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Top Places In India For A Trip With Friends

If you're planning a getaway this year with some of your besties, India is a great place to consider for your break. It's a diverse and beautiful country to explore, but with so many great options where should you head to?

According to the Times of India , there are a few spots that are particularly well suited to trips with friends.

Goa is at the top of the list, with the news provider noting that this is the ideal place to go if you're looking for somewhere you can party. However, this corner of the country has plenty more to offer if you're looking for culture too, with the Portuguese forts among the top sights to explore.

Next up is the hilltown of Gangtok, which offers the best of India's natural scenery as well as a thriving nightlife and great restaurants where you and your friends can sample the best of Sikkimese cuisine.

Ladakh, meanwhile, is suggested if you and your friends have an adventurous streak. Because it's in the mountains it can be cold, but there are plenty of great activities to try that you can bond over.

Wherever you're planning to visit on your holiday, make sure that your India tourist visa is up to date and valid before you travel, otherwise you risk being turned away at the airport.

That might sound extreme, but it's exactly what happened to actress Tamzin Outhwaite recently when she tried to travel to Goa with her daughter on a visa that she'd used to catch a connecting flight in Mumbai earlier in the year.

EastEnders Star's Refused Entry To India Reminds Tourists About Visas

People who are hoping to head to India for a business trip, a yoga retreat, a backpacking adventure or a sun-soaked beach holiday have been reminded of the importance of attaining the correct express India visa to avoid being refused entry.

This is what has happened to EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwhite, who was left disappointed when she had to return to the UK with her daughter from Goa Airport as her visa was invalid.

The actress had planned to go on a yoga trip with her ten-year-old daughter Florence for a bonding vacation. However, because she had taken a connecting flight through Mumbai in the new year, this counted as entry to India, meaning her visa could no longer be used.

Taking to Twitter, she said: "My 10 yr old and I have just been refused entry into India due to my visa [sic]."

She went on to say: "We both sat crying in immigration at Goa airport [sic]."

The ordeal was a big disappointment for the 48-year-old star, who had long been looking forward to the special trip with her daughter "after a difficult year".

It serves as a reminder to other travellers intent on visiting the southern Asian nation to check their visas thoroughly before getting on the plane.

Outhwaite told her 205,000 fans on the social media site that she had been advised by her travel agent that her visa was still valid. However, tourists cannot enter the country more than twice in 60 days on the visa she held.

If the EastEnders actress had made it into India, she would have followed quite a line-up of celebrities who have visited in the last few months.

Nick Jonas' and Priyanka Chopra's wedding at the end of last year at Jodhpur's Umaid Bhavan Palace saw the arrival of both the celebrities, as well as brother Joe Jonas and Game of Thrones' star Sophie Turner, and his other brother Kevin and his wife Danielle Jonas.

Vaishali: A Must-Visit On Your India Trip

If you're planning a holiday in India, there are some practical things you need to take care of, such as applying for your India tourist visa, before you can get on with the fun part of planning your route around this fascinating and diverse country.

One spot that you might want to include on your itinerary is the ancient city of Vaishali, with the Times of India recently revealing that it was the world's first republic.

It's now an archaeological site, which draws plenty of interest from tourists and pilgrims alike. The newspaper revealed that there are records of 34 monarchs in Vaishali, although little is known about the city's early history.

Among its most famous associations is with the Amrapali, a great courtesan who appears in much Buddhist literature and a number of folktales. She is described as being responsible for the city's success, and later became a disciple of Lord Buddha.

Her ties to Vaishali make it a popular location for Buddhist pilgrims. According to Tour My India, the Ananda Stupa, relic Stupa and Kutagarasala Vihara are some of the most important places in the former republic for Buddhists.

There are plenty of points of interest for tourists to enjoy, however. The Bawan Pokhar Temple, for instance, contains beautiful paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses, with the artwork here dating back to the Pala period.

Raja Vishal's Gar, meanwhile, is the old parliament house and another landmark not to miss as you explore Vaishali. Venture into the Vaishali Museum to see items that have been unearthed at the site over the years.

Top Reasons To Visit Sundarbans National Park

If you've applied for your India tourist visa and are planning your trip, you may well want to see some of the country's many spectacular natural landscapes.

Times of India recently provided some information about Sundarbans National Park, a nature reserve that is ten times the size of the city of Venice. It covers the biggest delta and mangrove forest in the Ganges, and is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But the news provider noted that there are some fascinating facts about this area that make it even more interesting - and certainly worth including on your itinerary if you're looking for natural attractions to explore.

