|PLACES COVERED||(Arrival Delhi – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Pushkar – Jaipur – Agra – Delhi – Cochin – Munnar – Thekkady (Periyar) – Alleppey – Cochin – Departure in Kochi Airport)|
|CONDITION||PROMOTIONAL PRICE NOT APPLICABLE FOR DECEMBER 2019|
|DURATION OF TRIP||18 NIGHTS/19 DAYS|
|MINIMUM REQUIRED||2 PAX|
|ACCOMMODATION||4*/5* Accommodation basis|
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||PICKUP Delhi/DROP Cochin|
|RETURN TIME||Depends on onward Journey|
|WEAR||Comfortable clothing with suitable Toiletries|
DAY - 01 : Arrive Delhi
On arrival at Delhi airport or railway station, our representative will meet you to pick you up and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is at your leisure. Stay overnight at the hotel in Delhi.
DAY - 02: Old & New Delhi City Sightseeing
After breakfast start s sightseeing tour of Delhi visit:-
Jama Masjid:- Jama Masjid is another marvelous treasure of the Old City, and is the largest mosque in India. Its courtyard can hold an incredible 25,000 devotees. The mosque took 13 years to build and was completed in 1650. A strenuous climb to the top of its southern tower will reward you with a stunning view across the rooftops of Delhi.
Later we will start the Rickshaw Ride to Explore the old part of town as below visit to Spice Market
Chandni Chowk:- The Chandni Chowk (Moonlight Square) is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, India. Chandni Chowk is located close to Old Delhi Railway Station. The Red Fort monument is located within the market.
Spice Market:- A bit west of Chandni Market you will find yourself on KhariBaoli Road in the heart of Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. Here we found hundreds of shops dealing in refined, local and exotic spices. This large market area is rich in color and photographic opportunities and is well worth seeking out.
Red Fort:- Delhi’s most famous monument, the Red Fort, stands as a powerful reminder of the Mughal emperors who ruled India. Its walls, which stretch for over two kilometers (1.2 miles), were built in 1638 to keep out invaders. (Note: Fort is closed on Every Monday)
India Gate visit drive pass:- The towering archway of India Gate at the center of New Delhi is a war memorial, built in memory of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army in World War I. At night it glows warmly under floodlights, and the gardens that line its boulevard are a popular place to enjoy a warm summer’s evening.
Qutub Minar:-Qutab Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world, is an incredible example of early Indo–Islamic architecture. It was built in 1206, but the reason remains a mystery. Some believe that it was made to signify victory and the beginning of Muslim rule in India,
Humayun’s Tomb:- If you think Humayun’s Tomb looks a bit like the TajMahal in Agra, that’s because it was the inspiration for the Tajmahal’s creation. The tomb was built in 1570, and houses the body of the second Mughal emperor, Humayun.
Lotus Temple:- The Bahai Temple is commonly referred to as the Lotus Temple, as it’s shaped like a lotus flower. It’s particularly pretty at night when it’s attractively lit up. Made out of white marble, the temple belongs to the Bahai Faith, which proclaims the unity of all people and religions. (Note: Temple is closed on Every Monday)
Evening return to the hotel, overnight stay at hotel in Delhi
DAY - 03 : Delhi / Udaipur (By Flight)
Today after breakfast, check out from hotel and transfer to Delhi airport to catch the flight for Udaipur, On arrival Udaipur airport our representative will meet you & transfer to your hotel and upon arrival check-in to the hotel later transfer to the Lake Pichola for:
Sunset boat ride on the Pichola lake, to catch a view of the Lake Palace of Udaipur.
Later return to the hotel, Overnight at the hotel in Udaipur.
DAY - 04 : Udaipur Sightseeing
The morning after breakfast start sightseeing in Udaipur and visit:-
City Palace: Udaipur, one of India’s most romantic cities and famed for its lovely palaces and lakes. Begin by visiting the City Palace and wandering through its beautiful rooms and apartments A palace complex built by MaharanaUdai Singh, the City Palace is grandeur personified.
Lake Pichola: Surrounded by hills, gardens, temples, and havelis, Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful lakes in India and a much sought-after tourist attraction in Udaipur. The famous Lake Palace hotel is situated in the middle of Lake Pichola and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Fatehsagar Lake, built by MaharanaFateh Singh in 1754 A.D. Also visit the Jagdish Temple, the largest and most venerated temple of Udaipur.
Then continue on to the Garden of Maidens “Sahelion-ki-bari“
Later drive back to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Udaipur
DAY - 05: Udaipur / Jodhpur via visit Ranakpur’s Jain temple
The morning after breakfast checks out from hotel in Udaipur proceed to Jodhpur on the way visit Ranakpur Jain Temple.
