Travel

COVID-19 Travel Advisory

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Ministry of Tourism(Government of India)

New Delhi, 14th March, 2020


The World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019) as a global pandemic.  In order to contain the spread of the disease, Government of India has taken the following measures :-

(i) All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13thMarch 2020 at the port of departure. 

(ii) Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15th 2020. This has come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.

(iii) Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission.

(iv) All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15thFebruary, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13thMarch 2020 at the port of departure. 

(v) Incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, are advised to avoid non-essential travel and are informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days on their arrival in India. 

(vi) Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

(vii) Provision for testing primarily for students/compassionate cases in Italy to be made and collection for samples to be organized accordingly. Those tested negative will be allowed to travel and will be quarantined on arrival in India for 14 days. 

(viii) All types of passenger movements through all Immigration Land Check Posts located at Indo-Bangladesh border, Indo-Nepal Border, Indo-Bhutan Border and Indo-Myanmar Border will be suspended with effect from 0000 hours March 15th 2020 till further orders except through designated posts as mentioned in MHA OM No25022/12/2017-Imm dated 13th March 2020.
https://www.mohfw.gov.in/GuidelinesDT13032020.pdf

(ix) Travellers are further advised to adhere to advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 11th March 2020 
https://www.mohfw.gov.in/ConsolidatedTraveladvisoryUpdated11032020.pdf

(x) Frequently Asked Questions on New Visa restrictions in view of COVID-19 outbreak may be seen at the following link:-
https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/images/faq-covid-19.pdf

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ADVISORY FOR COVID-19 issued by ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ADMINISTRATION SECRETARIAT (Port Blair, dated the 14th March 2020)

The World Health Organization characterizes the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) as a Pandemic and declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). In order to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 in A & N Islands, all tourists are advised to refrain from travelling to the Islands from the midnight of 16.03.2020 (i.e. 12.00 A.M. of 17.03.2020) to 26.03.2020. Further, all tourism facilities of the Islands such as on jetties, beaches, eco-tourism sites and water sports activities shall remain suspended from 16.03.2020 to 26.03.2020. All tour operators may appropriately advise their clients so that tourists intending to travel to A & N Islands are forewarned and advised to refrain from traveling to A & N Islands. This advisory will be reviewed on 23.03.2020 for being continued beyond 26.03.2020 or otherwise.

www.transindiaholidays.com


20 Greatest Travel Experiences in the Indian Subcontinent for 2020

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The India Subcontinent is one of the most-sought travel destinations in the world. With its vast diversity, incomparable mystique, fascinating histories, soulful culture, inspiring architecture and spectacular scenery, it is unique. This part of the world has the most incredible range of geographical features, from glaciers to desert land and rainforests to vast grasslands. The wonder of the Taj Mahal, the mystic of heritage sites, the thrill of regal Bengal tigers, and the quaint tea plantations of India will captivate you. The mountain kingdom of Bhutan welcomes with spirituality, rich culture and beautiful vistas. The Himalayan Kingdom and the highest point on earth, Nepal has heritage, culture, adventure and spellnidng views. The island country of Sri Lanka!

The subcontinent offers a chance of the greatest travel experiences. With so much to see, do and experience there are a number of life changing memories.

1. Calm Cruise on Kerala's backwaters, India

The backwaters of Kerala are a network of 900 km of lagoons, canals, rivers and lakes, and a meditative calm.  Cruising over these tranquil waters are kettuvalam houseboats that offer a memorable experience. With private sleeping quarters, observation deck and other amenities this is an extraordinary experience of Kerala tour packages. Meals are included on a houseboat cruise. The local fish known as karimeen is a must-try on the menu and is named among the tastiest dishes to relish on the Indian subcontinent.

2. Roam the remains at UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

The vast colourful heritage of India is one of the major lure for travellers visiting the country. Spread over eras and centuries, the history dates back to the start of the civilization to the many ruling powers. The legacy of the olden days are preserved and given the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Roam these remains for the greatest experiences in the country.

Taj Mahal, the Group of Monuments of Hampi, Mahabalipuram, Temples of Khajuraho, Walled City of Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Fatehpur Sikri, Jantar Mantar, Red Fort, Caves of Bhimbetka, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, etc. are some of the finest specimens. There 38 heritages sites some cultural, natural and even mixed heritage.

3. The first light view of the Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognised icons of the country. The graceful monument with its poignant story is known to captivate all those who glance at the beauty. While the view takes away your breath away, anytime of the day, there is certainly something magical about the dawn. The first light of the day transforms the ethereal beauty in one of the best experiences of your lives. Undeniably it is among the best highlights of India tour packages.

