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India Travel: A comprehensive guide for exploring India

by Pilar Dujan | June 12, 2023
India travel to Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer

In India tourism is a key industry: it's one of the most visited countries around the world for tourism. Its unique and extensive history, its stunning architecture and variety of religions and temples have something exciting for everyone. It’s even a good country to spot wildlife! 

Discover what you need to know for India travel here.

General overview

General information about India

Make sure to look up the requirements to travel to India before your trip as they are subject to change over time. 

The Indian flag

Indian flag, guide explore india

The flag of India, or Tiranga (meaning tricolor), has three horizontal stripes of the same size.

The first stripe is of the color of saffron and it represents sacrifice and courage. The middle stripe is white and it represents peace, purity and truth. The last stripe is green to symbolize fertility and growth. 

In the center of the white stripe there’s a navy blue wheel known as the Ashoka Chakra. It has 24 spokes and it’s a representation of the Dharma Chakra (Wheel of Law), an important symbol of Buddhism. This wheel represents progress, righteousness and change, the permanent movement of life.

Geography of India

Map of India and neighboring countries,  guide explore india

India is part of Asia, specifically South Asia. It has a surface area of about 3.3 million square kilometers (the seventh-largest country in the world). It’s neighboring countries are:

  • Pakistan to the west
  • China, Nepal and Bhutan to the northeast
  • Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east
  • Sri Lanka to the south

The country is divided into 28 states and 8 territories.


You can see many kinds of landscapes if you travel in India: mountains, plains, deserts, plateaus and long coasts along the sides.  

The northern region borders the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. The Himalayas are also where many of India’s most important rivers are born, including the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Just below the Himalayas is the Indo-Gangetic plain, which holds some of the country’s most fertile lands. 

The western side of India is bordered by the Arabian Sea. The eastern, by the Bay of Bengal. 

History and Heritage of India

The beginning of India’s history can be traced back to around the year 2500 BC, to one of the first civilizations of the world: the Indus civilization

The architectural heritage of India is pretty much unmatched in the modern world, it’s even home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World

India has seen the rise and fall of many kingdoms and empires, including the Maurya, Gupta and Mughal. Did you know the decimal system was developed during the Gupta Empire? It’s considered the Golden Age of India. The Mughal Empire left behind it some of India’s most important feats of architecture, like the Taj Mahal or the Red Fort. 

The British East India Company gained control over the country starting in 1858, and it lasted until the Indian independence in 1947. This time period saw significant social and political change in India under the leadership of figures such as Mahatma Gandhi

But India is not only an important country for its history and architecture: it was also the birthplace of many religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. The different kinds of places of prayer reflect this diverse tapestry of religions. 

Statue of the deity of Hinduism Shiva,  guide explore india

Culture and Traditions of India

India’s cultural diversity is astounding: it’s home to more than 2.000 ethnic groups! There are also more than 1.600 languages spoken inside its borders. 

India is also a religiously pluralistic country: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Sikhism are only some of the ones practiced in India. 

Music and dancing are also a huge part of the culture of India. Some of the classic dances of the country are Bharatanatyam and Kathak. Musical styles characteristic of the region are Hindustani and Carnatic music. 

But that’s not all: India has also a rich history of literature, philosophy, sciences and mathematics development. In terms of entertainment, India is one of the primary creators of films worldwide with Bollywood.

If you plan to travel to India, you should try to take part in some of its traditional festivals like Diwali, Holi, Eid and Durga Puja. You will learn a lot about the history and way of life of India, an experience like no other!

Indian Gastronomy

Indian cuisine has taken over the world, there aren’t any developed countries in which you won’t be able to find Indian restaurants. Its bold flavors and spices have made foodies of every continent fall in love. 

But the gastronomy of India is as diverse as its population. You can try the spicy curry of Bengal, the biryani of Hyderabad and dhoklas of Gujarat on your next trip. 

Some typical dishes of India are chicken tikka masala, paneer tikka, dosa, chole bhature, samosas and chicken tandoori.

Plates of ingredients of the gastronomy of India,  guide explore india

Weather of India

India is the seventh largest country in the world. As such, it encompasses different geographies, regions and, of course, types of weather: it has tropical, subtropical and temperate regions.  