For example, the national park is home to 102 islands, of which 54 are inhabited. The rest are covered by forest and are completely wild.

Interestingly, only 40 per cent of the area of the Sundarbans National Park is owned by India, with its neighbour Bangladesh laying claim to the rest of it.

Aside from the wildlife that inhabits the forests of the Sundarbans, one of the most impressive things to witness here is the change in the tides. At high tide, the water level rises by between six and ten feet, and this is therefore the best time to travel into the forests by boat.

By contrast, at low tide vast mud flats are exposed. While these are impressive to see in their own right, it makes it difficult to travel around at this state of tide so excursions need to be planned accordingly.

According to the WWF in India, some of the threatened species that live in the region include the estuarine crocodile, the royal Bengal tiger, the Gangetic dolphin and the water monitor lizard.

Travel Expert Advises Booking Holiday Packages Ahead Of Brexit

Brits looking forward to some sunshine abroad this summer have been advised to book package holidays instead of separate flights and accommodation if their travel arrangements are to occur after the prospective Brexit date.

Speaking with Good Morning Britain, Simon Calder noted that travel plans could be jeopardised if they are after March 29th when Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, if no withdrawal agreement has been established by then, The Express revealed.

He said the UK needs to make arrangements concerning aviation and sea travel, otherwise there could be a risk airlines cancel flights and do not return holidaymakers' money. Moreover, hoteliers and car rental companies do not have to provide a refund as they are still available even if the flights have been cancelled.

However, Mr Calder said: "If you book a package holiday then you are in a happy position of knowing that the worse that could happen, and it'll be very annoying, is that you'll get all your money back if the holiday doesn't go ahead."

His comments come after Ryanair concerned holidaymakers by saying there will be huge travel disruptions if Brexit reaches a no-deal situation by the end of March, reported Reuters .

Michael O'Leary, boss of Ryanair, told the press: "Flights to and from Europe will be stopped in a hard deal Brexit. There is no assurance."

This disruption for travel across the EU could encourage holidaymakers to look further afield for their summer holiday plans. India, for instance, could be the perfect place to visit, offering golden beaches, wildlife safaris, religious and cultural experiences, and huge bustling cities.

Do not forget to book your e-tourist visa to India when you arrange your flights to ensure easy access when you arrive.

Book Holidays To India 2 Months In Advance For Best Savings

Going on a holiday to India is a pipedream for many people, but for those who are desperate to set foot in the south-east Asian country, the best time to book flights is two months' in advance.

According to a recent study from, there are specific times to book a holiday that enable tourists to get the best deal possible on their flights and accommodation, reported.

The travel search engine revealed that Thursday mornings at 03:00 are the best time of the week to secure the lowest prices, after looking at millions of queries on its site over the last two years.

It also revealed that the optimum time to arrange a holiday to New Delhi is two months ahead of when you want to arrive, which can secure savings of up to 17 per cent.

The cheapest month to travel there is August, when holidaymakers will experience extremely warm temperatures in the low to mid-30Cs. However, it is also one of the wettest months to go as it is in the thick of monsoon season, which could deter some tourists from booking tickets for August.

However, Thomas Cook noted: "Even though it's impossible to avoid the rain at this time of year, showers are usually intense but short-lived, making way for blue skies and warm weather."

Southern regions are especially wet, such as Goa and Kerala, whereas it is much drier in the north – so this may determine whereabouts in India you head to if you do want to take advantage of cheaper flights.

Once you have booked your tickets, do not forget to arrange your tourist e-visa for entry to the country.

Join The Brits Heading Abroad This Christmas

For many people, Christmas is all about being among family and friends, unwrapping presents at home and enjoying a big turkey lunch with all the trimmings. However, an increasing number of Brits are shunning traditional British festivities in favour of something different, with more and more people choosing to head abroad over the Yuletide holidays instead.

According to predictions from American Express, one of the biggest expenses of the season is enjoying a getaway outside of the UK. Of the £1,206 each Brit will spend this Christmas, £237 of this will be on international holidays.

As not everyone will jet off before the year is out, this shows Brits are investing a significant amount of cash in a festive break.

Indeed, TravelSupermarket also reported there are many great offers to be had for those looking for an international vacation over Christmas. This is perhaps because many people choose to avoid this time of year to travel, preferring to stay at home with their families instead, leaving some excellent deals open for those who do want a festive adventure.

Spokeswoman for Travel Supermarket Emma Grimster was quoted by Prima as saying: "Travelling overseas for the festive period is a great opportunity to experience other cultures at Christmas and can be surprisingly cheap."

She noted that while a trip at this time of the year "might not be for everyone", it is certainly worth doing if you want to make this Christmas one to remember.

