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The palace Jal Mahal

5 reasons to travel to India

With its own long-established identity, India has captivated entire generations. From Steve Jobs to the Rolling Stones, many people have been inspired by their Indian journeys... Great satisfaction!
  1. 1
    Discover a diametrically different culture
  2. 2
    Every landscape is represented
  3. 3
    A gastronomical journey
  4. 4
    Discover Bollywood
  5. 5
    Overcome your preconceptions to understand Indians.
1. Discover a diametrically different culture
Forget all Western logic or customs, India welcomes you into its collective cheerful confusion. In the circulation of sacred cows who sleep on the platforms of the state, and Hindu temples celebrating thousands of divinities in the hundreds of different dialects spoken in the country... India is vast, majestic but rather disconcerting. A culture in itself, but shared by more than a billion souls. A reason to make you to go back full of anecdotes and photographs!
2. Every landscape is represented
Whether you wish to climb to the top of the Himalayas, surf on the waves of Kerala, stride along the desert of Rajasthan, play Robinson Cruseo on the Andaman Islands or re-live Slumdog Millionnaire in the districts of Bombay, everything is possible in India. Your only enemy? Time. It would be impossible to see the whole country, even if you spent a year there. So choose your priorities and come back several times!   
3. A gastronomical journey
India is the only country which is very strongly vegetarian, yet where you will never run out of meat. Rich in several influences (Portuguese, English, French...), discovering the Indian gastronomy is worthy of a trip in itself. Chapati and northern roast are in competition with the paratha filled with vegetables and the coconut dosa (and I'm not only talking about their breads!). During the first few days, state that you would like "non-spicy" food, which will still be spicy, and try everything! Indian cuisine rarely disappoints...
4. Discover Bollywood
If you have the time, go for a tour of the side of the Gate of India in Bombay and wait there patiently for a while. Every day, Bollywood agents go there to find tourists to be extras in one of their blockbusters. They offer you a time in the week where your role will often consist of dancing in a nightclub or pretending to dine in an expatriate restaurant. A good way to discover the behind the scenes of an enormous industry and also to get a memento of your journey when you can buy, a few months later, a copy of your appearance in a Bollywood film.
5. Overcome your preconceptions to understand Indians.
The first few days can be puzzling in India. The noise, the crowds, the looks you'll get because of your skin colour, the smells and richness border on misery. India has its reasons that reason ignores. But once you have risen above your preconceptions, you will be able to discover a bit about this culture, its evolution, spirituality, kindness and amazement at the West and our customs... A trip which will question what we consider "normal" or assumed. An excellent way to recall or discover that normality stops at our comfort zone. And that nobody is either right nor wrong. Indians are different in many aspects but are also a fantastic population from whom we can learn a lot.
Discover the destination

Why travel in India

During your first trip to India, you'll expect to discover colours, smells and spirituality. The reality is superb but sometimes different from a postcard land.
You should go if...
  • You are interested in temples and history
  • You are looking for a diversity of the Himalayan mountainous landscapes, the Rajasthan desert, Kerala beach... India has everything
  • You are prepared for a cultural shock
  • You are open-minded, ready to discover a radically different culture without judging it
  • You like spicy foods, naan breads and vegetarian dishes
  • You are stimulated by adventures, you like discovering remote places and coming across unexpected encounters
You shouldn't go if...
  • You have a phobia of cockroaches, present in all hot and humid climates, you are bound to come across them in India
  • You don't like crowds: 1.2 billion inhabitants in the country, you will never be alone!
  • You don't like spicy food, because even when you order "non spicy" food in an Indian restaurant, your dish will be spicier than any other Indian dish served in Europe
  • You are sensitive to pollution, smells and noises

Customize your perfect trip to India

Discover all our travel ideas for a trip in India.

All our tours in India

When to go in India?

jan
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dec
The best season for going to India is winter, which is from November to March. But India is a gigantic country so there are considerable differences in climate between the regions. In December and January, for example, it can get very cold in the north. The south-east and the south often experience heavy rain from October to the beginning of December. So you need to adapt your departure dates according to the region you intend to visit, and, in any case, avoid going during the monsoon, which gradually extends over all the country from the end of May until October.
See when to go

What to see in India?

Top places to discover.

See all places
Prepare your trip in India
Before you dive into the shambolic delights that meet most tourists, here's some essential advice to help you prepare for your vacation in India.

What documents to travel with in India?

Most foreign nationals require a visa and current passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. You can't apply for a visa on arrival - you must sort this out beforehand. From 1st May 2015 onward, all visa applications must be accompanied by biometric information, to be given to and validated by VFS Global.

Health advise

Vaccinations are not obligatory. But it's a good idea to get innoculated against Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Rabies and Meningitis.

Language

As well as English, India has 18 other official languages. No need to learn them - all signs are in English and Shakespeare's language is spoken throughout the land! Even if there are some people who don't speak English, there's always someone close by who does.

Time difference

Time difference from the UK: +4hrs 30mins in summer and +5hrs 30mins in winter So when it's midday in London, it's 4:30pm in Mumbai in summer and 4:30pm in winter in Delhi.

Phone and internet connection

Country dialling code: +91

Internet access is available in some hotels, bars and tourist restaurants, otherwise there are numerous cybercafés.

Electricity

Power is 220 volts so you may need a transformer. The plugs are also different. So best pack an adaptor.

Indian Embassy in London

India House, Aldwych

London WC2B 4NA

United kingdom

+44 20 7836 8484

British Embassy in India

Shantipath, Chanakyapuri

New Delhi 110021

Tel 00-91-112419-2100

https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-high-commission-new-delhi

web.newdelhi@fco.gov.uk