Essential Info for India
Capital city: New Delhi
Largest city: Mumbai
Neighbouring countries: India shares borders with Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. Off the coast of India one finds the island nations of Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Geography: India is a large and geographically diverse country. The northern frontiers of India are largely defined by the Himalayan mountain range. In the northeast of the country lies the Thar desert. India's border with Burma is home to some deeply forested mountainous regions. The country is also home to the intricate Ganges-Brahmaputra waterway system which occupies most of the northern, central and eastern areas while the Deccan Plateau occupies the southern part of India.
Political system: India's political system is a federal parliamentary constitutional republic in which the president is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of government.
Major religions: Hinduism (80%), Islam (13%), Christianity (2%), Sikhism (2%), Buddhism and Jainism (less than 2% combined).
Main languages: The official languages of India are Hindi and English. Urdu is spoken by large numbers of people in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and in areas surrounding Kashmir. Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujurati and Marathi are just some of the other languages commonly spoken by various communities in India.
Money: The Indian Rupee (INR), divided into 100 paise.
Tipping: Standard 10 percent for good service for waiters, porters, guides and drivers.
Time: GMT +5.5
Electricity: 240 volts, 50Hz. Most plugs have two or three round pins, although a variety of power outlets are used.
International dialling code: +91
Emergency contacts: Emergency numbers in India are 100 for the police, 102 for ambulance services, and 101 for the fire service. Most Indian emergency medical staff speak English to a good standard.
Internet domain: .in
Transport and driving: There are plenty of modes of transport which can be used for getting around India. The standard of public transport in India is very varied, but networks are extensive and most locals use public buses and trains to travel nationally. Expats wanting to travel quickly between Indian cities can take advantage of domestic flights which are competitively priced and plentiful. Taxis in India are also reasonably priced. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Expats with an international driving licence are permitted to drive in India but it can be a somewhat stressful experience for foreign drivers. Driving behaviour amongst local road users is erratic and accidents are common.