Indian News

No Frills Flight From Europe To India Brings ‘Greater Travel Possibilities'

A new ‘no frills' flight connecting Europe to India hopes to bring more choice to more business and leisure travellers looking to visit Delhi and beyond.

Brits travelling on an India tourist visa or on business can go the 4,800 mile journey for just £149, but they have to change flights in Reykjavik, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The Icelandic WOW Air service departs London Gatwick to Reykjavik Keflavik for a stopover before the ten-and-a-half-hour journey to Delhi, part of India's Golden Triangle. WOW boasts that it is the first no-frilled service of its kind to go to India.

WOW Air founder Skuli Mogensen was quoted by the newspaper as saying: "We are delighted to announce our network expansion to India. This exciting new route is an important milestone in the growth of WOW Air and signifies our continuing mission to open the skies and enable even greater travel possibilities, always at the best rates possible."

The service begins in December but tickets are already on sale and will fly three times a week from December 6th 2018, with this service increasing to five times a week from January 2019.

Starting at the low £149 fare, which does not include any hold luggage and standard seating, passengers can upgrade their ticket to ‘plus' and ‘comfy' fares offering hold luggage and extra legroom, while in-flight meals can be purchased as an extra.

As well as WOW, there are plenty Europe-India services to choose from, with Air Astana winning the World Airline Awards accolade for Best Airline in Central Asia/India in 2017, while Indigo was awarded Best Low Cost Airline in Central Asia/India.

Go With The Flow To Truly Experience India

India is huge. In fact, the dilemma when preparing for your trip is: what to see in the time that you can devote to it. Inevitably, you will have to make some tough choices. However, we have found that many decide to return several times, with each stay more extensive due to the sheer amount of amazing experiences on offer in this vibrant country.

The key to a successful trip is not to try to cover too many places in a short time, rather to either dedicate an extended period in one particular place or to simply go with the flow and move on to a new destination when you feel the time is right. For all of these situations an India tourist visa must be obtained in advance of travel for all foreign visitors, regardless of country of origin, purpose of visit, or length of stay.

When to travel

With beautiful sunny days and mild or cool nights, the period from October to March is the best time to discover the subcontinent. The monsoon rains hit Kerala in May or June and cross India to reach Delhi in July. The monsoon season lasts until early September, with May and June being extremely hot months except in the mountains. The coastal and mountainous areas are more temperate than the central plains.

The Golden Triangle and beyond

On a first trip to India, most travellers like to discover the Golden Triangle - Delhi - Agra - Jaipur, as well as the state of Rajasthan or the temples of Khajuraho and the sacred city of Benares. A stay in a national reserve, a hill station or on a beach often closes the circuit perfectly. Kerala, with its beautiful nature, is another popular destination, the discovery of which is easily combined with visits to temples and palaces of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

In fact, every corner of India, popular and well travelled or unheard of and off the beaten track, still presents a great deal of interest and diversity. Similarly, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that the services offered in some relatively uncrowded places, are equivalent to or even exceed the services offered in very touristy places.

3 Top Reasons To Visit Mumbai

Many holidaymakers with India e-visas only stop off at Mumbai on their way to the southern part of the country, such as Goa or Kerala. However, this is a mistake as the Maximum City – as it is sometimes known – is well worth visiting on its own.

Here are some reasons why:

1) City street stalls

Many people are put off Mumbai by its overpopulation and chaotic nature. There are 22 million inhabitants here and just 230 square miles of space, making for incredibly busy and noisy streets 24 hours a day.

However, if you really want to experience the Maxx City then a trip to the street stalls is a must. Here, you'll be able to sample some of the many Bombay delicacies, from pakoras to bhel puri – a dish made with puffed rice, vegetables and tamarind sauce.

It is a great place to put your negotiating skills to use!

2) Cycling tour

Another good way to see Mumbai in its full glory is by hopping on a cycling tour of the city. You'll pass all of its famous sights, and venture into Bombay – and Asia's – biggest slum, Dharavi, where more than one million people live.

This will be a real test for most tourists, with the noise, smell, heat and chaos a lot to contend with, but well worth a visit if you want to experience ‘real Mumbai'.

3) Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

Of course, you don't have to slum it if you don't want to and Mumbai is home to some of the grandest hotels in India. Head to the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which is the oldest, most luxurious accommodation in the city.

Even if you don't stay here, you can dine in the Golden Dragon or The Chef's Studio, take a look at its impressive art collection, buy a souvenir from its antique shop, and treat yourself at its jeweller or in its Jiva Spa.

