When most people think of India, they think of elephants, colorful saris and Hindu temples – and they are not wrong. However, India has much more than this to offer and has become one of the largest trading states in the world in recent years. This has led to ancient sanctuaries and prehistoric tracts existing alongside megacities such as Mumbai or New Delhi. This makes the country an even more exciting destination for travelers and guarantees a varied and unforgettable experience. Due to the beautiful nature and the welcoming mentality of the Indians, the journey is nearly half as fun as the destination.
Facts & Figures
Official name: Republic of India / Bharat Ganarajya (Republic of India) Location: South Asia, between Pakistan and Nepal, located on the Bay of Bengal Area: 3,287,000 km² Capital: New Delhi Population: 1.2 billion Religious and ethnic groups: Hindus 80%, Muslims 14%, Sikhs 2%, Christians 2% / Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidians 25%, Mongols and others 3% Language: Hindi / English (official language), 21 recognized languages Geography: High plateau in the south, along the Ganges - flat to hilly, desert in the west, Himalayas in the north. Highest point: Kanchenjunga (8598m) Time zone: Indian Standard Time (UTC + 05:00) Political and economic Parliamentary Democracy, GDP: EUR 1.788 billion (2016/2017) Currency: Indian Rupee (1 € = 78.5 INR). Please pay close attention to the latest changes made on cash payments in India! Tourist Information: Tel. 1800-11-1363 (daily / 24 hours reachable)
Arrival and departure
The biggest airports are in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Chennai Flight duration: Visa: Vaccinations: In general, vaccination for typhoid fever and hepatitis A is recommended and for longer stays- hepatitis B, rabies, meningococci and Japanese encephalitis. Upon arrival: The sheer size of India and the condition of some roads make flying the best way to travel within India. Even smaller places are reachable by plane. In addition, India has a long rail network and some luxury train lines.
Climate and best time to travel
India's climate varies greatly. The climate is moderate in the north, tropical in the south and strongly influenced by the monsoon season that lasts from July to September. Winter average temperature: South / North: 17 ° C / 24 ° C (lows around 8 ° C in January / 16 ° C in January) Summer average temperature: South / North: 34 ° C / 29 ° C (maximum temperatures around 40 ° C in May / 33 ° C in May) Water temperature: Maximum 29 ° C in June The best time to travel for the south is between February and April, since there are no monsoons at this time. The period between October and March is best for a trip to the north.
The most beautiful holiday regions
Uttarakhand / Himalayas - Spectacular highways and time-honored sanctuaries Kerala / West Coast – Paradise for beautiful landscapes of Goa and white sandy beaches Ganges - Holy bathing place near Varanasi and vein of life Rajasthan - Thar desert and tiger reserve
Public holidays and celebrations
The holidays are calculated according to the Islamic and Hindu lunar calendar and therefore change from year to year. Prophet Muhammad's Birthday, Republic Day (January 26), Mahashivratri, Mahavir Jay, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Buddha's Birthday, Independence Day (August 15), Krishna Janmashtami, Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday, Dussehra, Eid al-Adha, Diwali, Islamic New Year, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Christmas (December 25/26) In addition, there may be further holidays in the individual regions.
DOs and DON'Ts
DOs • Bring mosquito repellent. Malaria and dengue fever are common in India and can even break out after you return. Wear long, bright clothes, especially in the evening and night. Use mosquito repellent and mosquito nets. • Drive carefully. Indians are not considered very cautious drivers, making the accident rate higher than usual. • Do as the locals do, especially in religious sites. You can find customs and dress codes from the locals online. Show respect and adapt as much as possible. • Eat with your hands. This is custom in India; usually there is no cutlery.
DON‘Ts • Don’t feed the animals. In India, there are many stray dogs and other animals that can transmit rabies. Even monkeys should not be fed. • Don’t use the left hand. Avoid using your left hand to handle food or any objects that you pass to people. The left hand is considered unclean in India, as it is used to perform matters associated with going to the bathroom. • Don’t underestimate heights. If you are traveling in the high mountains, never travel alone and be sure to climb slowly and not put too much stress on your body. Otherwise, health risks from altitude sickness can occur.
Can you drink the tap water? The Indian water should not be used as drinking water. Instead drink bottled water or boil the tap water thoroughly for a very long time. Do I need an adapter? In India, they do not use the same sockets as in Germany, an adapter is therefore required. What about medical care? Medical care is nowhere near European standards. In the cities, it is usually good, but also very expensive. In addition, there is sometimes a risk of buying counterfeit medicines.
Top tips and discoveries
Udaipur Also known as the "Venice of the East", Udaipur was for a long time the royal seat of the rulers of Mewar. The palace is situated at the heart of Udaipur, overlooking the entire city. The ramified old town, which was created by the further growth of the town and the construction of a canal system, offers various magnificent buildings and religious sites. Udaipur's spectacular location between two lakes and the Aravalli Mountains is another reason to visit this historical city.
Gangotri Gangotri is one of the four sacred places in Hinduism. Here, the temple is dedicated to the goddess Ganga, who, according to myth, is said to have come to earth as a river (Ganges) in nearby Gaumukh. From Gangotri a pilgrimage route leads to the source of the Ganges on the glacier. In addition to the special atmosphere, the fascinating landscape makes this journey a memorable one.
Thrissur Pooram Thrissur Pooram is a temple festival in Thrissur, Kerala where emissaries of all temples move to the central temple to pay homage to Shiva. The celebrations last several days, with various rituals and fireworks around the main parade. This is impressively colossal, colorful, lavish and loud. A long parade with elephants and musicians as well as dancers in costumes will set your senses alight. Although Thrissur Pooram is a Hindu festival, many non-Hindus also participate making this celebration a long tradition for the entire city.
If the Thrissur Pooram is too crowded for you, there are always smaller festivals all year round.