4. Hike to the Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

Perched spectacularly over a cliff above the Paro valley, The Tiger’s Nest is one of the must-visit highlights of Bhutan tours. Known as Paro Takstang, the 17th century Buddhist Monastery is a sacred fortress of white-washed walls and fluted roofs. Built on the sacred cave once consecrated by Guru Rinpoche, an incarnation of Lord Buddha, the temple maintains its delicate setting with Buddha’s blessing. Believed to be visited by the divine deity on the back of a tiger, the monastery is named so. Fluttering prayer flags, spinning prayer wheels, beautiful views and soulful monks and kids make it a hike worthwhile.

5. View the mighty Mount Everest, Nepal

The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest at an 8,848m is a mighty site. While all visitors may not be able to hike to the very top of the Everest, the view is surprisingly accessible. 32km from Kathmandu, Nagarkot offers a breath-taking view of the mountain and the many other peaks of the Himalayas. The view certainly counts among the greatest travel experiences in the Indian Subcontinent.

6. Spiritual bliss by the Ganges, India

Rivers in India are known as Goddesses and believed to be the spiritual backbone. ‘Mother Ganges’ as the river is worshipped as, originates high in the glacial sources of Himalayas flowing through some of the most sacred cities – Rishikesh, Hairdwar, Varanasi and Allahabad before finally emptying into the Bay of Bengal 2,510km later.

The ritual of Ganga Aarti is one of the most spiritually-enriching experiences in India. Every evening in a grand ceremony is held on the Ganges River Banks. The most spectacular prayers are held at Varanasi, Haridwar and Rishikesh.

7. Explore the backstreets of Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal’s wonderful capital city, Kathmandu counts among the best tourist places in the Indian Subcontinent. The ancient city of sacred Hindu temples is dotted with a number of UNESCO world heritage sites. Surrounded by lush mountains, the town preserves Newari traditions and culture. The Durbar Square is the heart of the town known for presenting unique art of wood and stone carvings.

8. Visit the rock city of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Rock Fortress listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 5th century, and is perhaps Sri Lanka’s picture postcard monument. The massive rock structure jutting out of the forested plains like a giant tooth still has the remains of the Fortress and the Royal Palace. The climb up to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is 1200 steps through the Mirror Wall and the giant stone paws of a lion, Sigiriya means Lion’s Fortress in the local Sri Lankan language, Sinhalese.

9. Embark upon wonderful railway journeys

India makes railway journeys simply some of the best travel experiences. Indian luxury trains allow exploring India without having any hassle of packing, unpacking and checking in and out every day. The train journeys cover the rich history, culture and heritage along with truly pampering experiences.

There are also trains, rare feat of engineering such as The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Kalka-Shimla Train, UNESCO World Heritage site that winds through the mountains. Trains journeys in India are some of the greatest travel experiences in India.

10. Wander through Rajasthan’s Mighty Forts

Rajasthan is a quintessential chapter of Indian history. The land of the fierce warrior clans of Rajputs, it is home to some of the mightiest forts. Hill forts of Rajasthan deserve special mention. Named among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, these fortress are example of defensive architectures. Jaipur’s Amer Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Gagron Fort, Chittorgarh Fort and Kumbalgarh Fort are some of the must-visit. Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, Bikaner Fortress and many others are some of the most interesting places to explore.

11. Go Wild on Wildlife Safari

India is blessed with lush expanse of jungles that serve as inhabit to the ferocious Royal Bengal Tigers, roaring Lions, elusive one-horned rhinoceros, colourful birds and many other species of the animal kingdom. These thriving jungles allow thrilling wildlife safaris in India that make the visit some of the best travel experiences. Besides the thrill of spotting the wild animals in their natural habitats there is stay in wildlife resorts, treehouse and other adventure activities.

Wildlife tours in India are unique experiences, be it in Madhya Pradesh- Bandhavgarh, Pench or Kanha, Ranthambore in Rajasthan, Gir in Gujarat, Periyar and Nagarhole in South India, Kaziranga in the east or the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sundarbans.

12. Pampering your senses with Ayurveda Massages

Ayurveda is one of India’s ancient secrets of health and wellness. The holistic treatments are said to pamper the body, mind and soul. Kerala is said to have been the birthplace of the healing tradition. With time the rituals spread all over India and now are practiced at the foothills of the Himalayas, calm seaside towns and also the top hotels of the country. Unlock harmony of all your senses with Ayurveda massages and treatments. Ayurveda and wellness packages offer the ultimate bliss and the memorable experience.

