The picturesque beauty of India can be best defined through the magnificent hill stations, beautiful temples, lush forests and pristine beaches. All four of these natural marvels are sprinkled in plenty in South India. The southern region of India is famous.

PLACES COVERED  CHENNAI-MAHABALIPURAM- PONDICHERRY-THANJORE-MADURAI-PERIYAR-MUNNAR-ALLEPPEY-COOCHIN
DURATION OF TRIP  13 NIGHTS/14 DAYS
MINIMUM  REQUIRED  2 PAX
 ACCOMMODATION  BUDGET ACCOMMODATION
DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION PICKUP CHENNAI /DROP COCHIN
RETURN TIME Approximately 6:30 PM/Depends on onward Journey
WEAR Comfortable athletic clothing,  sunscreen.
BASIC INCLUSION
13Night Accommodation as per tour plan
Arrival Departure By private Transport Aircon
Jeep Safari In Periyar
All sightseeing & Taxes
Bed and Breakfast
Overnight Houseboat premium Class 24 HrsAircon With meals
BASIC EXCLUSION
Entrance Tickets
Lunch & dinner
Personal Expenses
1

Day-01- Arrive in Chennai

On Arrival Chennai airport meet and greet our representative later transfer to Chennai Hotel. On arrival check in Hotel. Stay overnight at Hotel In Chennai.

2

Day-02- Chennai/Mahabalipuram

After breakfast proceed to sightseeing tour of Chennai and visit:

Fort St George (or historically, White Town): is the name of the first English (later British) fortress in India, founded in 1644 at the coastal city of Madras, the modern city of Chennai. The construction of the fort provided the impetus for further settlements and trading activity, in what was originally an uninhabited land. Thus, it is a feasible contention to say that the city evolved around the fortress. The fort currently houses the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly and other official buildings.

St. Mary’s Church (Tamil):-located at Fort St George, is the oldest Anglican church (Church of South India) East of Suez and also the oldest British building in India. The church is popularly known as the ‘Westminster Abbey of the East’.From 1639, when Madras was founded, until 1678, when Streynsham Master was appointed the English East India Company’s Agent at Madras, religious services were conducted in the dining-room of the Factory House.

The Fort St. George Museum:-was organised and opened to the public from 31st January 1948. The museum began with a small collection of objects of the British Raj donated by the then Madras Presidency Government, the St. Mary’s Church authorities, the disbanded army units and others.

The Government Museum or Madras Museum :-is a museum of human history and culture located in the neighbourhood of Egmore in Chennai, India. Started in 1851, it is the second oldest museum in India after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. It is particularly rich in archaeological and numismatic collections. It has the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside Europe.

Stay overnight at Hotel in Mahabalipuram.

3

DAY 03: Mahabalipuram/Kancheepuram (70 kms – 2 hrs drive)

Today after breakfast start sightseeig in Mahabalipuram and visit:

Rock Temples:-The Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram are located on the hillock of town, overlooking the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Kanchipuram District in Tamil Nadu, India. Also called mandapas or rock-cut caves, they are sanctuaries or temples covered with bas-reliefs. The earliest period of use of these caves as sanctuaries is traced to Buddhist and Jain periods.

Five Rathas and Shore temple:-Pancha Rathas (also known as Five Rathas or Pandava Rathas) is a monument complex at Mahabalipuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the Kancheepuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Pancha Rathas is an example of monolithic Indian rock-cut architecture. Dating from the late 7th century, it is attributed to the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I (630–680 AD; also called Mamalla, or “great warrior”) of the Pallava Kingdom.

Arjuna’s Penance / Rock relief:-Rock reliefs of the Descent of the Ganges, Rock reliefs are carved on rocks or on independent boulders. The most famous rock relief or bas-relief work seen in Mahablipuram is titled the Descent of the Ganges (also known as Arjuna’s Penance or Bhagiratha’s Penance), the largest open-air rock relief.

Later drive to Kancheepuram, overnight stay at hotel in Kancheepuram.