Generally speaking, the country has the 4 typical seasons: winter (from December to February), spring (from March to May), summer (from June to September) and autumn (from October to November). 

The monsoon season spans from June to September and it’s incredibly important for the agriculture and economy of India. It’s also something you should try to avoid if you’re traveling for tourism as the monsoon comes with heavy rainfall. 

Currency of India

The currency of India is the rupee (INR). The exchange rate is 1 Indian rupee = 0,011 euros.

It’s subdivided in 100 paise. You can find coins for 50 paise and 1, 2, 5 and 10 rupees. There are also banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000 rupees.

International travelers won’t have a problem finding exchange offices in all major Indian cities. 

Govindapuram, India,  guide explore india

Main tourist attractions of India

India travel will expose you to some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world. The things to do in India are of historic, religious and architectural importance and are well worth the visit. 

Taj Mahal

First of all, we have to mention the Taj Mahal. This Wonder of the World is located in Agra and is a true architectural marvel. Built by the emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his dead wife, its construction lasted from 1631 to 1648.

Jaipur, Rajasthan: The Pink City

Why is it called the Pink City? Because it was built using pink stucco to resemble the color of sandstone rock. Its unique architecture is not the only thing you will find in Jaipur: it’s also a place worth visiting because of its lively markets and colorful culture. 

Some of the main attractions of Jaipur include the Amber Fort and the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds).

Amber Fort

This fort was built in the XVI century. It’s incredibly beautiful and it has stunning panoramic views of the city of Jaipur. Take a stroll through its wonderful gardens and palaces. It has 34 different spots of touristic importance.

Kerala Backwaters

If you find yourself in the south of India, you could take part in a very popular and fun experience. Float away on “kettuvallams”, a traditional houseboat, along the network of canals and lagoons (backwaters) of Kerala. You will enjoy the sights of the lush green vegetation and coconut groves. 

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi or Kashi is one of the oldest cities in the world. It serves as a pilgrimage site for Hinduism because of its location along the banks of the River Ganges, a holy river. 

Watching the river worship ceremony (Ganga Aarti) take place is something you will never forget! While in Varanasi, you will also get to visit many beautiful temples. 

Khajuraho Temples

The Khajuraho temples are also called the Kamasutra temples. They are another of India’s World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO and they were built in the 10th century. 

The name comes from the particular sculptures that adorn the walls of this religious complex of Hinduism. 

The Khajuraho temples are divided in 3 areas: the western, eastern and southern temples. The western temples are the most important because they are the most well-kept. They are also closest to the city.

Goa Beaches

The beaches of Goa are one of the main attractions of India because of their beauty and the vibrant nightlife that accompanies them. Adventure lovers can take part in water sports for a little bit of adrenaline. 

The Golden Temple in Amritsar

This temple is also called Sri Harmandir Sahib and it’s the holiest place of worship for the Sikh religion. Take in the beautiful sight of its golden domes reflecting in the Pool of Nectar (Amrit Sarovar)! 

National parks: Discovering the wildlife of India

There’s more to India than beautiful buildings and temples: the country also has a varied wildlife that you can observe in some of India’s best National Parks. Some of the best are Ranthambore National Park and Kaziranga National Park.

In Ranthambore, with some luck you will run into Bengal tigers. In Kaziranga National Park lives two thirds of the world population of the Indian rhino (one-horned rhino). This park is also home to tigers, elephants and many species of birds.

Book a safari through these national parks for a unique view of India!

Taj Mahal, Agra, India,  guide explore india  

Safety in India

India is a very populated and chaotic country. It’s extremely important to take care of our belongings to avoid petty theft or pickpocketing. 

Try to follow the instructions of local authorities and stay informed about the dangerous areas of the country.

Some of the higher risks of traveling to India, besides robberies, are climatic factors such as monsoons. Check the weather when you’re choosing the time for your trip.

India is not an ideal place to travel alone as a woman. It’s also a country with a high risk of tourist scams so keep your eyes open. 

All in all, it’s entirely possible to travel around India safely, but only if we stay alert and informed.

Indian visa for international travel

Foreigners wishing to travel to India need to have an approved visa. It can be applied for both in person at an embassy or online on

You can use our eligibility checker to see if your nationality can apply for the India eVisa.