Girls' Guide to Last Minute Plans for India


India is a country unlike another! Making way into cherished memories, the country is a bundle of life-changing experiences. For a female solo traveller there is absolutely nothing as amazing and educational at the vast and diverse country. From the snowy heights of the Himalayas to the tropical beaches, golden desert to a cold desert, lush jungles to backwaters, colourful towns steeped in history & culture, some even as old as civilization to cities matching pace with the world, there is so much to explore.

If you are making last minute plans for India then you have nothing to worry, here’s our guide. Once you are done with the visa, you need to simple book your tickets & hotels and simply get going to be amazed.

Our top three picks of India tour packages for last minute holidays for solo female travellers are:

Delhi & the Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is certainly the most preferred of tours of India. Arrive at the Delhi International Airport and get an introduction of India’s heritage and culture. The capital city of India has is sorted to ensure a smooth transition into the very unique culture of the country. The well-travelled itinerary is well suited for the first-time traveller in India. With well-connected roads, range of accommodation, things to and places to see, it is an absolute winner!

Delhi, the city of cities has been witness to many eras and rulers, each of the episodes having left footprints in form of monuments and culture. Delhi has eight such cities to boast of, from the first of Muslim rulers, Mughals to the British Raj. The Golden Triangle tour packages is the most popular itinerary in India, covering the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Agra is home to the ‘icon of love’ the Taj Mahal. The white-marble monument is pretty much one of the major reason to visit India. Jaipur is the land of the Kings, palaces, forts and colourful culture that is charmingly Indian!

For the girls, the itinerary has plenty to see, do and experience. The pleasure of shopping their hearts out certainly adds to the charm.


Located in South India, Kerala is more than a destination, it is a bundle of wonderful experiences. Titled ‘God’s Own Country’ this place is actually heaven. From lush hills covered in tea gardens & spice plantations to golden beaches leading to azure waters, backwaters navigable by houseboat, traditional villages to historic towns, Kerala never fails to surprise. Arrive to the historic town of Kochi and then proceed with days and weeks of fun exploring the length and breadth of the earthly paradise.

One holiday in Kerala allow the bliss of the misty hills, romantic houseboat rides, relaxing on the beach, exploring history that dates over thousands of years, wildlife safaris, pampering Ayurveda sessions, the science of health and wellness and more. What more can a girl crave for?


The beautiful party destination of India, Goa is the land of sun, sand and sea. Goa conjures images of tropical bliss. Golden sands lead to the cerulean waters, coconut and palm groves sway in the breeze, and charming villages tucked away in the backwoods put a magical spell on visitors.  Goa has a reputation of being the hottest party destination in the country. The night-time activities include beach shacks, pubs, clubs, beach parties, casinos, cruises and more. Beyond the peppy setting, there are elegant churches intact in their olden charms, forts that withstood the changing times, spice plantations, bird sanctuaries, trekking trails, waterfalls and more. Additional delights include exciting water sports, mouth-watering food, shopping, and other thrills

Arrive at the Goa International Airport and be prepared to spend time in the tropical haven. With abundant options of stay in very budget (from villas, beach resorts, homestays to hotels), safe roads and a delightful crowd, this is got to be one of the places in India that you can visit anytime and be surprised every time. Girls got to rock their favourite beachwear lazing on the dreamy beaches.

Are E-Tourist Visas / Visa-on-Arrival Attracting More Tourists To India?


Over 1000% growth! Whoa! Sounds unbelievable! But it's true that the number of foreign tourists coming to India on e-tourist visas has jumped by over 1000% in 2019.

These numbers are evidence to the success story of e-Tourist Visas in India.  Ever since the launch of the e-visa facility by the Indian government, there has been no looking back and the Ministry of Tourism has been continuously recording a sharp increase in tourists' number visiting India. Are e-tourist visas/visa-on-arrival attracting more tourists to India? See, the numbers bespeak its bemusing success story!

Tourist visa on arrival

With the launch of the e-tourist visas, the dynamics of tourism in India have changed drastically. It has emerged as a game-changer by bringing up new growth equations in the tourism arena.

