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References

  1. How to book a tour to India ?

  2. If I do not want the tour as mentioned in the website how do I make my own tour ?

  3. I am visiting India for the first time how should I prepare myself ?

  4. How advance should be my travel booking ?

  5. How to experience India at it's best ?

  6. Can I buy an Air Ticket through you also ?

  7. How will I be picked up from the Airport ?

  8. Can I book the hotels only with you and the complete tour ?

  9. Which Vaccination is compulsory to visit India ?

  10. How do I get medication in India in case of necessity ?

  11. Do people understand English and other foreign languages ?

  12. How can I come in contact with local people during our travel in India ?

  13. How is the nightlife in India?

  14. What one need not carry in their trip to India?

  15. What is advisable to eat and drink in India ?

  16. Is there any thing important while visiting temples and mosques in India ?

  17. Are there any restrictions for the Photography in India ?

  18. Should I give some money to the beggars who are sometimes on the streets of India ?

  19. How safe is India ?

  20. How is Shopping in India ?

  21. How much should I give as tipping while traveling in India ?

  22. Which currency is used in India ?

  23. Can I pay in Euro, US $ or through credit cards in India ?

  24. What are the timings of the post office and other administrative offices in India ?

  25. Are there any restrictions on the export from India ?

  26. What is the best time to visit the National parks and Wildlife sanctuaries ?

  27. I want to know more about Indo Vacations ! Why should I book my tour through Indo Vacations ?

  28. How do we settle the payment ? Is there an advance deposit required ?

  29. I want to travel by train. From where I can know about the various trains running between two stations ?

  30. What is the best time to visit India and what type of temperature is found in India ?

  31. Are the visas and passports required before entering India and Nepal ?

  32. Can you provide more details about the hotels ?

  33. What type of information is required in order to confirm the booking ?

  34. I want to learn the native language of India. What do you advice ?

  35. If I want to learn the cooking course in India. What do you advice ?

  36. What is the guarantee that I would be provided the services which I asked for during my tour ?

  37. Where is the office of Indo Vacations located ?

  38. If I want to stay with an Indian family during my tour in Jaipur. What will be the total price ?

  39. If I only want to take the vehicle during my tour and not the complete tour, then what do you suggest ?

  40. How can I make the payment ?

  41. Does your company provide any sort of insurance ?

  42. Tell me something about the people who had traveled with the Indo Vacations ?

  43. If I want to travel in a group, is it possible. From where I could get information regarding the group departures ?

  44. From where I can know about the distances between the two cities ?

  45. Where are the offices of Indian embassies, High Commission, diplomatic and foreign missions located ?

  46. What could be the general topics for conversation with Indians?

  47. What should I keep in mind while having a conversation with an Indian?

  48. What should I wear while my tour in India?

  49. What is good to wear when visiting temples in India?

  50. What is the dress code for formal – informal meets or parties?

  51. What is Sari and how to wear it?

  52. What type of clothing should be avoided in India?

  53. Can I drive in India?

  54. What are the general do’s and don’ts for greeting in India?

  55. Do Indians shake hands for greeting?

  56. How do Indians welcome their guests?

  57. How can I introduce myself to an Indian group?

  58. What are the different greetings used in India

  59. How can I identify people from various religions?

  60. What is the holiday pattern in India?

  61. What to you recommend about hotel reservations. What else should I keep in mind while staying at the hotels in India?

  62. Is there anything important while visiting temples or other religious places in India?

  63. What about the public facilities in India?

  64. Can you provide me some tips for safe and smart shopping in India?

  65. Would I be able to continue my exercise routine during my stay in India?

  66. Is there anything I need to consider while doing photography in India?

  67. What caution should a tourist take – when it comes to legal matter, safety and health ?

  68. Is liquor available in every part of India?

  69. What precautions should I take regarding my health while in India?

  70. What is the general meal plan in India?

  71. Please tell me what type of food is served in Indian homes as I am planning to with an Indian family during my trip?

  72. What are the special dishes one should try on the trip to south India?

  73. What are the food specialties of north India?

  74. What are the food specialties of Mumbai and Goa? I am planning to visit these places?

  75. Give me general information about local transport available in India?

  76. Can you tell me something about rail journey in India?

  77. As a foreign traveler what should I do to make my rail journey in India safe and comfortable ?

  78. Tell me about Indian Money ! What about taking cash or travelers cheques to India ?

  79. I would like to travel to India on my business trip. Tell me about Business Practices in general in India ?

1..

 

How to book a tour to India ?

Firstly we suggest you to visit "Tours in India" Page on the website, which include various tours of India, Nepal and Bhutan. Then select one of the tour. If you intend to make any changes like having a day more or less then in that case you need to inform us so that we make your itinerary accordingly. You can use our online query form or send us an e mail at: info@indovacations.net

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2.

If I do not want the tour as mentioned in the website how do I make my own tour ?

If you don’t want those tours which are mentioned on the website then in such a case you need to fill up the “Enquiry Form mentioned on our website. In this form you have to specify the places you want to visit, date of arrival and departure, number of people who are traveling, the hotel category and any other special choice. After having these details from your end we will plan a tour for you and contact you very next day with all the details. Besides this you can also refer to the link “Make your Own Tour” on our website. This is an online tour making tool. With the help of this tool you can make your own tour with the details you like and also make the online payment.

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3. 

I am visiting India for the first time how should I prepare myself ?

