Travel to India: useful information, safety and recommended itineraries

Who I am
Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

A magical land. Spirituality, mysticism, magnificent buildings, slums, bright colors. And again, the pungent smells of spices, the rickshaws, the clogged streets, the skyscrapers of the richest neighborhoods and the cows crossing the street. A country of a thousand contrasts, so strong that they touch the visitor and cannot leave him indifferent. But in addition to these emotional aspects, India is a huge country, which presents precisely because of its vastness totally different climates and landscapes.

It is often said that to face a trip to India you have to "be ready". I add that it will never be enough. Here is a number of helpful tips for organize a trip to India: useful info, safety and recommended itineraries.



Index

  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where it is
  3. Security, visa and necessary documents
  4. 10-day itinerary: The Pearls of the North
  5. 9 day itinerary: The best of South India
  6. Travel to India: flights, costs, best time and advice
  7. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 1.353 billion
  • Capital: Dehli
  • Languages: Hindi and English officers; languages ​​used and recognized by the Constitution in total 23
  • Local currency: Indian rupee (INR) / Exchange rate: € 1,00 = INR 87,25
  • Weather: tropical and dominated by monsoons which determine a dry and rainy season. The wettest period is from July to September, in the south-east of the country the monsoon lasts until the end of the year. In summer it can reach 48 °
  • Time zone: + 5,30 UTC. + 4,30 hours compared to Italy, + 3,30 when summer time is in force in Italy
  • Where it is

    Officially the Republic of India, it is a federal state of South Asia. With 3.287.263 sq km, it is the seventh country in the world by surface area and the second most populous after China. It is bathed by the Indian Ocean to the south, the Arabian Sea to the west and the Bay of Bengal to the east. With a coastline that winds for 7.517 km, it borders to the west with Pakistan, China, Nepal and Bhutan; to the north-east with Bangladesh and with Myanmar to the east. Close neighbors, but separated by the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka to the southeast and the Maldives to the southwest.



    Security, visa and necessary documents

    • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of at least 6 months and with two blank pages available. Tourist visa required to be requested from the Indian Embassy in Rome
    • vaccinations: yellow fever vaccination certificate for all travelers over 9 months of age from countries at risk of transmitting the disease. Diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, typhus, tuberculosis, polio and tetanus booster recommended
    • Restrictions: the introduction of satellite equipment, transceivers, telescopes is prohibited. The flight of unmanned aircraft such as drones, hot air balloons, paragliders, hang gliders, ultralights within a radius of 30 km around Vijay Chowk (city center) in New Delhi is prohibited without authorization from the Indian Authority. It is forbidden to use and bring electronic cigarettes into the country
    • Safety: frequent episodes of micro-crime against tourists; high terrorism alert; risk of natural disasters during the monsoon period. Consult the official website of the Farnesina
    • Useful Tips: rely on a good tour operator or local agency and take out a good insurance that also includes coverage of health costs. Always valid the usual precautions such as avoiding places of eventual events, not hitchhiking etc - discover the best India Travel Insurance

    10-day itinerary: The Pearls of the North

    1. First dayArrival in Delhi in the morning, check-in at the hotel and visit the city. Qutub Minar, colonial quarter, India Gate, Safdarjung mausoleum. Dinner, with the possibility of Indian street food tasting tour, and overnight in Delhi
    2. Second day: end of the visit of Delhi, Old Delhi, Friday Mosque, Red Fort, Sikh temple. Lunch and departure for Jaipur. Dinner and overnight in Jaipur
    3. Third day: photo stop at the Palazzo dei Venti, ascent with elephant to the Amber Fort and visit, lunch in a historic residence, city palace, museum and astronomical observatory. Dinner and overnight in Jaipur
    4. Fourth day: departure towards Agra and stop at the Abhaneri well. Lunch break. Visit of Fatephur Sikri, the ancient Moghul capital. Dinner and overnight in Fatephur Sikri
    5. Fifth day: visit of Agra, with Red Fort, Eimad-ud-Daula mausoleum. Lunch and in the afternoon visit to the famous Taj-Mahal (priority entrance ticket recommended). Dinner and overnight in Agra
    6. Sixth day: travel by train to Orcha and visit the hidden treasure of Orcha, in particular the Jehangir Mahal. Lunch during the excursion. Continue to Khajuraho where you will arrive in time for dinner and overnight
    7. Seventh day: visit of the western Hindu temples famous for their erotic representations. In the late morning flight to Varanasi. First visit to the Ganges to witness the fire arts ceremony. Dinner and overnight in Varanasi
    8. Eighth day: excursion by boat at dawn to attend the purification rites in the Ganges, walk through the alleys of the ancient city. Lunch. Visit of the archaeological site of Sarnath, place of the first preaching of the Buddha. Dinner and night in Varanasi
    9. Ninth day: visit of the modern part of Varanasi, with university, temple of the goddess Durga and the Bharat Mata Mandir. After lunch, fly to Delhi. Dinner and overnight in the capital
    10. Tenth day: transfer to the airport in time for the return flight to Italy

