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India Information

Getting Around

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Getting to India is best done by flying into any of its major metropolises. There are airlines in India that connect its major cities but if you really want to see the country, traveling within India is best done by trains or buses. The Indian railways are the world’s largest tracks and train network and also the world’s biggest single employer and a sizable chunk of the Indian population owes its living to the Indian Railways company. There are many trains on the tourist beat that offer you interesting rides such as the Royal Palace on Wheels, the Darjeeling Toy Train and the Simla-Kalka Toy Train.

Buses are run by the government and there are many private operators in the fray as well. The best thing to do is to book a luxury bus via a reputable travel agent. Government buses are Spartan at best and passenger comfort is way down on their list of priorities.

Weather

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Indian's summer begins at the end of February and lasts till the end of May and this period is best avoided when planning a visit. The monsoons hit in June and last till July. From August onwards the trickle of visitors begins and by October we are in peak tourist season. The visitors stay all winter till January and then the tourist season finishes apart from some latecomers who stay until the end of February.

While planning a visit to North India choose the post-monsoon months and if headed down south enjoy the relatively warmer winters. If you are thinking of taking a trip to the desert in the west make sure not to go there in the summer. The Indian heat is bad enough all year round without choosing the hottest periods. If you can’t stand the heat, head for the hills as the Himalayas are famous for their snow-capped peaks even in mid summer.

Good to know

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If on your first visit, book a hotel that offers a pickup at the airport. Never go from the airport with a tout who promises a cheap lodging. You might end up in a room that you do not want to stay in.

Carry basic medications that you will need along with you. Cater for an upset stomach. The water takes some getting used to as does the spicy and sometimes downright heavy food. Stick to sealed mineral water bottles. Also avoid ice in your drinks. Never ever drink tap water as it is not treated well enough for direct consumption.

Protect yourself from the heat. It is easy to get dehydrated as you go about sightseeing. Make sure you keep sipping water all day. Carry some prickly heat remedy. This rash can show up on your skin and cause a lot of itching.

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