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Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Geographic coordinates: 20 00 N, 77 00 E
Climate: varies from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north
Population: 1,000,848,550 (July 1999 est.)
Ethnic groups: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%
Religions: Hindu 80%, Muslim 14%, Christian 2.4%, Sikh 2%, Buddhist 0.7%, Jains 0.5%, other 0.4%
Languages: English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication, Hindi the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people, Bengali (official), Telugu (official), Marathi (official), Tamil (official), Urdu (official), Gujarati (official), Malayalam (official), Kannada (official), Oriya (official), Punjabi (official), Assamese (official), Kashmiri (official), Sindhi (official), Sanskrit (official), Hindustani (a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India)
note: 24 languages each spoken by a million or more persons; numerous other languages and dialects, for the most part mutually unintelligible
Capital: New Delhi
Requirement For Visa : Foreigners who wish to visit India can do so after obtaining a visa from the Indian Mission in their country of residence. They should possess a valid National Passport - except in the case of nationals of Bhutan & Nepal, who may carry only suitable means of identification.
Tourist Visas : Usually, a multi-entry visa, valid for a period of 180 days, is granted for the purpose of tourism. The visa is valid from the date of issue.
The international airports in the metrocities offer a range of services ensuring that the traveller on business can continue working while waiting to board an international connection, or when transferring between international flights. These include restaurants, business centres, rest rooms and telephone booths. Business centres are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment including wordprocessors and telefax.
Airports also offer tourist duty-free & handicrafts shopping, informal snack bars, nursery and baby care rooms, and even an art gallery. Duty-free prices in the airport shops are very competitive, offering you bargains on international merchandise.
FOREIGN TRAVEL TAX
Passengers embarking on journeys to any place outside India from a Customs airport/seaport will have to pay a Foreign Travel Tax (FTT) of Rs. 300 and Rs. 150 on journeys to Afganistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. No tax is payable on journeys performed by ship from Rameshwaram to Talaimanar and in case of transit passengers, provided they do not leave the customs barrier. Transit passengers travelling by air who have to leave the airport on accout of mechanical trouble but continue their jouney by the same aircraft and the same flight number by which they arrive are also exempt from FTT. Transit sea passengers leaving the ship for sightseeing, shopping etc. during the ship's call at any of the Indian ports will not be required to pay FTT.