13. Spiritual Enlightenment with Yoga

Yoga is another ancient secret of health and wellness that finds its source in ancient India. Till date practiced at the foothills of Himalaya, they imbibe practitioners with many secrets of the union of body, mind and soul. Rishikesh has earned the reputation of the Yoga Capital of India. Ashrams by the holy River Ganges were the first to begin the traditions of yoga and till date continue the rituals. The International Yoga Festival is the annual celebration that brings visitors from far ends of the globe.

14. Delicious taste of Food and Culinary Classes

India tours are not just about sightseeing, it is more about experiences. Indian food is the greatest delight of exploring the country. From the North to South, East to West, the gastronomy is unique. Each region, each city and almost all cultures deserve a visit to savor each of the tastes. From Rajasthani food, Mughlai cuisines, South Indian dishes, sweets, beverages, street food and more, everything calls for a food tour. While the tastes will make its place among the best memories, culinary classes imparts the knowledge to be taken home.

15. Shopping

Shopping may not sound that glamorous but in India it is definitely among the greatest travel experiences. Handicrafts- clothing & jewellery are the greatest bargains but there is also spices, local produce and unique highlights of every region. Besides the deal the experience of negotiation is the amazing.

16. Stay at Royal Palaces

Hospitality has been the very base of India tours. Royalty has been the very basic fabric of the colourful legacy of the country. The royals of the olden days built and lived in some of the most fantastic palaces. They royal palaces have now been converted into hotels that pamper guests with an exclusive stay. Stay in the royal palaces turned heritage hotels are among the greatest travel experiences. Royal Rajasthan tour with heritage hotels are the favourite tour for the one in love with royal pampering luxuries.

17. Discovering the popular Golden Triangle

The most popular of India tours, The Golden Triangle Tour is among the best experiences of India in a short time. Covering the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, the journey covers the impressive remains of the many dynasties that rules Delhi, Mughal Culture and a glimpse of the royal Rajputana traditions. The concise tour covers the wonder of the World- Taj Mahal, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and there unique cultures.

18. The vast nothingness of the Rann of Kutch and the burst of colors

A unique landscape, the Rann of Kutch is a vast expanse of the salt-marsh desert. Imitating nothingness and often mirroring the sky, the land is truly incredible and the view among the cherished memories of a lifetime. The beautiful Rann comes to life during its colourful Rann Utsav (November to February. Drive out over the plains in a jeep, stay in a tent city, come across folk culture, embark upon camel safaris, and fall in the love with wonder.

19. Sussegado in Goa

Goa is India’s tropical haven. Blessed with beautiful beaches, thrilling adventure sports, Portuguese heritage & culture and many leisurely experiences, Goa is synonymous with relaxed fun. For the ultimate beach holiday, Goa has it all. Relax by the shore with your favourite drink, enjoy the privacy of your beach resort, try water sports, explore spice plantation & wildlife sanctuaries, discover the old churches and forts and have the great vacation. Goa offers the best of travel experiences in the Indian Sub-Continent.

20. Experience the Kandy Esala Perahera

The streets of Kandy are witness to one of the most spectacular processions in the world. The Esala Perahera (also known as The Festival of the Tooth) is an annual festival every July or August (depending on the Full Moon Poya Day). Hundreds of whip crackers, flag bearers, fire-dancers, Kandyan drummers, and elephants in bejewelled capes make it an awe-inspiring event and the best among experiences to try on a tour of the Indian Subcontinent.

 


90% Foreign Travellers Visit India Just To Explore the Indian Culture – Why So?

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Indian culture and its cultural sites have been on travellers' mind since time immemorial! Tourists from across the globe have been flocking to India to see and feel the mysterious cultural element in this holy land. Around 90% of foreign travellers visit India to explore the melting pot of its cultural diversity. This diversity exists in different forms such as history, archaeology, music, festivals, dance, etc!

The vibrancy of cultural diversity is at its epitome in states like Kerala, Rajasthan, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. While Uttarakhand basks in the light of culture and spiritual tourism, Tamil Nadu sheds light on Dravid tradition and culture. Cities like Varanasi, Allahabad, Vrindavan, and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh encapsulates beautiful vignettes of India, attracting a large number of foreign tourists. Taj Mahal in Agra, one among seven wonders of the world, mesmerizes tourists with its majestic beauty.

Rajasthan is yet another state on top of foreign tourists’ minds. This state has been exhibiting its rich culture via its royal and majestic monuments and traditional festivals. Different fairs and festivals have also been singing the cultural saga of India. Pushkar Fair, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund Mela are a few to be named here which have marked their presence on international charts for exhibiting Indian culture.

Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that cultural tourism is the predominant factor behind India’s meteoric rise in the tourism segment. Let’s look at the important parameters of Indian culture that have been wooing tourists to this country…

1. Archaeology: The historical and archaeological monuments in India are the assets which have been attracting the biggest chunk of international tourists. These monuments reflect the influence of different rulers, and take the tourists back to an era of kings and queens.

Hampi-UNESCO World Heritage Site

2. Music: The synchronisation of rhythm with musical instruments has been mesmerising all since ages. From a variety of folk music to classical notes, Indian music comes with a wide range of traditions and regional styles. North Indian Hindustani, South Indian Carnatic traditions and their various forms of regional folk music are always soothing to ears and eventually foreign travellers have also fallen in love with these melodies.

Traditional & folk music in India

3. Festivals: Festivals form the heart and soul of India. While most of them have a religious origin, there are many others that are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed. Some of the most popular festivals in India are Diwali, Ugadi, Pongal, Holi, Onam, Vijayadashami, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Buddha Jayanti, and Vaisakhi.

Holi Festival in India

4. Dance: Dances in India have come a long way from the ancient classical or temple dance to folk and modern styles. Indian folk dances such as Bhangra, Bihu, Ghumura Dance, Sambalpuri, Chhau, Garba and special dances in regional festivals have a high-speed rhythm and vibrancy Foreign travellers could also be seen shaking their legs on foot-tapping beats of folk songs in different states.

Classical dance in India

5. Art and Craft: Indian art and craft is yet another area where foreign tourists have a keen interest! Art and culture in India are classified into specific periods where each period is reflected in the form of a particular religious, political and cultural development. From ancient period (3500 BCE-1200 CE) to Islamic ascendancy (1192-1757), colonial period (1757–1947) to Independent and the postcolonial period (Post-1947), the Indian art and craft reflect the rich culture which evolved and progressed under different eras.

Arts & Crafts in India

6. Pilgrimage: India has been thronged by travellers from across the world to explore spirituality. Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Mathura, Vrindavan etc are places where tourists visit in high number seeking spiritual solace.

Pilgrimage in India

7. Cuisines: The Indian cuisine also symbolises the rich cultural diversity. While Lucknow and Hyderabad are known for the relishing Nawabi dishes, the cities in Rajasthan have also earned fame by serving the royal Daal baatis and choorma. Similarly, North India cities have its own delicious variety of cuisine and Kolkata in the East has made a mark with its yummy delicious sweets. South Indian food too has made its own distinguished identity with wada sambhar, idli sambhar and masala dosa!

Indian Cuisines

8. Clothing: The traditional attire in India changes as one travels from one state to another. Clothing is influenced immensely by local culture, geography and climate. While katha work has made a mark in Gujarat, the colorful bandhej sarees and dupattas have won a million hearts of tourists here. Phulkari work in Punjab and Haryana has also garnered the interest of foreign travellers.

9. Multiple religions: Many religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism were founded in India. This, yet again, brought diversity in culture and the different religious influences have made India a very popular destination!

10. History: The rich history of India has also made it culturally rich! The country was ruled by different rulers such as Rajputs, Mughals, English and Portuguese. And, it is due to the influence of different dynasties that the heritage and culture of India have become exhaustive and vibrant. 

 

Author Bio: Archana Sharma is freelance writer who is passionate about her profession. Travelling is something that excites her. She has been in the creative field for over 15 years and has been writing for print media and digital media.


Visiting India? Here Are the 10 Things You Should Keep In Mind

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Exotic, extravagant, elegant and eclectic! This is how we define India as a destination!
The country’s different languages, diverse culture, exotic flora, enticing fauna, quiet calmness, and serene spirituality have been wooing a lot many travellers from across the globe. There are cultural and geographical differences in India and hence when visiting this country, one should keep these 10 things in mind

1. Keep yourself well-equipped for all kinds of weather: India is a diverse nation. When you move from one place to another, the weather also keeps on changing.

travel tips for India

Hence you should ensure that you have clothes for all seasons. If you are traveling to northern regions during winter months, you might need winter wears; if in Rajasthan, summer clothes can serve the purpose. There might be rainfall in some parts of the country and hence you should be well-equipped with umbrellas and raincoats. The umbrella can also help in protecting you from the scorching sun in the summer.

2. Bargain to its fullest while indulging in shopping: India is a shoppers' paradise. You will get amazingly colourful products at throwaway prices. How-ever, you should be a skilled bargainer if you really want to get your stuff at the best price. This art of bargaining could come as a blessing if you are an ardent follower of street shopping. 

