India Travel Guides

from Travel Insurance Direct
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The diverse country and Republic of India is the world’s biggest democracy. It is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Nepal lies to the north, Burma and Bangladesh to the east, China to the north-east, and Pakistan to the west. India ’s largest cities are Bombay, Calcutta, Bangalore, Madras, Ahmedabad and Kanpur.


The country is filled with contrasts. The land can offer anything from sunny beaches in the south, to desert in the west, to snow-peaked mountains, and anything inbetween. You might see snake charmers or camels. The country is also rich in natural resources.


The national name, and Hindi word for India , is Bharat. Despite the poverty, overpopulation, and pollution, it remains a popular destination for travellers – whether seeking spiritual enlightenment, to be at one with nature, to visit Bollywood, or whatever reason, there is something in India to delight and inspire all visitors. Bollywood, the Indian equivalent of Hollywood in the world’s biggest movie industry by the amount of films made each year. It is located in the state of Mumbai.


In the north there are the majestic snow covered Himalayas , some of the highest mountains in the world, with winter sports like skiing. Kashmir , among other places, is located at the foot of the Himalayas. All the other sports associated with mountain living are also available, such as mountaineering, trekking, and river rafting. Other states in the north include Rajasthan, Delhi , Uttar Pradesh and Punjab . The Rajasthan area is mostly desert with unpleasant temperatures in the summer, up to fifty degrees. There are temples and palaces, pilgrimage destinations, and of course the famous Taj Mahal.


Located at Agra , which is approximately 90 minutes by fast train from New Delhi , the Taj Mahal ( Crown Palace ) marble tomb is a huge tourist attraction. It was built in 1631 by the 5 th Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, for the memory of his 2 nd wife.


The Portuguese ruled the small southern state of Goa until 1961. It is famous for its sunny beaches, laid back lifestyle and great seafood.


In the eastern part of India , known for its tea plantations, there are many smaller states, including Assam and Darjeeling . The East India Company was established by the British in Calcutta . The area also contains forests and wildlife, including tigers and rhinos. There are Buddhist monasteries, lakes and deer.

For those seeking an active trip, trekking is popular. Skiing is limited, but available from approx. Jan-March. You can swim in Goa , but for SCUBA diving and snorkelling the islands in the Bay of Bengal are best. White water rafting or camel trekking is also available in certain areas.


Remember to check on and observe expected etiquette when visiting any spiritual locations, such as taking off shoes, covering the head, etc.


India's climate varies from temperate in the northern area to tropical monsoon in the south. The country has 3 main seasons: summer, winter and monsoon.



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