India Travel Guide Kaleidoscopic India continues to amaze and infuriate, inspire and dismay her visitors. A country so full of paradoxes and contrasts that it guarantees to madden anyone who tries to understand it, the best way to enjoy India is to simply soak up what is surely the greatest show on earth. The world's most populous democracy, India is also an enormous landmass full of whimsical towns, bustling cities and incredible remote areas. Tourists would need a lifetime to explore it all. A thorough, though not rigid, pre-trip itinerary is recommended if India is to be explored, and enjoyed, fully. India boasts a startling array of world-famous attractions: from the historic Red Fort of Old Delhi, to the glimmering Golden Temple of Amritsar, the ghats of Varanasi, the desert palaces of Rajasthan, the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, the cool alpine air of Darjeeling and, of course, the immortal Taj Mahal. Visitors can anticipate more than a few awe-inspiring sights and, true to its billing as a land of contradictions, India is equally prepared to cater for party animals as spiritual seekers - the trance parties of Goa stand in stark contrast to the thousands of ashrams dotted around the country. India is not only one of the best value-for-money tourist destinations in the world, but one which offers a unique travelling experience. A friendly land, well-trodden by years of heavy tourist traffic, there are few more intriguing places to travel than mad, majestic India. Best time to visit India The best time to visit India is during winter (November to March), when the monsoon season is over, and temperatures haven't yet reached the hellish heights of summer. Low tourist season is between April and September. What to pack Be sure to pack lightweight (but modest) clothes, plenty of sunscreen, and a basic first-aid kit stocked with anti-diarrhoea pills and electrolyte salts to treat dehydration. Carrying a bottle of anti-sceptic hand sanitiser around with you is a simple yet effective way to avoid getting sick. What to buy India is a shopper's paradise, with everything from textiles, clothing, furniture, toys, musical instruments, antiques, and perfumes available - usually at extremely reasonable prices, and of very high quality. Eat Curries of all kinds, and traditional mezze-like lunch-platters known as a thali. A final word A dizzying, disorientating, but ultimately fascinating place to visit, India is in many ways the unparalleled tourist destination offering the adventure of a lifetime.

DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT TO CITY CENTRE: Mumbai: 15 kilometres, Delhi: 16 kilometres, Cochin: 20 kilometres, Thiruvananthapuram: 5 kilometres | FLIGHT TIME: From Delhi (India) to Kathmandu (Nepal) - 2 hours, From Delhi (India) to Paro (Bhutan) - 2 hours | TIME ZONE: GMT +5.5 hours | CURRENCY: Indian Rupee (INR) | LANGUAGES: Hindi and English are the official languages of the Indian government |