Shopping in India

3. Plan your day smartly and wisely: India is a vast, diverse, colourful and addictive country. The more you travel, the more you want to explore! Hence you have to be extra wise while planning your day. You should ensure that you don't get tired by the evening. Once you have a wisely planned day, you can experience the texture and spirit of the place in a much better spirit. 

4. Feel the pulse of India in villages: If you want to experience India, you should definitely visit at least one village! You can feel the pulse of real India in smaller villages. It's the only way to get a true sense of India. The colourful attire, local folks, cattle rearing and zig-zag roads in smaller villages will definitely woo you with its beauty. The other benefit of planning a day out in villages is that you are out of the sprawling and vastly overpopulated cities to feel the quietness of villages.

Indian villages

5. Start your day early: You should plan your day early enough to have some quiet and quality time for yourself. If you start early, you can easily beat city traffic and can reach your destination before noon, while preventing yourself from the woes of harsh heat. 

6. Remember India is hot so keep bottled water with you: Except for a few months, India is generally hot. There are many cities in northern India where temperatures escalate 40 degrees Celsius. Here you are advised to keep yourself well-hydrated. You should always carry bottled water with you and should cover your head when travelling under the sizzling sun. 

7. Taste the exquisite cuisine of each region: Except for a few months, India is generally hot. There are many cities in northern India where temperatures escalate 40 degrees Celsius. Here you are advised to keep yourself well-hydrated. You should always carry bottled water with you and should cover your head when travelling under the sizzling sun. 

Indian Cuisine

8. Be a part of the country's culture: When in India, you should follow a few trends to get the real feel of India. When venturing out to a religious place, you should cover yourself. Also, you should remember to take off your footwear before entering the shrine. In Sikh gurudwaras, you should always cover your head with a scarf or handkerchief. 

9. Be updated on multi-tiered ticket price system: The tourist spots in India have separate entry fees for Indian nationals, foreigners, and students. At many places, the entry points are different for Indian nationals and foreigners. Here, it is useful to carry an identity proof with you as you may get some concession based on it. If you have a student ID, you shall enjoy a student's discount which is generally valid here at all places regardless of your nationality. 

10. Pre-book your arrival and departures: Try and pre-book your arrival and departure transfers with a reliable travel agent/tour operator. That way you will not be overwhelmed by the crowds and touts at the airport who try to sell their services to you. You will definitely have more peace of mind if you make private travel arrangements. They are fortunately quite inexpensive in India and therefore give good value for the tourist's dollar. 

Author Bio: Archana Sharma is freelance writer who is passionate about her profession. Travelling is something that excites her. She has been in the creative field for over 15 years and has been writing for print media and digital media.


Udaipur -- India's Lake City

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Udaipur, the " Sunrise City " as it's name literally translates to , or the " City of Lakes ", is truly on of Rajasthan's or for that matter India's gems. Quite different from any other destination in India, Udaipur is actually an ideal place to end a hectic Rajasthan tour at. 

The city and the lakes that it surrounds are magical, and the City Palace certainly worth a visit. 

Udaipur certainly has enough to spoil luxury travelers, with its three top hotels, The Lake Palace, The Oberoi Udaivilas and the Leela Palace all vying for the top dollar paying tourists. Each has its own uniqueness, the Lake Palace of course has its iconic status and history, the Oberoi Udaivilas boasting of its state of the art rooms and top notch service, The Leela with its amazing 200 degree views of the Lake, and the City Palace! Well, tough to choose between them, but our CEO who recently travelled to Udaipur seemed to say that in terms of sheer location and views, the Leela is hard to beat.  

Staying in Udaipur isn't just about luxury accommodation, there are a number of very nice and atmospheric moderately priced accommodations available around the Lake too. One's that stand out, in terms of overall location and value for money are the Amet Haveli, with its gorgeous Ambrai restaurant, the Udai Kothi and the Jagat Niwas Palace (a few scenes of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel were shot here).

Coming back to one's reasons to visit Udaipur ( other than to just relax ), the City Palace, the Jagdish Temple and the Gardens are surely worth a visit and for those interested in Rajput history, there is the Chittorgarh fort less than 90 minutes drive away and  for the spiritually inclined, there are the temples of Nathdwara, Eklingji and Nagda. And, of course to soak in the atmosphere, a walk through the old town is really recommended. 

 

Author Bio: Anshul is a travelogue by passion and a digital marketer by profession. He is working with Trans India Holidays for more than 2 years. Being a travel freak and a wildlife enthusiast, whenever Anshul finds himself free, he pens down his experience in the form of blogs to share it with the world.