Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:
'From Calcutta to Delhi'
Consulate General of India
3 East, 64th Street
New York, NY 10065
(Between Madison Ave & 5th Avenue)
Tel : 212-774-0600
Fax : Central 212-861-3788
High Commission of India
London, WC2B 4NA
Tel.: 02076323149 / 02076323152 / 02076323153
Embassy of India
15, Rue Alfred Dehodeneq
Tel.: 00-33-1-40507070 / 45243340
Only the big cities in the western part of the country (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur) have ATMs. It's best to bring travelers checks or American dollars; credit cards come in handy, too. Keep small change in your pocket for tips and to pay rickshaw riders.
Climate and best time to travel
The best time to travel is from November through March, it is the coolest season. When we were there (November) the temperatures were between 25 and 30 degrees centigrade. If you travel north of Delhi (Rishikesh, Hardwar), bring a warm sweater, because it gets cook there at night. In Agra it's also cool in the mornings and evenings.
India is the perfect place to travel without a plan. There are hotels everywhere and if you can't find one, every rickshaw rider can take you to one. A double room with clean beds, private shower, etc. in a reasonable hotel will set you back around 400 rupees (around 10 euro).
Customs and traditions
In temples you are supposed to take off your shoes; also when you visit people at home. It is customary to eat with your right hand (the left one is used to wipe yourself after a bathroom visit), try to keep this in mind. It's also a good idea to cover up a little more than you would in a western country: no bare shoulders or knees. Indians just aren't used to that.
For current information check your Foreign Ministry's web site or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: India
Safety and security
In some countries or regions traveling brings risks with it. That doesn't always have to keep you from traveling there, but part of a thorough preparation should be to find out about possible risks.
A good place to find information is the CIA World Factbook. Always also check your own country's Foreign Department web site.
Plan your trip to India online
Through online reservation systems like À la Carte Vacations you can book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and holiday houses. You can build a fly-drive itinerary with maximum flexibility, book a flight plus a hotel hotel for a night or weekend. Without the limitations of package deals from travel organisations and most times for a much better price.