• Officially: Republic of India
  • Capital: New Delhi

Facts

  • Population: Over 1.3 billion people
    • The UN estimates Indiaโ€™s population will overtake China’s in 2028 to become the world’s most populous nation.India is the world’s largest democracy.
    • India is the world’s largest democracy.
  • 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 cafรฉs are everywhere, but broadband is surprisingly not widespread. WiFi coverage is improving.
  • Emergency numbers: 112 (general emergencies), 100 (police), 102 (ambulance), 101 (fire)
  • Time: GMT+5.5

Geography

  • Area: 3.1 million sq km (1.2 million sq miles), excluding Kashmir
  • Neighbouring countries:ย Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Notes

  • Largest city: Mumbai
  • Hindu and Buddhist temples, with Muslim mosques and Christian churches everywhere you go.
  • Rooted in Hinduism, the Caste systemโ€™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.
  • A kaleidoscope of exotic experiences. An adventure waiting to happen if youโ€™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 Indiaโ€™s heritage, and explore the natural beauty of its jungles, rainforests, and the majestic Himalayas.
  • India is tackling large social, economic, and environmental problems.
  • 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. Aย land of great contrasts and rich culture.
  • 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. Itโ€™s warm throughout the year, with temperatures rising to between 32ยฐC and 40ยฐC (90ยฐF and 104ยฐF) during the summer months from April to July. From December to March, the temperature dips to around 25ยฐC (77ยฐF). The monsoon season of heavy rains sweeps the country between June and September.
  • Tourists cannot register a vehicle in their own name, even when purchased in India.

Tourism

  • On the verge of overtourism: New Delhi (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2019)
  • 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 doesnโ€™t exceeding 60 days
  • Visa and Passport requirements (World Travel Guide)

Overlanding

  • India is the least safe country to travel by road (WHO Global Status Report, 2018)
  • An International Driving License is required for foreign nationals
  • A Carnet de Passage is required to enter India.
  • India has the rule that a foreign 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!
  • Road Traffic: Drives on the left
    • LHD vehicles are permitted in India
  • Getting around Indiaโ€™s crowded cities can be daunting.
  • Only the most intrepid visitors drive in India where the road accident rate is among the highest in the world.

Overland Adventures

Tips

  • 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.

Safety & Security

  • It is generally accepted that travellers need to exercise a higher degree of caution in Jammu and Kashmir.

Advisories

Resources

News

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