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India travel guide

A technicolor feast for the senses.

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India elephants

India is an alluring journey of sights, sounds, joy and mayhem. Ancient architecture, virgin beaches, bustling bazaars and exotic jungle wildlife are just a drop in the Arabian sea of what you can experience.

You’ll find it’s a spiritual nation overflowing with temples, palaces and sacred sites. Delve deeper still for an explosive culinary tour: Vegetarians and vegans will find plentiful vegetable-based dishes seasoned with regionally-sourced spices and chutney.

Whether traversing by plane, train or auto rickshaw, discover why Mark Twain called India “the cradle of the human race.”

Is it safe to travel in India during the coronavirus threat?

Due to the recent and growing coronavirus threat across Asia and beyond, use caution and take steps to safeguard yourself if you choose to travel to areas where the virus is prevalent.

To help lessen your chances of infection, the World Health Organization recommends that you:

  • Wear a face mask in public when physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transportation, in shops or in other confined or crowded areas
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Keep your distance from anyone coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Practice respiratory hygiene
  • Stay informed of the situation
  • Seek medical care if you suspect coronavirus symptoms

Check out our guide to stay up to date on the latest coronavirus travel advisories.

Find a cheap flight to India

Traveling to India from the US

You’ll need to apply for and obtain a tourist visa in advance if you’re travelling to India from the US, because it doesn’t offer visas upon arrival. The India travel visa for tourists expires after one year.

When it comes to immunization for travel to India, all travelers should be up-to-date with routine vaccines and should be vaccinated for measles, according to the CDC. It also states that most travelers should be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and Typhoid, while some travelers should be vaccinated for cholera, Hepatitis B, malaria, Japanese Encephalitis, rabies and yellow fever. Talking to your doctor can help determine what’s best for you.

What is the Golden Triangle?

A popular tourist route connecting Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. You can book tours and private coaches to take you on a journey to see a tantalizing cross-section of Indian culture rooted in religious history:

  • Humayun’s Tomb. Delhi. The resting place of Mughal Emperor Humayun, commissioned by his wife in 1569 and laid out in Islamic “paradise garden” style.
  • Taj Mahal. Agra. One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal was built by a grieving emperor for his beloved wife in the mid-1600s. It’s made of ivory-white marble that shimmers in response to the day’s changing light.
  • Jama Mosque. Fatehpur Sikir, near Agra. The second-largest mosque in India, it’s made of red sandstone and white marble. It cost over a million rupees to build in the mid-1600s.
  • Hawa Mahal. Jaipur. The so-called Palace of Winds, it was built in 1799 and painted pink, creating a rippling, honeycomb facade.

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Bottom line

“It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor,” National Geographic’s former editor-in-chief Keith Bellows said. To experience the vibrancy first-hand, book a flight to India.

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