Hindi and English (English is widely spoken).
A visa is required. From the 15th August 2015, UK nationals will be able to apply for an E-Visa for travel to India, simplifying the process of obtaining a visa. The E-Visa needs to be applied for online in advance of travel. The eVisa is Valid for 2 entries and travellers can apply for it up to 120 days prior to the date of entry into India.
Travellers with non-machine readable passports will be denied entry. A passport is machine readable when there are two lines of text as letters, numbers and chevrons printed at the bottom of the information page along with the bearer's photo. The majority of British passports issued in the UK are machine readable. British passports issued before 2006 or issued outside the UK may not be machine readable.
• January 26 – Republic Day. Honouring the Constitution of India coming into effect in 1950. This is a national holiday and there are parades and various cultural events throughout the country
• February – Carnival of Goa. Three days of celebration and festivity.
• March – Holi, the ‘Festival of Colours’, nationwide. Celebrated with riotous displays of fun and laughter.
• August – Punnamada Lake boat race, Kerala. Teams compete for the Nehru Trophy.
• September – Ganesh Chaturthi, Goa. Celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
• October/November – Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’, nationwide. Earthen lamps or candles are lit all over India and people exchange gifts.
• November – The Pushkar Mela, Pukshar, Rajasthan. A five-day festival of livestock trading and racing plus random competitions that include ‘most beautiful camel’ and ‘longest moustache’.
A service charge of 7-10% will usually be added to your bill. 20-50 rupees is recommended for hotel porters.