India Looks To Develop Film Tourism

If you're thinking of visiting India this year and are going through the process of applying for your India e visa, you may have yet another reason to explore this stunning country.

Money Control revealed that the Ministry of Tourism has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to develop film tourism in the nation.

There are several branches to the proposed strategy, one of which is promoting India as a filming destinations for those seeking locations for movies. By making India an attractive location for film producers, and hopefully drawing in some big names, more tourists are likely to visit the nation to see iconic landscapes and locations featured on the big screen.

In addition, India intends to host a growing number of film festivals, making it more of a destination for those who love their cinema, as well as those working in the industry.

Ramesh Sippy, a filmmaker who attended the launch of an official report on the state and potential of India's film industry, commented: "Bollywood is a trend setter and people are fascinated by anything we show in our films. We should use that to promote destinations in India."

A number of Hollywood movies have been shot entirely or partially in the country in the past, with some of the most notable including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Namesake, The Bourne Supremacy and Slumdog Millionaire to name just a few.

In future we could see even more Indian locations on the big screen if the drive to attract more filmmakers to the country is successful.

Visiting India? This Is What You Need To Know

If you've recently applied for your India tourist visa for your first trip to the country, you're going to have a wonderful time. But it's hard to describe such a vibrant and varied place to people who've never been before.

The Metro has picked out several things you should know before you visit India for the first time - and top of the list is the fact that it's probably bigger than you think. That means you shouldn't be surprised if you have to embark on some long journeys to get from one place to another as you explore.

As well as its size, India is renowned for its diversity, with the newspaper pointing to the fact that you can travel to the Himalayas, as well as lounging on tropical beaches within a single break.

However, if you plan to take in the country's diverse landscapes - and climates - you need to be prepared. "If you're planning a trip there, be aware that you might be going from scarves and coats in the mountains to bikinis on the beach," the news provider stated.

Diversity doesn't end with the landscapes and climate, it also comes into play in terms of the languages spoken. In fact, there are 23 languages in India, although Hindi and English are the two official languages used.

You also have to make sure you sample chai during your stay, which the Metro describes as "not just a drink, it's a way of life".

India is trying to market itself to adventure travellers this year, with the Ministry of Tourism naming 2018 the year of adventure tourism in the nation. It is hoping to highlight the various activities on offer around the country, ranging from white water rafting to rock climbing.

Indian Ashram Hosts Beatles Festival 50 Years After Visit

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' visit to an Indian ashram run by the famous Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. To mark this occasion, a three-day festival in honour of the British band will take place next month.

From March 5th, the ashram, close to the northern Indian town on the Ganges called Rishikesh, will see hundreds of visitors with India e-visas descend to celebrate the important anniversary, the Telegraph reports.

Alpesh Gohel, a local guide, told the newspaper: "Maybe some of the Indian guests here are young couples who want a peaceful time."

However, a lot of the guests will be fans who either remembered the momentous visit of the four-piece group to the Indian refuge in the 1960s or music lovers who want to get close to this famous location.

Indeed, while Ringo Star left after 11 days, the rest of the group stayed here for two months meditating and finding peace. During that time, it is believed they penned songs for their records Abbey Road and the White Album.

Most people – whether they are fans or not – will recognise some of the biggest hits from the LPs, including I Want You, Come Together and Octopus's Garden.

While the news provider claims the stars eventually became disillusioned with the Maharishi, thousands still gather here every year for a chance to obtain the peace and love The Beatles famously preached.

More than 10,000 visitors flocked to the ashram two years ago when it was cleared of undergrowth and opened again, and next month's event is likely to pull in an unprecedented number of tourists to see the likes of The Beatles Cave. Covered in song lyrics and graffiti, it is thought the band frequently sat here and meditated.

2018 Named Year Of Adventure Travel In India

India is a diverse and fascinating country to travel to for a holiday, with natural beauty, historic attractions and a vibrant culture. And now you can also add adventurous activities to the list of things to do once you've obtained your India tourist visa and caught up on sleep after your flight.

The country's Ministry of Tourism has named 2018 the Year of Adventure Tourism in the nation, and as such will be promoting all the adrenaline-pumping things you can do while on a holiday there, the Times of India reported.

From 27 to 29 January, the ministry is hosting its first Adventure Sports Expo Asia in New Delhi, with the aim to introduce more adventure and eco tour operators to other tourism providers in the country.

