India

India is a world in itself. This is the land of mysticism, superstition & myths, snake charmers, yogis and Maharaja’s. India’s variety has a richness where light, colour, noise, smells, flavours are all vivid and intense. Area: 3,287,263 sq km (1,269,219 sq miles). Population: 1,179,998,000 (estimated 2010) Density of population: 359per sq km Capital: New Delhi. Geography: India shares borders to the north-west with Pakistan, to the north with China, Nepal and Bhutan, and to the east with Bangladesh and Myanmar. To the west lies the Arabian Sea, to the east the Bay of Bengal and to the south the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka lies off the south-east coast, and the Maldives off the south-west coast. The far north-eastern states and territories are all but separated from the rest of India by Bangladesh as it extents northwards from the Bay of Bengal towards Bhutan. The Himalayan mountain range to the north, the Indus River (west) and Ganges River (east) form a physical barrier between India and the rest of Asia. The country can be divided into five regions: Western, Central, Northern (including Kashmir and Rajasthan), Eastern and Southern. Language The official language is Hindi which is spoken by about 30% of the population, while English is often used for official or commercial purposes. In addition, 17 regional languages are recognised by the Constitution which include Punjabi, Bengali, Gujerati and Oriya which are all widely used in the north while Tamil and Telegu are common in the south. Other regional languages are Marathi, Kannada and Malayalam. The Muslim population largely speak Urdu. Religion : 80% Hindu, 11% Muslim with Sikh, Christian and Buddhist minorities. Time : GMT + 5.30. Visa & Transport Foreign travellers must possess a visa for India. It is advised that you visit your local embassy and have all visas organised well in advance of your trip as they cannot be issued on arrival. Visas’s are not required however, if you are just transiting through the airport. India Tours Golden Triangle (Six Days) Short in duration this trip is designed for those on a limited time scale. The trip includes the two main tourist centres of India and leaves out of Delhi. It can also be combined with other tours out of Delhi and includes visits of the famous Taj Mahal at Agra, the abandoned Mughal Capital Fatehpur Sikri and the city of Jaipur with its magnificent Amber Fort. Delhi – Kathmandu including Agra & Varanasi (14 Days) This is a longer and very popular trip that takes around two weeks in duration. Two of the most enduring images of India are undoubtedly the magnificent Taj Mahal at Agra and the incredible bathing ghats of the Ganges at Varanasi. From timeless Moghul architecture to religious rituals, this tour will introduce you to some of the contrasts making India such a remarkable destination before finishing in Kathmandu via Chitwan National Park and Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. Foothills of the Himalayas The northern part of Utter Pradesh is an area of beautiful hills, mountains and lakes. You take an exciting rafting trip down the Ganges whereby you float past temples, ashrams and yoga centres of the holy city of Rishikesh, made famous by the Beatles who visited here in the 1960s. Next is a visit to Corbett National Park where you travel by Jeep and on elephant back through the jungle trying to catch a view of the great Indian tiger. The trip is rounded off with scenic drive to the pretty little hill station of Natalina.

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