India

India

Travelling through India, the most diverse country in the world, can be summed up in one word – indescribable. This land of over 1 billion people rests below the Great Himalayas in the north and contains a striking diversity of cultures, traditions, languages, and ethnic groups. The vitality of Indian traditions and its cultural treasures abound at every corner; from the frenetic streets of New Delhi to the country’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. The stark contrasts of this ancient land, its stunning landscapes and the spirit of its people are sure to leave a lasting impression on your mind and soul.

SELECT A VACATION SERIES:

Egypt, India & Dubai Series

Egypt & Dubai Series

The extensive itineraries we offer throughout Egypt and Dubai will immerse you in the dynamic culture and rich history found in this region.
  • Comfort - Maximum group size of 35 people
  • Value - Luxury hotels chosen for their central location and excellent service
  • Inclusions - Knowledgeable sightseeing guides, and more:
  • Travel insurance with trip interruption coverage (if paid in full 60 days prior to departure)
  • Tour manager to accompany you throughout with groups of 10 or more

MORE ON INDIA
Climate

India experiences three seasons a year: Summer, Rainy Season (monsoon), and Winter (although the tropical south does not quite experience a cold winter). Except in the Himalayan regions, there is usually never any snow.

April and May are the hot months, June through September is the rainy season, and November through January is the winter season. There is a brief Spring in February and March, especially in North India.

From June through September, the Southwest monsoon causes rains over most parts of the country. It hits the west coast the most and therefore the western coastline is much greener than the interior.

The Northeast monsoon hits the east coast between October and February, and causes much devastation due to the occasional cyclones. The only region that gets rains from both the Southwest and the Northeast monsoons is Northeastern India, which experiences the highest rainfall in the world.

 
Language

India has many different regions and therefore, there are 22 official languages with hundreds of other less prominent languages. Hindi is spoken by 30% of the population and is the main working language of the Central Government. Speaking Hindi will allow you to get by in most of India, except in Tamil Nadu and the Northeast, which is met with hostility from the locals.

English is widely spoken in major cities and in most government offices.

 
National Holidays and Festivals

National Holidays:
January 26 – Republic Day
August 15 – Independence Day
October 2 – Gandhi Jayanti

National Festivals:
February or March – Holi (Festival of Color)
September or October – Navratri
October or November – Diwali (Festival of Lights)

 
Money

The official currency is the rupee. The subdivision is the paise (at 100 paise per rupee). The exchange rate as of Feb 2010 is 46.4 rupees to US$1.

Carry small denominations of cash with you wherever you go to avoid problems with changing larger denominations, as many merchants and taxi drivers will not be able to break a large bill or they do not want to be stuck with the large bill.

Rates for exchanging rupees overseas are often poor.

Bargaining is normal and is expected with vendors, but not with department stores and the like. You will get better prices when buying multiple items in the same store rather than by bargaining in different stores individually.

Tipping in India is practiced but is optional; however, tipping to porters, tour guides, and tour drivers is customary and expected. In restaurants, if the service was good, a small tip is appreciated. In some cases, tipping can be done beforehand to ensure good service.

 
Electrical Requirements

230V/50Hz; Indian (Old British)/European plugs