4

DAY 04: Kanchipuram / Pondicherry (130 km – 2.5 hrs drive)

After breakfast proceed to Pondicherry and visit:

Pondicherry Museum:-Pondicherry Museum has a gallery with sculptures and has the remains of archaeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. The museum also has a collection of rare bronzes and stone sculptures from the Pallava and Chola dynasties and artifacts excavated from Arikamedu (an ancient port just 7 km from city that had trade links with the Roman empires).

Notre Dame des Anges:-Our Lady of Angels Church (also called Eglise de notre Dame des Anges, White Chapel, Kaps Koil) is the fourth oldest church in Puducherry, a Union territory in South India. The original structure was built in Greco Roman architecture by Napolean III in 1855, with the architect being Louis Guerre.

GoubertAvenue:-is a monument for those soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. Annual commemoration is celebrated every year on 14th July during the period the memorial gets illuminated beautifully. It is really a pleasant experience here, where the new generation pays their respect to those served the society and country. We as the visitors owe to visit this place and offer our tributes.

Later Check into hotel overnight stay at Hotel in Pondicherry.

5

DAY 05: Pondicherry

After breakfast Day With Driver to Explore City at Your own Choice Stay includes:

Mahatma Gandhi statue in Pondicherry:-13 ft height stands on the Beach Road, surrounded by eight magnificent granite carved monolithic pillars, built by the famous sculptor Roy Choudhary from Madras School of Art and Crafts. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement.

Sri Aurbindo Ashram:- One of favoured tourist places in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is where people come to seek spiritual harmony and enlightenment. It once served as a spiritual community and is known for being the abode of spiritual guru, Sri Aurobindo.

Rock Beach:- Accentuated by the beauty of rocks sitting against the serene waters, Rock Beach is a beautiful getaway among places to see in Pondicherry. Whether you’re looking for a pleasant stroll while the splashing waters drench your feet or grab a bite while watching a beautiful sunrise, Rock Beach is among the most recommended Pondicherry tourist places for everyone.

Overnight at Hotel.

6

DAY 06: Pondicherry/Thanjore (170 km – 4 hrs drive)

After breakfast Later proceed to Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore:

Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore:-is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the centre of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region.
En-route visit Chidambaram. Chidambaram is also known as Thillai, since the place was originally a forest of the thillai, botanically known as excecariaagallecha shrubs.

later proceed to Thanjavur after visit places check in Hotel. Stay overnight at Hotel in Thanjavur.

7

DAY 07: Thanjore

After breakfast proceed to sightseeing tour of Thanjore and visit:

Brihadishwaru Temple:-(locally known as “Big temple”) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as RajaRajeswara Temple Rajarajeswaram and Peruvudayar Temple. It is one of the largest temples in India and is an example of Dravidian architecture during the Chola period.[2] Built by Raja Raja Chola I and completed in 1010 CE, the temple turned 1000 years old. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”, with the other two being the Brihadeeswarar Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Airavatesvara temple.

Later visit this temple proceed to Tiruchirappalli, check-in to the hotel, later visit:

Sri Rangannathaswamy Temple:The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple or Thiruvarangam is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of the Hindu deity Vishnu, located in Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India . Constructed in the Tamil style of architecture, this temple is glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD and is counted among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu.

Rajagopuram:-This forms a prominent feature of Hindu temples of the Dravidian style. They are topped by the kalasam, a bulbous stone finial. They function as gateways through the walls that surround the temple complex. The gopuram’s origins can be traced back to early structures of the Pallava kings; and by the twelfth century, under the Pandya rulers, these gateways became a dominant feature of a temple’s outer appearance, eventually overshadowing the inner sanctuary which became obscured from view by the gopuram’s colossal size.

Rockfort Temple :-This forms a prominent feature of Hindu temples of the Dravidian style. They are topped by the kalasam, a bulbous stone finial. They function as gateways through the walls that surround the temple complex.

Lourdes Church :-The church is decked out in Gallo-Catholic design, from neo-Gothic spires to anguieshed scenes of crucifixion and matrydom painted inside. In a note of cross-religious pollination, icons of Virgin Mary are garlanded in flower necklaces. constructed in the year 1840 AD. The church is situated near the rock fort

Later back to the hotel, Overnight at hotel in Thanjore.

