"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." — Jawaharlal Nehru
The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hinduš. The latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River. India is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. It is became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi...
In 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies; it is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, inadequate public healthcare and terrorism. The Indian caste system embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in the Indian subcontinent. Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm in India, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas. An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages arranged by their parents or other family members. Marriage is thought to be for life, and the divorce rate is extremely low. Child marriages are common, especially in rural areas; many women in India wed before reaching 18, which is their legal marriageable age.
Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) is an electronic tourist visa facility which it was introduced on 27 November 2014. This visa allows a single entry through the airports in Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Trivandrum within 30 days of issue. The electronic visa must be obtained at least four days in advance, costs USD60 (paid online), and permits a stay not to exceed 30 days in India. A copy of the ETA printout should be carried and presented to Immigration at the port of entry. The visa cannot be adjusted or extended and is not valid for Protected or Restricted Areas. Only two visits with ETAs are permitted in a calendar year. Citizens from these countries are eligible:
Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United States of America, Vanuatu, Vietnam. A visa obtained in advance is required by all other nationalities other than those mentioned above.
Depending on the purpose of your visit, you can get:
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.
November to January is the winter season .
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
India is big country and there are lots of interesting ways to travel around it, most of which could not very well be described as efficient or punctual.
(I usually travel in a sleepers class so the lowest class)
Religion in India is characterized by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. India is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Religion plays a major role in the Indian way of life. Rituals, worship, and other religious activities are very prominent in an individual's daily life; it is also a principal organiser of social life.
Hinduism is often regarded as the oldest religion in the world, with roots tracing back to prehistoric times, over 5,000 years ago.
A lot of visitors expecting maharajahs and fabulous palaces are shocked when their first impressions are dominated by poverty instead. Prepare for the following:
There are a myriad of common scams, which range from saying that your hotel has gone out of business or burnt down (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). So sometimes it could be a challenging day or a bad day or a fun day! For sure India will make you feel alive and you will become every day more clever!
INDIA “REAL” PRICES
Where to go and what to visit in India?! This is the question! Trains are making the distances “smaller” but India is a huge country and every region is different. With 6 months tourist visa it will be hard to see it all. Unfortunately, you must realize that you need to take a decision about which area you like to visit for your first trip in this unique country. Don’t worry keep the rest for another time! Second times in India are more enjoyable than the first one where the cultural shock is getting over you. Spend more time in the same place also it can make it really special. So my advice is to take it easy, relax, breath and get lost in a real experience of life time!
Panchganga Ghat - the meeting of the five rivers;
Manikarnika Ghat - the main cremation ghat. Is a must-see, but remain quiet and never take photographs (note: scams are plentiful here; see the "Staying Safe" section);
Dasaswamedh Ghat - known as the 'main' ghat, this is the site of the large evening aarti ceremony;
Kedar Ghat - brightly painted in stripes and busy with bathers, very photogenic;
Narad Ghat - the ghat on which bathing with spouse is not advised because the legend of contention;
Harishchandra Ghat - the cremation place where Raja Harishchandra did the last rituals of his son;
Tulsi Ghat - site of the large water purification plants;
Assi Ghat - a popular place to stay, with many hotels, restaurants, and internet cafes;
Take a boat ride at the sunrise to enjoy a mystic bath ritual painted with pink and orange colours.
Where to stay:
Kautilya Society, Munshi Ghat