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Golden Moments
GOLDEN MOMENTS - 6nights/7days

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It was tears and chanting of prayers that mark the departure of a fleet of four ships from a Portuguese harbor late in the fifteenth century, in search of a new tread route to India.

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Gods Own Kerala
Kerala, the land of rivers and backwaters is a green strip of land, in the South West corner of Indian peninsula. Kerala is a state with full literacy, Higher Health care and lower mortality ratio.

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Golden Triangle Tour - India
If you are planning to visit India for the first time, there is no better option than the Golden Triangle Tour - Covering Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

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India is a mystical land of seductive images. Hinduism and its religious rites and red-letter days are woven into the fabric of everyday life. It is also India’s vastness that challenges the imagination, being home to one sixth of the world’s population.

Its intoxicatingly rich history can be traced back to at least 2500BC when the first known civilisation settled along the Indus River. 

There was an influx of Moghuls in the 1520s from Central Asia, who maintained effective control of the north until the mid 18th century. At the end of that century, as the Moghul Empire declined, the British took control of the whole subcontinent, and the whole of India was administered by a single alien power.

The Indian National Congress was formed in 1885, but made little progress on independence until Mahatma Gandhi began the policy of non-cooperation with the British. But the congress itself was split on the issue of Hindus and Muslims. The Muslims, under Muhammad Ali Jinnah, claimed a separate homeland and in August 1947 the independent states of India and Pakistan came into being. Since this time, India has been a democratic republic.

Such a rich history has spawned palaces, temples and monuments. The most frequently visited part of India is the Golden Triangle. The unfairly maligned great cities of Mumbai and Kolkata have a bustling, colourful charm, while the holy city of Varanasi or the awe-inspiring temples of Tamil Nadu are worthy objects of pilgrimage. For those who prefer more sybaritic pleasures, tackle the palm-fringed beaches of Goa. And for solitude, India ripples with mountains and hills, from the towering beauty of the Himalayas to pine forests, lakes and babbling streams.

One of the fascinations of India is the juxtaposition of old and new; centuries of history rubbing shoulders with the computer age; and Bengaluru’s (Bangalore’s) ‘Silicon Valley’ is as much a part of the world’s largest democracy as its remotest village.

General Information 
3,166,414 sq km (1,222,582 sq miles).
1.1 billion (UN estimate 2005).
Population Density 
347 per sq km.
New Delhi. Population: 13.8 million (2001).
Republic since 1947.
The main language is Hindi which is spoken by about 30% of the population; English is also enshrined in the constitution for a wide range of official purposes. In addition, 17 regional languages are recognised by the constitution. These include Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya and Punjabi which are widely used in the north, and Tamil and Telegu, which are common in the south. Other regional languages are Kannada, Malayalam and Marathi. The Muslim population largely speak Urdu.
About 81% Hindu, 12% Muslim, with Sikh, Christian, Jain, Parsi and Buddhist minorities.
GMT + 5.5.

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

Western Himalayas: Srinagar is best from March to October; July to August can be unpleasant; cold and damp in winter. Shimla is higher and therefore colder in winter. Places like Gulmarg, Manali and Pahalgam are usually under several feet of snow (December to March) and temperatures in Ladakh can be extremely cold. The road to Leh is open from June to October.

Required Clothing:   Light- to mediumweights are advised from March to October, with warmer wear for winter. Weather can change rapidly in the mountains and therefore it is important to be suitably equipped. Waterproofing is advisable.

Northern Plains: Extreme climate, warm inland from April to mid-June, falling to almost freezing at night in winter between November and February. Summers are hot with monsoons between June and September.

Required Clothing:   Lightweights in summer with warmer clothes in winter and on cooler evenings. Waterproofing is essential during monsoons.

Central India: Madhya Pradesh State escapes the very worst of the hot season, but monsoons are heavy between July and September. Temperatures fall at night in winter.

Required Clothing:   Lightweights are worn most of the year with warmer clothes during evenings, particularly in winter. Waterproofed clothing is advised during monsoon rains.

Western India: November to February is most comfortable, although evenings can be fairly cold. Summers can be extremely hot with monsoon rainfall between mid June and mid September.

Required Clothing:   Lightweights are worn most of the year with warmer clothes for cooler winters, and waterproofing is essential during the monsoon.

Southwest: The most pleasant weather is from November to March. Monsoon rains between late April and July. Summer temperatures not as high as Northern India although humidity is extreme. Cooling breezes on coast. Inland, Mysore and Bijapur have pleasant climates with relatively low rainfall.

Required Clothing:   Lightweights. Waterproofing is necessary during the monsoon. Warmer clothes are worn in the winter, particularly in the hills.

Southeast: Tamil Nadu experiences a northeast monsoon between October and December and temperatures and humidity are high all year. Hills can be cold in winter.

Required Clothing:   Lightweights. Waterproofing is necessary during the monsoon. Warmer clothes are worn in the winter, particularly in the hills.

Northeast: March to June and September to November are the driest and most pleasant periods. The rest of the year has extremely heavy monsoon rainfall and it is recommended that the area is avoided.

Required Clothing:   Lightweights. Waterproofing is advisable throughout the year and essential in monsoons, usually from mid June to mid October. Warmer clothes are useful for cooler evenings.

Social Conventions 
The Indian Hindu greeting is to fold the hands and tilt the head forward to namaste. Indian women prefer not to shake hands. All visitors are asked to remove footwear when entering places of religious worship. The majority of Indians remove their footwear when entering their houses. Because of strict religious and social customs, visitors must show particular respect when visiting someone’s home. Many Hindus are vegetarian and many, especially women, do not drink alcohol. Sikhs and Parsis do not smoke. Small gifts are acceptable as tokens of gratitude for hospitality. Women are expected to dress modestly. Short skirts and tight or revealing clothing should not be worn, even on beaches. Businesspeople are not expected to dress formally except for meetings and social functions.

English-speaking guides are available at fixed charges at all important tourist centres. Guides speaking French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian or Spanish are available in some cities. Consult the nearest Indiatourism office. Unapproved guides are not permitted to enter protected monuments. Tourists are advised to ask for guides with certificates from the Ministry of Tourism or Indiatourism (see Contact Addresses).

Photography:  Formalities mainly concern protected monuments and the wildlife sanctuaries. Special permission of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, is necessary for the use of tripod and artificial light to photograph monuments. Photography at many places is allowed on payment of a prescribed fee, which varies. Contact the nearest Government of India Tourist Office.
Usually 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Some areas have a DC supply. Plugs used are of the round two- and three-pin type.
Head of Government 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh since 2004.
Head of State 
President APJ Abdul Kalam since 2002.
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