8

DAY 08: Thanjore/Madurai

Today after breakfast proceed to Madurai, visit:

Meenaski Amman Temple: City’s main attraction is the 2000 years old famous Meenakshi temple in the heart of the old town – a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in ­1560 by VishwanathaNayak and subsequently built during the reign of TirumalaiNayak. There are four entrances to the temple with an area of six hectares. Each of its 12 towers has the height of 45 to 50 meter. The PotramaRaikulam or the Golden Lotus Tank is the place where the Tamil literacy society, called Sangam used to meet to decide the merits of the work presented to them.

Later check into hotel, overnight stay in Madurai.

9

DAY 09:Madurai City Tour

Today after breakfast visit:

TirumalaiNayakMahal:This Indo – Saracenic building was constructed in 1523 and was originally four times as large as today. Sound and light show on the life of the TirumalaiNayak and the story of the Silapathikaram are conduced daily.

GandhiMuseum:The 300-year-old palace now converted into ­Museum has a picture gallery, a library of personal memorable of the Mahatma Gandhi and an exhibit of South Indian handicrafts and village industries.

VandiyurMariammanTeppakulam:This enormous temple tank is fed by water from the Vaigai River. The tank has a mandapam at the centre enshrining Lord Vigneshwara.A colorful float festival is held in this tank every year on Thaipoosam day (Jan – Feb).

Later back to the hotel, Stay overnight at Hotel in Madurai.

10

DAY 10: Madurai / Periyar (140 km – 3.30 hrs drive)

Today after breakfast Proceed to Periyar Wildlife Reserve, upon arrival in Periyar Check-in to the hotel. Later visit to the Periyar wild life sanctuary is one of the largest wildlife reserves in India. later visit Lake & national park. EARLY Evening free for boat ride on Periyar Lake. Stay overnight at Hotel in Periyar.

11

DAY 11: Periyar / Munnar (100 km – 3 hrs. drive)

Today after breakfast at hotel proceed to Munnar. Visit en-route:

Mattupetty Dam:Mattupetty Dam, near Munnar in Idukki District, is a storage Concrete Gravity dam built in the mountains of Kerala, India to conserve water for hydroelectricity.

Kundale Lake:Kundala is located approximately 20 km from Munnar on the way to Top Station and it is at a height of 1700 meters above the sea level. People love to see the Cherry gardens here, that blossoms twice in a year and make the surroundings of the lake even more attractive. However, the famous Neela Kurunji flowers, which bloom once in twelve years and change the green valleys of Kundala into refreshing blue beauties, are hard to see, because of their rare availability.

Echo point:This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. Echo Point, situated on the way to Top Station from Munnar is a stop over for tourists visiting Top Station – the highest point in Munnar and the rare Neelakurinji (Strobilanthus) blooms here.

Later Check into hotel in Munnar, stay overnight in Munnar.

12

DAY 12: Munnar / Alleppey – Backwater trip: (170 km – 4hrs, 45 min)

After breakfast early morning check out from hotel and proceed to Alleppey on arrival check in Houseboat. Following a lunch board the Houseboat for a unique experience through the narrow canals and channels of the backwaters of Kerala. The materials that go into the making of houseboat are all local and Eco-friendly; bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats carpets etc. The main wood used is “Anjali “.
The Houseboat provides all comforts – Beds, a kitchen, western toilets and an upper deck. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. Spend the day cruising on boat. through remote tribal villages along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala is a superb experience.

(You will be getting the meals as per your desires, we assure you that Houseboat don’t serve pork/beafs)
Stay overnight at in Houseboat in Alleppey.

13

DAY 13:- Alleppey – Cochin (55 km – 1.5 hours drive)

After breakfast today at houseboat check out and proceed to Cochin visit following tourist attractions:

Mattancherry Palace & Jewish Synagogue:The Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace popularly known as the Dutch Palace, in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala which features Kerala murals depicting portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. The Palace was built and gifted by the Portuguese as a present to the king of Cochin around 1555.

Above monument Timings: Dutch Palace/Mattancherry: Timings 10:00am to 5pm, Closed on Fridays and National holidays / Jewish Synagogue: 10 am to 5pm, Break Time – 12pm to 3pm, Closed on Friday & Saturday & Jewish Holidays.

