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Could India Be Top Choice For Holidaymakers In January?
January is apparently the most popular month of the year to book a holiday, and travellers hoping to escape the cold, wintry weather in the UK could be tempted to head as far afield as India.
Indeed, Indian tourist visas could be immensely popular this month, as 6.4 million people across the country prepare to book their annual trip over the next few weeks.
This is according to Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance, which revealed that of the three-quarters of Brits who will head abroad in 2020, 40 per cent would opt for an overseas beach holiday, while 28 per cent would prefer a city break, MoneyNet revealed.
Jason King, customer director at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: "Booking a holiday at the start of the year will certainly help chase away those January blues."
The research also found that UK adults will typically spend £757 on each holiday they go on this year, with international seaside breaks coming in at a higher £1,039 on average.
However, the most expensive type of holiday Brits plan to take over the next 12 months are cruises, which will set travellers back £1,650 in 2020.
Those considering embarking on an adventurous holiday might be tempted to head to India. Book a trip during this winter season, which lasts from October to February, as weather conditions are more manageable.
What’s more, the beaches in the southern part of the country, such as Goa, are still warm and pleasant to visit, without the intense heat and humidity of the summer months. It is best to avoid the monsoon season, which kicks off in May, particularly if you want to get close to India’s exotic nature, as many of the national parks are closed during this period.
It is said that weather in India can fall in to three different seasons - summer, winter, and monsoon. The coolest months are from October to February, summer can be considered to fall between March until May, and from then the monsoon season, starting from the south-western regions, and sweeping through the country. To make the best of the preferable winter 2020 season, you may need an urgent Indian tourist visa.
For most tourists, especially from cooler northern European areas, the winter season is probably the best time to go. The weather is cooler and drier, and warmer in the south of the country with its comfortable coastal beaches. The conditions are much better for those wanting to experience the life-affirming, brightly coloured, chaotic wonder of India.
From March onwards, the temperature rises incredibly, and is more suited to trips to the north of the country, the higher altitudes of the Himalayas, and the soaring hill-stations of Shimla and Darjeeling. The views of the leafy tea plantations set against a backdrop of the snow capped Himalayas will stay with you always.
May brings regular downpours with the monsoon season, mixed with hot, sunny spells, meaning it is exceptionally hot and humid. Flooding is expected in low lying areas at the height of the season, and most national parks are closed during this time.
Make use of our fast track Indian visa service, and our online e-visa service to ensure you experience the best of India in 2020.
Top Spots To Visit In India In December
If you’re planning an Indian getaway in December, make sure you’re going to visit some of the places that are at their best at this time of the year. India has some incredibly diverse attractions, so if you plan your break properly you really can see the best the country has to offer.
Times of India recently highlighted some of the top places to visit next month. So, once you’ve got your India e visa, you can start planning your escape.
At the top of the list is Rann of Kutch. This is one of the largest salt deserts in the world and the reason December is the perfect time to visit is because temperatures are much more pleasant at this time of the year than in the height of summer.
The other reason to visit in December is because you’ll be able to witness the festivities of Rann Utsav, a festival that runs this year from 1 December to 20 February 2020. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the culture of the local communities.
Another place to put on your list for a holiday to India in December is Diu. This is an island with some incredibly beautiful and secluded beaches. Much like Goa, it was once colonised by the Portuguese and they left their stamp on the island, so you can expect delicious Portuguese delicacies on the menu here.
Other recommendations from Times of India include Meghalaya, which is a great place for hiking, and Kumbhalgarh, which is home to a stunning fortress. If you can time your visit to coincide with 1 to 3 December, you’ll also be able to witness the annual Kumbhalgarh Festival.
Prince Charles To Visit India
Prince Charles already has a number of overseas trips lined up for the coming months, and now one more has been added to his schedule.
The royal will be visiting India for just two days on 13 and 14 November this year. During his whistle-stop stay, the heir to the throne will spend his time in New Delhi, where he will be attending events that focus on sustainable markets, climate change and social finance.
He will also be taking part in engagements to “celebrate British-Indian connections”, Clarence House revealed.
