Distant India is of great interest to tourists. This country has thousands of ancient sights that will be of interest to any traveler. India is the birthplace of such religions as Buddhism and Jainism. However, millions of foreign tourists annually come to India not only, for example, to visit the places where the Buddha preached. India now has a large number of attractions, spa resorts, as well as ski and beach resorts.
Geography of India
India is located in South Asia. India borders Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal and Bhutan to the northeast, and Myanmar and Bangladesh to the east. In the south, India is washed by the Indian Ocean, in the southwest – by the Arabian Sea. The Bay of Bengal is located in the southwest of the country. The total area of this country is 3,287,590 sq. km, including the islands, and the total length of the state border is 15,106 km.
India owns several islands. The largest of them are the Laccadive, Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean.
The Himalayas stretch across India from north to northeast. The highest peak in India is Mount Kanchenjunga, whose height reaches 8,856 meters.
There are several very large rivers in India – the Indus (its length is 3,180 km) and the Ganges (its length is 2,700 km). Among other Indian rivers, one should also highlight the Brahmaputra, Yamuna and Koshi.
According to itypemba.com, the capital of India is New Delhi, which is now home to about 350 thousand people. New Delhi became the capital of India at the beginning of the 20th century. The “old” city in New Delhi was built in the middle of the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan, the ruler of the Mughal Empire.
The official language in India is Hindi. In turn, English is the “auxiliary state language” in India. In addition, 21 more languages have official status in this country.
Over 80% of India’s population is Hindu. More than 13% of the inhabitants of this country are Muslims, more than 2.3% are Christians, about 2% are Sikhs, and 0.7% are Buddhists.
State structure of India
According to equzhou.net, India is a parliamentary republic. Its head is the President, elected by a special collegium for 5 years (this collegium consists of deputies of parliament and members of state councils).
Parliament in India is bicameral – the Council of States (245 deputies) and the House of the People (545 deputies). Executive power in this country belongs to the President, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
The main political parties in India are the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party of India, the National People’s Party, etc.
Climate and weather
The climate in India varies from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north. The Himalayas, the Indian Ocean, and the Thar Desert have a great influence on the climate in India.
There are three seasons in India:
– from March to June – summer
– from July to October – monsoons
– from November to February – winter
The average annual air temperature in India is +25.3C. The hottest month in India is May, when the average maximum air temperature is +41C. The coldest month is January, when the average minimum temperature is +7C. The average annual rainfall is 715 mm.
Average air temperature in New Delhi:
– January – +14С
– February – +17С
– March – +22С
– April – +28С
– May – +34С
– June – +34С
– July – +31С
– August – +30С
– September – +29С
– October – +26С
– November – +20С
– December – +15С
Seas and oceans of India
In the south, India is washed by the Indian Ocean, in the southwest – by the Arabian Sea. The Bay of Bengal is located in the southwest of the country. The total coastline in India, including the islands, is more than 7.5 thousand km.
Average sea temperature near Goa, India:
– January – +28С
– February – +28С
– March – +28С
– April – +29С
– May – +30С
– June – +29С
– July – +28С
– August – +28С
– September – +28С
– October – +29С
– November – +29С
– December – +29С
Rivers and lakes
In India, there are two river systems with different “feeding” regimes. These are the Himalayan rivers (Ganges, Brahmaputra, etc.) and the rivers flowing into the ocean – Godavari, Krishna and Mahanadi.
One of the longest rivers in the world, the Indus, also flows through India, with a length of 3,180 km.
As for the lakes, there are not very many of them in India, but, nevertheless, there are very beautiful ones among them. The largest Indian lakes are Chilika, Sambhar, Koleru, Loktak, and Wular.
Neolithic human settlements on the territory of modern India appeared about 8 thousand years ago. In the years 2500-1900 BC. in Western India, there was the first urban culture, which formed around the cities of Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Dhalavira.
In 2000-500 BC. Hinduism spreads in India, and in the same period a caste system began to take shape there, consisting of priests, warriors, and free peasants. Subsequently, castes of merchants and servants were formed.
Around the 5th century BC. India already had 16 independent states – Mahajanapada. At the same time, two religions were formed – Buddhism, founded by Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, and Jainism, founded by Mahavira.
In the VI century BC. some territories of India were conquered by the Persians, and in the 4th century the troops of Alexander the Great conquered some northwestern parts of this country.