Chinese Fishing Net:In India, Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala) are fishing nets that are fixed land installations for fishing. While commonly known as “Chinese fishing nets” in India, the more formal name for such nets is “shore operated lift nets”. Huge mechanical contrivances hold out horizontal nets of 20 m or more across. Each structure is at least 10 m high and comprises a cantilever with an outstretched net suspended over the sea and large stones suspended from ropes as counterweights at the other end.

The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in Kerala. Counted as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala, this church is one of the finest and most impressive churches in India and visited by tourists the whole year round. It is a place of devotion as well as a center of historic significance, endowed with architectural and artistic grandeur and colours of the gothic style.

Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, located at Tripunithura, Kochi, near Karingachira area. It was the Imperial Administrative offices and official residence of Cochin Maharaja. Built in 1865, the Palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across in 54 acres (220,000 m2). The complex has an archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children’s park.

Later Check into hotel in Cochin, stay overnight in Cochin.

14

DAY 14:- Cochin Departure

Check out from Cochin hotel  drive towards Cochin international Airport for onward journey.

General Inclusion:

For India:-

  • A safe and comfortable air-conditioned Private car with driver, all inclusive. (Fuel for Bus, road and state taxes, toll fees, parking fees, and driver’s food and lodging).
  • The car will be with you from your arrival to departure with as many stops to sight see as you want.
  • A Driver with excellent skills and record, a good knowledge of the area you are visiting and sufficient English to communicate.
  • Transfers and land transportation according to itinerary.
  • Accommodation Double or Twin rooms with Bed and Breakfast
  • Arrival Departure By private Transport Aircon
  • Boat Ride in Periyar
  • Overnight Houseboat premium Class 24 Hrs Aircon With all meals.
  • General Exclusion:
  • Tips, laundry, telephone bills, luggage handling and Beverages.
  • Meals unless specified
  • Any monument entrance tickets
  • Personal Expenses

VISA INFORMATION

OVERVIEW

All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad.

All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Indian Visa through Online application link , in order to make an application for getting the Indian visa.

The duly signed physical copy of the application form completed in all respect and submitted successfully, is to be submitted at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian Mission/ Post, on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents. The instructions for filling the form and scheduling the appointment can be seen at Instructions for Online Visa Application. Important technical information for filling online Indian visa application can be referred at Technical Instructions.

The applicants are also requested to visit website of the Indian Mission concerned for detailed information about Indian visa.

ONLINE VISA APPLICATION

All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Indian Visa through online application link. Or can apply by typing the URL: http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ in the address bar of web browser, in order to make an application for getting the Indian visa. In either case, no hand written application form will be accepted by any of the Indian Mission/ Post, where-ever online Visa facility has been implemented. The application form completed in all respect and submitted succesfully, is to be submitted at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian Mission/ Post in absence of IVAC, on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents. The instructions for filling the form and scheduling the appointment can be refered at Instructions for Online Visa Application. Important technical information for filling online Indian visa application can be referred at Technical Instructions. If you have already applied online for Indian Visa online and want to know the status of your application,

VISA CATEGORIES

Government of India issues the following visas: Business Visa, Conference Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Employment Visa, Emergency Visa, Entry Visa, Journalist Visa, Medical Visa, Missionaries Visa, Permit to re-enter within 2 months, Research Visa, Student Visa, Tourist Visa, Transit Visa. Please follow the link for details on Visa Provision and supporting documents

VISA PROCESSING TIME

Upon receipt of the Visa Application through Indian Visa Application Center or directly, the Indian Mission/ Post requires a minimum of three working days to process the case and issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.

PHOTO REQUIREMENTS

Online India Visa Application allows the Applicant to upload a digital photograph of self to complete the online visa application.

Guidelines/procedure to upload a digital photograph

The digital photograph to be uploaded along with the Visa application should meet the following requirements:

Format – JPEG

Size

Minimum 10 KB

Maximum 300 KB

The height and width of the Photo must be equal.

Photo should present Full face, front view, eyes open.

Center head within frame and present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin.

