monsoon There are two of them, the Southwest and the Northeast, both named after the directions the winds come from The Southwest monsoon is the more important one, as it causes rains over most parts of the country, and is the crucial variable that decides how the crops and therefore the economy will do It lasts from June to September It hits the west coast the most, as crossing the western ghats and reaching the rest of India is an uphill task for the winds The western coastline is therefore much greener than the interior The Northeast monsoon hits the east coast between October and February, mostly in the form of occasional cyclones which cause much devastation every year The only region that gets rains from both monsoons is Northeastern India, which consequently experiences the highest rainfall in the world

India experiences at least three seasons a year, Summer, Rainy Season or "Monsoon" and Winter, though in the tropical South calling the 25°C 77°F weather "Winter" would be stretching the concept The North experiences some extremes of heat in Summer and cold in Winter, but except in the Himalayan regions, snow is almost unheard of November to January is the winter season and April and May are the hot months when everyone eagerly awaits the rains There is also a brief spring in February and March, especially in North India

Opinions are divided on whether any part of India actually experiences an Autumn, but the ancients had certainly identified such a season among the six seasons or ritus - Vasanta - Spring, Greeshma - Summer, Varsha - Rainy, Sharat - Autumn, Shishira - Winter, Hemanta - "Mild Winter" they had divided the year into

Culture

India has a very rich and diverse mix of culture and tradition, dominated by religious and spiritual themes There is no single unified Indian culture, and it's probably the only country where people of so many different origins, religious beliefs, languages and ethnic backgrounds coexist There are 3 main sub-cultures: North, East and South Most of the ancient Indian culture is preserved in the South which is famous for its classical arts, such as Carnatic music and classical Indian dance

The Northern part of India has a rich heritage of Hindustani Classical Music and vibrant dance forms Art and theatre flourish amongst the bustling cities of the country, against the backdrop of the ever expanding western influences that flavour life in the large metropolises of India

The East is popular for its many forms of folkdances and music These art forms are enriched by a strong east asian influence

"Atithi Devo Bhavah"

India's tourism ministry has started a program to encourage people to show more courtesy and to display sensitivity to the needs of tourists It has named the initiative Atithi Devo Bhavah, which is an ancient Hindu dictum meaning "Guest is a God" The term will develop as a brand, to certify that a service provider ensures a certain minimum level of quality Look out for the badge or sticker with these words when you are searching for taxi drivers, tour operators, etc 2

Holidays

There are three national holidays: Republic Day January 26, Independence Day August 15, and Gandhi Jayanti October 2 which occur on the same day every year In addition, there are three major nationwide festivals with shifting dates to be aware of:


  • Holi, in February or March — The festival of color is a major festival celebrated mainly in North, East and Western India On the first day, people go to temples and light bonfires, but on the second, it's a colored waterfight combined with showers of colored powder This is not a spectator sport: as a visible foreigner, you're a magnet for attention, so you'll either have to barricade yourself inside, or put on your most disposable clothes and join the fray Alcohol and bhang cannabis are often involved and crowds can get rowdy as the evening wears on Celebrations are rare in South India, though private celebrations occur among North Indian communities residing in major South Indian cities
  • Durga Puja / Navarathri/Dussehara, Sept-Oct — A nine-day festival culminating in the holy day of Dasara, when locals worship the deity Durga Workers are given sweets, cash bonuses, gifts, new clothes etc It is also new year for businessmen, when they are supposed to start new account books In some places like West Bengal, Durga Puja is the most important festival In the north Dussehara celebrations take place and the slaying of Ravana by Lord Rama is ceremonially reenacted as Ram Lila In Gujarat and South India, it is celebrated as Navarathri where the festival is celebrated by dancing to devotional songs and religious observances like fasts extended over a period of 9 nights
  • Diwali Deepavali, Oct-Nov — The festival of lights, celebrates the return of Lord Rama to the capital of his kingdom, Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years Probably the most lavish festival in the country, reminiscent to US travellers at least of the food of Thanksgiving and the shopping and gifts of Christmas combined Houses are decorated, there is glitter everywhere, and if you wander the streets on Diwali night, there will be firecrackers going off everywhere including sometimes under your feet

Apart from these, each state has its own major national festival like Onam for Kerala or Pongal for Tamil Nadu or Baisakhi for Punjab, which is celebrated as public holiday in respective states

Religious holidays occur on different days each year, because the Hindu and Islamic festivals are based on their respective calendars and not on the Gregorian calendar Most of them are celebrated only locally, so check the state or city you are visiting for information on whether there will be closures Different regions might give somewhat different names to the same festival To cater to varying religious practices, offices have a list of optional holidays called restricted holidays by the government from which employees are allowed to pick two, in addition to the list of fixed holidays This may mean thin attendance and delayed service even when the office is officially open

Suggested reading

  • The Age of Kali: Indian Travels and Encounters, William Dalrymple; A fine travelogue, actually a collection of essay papers 3 published over time in the media ISBN 1864501723
  • India: A History, John Keay; "A superb one-volume history of a land that defies reduction into simple narrative Without peer among general studies, a history that is intelligent, incisive, and eminently readable" -- Kirkus Review starred review ISBN 0802137970
  • India: A Million Mutinies Now, VS Naipaul; "With this book he may well have written his own enduring monument, in prose at once stirring and intensely personal, distinguished both by style and critical acumen" -- K Natwar-Singh, Financial Times ISBN 0670837024
  • In Spite of the Gods, Edward Luce; an exceptionally insightful and readable book on the unlikely rise of modern India ISBN 0316729817
  • No Full Stops In India, Mark Tully; "India's Westernized elite, cut off from local traditions, want to write a full stop in a land where there are no full stops From that striking insight Mark Tully has woven a superb series of stories which explore everything from communal conflict in Ahmedabad to communism in Kolkata, from the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad probably the biggest religious festival in the world to the televising of a Hindu epic" ISBN 0140104801

Touts

Touts are ubiquitous, as in many developing countries, and you should assume that anyone 'proactively' trying to help you has a hidden agenda to part you from your money However, in area's hardly or not at all visited by tourists, it is not at all uncommon for people who go out of their way to 'proactively' help you without expecting anything in return During your travels in India, you will be deluged with touts trying to get you to buy something or patronize particular establishments There are a myriad of common scams, which range from telling you your hotel has gone out of business of course, they'll know of one that's open with vacancies, to giving wrong directions to a government rail ticket booking office the directions will be to their friend's tour office, to trying to get you to take diamonds back to your home country the diamonds are worthless crystal, to 'poor students' giving you a sightseeing for hours and then with pity make you buy school books for them tremendously overpriced from a bookstore with whom they are affiliated There will also be more obvious touts who "know a very good place for dinner" or want to sell you a chess set on the street

Indians, in general, are a friendly lot, and people will be forthcoming in their questioning and offer suggestions, which may be helpful, may not be warranted at that point of time Indians tend to be friendly with visitors and most of them will be pleased to assist tourists

Faced with such an assault, it's very easy to get into a siege mentality where all of India is against you and out to squeeze you dry Needless to say, such a mentality may affect any true appreciation of the country Dealing with touts is very simple: first, assume that anyone doing something for you or offering something without being asked is a tout Second, assume anyone offering surprising information such as "your hotel is shut down" is a tout Never be afraid to get a second or third answer to a question To get rid of a tout:

  • Completely ignore him and go about your business until he goes away This may take quite a while but patience is key to managing India
  • Tell him "NO", very firmly, and repeatedly

Talking in India

India has 22 official languages, namely Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu There are also hundreds of other less prominent languages like Tulu, Bhojpuri and Ladakhi that are the main spoken language of some places

Hindi, natively spoken by 41% of the population, is the primary tongue of the people from the "Hindi Belt"including the capital, Delhi in Northern India Many more people speak it as a second language In addition, it is the main working language of the Central Government, and often serves as a common language among Indians with different native languages If you can afford only one phrasebook, pick up the Hindi one as it will allow you to get by in most of India The main exceptions are Tamil Nadu and the Northeast Avoid speaking Hindi in these places, as the language is often met with varying degrees of hostility from the locals

However, if possible, you are better off picking up as many words of the local language of the place you are going to - people are proud of their culture and language and will appreciate it if an outsider makes an attempt to communicate in it

Generally speaking, most official signs are trilingual in the local languageif not Hindi, Hindi and English, with the exception of Tamil Nadu where they are bilingual in Tamil and English

English is widely spoken in major cities and around most tourist places, as well as in most government offices, and acts as the lingua franca among educated Indians English has been spoken by Indians long enough that it has begun evolving its own rhythm, vocabulary, and inflection, much like French in Africa Indeed, much has recently been made of subcontinental writers such as Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, and Salman Rushdie The English you are likely to hear in India will be heavily influenced by British English, although spoken with the lilting stress and intonation of the speaker's other native language Indians can usually tell regional English accents apart

One of the most delightful quirks of Indian English is the language's adherence to Pre-1950s British English which to speakers in North America and Britain will sound oddly formal Another source of fascination and intrigue for travelers is the ubiquitous use of English for cute quips in random places One relatively common traffic sign reads, "Speed thrills, but kills" On the back of trucks everywhere you'll find "use dipper at night" or "Sound Horn"

