Welcome to India
This is India; the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a thousand nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods..
Best Time to Visit India is during cool, dry season between October to April when the weather is generally warm and sunny. The north, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh often offer clear blue skies, and temperatures in central India remains fairly comfortable. It is extremely cold and foggy in the Himalayas in December and January. Kerala and Tamil Nadu are also best to be visited between November to March.
Local Currency Indian Rupee
Country Dialing Code: + 91
India’s capital is vast and sprawling metropolitan with captivating ancient monuments, magnificent museums, and some of the subcontinent’s best places to eat. In terms of its layout, Delhi is split in two very different worlds, the ‘old’ and the ‘new’, each presenting different experiences. Spacious New Delhi was built as the imperial capital of India by the British whereas Old Delhi served as the capital of
Agra is home to the World's ultimate monument to love, the Taj Mahal. Dreamily positioned on the banks of the Yamuna River, its pale dome and minarets seem to float over the river, catching every nuance of light and shade. Other Agra sights include the mighty Agra Fort, which reflects the Mughals at their most martial and was constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar.
Jaipur, "The Pink City", is one of the few planned cities in India and its name comes from the deep pink, lime-plastered buildings. Set in the buff-coloured Rajasthani hills, it was founded in 1727 by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II.
Set beside the blue waters of Pichola Lake and surrounded by the verdant Aravalli Hills, Udaipur has a romance which is unmatched by anything else in Rajasthan, and possibly India. Even illustrious writer
Rudyard Kipling remarked of Udaipur that you would surely "see it and die". This glamorous and easygoing city is a truly dazzling combination of white marble palaces, historic temples, ancient streets and
lush landscaped gardens.
Varanasi is probably the place in India that has the most profound impact on visitors. Formerly known as Benares, it sits on a bend of the Ganges, and its spiritual significance comes from its status as a "crossing place", where gods and goddesses can descend to earth. It has been a pilgrimage site since the sixth century BC; Hindus try to visit at least once in their lifetime and immediately make for the river to pray and bathe
As the first British settlement in India (1640), Chennai has a fine legacy of colonial architecture, displaying influences from the classicism of the 18th century to the eclectic Anglo-Indian School of the late 19th. Classic sights include Fort St George, built to protect the nascent British colony, the IndoSaracenic High Court building, the Theosophical Society building and gardens, the 16th-century Kapaleeswarar Temple to Shiva, and, outside town, the Cholamandal Artists' Village. Today, Chennai is the fourth largest city in India and the state capital of Tamil Nadu.
Famous for its shore temples, is a welcoming old port city. From the 8th to the 11th century, the Pallava dynasty conducted a thriving maritime trade here with the Far East. The magnificent Shore Temple, although ravaged by the elements and the pounding ocean waves, still reflects the glorious past of these intrepid merchants.
"Pondi", a French Union Territory on the Bay of Bengal, has always had a charm and a style of its own, which is still visible in the old city beside the sea. As an outpost of the French Empire for almost 300 years, it was built on a grid system, neatly divided by a canal.
The vast delta of the Cauvery (Kaveri) River is a fertile ricegrowing region, and Tanjore is its busiest rural centre. Once the capital of the powerful Chola dynasty, Tanjore is an important centre of South Indian religion, art and architecture, with the Brihadiswara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the forefront.
In the Cardamom Hills, which stretch right down eastern border of Kerala to the southern tip of India, and at 1,700 metres above sea level, it is surrounded by high peaks and several of the highest tea estates in the world. The hills are densely forested and support plantations of coffee and fragrant cardamom.
This vast reserve, stretching over 750 square kilometres of densely forested terrain in the Cardomom Hills, does have a few tigers and leopards, but they are rarely seen out of the dry season in April and May and even then sightings are rare. However, its lake (which offers boat trips) attracts thousands of birds, and sightings of elephants, sambar and bison are frequent.
The sleepy, easy-going town of Alleppey sits largely on the water, surrounded by rustling palm trees and green paddy fields. In its time, it was a bustling trading centre on the Malabar Coast, famous for its coir industry producing coconut fibre ropes and mats. Today it is one of the gateways to the Backwaters and host to the spectacular Snake Boat Races every August, when boats with sterns raised like hooded cobras are crewed by hundreds of chanting rowers.
Is the great water city of the Malabar Coast, sprawling over islands and headlands in the Arabian Sea and leading into the winding canals of the Backwaters. Documented since Roman times, it is the oldest European settlement in India, with an amazing blend of architectural styles.
A beautiful, small state, with almost 100 kilometres of sandy beaches overlooking the Arabian Sea, Goa has had a long relationship with the West. It was the first place in India to be colonized by the Portuguese in 1510, reached its peak in the 16th century, and in the 1960s became a magnet for a new type of traveller in search of sun, sand and a laid-back lifestyle. Goa today can be divided into three distinct areas.
Kovalam's sandy beaches are lined with palm-fringed lagoons and rocky coves. Its close proximity to Trivandrum however has meant that its irresistible beaches have been subject to tremendous
development and the town itself and its principal beach front have become overrun. Having said this, there are still a few beautiful secluded beaches in the bays north and south of Kovalam town.