This will be his tenth visit to the Asian nation, which he last visited in 2017, when he spent time in the country as part of his longer tour in the region with his wife Camila. In addition to visiting India, the couple also travelled to Brunei, Singapore and Malaysia during that official tour.
While Prince Charles doesn’t need to worry about applying for his India e visa, if you’re planning to follow in his footsteps and visit this vibrant nation make sure that you organise your visa well before you travel.
If you do travel to Delhi, you’ll find that there is a lot to see and do. According to Lonely Planet, the top sight in the city is the Red Fort. This particular monument is situated on Old Delhi, dating back to the 17th century.
One of the most striking features of this fort is its 18m-high walls that surround the entire complex. It took ten years to construct and was founded by Emperor Shah Jahan.
Other places recommended by the travel guide are the Qutab Minar, the bazaars of Old Delhi and Humayun’s Tomb.
Once you've arranged your India tourist visa, you can begin with the fun part of organising your trip and planning where in this varied country you'll visit.
While it's great to see the main sights, there is plenty more to discover away from the likes of the Taj Mahal. Financial Express recently offered some suggestions of places to go that are a little off the beaten tourist trail but that still have plenty to offer.
Bharatpur in Rajasthan is just one example. This historic city is just a four-hour drive from New Delhi and has plenty of things to explore. Its main attractions are Bharatpur Palace, which dates from the time of the Jat kingdom, and Keoladeo Ghana National Park.
Another place recommended by the news provider is Chettinad in Tamil Nadu. This city is known for its palatial mansions, as well as being an excellent place to pick up antiques.
Or you could head to Jambughoda in Gujarat, which is a designated wildlife sanctuary. Leopards, hyenas and a variety of birds are among the creatures you may find here.
If wildlife is your passion, you may be interested to learn that tiger numbers in India have risen in recent years, with almost 3,000 of these iconic big cats now living in the wild in the nation.
Nagarhole National Park and Ranthambore National Park were recently named as the top tiger spotting destinations in the country by Good Housekeeping. Both national parks are also home to a variety of other creatures, making them well worth a visit during your holiday.
Why Now Is The Time To Go Tiger Spotting In India
India has always been one of the best places in the world to visit if you want to have the opportunity to see tigers in their natural habitat.
These stunning big cats once inhabited much of Asia, but their numbers have steadily fallen due to the destruction of their habitat and poaching. However, there is some good news for tigers, in India at least - their numbers are climbing.
Good Housekeeping recently named India as one of the top places to visit next year, and among the main reasons is because of the boost to its tiger numbers.
There are almost 3,000 wild tigers in India now, which is an impressive climb from the 2,226 recorded just four years ago. According to the news provider, the best places to go if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of these elusive creatures is Ranthambore National Park or Nagarhole National Park.
Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places in the world for tiger encounters, but the big cats are far from the only thing worth seeing here. As well as a plethora of other wildlife, this protected area also boasts interesting ancient ruins and stunning scenery.
In Nagarhole National Park, meanwhile, you have the backdrop of the Western Ghats Mountains. As well as Bengal tigers, you could spot Indian leopards and hyenas, Asian elephants or langur monkeys.
If you’re planning a trip to search for tigers, make sure you organise your India e visa in plenty of time.
Unusual Experiences To Try In India
There are some experiences that are synonymous with India, like seeing the Taj Mahal or experiencing the vibrancy and chaos of Delhi’s streets. But there are others that you might not expect to find in this fascinating nation.
CNN Travel recently highlighted some unexpected adventures you can have if you jet off to India after arranging your India e visa.
At the top of the list is a walking safari in one of the country’s tiger reserves. You will spend several days hiking in the jungle, camping in among the trees at night, on the search for these endangered big cats in the Satpura Tiger Reserve.
India is home to all manner of fascinating landscapes and, if you time your visit right, you could explore one of the world’s largest salt deserts. When the monsoon season ends in October, water evaporates from the salt marsh in the Rann of Kutch, leaving behind a vast salt desert.
This barren environment is quite a sight to behold and one that’s not frequented by many international tourists.
You can have a truly unique experience if you travel to Kanyakumari. This coastal town on the southern edge of India is where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea all meet. What’s unique about it is that you can watch the sun rise and set from the same place.