Indians are adopting more and more native words into their English A lot of these are already well known to speakers elsewhere Chai tea, Guru learned teacher/master, cummerbund literally waist-tie, Nirvana extinction of the separative ego and avatar God in human form are words that have left their original subcontinental home However, Indians are using English loan words in their native languages at an even more rapid pace As India modernizes blazingly fast, it has taken from English words for modern objects that simply did not exist a few decades ago However, more importantly, bilingual Indians in informal conversation will often switch unpredictably between English and their native language when speaking to similar polyglots, thus effectively communicating in a hybridized language that relies on the listener's ability to speak both languages A bilingual speaker in Delhi, might for example, say "mera fever bahut bad hai" my fever is very bad which mixes English with Hindi 50-50 in spite of the fact that perfectly good words exist for both 'fever' and 'bad' in Hindi This hybrid is sometimes referred to as 'Hinglish'It seems that English and Hindi are indeed converging among the bilingual sections of society While English, as a distinct language, is here to stay for now, it appears that it will eventually over hundreds of years be absorbed into the vast cultural fabric of the subcontinent

English speaking Indians may also seem commanding to a westerner You may hear "come here," "sit here," "drink this," "bring me that" which may sound direct and demanding to the point of being rude to northern Europeans and Americans, but is in no way meant to be impolite

Non-verbal communication is also important Much has been made of the confusing Indian head nod for yes and no, but the only important thing to understand is that Indians have different nods for yes, ok and no

  • If they are shaking their head back and forth, they mean yes
  • If they are nodding their head in a tilting motion from right to left, they mean okay indicating acceptance The movement is in a figure eight, and looks identical to the western nod for "Sort of"
  • If they shake their head from left to right twisting it about the vertical axis, they mean no
  • There are differences in the way these signs are used in northern and southern India The back to forth is yes and a vigorous left-right shift is no in North, though latter may be construed for yes in southern states like Tamilnadu Look for verbal cues that accompany these sounds in south like 'aaan' for yes in south to get the correct meaning

What to see in India

Football

  • FootballSoccer Other than cricket, you can come across young boys playing around with a ball on any open space which is available

The club soccer is more favorite to the Indians than the international games and you will find people getting into heated arguments in public places over their favorite team Also , many large restaurants and bars offer a view of important European club matches and the World Cup matches

Hockey

  • Hockey Field hockey Despite the craze for cricket and football, the national game of India , HOCKEY retains a prominent position in the hearts of many Indians Although the viewership has dwindled significantly , as compared to the golden era before cricket came to the fore in the mid 80's, it hasn't vanished off

Specially in North India, some eastern parts like Jharkhand, Orissa and the north-eastern states still have a significant base The introduction of the PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE and the Bollywood film Chak De! Indiastarring Shahrukh Khan has boosted its popularity The Gachi-Bowli stadium in Hyderabad has arguably the best facilities in the country

Cricket

India is a cricket-obsessed country and cricket is in the blood of most Indians Seeing kids playing cricket in parks and alleys with rubber balls and makeshift wickets is an extremely common sight Until 2008, Indian cricket was all about the national team playing against other countries in one-day matches or epic five-day Test marathons, but the advent of the Indian Premier League IPL 55 has, for better or worse, brought fast-paced, commercialized "Twenty20" cricket to the fore, complete with cheerleaders and massive salaries

In international matches, while Australia and Sri Lanka make viable opposition, the biggest rivalry by far is with neighbouring Pakistan, and matches between the two sides are often a very charged affair

About half-a dozen Indian stadiums have a capacity of over 45,000 and watching a cricket match can be quite an experience Eden Gardens cricket stadium at Kolkata is Asia's highest capacity stadium with over 100,000 seating capacity While the facilities in the stadiums may not be too spectator friendly old benches instead of proper seats with backrests, monochrome scoreboards and lots of litter, the atmosphere of most matches is electrifying Nearly all international matches have sellout crowds, and it is quite normal for fans to bribe officials and make their way in Starting ticket prices are quite cheap; they can be as low as Rs 250 to 300 US$6-8 India and Pakistan are all-time arch rivals, and cricket matches between the two nations attract up to a billion TV viewers

Taj Mahal

A strong representation of Islamic architecture and a symbol of eternal love, the Taj Mahal is in Agra, IndiaConstructed by Shah Jahan, Taj Mahal is the mausoleum in memory of his favorite wife Arjumand Banu Begam, popularly known by her title Mumtaz Mahal, from which the name of the monument is taken It is open every day from sunrise to 19 hours, entry fee for those above 12 years Rs 1500 and Free entry on Fridays

What to do in India

Fair & Festivals

Goa Faircarnival-February heralds the carnival at Goa For three days and nights the streets come alive with color Held in mid February the weeklong event is a time for lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars, graceful dances and of non-stop festivity One of the more famous of the Indian Carnivals the Goa Festival is a complete sell out in terms of tourism capacities

Surajkund Mela-Febuary 1-15As spring glides in, full of warmth and vibrancy leaving the gray winter behind, Surajkund adorns itself with colorful traditional crafts of India Craftsmen from all over the country assemble at Surajkund during the first fortnight of February to participate in the annual celebration known as the Surajkund Crafts Mela

Holi-The Spring Festival of India, Holi - is a festival of colors Celebrated in March or April according to the Hindu calendar, it was meant to welcome the spring and win the blessings of Gods for good harvests and fertility of the land As with all the Hindu festivals, there are many interesting legends attached to Holi, the most popular being that of Prince Prahlad, who was a devout follower of Lord Vishnu It is the second most important festival of India after Diwali Holi in India is a festival of fun and frolic and has been associated with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha The exuberance and the festivity of the season are remarkable

Diwali-"Diwali", the festival of lights, illuminates the darkness of the New Year's moon, and strengthens our close friendships and knowledge, with a self-realization! Diwali is celebrated on a nation-wide scale on Amavasya - the 15th day of the dark fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashwin, October/November every year It symbolizes that age-old culture of India which teaches to vanquish ignorance that subdues humanity and to drive away darkness that engulfs the light of knowledge Diwali, the festival of lights even to-day in this modern world projects the rich and glorious past of India

Pushkar Mela-Every November, the sleepy little township of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India comes alive with a riot of colors & a frenzied burst of activity The Occasion: PUSHKAR FAIR Very few, if at all any, fairs in the world can match the liveliness of Pushkar Most people associate the Pushkar Fair with e world's largest camel fair But it is much more than that

National Parks

Depending on the area and terrain National Parks provide ample opportunities to the visitors to have a close encounters with the wilds But what is so exquisite about the Indian National Parks is the variance that they are equipped with Whether it comes to the flora, avifauna, and aquafauna, or witnessing various wild forms in their natural surroundings on an elephant or inside a jeep, wild ventures in are simply amazing!

Bandhavgarh National Park- located in Umaria District, Madhya Pradesh

Ranthambore National Park-located near Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan

Kaziranga National Park- located in Bokakhat, Assam

Kanha National Park-located in Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh

Royal Chitwan National Park Nepal- located in South West Of Kathmandu, Nepal

Buying stuff in India

The currency in India is the Indian rupee रुपया rupaya in Hindi and similarly named in most Indian languages, but taka in Maithili and Taakaa in Bengali and Assamese It trades around 46 rupees to the US dollar, 67 to pound sterling and 57 rupees to the Euro The Rupee is subdivided into 100 paise singular: paisa 5 rupees 75 paise would normally be written as Rs575 and one rupee as Re1

Common bills come in denominations of Rs 5 green, Rs 10 orange, Rs 20 red, Rs 50 purple, Rs 100 blue, Rs 500 yellow and Rs 1,000 pink It is always good to have a number of small bills on hand, as merchants and drivers sometimes don't have change A useful technique is to keep small bills Rs 10 - 50 in your wallet or in a pocket, and to keep larger bills separate In this way you won't be making obvious the amount of money you have available In many cases merchants will claim that they don't have change for a Rs 100 or Rs 500 note This is often a lie, as they simply don't want to be stuck with a large bill Rather than giving up your last 6 ten-rupee notes, it is better to make them give you change

The coins in circulation are 50 paise, Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, and Rs 10 recently introduced Coins are useful for buying tea Rs 5, for bus fare Rs 2 to Rs 10, and for giving exact change for an auto-rickshaw

Indians commonly use lakh and crore for "hundred thousand" and "10 million" respectively Though these terms come from Sanskrit, they have been adopted so deeply into Indian English that most people are not aware that it is not standard in other English dialects You may also find non-standard placement of commas while writing numerals Rupees One crore would be written as Rs 1,00,00,000 This format may puzzle you till you start thinking in terms of lakhs and crores, after which it will seem natural

Changing money

The Indian rupee is not officially convertible, and a few government-run shops will still insist on seeing official exchange receipts if you're visibly a foreigner and attempt to pay in rupees instead of hard currency Rates for exchanging rupees overseas are often poor and importing rupees is theoretically illegal, although places with significant Indian populations eg Dubai, Singapore can give decent rates Try to get rid of any spare rupees before you leave the country

Outside airports you can change your currency at any one of the numerous foreign exchange conversion units including banks Some of the more common foreign exchange merchants are Travelex 56 and Thomas Cook 57

