Holidays in India: traditional, beach, exotic

Holidays in India

Recently, many tourists are attracted to India, holidays in which the opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique flavor, acquaintance with the ancient history, which gave us a lot of things we love – incense, spices, tea and more. It has been falling in love with travelers for hundreds of years, and in recent years has been actively developing in the tourist direction, offering its guests a variety of holidays.

Pros and cons of India

Holidays in India, as in many other countries, has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • Amazing national colors
  • Variety of shopping opportunities.
  • Lots of interesting sights.
  • Local products like incense, spices, tea and cosmetics are very popular, while the original are only sold directly in India.
  • Almost everywhere people speak English and sometimes even Russian, especially in Goa.
  • The prices for everything are very low.
  • Beautiful beaches are suitable for children, but this is more true for Goa.
  • In season, the climate is very pleasant.
  • There is something to do at any time of year.
  • Entertainment is really big.
  • Nature is really beautiful.
  • Visa required (except for Goa)
  • Very dirty in big cities.
  • Holidays specifically in Goa will not let you feel the real Indian flavor.
  • Beach season is short, in the second half of summer to rest already uncomfortable.
  • Widespread fraud and theft.
  • Many do not like the mentality of the locals.
  • Noise and anti-sanitation do not give rest with children comfortably outside the resort towns.

In the end we can conclude that Goa – a great place for a comfortable beach holiday, and India as a whole will suit those who want to enjoy the Indian flavor and experience the oriental culture, taking all its shortcomings.

Climate

The year in India is divided into three seasons – summer from March to June, a long rainy season from June to September and winter from November to February. It is generally characterized by high humidity in summer and dryness in winter, as for any country in the monsoon climate zone. Since the country occupies a large area, the temperature varies greatly from region to region, and the mountainous area generally has a special highland climate.

In the high altitude areas of the Himalayas, of course, the temperature can drop below and even reach minus degrees.

Where to vacation in India but in Goa? This is the most popular area for beach holidays for Russian tourists. The state is divided into two zones. In the southern zone recreation is quiet and more expensive, in the northern zone – inexpensive, noisy and youthful.

Beaches .

Goa is not a very large area, but the concentration of beaches is just huge. Separately, consider the beaches in the southern and northern part of the state.

The beaches of southern Goa are almost identical, they are located at the hotels and are suitable for a quiet holiday with children. Separately, Varqa with its wonderful views, a favorite of tourists, Kavelosim, Utorda with soft silky sand and Majorda, a secluded beach in nature with numerous attractions, bars and restaurants. Agonda is considered a good beach – here you can take a break from the hustle and bustle amidst the dense tropics. Almost in the south of Goa is Palolem, a beach with a developed infrastructure, but a complete lack of entertainment.

North Goa is more loved by young people who prefer active and inexpensive holidays. In the north is Arambol (Harmal), the favorite zone of freaks and informal people. Kalangut and Baga are considered one of the best beaches in Goa – this is where many of our tourists rest. Colorful place is Anjuna, which for the sake of nightlife attracts young people from all over the world – with the water and sand here are not so good. Also popular with Russian tourists Morjim – not for nothing the locals unofficially call it “Moscow Beach”.

Attractions

Goa is visited mainly for beach recreation, but there are also sights here. For example, you can visit the capital of the state – the city of Panaji, with interesting ancient architecture. Interesting and reserve Kotegao – a place far from civilization and is inhabited by rare wild animals. Also tourists love to visit the Dudhsagar waterfall. And in North Goa, a lot of temples and architectural monuments, which can be accessed directly from the resorts.

Also very interesting in Goa is the tiger reserve, elephant training center and other such places where you can get close to wildlife and animals. For the entertainment of children there is “Bhaqwan Mahaveer” – a park with rides, which will also please the adults. Tourists also love the Splashdown Water Park.

Shopping

You can’t say that Goa is suitable for full-fledged shopping. For shopping here it is better to choose small bazaars and rows of shops, as well as large markets – night market in Arpora, the day market in Anjuna and the market in Mapusa. They mostly feature items made by local craftsmen and various authentic souvenirs.

