india tourism

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Full moon above Mount Kanchenjunga

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Passports and Visas 1. Where the proposed tour includes any point above 6000 mtrs, visa may be given only after receiving the formal clearance from the Indian Mountaineering Federation. All foreign nationals require visa to enter India. However, there are some relaxations for Bhutanese and Nepalese nationals. Details and types of visa and the fee may be obtained from the Embassy of India. 2. Where the proposed tour is for areas below 6000 mtrs. the visa applications should be accompanied by an itinerary indicating days and places to be visited along with their height, a map of the proposed area with the distinct markings of the places to be visited and a copy of the brochure outlining the tour highlights. These details are required to ensure that the proposed tour does not violate the mandatory conditions laid down by the IMF. Information for Tours which offers trekking and mountaineering expeditions to India.

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Restricted & Protected Areas Certain parts of the country need special permits before they can be visited. These permits are issued by: NAGALAND 1. Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi 2. Directorate of Tourism, Nagaland, Kohima, Phone- +91 (370) 21607/ 22214/ 21945 3. Secretary, Tourism, Nagaland, Kohima, Tele-Fax- +91 (370) 33067 ARUNACHAL PRADESH AND MIZORAM Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi 110 003 at least 4weeks before the date of the expected visit. SIKKIM Certain areas of Sikkim have been declared as restricted areas. Permits can be issued by all Indian Missions abroad, all FRROs, Immigration Officers at Airports at Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and New Delhi. Manipur. MANIPUR Manipur has also been opened to foreign tourists; permits can be issued by all Missions abroad, all FRROs, Home Commissioner, Manipur, Imphal. ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS Individual foreign tourists can visit Port Blair Municipal Area, Havelock Island, Long Island, Neil Island, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Rangat, where a night halt is allowed and Jolly Buoy, South Cinque, Red Skin, Mount Harriet, Madhuban where only day visits are allowed. Prior permit is necessary. LAKSHADWEEP ISLANDS Only Bangaram and Subeli Islands are open to foreign tourists. Permits are required, obtainable from the Lakshadweep Administration, Wellington Island, Harbour Road, Kochi -3.

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Health Regulation Yellow fever: Any person (including infants) arriving by air or sea without a certificate is detained in insulation for a period up to 6 days if arriving within 6 days of departing from an infected area. Malaria risk exists throughout the year in the whole country excluding parts of the States of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim. No certificate required, but a course of anti-malaria pills is recommended. Drinking water: Bottled water is available and usually provided in flasks in hotel rooms. For people with delicate digestive systems. It is advisable to use bottled mineral water, this is widely available. Medical: It is advisable to bring specific medicines. There are state operated facilities in all towns and cities and private consultants and specialists in urban areas.

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Language The official language is Hindi in the Devanagri script. The States are free to decide their own regional languages for internal administration and education, so there are 18 official languages spoken throughout the country. English is widely spoken.

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Guides Trained English speaking guides are available at fixed charges at all important tourist centres. The Govt. of India Tourist Offices can be contacted by tourists for the services of approved guides. French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian and Japanese speaking guides are available at some cities. Unapproved guides are not permitted to enter protected monuments, and tourists are, therefore, advised to ask the guides for the identity card issued by the Department of Tourism, Govt. of India. Tip It is usual to tip waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Tips are not included in the bill. Time GMT + 5 1/2 hours.

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Photography Special permission of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, is required for use of tripod and artificial light. Photography in the wildlife sanctuaries is allowed on payment of a prescribed fee. Photography is prohibited in tribal areas. Electricity Voltage in most places is 220 volts AC, 50 cycles, although some areas also have DC supplies Communications Fax/Telex/Telegram: International 24-hours service from large hotels and telegraph offices in major cities. Telephone: Telephone calls to most countries are now direct. There are telephone facilities between the most cities and towns. The international direct dialing code for India is +91.

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Money Currency: Rupee = 100 Paise. Coins are in denominations of 10, 25 & 50 Paise & l, 2 & 5 Rupees. Notes are in denominations of Rs 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000.

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Currency Regulations There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ cheques a tourist may import, provided a Declaration Form is completed on arrival, This will facilitate the exchange of imported currency as well as the export of unspent currency on departure. Cash, bank notes and travelers’ cheques up to US$ 2,500 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travellers’ cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc. which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorised money changers. There are 24 hour exchange facilities available at all big cites and international airports.

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Custom Regulations All personal objects which are required in India are free from duty. Under this heading fall personal jewelry, presents up to a value of Rs. 600, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 0.95 l alcoholic beverages. Professional material and articles which have a high value can only be imported duty free if the traveler gives a written undertaking that these articles will be re-exported. Airport Tax Passengers embarking on journey to any place outside India will have to pay an airport tax of Rs. 500. For journey to Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maledives = Rs. 150. Generally airport tax is included in the airfare.

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Public Holidays There are many festivals and special events in India, but only a few of these are full public holidays. These are: 26 Jan Republic Day, 15 Aug. Independence Day, 2 Oct. Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday.

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Weather and Climate Hot tropical weather with variations from region to region. Coolest weather lasts from November to mid-March, with cool, fresh mornings and evenings and dry, sunny days. Really hot weather, when it is dry, dusty and unpleasant, is between April and June. Monsoon rains occur in most regions in summer between June and September.

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India Facts - General

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RELIGION Politics Largest secular parliamentarian democracy of the world 35 Union states and -territories Languages 16 regional languages Official language are Hindi and English History 5000 Years of History 2300 Years of Cultural exchange with Europe 60 Years of independence 15. August 1997 In addition to the British social and cultural influence, the Portuguese and the French have also left their hallmark in Goa and Pondicherry.