In big cities, there are now ATMs where you can get rupees against your international debit or credit card maximum amount is 25,000 - 50,000 rupees depending on the ATM From October 2009 most ATMs will only pay out 10,000 Rs in each transaction State Bank of India SBI is the biggest bank in India and has the most ATM's ICICI bank has the second largest network of ATMs, and accepts most of the international cards at a nominal charge International banks like Citibank, HSBC, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, ABN Amro, Standard Chartered etc have significant presence in major Indian cities It is always worthwhile to have bank cards or credit cards from at least two different providers, to ensure that you have a backup available in case one card is suspended by your bank, or simply doesn't work at a particular ATM

In many cities and towns, credit cards are accepted at retail chain stores and other restaurants and stores Small businesses and family-run stores almost never accept credit cards, so it is useful to keep a moderate amount of cash on hand

Costs

In short, India is above cheap For Mid- to High-Range Travellers: Rs 1500 $40 is at least needed for a decent room in a good hotel offering cable, air condition and a direct telephone; however, this price doesn't include refrigerator Apart from this food will cost min Rs 100 decent two time meal at a stall not at a hotel to sky is the limit While transportation will cost approximately bus = min Rs 5 for one way short distance of say 1 km, Taxi / Rickshaw = Rs 22 for one way short distance of say 1-2 km that too without air con So total for one day would be approximate as below:

  • Hotel $40 good one per day
  • Food $10 good meal per day 2 major and 2 mini meals
  • Travelling $10 taxi and bus inclusive approximately
  • Total $60 for one day for a couple; for a single you can deduct $10

For Budget Travellers: Budget travel around India is surprisingly easy, with the savvy backpacker able to get by relatively comfortably on as little as $15 to $20 a day It is generally cheaper than South East Asia with a night in a hotel costing as little as 150 to 250 Rs though don't expect air-con or room service for this price! Beach huts in the cheaper places of Goa can cost around 300 Rs a night A meal can be bought from a street trader for as little as 30 Rs, though in a restaurant expect to pay around 200 - 300 Rs if you fancy a beer or two Overnight buses and trains can cost anywhere from 600 to 1000 Rs dependent on distance and locations, though if you don't mind roughing it on a government bus benches only you can get around for less

Shopping

In India you are expected to negotiate the price with street hawkers, but not in department stores and the like If not, you risk overpaying many times - which can be okay if you think "well, it's cheaper than home" In most of the big cities and even smaller towns retail chain stores are popping up where the shopping experience is essentially identical to similar stores in the West There are also some government-run stores like the Cottage Emporium in New Delhi, where you can sample wares from all across the country in air-conditioned comfort Although you will pay a little more at these stores, you can be sure that what you are getting is not a cheap knockoff The harder you bargain the more you save money A few tries later you will realise that it is fun

Often, the more time you spend in a store, the better deals you will get It is worth spending time getting to know the owner, asking questions, and getting him to show you other products if you have an interest Once the owner feels that he is making a sufficient profit from you, he will often give you additional goods at a rate close to his cost, rather than the common "foreigner rate" You will get better prices and service by buying many items in one store than by bargaining in multiple stores individually If you see local people buying in a store, probably you can get the real Indian prices Ask someone around you — preferably so that that the shopkeeper can't hear you! — how much they would pay for an item

Also, very often you will meet a "friend" in the street inviting you to visit their family's shop In about 9 of 10 cases this will simply mean that you pay twice as much as when you had been in the shop without your newly found friend

Baksheesh -- the giving of small bribes -- is a very common phenomenon While it is a big problem in India, indulging in it can ease certain problems and clear some hurdles Baksheesh is also the term used by beggars if they want money from you, and also can refer to tips given those who provide you a service Baksheesh is as ancient a part of Middle Eastern and Asian culture as anything else It derives from the Arabic meaning a small gift It refers as much to charity as to bribes

Packaged goods show the Maximum Retail Price MRP right on the package This includes taxes Retailers are not supposed to charge more than this Though this rule is adhered to at most places, at tourist destinations or remote places, you may be charged more This is especially true for cold drinks like coke or pepsi, where a bottle 300ml is priced around 11 to 12 Rs when the actual price is 10 Also, keep in mind that a surprising number of things do not come in packaged form Do check for the authenticity of the MRP, sometime so it happens that the Shopkeeper may put up a sticker of his own to charge more price from you

What to Look For/Buy

  • Wood Carvings: India produces a striking variety of carved wood products that can be bought at very low prices Examples include decorative wooden plates, bowls, artwork, furniture, and miscellaneous items that will surprise you Check the regulations of your home country before attempting to import wooden items
  • Clothing: It depends on the state / region you are visiting Most of the states have their speciality to offer For example go for silk sarees if you are visiting Benaras; Block prints if you are in Jaipur
  • Paintings: Paintings come on a wide variety of media, such as cotton, silk, or with frame included Gemstone paintings incorporate semi-precious stone dust, so they have a glittering appearance to them
  • Marble & Stone Carvings: Common carved items include elephants, Hindu gods/goddesses, etc
  • Jewelry: Beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry are very inexpensive in India
  • Pillow Covers, Bed Sets: Striking and rich designs are common for pillows and bed covers

Food and eating in India

Indian cuisine is superb and takes its place among the great cuisines of the world There is a good chance that you'd have tasted "Indian food" in your country, especially if you are a traveller from the West, but what India has exported abroad is just one part of its extraordinary range of culinary diversity

Indian food has well-deserved reputation for being hot, owing to the Indian penchant for potent green chilis that will bring tears to the eyes of the uninitiated, and found in unexpected places like sweet cornflakes a snack, not breakfast or even candies The degree of spiciness varies widely throughout the country: Andhra food is famously fiery, while Bengal cuisine is generally not

To enjoy the local food, start slowly Don't try everything at once After a few weeks, you can get accustomed to spicy food If you would like to order your dish not spicy, simply say so Most visitors are tempted to try at least some of the spicy concoctions, and most discover that the sting is worth the trouble

Cuisine

Cuisine in India varies greatly from region to region The "Indian food" served by restaurants around the world is North Indian, also known as Mughlai the courts of the Mughal emperors or Punjabi the people who popularized it Mughlai cuisine makes heavy use of meat and spices It has been heavily influenced by Central Asian cooking, hence you will find pulao rice cooked in broth, kebab grilled meat, kofta balls of mincemeat etc Tandoori chicken, prepared in a clay oven called a tandoor, is probably the best-known North Indian dish, but for an authentic Punjabi dining experience, try sarson da saag, a yummy gravy dish made with mustard greens, with makke di roti, a roti made from maize

North India is wheat growing land, so you have Indian breads known as roti, including chapatti unleavened bread, paratha stuffed chapatti, naan cooked in a clay tandoori oven, puri deep-fried and puffed up, and many more A typical meal consists of one or more gravy dishes along with rotis, to be eaten by breaking off a piece of roti, dipping it in the gravy and eating them together Most of the Hindi heartland of India survives on roti, rice, and lentils dal, which are prepared in several different ways and made spicy to taste Served on the side, you will usually find spiced yogurt raita and either fresh chutney or a tiny piece of exceedingly pungent pickle achar, a very acquired taste for most visitors — try mixing it with curry, not eating it plain

A variety of cuisines can be found throughout north India, like the savory Rajasthani dishes, more akin to the Gujarati cuisine, the meat heavy Kashmiri Wazwan dishes from the valley of Kashmir or the mild yet gratiating Himalayan pahari cuisine found in the higher reaches North India also has of a variety of snacks like samosa vegetables encased in thin pastry of a triangular shape and kachori either vegetable or pulses encased in thin pastry There is also a vast constellation of sweet desserts like jalebi deep-fried pretzel with sugar syrup- shaped like a spiral, rasmalai balls of curds soaked in condensed milk, halwa, etc Dry fruits like almonds, cashews and pistachio are used a lot, often in the desserts, but sometimes also in the main meal


See also: Southern India#Eat

In South India, the food is mostly rice-based They also make greater use of pulses The typical meal is sambhar a watery curry with rice, or avial mixed vegetables with rice, traditionally served on a banana leaf as a plate There are regional variations too — the coastal regions make greater use of coconut and fish In the coast, particularly in the province of Kerala, it is common to use grated coconut in everything and use coconut oil for cooking, while someone from the interior could be surprised to learn that coconut oil, can in fact, be used for cooking The South also has some great breakfast dishes like idli a steamed cake of lentils and rice, dosa, a thin, crispy pancake often stuffed with spiced potatoes to make masala dosa, vada, a savoury Indian donut, and uttapam, fried idli with onions and other vegetables mixed in All of these can be eaten with dahi, plain yogurt, and chutney, a condiment that can be made from practically anything Try the ever popular Masala Dosa rice crepein one of the old restaurants of Bangalore like CTR and Janatha in Malleswaram or Vidyarthi Bhavan in Basavangudi South Indian cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, though Chettinad and Andhra cuisines use meat heavily and are a lot more spicier Coffee tends to replace tea in the south

One of the top rated restaurants in the province of Kerala is Harbour Restaurant Harbour Restaurant is on Beach Road in Alleppey, Kerala and looks out over the Arabian Sea Tourists have ranked it at decently priced

