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India - an enigma

 


India is an enigma, a puzzle, a maze of contradictions and assimilation of Nature, History, Architecture, Art, Cuisine, Spirituality, Language, Color, Opulence and Poverty. An anthology of all the countries of the world within one country, it has the power to amaze, awe, contemplate and frustrate at the same time.

The boundaries of India encompass incomparable natural treasure:

  •  Snow capped magnificent Himalayan Mountains and dry, cold desert at the top of the world
  •  The Ganges and hundreds of other rivers, most of which have female names  
  •  Scorching deserts
  •  Golden beaches
  •  Tropical greenery and emerald backwaters
  •  Deep forests teeming with wildlife
  •  5 UNESCO Natural Heritage sites
  •  8 Nature sites on UNESCO's tentative list

A land of rich History, Culture, Heritage, Architecture:

 Forts and palaces that stand testimony to history

 Exquisite Cave Art

 Deserted Ancient cities

 Extraordinary Temples, Monasteries, Churches and Mosques

 Unusual Railway routes, Toy trains

 Awesome architectural wonders

 Riotously colorful festivals

 Mouth watering cuisine

 Tribal culture

 23 UNESCO Cultural heritage sites

 21 Sites on UNESCO tentative heritage list

A unique landscape of Spirituality, History, Orthodoxy and Modernity where:

 Deeply religious rituals have been performed since time immortal

 A multitude of castes and outcast untouchables share space

 Tribes still hold on to their traditions

 More than 22 languages are spoken

 All the regions have their own distinctive culinary traditions

 The super rich and the very poor live side by side

 Mercedes honks to a Rickshaw for right of way

India will never disappoint............ !

 


 

Climate and Season


While planning a journey to India, you should be aware of seasonal weather changes, to ensure a visit during the best time.

India has mainly three seasons - WinterSummer and Monsoon which affect the different parts of the country with varying degree of intensity.

While the Northern parts of the country experiences extreme summer and winter temperatures, the Southern parts are more temperate.

The summer months in most parts (apart from the Himalayan regions) are extremely unpleasant due to extreme temperatures ranging up to 48-50°C in some areas.

In the winter months (November - February) temperature even in the northern plains hover below 5°C, while in the southern Indian states the mercury touches 33°C.

The monsoon rains arrive on the Kerala coast at the end of May and move steadily from here towards the North Indian states end of June-early July. Some parts especially in North-Eastern India receive extremely heavy rain-fall and boast the title of Highest rainfall in the world.

Nowadays, global climate change has effected the the monsoon rains such, that they often cause severe floods in both western and eastern regions affecting not only rural areas, but also more and more transportation across the board.

The east coast experiences a second monsoon during the months of October - December, when the "retreating" monsoon from the Bay of Bengal passes over the southern states.

Travel Information

 

Travel Information Description
Passport and Visa

You will need a valid passport and visa to enter the country. It is also essential that your passport should be valid for at least six months from date of entry.

Visas cannot be issued on arrival and we recommend that you contact your local Indian embassy or consulate when planning your trip.

Insurance We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase adequate trip cancellation and interruption, medical and baggage insurance and carry the details of their coverage on tour. During plan for vacation you may firstly wish to check with your private insurance carrier regarding the terms of your coverage (or lack of coverage) outside your home country, including emergency medical evacuation. We will be happy to refer you to suitable travel insurance companies for appropriate insurance cover for your holiday.
Health
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor  prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis .
Use insect repellent in mosquito prone areas. The risk of Malaria exists throughout the year in almost the entire country. A course of anti-malarial pills is highly recommended.
In case of a serious sickness  , which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expense incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance.
You will be visiting areas which may not have easy access to healthcare services. It is wise to travel with all your medicines. Prepare a small health-kit with all your important aids to meet any emergency.
Currency There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travellers cheques you may bring into India, provided a declaration is made in the currency declaration form given to arriving passengers. However, cash, bank notes and traveler cheques up to US $10,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. For safety and convenience you should take the majority of your money in travellers cheques. It is advisable to change your money through authorized banks and hotels.   You have to keep your receipts, as you will need them at the end of your tour if you wish to convert your rupees back to your own currency.  
Electricity India supply is 220-240 volts AC. Some top hotels have transformers. There may be pronounced variations in the voltage, and power cuts are common. Power back-up by generator or inverter is becoming more wide- spread, even in smaller hotels. Socket sizes vary so take a universal adaptor. Invest in a stabilizer for a laptop.

