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taj mahal
Taj Mahal at Agra, India

India Travel Fast Facts

Getting there: regular flights from major world cities to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai
What to see:
Mumbai, Delhi and Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid, India Gate; the Golden Triangle tour, Mumbai, Agra and the Taj Mahal, the beaches of Goa
Currency: Indian rupee
Official language(s):
Hindi, English

Holidays: India Independence Day, Diwali, Holi, Rakhi, Makar Sankranti

With its dizzying array of languages, ethnic groups, cultures, landscapes -- and its deeply religious grounding in Hinduism-- it could be safey said that India is an entire world unto itself.

Welcome to Planet India - home to 1 billion people second in population only to China - and separated from the rest of Asia by the towering Himalayas.

Top Attractions - Delhi, Mumbai, Goa

For many visitors, India begins in the north at the country's capital, Delhi.

No less a place of contrasts, Delhi is great place for shopping, fine Indian restaurants and nightlife, along with living history lessons at such top attractions as Qutub Minar - the 12th century victory tower - as well as the regal Jama Masjid with its striped domes, and the impressive government building complex on Raisina Hill including the India Gate..

It's just a short trip from here to begin the famed Golden Triangle tour that includes the Taj Mahal in Agra, a must-see stop on any trip to India, as well as the much-visited "Pink City" of Jaipur.

To the West lies Mumbai (formerly, Bombay) perhaps India's most cosmopolitan city offering a mix of exciting shops, the art galleries at the famed Kala Ghoda Art Precinct, and historic sites centering around a major landmark, the Gateway of India, built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary.

A fun day trip from Mumbai might include a tour of India's center of Bollywood pop culture at Film City.

Also worth a trip are the huge rock carvings at Elephanta Island, or lazing away on the beach resorts of Manori and Madh Island.

Meanwhile, halfway down the western coast lies Goa, the world-famous beach resort that casts a spell on well over a million visitors a year, most of them from overseas.

DID YOU KNOW? India Travel Fun Facts

All aboard Indian Railways.

• Indian Railways is the largest employer on the planet with a staff of about 1.5 million. 18 million people us Indian Railways per day.

• In Tamil Nadu, the longest station name on the Indian Railways is Venkatanarasimharajuvariapeta.

• India is home to the world’s largest religious pilgrimage site. Approximately 30,000 people visit Venkateshwar (The Vishnu Temple) in Tirupati everyday.

Bollywood is the nickname for the film industry in India which produces more films per year than any other country in the world.

• While football (soccer) is the most popular sport around the world, cricket is by far the more popular in India with playing fields located in every city and town.

More about India travel around the Web:

Elsewhere on the Web, get a closer look at the sub-continent and prepare to spend time getting to know modern-day India with news & updates on what's happening, guides to beaches, mountain or wildlife treks, virtual visits to ancient temples and monuments, as well as practical information on transportation, shopping, dining, and seeing India at its best .... - City Guides - Arranged by state, with links to information on more than 50 major cities with descriptions of major attractions, hotels & restaurants, getting around, weather, population, best times to travel.

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