To the West, you will find some great cuisine groups Gujarati cuisine is mostly vegetarian, sweet, and makes heavy use of milk products Gujaratis make some of the best snack items such as the Dhokla and the Muthia Rajasthani cuisine is similar to Gujarati, but somewhat spicier Maharashtra and Goa are famous for their seafood A notable feature of Goan cooking is that pork is used, a rare sight in the rest of India Vindaloo originated in Goa, and is in fact traditionally cooked with pork, and in spite of its apparent popularity in Indian restaurants abroad, it is not common in India itself

A great restaurant for amazing seafood in Goa is Viva Panjim It is located Panaji, Goa Dinner for two will run about Rs 300 An amazing restaurant to experience Rajasthani cuisine in the state of Maharashtra is Chokhi Dhani Pune It is located at Nagar Highway, Wagholi and is moderately priced

To the East, Bengali food, like South Indian, makes heavy use of rice and fish, though Bengalis prefer freshwater fish The iconic Bengali dish is Maccher jhol, a watery fish curry spiced with mustard, which literally means "fish in sauce" Bengal is also famous for its sweets, and sondesh is excellent

A lot of food has also filtered in from other countries Indian Chinese or Chindian is far and away the most common adaptation: most Chinese would barely recognize the stuff, but dishes like veg manchurian deep-fried vegetable balls in a chilli-soy-ginger sauce and chilli chicken are very much a part of the Indian cultural landscape and worth a try The British left fish and chips and some fusion dishes like mulligatawny soup, while Tibetan food, especially momo dumplings, are not uncommon in north India Pizza has entered India in a big way, but chains like Pizza hut and Domino's have been forced to Indianize the pizza and introduce adaptations like paneer-tikka pizza Remarkably, there is an Indian chain called Smokin Joe's, based out of Mumbai, which has gone and mixed Thai curry with Pizzas

It is, of course, impossible to do full justice to the range and diversity of Indian food in this brief section Not only does every region of India have a distinctive cuisine, but you will also find that even within a region, castes and ethnic communities have different styles of cooking and often have their signature recipes which you will probably not find in restaurants The adventurous traveller is advised to wangle invitations to homes, try various bylanes of the city and look for food in unlikely places like temples in search of culinary nirvana

Fruits

While there are a wide variety of fruits native to India such as the chikoo and the jackfruit, nothing is closer to an Indians' heart than a juicy ripe mango Hundreds of varieties are found across most of its regions — in fact, India is the largest producer, growing more than half the world's output Mangoes are in season at the hottest part of the year, usually between May and July, and range from small as big as a fist to some as big as a small cantaloupe It can be consumed in its ripe, unripe as well a baby form the last 2 predominently in pickles Other fruits widely available depending on the season are bananas, oranges, guavas, lychees, apples, pineapple, pomegranate, apricot, melons, coconut, grapes, plums, peaches and berries

Vegetarian

Know your vegetarians


Most Indians who practise vegetarianism do so for religious or cultural reasons — though cultural taboos have their roots in ethical concerns Indians' dietary restrictions come in all shapes and sizes and the two symbols see right do not capture the full range Here is a quick guide:

  • Veganism is practically unknown in India, because milk and honey are enthusiastically consumed by virtually everyone But eggs are considered non-vegetarian by many, though you are very likely to find people who are otherwise vegetarian eating eggs These people are often referred to as eggetarians
  • The strictest vegetarians are some Jains and some Brahmin sects - they not only abjure all kinds of meat and eggs, they also refuse to eat onions, potatoes or anything grown under the soil
  • Even meat-eating Hindus often follow special diets during religious days or during fasts Hindu fasts do not involve giving up all food, just eating a restricted diet — some take only fruits
  • A very small group of Indians are, or used to be piscatarians — ie they count fish as a vegetable product Among these are Bengali and Konkani Brahmins Such people are increasingly rare as most have taken to meat-eating

Visiting vegetarians will discover a culinary treasure that is found nowhere else in the world Owing to a large number of strictly vegetarian Hindus and Jains, Indian cuisine has evolved an astonishingly rich menu that uses no meat or eggs At least half the menus of most restaurants are devoted to vegetarian dishes, and by law all packaged food products in India are tagged with a green dot vegetarian or red dot non-veg Vegans, however, will face a tougher time: milk products like cheese paneer, yogurt dahi and clarified butter ghee are used extensively, and honey is also commonly used as a sweetener Milk in India is generally not pasteurized, and must be boiled before consumption

Even non-vegetarians will soon note that due to the Hindu taboo, beef is generally not served except in the south and the north-east, and pork is also uncommon due to the Muslim population Chicken and mutton are thus by far the most common meats used, although beeflike "buff" waterbuffalo is occasionally served in backpacker establishments

Etiquette

In India eating with your hand instead of utensils like forks and spoons is very common There's one basic rule of etiquette to observe, particularly in non-urban India: Use only your right hand Don't stick either hand into communal serving dishes: instead, use the left hand to serve yourself with utensils and then dig in Needless to say, it's wise to wash your hands well before and after eating

For breads for all types, the basic technique is to hold down the item with your forefinger and use your middle-finger and thumb to tear off pieces The pieces can then be dipped in sauce or used to pick up bits before you stuff them in your mouth Rice is more challenging, but the basic idea is to use four fingers to mix the rice in curry and pack a little ball, before you pop it in your mouth by pushing it with your thumb

Most of the restaurants do provide cutlery and its pretty safe to use them instead of your hand

Eating by hand is frowned on in some "classier" places If you are provided with cutlery and nobody else around you seems to be doing it, then take the hint

Restaurants

Indian restaurants run the gamut from roadside shacks dhabas to classy five-star places where the experience is comparable to places anywhere in the world Away from the big cities and tourist haunts, mid-level restaurants are scarce, and food choices will be limited to the local cuisine, Punjabi/Mughlai, "Chinese" and occasionally South Indian

Menus in English well, almost

Menus in Indian restaurants are usually written in English — but using Hindi names! Here's a quick decoder key that goes a long way for understanding common dishes like aloo gobi and muttar paneer

  • aloo or aalu — potato
  • baigan or baingan — eggplant/aubergine
  • bhindi — okra
  • chana — chickpeas
  • dal — lentils
  • gobi — cauliflower or other cabbage
  • machli — fish
  • makkhan — butter
  • matar — green peas
  • mirch — chilli pepper
  • murgh or murg — chicken
  • palak or saag — spinach or other greens
  • paneer — Indian cottage cheese
  • subzi — vegetable

The credit for popularizing Punjabi cuisine all over the country goes to the dhabas that line India's highways Their patrons are usually the truckers, who happen to be overwhelmingly Punjabi The authentic dhaba serves up simple yet tasty seasonal dishes like roti and dhal with onions, and diners sit on cots instead of chairs Hygiene can be an issue in many dhabas, so if one's not up to your standards try another In rural areas, dhabas are usually the only option

In Southern India, "Hotel" means a local restaurant serving south Indian food, usually a thali -- a full plate of food that usually includes a kind of bread and an assortment of meat or vegetarian dishes -- and prepared meals

Although you may be handed an extensive menu, most dishes are served only during specific hours, if at all

Tipping is unusual outside of fancier restaurants where 10% is appropriate

Drinking in India

One of the sweetest and safest beverages you can get is tender coconut water You can almost always find it in any beach or other tourist destinations in the south In summer March to July, you can get fresh sugarcane juice in many places and even a lot of fresh fruit juice varieties Be careful as fresh juice may contain many germs besides unhygienic ice! The juice vendors do not always clean their equipment properly and do not wash the fruits either

India is famous for its Alphonso variety of mangoes, generally regarded as the King of Mangoes among connoisseurs So do try the Alphonso mango-flavoured beverage Maaza bottled by Coca-Cola or Slice bottled by PepsiCo, both of which contain about 15% Alphonso mango pulp Both of these brands will sure provide some needed refreshment during India's scorching hot summer Both cost about 30 to 50 rupees for a 600 ml bottle

As for bottled water, make sure that the cap's seal has not been broken, otherwise, it is a tell tale sign of tampering or that unscrupulous vendors reuse old bottles and fill them with tap water, which is generally unsafe for foreign tourists to drink without prior boiling Bottled water brands like Aquafina by PepsiCo and Kinley by Coca-Cola are widely available Local brands like Bisleri are also acceptable and perfectly safe Tastes may vary due to the individual brands' mineral contents

Tea

Everywhere you can get tea chai in most North Indian languages of one variety or another Most common is the "railway tea" type: cheap 2-5 Rs, sweet and uniquely refreshing once you get the taste for it It's made by brewing up tea leaves, milk, and sugar altogether in a pot and keeping it hot until it's all sold Masala chai will also have spices added to the mix, such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper For some people, that takes some getting used to

While Masala chai is popular in Northern and Central India, it must be noted that people in Eastern India West Bengal and Assam generally consume tea without spices, the English way This is also the part of India where most tea is grown

In South India, coffee especially sweet "filter coffee" replaces tea as a standard beverage