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In Anjuna, you can shop at the large Oxford Arcade supermarket, which sells mostly groceries, souvenirs, clothes and baby products. And in the Benaulim Beach area is the Shop’N’Save supermarket, which sells everything from souvenirs to clothes.

Delhi is the capital of India, a beautiful and ancient city with a unique Indian flavor, ancient sites and Indian bazaars.

Attractions

The capital of India is interesting mainly for its sights and an amazing combination of colonial chic, slums, majestic temples and the most modern buildings.

The Red Fort from the time of the Mongols, a real city within a city, is a must-see. The Jami Masjid, India’s largest mosque, the Krishna Temple of Lakshmi Narayan, and the Kutab Minar complex built by the Mongols are also must-see attractions. And in general, it is simply interesting to walk around the city, getting into the Indian atmosphere.

If the sightseeing in India bores you, you can visit Adventure Island, India’s main amusement park with world-class rides, or the Fun’n’Food Village water park.

Shopping

Delhi is a great place for shopping and buying souvenirs. There are a lot of shopping venues here, so we’ll take a look at the most popular ones:

  • Main bazaar area with fruit and vegetable stalls and stalls with inexpensive Indian clothes, spices, incense, jewelry and musical instruments. You can also buy Ayurvedic remedies and Tibetan plaids here. But it is better not to buy shoes here, because they are not very good quality in the Main bazaar;

  • Neru Bazaar near Main bazaar, where they sell teas, sweets, fruits and incense. There are also many jewelry stores and stores with cheap Indian goods. However, you can also find quality goods;
  • Palika bazaar is an ordinary Indian market. But in the summer it is quite cool during the day, which makes shopping more comfortable;
  • Khadi is a store on Konnaut, a two-storey European building. The first floor sells food and cosmetics, while the second floor sells quality clothes;
  • Chandi Chouk – a large shopping complex of streets near the Red Fort. Each street is responsible for a different product – one street sells wood products, another sells silver, etc;
  • South Extension – a shopping complex with the best clothes and shoes at quite reasonable prices;
  • Yashvant Place – a mall with inexpensive leather goods, medicine, and jewelry. The sellers speak Russian here;
  • Sarojini Market – a store for lovers of hiking with democratic prices.

Kerala

Kerala is another southern resort with gorgeous beaches and amazing tropical nature.

Beaches .

The most famous beaches of this resort are Kappad, Kovalama, and Alaluja. Those who like a quiet holiday, prefer Marari and Varkala.

Kovalam in general is almost the best beach in all of India. It is divided into three other areas, of which young people prefer the northern Lighthouse, lovers of wild recreation – Samamundra, and something in between offers Havah.

Another beach, Marina Beach, is beloved by locals, so it is quite dirty.

Attractions

Kerala has a lot of natural attractions – jungle, nature reserves, plantations, ponds and lagoons will not leave anyone indifferent. If you’re more interested in architecture, you can look at Cochin – a city on a dozen islands, which left their mark almost all the nations of the world. Tourists also like the Krishna Temple in the village of Guruvayur and Jawhar National Park.

Shopping

In Kovalam is a large shopping center where you can buy fabrics, jewelry, Ayurvedic medicines and souvenirs. The resorts sell wood products, coffee, tea, and jewelry with precious stones.

Agra is not a beach resort, but the lack of the sea is compensated by amazing architectural sights. You can vacation here all year round, and it is even more comfortable in winter.

Attractions

Agra is an ancient city, and the main attraction is the Taj Mahal. Thousands of tourists from all over the world come here to see it – the structure is really majestic.

At a distance of two kilometers from the main attraction of India is Agra Fort of the 16th century with palaces, mosques, terraces, and beautiful gardens.

Also in the vicinity of Agra is Fatehpur Sikri, the former capital of the Great Mongols. Tourists and pilgrims flock here to the shrine of Saint Chishti.

