Planning your Travel to India
We are delighted to be the host country for WPRF 2023 and it would be our extreme pleasure to share every bit of helpful information right from planning your trip to India to your stay here. If you are planning to travel to India for WPRF 2023 slated to take place on 21st September in Chennai at ITC Grand Chola, here is all that you need to know –
India is a culture rich country. It is probably the only country with 21 modern languages and dialects, 6 seasons and 7 major different religions. Because of its diverse topography, it is possible that while the southern part of Indian sub-continent could feel hot and humid, the northern part could still be witnessing snow! Yes. India has 28 States and 8 Union Territories and a national border that runs across 15,200 kms (9,400 miles). New Delhi is the national capital of India, with Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad being the other major metropolitan cities. The current population of India is 1.417 billion, making it the world’s most populous nation.
Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of Tamil Nadu and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southern fringes of India. Located on the Coromandel Coast, this busy metropolis is a city of ancient temples, vibrant arts, natural wonders and a bustling culinary scene.
- Weather: The month of September could be good time to visit some states in India. It can offer fantastic weather in Rajasthan (which covers 60% of the Great Indian Desert – The Thar desert) as it marks the end of the monsoon, although the weather is still mixed in the surrounding regions. The tourist season in Ladakh (India’s northern most tip) ends by September but travel is still possible.
- In Chennai one may expect humidity, rains, and other extremes. Daytime temperatures usually reach 31°C (88.0 F) in September with extreme heat and humidity, and fall to 27.3°C (80.1 F) at night.
- Currency: The local currency is Indian Rupees (INR) and you could check the conversion rates here – https://www.goodreturns.in/currency/
- Language: English is the second official language in India and widely spoken and understood. The first official language being Hindi. The standard greeting is to say “namaste” (greetings to you) with your hands together in a prayer-like gesture in front of your chest. There are local and regional languages also which are widely spoken but unless you are deep in the rural areas, you will not feel lost as such when it comes to communication.
- Tamil is Chennai’s first language; English is widely spoken in most pockets of Chennai. Just ‘Vanakkam’ (means Hello in Tamil) your way through the day, with a smile!
- Culture & Food: India is a culture-rich country and food here comes in exceptionally wide varieties. Largely on the mild to spicy side, rice and chapati are the staple breads here.
- South-Indian cuisine also comprise several varieties of Dosa (Crisp savoury pancake) like saada dosai, neer dosai, rava dosai and many more, which are prominently available in Chennai and in any southern state of India. Idli (savoury rice cake) and Vadai (fritters or cutlets made out of lentil) are other popular foods in Chennai and are served along with Sambhar (lentil soup, typically spicy and watery). Pongal is a traditional cuisine where rice is cooked in a matki (pot) with water and milk.
- Mobile Connectivity: Many things in India get easier if you have a local SIM card. If you are planning to travel around in India after the conference, it is recommended to bring an unlocked phone from home (or pick one up locally) and get a phone shop to sign you up for a local pay-as-you-go SIM package on arrival. You’ll need to bring passport photos and photocopies of your passport ID pages to complete the application. Almost all hotels offer Wi-Fi connection so staying connected through WhatsApp is another easy option.
Our next blog is about How to make the most of your days in India