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can either be frowned upon or openly accepted, depending on the region and religion of the area within which you are drinking For example, Goa and Pondicherry tend to be more free-wheeling and have low taxes on alcohol, while few southern areas like Chennai are less kind to alcohol, and may even charge excessive taxes on it Some states such as Gujarat are legally "dry" and alcohol cannot be bought openly there, although there is a substantial bootlegging industry

Favorite Indian tipples include beer, notably the ubiquitous Kingfisher a decent lager, and rum, particularly Old Monk Prices vary by state, especially for hard liquor, but you can expect to pay Rs 50-100 for a large bottle of beer and anywhere between Rs 170-250 for a 750mL bottle of Old Monk

Indian wines, long a bit of a joke, have improved remarkably in recent years and there's a booming wine industry in the hills of Maharashtra The good stuff is not particularly cheap expect to pay around Rs 500 a bottle and selections are mostly limited to white wines, but look out for labels by Chateau Indage 58 or 'Sula 59

Illegal moonshine, called tharra when made from sugar cane and toddy when made from coconuts, is widely available in some states It's cheap and strong, but very dangerous as quality control is nonexistent, and best avoided entirely In the former Portugese colony of Goa you can obtain an extremely pungent liquor called fenny or feni, typically made from cashew fruits or coconuts

Cannabis

Cannabis in its many forms — especially ganja weed and charas hash — is widely available throughout India, but they are all illegal in the vast majority of the country, and the letter of the law states that simple possession may mean years in jail

However, in some states notably Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh,Uttarakhand and Orissa the one legal and socially accepted way to consume cannabis is as bhang, a low-grade preparation sold at government-licensed shops that is not only smoked, but also made into cookies, chocolate and the infamous bhang lassi, a herb-laced version of the normally innocuous yogurt drink Bhang lassi is usually available at varying strengths, so use caution if opting for the stronger versions It's also occasionally sold as "special lassi", but is usually easily spotted by the Rs30-50 price tag several times higher than the non-special kinds An important point to bear in mind is that the effects of "Bhang" are slow and heighten when consumed with something sweet Also, first time users may want to wait a while before consuming too much in an effort to judge their tolerance

Accommodation in India

Choices vary widely depending on your budget and location Cheap travellers' hotels are numerous in big cities where you can get a room for less than Rs 450 $10 Rooms at guest-houses with a double bed and often a bathroom can be found in many touristic venues for Rs 150-200 Good budget hotels in India are not hard to find You can find accommodation in clean dormitories for as little as Rs 50 $1 in many Indian districts

Most Indian train stations have rooms or dormitories, which are cheap, relatively well maintained the beds, sheets etc not the showers and secure There are also the added bonuses of not being accosted by the rickshaw mafia, getting your bag off quickly and, for the adventurous, you are highly likely to be able to jump on a cheap public bus back to the train station, just ask Keep in mind you must have an arrival or departure train ticket from the station where you intend to sleep and there could be a limit on how many nights you may stay

Midrange options are plentiful in the larger cities and expanding fast into second-tier cities as well Dependable local chains include Country Inns 60, Ginger 61 and Neemrana 62, and prices vary from Rs 1000-4000 per night Local, unbranded hotels can be found in any city, but quality varies widely

If your wallet allows it, you can try staying in a maharaja's palace in Udaipur or modern five-star hotels which are now found pretty much all over the country The top-end of Indian luxury rests with the Oberoi 63, Taj 64, and ITC Welcomgroup 65 hotel chains, who operate hotels in all the major cities and throughout Rajasthan The usual international chains also run major 5-star hotels in most Indian metropolises, but due to India's economic boom availability is tight and prices can be crazy: it's not uncommon to be quoted over US$300/night for what would elsewhere be a distinctly ordinary business hotel going for a third of the price Also beware that some jurisdictions including Delhi and Bangalore charge stiff luxury taxes on the rack rate of the room, which can lead to nasty surprises at check-out time

Two important factors to keep in mind when choosing a place to stay are 1 safety and 2 cleanliness Malaria is alive and well in certain areas of India - one of the best ways to combat malaria is to choose lodgings with air conditioning and sealed windows An insect-repellent spray containing DEET will also help

Dak bungalows exist in many areas These were built by the British to accommodate travelling officials and are now used by the Indian and state governments for the same purpose If they have room, most will take tourists at a moderate fee They are plain — ceiling fans rather than air conditioning, shower but no tub, etc — but clean, comfortable and usually in good locations Typically the staff includes a pensioned-off soldier as night watchman and perhaps another as gardener; often the gardens are lovely Sometimes there is a cook You meet interesting Indian travellers this way: engineers building a bridge in the area, a team of doctors vaccinating the villagers, whatever

Don't count on having a reliable electricity supply if you aren't staying in an upmarket hotel Brownouts are frequent, and many buildings have unsafe wiring

Make sure to bring your passport wherever you go, as most hotels will not rent out rooms without you producing a valid passport This is especially true in Delhi

Working in India

Foreigners need a work permit to be employed in India A work permit is granted if an application is made to the local Indian embassy along with proof of potential employment and supporting documents There are many expatriates working in India, mostly for multinational Fortune 1000 firms India has always had an expatriate community of reasonable size, and there are many avenues for finding employment, including popular job hunting websites like monstercom

There are many volunteer opportunities around the country including teaching India has a reasonable presence of foreign Christian missionaries, who for the most part form the non-local religious workers, since the other major religions of the world either grew out of India or have had a long term presence

A living can be made in the traveler scenes by providing some kind of service such as baking Western cakes, tattooing or massage

Previously, an AIDS test result was required as part of the work visa application process It is highly recommended that applicants obtain test results in their home country beforehand if at all possible