Shopping

There are small stores all over Agra, but many tourists point out that shopping is better in the malls. The largest are Sadash, Oswal, Akbar International and Sadar Bazaar. There are also large clothing markets near the mosques where you can buy traditional clothes.

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Mumbai

Mumbai is India’s Hollywood, a city of many attractions. Although it is near the sea, it is not a good place for a beach holiday.

Beaches .

Although there are beaches, but you should not swim here – the sand is dirty, the sea is not very clean, and during the monsoon strong currents prevail. And on the open swimsuits local look askew. If you have a desire to swim, have a look at the beaches in the Northwest Mumbai or Girgaon Chowpaty in South Mumbai.

Attractions

In Mumbai, you must visit Elephant Island and the galleries and museums of the Kala Ghoda district. The local fort with the station, the University and the Supreme Court is also interesting. And tourists also often climb the Malabar Hill with the Valkeeshwara Temple, Hanging Gardens, Jogeshwari Caves, Banganga Tank Springs and Zoroastrian “towers of silence”.

Shopping

Mumbai is simply the perfect place for shopping; it has been trading since ancient times. Here you can find everything from Indian spices to Japanese home appliances, and at a wave of affordable prices.

Clothing and shoes are best purchased on Fashion Street. There are lots of shops on Linking Road, Pherozeshah Mehta Road, Cuffe Parade and Colaba Causeway. Clothing is also sold in Chowk Fountain. At the Oberoi and Taj hotels you can buy jewelry.

In Chon Bazaar, you can buy handicrafts of local artists, the Zaveri Market with jewelry, Dhaboo Street Market with leather goods, and Crawford Market selling fruits and vegetables.

The Himalayas

In addition to the usual vacation, India offers active holidays in the Himalayas, a vast mountain system in the north of the country. It will appeal to those who are interested in the ancient religious culture of India with its monasteries and shrines. And the Himalayas also offer tourists ample opportunities for hiking and alpine skiing.

Downhill skiing

Every year, outdoor enthusiasts flock to the Himalayas for alpine skiing. Of all the resorts, Gulmarg is the most popular – it has been around since 1998. The resort is famous for its long, up to 15 kilometers long, virgin slopes and excellent forest freeride.

Another famous resort is Auli, with the best slopes, a four-kilometer cable car and 10 kilometers of slopes. It is mainly aimed at beginner skiers.

If you want to relax in an Indian-style resort, you’ll love Solang, a picturesque place with slopes for skiers of all skill levels.

Attractions

The main attractions in the Himalayas are the Tibetan monasteries and various temples. Tourists love the temples in Badrinath and Kedarnath, the Golden Temple in Amritsar and, of course, Shambhala. Many stop by the martial arts and meditation schools, not only for instruction, but also just out of curiosity. Tourists also like to visit the sacred city of Haridwar, the ashram city of Rishikesh and Ladakh. The routes to many of the attractions are difficult, so be mentally prepared for long hikes.

Souvenirs

If you want to have a memorable vacation in India, you have to take something with you. It’s impossible to list all the authentic Indian souvenirs, so let’s focus on the most popular ones:

The perfect souvenir for women. Of particular interest is the sari, a long piece of fabric in which Indian women are traditionally wrapped. Silk scarves are best bought in Kashmir.

An excellent and fairly inexpensive souvenir. If you want to buy real gems, go to Jaipur, and for silver, go to Rajasthan – there is a wide selection and low prices. Gold bazaars are open everywhere, but fakes are very easy to come across.

A beautiful and authentic souvenir. Interesting, for example, Indian elephant matryoshka dolls or figurines of the gods. The best place to buy them is in Delhi, where the prices are lower.

Inexpensive, but a very successful gift. Local teas are very different from the ones we drink, and mostly for the better. Such a gift will be remembered for a long time and will not lie as a dead weight. Buy spices and teas better at food markets

Undoubtedly, a very good souvenir that can take you back to India at least for a while. They are of high quality and really fragrant, unlike incense, which are sold in our country. Such a souvenir is quite inexpensive.

