Monday, June 27, 2022

Things To Do in India

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Fairs and festivals in India

Goa Fair (Carnival). February heralds the carnival in Goa. The streets were buzzing with colour for 3 days and 3 nights. The week-long event, held in mid-February, is a time for lively parades, floats, guitar sounds, graceful dances and non-stop festivity. One of India’s most famous carnivals, the Goa Festival is completely sold out in terms of tourist capacity.

Surajkund Mela (1-15 February). As spring arrives full of warmth and vibrancy, leaving the grey winter behind, Surajkund is adorned with colourful traditional handicrafts from India. Artisans from all over the country gather in Surajkund in the first two weeks of February to participate in the annual celebration, the Surajkund Crafts Mela.

Holi. The spring festival in India, Holi is a festival of colours. Celebrated in March or April, according to the Hindu calendar, it was meant to welcome spring and gain the blessings of the gods for good harvests and the fertility of the land. As with all Hindu festivals, there are many interesting legends associated with Holi. The most famous is that of Prince Prahlad, who was a devoted follower of Lord Vishnu. It is the second most important festival in India after Diwali. Holi is a festival of fun and frolic in India and is associated with the undying love of Krishna and Radha. The exuberance and festivity of the season are remarkable.

Diwali. Diwali – the festival of lights – which illuminates the darkness of the New Year moon, is said to strengthen close friendships and the knowledge gained through self-realization. Diwali is celebrated nationwide every year on Amavasya – the 15th day of the dark fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashwin (Oct/Nov). It symbolises that ancient culture of India that teaches to conquer the ignorance that oppresses humanity and to dispel the darkness that engulfs the light of knowledge. The festival of lights still projects India’s rich and glorious past.

Pushkar Mela. The sleepy town of Pushkar in Rajasthan comes alive with colour and excitement every November during the Pushkar Fair. Few fairs in the world can match the vibrancy of Pushkar. It includes the largest camel fair in the world, but is much more than that.

Sport in India

  • Cricket. India is a cricket-obsessed country and cricket is in the blood of most Indians. India plays an important role in world cricket and has been world champion twice in the ICC Cricket World Cup, in 1983 by beating the mighty West Indies in the final and most recently in 2011 by beating Sri Lanka. India also triumphed in the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, beating arch-rivals Pakistan in a thrilling final. The popularity of cricket in India is like no other game, so much so that it is very common to see children playing cricket in parks and alleys with rubber balls and makeshift wickets. Until 2008, Indian cricket was all about the national team competing against other countries in one-day matches or epic 5-day Test marathons, but the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has, for better or worse, brought fast-paced, commercialised ‘Twenty20’ cricket to the fore, complete with cheerleaders and high salaries. In international matches, Australia and South Africa are viable opponents, but the biggest rivalry is by far with neighbouring Pakistan, and matches between the two teams are often highly charged affairs. About half a dozen Indian stadiums have a capacity of over 45,000 spectators, and watching a cricket match can be quite an experience. The Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata is the highest capacity stadium in Asia, with over 90,000 seats. Built in 1865, it is the oldest cricket stadium in the Indian subcontinent and is comparable to the House of Lords Stadium in London as well as the MCG in Melbourne.The atmosphere at most matches is electric. Almost all international matches are sold out and it is quite common for fans to bribe officials to gain entry. Ticket prices are quite reasonable; they can be as low as 250-300 ₹. India and Pakistan have always been arch-rivals, and cricket matches between the two nations attract up to a billion television viewers.
  • Football. Like cricket, you can find young boys playing with a football in any open space that is available. Club football is very popular, especially among young people, and you can find people arguing about their favourite teams in public places. Many people also support national teams other than India’s, but this usually depends on the nationality of their favourite players. The most famous and electrifying club derby is the one between the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club (est. 1889) and the East Bengal Football Club (est. 1920) at the Salt Lake Stadium (the second largest stadium in the world not used for car racing) in Kolkata, the football capital of India and an enormously football-crazy city.
  • Hockey (Field Hockey). As India’s national game, hockey retains a prominent place in the hearts of many Indians despite the craze for cricket and football. Although spectator numbers have declined significantly (compared to the golden era before cricket came to the fore in the mid-1980s), it has not completely disappeared. It still has a significant fan base, especially in northern India, some eastern parts like Jharkhand, Odisha and the north-eastern states. The introduction of the Premier Hockey League has helped regain its popularity in recent times.
  • Formula 1. Historically not very popular in India, Formula 1 has become much more popular recently. People now know the names of drivers like Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, whereas ten years earlier few knew the sport. One can enjoy Formula 1 in Noida, where the Airtel Indian Grand Prix is held every year in the last week of October.