Cities in India

abhayapuri  abiramam  abohar  abu road  achalpur  achhnera  adalaj  addanki  adilabad  adoni  adra  adur  aduturai  afzalgarh  afzalpur  agar  agartala  agra  ahmadabad  ahmadnagar  ahmadpur  ahmadpur  ahraura  ahwa  aizawl  ajaigarh  ajjampur  ajmer  ajnala  ajra  akalgarh  akalkot  akaltara  akbarpur  akhnur  akividu  aklera  akodia  akola  akot  alampur  alampur  aland  alandi  alandur  alanganallur  alangayam  alangudi  alangulam  alappuzha  alawalpur  aldona  alibag  aliganj  aligarh  alipur  alipur duar  alirajpur  allahabad  allahganj  allapalli  almora  alnavar  along  alot  alur  alwar  alwar tirunagari  alwaye  amalapuram  amalner  amanganj  amanpur  amarkantak  amarpatan  amarpur  amarpur  amarwara  ambad  ambagarh chauki  ambah  ambahta  ambajogai  ambala  ambarnath  ambasamudram  ambattur  ambikapur  ambur  amet  amethi  amguri  amla  amlagora  amli  amloh  ammapettai  amod  amravati  amreli  amritsar  amroha  amroli  amta  amtala  amudalavalasa  amur  anaimalai  anakapalle  anand  anandnagar  anandpur sahib  anantapur  anantnag  andippatti  anekal  angamali  angul  anjad  anjangaon  anjar  anklesvar  ankola  annamalainagar  annavasal  annigeri  annur  antri  antu  anupgarh  anuppur  anupshahr  aonla  ara  arambagh  arang  arani  arantangi  araria  aravankadu  arcot  arimalam  ariyalur  arkalgud  arki  arnia  aron  arsikere  arukutti  arumbavur  arumuganeri  aruppukkottai  arvi  asandh  asansol  asarganj  ashoknagar  ashta  ashta  ashti  asifabad  asind  aska  atarra  ateli  athgarh  athmallik  athni  atmakur  atraulia  atrauli  attayyampatti  attingal  attur  aurad  auraiya  aurangabad  aurangabad  aurangabad  auras  ausa  avadi  avanashi  avanigadda  ayakudi  ayodhya  ayyampettai  azamgarh  babai  baberu  babina  babra  babrala  babugarh  bachhraon  badami  badarpur  badarwas  badgam  badhni kalan  badlapur  badnawar  baduria  badvel  bagaha  bagalkot  bagar  bagasara  bagepalli  bageshwar  bagh  baghdogra  baghmara  baghpat  bagli  bagnan  bagra  bagru  bagula  bahadurganj  bahadurgarh  baharampur  bah  baheri  bahjoi  bahraich  bahsuma  bahua  baidyabati  baihar  baikunthpur  baikunthpur  bail hongal  baindur  baj baj  bajna  bakani  bakewar  bakhtiyarpur  bakloh  bakreswar  balaghat  balangir  balapur  balarampur  balasinor  baldeo  baldeogarh  baleshwar  bali  bali chak  ballarpur  ballia  bally  baloda  baloda bazar  balod  balotra  balrampur  balugaon  balurghat  bambolim  bamora  banapur  banat  banavar  banda  banda  bandikui  bandipur  bandora  banga  bangalore  banganapalle  bangaon  bangarapet  bangarmau  banihal  banjar  banka  banki  bankra  bankura  banmankhi  bannur  banposh  bansbaria  bansda  bansdih  bansgaon  bansi  banswada  banswara  bantva  bapatla  baragaon  barakpur  baramati  baramula  baranagar  baran  barasat  barauli  baraut  bar bigha  barddhaman  bardoli  barela  bareli  bargarh  barghat  bargi  bargur  barh  barhi  barhi  barhiya  bari  baripada  bari sadri  barjora  barka kana  barkhera 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 dhana  dhanaula  dhanaura  dhanbad  dhandhuka  dhanera  dhanwar  dharampur  dharampuri  dharangaon  dharapuram  dharchula  dhar  dhari  dhariwal  dharmabad  dharmadam  dharmanagar  dharmapuri  dharmavaram  dharur  dhaulpur  dhekiajuli  dhemaji  dhenkanal  dhilwan  dhing  dhola  dholka  dhone  dhoraji  dhrangadhra  dhrol  dhuburi  dhulagari  dhule  dhulian  dhupgari  dhuri  dhuwaran  diamond harbour  dibai  dibrugarh  didwana  digapahandi  digboi  dig  digha  dighwara  diglur  digras  dimapur  dinanagar  dindigul  dindori  dinhata  diphu  dirba  disa  dispur  diu  doda  dod ballapur  dohrighat  doiwala  dondaicha  dongargaon  doraha  dostpur  dubrajpur  dudhani  dugda  duliagaon  dum duma  dum dum  dumjor  dumka  dumra  dumraon  dundwaraganj  dungarpur  dungarpur  durgapur  durgapur  durg  dusi  dwarahat  dwarka  egra  elayirampannai  ellenabad  elumalai  elur  eluru  eral  eraniel  erattupetta  erode  etah  etawah  ettaiyapuram  faizabad  faizpur  falakata  farah  farakka  faridabad 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 hatod  hatta  haveri  hazaribag  herbertpur  hesla  hilsa  himatnagar  hindaun  hindoria  hindupur  hinganghat  hingoli  hinjilikatu  hirakud  hiranagar  hirapur  hirekerur  hiriyur  hisar  hisua  hodal  hojai  holalkere  hole narsipur  homnabad  honavar  honnali  hosakote  hosanagara  hosangadi  hosdurga  hoshangabad  hoshiarpur  hoskote  hospet  hosur  hubli  hukeri  hungund  hunsur  husainabad  hyderabad  ichalkaranji  ichchapuram  ichhawar  idappadi  idar  idukki  igatpuri  iglas  ikauna  ilampillai  ilkal  iluppur  imphal  indapur  indergarh  indi  indore  indri  ingraj bazar  irinjalakuda  irugur  isagarh  islamnagar  islampur  islampur  itanagar  itarsi  itaunja  itimadpur  jabalpur  jafarpur  jagadhri  jagalur  jagannathpur  jagatsinghapur  jagdalpur  jagdispur  jaggayyapeta  jagraon  jagtial  jahanabad  jahanabad  jahangirabad  jahangirpur  jahazpur  jaipur  jaisalmer  jaisinghnagar  jais  jaitaran  jakhal mandi  jalakandapuram  jalalabad  jalalabad  jalali  jalalpore  jalalpur  jalandhar  jalaun  jalesar  jaleswar  jalgaon  jalna  jalor  jalpaiguri  jamadoba  jamai  jamalpur  jambusar  jamkhandi  jamkhed  jammalamadugu  jammu  jamnagar  jamshedpur  jamtara  jamui  jamuria  janakpur road  jandiala  jangaon  jangipur  jansath  jaora  jarwal  jasdan  jashpurnagar  jasidih  jaspur  jasrana  jaswantnagar  jatara  jatni  jaunpur  jawad  jawala mukhi  jawar  jawhar  jaynagar  jaynagar-majilpur  jaypur  jaysingpur  jejuri  jetalsar  jetpur  jevargi  jewar  jhabua  jha jha  jhajjar  jhalawar  jhalida  jhalrapatan  jhalu  jhanjharpur  jhansi  jhargram  jharia  jharsuguda  jhinjhak  jhinjhana  jhunjhunun  jhusi  jind  jintur  jiran  jobat  jobner  jodhpur  jodiya  jogbani  jogighopa  jogindarnagar  jorhat  joshimath  joura  jua  jubbal  jugsalai  julana  junagadh  junagarh  junnar  jutogh  kabrai  kachhwa  kadambur  kadaura  kadayanallur  kadi  kadipur  kadiri  kadur  kagal  kagaznagar  kaikalur  kailaras  kailasahar  kaimganj  kaimur  kairana  kaithal  kakching  kakinada  kakori  kakrala  kalagarh  kalaikunda  kalamb  kalamnuri  kalanaur  kalanwali  kalas  kalavad  kalavai  kalghatgi  kalikapur  kalinagar  kaliyaganj  kalka  kallidaikurichchi  kallupatti  kalmeshwar  kalna  kalol  kalpi  kalugumalai  kalyani  kalyan  kamakhyanagar  kamalapuram  kamalganj  kamalpur  kaman  kamareddi  kamarhati  kambam  kampil  kampli  kamthi  kanadukathan  kanakapura  kanchipuram  kanchrapara  kandhla  kandi  kandla  kandra  kandri  kangayam  kangra  kanigiri  kanina  kankavli  kanke  kanker  kankipadu  kankon  kannad  kannangad  kannauj  kanniyakumari  kannod  kannur  kanodar  kanor  kanpur  kantabanji  kanth  kantilo  kant  kapasan  kapra  kaptanganj  kapurthala  karad  karaikkudi  karamadai  karambakkudi  karamsad  karanja  karanpura  karari  karauli  kareli  karera  kargil  karhal  kariapatti  karimganj  karimnagar  karimpur  karjat  karkal  karmala  karnal  karrapur  karsiyang  kartarpur  karumbakkam  karur  karwar  kasaragod  kasauli  kasba  kasganj  kashipur  kasimbazar  kasrawad  katangi  katghora  kathor  kathua  katihar  katol  katpadi  katra  katra  katras  kattivakkam  katwa  kavali  kavant  kavaratti  kaveripattinam  kawardha  kayalpattinam  kayankulam  kayattar  kedarnath  kekri  kelamangalam  kemri  kenda  kendrapara  kenduadih  kerur  kesabpur  keshod  keshorai patan  kesinga  khachrod  khadki  khaga  khagaria  khagaul  khailar  khairabad  khairagarh  khairagarh  khair  khajuraho  khalilabad  khamanon  khamaria  khambhaliya  khambhat  khamgaon  khammam  khanapur  khandela  khandwa  khanna  khanpur  khanpur  khapa  kharagpur  kharagpur  kharakvasla  kharar  kharar  khardaha  kharela  khargapur  khargone  khargupur  kharhial  kharod  kharsawan  kharsia  khatauli  khategaon  khatima  khatra  khawhai  kheda  khed brahma  khed  khekra  khem karan  kheralu  kheri  khetia  khetri  khilchipur  khirkiya  khonsa  khopoli  khour  khowai  khudaganj  khujner  khuldabad  khunti  khurai  khurda  khurja  khutar  kichha  kilakarai  kilvelur  kinwat  kiranur  kiraoli  kiratpur  kiri buru  kishanganj  kishangarh  