Trishun, neem, ashwagandha and kailas jevan are especially popular. Many people buy unusual toothpaste, for example, with pepper.

Visa and Customs

A visa is required to travel to India. In general, it is not difficult to obtain a tourist visa, especially a single-entry visa. It is valid for 30-56 days. A multi-entry or tri-entry visa is issued for three months.

For a trip to Goa, the visa is issued directly at the airport, but you can’t use it to travel outside the state.

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Customs rules are standard: you may not bring alcohol, narcotics, and other illegal things, while alcohol and cigarettes are subject to duty. You can’t take national treasures out of the state, but for the rest there are usually no problems.

How to get there

When you are choosing where to vacation in India, the question inevitably arises, how best to get there?

The easiest way to get to India is by plane – there are regular flights to Delhi from Moscow and other cities. There are also quite a few direct flights to Goa. From Russia, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, flydubai, Etihad Airways and Air Arabia fly to India with connections, and these flights are often more comfortable.

You can also travel by train with a connection in Bangladesh or Pakistan, but it will take a long time.

Where to go on holidays in India: tips and advice for tourists

Travelling and vacationing in India is always a huge explosion of emotions. India is a country of tea and cinema, elephants and tigers, ancient temples and picturesque resorts. Perhaps with each new trip it opens in a new way, there are endless amazing discoveries. Here is the most important information about India for tourists planning to visit this fascinating country.

India

Ancient Culture and Exotic Nature

The unique culture, architectural monuments, unparalleled cuisine, strange nature, traditions and rituals, stunning combination of unhurried monks and energetic business centers – all this attracts tourists from all over the world to India every year.

Where is it

The exoticism in this ancient country begins with its geographical location. It is located in South Asia and is the largest state in terms of territory and population in the region. India is often referred to as the “continent country”. This is due to the fact that it occupies almost the entire vast Indian Peninsula, as well as the surrounding areas up to the Himalayas and Kashmir. It is washed by the vast expanse of water of the Indian Ocean. The capital of this country is the city of New Delhi.

How to get from Moscow

It is more comfortable and easier to get first by direct flight to New Delhi, and then by domestic flights within the country. Direct flights are operated by Aeroflot, AirIndia and other airlines.

There are also connecting flights to Jaipur, Mumbai, Goa, and other major cities. There are more flights with connections.

Note also that there are no rail connections at all. Land travel (by car or bus) is theoretically possible, but a very difficult task.

Where to go: popular destinations

There are many interesting and popular places to visit in India. However, if you don’t organize your trip well in advance, it can be a tedious journey. Moreover, you risk a real culture shock from this “country of contrasts”. So if you are just getting to know the country, the right thing to do is to choose one or two popular destinations. Let’s list the most famous tourist destinations:

  • New Delhi;
  • Mumbai;
  • Goa;
  • Kerala;
  • Himalayas (Rishikesh, Dharmsala, Manali, Revalsar, Manikaran);
  • Northern India (Delhi, Agra);
  • Bodhgaya;
  • Kolkata.

When making your choice, focus on the peculiarities of a particular region. Fortunately, every state in India has a huge list of attractions.

Weather and Climatic Conditions

The usual four seasons do not exist in India. Indians live in three seasons: hot, humid and cool.

Air and Water Temperature in India

Water temperature

In the most popular resorts of India (Goa and Kerala) the season for recreation by the sea lasts all year round. The prevailing water temperature here is +28 … +29 ° C. The maximum water temperature falls on the month of May and is 30 degrees plus.

Air temperature

The change of seasons in India is determined by monsoons (steady winds). The climate in India in general can be called tropical, that is, mild weather prevails. The average temperature during the whole year is +25 … +27 °С. Temperature in summer season is +24 … +33 °С and in winter it’s +21 … +32 °С with the sign “plus”.

Wet season here is in June-October, relatively cold and dry weather is in November-February, and from March to May the climate inclines to very hot and dry. So if you are wondering when it is better to go on holiday to India, give preference to the period from November to March. The air temperature at this time does not fall below +20 ° C (even at night). In April comes the heat of hell, and in summer the season of rain and heavy showers. However, in this conditional “off season” you can save a lot of money on a flight.