For the general information please visit the page “about India”. You may also put up your questions to us regarding any matter if you do not find the answers on our website. Apart from that we suggest you to do some background reading before visiting India, so that your visit becomes a great experience. During your tour we will also provide you a tourist Guide at the different cities in the language of your choice who will let you know anything you want to know about India.

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4.

How advance should be my travel booking ?

Your travel bookings should be made 8 months well in advance, especially if you are traveling between October to March (high tourist season) and May to June, the Indian holiday season. As Travel infrastructure in India has its limitation in comparison to the high season demand therefore we highly recommend to book your tour in advance.

5. 

How to experience India at it's best ?

While planning your trip we suggest you to consider the festivals which would be taking place in India during your trip. Upon receiving the information from you we will combine your trip with an Indian Festival which will make your trip a great experience. For any further information on Festivals please visit our Festivals page. On this page you find the dates of the Indian festivals taking place. Our tourist guides will also tell you about the cultural activities that take place during the festivals.

                                                                                                                                  

6. 

Can I buy an Air Ticket through you also ?

Yes, you can buy an Air Ticket through us but to be fair we advice you to book your air ticket in your country as air tickets are normally expensive if booked in India to be sent to your country. However even if Air tickets are cheaper here and you happen to change you schedule in that case it is better to have to tickets issued at the port of departure. After having booked your Air tickets you can inform us the arrival time and the flight Number to enable us to pick you up from the airport to start with the tour.

7. 

How will I be picked up from the Airport ?

You will be picked up from the airport or railway station where ever you arrive by the Indo Vacations representative. Our representative will be holding a name board with your name written on it at the arrival hall of the airport or railway station. If you are coming as a group then the name of the group will be mentioned on the name board. On that name board the arrival date, time, place and flight number will also be mentioned. You are requested not to leave the airport or railway station until you meet our representative. If by chance you were not able to find each other then you would also be provided the mobile telephone number of the representative so that you can find each other at the particular location at the airport. For more information about the name board please refer to the Welcome Board Document.

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8. 

Can I book the hotels only with you and not the complete tour ?

Yes, Indo Vacations is having special rates with many hotels all over the Indian Subcontinent. We are sure that we will be able to offer you the hotels for your budget in the destination wanted by you. As far as the hotels are concerned we have hotels of every standard in India. You will find some of the world class hotels in India. Do inform us what kind of hotels you are looking for. We also make arrangements for big conferences and incentive spa and Ayurveda Packages. You can visit our hotel site: www.indovacation.net or send us an e ml at ai info@indovacations.net

9

Which Vaccination is required before visiting India ?

Before visiting India, the Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required if a tourist is coming from the Yellow Fever endemic countries. This certificate conforms to the International Health Regulation. Yet, citizens and travelers coming from the United States, Canada or United Kingdom, do not require any vaccination certificate or inoculations. It is highly recommended to get a precautionary measure vaccination against Hepatitis B, should you plan to stay longer in India. To avoid Malaria and Dengue, carry mosquito repellents, nets or take a course of anti Malaria tablets.

10. 

How do I get medication in India in case of necessity ?

It is advised that you bring your own medicines. Most of the medications in India are available but you may not find it under the same brand name as in your own country. If necessarily of consulting a doctor be assure that we will assist you in this matter. Private hospitals with high standard and qualified doctors are available in India.

 

11. 

Do people understand English and other foreign languages ?

English is widely spoken and understood at almost all tourist centers. But we highly recommend you to take qualified and government recognized guides during your sightseeing in India. We are associated with Guides in India who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian. Tour guides will help you not only in your sightseeing, but also help you understand India better and give you useful tips for your Journey to India !

12. 

How can I come in contact with local people during our travel in India ?

Indians are hospitable and friendly people, Do not consider starring at you as unfriendly. Most of the Indian have not been abroad and therefore foreigners are for them a subject of curiosity. Most of the people you talk to you will find friendly. Follow the golden rule in India (especially for Women, when traveling in India): Always speak to the people you feel like taking too. Avid people who are too eager to help you or want you to buy something from them. If you want to enrich your visit to India by visiting an Indian Family or want to stay in an Indian Family, ask us. We will be happy to make these arrangements for you.

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13. 

How is the nightlife in India?

Keeping with the demand of Indian youth for dance and music, India offers numerous discos, floor shows, and an array of cultural events which keeps them occupied in the evening.The cultural scene in Indian cities becomes more alive in winter months with dance performances, plays, musical evenings and occasionally English plays. The Indian youth find these quite relaxing and invigorating after a long days work. Most 5-star hotels have discos, but these are expensive. Hotel guests, however, are required to pay a nominal entry fee.

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14. 

What one need not carry in their trip to India?

India, despite its poverty, is one of the ten largest industrial countries of the world. International brands are readily available in India apart from a large number of Indian brands available. Therefore one need not carry things like toiletries, cosmetics or medicines etc as they can be purchased from anywhere in India. The visitors can also avoid bringing a large wardrobe since the climate in the country is generally mild. Devaluation of the Indian rupee has made India the world’s bargain center. Prices of cottons, silks, leather shoes are cheaper as compared to other countries. Indian gold and diamond jewellery is known all over the world. These are the largest export item of India. Handicrafts and utility goods of all varieties are available in different parts of India. 

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15. 

What is advisable to eat and drink in India ?

