Capital : New Delhi
Aproximate Population (2011 census) : 1,210,193,422 (1.21 billion) Total
623,700,000 (623.7 million) males,
586,500,000 (586.5 million) females
Sex ratio : 1000 males: 940 females
Age structure : 0-25 years (50% of population)
Literacy rate : 74.04% (Male – 82.14%, female – 65.46%)
Religions : Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism,
Languages : Hindi, Urdu, English and regional languages
India is a land of spirituality and philosophy thus worshipping and rituals of different religions are an important part of the life style. In the old times Hinduism was the only religion or life style but eventually with the change many other religions emerged such as Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism also other religions came from the outer world and became a part of Indian life style such as Christianity and Islam. There are aproximetly 80% Hindus, 14% Muslims, 2% christens, 2% Sikh and 2% others including Budhists, Jains, Bahais etc..
Indian culture is famous for its great hospitality. India is a country of diversity, each and every state of India has its on festivals, language and life style and that’s what attracts a lot of travelers from all around the world to see and experience this magical country. India has a rich and unique cultural heritage, and has managed to preserve its established traditions throughout history whilst absorbing customs, traditions and ideas from both invaders and immigrants.
India has a coastline of over seven thousand kilometers, borders Pakistan to the west, the People’s Republic of China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north, and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, it is adjacent to three island nations – the Maldives to the southwest, Sri Lanka to the south, and Indonesia to the southeast.
India is a big country and the climate is different in different regions. When you are traveling around you can always find a suitable place with your choice of climate. If you are traveling during the summer months, the Northern part that borders the world’s longest mountain range, the Himalayas is pleasant. During the summer time from April to July Rajasthan is not a good choice because it is very hot but in winters the weather is pleasant and traveling conditions are very good. India has three major seasons – winter – summer and the monsoon. Winter months (November-March) are bright and pleasant, with snowfall in the northern hills. Summer time (April-June) is hot in most parts of India, and it is then that the numerous hill resorts provide cool retreat. During the monsoon, rainfall is heavy along the west coast between June and September, and along the east coast between mid-October and December.
Most of the offices and businesses are operated from Monday to Saturday although the multinational trend of 5 days a week from Monday to Friday is increasing and places are closed on public holidays. The usual office timings are from 10 am to 6 pm.
Most of the markets/shopping malls are opened 6 days a week however different markets have their on days off like some on Sunday and some may be Thursday or any other day of the week. Some local markets are opened throughout the week. Markets usually open at 10 am and close at 8-9 pm. Petrol/gas stations often open 24 hours with no holiday.
Indian currency is rupee (INR). Most of the cities and all the major tourist destinations have money exchange places where you can convert your International money/travelers claques into Indian currency. 24 hours running ATMs are everywhere and you can get maximum 10,000 per transition with a limit of 3-4 transactions a day. Notes come in 1000,500,100 denominations. All major credit cards are accepted in most of the places though it’s always good to have some hard cash on.
If you need to visit a bank most of them are opened from Monday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm and on Saturday 10 am to 2 pm. Some multinational banks are only opened from Monday to Friday. Banks are closed on and bank holiday and public holidays.
Most hotels offer wifi internet access either in the comfort of your room or in the public areas of the hotel. You will also find a great selection of Internet Cafes in the neighbouring areas.
It’s easy to find public phones in India. There are many local shops providing ISD (For international calls) STD (out of the city/state) and PCO (local) facilities on reasonable charges. Whenever you make a call you can check the amount on the meter which follows the timing. You can also purchase a local sim by presenting your Passport photocopy and 1-2 passport size photographs though in some places you can also be asked for a local address eg your hotel/guest house.
Every city/ town has a post office however the facility of International postage /currier is mostly available in big cities only. Before sending a parcel you need to pack it properly in a box and then take it to the post office. You will be charged according to the weight of the packet and the preference of sending eg by sea or air. There area also international currier services like DHL and FedEx in the major cities but the charges are higher in compared to government postage though the services are faster. Colourful picture post cards are easily available at every tourist place very cheaply and they are easy to send.
In case of an emergency deal 100 for police, 101 for fire brigade and 102 to call the Ambulance.
Pharmacy shops are available in every city and most towns opened during normal shopping hours, they sell drugs, insect repellents and sun protections although many drugs are not given without the prescription from a doctor. You are advised to bring your own medicines if you have a physical condition.
India is a multi religion and multi cultural country full of celebrations and festivals. Some major festivals of various religions are declared as public holidays and on these days Businesses/offices/banks are closed. There are also some secular festivals like republic day (26th of January), Independence day (15th of August) and Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (2nd of October) when most of the things included some local sightseeing places are closed. The major holidays are mentioned below :
• 14 Jan Makar Sankranti
• 26 Jan Republic Day
• Feb/Mar Mahashivratri (date to be confirmed)
• Feb Milad-Un-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet)
• Apr Mahavir Jayanthi (date to be confirmed)
• Apr Good Friday
• Apr Easter Monday
• Apr Buddha Purnima
• Aug Janmashtami (date to be confirmed)
• 15 Aug Independence Day
• Sep Id ul Fitr (End of Ramadan)
• 2 Oct Mahatma Ghandi’s Birthday
• Sep/Oct Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami
• 2 Nov Guru Nanak’s Birthday
• Nov Deepavali or Diwali (Festival of Lights)
• Nov Idu-l Zuha/Bakrid (Feast of the Sacrifice)
• Dec Muharram (Islamic New Year)
• 25 Dec Christmas Day