INDIA TOURS – Premium Small Group Travel
Introduction to India
The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world’s oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. – which reached its zenith under Ashoka – united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor Babur established the Mughal Dynasty, which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century…
Introduction to India – continued
By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent and India was seen as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Years of nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, eventually resulted in Indian independence in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states – India and Pakistan. The neighbouring countries have fought three wars since independence, the last of which was in 1971 and resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India faces pressing problems such as environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption. Economic growth following the launch of economic reforms in 1991, a massive youthful population, and a strategic geographic location are contributing to India’s emergence as a regional and global power.
India Tours Currently Available
- 15-day Highlights of India
- 18-day Classic India
- 22-day Best of India and Bhutan
Contact us for detailed itineraries. If none of the above meets your requirements, for a small fee we can design a customized itinerary for you.
Scroll down for frequently asked questions and answers.
India Tours – Frequently Asked Questions
Is India suitable for me?
For the uninitiated, the magnitude of India’s poverty, poor sanitation and environmental degradation can be nerve-wracking. That’s why some foreign visitors swear they’ll never go back. Indeed, India is not for the fainthearted. However, if we know what we are getting ourselves into, a trip to India can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
What is the best time to visit India?
The answer depends on where you’d like to go. India is a vast country (over 3 million square kilometres) whose climate is extremely diverse. In India, you’d notice that the climate varies greatly from region to region, and sometimes even from day to night, as in the desert regions. The weather of India can be divided into three seasons – summer, winter and monsoon. However, you may also divide it into 6 seasons – spring, summer, the rainy season, early autumn, late autumn and winter.
Most tourists visit India during the high season (November to March) when most of the country experiences moderate temperatures. However, this is also the time of year when the big cities, Delhi in particular, witness severe smog (caused primarily by vehicles and stubble burning by farmers).
Generally, you should avoid summer due to intense heat (April – June) and the monsoon season (July – September) when moving around can become challenging. However, if you plan to the Himalayas or anywhere in India with high altitudes, June to September would be the best time. In fact, some areas in northern India, such as Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Ladakh can only be enjoyed in those months unless extreme cold weather is your thing.
Hotels offer steep discount for arrivals in April and October. If your focus is mainly in the north, say, around the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal) and Jaipur, October may be a great month for you because the monsoon season for this part of India generally ends in September and hotel rates are less expensive than in the winter months. In fact, the landscape appears very pleasant soon after the monsoon season.
Do I need a passport to enter India?
Valid passport is required of foreign nationals. Please check with your local Indian embassy or consulate to see if your passport must have a minimum validity of 6 months beyond the intended date of exit.
Do I need a visa to enter India?
The answer is yes. Exceptions may exist for some neighbouring countries of India. The good news is that Indian visa approval can be secured online. Contact us for more information if you are looking to book an India tour with us.
Are there any direct flights between India and North America?
Between Canada and India, there are Air Canada and Air India operating non-stop flights. AC offers three city pairs out of Canada (Vancouver/Delhi, Toronto/Delhi, Toronto/Mumbai) while Air India only operates non-stop flights between Toronto and Delhi.
Between the US and India, there are more choices available. Air India operates non-stop flights to the United States from Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Destinations in the US are New York, San Francisco and Chicago for now. Another option is available from San Francisco to Delhi with United Airlines. It’s been reported that beginning in October 2020 American Airlines would start its daily non-stop flight from Seattle to Bengaluru (Bangalore).
Some of the flights are not provided on daily basis. Airlines change schedules often. Be sure to check with us if you are interested in any of our India tour packages.
What is the dress code for tour participants?
India is a relatively liberal society. You won’t offend the locals if you walk around in shorts. However, we do advise our guests to dress conservatively. T-shirts and short-sleeve shirts are not recommended. You should pack a bottle of sunscreen lotion and a broad brimmed hat when preparing for your India trip.
Most places of worship require the visitor to remove footwear. Socks may be allowed on. Since the ground can be wet and filthy, you are reminded to bring a pair of sandals, some old socks you can discard after one use, a bottle of hand sanitizer and anti-sceptic wipes to clean your feet.
What if I don’t like spicy food?
Indian cuisine is known for spiciness, but we can accommodate guests unable to handle spicy dishes. More information on this will be provided when you sign up with us.
What time zone is India in?
India Standard Time abbreviated as IST is TUC/GMT +5.5 hours (5h 30min). The whole country operates to one time zone. India does not observe daylight saving time. The Eastern Standard Time (EST) in Canada and the United States is UTC/GMT -5. In the summer, when it is 9:00 AM in New Delhi, it would be 3:30 PM in Toronto and New York, the night before.
Indian Standard Time is calculated on the basis of 82.5 °E longitude which is just west of the town of Mirzapur, near Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
What is the Indian currency called?
The Indian currency is called rupee (symbol: ₹; currency code: INR). The rupee is subdivided into 100 paise although 1 rupee coin is the lowest value in use. As of February 20, 2020, one Canadian dollar would buy 54 rupee and one US dollar 72 rupee.
Got more questions about India? Please contact us.