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How to Prepare Your Best Guide Trip to India?

There is no doubt that a trip is something to prepare for! In this article you will find essential information so that your trip goes smoothly: change, tips, internet access, security, etc. What souvenirs to bring back and a selection of road books, but also advice on good manners, to blend into the decor and not offend the locals. In short, everything you need to know to prepare your best guide trip to India!

Practical information

Time Difference

There is a time difference of + 3h30 in summer and + 4h30 in winter.

Airport

It takes between 8 -10 hours for a direct flight from Europ to New Delhi.

Money

The local currency is the Indian Rupee (INR).

You can take US$, Euro etc in cash. You can easily change money in your arrival city, either at the airport or in major hotels. On the other hand, you can pay for your souvenir purchases by credit card if the sums are large.

Tips

Even if it is not obligatory, tipping is part of everyday practice in India. To the guide, the driver, the hotel staff etc., it is a very ingrained practice. The amount you decide to donate simply represents your level of satisfaction.

VISA

A tourist visa is required for a guide trip to India. To find out more about the administrative formalities, you can consult our dedicated article.

Useful Addresses

Embassy of India in United Kingdom
India House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA, UK
Phone: +44 20 7836 9147

Embassy of India in France
15, rue Alfred Dehodencq – 75016 Paris
Phone: 01 40 50 70 70

Embassy of India in United State of America
3, East 64th Street
New York, NY 10021
Tel : (212) 774 0600
Fax : (212) 861 3788

Embassy of India in Germnay
Tiergartenstraße 17, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Contact Nos: +49-30-25795-0 (Telephone)
+49-30-26557000 (Fax)

Embassy of India in Australia
Address: 3-5 Moonah Pl, Yarralumla ACT 2600, Australia
Phone: +61 2 6225 4900

Security

As in all tourist countries, there are risks of theft and scams. Keep your personal belongings or valuables close to you and avoid the “tourist” look, with the very conspicuous device around your neck.

Health

No vaccination is obligatory. However, be up to date with classic vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, typhoid fever, hepatitis A.

Electricity

India has a 220 volt electrical system. Power sockets are generally compatible with European sockets.

Telephone and internet

To call India from your country, you must dial 00 91 + state code (without the 0) + correspondent number. To call USA from India, you must dial 00 1 + correspondent number ( without the 0). GSM coverage is good, except in some isolated areas. However, check with your operator to find out the conditions of access to the local network.

Internet access is available in major cities.

Store opening hours

Most businesses open every day around 10 a.m. and close around 6 p.m., except on Sundays. This may vary by region. Regarding banks, they are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The post office

It takes a week for mail to London. Post offices are Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The culture of the country with best guide trip to India

The national language is Hindi, spoken by 45% of the population, but there are many other languages and dialects across the country. Tourism stakeholders and part of the population speak English.

Religion plays a vital role in the lives of Indians. Hinduism, Islam and Christianity are the most practiced. Traditions and customs are omnipresent, and the greatest respect will be asked of you. When visiting temples or mosques, you will need to take off your shoes at the entrance, and sometimes cover your arms and head to visit. Do not take photographs without asking permission to do so.

The Indian “yes” is expressed by a nod of the head strongly resembling our “no”. So don’t be surprised! To say hello, avoid extending your hand, the Indian greeting consists of joining your hands and bowing your head while saying “namaste”. Finally, generally speaking, the left hand is considered impure

Ideas for souvenirs to bring back

In the street, in stalls or in the markets, you will love local crafts. It may vary depending on the region, there is something for all tastes and budgets. Indian rugs and textiles are superb. You will also find many objects and figurines made of wood, terracotta or bronze throughout the country. Obviously you can find gold or silver jewelry set with precious stones, or even leather accessories. Ayurvedic beauty products can also be slipped into your suitcase.

To bring a little piece of India home, there’s nothing like spices! Saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, red pepper from Pondicherry… You can then repeat the dishes you tasted during your trip. Also think about tea, India is known for its Darjeeling tea in particular.

Best Time visit to India

Due to the size of the country, India’s climate varies greatly depending on the different regions. It is therefore difficult to offer a general vision of the local weather, even if it is possible to identify three distinct seasons, applying to the majority of the territory. Discover the best season to go to India based on the regions you want to visit there.

What climate in India?

The climate of India varies depending on the geographical areas of the country. While Bengal has a tropical climate that is difficult to live in during the monsoon, Rajasthan can be visited all year round thanks to its continuously dry and hot climate. In the very north of the country, in the Himalayas, the climate is typically mountainous with sometimes harsh winters and often hot summers.

The temperature range is like the country: immense. The coolest months, from October to February, can see temperatures ranging from -20°C in Ladakh to 35°C in the Thar Desert.

Seasons in India

India has three distinct seasons, applicable to most of the territory:

  • Summer, or hot season, which takes place from April to June, is synonymous with strong heat in the plains and in the arid regions of the north, and a relatively mild climate on the Himalayan side.
  • The monsoon, or wet season, which occurs from July to September, is synonymous with humidity and heavy rainfall in most of the country.
  • The shoulder season, or cold season, runs from November to March. Precipitation then becomes rare, temperatures drop in the North and remain mild in the South.

Where and when to go to India with best guide trip to India?

The best time to go to India depends above all on your destination.

To observe the wild animals of Corbett and Kaziranga parks, choose the months of February to April. To discover the far North, the months of May to October are the most pleasant. Rajasthan, due to its desert climate, can be visited all year round. Rain is very rare there.

In generally, the best season to travel to India is from November to March, during the cold season. Temperatures remain mild almost everywhere except in Ladakh. We advise you to avoid the rainiest months of July and August.

When to go to northern India?

Rajasthan and Gujarat: The characteristics of these regions are heat and drought. Aside from May and June, when it is very hot and humid, it is possible to travel to these regions all year round.

October to the end of March are the best months, it is milder. You should avoid traveling during the monsoon period which extends from the end of June to the end of September.

When to go to South India?

Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka: The ideal time to go to these regions is between December and April, although this is the best period, you should not forget that it is relatively hot all year round.

When to go to the Indian Himalayas with best guide trip to India?

For trekking routes, the ideal period is from June to September.

Spring and autumn are interesting seasons for cultural trips and/or short treks because it is colder and the weather is more stable.

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