Travelling to India From Canada 2023: For First-Time Visitors

How to planning a trip to India from Canada?

Traveling to India from Canada can be an exciting and enriching experience, especially for first-time visitors. India is a country that offers a diverse range of experiences, from its rich cultural heritage to its bustling cities, stunning natural landscapes, and delicious cuisine. If you're considering a trip to India from Canada, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you have all the necessary travel documents, including a valid passport and visa. Next, plan your itinerary carefully to make the most of your time in India. Consider visiting some of the country's iconic landmarks, such as the Taj Mahal, and exploring its vibrant cities, like Delhi and Mumbai. And don't forget to try some of the local cuisine, which is sure to tantalize your taste buds. India is a country like no other, and a trip here is sure to be a life-changing experience.

Before traveling to India, here are some important things that Canadians should know:

  1. Visa Requirements: Canadians need a valid visa to enter India. It's advisable to apply for an e-visa or tourist visa well in advance of your travel dates. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date.

  2. Health and Vaccinations: Visit a travel clinic or healthcare professional to get advice on recommended vaccinations for India. Consider vaccinations for diseases like hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tetanus, and polio. It's also important to pack a basic medical kit with essential medications.

  3. Travel Insurance: It is strongly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance before your trip to cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings. Ensure your policy covers activities you plan to engage in, such as adventure sports or trekking.

  4. Safety and Security: India is generally a safe destination for travelers, but it's important to exercise caution. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots. Take precautions to safeguard your belongings, avoid displaying expensive items, and be cautious of scams or touts.

  5. Cultural Sensitivity: India is a culturally diverse country with various customs and traditions. Respect local customs and dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites. It's also polite to seek permission before taking photographs of individuals, especially in rural areas.

  6. Food and Water Safety: Be cautious about the food and water you consume to avoid traveler's diarrhea. Stick to bottled or boiled water and opt for freshly cooked hot meals. Avoid eating street food from unhygienic stalls and ensure fruits and vegetables are thoroughly washed or peeled.

  7. Transportation: India has a vast and complex transportation system. Consider pre-arranging airport transfers or using reputable taxi services. When using public transport, be cautious of pickpockets and keep an eye on your belongings. It's advisable to book train or bus tickets in advance to secure your travel plans.

  8. Currency and Money Exchange: The official currency in India is the Indian Rupee (INR). Exchange currency at authorized exchange counters or banks. Notify your bank and credit card company of your travel plans to avoid any issues with ATM withdrawals or card transactions.

  9. Communication: English is widely spoken and understood in major cities and tourist areas. However, it's helpful to learn a few basic phrases in Hindi to communicate with locals and navigate daily interactions.

  10. Travel Advisory: Stay informed about the latest travel advisories and updates from the Government of Canada regarding safety, health, and security concerns in India. Register with the Canadian government's Registration of Canadians Abroad service before your trip.

Remember to plan your itinerary in advance, research the destinations you'll be visiting, and stay open-minded to fully enjoy the rich cultural experiences India has to offer.

This itinerary covers some of the popular destinations in India, providing a mix of cultural experiences, historical sites, and natural beauty. Keep in mind that India is a vast and diverse country, so this itinerary can be customized based on your preferences and interests.

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

  1. Arrive in Delhi, India's capital city.
  2. Spend the day exploring Old Delhi, including attractions like Jama Masjid, Red Fort, and Chandni Chowk.
  3. Visit the India Gate and take a stroll in the evening at Rajpath.

Day 2: Delhi

  1. Explore New Delhi, including Humayun's Tomb, Qutub Minar, and the Lotus Temple.
  2. Visit the National Museum or other museums of your interest.
  3. Experience the vibrant street food scene in Delhi.

Day 3: Agra

  1. Travel to Agra and visit the iconic Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  2. Explore the Agra Fort and Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb.
  3. Witness the sunset or sunrise at the Taj Mahal.
  4. Optional: Visit Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Agra.

Day 4: Varanasi 

  1. Fly to Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world.
  2. Experience the mesmerizing evening Aarti ceremony on the banks of the holy River Ganges.
  3. Take a boat ride along the ghats (steps) of the Ganges and witness the rituals and spiritual fervor.
  4. Explore the narrow alleys of Varanasi and visit the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Day 5: Jaipur

  1. Head to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan.
  2. Visit the Amber Fort and enjoy an elephant ride.
  3. Explore the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds).
  4. Shop for local handicrafts and jewelry in Jaipur's bustling markets.

Day 6: Amritsar

  1. Fly to Amritsar, home to the iconic Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine.
  2. Visit the Golden Temple and witness the religious rituals and community kitchen (langar).
  3. Explore the historic Jallianwala Bagh and the Wagah Border ceremony.

Day 7: Mumbai

  1. Fly to Mumbai, India's bustling metropolis.
  2. Visit iconic landmarks like the Gateway of India and Marine Drive.
  3. Explore the Elephanta Caves and enjoy sunset views from Hanging Gardens.
  4. Discover the vibrant street food scene and nightlife in Mumbai.
  5. Optional: Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ajanta and Ellora Caves near Aurangabad.

Day 8: Chennai

  1. Explore Marina Beach, the second-longest urban beach in the world.
  2. Visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple, a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  3. Experience the vibrant culture and history of Chennai at the Government Museum.

Day 9: Mysore

  1. Travel to Mysore, known for its rich heritage and grand palaces.
  2. Explore the opulent Mysore Palace, the former residence of the Wodeyar dynasty.
  3. Visit the vibrant Devaraja Market and experience the local flavors and spices.

Day 10: Coorg

  1. Journey to Coorg, a picturesque hill station renowned for its coffee plantations.
  2. Enjoy the scenic beauty of Coorg and visit the Abbey Falls and Raja's Seat.
  3. Learn about coffee production with a visit to a coffee estate and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Day 11: Goa

  1. Fly to Goa, a beach paradise on the western coast of India.
  2. Relax on the beautiful beaches of Goa.
  3. Explore the charming streets of Panaji, the capital city.
  4. Visit historical sites like the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Fort Aguada.
  5. Enjoy water sports, indulge in delicious seafood, and unwind before heading back.

Day 12: Wayanad

  1. Head to Wayanad, a nature lover's paradise.
  2. Explore the lush greenery of the Western Ghats and visit the stunning Edakkal Caves.
  3. Take a jeep safari in the wildlife sanctuaries of Wayanad and spot elephants, tigers, and other wildlife.

Day 13: Chilika Lake and Bhubaneswar

  1. Take a boat ride on Chilika Lake, the largest coastal lagoon in India, known for its rich biodiversity.
  2. Spot migratory birds and visit the Kalijai Temple located on an island.
  3. Return to Bhubaneswar and visit ancient temples like Lingaraj Temple and Mukteshwar Temple.

Day 14: Darjeeling

  1. Fly to Bagdogra and drive to Darjeeling, a charming hill station in the state of West Bengal.
  2. Enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas from Tiger Hill at sunrise.
  3. Visit the Happy Valley Tea Estate to learn about tea production and enjoy a tea tasting session.

Day 15: Puri and Konark

  1. Fly to Bhubaneswar and drive to Puri, a popular beach destination in Odisha.
  2. Visit the famous Jagannath Temple and experience the religious rituals.
  3. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Konark Sun Temple, known for its stunning architecture.

Please note that this itinerary provides a general overview, and you may need to adjust it based on your travel preferences, the time of year, and flight availability. It's always recommended to research and plan your trip in advance, including visa requirements, accommodations, and transportation arrangements.