Jain Temple, Ranakpur: Ranakpur Jain temple or ChaturmukhaDharanavihara is a Jain temple at Ranakpur is dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha. Dharna Shah, a local Jain businessperson, started construction of the temple in the 15th century following a divine vision.
Later proceed to Jodhpur. Upon Arrive Jodhpur check in Hotel. Overnight stay in Jodhpur.
DAY - 06: Jodhpur Sightseeing
After breakfast start a sightseeing tour of Jodhpur visit:-
Mehrangarh Fort:-It is one among the largest Indian forts. This invincible fort stands magnificently 400 feet above the city. Rao Jodha constructed the fort in 1459 AD. Though the attempt to construct the fort was started in 1459, the fort had seen many centuries before it was completed.
Jaswant Thada:-Jaswant Thada was built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, the Second in the year 1899. This is close to Mehrangarh Fort. The tranquility of the marble construction is enchanting. The carvings are intricate.
Ummaid Bhawan Palace:- Construction of Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum was started in the year 1929 and it was completed in 1943. The palace is situated on the highest point in the city. The 347-roomed massive palace is named one of the largest private residences in the world.
Mandore Gardens:-Mandore, belonging to the 6th century, was Marwar’s capital before Jodhpur was established. Mandore Gardens here attract tourists in great numbers. The Mandore Gardens also house a government museum, a ‘Hall of Heroes’ and a temple to 33 crore Gods.
Later return to the hotel, overnight stay at hotel in Jodhpur.
DAY - 07 : Jodhpur / Pushkar (Evening cooking class with Dinner)
After breakfast proceed to Pushkar. On arrival check in Hotel and visit:
Pushkar Market:-The Pushkar Bazaar offers a variety of items, especially during the annual Pushkar Fair. The items available here are Rajasthani costumes and puppets, embroidered fabrics, souvenirs, bangles and beads, decorative pieces and accessories, curious, embroidered shoes, brass utensils, glass lamps, bags, belts, and many more handicraft items.
Evening attends cooking class by professional Indian chef followed by dinner (Cook & Eat).
Later return to the hotel, overnight stay at hotel in Pushkar.
DAY - 08: Pushkar (Morning Camel ride 2 hours) / Jaipur
- After Morning breakfast start tour in Pushkar
- start camel ride for 02 hours round trip
- Later explore Pushkar and sightseeing for
Pushkar Lake:-Hindus from all across India consider Pushkar Lake to be one of the most sacred lakes of India. According to legend, the origin of this lake was the lotus flower petals that fell on earth from Lord Brahma’s hands. The lake is surrounded by 52 palaces, 400 temples and 52 bathings ‘ghats’, which are a series of steps leading to the lake.
Brahama Temple:-The Brahma Temple is the lone Hindu temple in India where Lord Brahma, the Creator of the World is worshipped. This major attraction of Pushkar is situated on the banks of the Pushkar Lake and is considered to have a special position in the Hindu Pantheons.
Afternoon check out from hotel and proceed to Jaipur on arrival check in Hotel and stay overnight in Jaipur.
DAY - 09 : Jaipur Sightseeing
Early morning after breakfast proceed to sightseeing tour of Jaipur, Direct sunlight on the HawaMahal is most amazing sights to see from outside and will stop there for photo-shoot
HawaMahal:- built in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, is the most recognizable monument of Jaipur. The 5 storied stunning semi-octagonal monument having 152 windows with over-hanging latticed balconies is a fine piece of Rajput architecture.
Later drive to Amer Fort there experience the Jeep Ride/Elephant ride from the old town to reach the Courtyard of Amer Fort, Back days king army used the same route !!!
Amer Fort:- The old capital of the Kachhwahas stands atop a range of craggy hills. The fort is remarkable as much for the majestic grandeur of its surroundings as for its sturdy battlements and beautiful palaces. It is a fine blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture.
JalMahal:- On the way Back From Amber Fort, this small palace is set in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. Renovation around the lake is in progress.
City Palace:- situated in the heart of the old City, it occupies about one-seventh of the old city area. The palace is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, it houses a Seven storeyed Chandra Mahal in the center, which affords a fine view of the gardens and the city.
Jantar Mantar:- built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the huge masonry instruments were used to study the movement of constellations and stars in the sky. Enormous sun-dial still provides accurate time, which is subject to daily corrections.
Albert Hall Museum:- situated in the Ram Niwas Garden. This graceful building was founded in 1876 by Prince Albert (also known as Albert Hall). It has a rare collection of archaeological and handicraft pieces.
Later back to Hotel, Stay overnight at Hotel in Jaipur.
DAY - 10 : Jaipur /Agra via visit “Chand BaoriSteppwell” in Abhaneri Village
After breakfast proceed to Agra and visit en-route to:
Abhaneri:- is a village in the Dausa district of Rajasthan state in India. It is situated at a distance of 95 km from Jaipur, on the Jaipur-Agra road. The place is popular for the Chand Baori step well and Harshat Mata Temple.