Did you know? A small town in India-Cherapunji is the rainiest place on Earth, and the Thar desert in the north-west of the country is, on the contrary, one of the hottest and driest places on the planet. This fact once again confirms that India is a country of contrasts.

Where to go beach lovers

For those who go to India for a relaxing beach vacation, we present an overview of the most popular resorts.

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The main international Indian resort and the real pearl of the country is considered to be Goa. The resort is rich with golden beaches, magnificent nature, palm forests, charming old alleys. Tours to Goa – among other things, this is ideal for those wishing to combine an inert holiday and explore the local color. This state combines the local exoticism and Western European traditions.

Another wonderful place on our planet, which should not be missed, is Kerala. It is a green region stretching along the southeastern coast of the country. The locals have nicknamed this state “God’s country”. Here you will discover an abundance of vegetation, azure beaches, gorgeous rivers and lakes, and bright green mountains.

Beach Holiday in India

For holidays by the sea in the summer season, as an alternative to the popular resorts of India, you can come to the state of Tamil Nadu. Here you will find picturesque beaches washed by the warm waters of the Bay of Bengal.

Also note the virtually deserted Andaman and Nicobar Islands. After a trip to the archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, vacationers will have the experience of a lifetime.

Another wonderful place for beach lovers are the quiet shores of Lakshadweep Islands, whose beaches are studded with white sand, fabulous corals and clear water.

Active Recreation

Those who want to add a bit of outdoor activities to their schedule can visit the mountainous regions of India. The mysterious Indian mountains are often referred to as the “abode of the gods.”

Take a short trip to the state of Himachal Pradesh, where the peaks of the Himalayas are lined with snow. Traveling through this state, you’ll find it hard to get used to the idea that you’re still in India.

Kalpa, Kinnor Valley, Himachal Pradesh

Sikkim is bordered by the beautiful Himalayas and is home to the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. From here you have the most beautiful view of the Himalayan mountain range and the majestic Mount Kanchenjunga.

Also don’t forget the Kashmir valley, famous for its fabulous beauty. Here the magical Lake Dal reflects in its waters the slopes of the mountains.

Sacred Places of India

To feel the spirit and history of India, go to the religious capital of the country, the “immortal city” Varanasi. It is also the oldest inhabited city in the world. Varanasi is home to the waters of the legendary Ganges River, which has been the site of ritual ablutions for more than two thousand years. Not far from the city are the most important historical and architectural monuments.

Ladakh is a mountainous region of the Himalayas called Little Tibet. There is no place in India like Ladakh, where you can rest your body and soul. Ladakh preserves the unbroken traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The area is rich in secluded monasteries and shrines, prayer drums and divine chortens.

The cities of Rishikesh and Haridwar stand on the banks of the sacred Ganges and have been honored as world capitals of yoga practice. Yoga tour in India is a wonderful method of replenishing the reserve of vital forces.

Yoga trip in India

Nightlife lovers

Let’s also consider where in India it is best to vacation for lovers of nightlife. In all the major cities and resort areas of India are open various clubs and bars. Many night bars with live music, where great cocktails are served, delicious fish and seafood dishes will not leave you indifferent. A lot of attention in institutions is paid to interior design. Toilets in institutions are not just clean, but artistically decorated.

Most of the clubs and bars in Delhi are located in luxury hotels. Single men are forbidden to enter these establishments, which makes them quite protective for single women. Club life comes alive on weekends.

The famous Buddha bars (B-Bar) are so named because of the prevalence of religious themes there.

The Capitol Club is made for connoisseurs of Bollywood music.

Did you know? You won’t find alcoholic beverages on sale in India. Alcohol is not forbidden in the country, but it is not welcomed. You can find it only in designated places. In most cafes it is also not officially (sometimes sold illegally), there is only in restaurants.

