After centuries, India continues to mesmerize travellers with its wealth of landforms, peoples, and cultures. It is a land of vibrant colour, sounds, and scents to which the visitor can never be indifferent. It embraces an enormous variety of topography, from the snowy peaks of the Himalaya, to the world's highest rainfalls in Assam, the burning plains of the Ganges River, and the southern Dravidian hills and seacoasts. It is a country touched by every religion and every culture, each of whom have left their marks in a host of brilliant architecture as varied as the people who created them.
Indian cities reflect the blend of Mogul Muslim and Hindu civilizations and the grand vision of the emperors who built them, while its vast rural areas are as eternal as time itself. So much does it hold that India never bores the traveller, presenting a new face, a new sensation at each turning.
3,287,590 sq. km.
India's climate is divided into the following seasons:
March-May in the north; temperatures to 40° C. In the south, hot and humid, temperatures 25- 30° C.
June-October; lower temperatures but higher humidity.
February, temperatures 15-20° C. In the Himalaya, freezing temperatures in the winter.
Light cottons and other breathable fabrics. Umbrellas rather than cloying raingear for the monsoon. Sweaters for winter nights. Himalaya: Warm clothing. Quilted clothes in winter.
Visas and health regulations
Transit: 15 days. Tourist: 90 days and issued in multiples of three. No vaccinations required but African and some South American visitors need yellow fever certificates. Immunization against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, rabies, polio, and tetanus is recommended.
Getting from the Airport to Town
Calcutta and New Delhi: Taxis or EATS buses to major hotels.
A wealth of Aryan and Dravidian languages. English is the universal medium.
+5:30 hours GMT
220 volts, 50 Hz (cycles)
The "rupee", divided into 100 paisa.
Accepted at large hotels, restaurants and shops.
Government offices: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., M-F. Banks: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., M-F; 10 a.m.-noon, Sat. Shops: 10 a.m.-7 p.m