Later proceed to Agra. On arrival check in Hotel. Stay overnight at Hotel in Agra.
DAY - 11 : Agra Sunrise at Taj Mahal & sightseeing/Delhi
After breakfast start a sightseeing tour of Agra visit
SUNRISE TAJ MAHAL: TajMahal:-You cannot think of Agra without thinking of TajMahal. Or, you might not have thought of Agra were it not for the monument of love. TajMahal, the white marble beauty was constructed by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, MumtazMahal. (*TajMahal Closed on every Friday)
Later back to the hotel for breakfast, Check-out and visit next place:
Agra Fort:-You would regret if you miss Agra Fort during your visit to Agra. The 16th-century monument is yet another proof of the architectural brilliance of Mughals. This is situated near the gardens of the world famous TajMahal.
Afternoon proceeds to Delhi. On arrival check in Hotel Stay overnight at Hotel in Delhi.
DAY - 12 : Delhi / Cochin (By Flight)
Today after breakfast check out from Delhi hotel and departure transfer to the airport to fly for Cochin.
On arrival at Kochi airport meet and greet with tour manager later you will be transferring to the pre-booked hotel in Kochi. Later in the early evening you will be picked up by the driver and visit to:
Kathakali Dance show Centre in AC Theater: (Timings: 17:30 pm – 19:30 pm)
Elements of the art of Kathakali are found in the ancient ritual plays of Hindu temples and various dance forms that are believed to have been gradually developed in Kerala from as early as the 2nd Century until the end of the 16th Century.
Later drive back for Stay overnight at Hotel in Cochin.
DAY - 13 : Cochin Sightseeing
The morning after breakfast start the tour in Kochi and visit: –
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 10:00 am to 5 pm, Closed on Fridays and National holidays / Jewish Synagogue: 10 am to 5 pm, Break Time – 12 pm to 3 pm, Closed on Friday & Saturday & Jewish Holidays]
Chinese Fishing Net: In India, Chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) 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”.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Kochi: 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.
St. Francis Church, Kochi: St. Francis CSI Church, in Fort Kochi (a.k.a. Fort Cochin), originally built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India. and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent.
Evening free time to visit the local markets in Kochi.
Later drive back to Hotel, Stay overnight at Hotel in Cochin.
DAY - 14 : Cochin / Munnar
After breakfast day proceeds to Munnar. On arrival check in Hotel.
Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundale, Munnar is 1600 Meter above sea level.
This majestic hill station was once the summer resort of the British government in South India. Local sightseeing of Munnar includes a visit to Mattupetty Dam, Kundale Lake, and Echo point.
Evening free around the hotel. Stay overnight at Hotel in Munnar.
DAY - 15 : Munnar Jeep Safari Tour (10am – 4pm)
After breakfast Jeep safari guide will be meeting you in the hotel lobby and later your day explore for the tea-plantations by the exciting Jeep ride in Munnar.
Enjoy Jeep Safari to explore tea plantation and visit tea factory & museum.
Start sightseeing tour of Munnar by Jeep safari drive through the KananDevan Hills tea plantations, scenic beauty valleys, Lock heart gap, spice plantations, etc. After around 25 km of jeep ride through the normal road, we will reach the jeepable, jumpy, bumpy, rugged road to the World’s highest organic tea growing estate. From there drive or walk a little further to one of the oldest orthodox tea factories in this region.
After visiting the Factory we will have fresh tea picked, processed and made on the spot. Soon after we will start walking to a small ground to have lunch near the cliff at a local south Indian restaurant with a wonderful view around, then will proceed to Munnar in the jeep itself. The ride will be through the tea plantations jeepable rugged road and we can have a close look at the spectacular countryside and the rural Tamil people, working in the tea plantations.
Later drive back to Hotel stay overnight at Hotel in Munnar
DAY - 16 : Munnar / Periyar (Thekkady)
After breakfast proceeds to Thekkady (Periyar).
Thekkady (Idukki district):- is the location of the Periyar National Park, which is an important tourist attraction in the Kerala state of India. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 777 km2 (300 sq mi), of which 360 km2 (140 sq mi) is a thick evergreen forest. The wildlife sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park.
Upon arrival in Periyar check-in to the hotel, later you have an amazing boat ride in Periyar Lake which flows through the Periyar tiger reserve.
Enjoy the common boat ride on Periyar Lake explore wildlife flora & Fauna
You will have the chance to watch the wild animals like elephant, Bison, Sambar, Deer, etc are roaming both shores.
Overnight stay in the hotel in Periyar.
DAY - 17 : Thekkady / Alleppey (Backwater trip to Kerala)
After breakfast check out from hotel in Munnar and proceed to Alleppey on arrival check in Houseboat.