One of the most popular night spots today is Hauz Khas Village (in Delhi). In the evenings, the local golden youth gather here. You can also find restaurants in the Mediterranean style.

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Nightlife in India

Features of Lodging

India is considered an inexpensive country for tourism: accommodation, food, travel can cost you a minimum amount. Although, of course, everything depends on your appetites.

Transportation

In large cities there are cabs and autorickshaws (motorcycle cabs). These vehicles do not always have meters. If there is a meter, make sure it is reset for you. In addition, cabs come with or without air conditioning.

Cab fares vary from time to time, so the price does not always match the meter readings. However, the driver should certainly have a copy of the current fare.

Three-wheeled rickshaws cost about half the price of a cab ride.

In tourist centers there is a large number of chauffeur-driven cars at your service. Approved price list of their services is a little bit higher than that of a regular cab. Chauffeur-less hire cars are not popular, but you can rent a motorcycle or scooter.

Meals

When traveling to a country, it is important to know its cuisine.

Delicacies in India

Most people in India do not eat cow and cattle for religious reasons. People prefer fish and seafood. The basic diet of Indians is vegetable food: various legumes, vegetables, flatbreads made of chapati (low-grade flour). Hot tea with milk is very popular among Indians.

In national dishes cooks use a lot of hot pepper and garlic. Everyone knows the famous Indian spice curry!

It is categorically undesirable to drink raw water from the tap. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water. Wash fruits and vegetables with mineral water and soap. For the rest period it is better to exclude from your diet the dishes of fresh vegetables. Always keep with you sanitary napkins when you travel.

Housing

India is one of the most affordable countries on earth in terms of accommodation. Several types of housing are available:

  • Ashrams (spiritual communities where pilgrims come from all over the world) and monasteries.
  • Guest houses (small private hotels) and standard hotels.
  • Private houses.
  • Bamboo huts (modest temporary huts in the coastal area).

You can rent lodgings in advance or on the spot (when you arrive to the place of rest). If you rent a home for a long period (3 months or more), the cost is reduced significantly.

Important! Do not leave valuables and money in a conspicuous place. In hotels is advisable to use a safe, as there are cases of theft.

Payment for utilities is often made separately. The price of prestigious accommodation includes additional services (eg, order breakfast, bartender service).

Lodging in India

Go shopping!

When planning a trip to India, be prepared for the fact that your acquaintances will make you a lot of orders for souvenirs. In order not to get lost in the market in a variety of choices, be sure to get acquainted with a list of everything you need in advance.

In addition, be cautious about any recommendations of sellers. You should always be prepared for an “assault” of very intrusive sellers of sundries. No matter what you end up buying, you will long remember the aroma of incense in the rows of shops.

In the shops and markets it is customary to haggle, but in the malls the prices are fixed.

Here is a small list of things to buy in India:

  • tea (black or expensive green);
  • various fabrics, carpets;
  • handicrafts made of wood;
  • jewelry (bracelets, necklaces);
  • traditional musical instruments;
  • leather goods;
  • cosmetics and incense.

Important: When purchasing jewelry (e.g. silver), ask for a certificate of quality. Only with this document you will be able to return or exchange goods if necessary.

Peculiarities of Indian culture: rules of behavior on vacation

In India, it is not superfluous to adhere to certain rules of conduct to avoid possible problems.

It is advisable for women to wear closed clothes before leaving the hotel. In most sanctuaries are not allowed with open shoulders, in short dresses, skirts or shorts. Therefore, going on a trip, women should bring a scarf hiding the shoulders. It is advisable for male tourists to wear pants. At the entrance to a shrine or monastery shoes must be removed, although sometimes it is allowed to enter in socks.

In the backcountry, the natives may show a lively and unselfish curiosity about travelers. Do not be amazed or react harshly if you are stared at or persuaded to shake hands.

Today a vacation in India is considered a major competitor for traveling to any other country in the world. We hope that our little guide will be useful to you on the way of exploring this ancient country, on the path of spiritual enlightenment, in search of an active or relaxing beach vacation.

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