We advice our guest to drink bottled water, bottled drinks. Coffee Tea should be taken hot. As hotels have their own water filter functions the water in the hotels can be used for cleaning the tooth and body but avoid drinking this water. Avoid eating spicy at least at the start of your journey to India. If you are traveling without a guide in India you may ask the waiter not to put any chilies to the ordered dish. It is suggested to stick to only cooked foods and to eat fresh fruits after removing their skin. After taking the above precautions you will realize that India has a wonderful cuisine and rarely any other place meet the verities of the vegetable as in India.

16.

Is there any thing important while visiting temples and mosques in India ?

Do remember to remove your shoes and sandals while visiting a place of worship or mausoleum. Also some temples do not allow leather articles in their premises.

17.

Are there any restrictions for the Photography in India ?

Photography is a great fun in India as you will have enough sunlight most of the time. We suggest you to bring enough films with you though most of the films of international brands are also available in India. In some of the monuments you have to pay fee for the photography. Our guide will suggest you where it is worth to photograph and where not. At some of the locations photography is not allowed. Do not photograph these objects otherwise your film can be confiscated.

18.

Should I give some money to the beggars who are sometimes on the streets of India ?

At most of the places, organizations and homes are run for poor people to protect them. Yet, it is lucrative for some of the beggars family to earn handsome amount through begging the foreigners. Unfortunately Indian government has not been successful to stop begging on the street from organized and professional beggars. If you want to do something good there are many organizations in every city where you can help the people who need them actually. Do not forget that by giving money to small children with the good intention to help them, you are actually making them beggars as they are getting something without doing anything !

19.

How safe is India ?

India is comparatively a safe country to travel. Crime rate against foreigners remain low. However specially to our female guests we recommend not be alone on the road after late evening just to be on the safer side. In case you need any help you can call the police at 100 and Ambulance at 102.

20.

How is shopping in India ? 

India is a shoppers paradise. There are various shopping places in India. However, we recommend you to shop from the government approved emporiums. Most of the large stores also ship your purchase. Although, for convenience and to avoid postal delays, it is advisable to carry your purchased items with you or book it as baggage.

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21.

How much should I give as tipping while traveling in India ?

Tipping is expected by most of the people involved in the tourism in India. In big hotels services charges are included in the bills so tipping is not necessary otherwise 10% of the amount of the billing is normally provided as tipping. If you are traveling with a group the tipping can be reduced to 5% of the total bill. For the porters in the hotels Rs.20 for a single baggage and in the case of a group Rs.10 per baggage is customary. For tour guides and escorts we recommend 1 to 2 USD per day per person and same is also for the driver accompanying you during your India tour. However the mentioned amounts are just to give travelers an idea. There is no “must” or “compulsion” of tipping in India. We advice you to measure the quality of services of particular person or establishment before thinking of tipping !

22.

Which currency is used in India ?

The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100 Paisa equal 1 Rupee). Paper money is in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of Rupees 1, 2 and 5. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ checks that can be brought by a tourist to India. However a Declaration form need to be filled (only for the amount which is more than USD 10,000) on the arrival at the Indian airport. By filling up this form you can also get your money exchanged back in the original currency without any problem. The Money should be exchanged only through authorized money- changers. You may ask our guides and they will tell you the right center or place to get the money exchanged. Please note that no Indian currency can be imported or exported, except for Rupee travelers checks. 24-hour currency exchange facilities are also available at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai international airports. A Currency Converter facility is also available on our website by which you can know the current exchange rates and also convert the amount to a particular currency.

23.

Can I pay in Euro, US $ or through credit cards in India ?

All the major currencies including Euro, US Dollars and Pounds are accepted in India. All the major credit cards like Visa, Master Card and American Express are also accepted in the Indian subcontinent.

24.

What are the timings of the post office and other administrative offices in India ?

The timings of the post office are from 1000 to 1630 hrs form Monday to Friday and 0930 to 1230 hrs on Saturdays. The administrative offices are open from Monday to Friday from 0930 to 1700 hrs and 0930 to 1230 hrs on Saturdays.

 

25.

Are there any restrictions on the export of articles from India ?

The Government has put restrictions on the export of the wild animals from the country. It has also put ban on the export of the articles made from the wild animals like skins, belts, furs, ivory, rhino horns, trophies, etc. Except peacock feathers and handicrafts made from them and various items and shavings of Antler, Cheetals and Sambars are not banned, subject to conditions. Export of exotic birds is also not allowed. However, the items made exclusively out of imported timber are exempted subject to conditions. Also, export of sandalwood in any form like logs, timber, roots bark, chip, powder, dust flakes, pulp and charcoal, excluding finished handicrafts and machine-finished products is prohibited. Export of furs of domestic animals, hides and skins is also prohibited except the Lamb fur. Antiques which include sculpture, painting or other works of art and craft, illustrative works of science and religion and of historical interest which are more than hundred years old may not be exported from India. Manuscripts or other documents of scientific, historical, literary or aesthetic older than seventy five years also can not be exported out of India. Recently Airport taxes are being collected at the time of issuing the tickets to India. Please always confirm with your Airline if the taxes are to paid at the airport at the time of departure from India.

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26.

What is the best time to visit the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries ?

Bharatpur and Sariska Sanctuary is open throughout the year. But all the other wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in India are open between October and March.

27.

I want to know more about Indo Vacations ! Why should I book the tour through Indo Vacations ?

