India is a country in Asia according to zipcodesexplorer. India is both beautiful and amazing, a place where sacred cows bask in the sun on heavenly beaches next to modern hotels and ancient temples sit next to gleaming office buildings. Gleaming trains travel through rural areas where nothing has changed for hundreds of years. A sixth of the world’s population lives in India. It is a huge, diverse and, above all, unforgettably beautiful country. India’s incredible history has produced numerous magnificent palaces, temples and monuments. The most visited place in India is the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The populous metropolises of Mumbai (Bombay) and Kolkata (Calcutta) are charming in a bustling, colorful way, while the holy city of Varanasi and the awe-inspiring temples of Tamil Nadu are well worth a pilgrimage. The tropical beaches of Goa and Kerala await sun-seeking tourists. Fresh air and absolute tranquility can be found in the pristine mountains and hills of India, ranging from the imposing Himalayas to a variety of beautiful pine forests, orchards and bubbling streams.
Arriving by plane
India’s national airline Air India (AI) offers non-stop flights from Germany and Switzerland to Delhi. Austrian Airlines (OS) flies codeshare with Air India (AI) from Vienna to Delhi. Lufthansa (LH) offers direct flights from Frankfurt/M. and Munich to Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Swiss (LX) flies non-stop to Delhi and Mumbai from Zurich. Emirates (EK) connects Dusseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Vienna, Zurich and Geneva with Delhi via Dubai. Etihad Airways (EY) flies from Frankfurt/M., Munich, Geneva and Zurich to Mumbai and Delhi via Abu Dhabi. LOT (LO) flies from Warsaw to New Delhi with feeder flights from Berlin, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main.
Frankfurt/M. – Delhi: 7 hrs 35 mins; Frankfurt/M. – Mumbai: 8 hrs; Vienna – Delhi: 7 hours 5 minutes; Zurich – Delhi: 7 hours 40 minutes (both non-stop)
Arrival by car
When traveling to India overland from Europe, it is essential to find out about border traffic, visa regulations and the current political situation of all countries on the way before you leave. The only border crossing from Pakistan to India is between Wagah and Attari on the Lahore to Amritsar route. There are also open border crossings to Bangladesh, Nepal and Buthan. The Nathu La Pass to Tibet is impassable for tourists. Long-distance bus: There are daily bus connections from Nepal to Delhi, Lucknow, Patna and Varanasi. From Bhutan, buses run several times a week from Phuntsholing to Kolkata and regularly to Siliguri. From Pakistan bus connections are available from Lahore to Amritsar, and from Bangladesh there is regular bus service from Dhaka to Kolkata, Siliguri and Agartala. Toll: Various highways and some bridges are subject to tolls. Tolls can be paid in cash, by credit card or via transponder. Information is provided by the National Highway Authority of India and DND Flyway. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license must be carried. A visa is required for entry, which is also available online as an electronic tourist visa (e-TV) under certain conditions. The e-TV must be applied for at least four days before entry and is valid for 60 days.
Arrival by train
India can only be reached by train from Nepal. The Nepalese State Railway connects Khajuri (Nepal) with Jaynagar (India).
Arrival by ship
The major Indian passenger ports are Mumbai, Kolkata, Kochi, Chennai, Calicut, Mormugao and Rameswaram. Indian ports are called at by international shipping companies and cruise operators.
AIDA and Hapag Lloyd Cruises also call at Indian ports on their world cruises that start in Hamburg. Operators such as Costa, Phoenix, MSC and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which start their cruises in various European cities, also have Indian ports in their program.
Traveling by plane
National airline Air India (AI) flies to numerous destinations across the country. In addition, domestic flights are served by GoAir (G8), IndiGo (6E), SpiceJet (SG).
Traveling by car/bus
India has an extensive road network. Motorways, federal roads and important connecting roads are asphalted. Country roads are often unpaved and are used not only by motor vehicles but also by rickshaws, bicycles, mopeds, cows and pedestrians. Tolls: Various expressways and some bridges are subject to tolls, such as the six-lane Mumbai Pune Expressway. Tolls can be paid in cash, by credit card or electronically using a transponder. Information is provided by the National Highway Authority of India and DND Flyway.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
About half of the entire road network is paved. Country and village roads are unpaved and sometimes flooded during the rainy season.
