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Home » India Tourism

India Tourism

Befitting India's size and population, India's culture and heritage are a rich amalgam of the past and the present: From the civilizations, variety of languages (more than 200!), fascinating religions and historical monuments that have been present for thousands of years to the modern technology, economy, and media that arises as it opens up to a globalised world, India will never cease to awe and fascinate the visitor.

"Atithi Devo Bhavah"
India's tourism ministry has started a program to encourage people to show more courtesy and to display sensitivity to the needs of tourists. It has named the initiative Atithi Devo Bhavah, which is an ancient Hindu dictum meaning "Guest is a God". The term will develop as a brand, to certify that a service provider ensures a certain minimum level of quality.

Location
India Fact Sheet
   
Capital New Delhi
Government Federal Republic
Currency Indian Rupee (INR)
Area total: 3,287,590 km2
land: 2,973,190 km2
water: 314,400 km2
Population 1,147,995,898 (2008 est.)
Language Hindi, English and 21 other official languages
Religion Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5% (2000)
Calling Code +91
Internet TLD .in
Time Zone UTC+5.5
   
Indian Flag

Festivals & Events in India

India's plentiful religions and traditions guarantee that there's always an occasion for celebration. The color and splendor of festivals and events in India are incredible, so don't pass up the opportunity to attend one if you have the chance.

Being a highly spiritual country, festivals are at the heart of people’s lives in India. The numerous and varied festivals that are held throughout the year offer a unique way of seeing Indian culture at its best. The following popular Indian festivals will provide you with a truly memorable experience.

1. Diwali

Diwali is a five day festival that represents the start of the Hindu New Year. It's known as the "Festival of Lights" for all the fireworks, small clay lamps, and candles that are lit during the celebrations. These lights are said to represent the victory of good over evil, and brightness over darkness. The candlelight makes Diwali a very warm and atmospheric festival, and it's observed with much joy and happiness.


2. Ganesh Chaturthi

The spectacular eleven day Ganesh Chaturthi festival honors the birth of the beloved Hindu elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha. The start of the festival sees huge, elaborately crafted statutes of Ganesha installed in homes and podiums, which have been especially constructed and beautifully decorated. At the end of the festival, the statutes are paraded through the streets, accompanied by much singing and dancing, and then submerged in the ocean.


3. Holi

Holi is a two day festival that also celebrates the victory of good over evil, as well as the abundance of the spring harvest season. It's commonly referred to as the "Festival of Colors". People exuberantly throw colored powder and water all over each other, have parties, and dance under water sprinklers. Bhang (a paste made from cannabis plants) is also traditionally consumed during the celebrations. Holi is a very carefree festival that's great fun to participate in if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty.


4. Navaratri, Dussehra, and Durga Puja

The first nine days of this festival are known as Navaratri, and are filled with dance in honor of the Mother Goddess. The tenth day, called Dussehra, is devoted to celebrating the defeat of the demon king Ravana by Lord Rama. It also coincides with the victory of the revered warrior Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.

In eastern India, the festival is observed as Durga Puja. Huge statues of the Goddess are made and immersed in the holy Ganges River. The festival is an extremely social and theatrical event, with drama, dance, and cultural performances held throughout the country.


5. Kerala Temple Festivals

The south Indian state of Kerala is filled with temples that are renowned for their exotic temple festivals. The large processions of elephants, resplendent in ornaments, are the main attractions of these festivals. The processions are accompanied by colorful floats, drummers and other musicians.