India - A Land For All Seasons.
Text By Mitesh Rami  © All rights reserved.

Introduction:
 
India is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Asia. India is a large country in southern Asia. It's the second largest country in the world in population, ranking only behind China.
 
In 2004, foreign tourists visiting India spent 15.4 billion USD - the ninth highest in the world. India is also ranked among the top 3 adventure tourism destinations. One can expect to spend about $1,750 in 2005 dollars for a two week visit, staying in accommodations equivalent to Western ones.
 
India is a land of often bewildering diversity. It is a jigsaw puzzle of people of every faith and religion, living together to create a unique and colorful mosaic. There is a festival for every reason and for every season. Every celebration centers around rituals of prayer, seeking blessings, exchanging goodwill, decorating houses, wearing new clothes, music, dance and feasting.
 
India also has a large variety of protected wildlife. The country's protected wilderness consists of 75 National parks of India and 421 Sanctuaries, of which 19 fall under the purview of Project Tiger. Its climatic and geographic diversity makes it the home of over 350 mammals and 1200 bird species, many of which are unique to the subcontinent. Some well known national wildlife sanctuaries include Corbett, Kanha, Sariska, Periyar, Ranthambore, and Bharatpur.
 
Perhaps India's best-known site is the Taj Mahal, one of the world's greatest architectural achievements. It was built between 1631 and 1653 by Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife, Arjumand Banu, more popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal serves as her tomb.
 
One of the popular tourist circuits is called the Golden Triangle: the cities Delhi; Agra (site of the Taj Mahal); and Jaipur. Delhi is approximately 200 kilometers away from Agra, and 250 kilometers from Jaipur.
 
Culture & People:
 
The people of India speak 14 major languages and more than 1000 minor languages & dialects.
 
India has three main land regions :
 
a. The Himalayas
b. The Northern Plains
c. The Deccan or the Southern Plateau
 
With nearly 1 billion citizens, India is the second most populous nation in the world. It is impossible to speak of any one Indian culture, although there are deep cultural continuities that tie its people together. English is the major language of trade and politics, but there are fourteen official languages in all. There are twenty-four languages that are spoken by a million people or more, and countless other dialects. India has seven major religions and many minor ones, six main ethnic groups, and countless holidays.
 
When to Visit India:
 
India has such a wide range of climatic factors that it's impossible to pin down the best time to visit weather-wise with any certainty. Most of India has three seasons:
a. Cool Season - October to February.
b. Hot season - march to June.
c. Rainy / Monsoon - monsoons start from mid June to September.
 
October to March tend to be the most pleasant months for most of the parts of the country.
 
The mountainous areas in North India usually have snowfall between December and March. Kashmir and the mountainous regions of Himachal Pradesh are at their most accessible between May and September.
 
The best time to visit Sikkim and the areas of north-eastern India is March and August.
 
The best time to visit deserts of Rajasthan and the north-western Indian Himalayan region is during the monsoon.
 
Events:
 
India is blessed with a huge number of festivals, and several are so spectacular that you would be a fool to miss them if you were remotely within spitting distance.


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