According to Trip Savvy , there’s a lot more to see in the coastal town, including the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and taking a dip at Treveni Sangam. This is the point at which the three oceans meet and the water is believed to be powerful and sacred.
Dharavi Named India’s Top Tourist Experience
If you’ve never visited India, you would probably think of famous sights like the Taj Mahal and Hawa Mahal if you were asked to name the country’s top experiences for travellers.
However, the Taj Mahal was recently beaten into third place when travellers were asked to name their top experiences in India. At number one might be something of a surprise for those who’ve never experienced it - Dharavi.
This is the largest slum in Asia and it was named as the top experience in TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Experiences in India as part of its Travellers’ Choice Awards.
Republic World explained that many travellers who venture here do so on small group tours where they’re able to explore the narrow lanes of the slum with a guide. One of the things that draws people here is the crafts. There are pottery craftsmen and leather shops located here.
A bike tour of Old Delhi was named in second place in the list, with the private day tour to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort by superfast train in at third.
Dharavi is located in the heart of Mumbai. It’s home to an estimated 700,000 people in a space of 0.8 square miles, City Lab recently explained. The neighbourhood was featured in the film Slumdog Millionaire, which is when it gained international notoriety.
If you’re planning a trip to India you may want to consider adding a tour of Dharavi to your itinerary. Make sure you organise your India Tourist Visa in good time before you travel.
If you want to explore some of the wild and natural parts of India you’re in for a treat. The country is home to some beautiful natural areas and these in turn are where you can spot some pretty incredible wildlife.
Good Housekeeping recently highlighted some of the best places to visit if wildlife watching is high on your wishlist for a holiday in India.
The first spot it suggests is Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal. This protected area is located on the Ganges delta and is a tiger reserve. While the big cats and the crocodiles that can be spotted along the tributaries are some of the most impressive creatures you can spot here they’re far from the only things worth looking out for.
Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins also live in the region, UNESCO notes, along with primitive horseshoe crabs and the king cobra, which is a threatened reptile species.
The Gir National Park in Gujarat, meanwhile, provides the only place outside of Africa where lions can be seen in the wild. The Asiatic lions found here are endangered and only remain in this small protected area.
Nagarhole National Park is another place to consider exploring, especially if you love bird watching. Some 270 species of bird inhabit the area, including painted stork, ospreys, blue-bearded bee-eaters and pied kingfishers.
Other animals found in the national park in Karnataka are barking deer, elephants, wild boars, leopards and hyenas.
Whichever destination you’re looking at for wildlife watching in India, make sure you arrange your India tourist visa in good time before you travel.
Where To See India’s Most Stunning Waterfalls
India is a country that has so much to offer visitors. As well as its famous heritage sites there are plenty of natural attractions worth exploring too.
If you’ve got your India tourist visa in your passport and are planning the finer details of your trip, you might want to see if you can include one of these locations on your itinerary. If you do, you’ll be treated to views of some of the country’s most stunning waterfalls.
CNN recently picked out some of the best places to go if you’re keen to see this particular feature, and recommended what time of year to travel there too.
At the top of the list is Nohkalikai Falls, which is India’s highest waterfall. You’ll find it in Meghalaya, in the east of the country, where it spills out of the forest and over the cliff, tumbling over 1,000 ft.
If you’re travelling to this part of India, you should also include Nohsngithiang (also known as the Seven Sisters) on your route. At this waterfall, the river splits into seven distinct streams (now you can see where the name comes from). These all plunge around 1,000 ft over a vertical limestone cliff.
Another place to consider exploring is Chitrakot Falls in Chhattisgarh, which is India’s widest waterfall. At its fullest point it spans 980 ft. It’s also a spiritual site that attracts pilgrims who pay their respects to the Hindu gods Lord Ram and Lord Shiva.
Meghalaya could be a good choice if you’re looking for a range of outdoor adventures during your trip. Fodor’s Travel recently described the state as having "otherworldly scenery" and noted that some of the adventures that await here include walking across a double-decker living root bridge and exploring the world’s longest sandstone cave.