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Travel to India is both intriguing and exciting for the first-timers. However, fears of chaos and poverty also loom large in the minds of international travelers. Questions as to the type of accommodation, mode of travel, and knowledge of local culture, all these questions invoke both fear and confusion. We have attempted to allay these fears by briefly suggesting how best you can organize your trip and still enjoy your vacation in this beautiful and mystical land.
How to Get Around?
Using budget airlines is a good choice. The likes of Spicejet, IndiGo and Air India have made 24 hour journeys much shorter. An international traveller can book tickets on these flights even before reaching the country.
Holidays in the country are not complete without enjoying a journey in train. Whereas a daytime trip is enjoyable travelling in Class II, Class I journeys are god for overnight trips. Choice of A/C is optional. Meals and coffee can be ordered during the journey.
Cars with drivers can be hired. This is ideal for short trips that would take a few hours. Taking a ride in an Ambassador car is enjoyable.
You can choose to travel by buses to places where there are no train networks.
Three-wheeled auto rickshaws are found in all cities and towns and cycle rickshaws in some cities/towns. It is important to fix the price before setting out on a trip. Hand-pulled rickshaws are quaint and are still found in cities like Kolkata.
Where to Stay?
The country has all types of accommodation for international travellers. From the very cheap dormitories to the very expensive luxury hotels and converted palaces, the travellers can choose what is most suitable for them. A comfortable mix of the two will let the traveller savour the spirit of the country. Some of the best hotels in the country are the Udaipur Lake Palace Hotel, The Tollygunge Club at Kolkata, and the Mahindra Homestays.
Places to Visit
Traveling advice: Some of the most exotic places to visit would be Delhi Agra Jaipur travel itineraries and Rajasthan. Do not miss the Taj Mahal in Agra, Amber Palace in Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park, etc., to name a few. Visit the temples in the southern state of Tamil Nadu (Madurai, Chidambaram) or nature’s bounties in God’s Own Country Kerala (beaches of Varkala, backwater cruising in Alleppey, cardamom plantations in Idukki). It is worth a visit to the Kaziranga National park in Assam to view the rhinos and elephants and up to the Majuli Island along the Brahmaputra.
What to Eat and Drink?
Idlis, made with rice and pulses, and had along with chutney and sambar, are a national favourite for breakfast and is healthy. The breads are flat or fluffy and are called chapatis or parathas. There many more types of these. Biriyani is rice cooked with spices and with added vegetables, fish or meat. Lime soda is common and so is lassi (a sweetened, salted or sour yoghurt drink). You can choose to drink beverages such as chai (spiced tea) or coffee usually served with milk.
While you can pay for your visa in advance, you choose any mobile phone services for your communications. Internet is freely and easily available. General conversational topics include job background, family, major sports, etc.
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