Among the varied activities on offer in India are paragliding, skiing, white water rafting, rock climbing and trekking - so there's plenty for you to try if you want to get your heart racing and create lasting memories.

Managing director of Snow Leopard Adventures Ajeet Bajaj told the news provider that operators in the adventure travel sector have a responsibility to look after the country too.

"Safety and nature - both must be sustainable. Look all around India, its nature is abundant. Nature is ours to enjoy but we must safeguard it," he asserted.

One Guardian reader recently recommended going on a Himalayan trek in India's Sikkim, where you can explore the stunning mountains and even summit the 4,600m peak at Goechala.

"We encountered sunshine, cold, rain, mud, saw indescribable views; ate wonderful food, all cooked on an open fire or single gas burner; enjoyed camaraderie with other trekking groups," Kate Paul wrote to the newspaper.

So what will you do this year?

Try These Indian Foods You Probably Haven't Heard Of

Once you have got your same day business visa then you have achieved the first step of taking your next exciting trip to India. Once you are there, see if you can try these foods, which you probably haven't heard of, but should definitely try.

Puri : These are not often seen in the UK, but are tiny fried pastry balls that have a hole made in the top and are then filled. They can be filled with a variety of things, such as Pani, which is a small amount of curry made with tamarind paste and spices.

Jalebi : You can occasionally get these in the UK, but often only around festivals. These deep-fried pastries are tossed in a sugar syrup and are one of the best things about being a child in India. Jalebi are basically a type of Indian sweet but are really so much more. Spy out these bright orange swirly pastries to have a try.

Idli : You will probably have head of naan, roti and paratha, but Idli tend to fly under the radar. These are a type of savoury rice cake that is made with rice and black lentils. These are soaked, formed into a batter and then fried into a sort of flat bread. They can be served on their own, with chutney or in a sambar.

Nariyal ki chatni : Despite chutneys making an impact on British cuisine, we rarely actually try the types of chutneys Indians actually eat. This is one of them and is made with coconuts, and is frequently served with the Idli, mentioned above.

Best Winter Destinations In India

When you think of India you probably picture its historic monuments, bustling cities and a tropical climate, but don't forget that parts of the nation sit on the Himalayan mountain range, making them ideal for winter escapes.

In fact, you could be surprised by the number of places you can go to see snow during a trip to the nation once you've got your India e visa.

According to EasternEye, Shimla, a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas, is a must-visit.

This was once the summer capital of British India, with people travelling here to escape the heat further south.

However, in the winter it's stunning, with its backdrop of the world's most impressive mountain range, not to mention the city itself which the publication describes as "one of the most aesthetically planned cities in India".

To experience Buddhist culture at its best, you should visit Dharamsala, where you will find the holy residence of the Dalai Lama. Because of its strong ties to Tibetan culture, it's a wonderful place to learn more about Buddhism and Tibet.

Manali, meanwhile, is the place to go if you're after some winter adventures. Skiing, snowboarding and paragliding are among the activities you can try here. Himachal Pradesh is where you'll find this enchanting hill station.

Another reason to head for the mountains is to witness spectacular sunrises. Pahalgam in Kashmir, which is nestled among snow-capped peaks, was recently named as one of the best places in the nation to watch the sun come up.

Where Are The Best Sunrise Spots In India?

If you're planning a holiday to India in the new year and are sorting out the final practicalities of your trip, such as arranging your India tourist visa, you're probably looking forward to organising the fun elements of your break as well.

One thing that's always worth doing is getting up to watch the sunrise, and there are some incredible spots from which to see the day dawn in India.

The Economic Times in India has highlighted some of the best places to go if you want to see this natural spectacle, as well as pointing out why you should make the effort to watch the sun come up.

There are health benefits, both physical and mental, to watching the sunrise, the newspaper revealed, pointing out that vitamin D is important for your physical wellbeing, while watching a beautiful sunrise can put you in a positive frame of mind for the rest of the day.

Puri in Odisha is known for its stunning beaches and as it's on India's east coast, facing the Bay of Bengal, the sunrises here are simply spectacular.

Also on the list are the Nandi Hills in Karnataka, Vijaynagar Beach in Havelock, and Agatti Island in Lakshadweep. Pahalgam in Kashmir rounds off the top five sunrise spots, according to the news provider.

This latter option is located among snow-capped mountains, which means watching the sun rise over these peaks is pretty special.

Of course, at the other end of the day you have the beauty of sunset to look forward to - and there are some great spots for this in India as well. The newspaper highlighted Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu as the best place to watch the sun go down.

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