• Officially: Republic of India
  • Capital: New Delhi

Facts

  • Population: Over 1.3 billion people
    • The UN estimates India’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 cafés 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: 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. A 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. 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.
  • 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 doesn’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 India’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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