- Officially » Bhārat Gaṇarājya
- Republic of India (English)
- Capital » New Delhi
- Population » 1.425 billion people
- Note » 2023 The UN estimates India’s population will overtake China’s to become the world’s most populous nation.
- India’s population is expected to reach 1,425,775,850 by 30 April 2023.
- Official languages » Hindi and English.
- Urdu is spoken by large numbers of people in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and areas around Kashmir. Other languages include Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujurati and Marathi.
- Religions » Hinduism is practised by more than 80% of the Indian population.
- Life expectancy » 67 years (men), 70 years (women)
- Electricity » 240 volts, 50Hz. Plugs with two or three round pins are used.
Currency » Indian rupee (INR)
- International dialling code » +91
- Internet domain » .in
- Internet cafés are everywhere, but broadband is surprisingly not widespread. WiFi coverage is improving.
- Emergency numbers » 112 (general emergencies), 100 (police), 102 (ambulance), 101 (fire)
- Area » 3.1 million sq km (1.2 million sq miles), excluding Kashmir
- Largest city » Mumbai
- Bordering countries » Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
- On the verge of overtourism: New Delhi (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2019)
- A diverse republic that has its challenges and delights. Its cities are dynamic, the scenery is magnificent, and the cost of living is generally low. A land of great contrasts and rich culture.
- Hindu and Buddhist temples, with Muslim mosques and Christian churches everywhere you go.
- A kaleidoscope of exotic experiences. An adventure waiting to happen if you’re willing to explore its sensory richness.
- The cultural differences can be overwhelming, but there are huge rewards if you give yourself time to get used to a new way of life.
- After the initial shock wears off, visitors must come to terms with the heat, the monsoon rains, the crowds and the poverty.
- Immerse yourself in the magic of India’s heritage, and explore the natural beauty of its jungles, rainforests, and the majestic Himalayas.
- Canadians require a tourist visa prior to arrival in India (strictly enforced)
- NOTE: Canadians can only stay in India for up to 180 consecutive days, even when the validity of the visa exceeds 180 days.
- Canadians can obtain an E-tourist visa if the visit doesn’t exceeding 60 days
- Visa and Passport requirements (World Travel Guide)
- Drives on the left
- LHD vehicles are permitted in India
- India is the least safe country to travel by road (WHO Global Status Report, 2018)
- Only the most intrepid visitors drive in India where the road accident rate is among the highest in the world.
- An International Driving License is required for foreign nationals
- A Carnet de Passage is required to enter India.
- A foreign registered car can be in the country for a maximum of 6 months. After this your car should leave the country for at least 6 months!
- Getting around India’s crowded cities can be daunting.
- Non-residents cannot register a vehicle in their own name, even when purchased in India.
- Description of a road trip in Kerala, south India » “First stop, the idyllic Periyar River Lodge and then up early the following day for guided tour at Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary. On to the hill station of Munnar, staying at the beautiful Windermere Estate. A spectacular route then took us to the Wildlife Sanctuary at Kumily, where vistas were reminiscent of Jurassic Park. Down to the coast and the Arabian Sea at Varkarla, staying at the chilled-out Villa Jacaranda, eating fresh fish at beachside restaurants, while watching the twinkling lights of fishing boats out to sea. At the Alleppey backwaters, we paddled quietly past families at work or play, spotting abundant birdlife on the way. Our final stop was the city of Kochi. Just by chance the biennale festival of art was on – an unexpected bonus to end our memorable road trip. via The Guardian
- Ranked 25th overall in World’s Best Countries 2021 (US News & World Report)
- Not ranked in 2020
- Ranked 41st for Adventure 2021
- India is the second-most populous country in the world after China.
- Embrace the differences and the challenges. Go with the flow. Don’t expect everything to happen on time or as quickly as it might back home.
- Respect the culture, and you may be treated like a dear friend and a close relative.
- Rooted in Hinduism, the Caste system’s hierarchical division are still prevalent throughout India, but especially in rural areas, despite discrimination now being against the law.
- Women may prefer to dress conservatively to avoid harassment, unwanted physical contact, or other attention.
- Unwanted physical contact and sexual assaults against women is common.
- India is tackling large social, economic, and environmental problems.
- With its mass chaos of people, noise, beggars, litter, and visible poverty, India is a shock for most Westerners on their first visit. Given time, the overwhelming sights, sounds, and smells eventually becomes enthralling.
- The weather in India ranges from snowfalls in the high mountainous regions to humid, tropical conditions on the coast. It’s warm throughout the year, with temperatures rising to between 32°C and 40°C (90°F and 104°F) during the summer months from April to July. From December to March, the temperature dips to around 25°C (77°F). The monsoon season of heavy rains sweeps the country between June and September.
Safety and Security
- It is generally accepted that travellers need to exercise a higher degree of caution in Jammu and Kashmir.
Government Travel Advice
This page was updated April 25, 2023