Indo Vacations is a recognized tour operator and holiday planner in Rajasthan. We organize tours throughout the Indian Subcontinent including whole of India, Nepal and Bhutan. We not only organize the tours as they are printed in the itinerary but also work out any special tailor made itinerary in any area of the Indian subcontinent. We also organize special Ayurveda rejuvenation packages, Yoga training camps, Cooking courses and Hindi Courses in India. We also organize special interest tours for women only. Indo Vacations is associated with a team of Tour Escorts and Guides who are fluent in different languages having long experience and are highly qualified and have also spent many years abroad. To know more about Indo Vacations and its team please refer to Tour Experts in India or email us at info@indovacations.net.

28.

How do we settle the payment? Is there an advance deposit required ?

We need 20 - 30% of the total tour cost at the time of the confirmation of the tour. This is to be sure that your booking a genuine one and we can go ahead with the reservations on the firm basis. Depneding on your travel route basis the due payment can also be made after your arrival. This can be agreed upon as per the type of tour and the amount we have to pay in advance to the hotels and our other associate office for making the reservations. To know more about the payment procedure and various terms and conditions please visit our Webpage  Terms and conditions”.

29.

I want to travel by train. From where I can know about the various trains running between the stations ?

The best way to experience the rural India is by traveling by train and road. Some of the important trains running in India are the Palace on Wheels, The Royal Orient, Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express. You can also know about the train availability and fares of some of the trains running between the two stations on the page Railway Timetable.

30.

What is the best time to visit India and what type of temperature is found in India ?

The best time to visit India is from September till April for the northen part of India. The summer season prevails between May to June. During Indian summer time we offer tours to Ladakh, Sikkim, Kashmir, Nepal & Bhutan.  The winter season prevails between December to March.  You can know about the temperature of the various cities in India from the Temperature page.

 

31.

Are the Visa and passports required before entering India and Nepal ?

All foreign nationals, including children, require a visa and passport before entering India and Nepal. The Costa Rica citizens too need the Visa for India and Nepal. For visiting India please consult the concerned embassies in your area. You can get some important information on Visa our site.

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32

Can you provide more details about the hotels ?

For more information on the hotels you can visit our website: www.indovacation.net. This comprehensive site provides information about various categories of hotels available in India. All the hotels that we use in the itinerary are mentioned there. If you want to book a particular hotel then a booking form is supplied with the hotel details. You can fill up that particular booking form or email us at info@indovacations.net.

33

What type of information is required in order to confirm the booking ?

In order to confirm the booking with us we require some of the information like
a. Passport no.
b. Date of passport issue
c. Validity of passport
d. Passport issued at
e. Date of Birth
f.  Your complete name as in the passport
g. Complete address
h. Your Nationality
i.  Your Visa Number, if you already have the visa
j.  Your telephone Number
k. Your mobile number if any
l.  Your arrival Date, Airline number and time
m. Your departure date, Airline number and time

You can fill up all these information on a page
Passport Details and send it to us so that it will confirm your hotel booking. At the time of check in at the hotel, you need to please handover a copy of such details at the hotel reception so that you do not have to fill up the information forms of the hotel and it also saves the time.

34

I want to learn the native language of India. What do you advice ?

If you want to learn Hindi which is the native language of India then we offer some special Hindi courses in India with the help of experienced teachers. The courses are of different time duration that can be designed as per your interest and availability of the teacher. The offered Hindi Language lessons are given by private teachers thus making the course an individual course for you. Our teachers have experiences in teaching foreign students whose native language is not Hindi. At present we offer language courses in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan in India. Jaipur is also known as Pink City. We offer daily 5 hours classes which are divided into two sessions. One session is ended before Lunch and the other after lunch. If you want to learn Hindi or any other languages and want to have any further more information then please email us at info@indovacations.net For any further information about the Hindi Course please refer to the page Learn Hindi.

35

I want to learn the cooking course in India. What do you advice ?

If you want to learn how to make delicious Indian dishes, then you can join our special Indian Cookery courses. Indian cuisine has a very good taste which is designed not only to satisfy the taste buds but also the human psychology. The Indian cuisine is easy to prepare, tasty and can be prepared in less time. Indo Vacations organize special cookery classes for the foreign guests. During these classes you will be taught how to cook different Indian dishes with the appropriate use of typical Indian spices and how they are used normally in an Indian Kitchen. You will be having a female Professional Indian cook with many years of cooking experience. Indian Cookery Classes will take place at her private cooking school. This minimum six days course can be taken individually as well as in a group. At present we are offering cooking courses in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan in India. For any further information about the Cooking Course please email us and refer to the page Learn Indian Cooking.

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36

What is the guarantee that I would be provided the services which I asked for during my tour? Or how safe is my tour with Indo Vacations ?

Indo Vacations provide you a guarantee in the form of certificate that your traveling is safe with Indo Vacations. The certificate is attested by the Notary Public. In that certificate it is specified that Indo Vacations undertakes the guarantee that it would provide all the services as decided according to the mutual agreement between you and them. For a specimen copy of the guarantee please refer to the following Guarantee certificate.

37

Where is the office of Indo Vacations located ?

The central office of Indo Vacations is located in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is located about 270 kms from Delhi. The office is located in the Raja Park area of Jaipur, which is the famous shopping area in Jaipur. For the location, please refer to the following Location Map.

38

If I want to stay with an Indian family during my tour in Jaipur. What will be the total cost ?

Indo Vacations offer you special accommodation with an Indian family in Jaipur. We can offer you the accommodation with an Indian family with different Budgets. The accommodation will be in a private room in excellent condition in good location with green surrounding with private bath and WC, cold and hot water, all three meals (Vegetarian), Laundry, and Use of Internet etc. The stay with an Indian family will enable you to experience the Indian culture and the way of living. Here are some of the pictures of the House where we offer the accommodation.

