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India Notes (page 3)

About India
Accommodation

A very wide range of hotels is available: business hotels in busy metro cities; resort style hotels at popular tourist destinations; heritage hotels; small and charming guest houses in off the beaten track destinations. These are usually accompanied by a range in the budgetary levels too, with a choice of five star to inexpensive, budget lodgings. Hotels usually provide all facilities on par with their counterparts all over the world.



Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India, often known by the acronym, FHRAI, is the Apex Body of the four Regional Associations representing the Hospitality Industry

Dining

India is a gourmet’s paradise. Several of its restaurant have become legends, even overseas, and Indian food has found a very wide acceptability worldwide. Understanding the kind of Indian food you wish to taste may pose a difficult choice. Each region has its own distinctive cuisine with its own flavours and spices.



The cuisines of North India is generally gravied – with the exception of the popular tandoori (barbecue) range – and is rich and flavoursome, and is usually eaten with a variety of unleavened breads called rotis. That of the south is lighter by far, usually vegetarian, and there is a lot of emphasis on lentils, yoghurt and rice.


The cuisine of Goa is hot, and sea food is a specialty. Food from Lucknow and Hyderabad has attained an excellence in its experimentation with different means of preparation and flavouring. East Indians love fish, and eat a light diet. Savoury snacks from different regions also give you a piquant taste of India. 

Drinking Water

In standard hotels, drinking water is generally filtered and available in your room. However, it may be safer – because of the number of different places you may be traveling to – to ask for mineral water in sealed bottles. It may be better for you to carry a stock of mineral water with you when traveling to some of the smaller resorts. In large cities and tourist destinations, it is easily available.

Transport

Air: Air India is the country’s domestic carrier, the second largest in the world outside of USA, equipped with the latest Airbus 320 aircraft. Its Airbus aircraft have two classes of travel, Indian links all major tourist and business cities. Jet Airways, Vistara, Spice Jet, Go Air, Indigo & Air Asia are the major private (including low cost) carriers normally operating with Boeing 737, Airbus 320, ATR72-500 etc.





Rail: One of the largest railway networks in the world (11 million passenger daily), the Indian Railways run a number of trains that are meant to facilitate tourists. These include the grand Palace on Wheels with its magnificent saloons, the high speed Shatabdi and Taj express trains, the Rajdhani connections  from Delhi to Calcutta and Bombay, and a number of hill ‘toy’ trains, among others.

Road: Tourists can hire air-conditioned limousines or coaches at any principal city or tourists destination by the day or for longer periods. Ordinary taxis are available in all metros; in smaller towns three-wheeler auto rickshaws and cycle or horse carriage can still be used. Kolkata city has an underground metro as well as an efficient tramway.

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“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
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