Background should be plain light colored or white background.

No shadows on the face or on the background.

Without borders.

Make sure that photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin. Head should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches (25mm to 35mm). Make sure eye height is between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3.

FEE FOR INDIAN VISA

The visa fee depends upon the type of applied for and duration of visa. Visa fee is divided into various types depending upon the case viz; Basic fee, special fee, processing fee by out-sourcing agency. During the online registration process, at the end of the process the basic fee shall be displayed. However, this fee shall be indicative only and final fee shall be charged while submitting the application at the respective counters Fee once received are non-refundable even if the visa application is withdrawn, the visa is not granted, or if visa issued is of shorter duration of period than applied for or otherwise issued or returned at a time or on terms and conditions that may vary from those sought by the applicant. For further information on this, please check with local embassy office or Indian Visa Application center office or websites for information on applicable fee and payment methods.

VISA PROVISION

Sl. No. Type of Visa Period for which granted Entry – Single (S), Multiple (M), Double Documents required with application Extendable in India
1 Tourist 180 days M No
2 Transit 15 days S/ Double Return/ onward journey ticket No
3 Business 5 years M Documents to prove bonafide purpose (Company’s letter etc.) Yes
4 Employment 1 year/ period of contract M Proof of employment (appointment document), terms and conditions Yes
5 Student Period of course/ 5 years M Proof of admission in Indian Institution Yes
6 Foreigners of Indian Origin 5 years M Proof of being of Indian Origin Yes

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Online application form:

This application form is meant for those foreigners who are applying for visa from outside India.

Each online application form is meant for one person only. Separate application has to be filed for each applicant.

Furnish information exactly in the manner asked for in the forms, especially the names, address and date of birth.

Applicants are required to verify the application details before submitting the online application. They have an option to save the online application form, in case it is not to be submitted.

Once the online application form is submitted by the applicant, then further modifications are not allowed. Hence applicants are requested to check and validate the details before submitting the online application form.

Applicants are requested to keep the Application Id (generated automatically after the submission of online form) for further communications.

  1. Appointment Scheduling:

Applicant can schedule the appointment as per his/ her convenience with the concerned Indian Mission.

Each applicant to schedule a separate appointment with the Indian Mission

  1. Process for filling up online application form:

Applicant shall access the Visa Application system online through the following link: http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/.

Applicant visits the above mentioned web link and selects the Indian Mission from where he intends to apply for the Visa from the tab “Select Mission”.

Applicant fills the application on-line as per the forms standardized by the Ministry.

After filling the form and submitting it, the system shall automatically generate a Application Id. Applicants are requested to keep this Application Id for further communications with the concerned Indian Mission.

System will automatically ask the Applicant for the following confirmation: “Select ‘Yes’ if the applicant want to seek appointment and make payment online or ‘No’ if the applicant just want to print the submitted application form.”

If the applicant response is “No”, then it is requested by the applicant to take the print out of the submitted online application form and approach the concerned Indian Mission for submission of the online form along with supporting documents.

If the response from applicant is “yes” then the system automatically takes the link to perform the following:

Selection of Date and Time of appointment at the concerned Indian Mission

Calculation of Visa fee, service charge, VAT etc. as applicable according to the Visa type

E Payment using service provider’s payment system

In case the facility of Appointment Scheduling and e-Payment is not available for the concerned Indian mission, then applicant has to take the printout of the online application form and visit the concerned Indian Mission to submit the same along with supporting documents and make the payment.

Indian Culture: Traditions and Customs of India

India’s culture is among the world,s oldest; civilization in India began about 4,500 years ago. Many sources describe it as “Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara” — the first and the supreme culture in the world, according to the All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) organization.

Western societies did not always see the culture of India very favorably, according to Christina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College in London. Early anthropologists once considered culture as an evolutionary process, and ”every aspect of human development was seen as driven by evolution,” she told Live Science. “In this view, societies outside of Europe or North America, or societies that did not follow the European or Western way of life, were considered primitive and culturally inferior.  Essentially this included all the colonized countries and people, such as African countries, India, and the Far East.”.