39

If I only want to take the vehicle during my tour and not the complete tour, then what do you suggest ?

f you want to make arrangements only for the transport then we provide any type of vehicle you require for your tour. With the vehicle you would be provided one experienced and reliable English speaking driver. The car would be at your disposal throughout the tour. The cost of the vehicle includes all the expenses, fuel, driver’s fees, toll taxes and parking. If you want to choose a particular vehicle for your tour then please refer to the page Car Rental. On this page you will get detailed information about the various vehicles which we hire on the basis of the different capacity of the people. Choose the vehicle on that page and you will be provided detailed information about that vehicle with the booking form for that vehicle.

40

How can I make the payment ?

There are various payment options by which you can make payment to Indo Vacations. You can make payment by cash, bank transfer, online credit card payment, by Paypal and by Cheque and demand draft. If you have booked the tour through our partner offices then you can make the payments to them and get the confirmation from us. If you wish to use another option of payment suitable to your country of residence we would assist you. Please send us your queries and specify the country of your residence. For the detailed information about various payment options please refer to the page Payment options.

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41

Does your company provide any sort of insurance ?

No, our company does not provide any sort of medical insurance. It is advisable that you get the insurance from your country only

42

Tell me something about the people who had traveled with the Indo Vacations ?

There are various people from various countries who had traveled with Indo Vacations. The experiences of such travelers are mentioned on our website http://www.indovacations.net under the link Our Testimonials and for more testimonials you can refer to the Testimonials page.

43

If I want to travel in a group, is it possible ? From where I could get information regarding the group departures ?

If you want to travel in a group, then certain group departure tours are available. These dates have been arranged as per the festivals coming in that particular month. On the Frequent Group Departures page you will know about the various tours which can be traveled in a group. You will also be able to know about the existing group members in that particular tour.

44

From where I could get information about the distances between the two cities ?

If you want to know about the distances between the two cities, then we have a Distance calculator as mentioned on the website.. With the distance calculator, you can know about the approximate distances between the two cities.

45

Where are the offices of Indian embassies, High Commission, Diplomatic and Foreign missions located ?

The offices of the Indian embassies, High Commission, Diplomatic and Foreign missions are located in abroad and India. The offices of the embassies are located in abroad in USA, Canada, Australia, UK and various other countries. For more more information about the offices of the various Indian embassies please visit the page Indian Embassies.

46

What could be the general topics for conversation with Indians?

Indians are known for their hospitable nature and they like to talk to foreign tourists. Good topics to have a talk include food and restaurants; movies; family; children; school. You can ask for advice on sights to visit. Note that women enjoy discussing clothes. They are pleased to talk about saris.

47

What should I keep in mind while having a conversation with an Indian?

Though Indians are always open for conversation you should avoid some topics like: politics; weather (Indians get tired of hearing foreigners complain ; sex; salaries; poverty; beggars; famines; snake charmers; and widow- burning, called sati, a practice that has been banned by the government. Do not ask questions about caste unless you know the person you’re talking to very well. Never criticize anything you see in , no matter how much it bothers you.

 

48

What should I wear while my tour in India?

As a Westerner, feel free to wear anything, as long as it isn’t very revealing (e.g., extremely tight jeans, low-cut blouses). It is extremely important for women to keep their legs covered as much as possible by wearing longish skirts or pants. Shorts are never acceptable, except at beach resorts. Be sure to wear a hat. It is essential protection against the sun. Men should not, however, wear turbans.

 

49

What is good to wear when visiting temples in India?

When visiting temples, women should be covered – short or long sleeves tops and a long skirt or pants could be worn. Women should not wear sleeveless dresses or blouses. They need not cover their face or head. Men should wear long pants and a short-sleeved shirt. Realize that in temples it may be offensive if you wear leather shoes or belts or carry leather handbags, since cows are sacred.

50

What is the dress code for formal – informal meets or parties?

For business, note that office wear is usually informal: shirt, tie, and slacks. For an informal evening, men should wear a bush shirt and trousers, and for formal evenings a suit. In northern even during daytime. In the North, both young and older women may wear salwar kameez (baggy paints, a long tunic, and a long scarf) in informal settings. Salwar Kameez can be bought ready-made and offer the covering that Indian custom requires. To a dinner party, women can wear a western dress, skirt and blouse, or slacks. You can try Sari also as most of the Indian women wear Saris for such parties. Men should wear shirts and trousers.

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51

What is Sari and how to wear it?

Sari is considered as most elegant Indian dress for women. It consist of one six- foot-long piece of material, tucked into a slip, pleated, and worn over a very short blouse. The sari tends to pull out of the slip, and the shawl part tends to fall. Western women should feel free to wear saris, but be aware that they are difficult to put on –If you want to try wearing a sari (and Indians are almost always delighted when Westerners wear Indian clothing), ask the help of an woman, an acquaintance, a hotel chambermaid, or even a shopkeeper. They are usually happy to help arranging Saris.

52

What type of clothing should be avoided in India?

Western women should wear conservative (i.e., not revealing) clothing unless they want to get felt in crowded places or bumped into “accidentally” on the street. They may get propositioned in situations when they thought they were just having a chat. (Physical attacks, however, are very rare). Being with a male Indian friend is a sure way of avoiding such unpleasantness. Women should note that in non-tourist areas, clothing that isn’t conservative (e.g., very short skirts) would attract a crowd of spectators.

