Some Interesting Information About India

At a Glance

  • Population: Approx. 1.2 billion | National Capital: Delhi (Population, around 18 million)
  • Languages: English is widely spoken, more prominently in urban areas. Hindi is spoken mainly across north Indian states. Additionally, there are around 1600 languages & dialects which are officially recognized.
  • Currency: Rupee () (INR) | Dialing Code: +91
  • Time Zone: (GMT+05:30) Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi
  • Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type D (Old British 3-pin) Type M (see D)

Geography & Environment

India is the seventh largest country in the world and shares land borders with Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Bhutan & Myanmar as well as enjoys a wide stretch of coastlines along the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal & the Indian Ocean. India is known for its diversity & it is no different in terms of its terrains & landscapes - the Himalayas of the north, the deserts and plains of the west, the fertile waterways of the south and the hills and forests of the east. Modernization across urban areas is spreading fast. The vast sprawling cities of India are known for a range of lifestyle - from 5 star hotels to shanty towns, from shopping malls to traditional Indian bazaars dotted with street vendors. Get exposed to a diverse range of landscapes, villages, cities and environments.

Best Time to visit India

Due to its huge geographical area, India experiences a vast variation in its climate. During September to March, temperatures are at their coolest with December & January being the coldest months, especially across north India. April on wards, temperatures start rising with May & June being the hottest (it can go up to 48 degrees) months. Monsoon starts around May end and lasts up to September end and this period offers hot & extremely humid conditions.

Shopping in India

India is a shopper's paradise. Every region, almost every city or town has its own speciality. Textiles, fabrics, jewellery, precious & semi precious gemstones, persian carpets, rugs, quilts, blue pottery, marble inlay work, incense, perfumes, sandalwood, handicrafts and what not. Usually high end showrooms are known for their fixed price policy with quality assurance. More traditional & local bazaars (marketplaces) offer a variety of products in a good price range but you need to have an eye for the quality you are looking for. Bargaining in a traditional Indian bazaar is fun. Try it!

Fairs & Festivals

  • Diwali: Festival of Lights
  • Holi: Festival of Colors
  • Christmas: Birth of Jesus Christ
  • Dussehra: Vijayadasami
  • Durga Puja: Durgotsava or Navaratri
  • Janmashtmi: Birth of Lord Krishna
  • Ganesh Chaturthi: Vinayaka Chathurti
  • Onam: Harvest Festival of Kerala
  • Pongal: Tamil Harvest Festival
  • Gurupurab: Anniversary of A Guru’s Birth or Death
  • Maha Shivratri: The Great Night of Shiva
  • Lodhi: Punjabi Folk Festival
  • Gurupurab: Anniversary of A Guru’s Birth or Death
  • Gurupurab: Anniversary of A Guru’s Birth or Death

Bollywood & Cricket

Indian Cinema produces as many as 1600 films in various Indian languages every year. The industry is segmented by language. Bollywood is the Hindi film industry, the largest sector, representing 43% of the box office revenue. The South Indian film industry encompasses 5 film cultures: Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malyalam and Tulu. Combined Tamil & Telugu film industries revenues represent 36%.

Culture & Culture Shock , local customs

Yes, for the first 2-3 days, there is definitely a Culture Shock as please understand, Western & Eastern cultures are very different to each other. But, this should not discourage you to visit India as consistent passenger feedback tells us that most travellers want to return to India as soon as possible. People have often commented – one can never have enough of this country – the magic is Incredible!!!

  • Public Display of Affection between couples is often considered inappropriate whereas you may come across people of same gender holding hands / cuddling, especially in small towns and rural areas.

  • At public places, people often have a very different understanding of personal space. It is a country of over a billion people. 

  • Religion & spirituality hold a strong position in the society you shouldn't be surprised to see a huge number of youngsters also visiting their respective place of worship on a weekend.

