Once administered directly by the United Kingdom, in 1947 India became an independent nation following a peaceful resistance. For much of its long history India has been known as a successful trade route, linking Europe with Asia. It has been recorded that India’s early dynasties traded extensively with the Roman Empire as well as West and South East Asia. Today the country has the largest growing economy, yet still faces many challenges such as poverty. In addition to its trade legacy, India is where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated.
From snow capped mountains, tropical beaches and dry deserts, India’s climate is as diverse as its geography. The country as a whole experiences four seasons, with winter in January and February and summer taking place from March to May. June marks the beginning of the monsoon season, which continues until September and is then followed by a post monsoonal season. This post monsoon period from October to January is the most pleasant time to visit India as humidity and rainfall is at a low.
No matter what time of year you visit India, chances are you’ll get to experience some sort of festival or celebration while there. Republic Day on January 26th marks the anniversary of India becoming a democratic republic and is the country’s most important national event. Another highly celebrated event is the Hindu spring festival of Holi. For sixteen days during February or March (depending on the calendar), the festival celebrates the beginning of spring and death of demons. On the main day, people famously cover one another with coloured powder and water as a sign of gratitude.
India has a total of 12 international airports. Its main international hubs include Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and Delhi International Airport. Airlines that fly from Australia to Delhi include:
Flights from Sydney to Delhi generally take around 14 hours flying time, with a stopover usually in Singapore or China.
All Inclusive Resorts
India’s luxury resorts are made up of private and plush abodes hidden away from the hustle and bustle of chaotic streets. Combining hotel luxury with a welcoming home stay, at a luxury resort you’ll experience creature comforts amongst a unique Indian setting. View Resort options
Located in lavish and historic buildings, the luxury hotels of India offer a high level of comfort within distinctly Indian surroundings. From furnishing, décor and the building itself, opulence and exotic flavours are prevalent, helping to create an unforgettable holiday experience.
India is well known for its luxury rail journeys. Experience the golden age of train travel and see India in style from the comfort of your deluxe suit and picturesque dining car.View Rail Journeys
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
You can’t visit India without baring witness to the iconic Taj Mahal. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is located in Agra and was built in loving memory of Emperor Shah Jahan’s third wife who passed away during child birth. The ornate mausoleum began construction in 1632 and was completed 21 years later. Further examples of Indian architecture can be seen in the country’s numerous temples. Of notable significance is the Lotus Temple in New Delhi. The Bahá'í House of Worship building was completed in 1986 and has won numerous architecture awards.
Though it may not appear as modern, the Ajanta Ellora caves in Aurangabad are an awe-inspiring example of craftsmanship. The ornate caves were carved out of solid rock by human hands and depict the history of Buddhism from 200 BC to 650 AD. In ancient times, each cave was accessed from the riverfront by individual staircases. In order to accommodate tourism, a terraced path has since been built.
Away from the tourist attractions, be sure to get amongst local life in India by wandering through the numerous markets and sampling the exotic food on offer. Markets in Delhi such as Dilli Haat and the Janpath and Tibetan Market are great places to purchase vibrant local crafts and sample authentic Indian cuisine.
Don't leave home without...
Its near impossible not to buy things while in India so be sure to leave ample room in your luggage before you arrive. What you do pack should include the bare essentials; comfortable shoes, light clothing and your favourite toiletries including shampoo, conditioner and hand sanitizer.
Most importantly, don’t leave home without visiting your doctor and receiving the right vaccinations.
India is a hierarchical society defined by a caste system. The system ranks groups of people according to various qualities. Everyone in India is aware of this system and their behaviour and treatment of others is shaped by their caste. All aspects of life, including family and business, involve a hierarchy.
Communication in India is quite different to western cultures, particularly when it comes to saying ‘no.’ In order to avoid disappointment Indians will avoid saying no and instead offer a positive yet vague answer. This trait can often seem quite confusing and even come across as rude to other cultures. It is by no means a form of dishonesty. They would prefer to say yes than appear to not attempt to give a person what they are asking for.
Things to be careful of…
As a conservative society, public displays of affection with a loved one are frowned upon in India. Avoid kissing and hugging in public.
When you buy food from vendors in the street, take the meal back to your hotel room to eat as it is considered impolite to eat and walk.
Like any large city, be weary of pick-pockets, particularly in crowded tourist areas. Always keep your valuables close to you and stay alert.