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53

Can I drive in India?

Though it is permissible to drive in India but we strongly recommend you not to drive as the condition of roads and traffic rules do not match with Western countries. Driving here is on the left, as in Japan , Hong Kong , and Britain. There are cyclists, buses, trucks, rickshaws, camels, cows, goats, pigs, countless pedestrians on roads. Chances are more to meet with an accident if you drive on your own. It is always advisable to hire a driver as they are trained and familiar with local traffic sense. For more information ot hiring a driver contact the our team of Indo Vacations.

54

What are the general do’s and don’ts for greeting in India?

The general greeting is “Namaste” (nah-mahs-tay) or “Namskar”. You can do this for “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” or “Good evening.” While saying Namaste or Namaskar hold your palms together at chin level and nod (never bow) your head. Ji is used following a name as a sign of respect, e.g., Gandhi-ji. Note that a Hindu may greet a man by adding “sahib” (“sir” or “master”) to the name (Mr. Jones-sahib) and woman by adding “ji”(Miss Jones-ji) as a sign of respect. Don’t use first names unless you know someone very well. Use “Mr.”, “Mrs.,” or “Miss". Use titles such as “Professor” and “Doctor,” and use “Sir” or “Madam” with a superior/elders. Don’t hug a person of the opposite sex in greeting. Only people of the same sex hug one another. Cross-gender touching (shaking hands, hugging, or kissing) is rare, except among very Westernized Indians.

55

Do Indians shake hands for greeting?

If the meeting takes place in a Westernized setting, Indian men and women do shake hands. In major cities, men usually shake hands, while women use the more traditional greeting. In general you can shake hands with men and can say Namaste to women.

56

How do Indians welcome their guests?

Indians follow very traditional style to welcome their honored guests. The garlands of flowers are used for formal occasions, such as the opening of buildings, the receptions of a distinguished visitor, or at the end of a concert. The garlands are draped around the neck of the honored person. If you are a receiver of a “garlanded,” wear the flowers for a few minutes, then remove the garland and give it to someone else or else hold on to it. Never leave it behind, except at the foot of a statue in a temple.

57

How can I introduce myself to an Indian group?

Indians are quite hospitable and friendly. Feel free to approach a group at a party and introduce yourself. Carry business cards with you, because Indians usually exchange them, even at social occasions such as receptions and parties. The cards can help enable Indians to understand and remember Western names.

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58

What are the different greetings used in India?

India is a land of diversity thus you will notice that different people use different greetings. Like; Hindus say “Namaskar/Namaste”, Muslims say, “Salaam al-eikum” (Sah-lahm ah-lay-kuhm) and the greeting to Sikhs is “Sat Sri Akal” (Saht shree ah-kahl).

59

How can I identify people from various religions?

India has people from varied religions it is sometimes difficult to tell Hindus from Muslims from Sikhs -  with so many people in Western dress. You can identify them by their names like; Muslims have as part of their name “Muham-med,” “Ali,” “Khan,” or “Hussein.” Muslim women have “Jan” or “Begum” at the end of their name. Common Hindu names are “ Krishna>,” “Gopal” “Vijay,” “Rajendra,” and “Prakash.” Religious Sikhs can be identified by the turbans that they wear and their first name is usually followed by “Singh” if man and “Kaur” if woman.

60

What is the holiday pattern in India?

In general there is six days working pattern in India with a holiday on Sunday. Most of the Banks, Government offices, institutes etc. remain close on Sunday but all the services like train, airlines, hotels etc. work. Now five days working trend is also coming in major cities. All the major festivals are holidays. Some towns and regions have festivals, which are holidays in the area. It is advisable to confirm holidays before planning your tour to avoid any inconvenience. For more information contact Indo Vacations Team.

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What to you recommend about hotel reservations. What else should I keep in mind while staying at the hotels in India?

It is advisable to reserve well in advance for the Western – style hotels in major cities; they have air-conditioning and private baths and offer all the modern amenities. Five-star hotels have business centers with phones, computers, and fax machines. Pay your hotel bill either in cash (rupees) or with a major credit card. If you are paying in cash, have with you the receipt of your foreign money into rupees. The hotel clerk may ask to see this to make sure that you haven’t changed money on the black market. Note: Bring a towel with you if you’re staying in small hotels, as they may not furnish them. Indo Vacations is specialized in hotel bookings which are very good value for your money. Contact us at Indo Vacations with dates, destinations and wished categories and our Team would be glad to help you.

62

Is there anything important while visiting temples or other religious places in India ?

When visiting a temple, remove your shoes and step over the threshold. People move through the temple to do Puja (worship), laying offerings on the statues of the gods of their choosing or receiving a blessing – sometimes a mark on the forehead. It’s customary to leave a small amount of money for the priest after receiving a blessing. Hindu custom dictates that women not go into temples if they are menstruating. Be alert for signs indicating that non-Hindus may not visit the inner sanctum of the temple and may see only its outer precincts. If there is no sign, ask a priest. If you are visiting a temple and are offered a portion of sweet or fresh coconut or banana, it’s prasad, offered to the gods, sacred food. Since it’s a great honor to be offered it, never refuse it. Accept it – and eat it. If you don’t want it, take it and give it to someone else. Do remember that men and women sit in separate areas in Muslim mosques. You need to cover your head while visiting the main chamber in the mosque. It is compulsory for both men and women to cover their head when visiting Sikh Gurudwaras (place of worship). Before photographing the inner chamber of sacred temples, be sure to get permission. It is not permitted to have the picture of main deity in some temples Indo Vacations,s Guides will assist you more on about the behaviour and general customs within the temple premises.

