As the largest country in South Asia and the seventh-largest in the world, India is home to over one billion inhabitants. This extremely diverse country boasts one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and with its 38 JCI accredited facilities, it’s considered a prime destination for Medical Tourism. India welcomes an ever-increasing number of medical tourists each year, many of which travel for General Medicine Consultation procedures. Its low-cost medical procedures draw tourists from all over the world, particularly Western and Middle Eastern countries. Highly specialized doctors speak English and the vast majority are trained in the UK or the US, with heart surgery procedures being especially common in India. Local accreditation bodies include the Indian Healthcare Federation, the Indian Medical Tourism Council, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH)
Popular Parts of India
Home to around 1.3 billion people, India is the second-most populous country in the world, with its multi-ethnic society, spiritual beliefs, architecture, and diverse wildlife.
Delhi is brimming with colorful modern life and is steeped in history. It is known to have the best food in the world such as Mughalai curries and chaat (vegetarian street food). Visit the Red Fort and witness the fascinating structure influenced by Islamic, Hindu, Persian, and Timurid traditions.
Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan city in India. Home to Bollywood, India’s film industry, the city has a lot to offer. Stroll around the Gateway of India, shop in Colaba Causeway, watch the sunset in Marine drive, or visit Siddhivinayak Temple and learn about its cultural history.
Kolkata (Calcutta) was once the capital city of India. It is a perfect blend of the past and the present. The city has charming colonial-era architecture, dynamic suburbs, and the amazing Bengali cuisine. Tourists can discover the creativity of Kurmatuli Idol-makers and visit the incredible Victoria Memorial.
Jaipur is known as “The Pink City,” it is chaotic, vibrant, and historical. The city, along with Delhi and Agra, is a part of the Golden Triangle that contains the biggest attractions in India. There are many beautiful buildings inside this city, but the most visited one is the Amer/Amber Fort that dates back to Raja Man Singh. It is a World Heritage Site and it offers amazing views of the city.
Agra is where the magical Taj Mahal stands. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is as astounding as people describe it to be. Mehtab Bagh is another must-visit attraction; it offers the most scenic spot in the city and located just across the river from the Taj Mahal. Agra Fort, located northwest of the Taj, is one of India’s most historic structures.
Weather and Climate in India
There are four climatological seasons in India.
Summer or pre-monsoon season starts in March and ends in May. April or May is the hottest month. The average temperature is around 23 to 42 °C.
Monsoon or rainy season lasts for three months from June to September. The season is usually humid and rainy. South India usually receives more rainfall.
Post-monsoon or autumn season starts from October to November. The sky is usually cloudless.
Winter occurs from December to February. December and January are the coldest months in the country with an average temperature of 10 to 15 °C and climb steadily from February. This is the peak season for tourism.
The best time to visit India is in the month of March or October when the weather is warm and sunny.
Getting Around in India
Indira Gandhi International Airport is the busiest airport in the country and is located in Delhi. The airport serves domestic and international flights. It connects the city with almost every country around the world and serves budget airlines such as Air Asia India, Go Air, and IndiGo. There are three other main international airports in Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru.
The most affordable way to travel around the city is by bus although it can be very crowded. Buses are very reliable and fast. Airport taxis are available as a quick, easy, and hassle-free transportation mode especially for tourists who carry big baggage.
The best way to get around India is by train. Trains are everywhere and quite affordable with many different classes. The most popular class for travel is the Sleeper Class. It is best to purchase train tickets online.
Buses are a nice option for short-distance travel. Some of the buses can be very uncomfortable but there are luxury buses with air conditioning. Tourists can purchase the tickets online, in the station, or even on the buses.
Taxis are relatively affordable, but tourists have to bargain. Tourists can ask the taxi driver to use the meter but the drivers will usually say it’s broken. It is advised to ask your hotel or hostel how much a taxi should cost before getting in one to avoid getting ripped off by taxi drivers. Rickshaws (Tuck-Tuks) are cheaper than taxis, but you also have to bargain. Hiring a car is not recommended due to the lack of respects for traffic laws and the chaos on the roads. Uber is available.
Tourist Visas in India
All visitors need to obtain and apply for a visa to enter India, except the citizens of Nepal and Bhutan. Visa on Arrival is available for citizens of Japan and South Korea. The country provides an online visa application. e-Visa is available for 150 nationalities and valid for 60 days. It is a double-entry visa. There is also a six-month tourist visa for longer trips.
Passport must be valid for at least 180 days after your entry to India and should have at least two blank pages.
Local Currency: the official currency is the Indian rupee (INR). 1 USD is equivalent to 70 INR.
Money & Payments: ATMs are widely available. Currencies such as US dollars, euros, and pounds sterling are easy to change throughout the country. Credit and debit cards are accepted in some shops, restaurants, and hotels. Always carry cash because many places still accept cash only. Service fees are sometimes added to the bills automatically in restaurants if it’ 10% tip is reasonable. Taxis and rickshaws do not expect a tip but it is good to tip drivers who are honest.
Local Language: There are many languages spoken in India including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, and Punjabi. English is understood by many people especially those in the tourism area and major cities.
Local Culture and Religion: India is very diverse and multicultural. Hinduism is the largest religion with 79.8% of the population practicing the religion. Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, and other religions are also practiced.
Public Holidays: India celebrates several major religious holidays. The country has numerous annual festivals such as Holi, Ganesh Festival, Diwali, and Onam.