India has a large number of national parks and
sanctuaries, most of them fairly easily accessible, with comfortable
lodgings. Here, a wealth of wildlife can be sighted: the Indian tiger in all
his majesty, rare animals such as the snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, Indian
rhinoceros, gaur, thamin deer, Kashmir stag, Asiatic lion, wild ass and the
Indian elephant. There are some magnificent Bird's Sanctuaries too, home to
hundreds of species of resident and migratory birds including the wintering
Siberian crane, and the great Indian bustard, once thought extinct.
India boasts 53 national parks, 247 sanctuaries, with over 350 mammal and
1,200 bird species. Accommodation A very wide range of hotels is available:
business hotels in busy metro cities; resort style hotels at popular tourist
destinations; small and charming guest houses in off the Beaten track
A range in the budgetary levels usually accompanies these too, with a
choice of five stars to inexpensive, budget lodgings. Hotels usually provide
all facilities on par with their counterparts all over the world.
Though India has developed the service industry technique indigenously too,
it also has a number of international hotel chains that have made their
presence felt in the market. These include, Among others Sheraton, Marriott,
Inter Continental, Hyatt, Holiday Inn,Meridien, Sofitel, Kempinski, Best
Western, Taj, Oberoi and Quality Inn.
Dining India is a Gourmets paradise. Several of its Restaurants have become
legends, even overseas, and Indian food has found a very wide acceptability
worldwide. Understanding the kind of Indian food you wish to taste may pose
a difficult choice. Each region has its own distinctive cuisine with its own
flavours and spices. The cuisines of North India is generally gravied with
the Exception of the popular Tandoori (Barbecue) ranges and is rich and
flavoursome, and is usually eaten with a variety of unleavened breads called
riots. That of the south is lighter by far, usually vegetarian, and there is
a lot of emphasis on lentils, yoghurt and rice. The cuisine of Goa is hot,
and Seafood is a specialty. Food from Lucknow and Hyderabad has attained an
excellence in its experimentation with different means of preparation and
flavouring. East Indians love fish, and eat a light diet. Savoury snacks
from different regions also give you a piquant taste of India.
There is a wide variety of international cuisines available too in the
finest of restaurants, with wine and music. Chinese cuisine is very popular,
and there are number of restaurants. But Italian, French, Spanish, English,
American, Mediterranean, Japanese, Thai, Greek, Lebanese and other cuisines
too are available, while coffee shops all over the country can provide you
with the light meal or sandwich of your choice at any time of day or night.
Drinking Water In standard hotels, drinking water is generally filtered and
available in your room. However, it may be safer because of the number of
different places you may be travelling to ask for mineral water in sealed
bottles. It may be better for you to carry a stock of mineral water with you
when travelling to some of the smaller resorts. In large cities and tourist
destinations, it is easily available.