kishanpur  kishni  kishtwar  koath  koch bihar  kochi  kochinda  kodaikanal  kodala  kodar  kodarma  kodigenahalli  kodinar  kodlipet  kodoli  kodumudi  kodungallur  kohima  kokrajhar  kolaras  kolar  kolhapur  kollam  kollegal  kombai  konanur  konch  kondagaon  kondapalle  konganapuram  konnagar  konnur  kopaganj  kopargaon  koppa  koppal  koradacheri  korampallam  koraput  koratagere  koratla  korba  koregaon  kosamba  kosgi  kotagiri  kota  kota  kota  kotaparh  kotar  kotdwara  kothapet  kothi  kot isa khan  kot kapura  kot khai  kotma  kot putli  kotra  kottagudem  kottaiyur  kottapalli  kottayam  kotturu  kovilpatti  kovur  kovvur  koyilandi  krishnagiri  krishnanagar  krishnapur  krishnarajasagara  krishnarajpet  kuchaman  kuchera  kudal  kudchi  kud  kudligi  kuju  kukshi  kulgam  kulpahar  kulti  kulu  kumbakonam  kumbhraj  kumhari  kumher  kumsi  kumta  kunda  kundarki  kundgol  kundla  kunigal  kunnamangalam  kunnamkulam  kuppam  kurali  kurandvad  kurara  kurduvadi  kurgunta  kurinjippadi  kurud  kushalgarh  kushalnagar  kushtagi  kutiyana  kuttanallur  kuzhithurai  lachhmangarh  ladnun  ladwa  lahar  laharpur  lakheri  lakhimpur  lakhimpur  lakhipur  lakhisarai  lakhnadon  lakhna  lakhnau  lakhtar  laksar  lakshettipet  lakshmeshwar  lala  lalganj  lalganj  lalgudi  lalitpur  lalpur  lalsot  lanja  lar  lasalgaon  latehar  lathi  latur  lawar  leh  limbdi  lingsugur  lodhikheda  lohardaga  loharu  lonar  lonavale  londa  loni  lormi  losal  loyabad  ludhiana  lumding  lunavada  lunglei  machalpur  macherla  machhiwara  machhlishahr  machilipatnam  madanapalle  madanpur  maddur  madgaon  madhavaram  madhipura  madhoganj  madhogarh  madhubani  madhugiri  madhupur  madhyamgram  madikeri  madras  madukkarai  madukkur  madurai  magadi  magam  maghar  mahabaleshwar  mahaban  mahad  mahalingpur  maham  maharajganj  maharajganj  mahasamund  mahbubabad  mahbubnagar  mahe  mahemdavad  mahendragarh  mahesana  maheshwar  mahiari  mahishadal  mahmudabad  mahoba  maholi  mahroni  mahudha  mahur  mahuva  mahwa  maibong  maihar  mailani  mainaguri  maindargi  mainpuri  mairang  mairwa  maisuru  majalgaon  majholi  majitha  makhu  makrana  maksi  makum  malappuram  malaut  malavalli  malegaon  maler kotla  malhargarh  malia  malihabad  malkangiri  malkapur  malkera  mallapuram  mallasamudram  mallur  malpe  malpura  malpur  malur  malwan  mamallapuram  mamit  manali  manali  manalurpet  manamadurai  manapparai  manasa  manavadar  manavalakurichi  manawar  manchar  mancheral  mandalgarh  mandal  mandal  mandapam  mandapeta  mandasa  mandawar  mandawar  mandi  mandla  mandleshwar  mandsaur  mandvi  mandya  maner  mangalagiri  mangalam  mangaldai  mangaluru  mangan  mangawan  manglaur  mangrol  mangrol  mangrul pir  manihari  manikpur  manjeri  manjeshwar  manjhanpur  mankachar  mankapur  manmad  mannarakkat  mannargudi  manoharpur  manoharpur  manohar thana  manor  manpur  mansa  mansa  mansar  manthani  manvi  manwath  marakkanam  marandahalli  margherita  marhaura  mariahu  mariani  markapur  masaurhi  masila  masinigudi  masuri  mataundh  matheran  mathura  mau aima  maudaha  mauganj  mau  mau  maurawan  maur  mavelikara  mavur  mawana  mayakonda  mayang imphal  medak  meghraj  mehkar  mehnagar  mehndawal  melukote  melur  memari  merta  methala  mettupalayam  mettur  mhasla  mihijam  mihona  milak  minjur  miranpur  mirganj  mirik  mirzapur  misrikh  modasa  moga  mohan  mohanur  mohgaon  mohiuddinagar  mohpa  moirang  mokama  mokokchung  mon  monoharpur  moradabad  moram  morar  morena  mormugao  morvi  morwa  moth  motihari  mount abu  mubarakpur  mudbidri  muddebihal  mudgal  mudhol  mudigere  mudkhed  mughal sarai  mugma  muhammadabad  mukerian  muktsar  mulanur  mulbagal  mulgund  mulki  mul  multai  munak  mundargi  mundgod  mundi  mundra  mundwa  mungaoli  mungeli  munger  munirabad  muradnagar  muragachha  murbad  murgud  muri  murliganj  mursan  murshidabad  murud  murwara  musafirkhana  mushabani  musiri  mustafabad  muttupet  muvattupula  muzaffarnagar  muzaffarpur  muzhappilangad  nabagram  nabha  nabinagar  nadapuram  nadaun  nadbai  nadiad  nadigaon  naduvattam  naenwa  nagamangala  nagapattinam  nagari  nagar karnul  nagar  nagaur  nagda  nagercoil  nagina  nagireddipalle  nagod  nagothana  nagpur  nagram  nahan  naigarhi  naihati  naini tal  nainpur  najibabad  nakodar  nakur  nalagarh  nalbari  naldurg  nalgonda  nalhati  naliya  namagiripettai  namakkal  nambiyur  nambutalai  namchi  namli  nanded  nandgaon  nandgaon  nandigama  nandikotkur  nandura  nandurbar  nandyal  nangal  nangavalli  nangloi jat  nanguneri  nanjangud  nannilam  nanpara  napasar  naraina  naraini  narasannapeta  narasapur  narasaraopet  narasimharajapura  narasingapuram  narauli  naraura  naravarikuppam  narayanavanam  narayangarh  narayangarh  narayanpet  naregal  narendranagar  narkanda  narnaul  narnaund  naroda  narsimhapur  narsingi  narsipatnam  narwana  narwar  nasirabad  naspur  nasriganj  nasrullaganj  nathdwara  nattam  nattarasankottai  naugachhia  nautanwa  navadwip  navalgund  navapur  navelim  navsari  nawabganj  nawada  nawalgarh  nawa  nawashahr  naya bazar  nayagarh  nayudupeta  nazira  nedumangad  nellikkuppam  nepa nagar  neral  nerkunram  netarhat  new delhi  neyveli  neyyattinkara  nichlaul  nidadavole  nidamangalam  nihtaur  nilagiri  nilakkottai  nilanga  nileshwar  nilokheri  nimaj  nimaparha  nimbahera  nim ka thana  nipani  nirmali  nirmal  nirsa  niwari  nizamabad  nizamabad  noamundi  nohar  nokha  nongpoh  nongstoin  north guwahati  north vanlaiphai  nuh  numaligarh  nurmahal  nurpur  nurpur  nuzvid  nyamati  obra  odlabari  odugathur  ojhar  okha  olpad  omalur  ondal  ongole  orai  oran  osmanabad  ottappalam  pachmarhi  pachora  pachperwa  padampur  padampur  paddhari  padmanabhapuram  padra  padrauna  pahalgam  pahasu  paithan  pakala  pakaur  palakkad  palakkodu  palakollu  palamedu  palampur  palani  palanpur  palasa  palasbari  pale  palera  palghar  palia kalan  pali  pali  pali  palitana  paliyad  palkonda  palladam  pallapatti  pallattur  pallavaram  pallikonda  pallipattu  palmaner  palwal  panagar  panaji  panapakkam  panara  panchgani  panchla  pandaria  pandavapura  pandhana  pandharpur  pandhurna  pandoh  pandua  panhala  panihati  panipat  panna  pansemal  panvel  paonta sahib  papanasam  papparapatti  pappinisseri  paradip  paradwip  parasia  paravur  parbhani  pardi  parichha  parichhatgarh  parlakimidi  parli  parnera  parola  parole  partapur  partur  parvatipuram  parvatsar  pasan  pasighat  patamundai  patancheru  patan  patan  patan  patan  pathalgaon  pathanamthitta  pathankot  pathardih  pathardi  patharia  pathri  patiala  patnagarh  patna  patrasaer  patratu  pattan  patti  patti  pattukkottai  patuli  patur  pauri  pavagada  pawai  pawayan  payyannur  pedana  peddapalli  peddapuram  pehowa  pendra  pennadam  pennagaram  pennathur  pen  penugonda  penukonda  peraiyur  perambalur  peranamallur  peravurani  periyakulam  periyanayakkanpalaiyam  periyanegamam  periyapatti  pernem  perumpavur  perundurai  perur  petlad  petlawad  phagwara  phalauda  phalodi  phaltan  phaphund  phek  phillaur  phirangipuram  phulabani  phulera  phulpur  pihani  pilani  pilibanga  pilibhit  pilkhuwa  pimpri  pinahat  pindwara  pinjaur  pipar  pipili  piploda  pipraich  pipri  pipri  piravam  pirawa  piriyapatna  piro  pithapuram  pithoragarh  pithora  pokaran  poladpur  polasara  pollachi  polur  ponda  pondicherry  ponnampet  ponnani  ponneri  porbandar  porsa  port blair  pratapgarh  pratapgarh  proddatur  pudukkottai  pudur  pujali  pukhrayan  pulgaon  pulivendla  puliyankudi  puliyur  pullampadi  pulwama  punahana  punalur  pundri  pune  punganuru  punjai puliyampatti  puranpur  puri  purna  purnia  puruliya  purushottampur  purwa  pusad  pushkar  puttur  puttur  qadian  qazigund  quepem  queula  rabkavi  rabupura  radaur  radha kund  radhanpur  rae bareli  rafiganj  raghogarh  raghudebbati  raghunathpur  raghunathpur  raha  rahatgarh  rahimatpur  rahon  rahuri  raia  raichur  raiganj  raigarh  raikot  raipur  raipur  raipur  rairangpur  raisen  raisinghnagar  raiwala  rajakhera  rajaldesar  rajamahendri  