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"THE WHOLE OF

EARTH

IS A

FAMILIY."

VASUDAIVA  KUTUMBAKAM

WORTH KNOWING

AND HELPFUL

!!! Always be aware that you are visiting a country with different social customs. !!!

India is chaotic loud and hectic and at the same time amazingly soothing, spiritual and beautiful. A land where sacred cows bask in the sun on heavenly beaches, and grass is planted by hand for straw. Great old temples in rural areas where nothing has changed for hundreds of years. Overcrowded roads and trains are proof that one sixth of the world's population lives in India. It is a huge, diverse and, above all, unforgettable and beautiful country.
The incredible history of India has resulted in many splendid palaces, temples and monuments. Big cities like Mumbai and Kolkata are charming in a lively, colorful way, while Varanasi the holy city, and the gigantic monumental temples of Tamil Nadu are worth a spiritual journey.

It is hardly possible to escape the prying eyes and attention of the Indians. As a fair-skinned foreigner you are almost always the center. You are stared openly, it is laughed and whispered and of course secretly photographed. What is understood in Germany as an outrageous invasion of privacy is something of a completely normal thing in India. In the vast majority of cases, it is not in the observation from afar, but you are also showered with questions.

    

Religions

The majority of the population in India is more than 80% Hindus. With 13.4% of the population the Muslims followed by the Christian community with 2.3%. Sikhism has about 1.9%, Buddhism 0.8% and Jainism 0.4%.

 

Dress
If you travel to South India, you should take very light clothes and remember that the clothes often have to be changed several times a day because of the heat. Only in higher altitudes, the western ghats is a little bit better in the evening, a thin jacket is advisable. No figure-hugging and provocative garments (especially for the visit of holy places applies long clothes to the ankle and not shoulder-free). Because of the mosquitoes, long clothing is also recommended for protection.

to  Eat and Drink

South Indian curries are usually very spicy and vegetarian. Other South Indian dishes include rice pancakes and yogurt with cucumber and mint. Coconut is used in many dishes.

There are also curry dishes and lots of chili. Classic side dish is rice.
Eaten with the right hand. That sounds easier than it is. But to succeed, it takes some practice. The left hand has no food to eat, because it is impure - in India, the left hand is namely with water as toilet paper. In South India, the food i.d.R. not served on a plate, but on a banana leaf. The advantage is that banana leaves are available enough (in front of the house of my host family were some banana trees) and can be thrown away after eating. When you're done, simply fold the banana leaf together. The way it is collapsed indicates whether it tasted or not. The best principle is ... cooked - peeled - or forgotten! Recovery from the heat guarantee the sweets. Her fragrant spices are rosewater, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom - sometimes the desserts are dripping from syrup or fat. Sweets made from thickened milk are also popular.

                                            

Drinking is even more important than eating in a hot climate. Indians are content with water. But beware! Be sure to drink still mineral water, which you can buy in bottles with original closure (!). Alternatively, drink a freshly-opened coconut in between, it contains a healthy, thirst-quenching, though for some dull-tasting liquid.

Alcohol
Beer is available almost everywhere, even if smaller hotels are not allowed. It is mostly sold in small bottles, although more and more large hotels also offer beer on tap. The best brands are Kingfisher, Black Label and Pelican. Beer is relatively expensive and varies from 35 rupees in a store to 100 rupees in the big hotels. You can get spirits in bars and wine shops and are usually cheap imitations of whiskey, gin and rum.

Gratuities

--for Driver
The driver is the person who will spend the most time with you during your trip. He is always responsible for the correct course of the trip. If something is out of order or not to your satisfaction, he is always your first point of contact, who will arrange everything for you to the best of our ability. Therefore, at the end of the journey you should consider how cooperative, reliable and endeavored your driver has been during the trip. The normal guide tips for drivers are € 8 to € 10 per day. For more sophisticated services and depending on how satisfied you were with the services provided by the driver, you can of course adjust your tip accordingly upward. It is common for the tips to be handed over to the driver at the end of the journey, not every day.

--for Tour Guides / Guides

The guide tips for the guides depending on the duration and performance of the guide between 4 - 10 € Depending on how satisfied you were with the services, you can of course adjust your tips accordingly upward.

Entry Requirements:

For the entry into India a visa is absolutely necessary. Tourist visas are generally issued with a validity period of 6 months from the date of the exhibition date. After returning from India, re-entry is only possible after 2 months.
Visas are to be applied for at the responsible foreign representation and are only granted in connection with a passport that is still valid for 6 months beyond the traveler. The price for German citizens is currently around 65.00 €.
The waiting time is on average 2-3 weeks. Applications at the border or at the airport are not possible. Please take care of the proper application for the visa.

The contact details of the responsible consulates can be found under the following link: http://www.igcsvisa.de