How To Get in India

The main entry points are Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. The airports in these cities are either new or under construction.

How To Get Around in India

India is big and there are many interesting ways to travel, most of which can't exactly be described as efficient or punctual. Plan a considerable amount of buffer time for any trip with a fixed date (e.g. your return flight) and try to remember that getting there should be...

Visa & Passport Requirements for India

The rules and validity of the visa vary according to nationality. Check the website of the Indian embassy, consulate or high commission in your country, which you can find on this list. Nationals of Nepal and Bhutan may enter India without a visa and live there indefinitely. Depending on the purpose...

Destinations in India

Regions in India India is administratively divided into 29 states and 7 union territories. The states are broadly demarcated along linguistic lines. They vary in size; the larger ones are bigger and more diverse than some countries in Europe. The union territories are smaller than the states - sometimes consisting...

Accommodation & Hotels in India

The choice varies greatly depending on your budget and location. Cheap travel hotels are plentiful in big cities, where you can get a room for less than ₹ 450. Rooms in guesthouses with a double bed (and often a bathroom) can be found in many tourist locations for ₹150-200....

Things To See in India

To see all the places worth seeing in India, even a 6-month visit is probably insufficient. There are more tourist destinations in India than can be mentioned in a full-length book, let alone in a summary. Almost every state in India has more than ten major tourist destinations, and...

Food & Drinks in India

Food in India Indian cuisine takes its place among the great cuisines of the world. Chances are you have tasted "Indian food" in your country, especially if you are a traveller from the West, but what India has exported abroad is only part of its extraordinary range of culinary diversity. Indian...

Money & Shopping in India

Money in India The currency in India is the Indian rupee (sign: ₹; code: INR) (रुपया - rupaya in Hindi and similarly named in most Indian languages, but taka in Maithili and Taakaain Bengali and Toka in Assamese). The rupee is divided into 100 paise. 5 rupees 75 paise would...

Festivals & Events in India

There are three national holidays: Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti (2 October), which take place on the same day every year. There are also three major nationwide festivals with alternate dates to be observed: Diwali (Deepavali), Oct-Nov - The festival of lights celebrates the...

Traditions & Customs in India

Religion and rituals in India At the temples and mosques, you must take off your shoes.There are special areas where your footwear can be kept for a small fee or free of charge. It may also be customary to take off your shoes when entering houses, to follow the example...

Language & Phrasebook in India

There are 22 official languages in India at the federal level, which include: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri , Marathi, Nepali, Odia ,Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. There are also hundreds of other, less prominent languages such as Tulu, Bhojpuri...

Internet & Communications in India

Phone in India The country code for India is 91. India is then divided into area codes known locally as STD codes. See individual city guides for area codes. In acronym-happy India, a phone box is known as a PCO (Public Call Office) and they usually offer STD/ISD (Subscriber Trunk Dialing/International...

Culture Of India

Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years. During the Vedic period (ca. 1700 - 500 BC), the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, theology and literature were laid, and many beliefs and practices that still exist today, such as dhárma, kárma, yóga and mokṣa, were established. India is characterised...

History Of India

The first humans are thought to have migrated to the Indian subcontinent around 70,000 BC, and there are several archaeological sites for Stone Age India. One important one is in Mehrgarh (Pakistan), with the oldest known evidence of agriculture on the subcontinent, around 7000 BC. The Indus Valley Civilisation (3300-1300...

Stay Safe & Healthy in India

Stay safe in India As a rule, India is quite safe for foreigners, apart from cases of petty crime and theft, which occur in any developing country, as long as certain basic precautions are observed (e.g. female travellers should avoid travelling alone at night). You can check with your embassy...

Weather & Climate in India

The rain in India only falls at a certain period of the year. The season and the phenomenon that causes it is called monsoon. There are two, the southwest and the northeast, both named after the direction of the wind. The monsoon in the southwest is the most important...

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