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Golden Temple

  • India is a country in South Asia that lies entirely on the Indian Plate
  • It shares borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • It is the seventh largest country in the world by area
  • With over a billion people, India is only second to China in population.
  • India has vast geographic differences, including mountains, jungles, deserts and beaches.
  • It is enclosed to the north, northeast and northwest by the snow-capped Himalayas, the tallest mountain range in the world.
  • The west coast of India borders the Arabian Sea and the east coast the Bay of Bengal.
  • The West part of India is highly industrialized and has rich heritage homes.
  • The Northern part of India has a rich heritage of Hindustani Classical Music and vibrant dance forms.
  • The Eastern part of India is popular for its many forms of folk dances and music.
  • India has 22 official languages. Hindi is natively spoken by about 40% of the population. English is widely spoken in major cities and around most tourist places.


  • By 1803, the British established their power over India
  • The British started using India as a place to make money.
  • The legendary figure Gandhi came along and led millions of India’s population towards independence through non-violent civil disobedience.
  • India finally gained independence on August 15, 1947.
  • Muslim parties had fought for a separate country all along and so the country was also divided to form the separate nation of Pakistan.
  • When the dividing line was announced, the greatest mass departure in human history took place as Muslims moved to Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs relocated to India. Over 10 million people changed sides and even the most conservative estimates calculate that 250,000 people were killed.
  • In 1950, the country became a republic and created its own constitution.
  • At this time, India has one of the fastest growing economies on Earth and it is expected that India will be one of the major countries of the 21st century.


    Spice Market

    • India never invaded any country in her last 100,000 years of history.
    • Chess was invented in India.
    • Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies, which originated in India.
    • The ‘Place Value System’ and the ‘Decimal System’ were developed in India in 100 B.C.
    • The World’s First Granite Temple is the Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The shikhara of the temple is made from a single 80-tonne piece of granite. This magnificent temple was built in just five years, (between 1004 AD and 1009 AD) during the reign of Rajaraja Chola.
    • India has the largest number of post offices in the world.
    • The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
    • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
    • Until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds in the world
    • The Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan Mountains. It was built by the Indian Army in August 1982.
    • Sushruta is regarded as the Father of Surgery. Over 2600 years ago Sushrata & his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones, plastic surgery and brain surgeries.
    • Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient Indian medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism, physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts.
    • There are 300,000 active mosques in India, more than in any other country, including the Muslim world.
    • The oldest European church and synagogue in India are in the city of Cochin. They were built in 1503 and 1568 respectively.
    • The largest religious building in the world is Angkor Wat, a Hindu Temple in Cambodia built at the end of the 11th century.
    • Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.
    • Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.

Avg. Costs

Camel Fair

  • Food will cost at least 150 INR
  • Hotel: $US 60 for a good place per day
  • Food: $US 10 for a good meal per day
  • Travel: $US 10 taxi and bus together
  • 200-300 INR for a beer or two
  • Tea or Coffee 2-5 INR
  • Midrange hotel – 1000-4000 INR per night
  • Cave entrance fee 5-15 US
  • Museums 5 US
  • Elephant ride in Jaipur  11 US
  • Eden Gardens cricket stadium Tickets – 250 to 300 INR (US$6-8)
  • Taj Mahal – It is open every day from sunrise to 19 hours, entry fee for those above 12 years (locals) 15 INR and free entry on Fridays. Entry fee for foreigners: 750 INR


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Leh, India

  • India is quite safe for foreigners
  • Overseas visitors, particularly women, attract the attention of beggars. Beggars will often go as far as touching you, and following you tugging on your sleeve. It does little good to get angry or to say “No” loudly. The best response is to look unconcerned and ignore the behavior.
  • Irresponsible driving habits, insufficient highway infrastructure development, wandering livestock and other hazards make travelling on India’s roads a sometimes nerve wracking and potentially life threatening undertaking.


Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.


Market Stall

  • India experiences at least three seasons a year – Summer, Rainy Season (or “Monsoon”) and Winter
  • Summer season, and the hot months, are from April to May
  • Winter season is from November to January
  • Monsoon season generally runs from June to September
  • In India, it rains only during Monsoon season.
  • The Southwest monsoon causes rains over most parts of the country, and is the crucial variable that decides how the crops will do. It lasts from June to September. It hits the west coast the most, therefore much greener than the interior.
  • The Northeast monsoon hits the east coast between October and February, mostly in the form of occasional cyclones which cause much devastation every year. The only region that gets rains from both monsoons is Northeastern India; as a result this region experiences the highest rainfall in the world.
  • The North part of India experiences some extremes of heat in the summer and cold in the winter.
  • Snow is extremely rare in India, except for in the Himalayan regions.

Places to See

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

  • The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India
  • It is one of the most recognizable structures in the world
  • It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal
  • It is widely considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and stands as a symbol of eternal love

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  • Leh is considered to be one of the highest inhabited cities of the world
  • It gives a different idea of high altitude altogether with unbelievable landscapes

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Tirupati Balaji

  • If you want to see the material richness of a religious place, visit this temple
  • It is considered to be the richest temple in the world and one surprising sight to see for a non Indian

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Golden Temple

  • The Golden Temple is located in the city of Amritsar in the state of Punjab
  • Originally a small lake in the middle of a quiet forest, the site has been a meditation retreat for wandering mendicants and sages since deep antiquity
  • The Buddha is known to have spent time at this place in contemplation
  • Richly decorated with marble sculptures, golden gilding, and large quantities of precious stones
  • An underground spring feeds the sacred lake

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Communication Etiquette:
• Education, religion and social class are all big influences in India
– There is a hierarchical culture
– Status is determined by age
– Refer by titles and surname
• Shaking hands is common – especially in large cities
– Men will shake with men
– Women will shake with women
– Very few women will shake hands with men
– Wait until they extend their hand
• They believe giving gifts is a way of easing into the next life
• They like to entertain in their own homes

Business Etiquette:
• They like to do business with people that they know
– They build relationships on mutual trust and respect
• They also are not very confrontational
• Since they are a Hierarchical culture – the one with the most authority will make the decisions
– Decision making is very slow
– Successful negotiations are celebrated with a meal
• Business Dress is conservative
– Men – should wear dark colored business suits
– Women – conservative in business suits or nice dresses
• Business cards should be exchanged over initial greetings
– Use your right hand to give and receive cards

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