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India
 

India has everything that you should see and experience: unique cultures, world-renowned monuments, arts, crafts and variety of distinct landscape. This variety and vastness compels the visitor travel on well-planned and focused itineraries. Our adventures are planned as such that provide the best of India at a pace, which is most suitable.

We recommend the following journeys:

  • Rajhistan Festival
  • The Moghul India
  • India and Nepal
Introduction:

India, the birthplace of two world religions (and others) and much sought-out jewel of Empires. Its culture slowly evolves and has been able to absorb the traits of invading cultures, while retaining its own, just as its major religion, Hinduism, has been able to absorb the traits of other religions, while retaining its majority status, interwoven within the modern society. The customs and traditions are ancient, the landscape vast—inviting and forbidding at the same time. UNESCO has declared over 20 places in India to be World Heritage Sites. Tropical forests, the precarious slopes of the Himalayas, fertile plains, and coastal waters are home to a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation. You will enjoy exploring India’s natural and cultural treasures as well as getting to know the people of this amazing land.

Geography: Top

India borders 6 countries (China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Myanmar) and 5 bodies of water.

Himalayan Region: Karakoram and Himalaya Ranges. Himalaya is a Sanskrit word meaning “Abode of Snow”. In this region are some of the highest mountains in the world. The few people who live there live off of agriculture and their herds.

Gangetic Plain: This is flat, fertile land formed by the River Ganges and its tributaries. The edge of the Plain is marked by the Indus River, the Thar Desert, and the Assam Valley.

Peninsula : South of the Gangetic Plain are mountains and plateau. South of these is the rocky Deccan Plateau. Sea borders the Peninsular area. Fishing and farming is common here.
Climate: Top
India has a varied climate. Its mainly tropical and subtropical landscape can be hot in the summer and pleasant in the winter. The North western area Punjab is very hot during summer while winters are cold. The Himalayas in the northern part of the country are extremely cold during the winter and pleasant during summer. Monsoon also plays its part during the mid summer and brings heavy rains that cause flooding in Ganges and its tributaries every year. The Western part of India that borders Pakistan is desert and semi desert like which can get very hot during summer.
Temperatures
Kolkata (Calcutta) 13 C (55 F) 27 C (81 F)
New Delhi 8 C (46 F) 21 C (70 F)
Mumbai (Bombay) 19 C (67 F) 30 C (85 F)
Chennai (Madras) 19 C (67 F)    – 29 C (85 F)
Average Rainfall: 1,250 mm (49 in)

People and Culture: Top

Sharing their home with many peoples and many languages, the two largest tribes in India are the Gond and the Bhil. The Gond religion is animist. They are Dravidian in origin and live in the hill country in Madhya Pradesh State. The Bhil are Hindu with witchcraft practices. Their language is an Indo-European one. They are found in the hills of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. There are other tribes plus caste classifications plus other religious classifications. Many languages are spoken in India. Hindi is the official language, but English is often used in business.

Perhaps the site most associated with India is the Taj Mahal, an exquisite example of Moghul architecture. Shah Jehan promised his wife he would build her a monument such as the world had never seen and this world heritage site which combines Persian, Moghul and South Indian styles is just that. Hindu style architecture is demonstrated in India’s tallest gate: the South Gate in Akbar’s sandstone city, Fatehpur Sikri. The traveler can experience India as its monuments’ builders did, climbing the hill to the Amber Fort, for example, on the back of an elephant. The fort’s “shish mahal” (mirror palace) presents a serene view of Indian hills as you stroll past its beautifully painted walls, its lovely gardens and a room where fragrant grasses used to hang down over falling water—a sort of Moghul air conditioning.

Most of the world’s major religions are practiced here—some had their birth here. The Indians closeness with their religion is evidenced in their home life. Hindu families will have a “puja” room where they can perform daily devotions. Many Sikhs will have a room in their house for worship also, with a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, their holy book. Muslims need no building and perform their worship 5 times daily whether at home, at work, or at the mosque.

For Hindus, the caste system, an ancient social structure, is still woven into their social fabric. Although modern day Indians may not stick to the same traditional trades associated with each caste, many still follow its customs and marriages are arranged accordingly.

Colourful fabrics will adorn guests and participants in the wedding ceremonies. White is for widows in India. A wedding is celebrated with bright red clothes for the bride. The elegant sari is worn by many women. In Punjab, the ‘salwar qamiz’ (long shirt and loose trouser) is often preferred. Men casually wear a ‘dhoti’ (wrap-around skirt) or ‘kurta pyjama’ (loose shirt and trousers) or the very smart ‘sheherwani’ (Nehru jacket).

Family life in India is precious. The family is considered to be more important than the individual. Marriage is believed to continue beyond death. Family members usually live together or very near each other and each generation looks after the other. The highest respect is for the father and the elderly in the household.

Tourist Visas: Top

Canadian nationals require visas. Contact the High Commission or the Consulate.

General in Toronto:

CONSULATE-GENERAL OF INDIA, TORONTO
Suite 400, 1835 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M4S 1X8
Tel:  416-960-0751
Fax: 416-960-9812
E-MAIL: cgindia@cgitoronto.ca
Website: http://www.cgitoronto.ca

HIGH COMMISSION OF INDIA
10 Springfield Road,
Ottawa, Ontario K1M 1C9
Tel:  613-744-3751
Fax: 613-744-0913
E-MAIL: hicomind@hciottawa.ca
Website: http://www.hciottawa.ca

 
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