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India

Travel to India

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India - Map

A holiday to India is a journey through a complex history, a colourful culture and a varied landscape which stretches from the snowy caps of the mighty Himalayas to the luscious coast of the abundant Indian Ocean. The 6th largest economy in the world and home to a staggering 3 billion people, India holds within its territory some of the worlds most mythical and iconic sights and cities such as the eternal Taj Mahal, Varanasi, the Ganges River, the lush beaches of Goa and Rishikesh, the world centre of yoga, not to mention the lively capital of Delhi. This vast country shares borders with China, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar and its immense coastline, stretching for more than 7,500 kilometres, sits on the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Today, India is divided into 29 states and 7 union territories.

 

Nature in India

Lovers of nature are spoilt for choice when they take a tour in India. With habitat zones ranging from tropical rainforests to alpine forests and deserts, India is home to a plethora of endemic plant and wildlife species, the former of which contributes to its strong culture of herbal medicine and Ayurvedic practice. India is famed for its varied and exotic wildlife including Bengal tigers, lions, Indian and white giraffe, leopards and snow leopards, the majestic Indian elephant and the mighty Indian rhinoceros.

The country’s fantastically diverse wildlife is preserved in more than 120 national parks, although it is common to see wild animals roaming the city streets. Supporting such a wide array of wildlife, India is home to a range of geographical regions and landscapes, the most iconic being the Thar Desert, the snowy Himalayas, the lush tropical backwaters of Kerala and the unbelievable metropolises of Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi.

 

History of India

With a history as vast as its size and stretching back as far as 5 millennia, a package holiday in India will open your eyes to a fascinating mix of traditions, cultures and religions. Often called the ‘oldest religion in the world’, Hinduism is the largest religion in India, and across the centuries it has laid the foundations for the country’s culture and way of life. It’s founding texts, known as the ‘vedas’, were composed in India between 2000 and 5000 BC, marking the beginning of Vedic Culture, a key period in the northwest territories of the country.

During these ancient times in the central Ganges Plain, the territory was divided into 16 kingdoms, known as Mahajanapagas. By the 4th and 5th centuries, the Golden Age of the Gupta Empire had unified much of the Indian Subcontinent and encouraged progress through a practice of Hinduism based on devotion rather than ritual which prompted a proliferation of arts, architecture and Sanskrit literature. As the centuries moved forward so Muslim dynasties and the famous Mughal Empire left their mark on the story of India.

During the Mughal era, from the 16th-19th century, popular monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Humayun's Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri, the Red Fort and the Agra Fort, were constructed and reflected the artistic collaboration between both Persian and Indian architectural styles. The East India Company and the establishment of the British Raj also began in this era and its authority would continue until 1947 when Indian independence was declared. In 1950, a secular and democratic government was established marking the new era of modern India. Today, the colours, rituals, spirituality and vibrant culture of India are known and admired worldwide, so a package holiday to India is the best choice for a full experience of the wonders of the country.

 

Indian culture

The world’s most populous country, India is known for its rich culture which varies from region to region. The official language is Hindi, although there are lots of regional languages that are widely spoken and English is the main language in which education and business are communicated. Religion is an important part of life in India and although Hinduism is the leading faith, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity and ancient Zoroastrianism all contribute to the melting pot of culture and rituals.

With a complex cultural catalogue of beliefs and practices, concepts such as karma, dharma and the widely popular practice of yoga, all originate from India. Ancient languages such as Sanskrit and Sangam, are considered important pillars of culture in the country, although performing arts and music are at the centre of India’s vibrant heart. Dances often act out myths, legends and religious teachings and are an unmissable sight on a holiday to India.

In recent years the Indian film industry, sometimes known as ‘Bollywood’, has gained recognition worldwide for its brilliant mix of modern and traditional values, opening up an insight into today’s India to viewers around the globe. Family values are another important pillar in everyday Indian life, with a multi-generational patriarchal structure being the most common structure of family life. It is also common for consensual arranged marriages to be organised for the younger generations. Traditional dress is a highly recognisable part of Indian culture, seen in the colourful fabrics and patterns of the ‘saris’ and ‘cholis’ often irresistible to visitors on holiday in India, who cannot resist buying the beautiful textiles to take home with them.


From the immortal deserts of Rajasthan to the sleepy backwaters of Kerala and spiritual ghats of Varanasi, India is a must-visit destination for all intrepid travellers. If you dream of having your eyes opened to a different way of life, to unbelievable devotion, to the most vibrant colours of the spring Holi festival and to the smiles and friendliness of the local people, a package tour of India will deliver these dreams to you.

 

India travel information

  • Entry requirements:
    Passport with a minimum of six months validity and at least two blank pages.
  • Visa*:
    A visa is required to enter the country. Issued by the embassy or online E-Visa application one month before arrival in the country.
  • Currency:
    Indian Rupee.
  • Language:
    Hindi and English.
  • Electricity:
    220 V in the majority of the country. Electrical sockets are European style however an adapter may be useful.
  • Health:
    There are no mandatory vaccinations for travellers from EU countries although some are recommended. Consult your GP.
  • Time zone:
    GMT + 5:30.
  • Other useful information:
    Foreigners cannot bring Indian Rupees into the country, although you can bring foreign currency and exchange it once you arrive.
  • Tourist Office website:
    http://www.incredibleindia.org/
* Embassies and ministries of tourism can modify the amounts of visas without prior notice
India - Mapa
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Real comments from Exoticca customers
All the comments below belong to people who have travelled to India with Exoticca in the past 18 months.
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Rating
India
Based on 11 reviews
9.6
Featured comment
Shelley Kay
UK
“‘It really WAS good karma in Kerala!’”
The locals were all very friendly and open and the less frantic pace suited us. We would absolutely love to return to...
Read more
Mr & Mrs Robinson
UK
Palaces & Deserts of Rajasthan
10.0
'Many thanks for another excellent trip.'
1 April 2019

“I would like to say that our tour manager and guide was second to none. I have experienced many good guides on various trips but Narendra excelled.”

Martin Rutter
UK
Palaces & Deserts of Rajasthan
9.2
'Our first time in India was a memorable experience'
1 April 2019

“We don't usually book organised packages, we were very happy with what Exoticca provided.
Our guide was pretty much perfect: He was (very) informative, helpful and seemed genuinely interested in every single person on the tour.”

Kay Clements
UK
Luxury Taj Mahal & Tiger Trail
9.8
'We both had an amazing time'
16 February 2019

“'Hotels were great, food at Leela was amazing & our tour guide was fabulous with a wealth of knowledge. Everything went to plan & the bonus was seeing two leopards, a bear & two tigers!'”

Andrea Simmons
UK
Luxury Taj Mahal & Tiger Trail
9.5
'We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.'
19 January 2019

“The hotels were all excellent international hotels, we thought the excursions were well thought out and loved the chaotic train journeys.
We thought our guide Yazz was very knowledgeable about his country and the customs and was flexible with peoples requests.
Luckily for us, we did see a tiger in the National park which we didn't really expect to thanks to the local guide.”

Mr & Mrs Bolton
UK
Luxury Taj Mahal & Tiger Trail
9.8
'Thank you once again for helping us experience the Golden Triangle'
5 January 2019

“We would like to Congratulate you on an amazing trip!!! We thought the organisation was fantastic and at no time were we let down! The agents on route were always there to meet us and our driver was always on time.”


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