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63

What about the public facilities in India ?

The public facilities are rarely good, including all the major cities. You will find Western – style toilets in all the standard hotels and restaurants. Be prepared to find them not so clean as you are used to in your country. Indian trains usually have both Indian- style and Western-style toilets. You will find public bathrooms and toilets in hotels, restaurants, railway stations, bus stations and some shops in big cities. There is usually a picture on the door to indicate which bathroom is for which sex. In some places, there may be a row of stalls with Indian-style “squat” toilets and one that is Western – style. But in small cities or towns where the tourist flow is less facilities are rather poor. Keep toilet paper or tissues, paper soaps or liquid soaps with you for convenience.

64

Can you provide me some tips for safe and smart shopping in India?

India is no doubt a shopper’s paradise. Every region has its own specialties to offer you a rich shopping experience. You can bargain everywhere except in government craft emporiums, government textile shops, pharmacies, bookstores, or Western-style grocery stores. Even if a price is written on an object, ask the price and bargain from there. Indians want to make a good deal, but they won’t try to cheat you. Decide what you are willing to spend for an item. Make this your last offer in a bargaining session. If the shop owner is willing to sell at your price, he will sell you the item without much argument. Don’t feel you have to pretend not to be interested – in an item (as in the Middle East); it’s okay to show a strong interest. It is better to buy large and expensive items, such as rugs or jewelry, only from reputable dealers recommended by Indian acquaintances, hotels or your guide and driver.

 

65

Would I be able to continue my exercise routine during my stay in India?

Of course you can, most of the star category hotels have Gym facility for guests. These gyms are well equipped and offer you complete exercising. Some hotels arrange special Yoga and meditation session also. If you jog, do so early because of the heat in later hours. Stick to areas near hotels and residential areas. Women should not jog alone and should always wear long pants. Men can wear shorts.

66

Is there anything I need to consider while doing photography in India?

India offers you great photographing options and you are advised to have enough films to catch the endless beauty of the country. There is a fee to take photographs in India’s many wildlife sanctuaries and in some monuments. Always ask permission before photo graphing people. Lower – class people are especially sensitive, suspicious as to why they are being photo graphed. Never photograph airports, railways and railway stations, big bridges, or a military area. It’s good taste not to photograph Muslim women, women bathing, cremations, slums, or beggars.

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67

What caution should one tourist take – when it comes to legal matter,safety and health ?

Don’t bring guns or pornography into India. Be prepared to declare radios, cameras, and other electronic equipment on a special form; Customs will check to make sure that you take those items out with you when you leave the country. Be aware that the police can be very arbitrary. In case of a small theft, it’s better to forget it than to go to the police. Report any significant theft to the police so that you can have a statement for your insurance company. It’s very unlikely that you will recover the stolen goods. To minimize the possible loss of money, never carry more a large amount in cash wish you. ATM, are meanwhile available in all big and small cities at the bank premises.

68

Is liquor available in every part of India?

You can get liquor in every state except where it is prohibited. Some states may have days when no liquor is sold. An All-India Liquor Permit may be obtained from a government tourist office that allows you to buy, transport, and drink liquor in the states where prohibition is enforced. Get the permit when you get your visa, or you can ask at a tourist office after you arrive in India. Also ask about further specifics of the permit when you get it. By the way the Indian state of Sikkim offer quality alcohol products at very reasonable cost !

69

What precautions should I take regarding my health while in India?

Always take some toilet paper rolls with you since toilet paper may be difficult to obtain outside large cities. Soap, toothpaste, and toiletries are readily available. Tampons are more difficult to find than sanitary napkins, so women who use tampons should bring a supply. Wash you hand as often as you can, avoid eating uncooked and cold food, especially from the street vendors, drink only so called mineral water, which is now largely available. One should take care that the bottles are sealed. Never buy ice cream from a street vendor as stomach may not like the water / milk used making the ice cream. At the initial start of your tour for first few days avoid spicy food. You can always tell the waiters at the restaurants that you would like to have less spicy food. Avoid mild made drinks unless for first few days at least ! In case of any emergency ask your guide or driver to take you to a doctor. Indian doctors are well experienced and medicines are easily available.

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70

What is the general meal plan in India?

The general meal plan in India consist three main meals in a day with one or two added tea-coffee breaks. The main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are staying in a hotel you can have either Western style or Indian style meal option. Though the meal pattern is same the food served in the meals varies in different regions of the country. Like north Indians have more whole wheat preparations in their food and the South Indian have more rice instead of wheat. Similarly tea is more popular in North India while in South coffee is well liked drink.

71

Please tell me what type of food is served in Indian homes as I am planning to with an Indian family during my trip?

Indians are very hospitable so you will surely enjoy your stay with Indian family. The general meal pattern include breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea-coffee in evening with some home made snacks. Breakfast include bread or paratha with milk or tea or coffee. An elegant meal will include rice or Indian bread, dal (lentils), two or three vegetable dishes, or, if the hosts have non vegetarian food, then fish curry and meat curry. Condiments accompany the main dishes: chutneys, green chilies, and chopped coriander leaves. You should keep in mind that in many homes, people do not drink alcoholic beverages. These are the common food habits and may vary from home to home.