 

Travel Permits for Border Areas

These permits have been implemented by the IndianGovernment in an effort to regulate movement in certain areas located near the international borders of India. appropriate documentation required for visiting such places

 

State Area Permit Type Remarks
Andaman and Nicobar Municipal Area, Port Blair RAP Stay Allowed
  Havelock Island,Long,Neil Island, Jolly Bouy, South and North Cinque, Red Skin, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Rangat, Mount Harriet, Madhuban RAP Only day visits allowed.
Jammu and Kashmir

Nubra Sub Division

Leh-Khardung La-Khalsar-Tirit up to Panasik, Leh-Khardung La-Khalsar up to Hunder, Leh-Sabo-Digar La-Digar-Labab-Khungru Gampa-Tangar 

PAP Only for trekking conducted by approved tour operators and accompanied by State Police personnel
 

Noyona Sub Division

Leh-Upshi-Chusathang-Mahe-Puga-Tso-Moari Lake/Kozok, Leh-Upshi-Debring-Puga-Tso-Moari Lake/Korzok, Leh-Karu-Chang La-Durbuk-Tangtse-Lukung-Spanksik, Pangong

PAP Tourist groups are to travel on the identified tour circuits only. *Individual tourists not permitted, 7 days allowed.  Note: Groups should consist of 4 to 20 numbers and should be accompanied by a liaison officer.
 

Nubra,Pangong/Da-Hanu

Nubra, Pangong and Da-Hanu areas

ILP  
Himachal Pradesh Poo-Khab-Sumdho-Dhankar-Tabo-Gompa-Kaza ,Morang-Dabling  PAP Trekking groups only. Individuals not permitted.
Sikkim Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang, Pemayangtse Khecheperi and Tashiging RAP  
  Sikkim West - Dzongri RAP Groups allowed for 15 days trekking and are to be accompanied by a liaison officer. Individual tourists not permitted, 16 days allowed. 
  Sikkim East - Tsangu or Chhangu RAP Individual tourists not permitted. Day visit only.
 

Sikkim North

Mangan, Tong, Singhik, Chungthang, Lachung and Yumthang 

RAP

Sikkim North

Mangan, Tong, Singhik, Chungthang, Lachung and Yumthang 

Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar, Ziro, Along, Pasighat, Miao, Namdapha and Sujesa (Puki) Bhalukpong PAP/ILP Individual tourists not permitted, 10 days allowed.
Manipur Loktak Lake, Imphal, Moirang INA Memorial, Keibul Deer Sanctuary and Waithe Lake. PAP Individual tourists not permitted, 6 days allowed.
Mizoram Vairangte, Thingdawl and Aizawl PAP/ILP Individual tourists not permitted, 10 days allowed.

Protected Area Permt(PAP)

This is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period.

Protected Area Permt (PAP)

This is required for non-Indian citizens to visit certain areas in India (mainly in the North-East).

Restricted Area Permit (RAP)

This is required for non-Indians to visit certain areas in India. As of 2009, RAPs are required for all visits to the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and certain parts of Sikkim.

Inner Line Permit (ILP)

Inner Line Permits are issued for certain restricted areas which all Indians and Foreigners have to obtain. 

Important For Diplomats

All permits to be applied to and issued from the Ministry of Home Affairs at New Delhi.

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Seasons Flavour

Commanding magnificent view of the surrounding Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Ketu and Kamet , on the edge of the Nanada Devi national park, Auli is fast emerging as an important ski resort in India.

Nestled amidst the wooded slopes, surrounded by green meadows in the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh, lies Baspa Valley also known as Sangla valley.