However, Indians made significant advances in architecture (Taj Mahal), mathematics (the invention of zero) and medicine (Ayurveda). Today, India is a very diverse country, with more than 1.2 billion people, according to the CIA World Factbook, making it the second most populous nation after China. Different regions have their own distinct cultures. Language, religion, food and the arts are just some of the various aspects of Indian culture. Here is a brief overview of the culture of India.

Language

India has 28 states and seven territories, according to the World Health Organization. There is no official language in India, according to a Gujarat High Court ruling in 2010. Many people living in India also write in Devanagari script. In fact, it is a misconception that the majority of people in India speak Hindi. Though many people speak Hindi in India, 59 percent of India residents speak something other than Hindi, according to The Times of India. Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu are some other languages spoken in the country.

Religion

India is identified as the birthplace of Hinduism and Buddhism, the third and fourth largest religions. About 84 percent of the population identifies as Hindu, according to the “Handbook of Research on Development and Religion” Edited by Matthew Clarke (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013). There are many variations of Hinduism, and four predominant sects — Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakteya and Smarta.

About 13 percent of Indians are Muslim, making it one of the largest Islamic nations in the world. Christians and Sikhs make up a small percentage of the population, and there are even fewer Buddhists and Jains, according to the “Handbook.”

Food

When the Moghul Empire invaded during the sixteenth century, they left a significant mark on the Indian cuisine, according to Texas A&M University. Indian cuisine is also influenced by many other countries. It is known for its large assortment of dishes and its liberal use of herbs and spices. Cooking styles vary from region to region.

Wheat, Basmati rice and pulses with chana (Bengal gram) are important staples of the Indian diet. The food is rich with curries and spices, including ginger, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, dried hot peppers, and cinnamon, among others. Chutneys — thick condiments and spreads made from assorted fruits and vegetables such as tamarind and tomatoes and mint, cilantro and other herbs — are used generously in Indian cooking.

Many Hindus are vegetarians, but lamb and chicken are common in main dishes for non-vegetarians. The Guardian reports that between 20 percent and 40 percent of India’s population is vegetarian.

Much of Indian food is eaten with fingers or bread used as utensils. There is a wide array of breads served with meals, including naan, a leavened, oven-baked flatbread, and bhatoora, a fried, fluffy flatbread common in North India and eaten with chickpea curry.

Architecture and art

The most well-known example of Indian architecture is the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to honor his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It combines elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles. India also has many ancient temples.

India is well known for its film industry, which is often referred to as Bollywood. The country’s movie history began in 1896 when the Lumière brothers demonstrated the art of cinema in Mumbai, according to the Golden Globes. Today, the films are known for their elaborate singing and dancing.

Indian dance, music and theater traditions span back more than 2,000 years, according to Nilima Bhadbhade, author of “Contract Law in India” (Kluwer Law International, 2010). The major classical dance traditions — Bharata Natyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and Kathakali — draw on themes from mythology and literature and have rigid presentation rules.

Clothing

Indian clothing is closely identified with the colorful silk saris worn by many of the country’s women. The traditional clothing for men is the dhoti, an unstitched piece of cloth that is tied around the waist and legs. Men also wear a kurta, a loose shirt that is worn about knee-length. For special occasions, men wear a sherwani, which is a long coat that is buttoned up to the collar and down to the knees. The Nehru jacket is a shorter version of a sherwani.

Customs and celebrations

The country celebrates Republic Day (Jan. 26), Independence Day (Aug. 15) and Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (Oct. 2). Diwali is the largest and most important holiday to India, according to National Geographic. It is a five-day festival known as the festival of lights because of the lights lit during the celebration to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness. Holi, the festival of colors, also called the festival of love, is popular in the spring.

Weather

India is situated in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan.
The climate in India varies from a tropical monsoon climate in the south to a temperate climate in the north. If you are thinking of Visiting Delhi (the capital of India) then best to visit it in October, November, February and March. That’s when the nights are cool and the days are filled with a little sunshine. May, June and July are very hot with temperatures over 45 degrees (113 Fahrenheit). It is a dry heat and is sometimes accompanied by dusty desert winds. Most of the rain falls between July and September but they are not the tropical rains you’ll experience in India’s coastal cities.

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