Beggars & Begging

Unfortunate but true, you are going to face beggars. In fact, it is a full grown organized mafia – people are even maimed to beg. We do not encourage giving as –

  • Giving encourages the practice & also works as a negative impact of tourism.

  • With special reference to children, it encourages them to stay out of school.

  • You could be harassed as giving to one would soon bring many more to you.

  • Sometimes, you may give a beggar some food but again, to do so rather discreetly.

Above all, simply ignore them and do not react to any of their gestures.


Persistent Vendors / Hawkers

Vendors & Hawkers are usually found around monuments in touristy towns / cities. This is due to a significant percentage of unemployed population.

First, try and be confident as if you are unaffected by their behavior and do not make any eye contact. Never take their products in your hand or even look at what they are selling. Ignore them & if this does not work, stay calm and firmly say NO.


We understand that staring is considered inappropriate in the western culture. However, it isn't considered rude in India, especially among people from semi-urban or rural background. This is simply due to the fact that these locals aren't used to having westerners around them. These are harmless and innocent people. They're just curious to know more about someone who looks different and comes from a different cultural background. The best way to deal with it is to ignore them.

Customs & Religion

  • Shoes to be left outside before entering any of the places of worship or sites of reverence.

  • Everyone is expected to cover their head before entering a Gurudwara (sikh temple).

Eating & Drinking

India is a paradise for vegetarians. However, meat lovers could also have their share of yummylicious moments. There is a huge variety of cuisines that varies with region (especially north to south) & it is difficult to point out just one or two that you should try out. We would still list a few below -


  • Delhi & Punjab region is well known for Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Rogan Josh (non veg)

  • Daal Makhni (black lentils in butter), Chole Bhature (Chic peas in gravy with deep fried breads), myriad varieties of Paneer (cottage cheese) specialities & a great variety of seasonal vegetables. A variety of Naan (garlic naan is very popular) & Paratha (a flat, thick piece of unleavened bread lightly fried on a griddle - these could be stuffed with a variety of fillings such as potatoes, cauliflower, radish, lentils etc.) is a very popular bread form across north India.

  • Rajasthan has a predominant vegetarian population and their cuisine consists of a huge variety of lentils and legumes used in different forms along with yoghurt / ghee (clarified butter) based gravies. Due to scarce water conditions, green vegetables have always been difficult to come through. Vegetarians could always look out for Gatte Ki Sabzi (steamed gram flour dumplings), Kair Sangri (spicy desert beans), Kadhi Pakoda (deep friend gram flour dumplings cooked in yoghurt based gravy) & many other on offer. Laal Maas (red meat) is one of the most popular Rajasthani specialities.

  • Goa with its tropical climate & coastal location ensures sea food is fresh, tasty & in abundance. Fresh crab, lobster, squid and prawns are all great options bubbling in coconut milk.

  • Kerala is a great producer of most of the Indian spices along with rice in abundance. You could expect coconut based gravies punctuated with ginger, cardamom, chillies, pepper and many more. Seafood, too, is available in abundance. DOSA (pancake like crepes) are very popular veg options in south India.


  • Chai (hindi word for tea) is a very popular drink & can be found cheaply at every nook & corner of a street. This is prepared using tea leaves, milk, sugar and sometimes ginger & cardamom. Coffee isn't very popular but of late urban India have started catering to coffee lovers with some western style coffee outlets. Lassi is another very popular yoghurt based sweet drink which is indeed filling & refreshing. Some variations such as banana lassi or mango lassi are also available, usually in tourist areas.

  • Indians do drink but drinking with ladies & kids around is considered a taboo. Thus, more traditional restaurants / eating outlets which are frequented by almost everyone do not serve alcohol, whereas modern restaurants in urban areas are open about it. Alcohol consumption is restricted within the legal premises of licensed bars, pubs, restaurants & hotels. Due to high govt. taxes on alcohol, wine and other alcoholic drinks are usually deemed expensive. Please check the prices before you order one.

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