India, often referred to as the planet's most multidimensional country, will enthrall you with its stark contrasts. Soaring peaks give way to sun-soaked beaches; chaotic bazaars to upscale boutiques, serene temples to raucous festivals and rickety rural villages to urban developments with all the technological advancements of the 21st century. Travel to Darjeeling and warm your hands on one of the best cups of coffee or tea that you will ever have. In the shadow of Khangchendzonga, a peak measuring over 28 thousand feet, its steep, narrow streets are overflowing with handicraft shops and souvenir stops, interspersed with fantastic eateries featuring the very best in Indian and Tibetan cuisine. Descend to Varanasi to drift on a soul-healing boat trip down the Ganges River. Then, travel to Khajuraho, on your way to Agra, to visit its three groups of temples that house some of the most famous temple art in the world. Beware to the more modest though; some of these carvings are quite sensual-a literal Kama Sutra in stone. On to the Taj Mahal in Agra! When traveling to India you cannot afford to miss the milky white beauty of this temple!
Getting to India is simply a matter of researching your best options. Almost every major airline in the world flies to India and this country is riddled with airports, too many to name. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and Indira Gandhi International Airport are located in New Delhi and Mumbai, previously called Bombay, respectively. Calicut International Airport and Raja Sansi International Airport are smaller international airports located in North India as well. If you wish to travel to cities such as Chennai or Goa in South India, it is more practical to take a flight to Chennai International Airport or to one of the other smaller airports, such as Cochin International Airport, a.k.a. Nedumbassery Airport or to Trivandrum International Airport.
Flying into one of the smaller airports scattered throughout India, may result in considerably cheaper flights to India. Both Jet Airways and Air India Express offer cheap fares for international flights to India. These airlines are in the category of low cost airlines and are based in India. Air Asia, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is another popular airline which has regular cheap flights to India. Planning in advance may give you the opportunity to visit Malaysia before taking a cheap flight on to India. You can also look into the services of Spice Jet, Go Air, Indigo and Kingfisher.
By booking online, you can find cheap international flights on both low cost and regular airlines. Jet Airways offers both international and domestic low cost fares and booking online at Jet Airways may save you money. Air Asia has partnerships with numerous international hotels and booking online gives you the opportunity to save money on your hotel expenses and gives you the peace of mind to know that you have a place to stay after you land in India.
Climate will most likely determine where and when you want to travel here. Weather conditions between the northern and southern regions are dramatically different at times. India's seasons can be defined as the hot, the wet and the cool. The cool season, from November to mid-February is usually the most desirable, so traveling during a different season can result in cost savings. India can be traveled on the cheap if you take the time to do the research, though this can be a daunting task. There is so much to see and do in India, that you may want to enlist the help of a travel agent or tour agency in order to arrange an itinerary that will meet your needs. Decide in advance where you would like to visit and what you would like to see, including the amount of time that you would like to spend in each place and the travel pace that you would like to keep. Then leave it in someone else's capable hands...or, if you are up to the challenge...do it yourself.
You will find India to be charming, exciting, quaint and modern. Plan your vacation to take in as much as possible, but giving yourself plenty of time in each place. Agra holds much more to see than the Taj Majal, as does just about any place you go in this grand country. Experience rural life by taking some back-road treks and stay at least one night in a metro location for a glimpse of the more modern India.
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