Trade Guide: India

Do you know?

With a population of 1.2 billion people, India (official name: the Republic of India) is the second most populous country in the world, and thanks to its remarkable growth in recent decades, has become the world’s fourth largest economy, and the third largest in Asia, behind China and Japan.


Alluring sights, fascinating culture, unique customs, great food and friendly people, all these make up  the most colorful country in the world—India.

Taj Mahal – an amazing love story

The Taj Mahal stands in Agra, a major city in northern India. The landmark attracts a large number of visitors—more than double its population every year. So, there is no better way of beginning this article than by telling you the romantic story behind it.

Shah Jahan, initially named Prince Khurram, married his third wife, Arjumand Banu Begum in 1612. When he became emperor, he bestowed on Arjumand the title of Mumtaz Mahal, meaning “Jewel of the Palace”. Mumtaz Mahal was his most beloved. Unfortunately, in 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died due to a difficult labor when giving birth to their 14th child. Out of deep sorrow, Shan Jahan ordered built the most beautiful mausoleum and funerary garden in Agra as his monument to love, and this magnificent piece of architecture is now the world-famous attraction–The Taj Mahal.

The entire construction took 22 years and employed over 20,000 workers, masons and artists. But you immediately realize it was worth all the effort and resources when you visit it in person. The dome and arch of The Taj are made of white marble that reflects the vibrant colors of sunlight and moonshine, from soft grey at midnight under the crescent moon, to light yellow during sunrise; from milky white under the bright sun, to a golden color in the twilight.  For every visitor, the inlaid semi-precious stones and detailed carvings of the interior are utterly breathtaking.


Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India

How to get there

Train from Delhi (2-3 hours) or by car or taxi (4-5 hours).

Opening hours

From sunrise to sunset, so these times vary throughout the year.
Closed on Fridays.

Entry Fee

750Rs for foreign tourists

The Ganges—a river sacred to the Hindus

 Radiokafka /

In some people’s eyes, the Ganges River might be one of the most polluted rivers in the world, but it’s still the most sacred river in the hearts of all Hindus.

The Ganges, named after a Hindu goddess Ganga, is believed by Hindus to have the power to purify a person’s soul from all sins as well as cure illness. So even though the Ganges is the fifth most polluted river in the world, many local people bathe in the river, not for body cleansing, but for the remission of sins from the past.

For some, the river is even the path from earth to heaven. A traditional funeral involves a cremation on the banks of the Ganges, a holy rite which grants the body instant salvation. So, don’t be surprised if you see a dead body while you are rafting down the Ganges.


It’s a trans-boundary river flowing through India and Bangladesh


One can visit Ganges River in many places, but Varanasi is highly recommended. Varanasi is on the banks of the Ganges, which is the holiest city in Hinduism and Jainism.

Camel Safari – an unforgettable adventure

 littlewormy /

Besides visiting the magnificent buildings and experiencing the holy rivers, India is also a great place for you to enjoy the marvels of nature.

The camel safari is one of the country’s most popular tourist activities. Rippling along on a camel’s back, enjoying a magical sunset in an endless desert, or camping out under the starry sky at night are some of the exotic retreats one can enjoy while in India. Cultural tours, taking in gypsy dance, folk music or a visit to a local village can be arranged via local agents. An unforgettable experience is guaranteed.

The funny thing is that camel-back riding is not a comfortable journey at all, especially when you have to rock back and forth on the camel’s back for a whole day. Travelers always complain about sore legs and back by the end of the journey. Bringing a cushion to sit on would help a lot.


Many places in India offer camel safaris, but the north-western state of Rajasthan, with the breathtaking Thar Desert, has become the most popular place of all.


The best season to travel is during the dry winter, from September to March. Sunblock, sunglasses and hats are essential for the entire trip. If you stay in the desert at night, staying warm is key as the temperature can drop to 0° C or 32° F.

Yoga retreat – A soul-cleansing experience

If you are looking for a holistic medication for your body and soul, India is also an excellent retreat for you. Whether you are a Hindu or not, having a yoga holiday in tranquility restores the perfect balance to every part of your body and soul—so become inspired by your own breathing exercises.

Though the origin of yoga is still under debate, there is no doubt that yoga is flourishing in India. Yoga is part of India’s daily practice. And with the rise in popularity of yoga around the world, more and more people are making the pilgrimage to India to discover the real yoga.

In India, there are thousands of yoga schools or yoga-retreat centres, with lots of variety, from a little shop in the local village to a luxury centre in a five-star hotel. Parmarth Niketan is one of the largest in scale. Located in the Himalayas, along the banks of the Ganges, the ashram was founded in 1942 on eight acres of land and over 1,000 rooms.  Parmarth holds a week-long International Yoga Festival every March. Some 500 participants from over 30 countries come to join the yoga classes which are instructed by world-class teachers, and to breathe in the sights and meet one another on the path of discovery.


Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304, India

Room rate

From 500Rs for single bed.

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