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Festivals and Fairs The Indian calendar is a long procession of festivals; if you can find yourself in the right place at the right time, it is possible to go through your visit with a festival each day. The harvest festivals of the south, the immersion of Ganesh in Mumbai (Bombay), the car Festival of Puri, snake-boat races in Kerala, Republic Day in Delhi... every region, every religion has something to celebrate.

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The Indian craftsman has been perfecting his art for centuries, passing down traditions and techniques from generation to generation. Each region has its own specialties, each town its own local craftsmen, its own particular skills. The results is a consummate blend of ancient skills and modern aesthetics. Silks, spices, jewellery and many other Indian products have long been famous and widely desired, and merchants would travel thousands of miles, willingly enduring the hardships and privations of the long journey in other to make their purchases. Nowadays, the marketplaces of the subcontinent are only 9 hours away, and for fabrics, silverware, carpets, leatherwork, antiques the list is endless India is a shopping paradise. Goods are exotic, attractive, beautiful hand-crafted and excellent value for money. Half the fun when buying goods in the bazaars is the bargaining, and you can always check for reasonable prices at state-run emporiums. Below are some of the best buys, either for the souvenir hunter or the connoisseur. SHOPPING

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Cuisine The unforgettable aroma of India is not just the heavy scent of jasmine and roses on the warm air. It is also the fragrance of spices so important to Indian cooking - especially to preparing curry. The world "curry" is an English derivative of "kari", meaning soice sauce, but curry does not, in India, come as a powder. It is the subtle and delicate blending of spices such as turmeric, cardamom, ginger, coriander, nutmeg and poppy seed. Like an artist’s palette of oil paints, the Indian cook has some twenty-five spices (freshly ground as required) with which to mix the recognized combinations or "masalas". Many of these spices are also noted for their medicinal properties. They, like the basic ingredient, vary from region to region. Although not all Hindus are vegetarians, you will probably eat more vegetable dishes than is common in Europe, particularly in South India. Indian vegetables are cheap, varied and plentiful and superbly cooked.                      Broadly speaking, meat dishes are more common in the north, notably Rogan Josh (curried lamb), Gushtaba (spicey meat balls in yoghurt), and the delicious Biriyani (chicken or lamb in orange flavoured rice, sprinkled with sugar and rose water). Mughlai cuisine is rich, creamy, deliciously spiced and liberally sprinkled with nuts and saffron. The ever popular Tandoori cooking (chicken, meat or fish marinated in herbs and baked in a clay oven) and kebabs are also northern cuisine.

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Dance and Music                           Indian music (Hindustani in the north and Carnatic in the south) has been evolving as part of India’s culture for centuries. Aspects of musical from such as tonal intervals, harmonies and rhythmical patterns are the unique products of a wealth of musical traditions and influences; they are also very different from those familiar in the west. Much of the music recalls Indian fables and legends, as well as celebrating the seasonal rhythms of nature. Indian dancing, similarly unique and timeless, is also widely performed throughout the country, either at major festivals and recitals, or at the many cultural shows which are staged in hotels.

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Wildlife Sanctuaries                                                  The Indian peninsula is a continent in itself, whose geographical diversity has encouraged the flourishing of a whole range of wildlife with over 350 species of mammals and 1200 species of birds in the country. While there is an overlap in the habitats of many species, each region has something special to offer - the hangul is restricted to the valley of Kashmir in northern India, the rhino is found in North-East states of India and pockets along the Brahmaputra river area, the black langur in the western ghats, and western India is the home of the last remaining Asiatic Lions. Two of India's most impressive animals, the Bengal/Indian Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant are found in most regions, The tiger originated in Central Asia and migrated over the great Himalayas to the dense tropical forests, adapting itself well to the plains.

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Ayurveda "A gateway to Indian Medical Heritage."                               Ayurveda in Sanskrit means "the science of Life". It is an ancient, unfailing system of treatment based on medicines prepared from herbal plants found in abundance in India. Ayurveda is an integral part of the people of India. In the recent years this ancient knowledge system of medicine has gained global acceptance especially for alternative ways of preventive, curative and rejuvenative processes making life a more pleasurable experience. We can find historical evidence of Ayurveda in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas. In the Rig Veda, over 60 preparation were mentioned that could be used to assist an individual in overcoming various ailments. The Rig Veda was written over 6,000 years ago, but really Ayurveda has been around even longer than that.

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Do’s & Don’ts DO’s All foreign tourists must pay hotel bills in foreign currency. This can be paid in rupees if the tourist has a bank receipt as proof of currency exchange Exchange money only through authorised banks and money changers Insist on a receipt when exchanging money Retain all receipts to facilitate re-conversion of unspent money on departure from India Shopping recommended from Government Emporia and suggested shops on the list of Dept. of Tourism Export of most wildlife and their products is either banned or strictly regulated. Try to avoid the touts and brokers of shopkeepers It is obligatory to cover your head before entering Sikh shrines DON’Ts Don’t get lured by shopping bargains on the street Don’t purchase travel tickets through strangers or unauthorised travel agents Don’t encourage beggars by giving them money or other articles Don’t buy silver / ivory articles or peacock feathers in bulk Don’t wear any footwear inside any places of worship. Some temples do not permit leather articles to be taken in

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THANK YOU Best India Vacation – Come and spend the best of it with us

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