India General Information

The subcontinent of India lies in south Asia, between Pakistan, China and Nepal. To the north it is bordered by the world's highest mountain chain, where foothill valleys cover the northernmost of the country's 26 states. Further south, plateaus, tropical rain forests and sandy deserts are bordered by palm fringed beaches.

Side by side with the country's staggering topographical variations is its cultural diversity, the result of the coexistence of a number of religions as well as local tradition. Thus, the towering temples of south India, easily identifiable by their ornately sculptured surface, are associated with a great many crafts and performing arts of the region.

In the desert of Kutch, Gujarat, on the other hand, a scattering of villages pit themselves against the awesome forces of nature, resulting in Spartan lifestyles made vibrant by a profusion of jewelry and ornamental embroidery used to adorn apparel and household linen. In the extreme north is the high altitude desert of Ladakh. Local culture is visibly shaped by the faith - Buddhism -as well as by the harsh terrain. Yet another facet of Indian culture is observed in the colorful tribal lifestyles of the north eastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur with their folk culture.

In the central Indian states of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh tribal village life has resulted in a variety of artistically executed handicrafts.

India's mountains provide heli skiing, river running, mountaineering and trekking. Its beaches provide lazy sun-bathing as well as wind surfing and snorkeling, and its jungles provide shooting wildlife -with a camera.

India's history goes back to 3,200 BC when Hinduism was first founded. Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism. Judaism. Zoroashtrianism, Christianity and Islam all exist within the country today. As a consequence of India's size, the history of the country has seldom been the same for two adjoining territories, and its great natural wealth has lured a succession of traders and foreign influences to it, each having left their imprint in the country, however faint or localized. Thus, Chinese fishing nets in Kerala are a throwback to that country's ancient maritime trade, while in the north, terra-cotta figurines of the centuries BC bear distinctly Greek traces.

India has been getting much attention from so many travellers around the globe because of its inherent attractiveness. If you have not seen India, perhaps, it is about time you pay this really beautiful country a visit. Since there are so many airfare promos in the market, coming to India is now made easier and more affordable. You may start your search on the internet. find flights at dealchecker. and start preparing for your getaway in India. Know more about what this amazing country has to offer by browsing this page.

Modern India is home alike to the tribal with his anachronistic lifestyle and to the sophisticated urban jetsetter. It is a land where temple elephants exist amicably with the microchip. Its ancient monuments are the backdrop for the world's largest democracy where atomic energy is generated and industrial development has brought the country within the world's top ten nations. Today, fishermen along the country's coastline fashion simple fishing boats in a centuries old tradition while, a few miles away. motor vehicles glide off conveyor belts in state-of-the-art factories

Trekking in India

With the mighty Himalaya stretching across India’s entire 2500km long northern border, the options for trekking in India are endless. We have a 12 month trekking season due to India’s sheer size and variations in elevation and latitude. From low altitude routes with short walk times, to 6000m peaks and committing glacial traverses. Trip lengths vary from five days to 15 day expeditions, passing through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. For many people the highlight of trekking in India is the way of life and the character of the mountain people we meet along the way. Group sizes do not exceed sixteen and you only need to carry a day-pack, as we use mules for all the expedition equipment.

Train Travel in India

India has the world's most extensive railway network, both for long distances and intra-city commuting. The speed of Indian trains however is slow by Western standards. Except for a few 'super-fast' trains which are most often dot on time, the other trains often reach their destinations a few hours late. This however does not take away from their immense usefulness as a cheap and - with reservation - comfortable train journeys. Railway travel is also an excellent introducer to the people of India as most of them travel by trains. Long-distance railway travel is a superb illustrator of the geographical and demographic diversity of India. It is also very cheap in dollar terms. If you are not in a great hurry for an appointment with the prime minister, forget air travel and go for the trains, but this requires you to make your reservation well in advance. You can do this through any good travel agency.

Most good long-distance trains have their own kitchens. Use their services. Avoid buying food from hawkers or stalls at railway stations. Insist on bottled drinking water even from the railway catering services. Or, play safe, and carry enough bottled water yourself.

Intra-city commuting is quickest by suburban trains. These trains operate at a frequency of every few minutes. But they are almost always over-crowded during peak hours. Foreigners will be in for some delightfully rude shocks if they use suburban trains for intra-city commuting. Many foreigners therefore choose to use taxis to reach their places of business appointments while using the suburban railway for 'experience.' The only exception is the highly efficient Calcutta Metro (Underground) railway in which one can travel comfortably and quickly even during peak hours. Mass rapid transport systems have been planned for the big cities.

Road Travel

Unless it is for experience, avoid the local public bus services.Use taxis or rented cars. Avoid driving yourself. Indian roads can be dangerous if you are not accustomed to them. In addition to human beings walking as if on a suicide mission, motorists also have to encounter stray cows and dogs, some of whom might be having a snooze right in the middle of a busy road even in the capital city of Delhi.

Privately-operated bus services are far better for inter-city travel than the government services. But any bus journey of more than six hours can be trying. Go for inter-city buses only if you have to. Prefer the luxury coaches for they make life a little more pleasant.

Sightseeing

India is a delight for tourists interested in history and culture. Go for a conducted tour if your stay in a city is short. Most hotels, big and small, have arrangements with local tour operators. Use such arrangements. Carry enough bottled drinking water with you at the start your tour.

Avoid conducted tours if your stay within a city is long. Get a car with a driver from a rental firm and let him take you around at your pace. You can also strike a deal with a taxi driver for a day-long tour of the place you are in, but ask your hotel to get you a taxi driver they know and trust.

Invite your driver to join you for the meals you have in the course of the tour. Tip him at the end of the tour.

Kailash Yatra 2013 Departure