rajampet  rajapalaiyam  rajapur  rajapur  raja sansi  rajauri  rajgarh  rajgarh  rajgarh  rajgir  rajgurunagar  rajkot  rajmahal  rajnagar  rajpipla  rajpura  rajpur  rajpur  rajsamand  rajula  rajura  rajur  ramachandrapuram  ramanagaram  ramanathapuram  ramanuj ganj  ramapuram  ramban  rambha  ramchandrapur  ram das  rameswaram  ramganj mandi  ramgarh  ramgarh  ramgarh  ramjibanpur  ramkola  ramnagar  ramnagar  ramnagar  ramnagar  ramnagar  rampura  rampura  rampur hat  rampur  rampur  ramtek  ranaghat  ranapur  ranavav  ranchi  rangapara  rangia  rangpo  rania  ranibennur  raniganj  ranikhet  ranipur  rani  ranir bazar  rapar  rasipuram  rasra  rasulabad  ratangarh  ratangarh  ratanpur  rath  ratlam  ratnagiri  raurkela  raver  rawatbhata  rawatsar  raxaul  rayachoti  rayadrug  rayagada  raya  raybag  raypur  ray  razam  razole  redhakhol  rehli  rehti  remuna  rengali  renigunta  renukut  reoti  repalle  revadanda  revelganj  rewa  rewari  richha  ringas  rishikesh  rishra  risod  robertsganj  robertsonpet  rohru  rohtak  ron  rudarpur  rudraprayag  rupnagar  rura  rusera  sabalgarh  sabathu  sabrum  sachin  sadabad  sadalgi  sadasivpet  sadat  sadri  safidon  safipur  sagar  sagar  sagauli  sahapur  saharanpur  saharsa  sahaspur  sahaswan  sahawar  sahibganj  saidpur  saiha  sailana  sainthia  saint thomas mount  sairang  sakit  sakleshpur  sakti  salaya  saligao  salimpur  salon  salumbar  salur  samalkha  samalkot  samana  samastipur  sambalpur  samba  sambhal  sambhar  samdari  samrala  samthar  sanand  sanaur  sanawad  sanchi  sanchor  sancoale  sandila  sandi  sandur  sangamner  sangareddi  sangod  sangrur  sanguem  sanivarsante  sankarpur  sankeshwar  sankheda  sankrail  sanquelim  santokhgarh  santoshpur  sanvordem  sanwer  sapatgram  sarahan  saraikela  sarai mir  saraipali  sarangarh  sarangpur  sarauli  sardarpur  sardarshahr  sardhana  sardulgarh  sargur  sarila  sarka ghat  sarkhej  sarwar  sasaram  sasni  sasvad  satana  satara  satna  satrikh  sattankulam  sattenapalle  sattur  satwas  saundatti yellamma  saurikh  sausar  savantvadi  savanur  savda  sawai madhopur  sayalgudi  sayla  sedam  sehore  selam  selu  semaria  sendhwa  seohara  seondha  seoni malwa  seoni  seoni  serchhip  serula  shahabad  shahabad  shahabad  shahada  shahapur  shahdol  shahganj  shahgarh  shahi  shahjahanpur  shahkot  shahpura  shahpura  shahpur  shahpur  shahpur  shahpur  shahpur  shaikhpura  shajapur  sham churasi  shamgarh  shamli  shamsabad  shankargarh  shantipur  shegaon  sheoganj  sheopur  shergarh  sherghati  sherkot  shertallai  shiggaon  shikarpur  shikarpur  shikohabad  shiliguri  shillong  shimla  shimoga  shirdi  shirgaon  shirhatti  shirpur  shirwal  shivrajpur  sholapur  sholavandan  shoranur  shorapur  shrigonda  shrirampur  shrirangapattana  shujalpur  shupiyan  sibsagar  siddapur  siddhapur  siddipet  sidhauli  sidhi  sidhpura  sidlaghatta  sihora  sihor  sijua  sikandarabad  sikandarpur  sikandra rao  sikandra  sikar  sika  silao  silchar  sillod  silvassa  simdega  simga  sindgi  sindhnur  sindi  singanallur  singaperumalkoil  singarayakonda  singtam  singur  sini  sinnar  sinor  siolim  sira  sirathu  sirhind  sirkali  sirmaur  sirohi  sironj  sirpur  sirsaganj  sirsa  sirsa  sirsilla  sirsi  sirsi  siruguppa  sirumugai  sirur  sisauli  siswa bazar  sitamarhi  sitamau  sitapur  sitarganj  siuri  sivaganga  sivagiri  sivakasi  siwana  siwani  siwan  siyana  sodpur  sohagpur  sohna  sojat  sojitra  solon  someshwar  sompeta  somvarpet  sonamukhi  sonamura  sonari  sonegaon  sonepur  songadh  sonipat  sopur  sorab  sorada  sorbhog  soron  soro  srikakulam  sri madhopur  srimushnam  srinagar  srinagar  sringeri  srinivaspur  sriperumbudur  srirampur  srisailam  srivaikuntam  srivardhan  srivilliputtur  sualkuchi  suar  suchindram  sujangarh  suket  sultanpur  sultanpur  sultanpur  sulurpeta  sulur  sulya  sumbal  sunam  sundargarh  sundarnagar  sunel  supaul  surajgarh  surandai  suratgarh  surat  surendranagar  surgana  suriapet  susner  swamimalai  tadepallegudem  tadepalle  tadpatri  tajpur  takhatgarh  takhatpur  taki  talaja  talbahat  talcher  talegaon dabhade  taleigao  talen  talgram  talikota  talipparamba  taloda  tal  talwandi bhai  talwara  tambaram  tamluk  tanakpur  tanda  tandur  tankara  tanuku  taoru  tarabha  tarakeswar  taramangalam  taranagar  tarana  tarapur  tarn taran  tasgaon  tattayyangarpettai  tawang  teghra  tehri  tekanpur  tekari  tekkalakota  tekkali  telhara  tenali  tendukheda  tenkasi  teonthar  terdal  tezpur  tezu  thakurdwara  thakurganj  thalassery  thana bhawan  thana  thanesar  thanjavur  tharad  thasra  thenzawl  theog  thiruvananthapuram  thiruvarur  thoubal  thrissur  tigri  tijara  tikaitnagar  tikamgarh  tikri  tilhar  tindivanam  tindwari  tinnanur  tinsukia  tiptur  tira sujanpur  tirodi  tirthahalli  tiruchchendur  tiruchchirappalli  tirukkattuppalli  tirukkoyilur  tirumakudal narsipur  tirumala  tirumullaivasal  tirunelveli  tirupati  tiruppur  tiruppuvanam  tirur  tiruttani  tiruvalla  tiruvallur  tiruvannamalai  tiruvidaimarudur  tiruvottiyur  titagarh  titlagarh  titron  toda bhim  toda raisingh  tohana  tondi  tonk  topchanchi  tori fatehpur  tosham  tral  trimbak  tuensang  tufanganj  tuljapur  tulsipur  tumkur  tumsar  tundla  tuni  turaiyur  tura  turuvekere  uchana  udagamandalam  udaipura  udaipur  udaipur  udala  udalguri  udankudi  udayagiri  udgir  udhampur  udpura  udupi  ugu  ujhani  ujjain  uklana mandi  ukwa  ula  ulhasnagar  ullal  ulubaria  ulundurpettai  umarga  umaria  umarkhed  umarkot  umrala  umred  umreth  umri  una  una  unhel  uniara  unjha  unnao  un  upleta  uppiliapuram  uran  uravakonda  uri  usilampatti  utran  utraula  uttamapalaiyam  uttarkashi  uttiramerur  uttukkuli  vadakku valliyur  vadamadurai  vada  vadgaon  vadlapudi  vadnagar  vadodara  vaghodia  vaijapur  vaikam  valavanur  vallam  valparai  valpoi  valsad  vandalur  vandavasi  vaniyambadi  vapi  varanasi  varangaon  varca  varkkallai  vartej  vasai  vasudevanallur  vattalkundu  vayalar  vedaranniyam  vedasandur  vejalpur  velluru  velur  vemalwada  vengurla  venkatagiri  veraval  vetapalem  vettavalam  vidisha  vijapur  vijayapuri  vijayawada  vikarabad  vikramasingapuram  vikravandi  vinukonda  viraganur  viramgam  virapandi  virarajendrapet  virar  viravanallur  virbhadra  virpur  virudunagar  visakhapatnam  visavadar  visnagar  vite  vizianagaram  vrindavan  vuyyuru  vyara  wadhwan  wadi  waghai  wai  walajabad  walajapet  wangjing  wani  wankaner  wanparti  warangal  waraseoni  wardha  waris aliganj  warora  warud  washim  wazirganj  wellington  wer  wokha  yadgir  yairipok  yamunanagar  yanam  yarada  yaval  yavatmal  yelahanka  yelandur  yelbarga  yellamanchili  yellandu  yellapur  yeola  yerraguntla  yol  zafarabad  zahirabad  zaidpur  zamania  ziro  zunheboto  

What do you think about India?

How expensive is India?
(1 INR = 0.02 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant100 INR
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)465 INR
McDonalds meal182 INR
Local beer (0.5 draft)81 INR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 154.28 INR
Cappuccino66.76 INR
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)20.76 INR
Water (0.33 bottle)14.96 INR
Milk (1l)44.28 INR
Fresh bread (500g)23.09 INR
White Rice (1kg)42.16 INR
Eggs (12) 48.09 INR
Local Cheese (1kg) 245.87 INR
Chicken Breast (1kg) 196.45 INR
Apples (1kg) 140.86 INR
Oranges (1kg) 75.82 INR
Tomato (1kg) 28.49 INR
Potato (1kg) 22.48 INR
Lettuce (1 head) 32.92 INR
Water (1.5l)28.04 INR
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 470 INR
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)82.82 INR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 122.4 INR
Cigarettes137.2 INR
One way local bus ticket13.8 INR
Monthly pass for bus608.85 INR
Taxi start33.3 INR
Taxi 1km15.36 INR
Taxi 1hour waiting98 INR
Gasoline (1 liter) 72.26 INR
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 319.85 INR
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 25.39 INR
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 13.44 INR
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