72

What are the special dishes one should try on the trip to south India?

Like any other region of India south India also offer many palatable dishes like: sambar (a lentil puree cooked with vegetable and spices); uttappam (a rice and coconut pancake fermented with toddy and baked in a clay pot); cochin (a prawn curry with turmeric and coriander); raita (a yogurt mixture with fruits, vegetables, or seasoning that provides a contrast to the spicy main dishes); and payasam (a sweet made from milk and cereals). kabobs; pulao (rice pilaf); biryanis (mild rice dishes); baleen (pounded wheat with meat and fried onion rings); and nahari (sheep trotters and spice, stewed over a slow charcoal fire) eaten with kulchas (hot bread cakes).You can get both vegetarian and non vegetarian food in this area.

73

What are the food specialties of north India?

In the North India, expect the rich and heavy food with lots of butter, ghee, milk and sugar in it. One of the area’s best-known specialties is tandoori, a mild dish of chicken, marinated in yogurt and spices, baked in a special charcoal oven, and served with yogurt, raw onion, radish salad, and naan, an unleavened, flat bread. Other regional dishes are korma, lamb curry with cashew nuts; pulao, spiced saffron rice with meas, garnished with chopped, boiled eggs; rogan josh, aromatic lamb curry cooked in ghee, ginger, coriander seed, red chilies, and other spices; dal, lentils of many varieties, eaten at almost every meal; mattar paneer (a homemade cheese with peas); lassi, a yogurt drink; and nimbu pani, a fresh lime drink. The North offers many breads: naan, crisp on the outside and spongy inside; paratha, unleavened bread, made from wheat flour and pan fried; poori, soft, unleavened, whole wheat bread, which is deep fired; chappati, an unleavened whole wheat bread, baked on the griddle; pappad, made of unleavened, seasoned lentil flour and served crisped. Thus north Indian food serves the palate of vegetarians and non-vegetarians as well.

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74

What are the food specialties of Mumbai and Goa? I am planning to visit these places.?

Mumbai is as famous for its mouth watering spicy dishes as for Bollywood (the Indian film industry) Pav Bhaji (delicious mix vegetable preparation served with bun), khaman dhokla (a salty, steamed cake made from chicpea flour), bel puri , pani puri all these spicy dishes has become synonymous to Mumbai. In sweets Bombay halwa, made of finely ground wheat, milk, sugar, butter, and pistachio nuts – it is gummy in consistency and served cut into squares is very popular. In Goa, try chorissu, a spicy sausage like the Portuguese chorizo; vindaloo, meat marinated in vinegar; sarpatel, pig’s liver in a hot, spicy sauce; and the plentiful seafood, such as shrimp, oysters, crab, and lobster. Goa is famous for fine wine too. Both Mumbai and Goa have range of hotels and restaurants offer rich variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian food.

75

Give me general information about local transport available in India .?

Various means are used for local transportation in India ranges from cycle- rikshaw to metro trains. Local buses are usually over crowded and should be avoided. Auto rikshwa and taxi are easily available means and can be used if necessary. You can ask at information desks at the airport or in hotels to get an idea of the fare. At major airports, you can prepay for your taxi ride to your hotel. You need to pay at a booth, where you will be given a receipt to give to the driver. What you’ve paid does not include tip or a ride to another location if you have a problem at your hotel. In small towns, you can look for a cycle-rickshaw, a three-wheel bicycle with seats for two passengers behind the driver.

76

Can you tell me something about rail journey in India?

An Indian railway is the second largest railways system in the world. The railway in India provides the principal mode of transportation for passenger. You can enjoy luxurious train ride in special trains like; Palace on Wheels, The Royal Orient, The Toy Trains etc. run by Indian Railways. Trains, though rarely on time or clear, are considered as a good option if you want to explore the natural beauty and village life as well. For further Informations and booking contact the Team of Indo Vacations.

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As a foreign traveler what should I do to make my rail journey in India safe and comfortable ?

Rail journey in India can be a memorable experience for you if you take care of below mentioned things (Indo Vacation,s Team will help you): Reserve your seat well in advance, to avoid any inconvenience later on. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance. Before getting in line to arrange for your sleeper, fill out a sleeper reservation form, which you will find in the boxes around the reservation hall. Your ticket will indicate your compartment and berth seat number. Allow plenty of time before departure to find your seat. Sleeper and seat numbers are displayed on lists posted on the platform and outside each carriage, along with passenger’ names.

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Tell me about Indian Money ! what about taking cash or travelers cheques to India ?

Indian currency is known as rupee. A rupee is divided into 100 paise. (Abbreviation for the singular is Re. for the plural Rs). Notes are now in use are 10, 20, 50, 100, and 1000. Because of inflation, coins are rarely used. Realize that major credit cards-American Express, Visa, Barclay-card, MasterCard, Access, Diners Club - are accepted at most hotels, large restaurants, and large shops. Travelers’ checks must be changed into rupees at a Bank of India. There are branches everywhere, including hotels. Be aware that it can take several hours to cash travelers’ checks in small towns. Try to deal with large banks in large cities. Don’t accept large denomination notes, because they will be difficult to change, and don’t accept damaged or torn notes, because merchants will refuse them, especially in small towns. Keep a supply of small change. Very often taxi drivers and vendors will say that they don’t have change. Money exceeding certain amounts like USD 10.000 should be declared at the custom. Please check the current regulations form the Indian embassy in your country before leaving.

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