India is the seventh largest country in the world, offering tourists a rich history and culture. With so much to do, see and taste, you will need a good guide to get your started and help you along the way, otherwise you may feel overwhelmed. Given the country’s size, you will be unsurprised to find out that it is massively diverse, with climates, geography, culture, language and ethnicity changing from one place to another.
Before you set off on your trip to India, you should ensure that you have the correct visa. Depending on the purpose of your visit, you can get a tourist visa, allowing you up to six months stay, business visa which varies from six months to three years, or a student visa which grants entry up to five years.
Also be aware of the fact that your visa begins from the day it is issued to you and not from when you arrive in the country. Additionally, acquiring your visa is simple enough, just visit the local Indian embassy or consulate in your home country.
Regardless of the time of year you travel to India, you will be heading for a hot climate year round. However, during the months of June to September you should expect heavy rainfall as this is the time of the monsoon season.
If you are travelling to India during these particular months, be sure to pack accordingly with waterproof clothing as you might find yourself being caught in a storm while you are out exploring.
India has three national holidays, with dates exactly same every year that you should be aware of. The first is Republic Day on the 26th of January, Independence Day on the 15th of August and Gandhi Jayanti on the 2nd of October. As well as these national holidays, there are three nationwide festivals that are brilliant experiences should you be in the country at the time.
Holi is a festival that takes place in February or March, and is known also as the festival of colour. The first day of the festival will see throngs of Indians heading to the temples, but on the second day there are street wide water fights and coloured powder being thrown around. During October or November, you will also be able to enjoy the festival of Diwali, ‘the festival of lights’. Diwali is very much reminiscent of the American Thanksgiving, with food and presents being exchanged amongst people all over the country.
With the vast size of the country, getting around India can become time consuming or expensive. The easiest way to get around is to travel by plane, but this can also become expensive over time.
Travelling by train gives you the ability to get to just about anywhere in the country, with one of the biggest networks of track in the world. The trains are very efficient and give you the opportunity to see some of India’s stunning countryside as you head to your next destination.