    How much? Price details

    • Price per person starting from: € 2.150,00
    • The price includes: return intercontinental flight, return Delhi-Varanasi domestic flight, all indicated transfers, train transfers, 8 nights, full board except 2 meals, all entrances to the attractions mentioned, local guide in Italian
    • The fee does not include: airport taxes and fuel surcharges, India visa, meals not mentioned, drinks, tips and personal extras, India travel insurance
    • Custom quote: to request a personalized quote

    9 day itinerary: The best of South India



    1. First day: arrival in Madras, check-in at the hotel and free time for free activities or rest. Lunch and in the afternoon visit of the city, St. Thomas church, waterfront, government buildings and Kapale-eshwara temple. Dinner and night in Madras
    2. Second day: departure for Pondicherry. Stop for the visit of Mahabalipuram, the first example of Hindu Templar art. Arrival in Pondicherry and visit of the ancient French colony and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Dinner and overnight in Pondicherry
    3. Third day: transfer to Tanjore and lunch during the trip. Visit of Tanjore, Brahadeshwara temple dedicated to Shiva and visit of the bronze museum. Dinner and overnight in Tanjore
    4. Fourth day: transfer to Trichy. Visit the temple city of Srirangam. Continue to Madurai with lunch on the way. Arrive in Madurai in time to witness the dormition ceremony. Free dinner and overnight in Madurai
    5. Fifth day: completion of the visit of Madurai, temple dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi, museum and palace of Tirunalai Nayak. Lunch and transfer to Periyar Park. Upon arrival, visit a spice plantation. Dinner and night in Periyar
    6. Sixth day: transfer to the Kerala plain. Check-in at the hotel and free afternoon for relaxation, swimming pool and Ayurvedic treatments. Possibility to participate in a Keralan cooking class. Dinner and overnight
    7. Seventh day: boat cruise in the backwaters, the characteristic canals that cross Kerala, lunch on board and arrival near Aleppey. Transfer to Cochin. Hotel accommodation. Dinner and overnight in Cochin
    8. Eighth day: visit of Cochin, the most cosmopolitan city in South India, the Chinese networks, the Dutch palace, the church of s. Francesco, the Jewish quarter and the street of antique dealers. After lunch, dance show. In the late afternoon, transfer to the airport
    9. Ninth day: departure for Italy with flight in the very early hours of the morning

    How much? Price details

    • Price per person starting from: € 1.920,00
    • The price includes: intercontinental return flight, all indicated transfers, Kerala cruise, 7 nights, full board, all entrances to the attractions mentioned, local English speaking guide
    • The fee does not include: airport taxes and fuel surcharges, India visa, meals not mentioned, drinks, tips and personal extras, India travel insurance
    • Custom quote: to request a personalized quote

    Travel to India: flights, costs, best time and advice

    Regardless of the costs, the climate factor must prevail when choosing a trip to India. In this sense, the best time to travel to the country is from October to March, the driest. If you don't go on Christmas and New Year's Eve, you can find excellent bargains around € 400,00, while in the main periods they reach € 800,00 / 900,00.

    A good insurance policy is absolutely necessary which includes health care costs (here you can find the best Travel Insurance for India).

    We absolutely recommend that you rely on an agency. Alternatively, there are local drivers, but read the reviews carefully. They generally organize the tour according to what you would like to visit and book accommodation, always respecting the quality / price standards you require.
    Having a good guide or a local person by your side is essential: he knows how to recommend the best restaurants for the Italian palate (the spicy is really hot), he helps you in buying tickets for the various attractions by checking that they do not give you crumpled banknotes that are then unusable or that they do not give you the wrong change, he helps you to cross the street on foot (the traffic is really intense) and much more!

    Bring shoes and clothes that you will then throw away; in the sacred areas, even the outer ones such as the ghats, along the sacred rivers, you walk barefoot, and you must remember that cows are sacred. It means you are walking on ... anything!



    • Minimum period for a tour in India: 6 days for the Golden Triangle, but you see very little. To do well at least one area / region at least 10/12 days
    • Recommended cities for base: Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Agra, Kajuraho, Varanasi for the north; Madras, Pondicherry, Tanjore, trichy, Madurai, Cochin for the south; Patan, Buhj, gondal, Sasan Gir, Diu, Palitana, Lothal, Dasada for Gujarat
    • Getting around: if you do not opt ​​for a tour operator already booked in Italy, the best option is to rely on a local driver. Car rental is highly discouraged! Possibility to travel by train or night buses but you must not be too demanding from a hygienic / qualitative point of view
    • Flights: in the low season there are excellent opportunities around € 300,00, in the high season (Christmas and New Year) they are close to € 1.000,00. Alitalia and Air India have direct flights. The other major airlines that fly to India, making a stopover, are Qatar, Emirates, Oman Air, Lufthansa, British, Cathay, KLM, Singapore Airlines
      starting from € 410,00 -
    • Accommodations and accommodations: consider that an Indian 4-star may not have implied services in Italy and Europe. It is recommended to book 5-star or 4-star Superior facilities. Experience to do at least once is to sleep in accommodation facilities obtained from the ancient residences of the Maharajas
      Hotel and b & b starting from € 10,00 per room -

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