Following by the lunch on 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 fibber ropes, bamboo mats carpets, etc. The main wood used is “Anjali “.
The Houseboat provides all comforts – Beds, a kitchen, western toilet.
Traditional lanterns are used as lights. Spend the day cruising on a boat. Through remote tribal villages along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala is a superb experience. Sensational in its own silent way, the cruise takes you along Snake boat docks, friendly cheering villagers, coir (Jute) making communities, Toddy (local spirit) shops, fishing nets pitched for the day’s catch, bounded paddy fields and manual canoes of different sizes crisscrossing each other. The experience enables you to reach beautiful untouched areas. Night take traditional dinner at houseboat.
Stay overnight at in Houseboat in Alleppey.
DAY - 18 : Alleppey / Cochin – Evening Ayurveda Massage Therapy
After breakfast check out from the houseboat, proceed to Cochin on arrival check in Hotel for relaxation.
Later visit at Ayurveda Centre for “Full Body Massage Therapy”
Abhyanga Massage – Full body massage
Abhyanga or Synchronised massage subdues the aging and degeneration process. A therapy pioneered as per the ancient Ayurvedic classics; its rhythmic motion helps to relieve joints and muscles from stiffness and makes all body movements free. This stimulating treatment increases blood circulation, which in turn encourages quick removal of metabolic wastes while providing relief for anxiety, fatigue, circulatory disorders, rheumatic and arthritic problems, backaches and injuries
Later drive back to Hotel stay overnight at Hotel in Cochin.
DAY - 19 : Cochin departure transfer at airport
In this day after breakfast transfer to Airport for flight to your onward destination.
Services are included in the price:-
- A safe and comfortable air-conditioned private bus/car with driver, all-inclusive. (Fuel for car/Bus, road and state taxes, toll fees, parking fees, Driver and driver’s food, and lodging).
- The car will be with you from your arrival to departure with as many stops to sightsee 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 the itinerary.
- Accommodation Double or Twin rooms with Bed and Breakfast basis.
- Sightseeing Tours in All Cities as per tour itinerary
- Jeep/Elephant Ride in Jaipur
- Evening attend cooking class by professional Indian chef followed by dinner (Cook & Eat) in PushkarMorning Camel ride in Pushkar 2hrs round trip
- One Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi
- English Speaking tour Guide in Delhi, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra & Cochin sightseeing only
- Free visit to Jaipur’s famous block painting workshop
- Free visit to TajMahal Inlay Marble (Work Shop).
- Common Boat ride at Periyar Lake and Jungle entrance
- One Jeep safari in Munnar (10 am – 4 pm) followed by the lunch at Local South Indian Restaurant
- Premium Houseboat stay with 24 hours air-condition and all meals (Lunch, Dinner & Breakfast) in Allepey
- One “Indian Ayurveda Full Body Massage” in Cochin as per tour plan
- Maximum Group size 22 Pax
- Oneway Flight From Delhi to Udaipur & Delhi to Cochin as per tour itinerary
- All applicable taxes.
Services are not included in the prices:-
- Tips, laundry,
- Monuments Entrance Ticket wherever applicable
- Any meals (Lunch or Dinner which is not specified above)
- Luggage handling and Beverages.
- Personal Expenses.General Information:-
- Tipping and gratuities are not included in the package and are at your own discretion (e.g. as a guide, approx. AUD 5-10 per person, per day per city as per the industry standard).
- All domestic internal flights with a limit of 15kg Check-in baggage& for 07 kg hand baggage in the cabin. ***If any extra luggage for any domestic flight(s) can be arranged on additional cost as per the airline guidelines.
Accommodation Using For 5* Package
Delhi:- (Hotel Radisson Blu, Dwarka, New Delhi or Similar hotel)
Udaipur:- (Radisson Hotel Udaipur or Similar hotel)
Jodhpur:- (Hotel Ranbanka Palace, Jodhpur or Similar hotel)
Pushkar:- (The Brahama Horizon, Pushkar or Similar hotel)
Jaipur:- (Hotel Holiday Inn, Jaipur or Similar hotel)
Agra:- (Hotel Crystal Sarovar or Similar hotel)
Thekkady (Periyar):- (The Mountain courtyard or similar hotel)
Munnar:- (The Panoramic gateway, Munnar or similar hotel)
Alleppey:- (Premium Class Houseboat stay)
Cochin:- (The Taj Gateway Marine drive or similar hotel)
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.
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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,
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
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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.
|Sl. No.||Type of Visa||Period for which granted||Entry – Single (S), Multiple (M), Double||Documents required with application||Extendable in India|
|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|
- Online application form:
This application form is meant for those foreigners who are applying for visa from outside India.
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Furnish information exactly in the manner asked for in the forms, especially the names, address and date of birth.
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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
- 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.
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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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.