Do you dream of discovering the country of the maharajas? Traveling to India is a unique experience that will make you discover a multi-faceted country that does not leave visitors indifferent.
The country attracts tourist visits all around the year, because if the climate in one region is less coldt, in other parts of India the climatic conditions can be pleasant, even ideal.
If you want to discover the whole country in ideal conditions, the best time to go to India is from November to the end of March (for Rajasthan, Kerala, Sikkim – Darjeeling, low Himalayas Dharamshala & Source of Ganges). The only month best to avoid is May (too hot). The severe heat waves that precede the monsoon can be hard to bear, but if that’s not a problem for you, don’t hesitate! As summer is the best time for Ladakh, Uttarakhand Himalaya and Lahaul – Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.
For hiking in the north and trekking in the mountains, prefer the months of June to October, during the summer. The rest of the year, the snow is abundant and the treks reserved for professionals.
To enjoy the beaches, the dry season, between November and April, is ideal. During the other months, showers are not uncommon.
To go on a Wildlife Safari in India’s national parks, go between November and March. You will then have the best chance of admiring elephants, tigers, monkeys and lions.
To see cultural events, mingle with cheering crowds in late winter. For example, don’t miss Holi, the festival of colours, which takes place every year in March.
Very large surface area, all together flat and cultivate land, beaches, national park, snow clad mountains, rivers, desert etc, girls adorned with jewels in shimmering, colorful and perfumed saris, imposing, breathtaking palaces, here is India with two faces: that of the North and that of the South.
The North and its reliefs, where plains with lush forests alternate with mountains with snow-capped peaks. The North and its mythical palaces: the Taj Mahal, the palace of the wind. The North and its national parks: the only places where wildlife observation enthusiasts can go on safari and see Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos and Asiatic lions up close. They are all endangered species.
The South and its megalopolises, with its magnificent beaches that let themselves be invaded at sunset. The South and its colorful parties, cars and rickshaws. The South and its splendid Temples and Forts like the Palace of the Maharajah in Mysore. Majestic !
India, a mystical and spiritual country with its customs and traditions, India, a country of contrasts where misery rubs shoulders with opulence. But one thing is certain: India is a country of a thousand and one colors.
May – mid Oct: Himalaya, as Leh ladakh, Lahaul Spiti, Garhwal & Kumaon Himalaya.
Conditions of entry into the country: E-visa (to be requested before departure)
Flight time: approximately 8h13 (flight Eurpe → New Delhi)
Average price of the flight: €519 (return flight Euro → New Delhi)
Population: 1353000000 inhabitants (Indian according last census)
Time difference: from 3.5h to 4.5h
Official language(s): Hindi, English (and 18 recognized languages)
Currency: Indian Rupee (Rs.) (1 € = 82.00 Rs. this is current exchange rate)
Telephone code: dial +91
Cost of living on site: (very low)
Capital: New Delhi
Biggest City: Mumbai (Economical Capital)
States: 28 states
National Park: 106 National Park
With its many international airports and given the vastness of Indian territory, it is best to travel to India by taking an international flight and landing at the airport closest to your destination: Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Despite its many ports, few travelers travel to India by ship. But if you choose to go there, know that you can dock in the ports of Chennai, Nhava Sheva, Kandla, Mumbai, Sikka, Calcutta or Vishakhapatnam.
Coming to India overland is also inconvenient unless you wish to arrive in India from Nepal or Bangladesh; crossing the border post between Pakistan and India is very delicate.
Once there, it is possible to choose from the many means of transport available in India. With its extensive rail network, the train that allows long-distance travel offers a choice of several classes. You can also rent a car if you like to have more freedom in your travels. The plane is also very convenient to save time if you want to reach two distant places.
Urban transport in India, as diverse as it is numerous, allows you to choose between taxi, bus, rental car and rickshaw. These are cheap means of transport which include auto-rickshaws, also called tuk-tuks and bicycle-rickshaws.
No vaccination is administratively compulsory for travelers from Europe, but it is preferable to have it done for diphtheria, Covid – 19, tetanus, polio, whooping cough, hepatitis B. The same is true for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
And as India is unfortunately one of the countries in the world where hygiene leaves something to be desired, it is better to follow universal environmental and food precautions to the letter, consisting in avoiding drinking water direct from tap, and any uncontrolled water, eat raw foods and fruits without having washed them and preferably peeled them.
A range of accommodation offers, ranging from the most luxurious palaces, worthy of a thousand and one nights, to budget hotels, including private hostels, station retiring rooms and bungalows for tourists, awaits the traveler who comes to India.
Palaces are often ancient palaces, rescued from ruins and restored to provide travelers with accommodation fit for a king.
It is also possible to find a fairly comfortable, air-conditioned and well-decorated room in mid-priced hotels or guesthouses.
Youth hostels are rare but instead, you can stay in private hostels that offer small rooms to independent travellers/
As for the retiring room, it is a sort of transit hotel in stations, often reserved for the holder of a transit ticket.
it is also possible to stay in the lodgings of stages, called inspection bungalows, dak bungalows or government houses, which receive travelers if these lodgings are not occupied by civil servants on the move.
Some areas such as the Kashmir Valley, the Srinagar region or the border with Pakistan are strongly discouraged for tourists.
But the other regions are relatively safe. However, it is better to use common sense not to have your belongings stolen because petty crime and scams are rampant in the big cities.
Similarly, women are advised to adopt decent outfits; avoid short skirts and shorts as well as tight pants and low-cut t-shirts.
India, land of the Maharajahs, an immense country with millennial cultures, is a land where the spiritual holds an important place and where the sacred rubs shoulders with the growing influence of Western cultures. The land of origin of yoga and kama-sutra stands out for the richness of its culture which includes art (theater, music and dance) as well as other disciplines closely linked to spirituality. It is therefore not surprising that Bollywood, Bombay’s film industry, includes dance and music in its various productions.
Weather and climate
The climate of the vast Indian territory varies according to the regions. Even though the monsoon period, from late June to September, is about the same in the north and the south, the monsoon peaks differ slightly depending on the location. Thus, the best period to discover India as a whole is that which extends from November to the end of March, perfect from the meteorological point of view since the rain is rare and the heat more bearable.
Checklist: what to bring to go to India?
Important papers such as identity document, passport, visa, round-trip plane tickets, bank card, medicine kit with your medicines as well as your cash will be better in your hand luggage.
As for the choice of your clothes, it is better to take into account the season and the regions to visit.
Because the heat is there most of the time, remember to bring light clothes, suitable for the hot and humid climate, but which remain decent. Tops that cover the shoulders, and long skirts or loose pants will do for women. Light pants and cotton shirts will be perfect for men.
Anyway, for seaside stays you will need flip flops, a pair, sunglasses, swimsuit and good sunscreen, in addition to the hat that will protect you from the sun.
If you are visiting India during the rainy season, remember to bring waterproof clothing. And if you plan to visit localities at high altitude, bring one or two comfortable sweaters in case the evening temperatures cool down.