According to a Press Information Bureau (PIB) report, a total of 445,300 tourists visited India on e-tourist visas during January-December 2015 as compared to 39,046 during January-December 2014. This was a phenomenal growth of 1040.4% in tourists' number entering India on e-visas.

The month of December 2015 had 1,03,617 tourists visiting India on e-tourist visas as compared to 14,083 during December 2014, recording a growth of 635.8%.
In January 2016, 88,162 tourists arrived in India on e-tourist visa as compared to 25,023 during the same month last year, registering a growth of 252.3%.

Visa on arrival in India

Similarly, in February 2016, a total of 1,17, 210 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 24,985 during February 2015, registering a growth of 369.1 per cent.

UK stood on top to avail the e-tourist visa facility to visit India, followed by the USA, Russia, Australia and Germany. The New Delhi Airport grabbed the maximum share of tourists arriving and leaving the country on e-tourist visas in 2015, followed by the Mumbai Airport and the Goa Airport.

Family holiday in UK

It was on November 27, 2014 when the Indian Government had introduced the TVoA, enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), presently known as e-Tourist Visa scheme.

At initial stage, the ETA enabled TVoA scheme was limited to 43 countries, however, later, it was extended to 113 countries, enabling a large number of international tourists to take advantage of the facility. Recently, 37 more countries were added to the list to take the final number to 150.

Presently, the tourist travelling to India with an e-visa is allowed to enter and depart from 16 international airports in the country. However, at the time of launch of the facility, it was limited to 9 international airports in 9 cities of the country.

The e-tourist visa fee structure has also been revised with effect from 3rd November, 2015. The 113 countries that can avail the e-tourist visa facilities have been divided into four groups where each group has to pay a different rate. Even the bank charges are reduced now for the e-tourist visa fees.

These initiatives have helped to increase the number of tourists travelling to India.

The new system has really made things easier for tourists! While they can apply for a visa online without having to visit the Indian embassy, they will can also receive an email authorising them to travel to India when their visa application gets approved. This notification can then be presented to immigration authorities at one of 16 Indian airports, allowing the visitor to obtain a visa-on-arrival. The ETA remains valid for 30 days from the date of approval.

It will be valid for entry at the following 16 airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, and Varanasi.

Looking at the spectacular rise in tourist numbers, it seems that eTourist Visa would help tourism in India attain newer heights.

As more people become net-savvy, there is a high possibility that the number of tourists visiting India with e-visas will grow many times in the coming years. Also the government has permitted to issue an E-Tourist Visa twice in a calendar year increasing the possibility of attaining higher foreign tourists’ number.

So let’s keep the fingers crossed and wait and watch to see the ETA scheme smashing old records by registering higher growth in the number of foreign travellers visiting India!

The countries eligible for an E-Tourist Visa!

Countries eligible for visa on arrival

Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Turks and Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

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

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


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


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.

Planning A Trip to Golden Triangle? 10 Attractions You Just Can't Miss!


Golden Triangle! The sudden whisper of these words immediately takes us to the royal world of Mughals and Maharajas! This world consists of spectacular forts, magnanimous palaces, the world's best monuments, the majestic minarets and what not! Tourists from across the world have been thronging the Golden Triangle, comprising Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, to get a glance of royal and rich India. 

This Christmas, we too decided to explore the beauty of the Golden Triangle, as it was a long weekend, and friends from different zones of the world had gathered in Delhi. All of us wanted to explore the majestic might of India, and hence we all zeroed on the Golden Triangle.

We started our tour from 'Dilli'. The marvellous attractions of the city left us mesmerized and speechless. The magnanimous and grandeur forts and buildings created unforgettable imprints on our minds. Out of all the monuments we visited, 10 of them left an ever-memorable picture in our minds and here I share these destinations with you to ensure that you never give them a miss.

India Gate, Delhi

India Gate: Our head was held high when we all stood up to look at the arch of the India Gate. It stands tall at 42 meters in height. Situated in opposite premises of the Yamuna River, this patriotic monument was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyen. On looking at the names of over 90000 soldiers inscribed on it, a strong patriotic feel went deep into our heart and we bowed our heads as a mark of respect to those who sacrificed their lives for their nation.

Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort: The brilliant Mughal architecture in the Red Fort or Lal Quilla left us bedazzled. It seemed as if the entire Mughal era is still alive as we crossed the well-carved corridors of the Fort. Red Fort, no doubt, is a standing testimony to the magnificent power and pomp of the Mughal emperors. 

Lotus Temple, Delhi

Lotus Temple: The next building to leave us speechless was the magnificent Lotus Temple. The flower-shaped Bahai temple was a marvel in terms of its design. There were blooming petals and around them were nine pools of water, which were glittering in natural light. They looked spectacular at dusk under floodlights. 

While we were wondering why the architect Furiburz Sabha chose the lotus as the symbol, our guide informed us that Lotus was common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Bahai Temple, Jainism, and Islam. And hence it was chosen as its symbol. 

Qutub Minar, Delhi

Qutub Minar: This 73 m-high tower made our neck go stiff, as for a few minutes, we literally were looking up, stunned, to see yet another marvel of the world. This tower is also called as the tower of victory. When Qutubuddin Aibak was crowned the king, he wanted to celebrate the victory of Islam and the fall of the Hindu empire. So he built this tower to establish the supremacy of Islam over the Hindu monarchy. 

With five storeys in its fold, this Minar speaks of history as to how its foundation was laid by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1193 and then it was completed by Illtutmish and then Firoz Shah Tughluq in 1368. While the first three storeys are made up of red stone, the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone.

Taj Mahal: The very first sight of the Taj Mahal, the epitome of love and romance in Agra, left us mesmerized and perpetually enthralled. We soon realized that the love behind the construction of this outstanding monument has given life to it and describing its beauty is beyond any scope of words. 

Taj Mahal, Agra

It seemed as if this splendid tomb, which stood in silence, has an unsung saga that remains unspoken till date. Undoubtedly, its pristine white marbles, the exquisite ornamentation, beautiful carving, and picturesque location make it one amongst the seven wonders of the world. And yes, there is another credential to this monument. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! 

Agra Red Fort: Another Red Fort? This question came up in our minds when our guide took us to this palatial building. However, he specified that this is the 'Agra Red Fort', which again enjoys the tag of UNESCO World Heritage. 

Agra Red Fort

Situated at about 2.5 km northwest of the Taj, the fort contains splendid palaces, both in red sandstone and white marble. There were a series of exquisite structures that left us bedazzled with its eternal beauty. The Sheesh Mahal, The Diwan-I-Khas, the Anguri Bagh, Nagina Masjid, etc were a few royal buildings which had geometrically arranged lush gardens, glass palaces, gem mosque, etc.

Hawa Mahal: A glimpse into Hawa Mahal or Palace of winds in Jaipur bedazzled us with its royal beauty. The delicately honeycombed hive rising to a dizzying five storeys with its exquisite architecture made us wonder how skilled the workers of that era could be.

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Amer Palace: A fabulous example of hill architecture, this Palace left us breathless and bedazzled with its rich and royal design. Built by Raja Man Sing in the 16th century, the Fort houses many amazing monuments within, such as the 'Sheesh Mahal', 'Diwan-i-Aam' and 'Sukh Mahal'. The fort is a ten-minute walk uphill and believe me, this trek was worth the million wonders that it offered.

Amer Palace

Jal Mahal: As Amer Fort delighted our senses with its majestic glory, it simultaneously made us feel a little tired. Now we were on a lookout for something serene and splendid which could rejuvenate us. And on our way back, we stopped at the beautiful Jal Mahal. This low-rise symmetrical palace appears to float in the centre of Sagar Lake. The tranquil waters gave a soothing feel and we felt afresh again. 

Jal Mahal, Jaipur

While returning from Jaipur to Delhi, we were mystified thinking about mysteries of the Mughal era, were appalled thinking of the majestic times of Maharajas and were wandering if those days did ever go? The erstwhile era continues to be alive and agile because the legacies they had left have never allowed it to go anywhere! 


Author Bio: Archana Sharma is a 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.