Somewhere that is very popular for a festive holiday is Goa, as it boasts hot weather, long sunny days, delicious seafood cuisines, and some fantastic traditional Christmas celebrations to take part in.

So why not book your India e-tourist visa today to experience a different type of Christmas this year?£60-billion-festive-season£60-billion-festive-season

Discover The Beauty Of India At Travel Show

Travel enthusiasts who are considering where they should go for their next adventure might want to head to one of the country's biggest holiday shows to learn more about the beauty of India.

The Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show is coming to Olympia London between January 31st and February 3rd 2019, while those in the north of the country can experience the same exciting event in Manchester's EventCity between January 17th and 20th.

Hundreds of tour operators and tourist boards from every country you can think of will be exhibiting at the show, giving prospective holidaymakers a taste of what they can experience in each different location.

A spokesperson for the event said: "From activity and adventure to culture, cruise and safari, be inspired with the fantastic choice of exhibitors offering a huge variety of holiday and travel options. Tap into the experts in-depth knowledge of destinations and experiences near and far."

As well as stalls showcasing the best from countries all over the world, there will be several talks, panel sessions, shows and presentations from travel writers, experts and performers.

Four Indian tour operators will be at the event, including Bespoke India Travel Limited, Mysteries of India, the India Travel Company London, and Escape To India…and Beyond, proving just how popular the southern Asian country is among holidaymakers these days.

Indeed, you might be tempted to book your India e-tourist visa straight away after being at the show and seeing what beautiful landscapes, adventure opportunities, and cultural experiences it has to offer.

Celebrate Diwali On Holiday In India

Holidaymakers who are lucky enough to have an Indian tourist visa and have jetted to the southern Asian country this week will not only be able to see one of the most majestic countries in the world, but they will also experience the great festival of Diwali.

This is a hugely important occasion in Hindu calendars, with the ‘Festival of Lights' celebrating the Hindu New Year, as well as the triumph of good over evil.

Throughout the world, Hindus come out in full force to celebrate this festival in style over the course of five days during the first week of November. They decorate their houses with lights and candles, enjoy lavish feasts with friends and family, and put on impressive firework displays.

Many Brits might have already experienced a taste of Diwali in the UK. However, nothing can compare with being in India itself at the time of the celebrations.

Wherever you are in the country, people tend to place oil lamps outside homes and shops in honour of the Hindu god Lord Rama, who they believed returned after being exiled for 14 years. It is thought that his people lit these lamps, known as diyas, when he revisited.

Many Hindus also think the Hindu goddess of wealth Lakshimi will appear at the most beautifully decorated, cleanest houses, so they keep their homes open and embellish their houses with bright lights and colours. It is typical to see colourful drawings on the floor at entrances, which are aimed at encouraging Lakshimi to enter.

Of course, it would not be Diwali without a firework display, so expect to see and hear plenty on your trip in the large cities.

However, those staying in more rural India should be respectful of the limited means of many villagers. Therefore, while they will encounter many exciting long-standing traditions that Indian villages take part in during Diwali, they might not see an expensive night-time display in the sky.

Young Travellers Spend £15k To Visit Seven Wonders Of The World

Gone are the days when students on a gap year stayed in youth hostels and hopped on a train around Europe; these days, those in their late teens and early 20s want to take in the whole world and do so in style.

Contiki, specialists in travel for those aged between 18 and 35 years old, has created a £15,000 round-the-world trip that uniquely takes in the seven wonders of the world.

This allows intrepid travellers to marvel at some of the globe's most fascinating sites within a short 82-day period.

Instead of spending a lifetime visiting these seven countries, they will do so in just three months, giving themselves 12 days in each nation before moving on.

The first stop on this epic adventure is the Taj Mahal in India, allowing explorers to see the iconic, and most famous, mausoleum in the world.

So beautiful is the building in Agra that three million people visit the Taj Mahal every year.

With an India tourist visa, they can then take in other sights around the southern Asian country, of which there is abundance.

Some 12 days after landing in India, they move on to the Great Wall of China in Beijing. This is followed by Chichen Itza in Mexico, some of the best preserved Mayan ruins in the world; Machu Picchu in Peru, an ancient Incan city hidden in the lofty heights of the Andean mountain range; and Christ the Redeemer in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro.

They then carry on to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, finishing at the Colosseum in Rome after exploring some other places in Italy, including Florence, Venice, Sorrento and Milan.

While the price tag for the adventure is steep, it includes 11 internal flights, all transportation, accommodation, sightseeing tours and 92 meals.

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