Binsar is a beautiful hill destination inside a forest reserve and bird sanctuary with magnificent 360 degree view of Kumaon Himalayan peaks.

Far from the maddening crowds is Caukori, an isolated small village in the Kumaon mountains offering panoramic view of snow capped Himalayan peaks painted with magical sunrise and sunsets .

Madikeri - a picturesque hill station of misty mornings and dotted with coffee and exotic spice plantations, lies in the Western Ghats of south-western Karnataka. It is the headquarter of the famous Kodagu or Coorg district of Karntaka state. Flavoured with the aroma of fresh coffee, cardamom, black pepper and Coorg honey, Madikeri offers an enchanting experience.

Dalhousie is one of the most picturesque hill stations, located in the Chamba Valley between the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges of the Himalayas. Named after a British Governor General, it retains a mix of natural beauty and colonial charm.

Darjeeling, the “Queen of the hills” embodies the romantic nostalgia of “The Raj” or the era of British rule in India. Darjeeling, famous for its lush tea gardens, is blessed with a stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest peak.

Dharamsala has an aura about it. The town has lived up to its name, which means “The pilgrims’ rest house”; it is today the sacred seat of the Dalai Lama and his exiled government of Tibet. The backdrop of the Himalayas and the old world charm of the town adds to the magnetic attraction of the unique experience that is Dharamsala.

One of the most scenic hill stations of India. Gulmarg offers excellent powder run skiing opportunities of international standards.

The beautiful hill town of Kausani is a picturesque hill station famous for its scenic splendour and its spectacular 300 km wide panoramic view of the Himalayas.

Lachen 110 km from Gangtok, Lachen is a scenic Himalayan village of migrant Buddhist Bhutia yak herders called Lachenpas. The hospitable Lachenpas greet or bid visitors farewell with the traditional 'khada' scarf. Blankets made from sheep wool or chuktuk, carved woodwork, furniture, signs, symbols and blankets are the handicrafts of Lachen. Chuktuk is the local term used for sheep wool blankets. Since a sizeable population in the area rear sheep and yak, the wool from these animals is used for r

On the banks of the Beas river, surrounded by the majestic Pir Panjal, Parvati, and Bara Bhangal mountain ranges, lies Manali - one of the most popular hill resorts in India. Manali is also the gateway to the exotic Lahaul and Spiti valleys.

Mukteshwar is a quaint and peaceful hill town in Kumaon - Uttarakhand surrounded by thick coniferous forest; it offers 180 degree panoramic views of the mighty Himalayan peaks Neelkanth, Trishul, Nandaghunti, Nanda Devi, Panchchuli. Famous hunter Jim Corbett mentioned Mukteshwar in his 1944 AD classic book ‘The Man Eaters Of Kumaon’.

Stunning green hills of rolling tea plantations surround breathtaking Munnar. The town provides a completely relaxing and therapeutic experience for jaded city dwellers - misty mornings, sweet scented air, whispering breezes and a chance to walk in the clouds.

Mussoorie is a popular hill station in the Garhwal Himalayas. Due to its panoramic views and its proximity to Delhi, Mussoorie has been a favourite weekend destination for visitors from the nearby plains since the time of the Raj.

The beautiful small township of Pelling lies 115 km from the state capital Gangtok. Known for its grand views of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain, which rises to 9390m. Pelling is perched at an altitude of 2400m, and is a traveller’s delight due to its strategic location in the eastern Himalayas.

A long time ago Kumaoni queen Padmini was smitten with the scenic vista of this hill town leading to her king Sukhdev naming the area queen’s meadow or Ranikhet. Ranikhet still retains the unspoilt charm and sylvan surrounding that provides panoramic views to the Himalayan peaks.

A beautiful hill city tucked in the lap of Himalayas, Shimla retains much of its old world charm and nostalgic influence of the British Raj when it was the designated “summer capital” of India.

Srinagar, the exotic summer capital of Kashmir is an enigma shrouded in a veil of mystery, a fusion of beauty, culture and history that mesmerises, enthrals and still sows a seed of doubt in the mind of the departing traveller that a single visit is not enough to touch its heart.

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