Frequently Asked Questions

Q : Which is the best period to visit India?

A : India is a big country - almost a subcontinent and one part or the other is always worth visiting due to the favourable weather. However, in general, most of the places in plains are best visited from October - March and the ones at the higher reaches are best experienced in summer (April - September). Of course the monsoon rains are a big attraction these days.

Q : Is visa required for India?
A : Yes, actually it is a must. You can’t get it upon arrival.

Q : What is the official name of India?
A : `Bharat' in Hindi or Republic of India in English.

Q : What is the currency of India?
A : It is Rupee, being equal to Rs. 100 paise. The denominations in which it is available are: Rs 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 & 5. Coins are available in Rs. 5, 2, 1 & Paise 50.

Q: Which is the capital of India?
A:New Delhi, also referred to as the National Capital Territory (NCT) .

Q : What is the population of India?
A : According to the 2001 Census, it is 1, 027, 015, 247. India is said to have crossed the billion mark in the year 1997.

Q : Is Goa in India?
A : Yes, it is very much a part of India, though Portuguese had ruled it for about 451 years. It has a coastline of 103 km and is situaed on the western part of India. It is not an island rather a part of the mainland.

Q : What about photography in India - can I take pictures of people, monuments, wildlife, airports, etc?
A : In general Indian people like to be photographed with foreign tourists. You could in general take photos of public, market, streets, building, etc without any hesitation. However, while shooting ladies, close-up of people, it is advised to seek permission first. At the monuments and wildlife sanctuaries, it is usually allowed by paying a prescribed camera fee. In case you wish to make a documentary or movie, in that case a special permission is required which has to be obtained from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in advance. At the airports and railway stations, usually photography is not permitted.

Q : What type of clothes are required to be worn at religious places and in general anywhere in India?
A : During summer months, light woolens and during winters, warm clothing is a must. As India is a warm and humid (coastal region) country, light colour lose fitting long garments would do well. While visiting temples and mosques, one should have preferably shoulders and head covered with a scarf or handkerchief as well as legs fully covered, specially in case of ladies. One is usually expected to enter without footwear inside a temple. At places, non-Hindus may not be permitted at the sactum santorum of temples.
Of course one can even try Indian outfits (like Qurta - Pyjama, Salwar Qurta, etc) which are cotton clothes, being very comfortable wears. While visiting the wildlife sanctuaries, one should wear only beige, khaki, white or camouflaging clothes (not the bright coloured ones). At beach destination like Goa, easily you could use beachwear, shorts, etc.

Q : Is smoking allowed in India?
A : Now all public places in India are declared non smoking zones, hence you must look for proper place which is meant for smoking. If found smoking just about anywhere, one could be fined for that.

Q : What voltage is used in India?
A : Here we have 220 - 250 V electricity supply. In India there are different plug-in pins than in Europe or other countries. Hence it would be a good idea to bring in t he multi-plug and dry cells from home country. Though most of the big star hotels do provide them now.

Q : How about the night life in India?
A : India is not really known for the night life, but yes, there are plenty of discos, night clubs, bars, shopping areas that are open till late, mostly in bigger cities and starred hotels. Though Mumbai and Goa are better known for it.

Q : What is the total Length of India's Coastline?
A : India's coastline extends to 7600 km.

Q : How safe is water in India?
A : At starred hotels, in general, it is quiet safe where they provide you filtered water, however, you should usually stick to the mineral water at all places. However, never try the same from roadside taps, or open air restaurants, etc. As you are in a different country and your stomach is not used to this water, it is best to only use bottled mineral water.

Q : Is tipping customary?
A : Yes, it is well accepted. Usual is 10% at the restaurants. Also the porters at airports (except metro cities in India), hotel bell boys, private driver, etc would be happy to have it at the end of their good and dedicated service.

Q : What is the best thing to do if pestered by beggars and street urchins?
A : Well, you can start by ignoring them completely and if they get too persistent give them a stern look. If at all you must give them something, pay a small amount of Re 1 or 2.

Q : How good is the connectivity in India?
A : Indian destinations are well connected by flights, vast network of trains and of course by road. If you have sufficient time, you should usually travel with a combination of road and rail so as you can get to see more of real India. Of course after the recent aviation boom, now there are so many flights possibilities for the modern jet set tourists.

Q : Which are the Major Religions of India?
A : Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.

Q : What is the percentage of literacy in India?
A : India's literacy rate stands at 65.38%.

Q : What are the national symbols of India?
A : Animal - Tiger; Bird - Peacock; Fruit - Mango; Tree - Banyan; Game - Hockey; Four headed lion is the official government emblem .

Q : Who designed the Victoria Memorial at Calcutta?
A : The Victoria Memorial at Calcutta was designed by William Emerson.

Q : Who designed city of Delhi and Chandigarh?
A : Edwin Lutyens (British) designed Delhi and Le Corbusier (French) designed Chandigarh

Q : Which places have been Portuguese & French territory in India?
A : Goa, Daman & Diu have been Portuguese colony while Pondicherry and Mahe were ruled by French

Q : Where did Vasco da Gama land in India in 1498? Who conquered Goa in 1510?
A : Vasco da Gama land in India at Calicut (Kozhikode). However, Afonso De Albuquerque conquered Goa later.

Q : Taj Mahal and Red Fort in Agra were built by whom?
A : Shah Jehan the Mughal Emperor.

Q : Where is the oldest standing fort located ?
A : At Bandhavgarh wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Q : Number 0 and the game of chess were invented in which country?
A : Of course India!

Q : Which is the oldest living city in the world?
A : Varanasi or Banaras

Q : Where is one of the oldest residential universities ruins are located?
A : At Nalanda in Bihar, famous for Buddhist & Pali teachings

Q : Which of the following tombs is an imitation of the Taj Mahal?
A : Bibi ka Maqbara is an imitation of the Taj Mahal. At the same time, the Humayun's tomb in Delhi is called the predecessor of Taj Mahal

Q : Which city is closest to the geographical center of India?
A : Nagpur is the city, closest to the geographical center of India.

Q : Which is the highest peak in the Western Ghats? Where does Mount Everest lie?
A : The Anai Peak is the highest peak in the Western Ghats. In Nepal lies the highest peak in the world (8848 mt).

Q : Which state in India has winter monsoon?
A : Tamil Nadu has Winter monsoon. Rest of the stated get it during June - September.

Q : Which classical Indian dance is traditionally performed by men?
A : Kathakali is the classical Indian dance traditionally performed by men.

Q : Which is the famous mosque situated in New Delhi, that is also one of the largest in India?
A : Jama Masjid is the famous mosque in New Delhi.

Q : How many Indians have won the Nobel prize?
A : 6 Indians have won the Nobel prize (Rabindranath Tagore for literature, Sir CV Raman for science, Hargobind Khurana for medicine, Mother Theresa for peace, Amartya Sen for economics)

Q : Which places in India are also called pink city, blue city, golden city?
A : Jaipur, Jodhpur & Jaisalmer respectively.

Q : In which state would you find lions?
A : Lions can be found only in Gujarat at Gir forest .

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