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  Maren & Kirk

India

Facts about country

Capital Delhi

Population

1,014,003,817

Main Languages

Hindi, English

Electricity

2/3 Plug System 230-240V, 50 HZ

Currency

Indian rupee

Exchange Rate for US $ as of Sept 2001

47 Rs per 1 US$

Safe to Drink Tap Water

No most of the time

Size

3,287,590 sq km

Transport

Train, bus, plane, taxi, rent a car

Cash Machines (ATMS) Yes
Credit Card Usage Yes
Religion Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhists, Jains 
Measurement System Metric System

Recommended Budget per Day in US $ 

Total Budget per Person Accommodation Meals Transportation Other
40 $ 10 $  10 $  10 $ 10 $

Main things to See (we give descriptions only on places we visited)

Things to See  Visited Brief Description Recommend (10 is best 1 is don't bother)
Delhi Y The capital of India.  The capital is split in two, the old city and the new modern city. This shows the contrast in India.  From the very modern to the very old. The main things to see in Delhi are the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid Mosque, Gate of India, and the Parliament Buildings.   7
Mumbai / Bombay Y The Hollywood of India where the Indian film industry is located.  Has a range of museums and also Asia's largest slums.  The Gate to India is the main historical attraction.  It is a very crowded city where the touts will not leave you alone. It can be a shock if you arrive here first in India. 7
Panaji Y There is not much to see here except some really dirty beaches.  There are some old houses but they are run down.  One can go to Old Goa easily. There are some beautiful old Portuguese Churches. 5
Agra Y Famous for the Taj Mahal, "most extravagant monument ever built for love".  Worth the 20 US$ entrance fee levied on foreign visitors.  Other attractions is the Agra Fort (10 US$), Itimad-ud-daulah, and the Akbar's Mausoleum. 9
Varanasi Y The holiest city in India built on the sacred river Ganges.  There are over 100 Burning and Bathing Ghats in the city. There are also a lot temples to visit in town.  The river is absolutely fifthly and dirty.  Hard to imagine that people bath, wash, and brush their teeth in it.  All this as bodies of people float by.  One is not supposed to take pictures of the funerals, but there is an exception, if you pay a hefty donation. 8
McLeod Ganj Y Beautifully situated in the Himalayan Mountains.  This is the home to the exiled Dalai Lama. You can do some nice trekking here. 8
Hampi Y Hampi is a collection of old temples in the middle of boulders which seem to balance on one another. The main sites are Hazararama Temple, Kings Balance, Achyutaraya Temple, Sri Vittala Temple,  Underground Temple, Zenana Enclosure, Sister Stones and more. 8
Udaipur Y The most romantic city in India. The James Bond Movie Octopussy was partly filmed here.  The main attractions are the City Palace, the island of Jagniwas and Jagmandir, and the Jagdish Temple. 8
Jaisalmer Y A magnificent fortress in the desert of Rajasthan near the Pakistani Border.  Other main activities are Camel Safaris. There are also Havelis built by famous merchants in town. 7
Ajanta Caves Y A row of Buddha Temples carved out of the cliffs.  They are fairly well preserved. Like everything in India a 10 US$ entrance fee for foreigners.   7
Mt.Abu Y Here are the Dilwara Temples, where there are some magnificent Jain architecture to be seen. The entrance to the temple is free, but no photos allowed.   8
Calcutta N
Goa N
Leh N
Shimla N
Jaipur N
Mysore N
Kochi (Cochin) N
Darjeeling N
Khajuraho N
Kerala Backwaters N
Andaman & Nicobar Islands N
Kanha National Park N

Popular activities and Tours (Being not included does not mean they do not exist)

Hiking / Trekking x
Scuba Diving x
Historical Sites x
Sightseeing tours x

Ballooning

Bunji Jumping

Safaris

Boat tours x
Fishing x
Horseback riding x
Canoeing x
Camping x
River Rafting x
Sky Diving  
Abseiling  
Surfing
Windsurfing x
Kayaking x
Sailing x
Mountain biking x
Roller blading  
Motorbike x
Sand boarding
Snorkeling x
Water Skiing
Skiing x
Bicycling x
Others  x

Feeling and Opinions on India

So what are our feelings about India. To start with the positive. There are many beautiful sites to see and experience. The Taj Mahal was spectacular. Just make sure it is last on your itinerary since nothing compares with it in the whole of India.  The negative part of India is that it is a really poor land that leads to a lot of hassle for foreigners. There are always people begging for money, people trying to rip you off, people with all sorts of tricks, touts trying to get you to your hotel, and anything else that will bother a traveler.  It can be a test of nerves.  To be honest we were glad to leave.

 

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