India 2019 Itinerary
All individual itineraries have been sent to you.
Option 1: Post-wedding Taj Mahal tour
Option 2: Post-wedding Taj Mahal & Rajasthan tour
Option 3: Post-wedding Taj Mahal, Rajasthan and Sri Lanka tour
What to expect in India
“This is indeed India; the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a thousand nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the moldering antiquities of the rest of the nations—the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.” – Twain, Mark. Following The Equator; A Journey Around the World. Page 26. New York, 1899. Print.
We've put together some videos for you to familiarise you on what to expect from the Motherland.
Delhi & Agra
First-time visitors to India
We're excited for you because you'll be visiting a country like no other. It is the most paradoxical, diverse, chaotic, beautiful country in the world. No matter if you love India or hate it – the fact is that India makes you feel something; it makes you get out of your bubble/comfort zone like never before; it'll teach you things about yourself and others you never knew; and it'll arrest every single sense of yours.
You think Australia/Europe/America is huge? India is HUGER. In terms of the sheer magnitude of humanity, the diverse landscapes; the melting pot of cultures upon sub-cultures upon sub-sub cultures and more; the 780 languages that are spoken in the country; the 33 million gods that are worshipped; the array of cuisines upon sub-cuisines upon sub-sub cuisines, and so much more. Be prepared to get a culture shock (there's no way around it – hell, even Aranya's gotten a culture shock before when visiting another part of India!); be open-minded; and leave all your expectations from the Western world behind at home.
We collected a couple of guides for you to read, which'll hopefully help you prepare for what's ahead:
201 India Travel Tips: The Beginners' Guide (bear in mind that this has been
written mainly for backpackers and not 4- or 5-star travellers)
How to apply for your visa
Bureaucratic processes in India are long and tedious, which means so is the visa process.
This website offers the most comprehensive information on how to apply for an e-tourist visa for India. Please read it thoroughly and Tim's walk-through first, before applying for the e-tourist visa here.
We strongly recommend that you print out the sample e-visa application here (bottom left corner) and then do a practice run of filling out this form... before actually applying online for the e-tourist visa.
If you have any questions, please call Tim on +61 403 510 055.
30-day e-tourist visa
If applying for the 30-day e-tourist visa for India, please note that you can stay in India for 30 days from the date of issue, and NOT from the date of entry. This is super dumb, but that's just the way it is. Additionally, we've found that it takes between 2 to 5 working days to get your e-visa approved, so please apply for the e-tourist visa accordingly.
E.g. if you apply for your 30-day e-tourist visa on 1 December, you'll most likely receive it by 6 December. This means your 30-day e-tourist visa is now valid from 6 December till 4 January.
This 30-day visa costs 25 USD.
1-year e-tourist visa
To be on the safe side (depending on your trip duration), apply for the 1-year e-tourist visa. This costs 40 USD.
Visit this website here for more information. Australian passport holders don't need to pay for a visa.
Please consult your GP on what vaccinations to get before you go to India.
What to pack
- A shawl (if you have one) to throw over your shoulders when wearing Indian outfits
- A black/gold/silver crop top (if you have one) to wear as a blouse for Indian outfits
- Wedges (if wearing heels) to wear with Indian outfits; otherwise, flat shoes are fine to wear with Indian outfits
- A scarf to cover shoulders with when entering temples etc.
- Loose tops & linen pants are generally the attire of choice simply because they breathe well for warm days
- Some clothing options (such as skirts/dresses) that cover up till the knee or pants
- Some clothing options with high necklines (mostly needed for Rajasthan, not so much Assam)
- If you use tampons, pack these in as these are not easily found (most urban Indian women use pads)
- In general, India is a fairly conservative country (except in urban pockets) so do pack accordingly.
- For those doing just Assam, pack comfortable pants and tees to wear during safaris in the early mornings and afternoons
- For those going to Rajasthan, please also pack at least 2x sets of smart casuals (shirts, pants and closed shoes) for when we visit a nice place for dinner and entertainment
- Open-toed sandals (like Birkenstocks) or loafers to wear with wedding outfits
- In general, we would say that you should pack 1-2 coats/jackets and a few jumpers for layering
- Swimwear if you want to jump in the pools at any of the 4- or 5-star hotels in India and beaches in Sri Lanka
- Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers
- Please bring a refillable water bottle because plastic usage is a huge problem in developing countries!
- If you have a sensitive stomach, consider carrying electrolytes and/or Probiotics (start taking them a week before your trip as it'll help strengthen your stomach – but, of course, ask your doc about it first!)
- Travel-sized hand sanitiser and tissue packets
- Mosquito patches or repellents
- Electrical adaptor
- If you have dietary requirements, we'd recommend that you carry a bag of snacks with you (just in case!)
- Ear plugs
- Your mobile phone with international roaming (it's not that easy to buy a SIM card in India, so you may want to consider renting a pocket wi-fi for you – Trabug appears to be a reputable provider, but please note that we haven't tested them out before. Please organise for delivery to be done to your Delhi/Kolkata hotel).
What to wear for the wedding
We'll organise a shopping event on one of the days (still TBC), where we'll help you finalise appropriate outfits for all 3 wedding events. Our suggestion would be that you each buy 1x outfit and then exchange among yourselves – this way, you won't need to buy 3x outfits.
As much as possible, Aranya's family & friends will throw in their own Indian outfits into the mix for you to borrow during the wedding.
The best part is that sarees and/or mekhela sadors are mostly a one-size-fits-all. All we'd request you to bring from home is a black, silver or gold crop top that you can wear as a blouse, in case we don't have time to get one stitched.
On the 19th and 20th, You have the option to wear a lehenga-choli (traditional Indian long skirt & top combo) and/or saree (traditional Indian women's attire worn by most women across the country). You can go as blingy as you want on these days!
On the 19th, 20th and 21st, you have the option to wear a saree and/or mekhela sador.
Approximate costs: Starting from INR 2,000 for a lehenga-choli; starting from INR 1,500 for a saree; starting from INR 2,500-3000 for a mekhela sador.
We'll organise a shopping event on one of the days (still TBC), where we'll help you finalise appropriate outfits for all 3 wedding events.
In general, you'll wear a long kurta and pyjama set for each of the 3 events.
Or, you can even bring a pair of chinos and a white collared shirt from home, and buy an Indian vest to wear with that.
For shoes, you'll wear either suede/leather loafers in shades of brown/black, or leather open-toed sandals. It'll be excellent if you could bring this from home as we may not have time to go shoe-shopping!
Approximate costs: Starting from INR 2,000-2,500 for a kurta and pyjama set; and starting from INR 1,500 for an Indian vest.
Guide on temperatures
- Can drop to 10 degrees in the early mornings when going on safaris
- During the day, it will be mild weather in the 20s
- In the evenings, it can drop to mid-teens (but humidity is high)
Delhi & Rajasthan
- During the day, it will be mild weather in the 20s
- In the evenings, it can drop to anywhere between 5 to 15 degrees
-During the day, it can reach the 30s!
- In the evenings, it will be pleasant in the 20s.
If you were thinking of giving a gift to help us celebrate our wedding and honeymoon, we have an online wishing well here. Or you can make a bank transfer to:
Account name: Aranya Phookan and/or Timothy Houghton
Bank: National Australia Bank