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India is located in South Asia and has a massive population of 1.1 billion people. India is a cocktail of cultures, languages, rituals and colours that set a dynamic stage for the drama of life. It's landscapes- mountains, deserts, torrential rivers and placid lakes provide the setting. It's people and their varied lives provide for the captivating script.

Overall, the country has a rich spiritual culture and has an extraordinary range of things to see, do and experience. There is a large number of palaces, temples and monuments as well as natural beauty with its beaches and mountains. The old world mixes with the new as India's cities are quickly becoming modern metropolises. The primary language is Hindi, spoken by roughly 40% of the population. There are also a large number of regional languages, and the Muslim population largely speak Urdu. English is widely spoken, particularly in the cities.

Medical tourism

The Indian healthcare industry has undergone a phenomenal expansion and India is now looked upon as the leading country in the promotion of medical tourism, with an annual growth rate estimated at 30%. India is truly a meccha for medical tourists with about 500,000 foreign patients travelling to India for medical care in 2005 from an estimated 150,000 patients in 2002. Indian hospitals now treat patients from over 55 countries.

A draw-card for India is that it has a top-rated education system and the Indian Government spend in the healthcare sector is substantial. This means that India is home to internationally qualified and experienced specialists and super specialists, they have the latest equipment and technology and strict blood safety and infection control processes. On top of this, the average cost of healthcare in India is about 1/5 of that of the West, with the cost of advanced surgeries in India being 10-15 times cheaper than anywhere else in the world. There are also no waiting times.

India has a large number of medical tourism providers catering to all areas, with most providers having doctors proficient in English, and even providing interpreters to break the language barrier. The highest number of providers are found in cardiology, cancer treatment, cosmetic, dental and eye procedures, infertility, neurology, obesity, and orthopedic. India is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine. For a full list of available treatment areas please refer to the search box to the right.

Best time to travel

Climate is an important issue when deciding what time of year to travel to India. India is a vast country with a range of different climates, but generally speaking they have three main seasons- the hot, the wet and the cool. The cool period is the most pleasant time to visit (November through to mid-February). You should also look at the timinig of their many festivals and events to try and time your trip to coincide.

Money and costs

India's currency is the Rupee (INR, symbol Rs) and generally goes a long way for travellers, although things will be more expensive in larger cities such as Mumbai and Delhi, as well as general tourist destinations. Find up-to-date exchange rates and conversion through a currency conversion tool. A mid-range traveller would generally spend Rs900 and over per day.


The majority of tourists travelling to India will require a tourist visa. These visas are either for six months or one year and allow multiple entries. Applications can be made via relevant Embassies or High Commissions. It must also be noted that some areas of India have been designated as protected or restricted areas, which means that visitors require a special permit (called the Inner-Line Permit) and government authorisation. Applications to visit these areas should be made when applying for your tourist visa.

Getting there

There are numerous international airports that provide access to India, and it's a big country so you need to make sure you fly to the closest airport to your destination. There is also a large number of carriers to get you there, a few of which are Emirates, Thai Airways, British Airways, Austrian Airways, Air Canada, American Airlines.

Indian Ministry of Tourism

Address: Transport Bhavan, Parliament Street, New Delhi 110 001, India

Tel: +91 011 23711995
Fax: +91 011 23710518


Dialling codes

To call India, the country dialling code is +91.

Useful links

Find more in-depth information on India at:

Lonely Planet -​india

India Tourism -

India Embassy in the USA -

India Embassy in the UK -

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Page last updated: Friday, 2nd September 2011