The Indian road network includes highways, national roads and country roads. The signage is mostly bilingual (English, Hindi).
Rental car companies can be found at airports and in cities. Drivers must be at least 25 years old. Car rental with a driver is common and often preferred by tourists.
Taxis are usually metered. However, it is advisable to inquire about the price in advance. Bicycle and auto rickshaws are also available. Larger auto rickshaws have the function of a shared taxi and are slightly cheaper than normal taxis.
A widespread bus network connects all parts of the country. State bus lines run to the city’s bus stations every 30 or 15 minutes; more often if necessary. Overland transport is also served by private providers, such as the company Neeta, whose air-conditioned buses can be used to cover longer distances overnight. Ashok Travels & Tours (ATT) offers city tours as well as one or multi-day excursion tours.
Traffic regulations: – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists in some states (including Delhi, Chennai). – Alcohol limits vary in different states; in Delhi: 0.3‰, West Bengal 0.8‰. – Talking on the phone while driving is illegal in most states. – For left-hand drive cars, a sign reading “Left hand driver” in red on a white background must be affixed to the rear of the vehicle. Speed limits: – vary by region; – in Delhi: 50 km/h; Residential and business districts: 30 km/h; ring road: 50-70 km/h; – in other states on freeways sometimes 100 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; for vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, for illnesses: +49 (89) 76 76 76. There are ADAC partner clubs in India in the following cities: – Mumbai: Western India Automobile Association (WIAA), Tel. +91 (22) 22 04 10 85; – Kolkata: Automobile Association of Eastern India (AAEI), Tel. +91 (33) 2486 51 31; – New Delhi: Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI), Tel. +91 (11) 26 85 20 52; – Chennai: Automobile Association of Southern India (AASI), Tel. +91 (44) 28 52 40 61; – Allahabad: Uttar Pradesh Automobile Association (UPAA), Tel. +91 (532) 260 03 32.
A Carnet de Passages, which is issued by the ADAC, is required to enter the country with your own car. The international driver’s license must be carried along in addition to the national driver’s license.
Note on travel by road
Service hotline for tourists in India: Tel. 18 00 11 13 63 or short code 1363 (available 24 hours a day, multilingual).
Traveling in the city
Taxis, motor rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are available in the cities. Public transport, although cheap, is often overcrowded. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) operates an excellent transit network in Mumbai; However, you should avoid rush hours and be particularly careful of pickpockets on the buses. There are subways in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
Locally on the way by train
Indian Railways, the state-owned Indian railway company, operates most of the country’s rail transport as well as Kolkata’s metro. The busiest traffic is between the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Fast trains connect all major cities, local trains connect the rest of the country. Long-distance trains have dining cars and often only offer sleeping cars, as they are often on the road for 24 hours, sometimes up to 4 days, due to the low speeds. The Gatimaan Express bullet train connects Dheli with Jhansi for a distance of approximately 400 km (journey time: 4 hrs 25 mins). There are numerous special trains especially for tourists, such as the luxury trains Palace-on-Wheels, Royal Orient and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, outfitted in the style of the saloon carriages of Indian Maharajas, take India travelers to fascinating destinations in Gujarat and Rajasthan with a steam locomotive. The Fairy Queen runs the world’s oldest steam train from New Delhi to Alwar and the Deccan Odyssey offers week-long round trips around Maharashtra from Mumbai.
Traveling by ship
Ferries connect Port Blair on the Andaman Islands with Kolkata (approx. 70 hrs drive), Vishakapatnam (approx. 56 hrs drive) and Chennai (approx. 60 hrs drive) as well as Kochin with the Lakshadweep Islands ( Driving time: 14-18 hours). A particularly beautiful boat trip is through the backwaters around Kochi in Kerala. Various local tours such as Calicut – Cochin and Allepey – Kottayam are offered.