In the II century BC. The Mauryan kingdom reaches its peak, conquering several neighboring Indian states.
In the 1st century BC. Indian kingdoms traded with ancient Rome. In the 7th century, most of the Indian kingdoms were united by King Harsha into a single state.
In 1526, the Mughal Empire was founded on the territory of modern India, the rulers of which were the descendants of Genghis Khan and Timur.
In the 17th-19th centuries, the English East India Company, which even had its own army, was in charge of the territory of modern India.
In 1857, the so-called. “Rebellion of the sepoys”, whose dissatisfaction was just caused by the East India Company. After the suppression of the Sepoy Rebellion, the British liquidated the East India Company, and India became a colony of the British Empire.
In the 1920s, a massive national liberation movement began in India against British rule. In 1929, Great Britain gave India the rights of a dominion, but this did not help the British. In 1947, the independence of India was declared. Part of the Indian territories after some time became the independent state of Pakistan.
India was admitted to the UN back in 1945 (however, then this country was still British India).
India is a country with a huge cultural heritage. Indian culture has had (and continues to have) an impact not only on neighboring countries, but also on other states located far from it.
Until now, India has a caste system of society, thanks to which Indian culture retains all its traditional values.
The expression of Indian traditions is music and dance. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
Tourists in India, we recommend that you definitely see the local festivals and parades, of which there are a lot. Elephant processions, musical performances, “tiger dances”, fireworks, sweets distribution, etc. often take place during festivals. The most famous Indian festivals are the Onam festival (dedicated to the memory of the mythical king Bali), the Tea Festival in Calcutta, Diwali, Ratha Yatra (Chariot Festival), Dussera in Delhi, Ganapati Festival in honor of god Ganesh.
Also of note is the interesting festival of sisters and brothers “Raksha Bandhan”, celebrated every year in July. On this day, the sisters wrap their brothers’ wrists with handkerchiefs, ribbons that protect them from evil forces. In return, the brothers give their sisters various gifts and swear to protect them.
Indian cuisine is known throughout the world for its use of spices. It is thanks to the Indians that various seasonings and spices, including black pepper and curry, have become widespread in the world.
India is a very large country, and therefore it is not surprising that each of its regions has its own culinary traditions. However, all regions of India are characterized by the use of rice. This product is the basis of Indian cuisine.
It is generally accepted that the inhabitants of India are vegetarians, as required by their religious teachings. However, in fact, meat dishes are also quite popular in India, because there are also Muslims in this country. The most famous Indian meat dish is “tandoori chicken”, when the chicken is marinated in spices and then baked in a special oven. Other well-known Indian meat dishes are biryani (chicken with rice), gushtaba (meatballs stewed in yogurt with spices).
In general, meat dishes are most often included in the diet of the inhabitants of northern India. Fish and seafood are popular in coastal areas, while vegetables are popular in southern India.
We also recommend that tourists in India try dal soup puree, naan wheat cake, sabji vegetable stew, chapati and samba rice cakes, kichari (stewed rice with mung bean and spices), jalebi “(fritters in syrup), “rasgulla” (balls of cottage cheese), “gulab-jamun” (yogurt with flour and almonds).
Traditional non-alcoholic Indian drinks – “dhai” (curdled milk or yogurt), “raita” (yogurt with mint and grated cucumber).
Landmarks of India
There are so many attractions in India that it is difficult for us to single out the most interesting ones. Perhaps the top ten Indian attractions, in our opinion, may include the following:
Red Fort in Delhi
The construction of the Red Fort in Delhi began in 1638 and ended in 1648. This fortification was built by order of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Now the Red Fort is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Mausoleum-mosque Taj Mahal in Agra
The Taj Mahal was built in 1653 by order of Shah Jahan, Emperor of the Mughal Empire. This mausoleum was built by 20 thousand people over 20 years. The Taj Mahal is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Minaret Qutub Minar in Delhi
The height of this brick minaret is 72.6 meters. Its construction lasted from 1193 to 1368.
Elephant Cave near Mumbai
In the Cave of the Elephants there is an underground temple of Shiva with her sculptures. It was built several thousand years ago. The Elephant Cave is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Virupaksha Temple in Hampi
The first small temple on the territory of the modern city of Hampi was built in the 7th century AD. Gradually, other religious buildings were built around it, and after a while there was already a huge beautiful temple complex in Hampi.
Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar
Harmandir Sahib is more commonly known as the Golden Temple. This is the most important religious building for the Sikhs. The construction of the Golden Temple in Amritsar began in the 16th century. In the 19th century, the upper floors of this temple were covered with gold.
Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra
Buddhist monks began to build their Ajanta caves around the 2nd century BC. These caves were abandoned around 650 AD. Only in 1819 did the British accidentally stumble upon the Ajanta caves. To this day, unique frescoes have been preserved in these caves, telling about the life of people in the distant past.
This fort was built near the city of Amber in 1726. According to legend, once upon a time the largest cannon in the world was placed in Jaigarh Fort (it can still be seen now, because the ancient fort is now a museum).
Raj Ghat Palace in Delhi
Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated in this palace.
Pearl Mosque in Agra
This mosque in Agra was built in the middle of the 17th century under the emperor Shah Jahan. No, there are no pearls in this mosque, just its domes shine very strongly in the sun.
Cities and resorts
The largest Indian cities are Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, and Kanpur.
In India, there are a large number of beautiful seaside resorts with magnificent beaches. The sand on Indian beaches is white and fine. The most popular beach resort in India is Goa. Among other Indian beach resorts, the following should be mentioned: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, as well as beaches on the Andaman, Nicobar and Laccadive Islands.
There are several ski resorts in India that are considered the best in Asia. Of course, the winter resorts of India cannot be compared with the ski slopes of Austria, Italy and Switzerland. However, for those travelers who love to ski, and who at the same time want to get to know the unique India, holidays in Indian ski resorts will be remembered forever.
The most popular ski resorts in India are Auli, Dayara Bugayal, Mundali, Munsiari, Solang, Narkanda, Kufri, and Gulmarg. By the way, the skiing season in India lasts from mid-December to mid-May.
Many foreign tourists come to India to relax in the spa resorts. Indian spa centers offer clients various Ayurvedic programs. Among such spa resorts, first of all, Beach & Lake, Ayurma, and Ananda should be named.
Before you go to India think about what you want to buy there. Otherwise, the Indian merchants in the bazaars and shops will sell you a lot of different unnecessary goods, and you will lose thousands of rupees. We recommend tourists from India to bring Indian tea, various incense, bracelets (glass, metal, precious metals), amulets, talismans, marble souvenirs (for example, a small marble Taj Mahal), scarves, shawls, saris (traditional Indian dress ), leather shoes, sets of Indian dry spice mixes, henna paint, carpets, musical instruments (such as drums or an elegant wooden flute).
Ukrainians need to get a visa to visit India.
The official currency in India is the Indian rupee (its international designation is INR). One Indian rupee = 100 paise. Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) are common in all major Indian cities, but Indians still prefer cash.
Import and export of currency to India is not limited. An amount of 5 thousand dollars or more must be included in the declaration. Customs rules are practically no different from the customs rules of other countries.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of India in Ukraine:
Index: 01901, Kiev, st. Terekhina, 4
Т: (044) 468-66-61
Email. mail: [email protected]
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in India:
110 057, New Delhi, Vasant Vihar, E-1/8 T
: (8 10 9111) 2614 60 41
mail: [email protected]
100 – Police
101 – Fire brigade
102 – Ambulance
The difference with time in Kyiv is +3.5 hours. Those. if in New Delhi, for example, in the summer it is 09:00 am, then in Kyiv it is 05:30 am.
In Indian restaurants, with a bill of up to 300 rupees for “tea”, it is customary to leave 10% of the bill. If the bill is from 300 to 1000 rupees, then the tip is 7-10%. With a bill over 1000 rupees for “tea”, it is quite enough to leave 5-7%.
In Indian hotels, we recommend leaving 5-7% of the room rate per day, multiplied by the number of days spent, as a “tea” (3-5% in expensive hotels). Service personnel are usually given 1-30 rupees for any service.
If citizens want to travel to India for a period of 1 year or more, they need a certificate stating that they do not have AIDS.
India is not a very safe country for foreign tourists. We recommend women not to walk alone in the evenings, and not to visit the beaches alone at night. In crowded places, theft and pickpocketing are common. Quite often, criminals on motorcycles snatch bags or jewelry and quickly leave. Therefore, we advise tourists in India to be vigilant, not to walk alone, and not to embark on long journeys in small groups.