ABOUT With its many languages, cultures and religions, India is highly diverse. This is also reflected in its federal political system, whereby power is shared between the central government and 28 states. India offers a different aspect of her personality – exotic, extravagant, elegant, eclectic to each traveller to the country. Due to changes for the issuing of Indian visas in the United Kingdom, the Indian embassy in London do not issue Indian visas directly to the public. When applying for your visa for India, you need to post your India Visa Application form to India Visa Head Office, 36 Victoria Avenue, Grays, Essex, RM16 2RP. Tourists wishing to visit India are normally granted a short-term tourist visa, normally granted for three or six months effective from the date of issue. Tourist visas are non-extendible and non-convertible. Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city of India, with an estimated metropolitan population of about 12 million (2005). Mumbai is almost overflowing with sights to see: fascinating culture, bustling city life and interesting landmarks. An abundance of outdoor markets and fine stores make this destination a shoppers dream. The city is home to India's film and television industry, known as Bollywood. Mumbai is also one of the rare cities to accommodate a national park, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, within its city limits.

CLIMATE The weather is mainly hot most of the year with significant variations from region to region. The coolest weather lasts from around the end ofNovember to the beginning of March, with fresh mornings and evenings, and mostly sunny days. The really hot weather, when it is dry, dusty and unpleasant, is between March and June. Monsoon rains occur in most regions in summer anywhere between June and early October.

BEWARE We advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, and the region of Ladakh. There has been an overall decline in violence in the state in recent years and an increase in the numbers of Indian and western tourists. There have been no recent reported attacks on visitors in the cities of Srinagar or Jammu, and we no longer advise against travel to those locations, nor against travel on the Jammu to Srinagar highway. But foreigners remain vulnerable in rural districts and outside the main population centres and tourist areas, and there is a risk of unpredictable violence, including bombings, grenade attacks, shootings and kidnapping. Please note that the level of consular assistance that we can provide in Jammu & Kashmir is extremely limited. We advise against all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan other than travel across the international border at Wagah. Four rocket attacks launched from Pakistani territory landed near Attari on 12 September 2009, and a previous attack took place in July 2009. The border between India and Pakistan in Rajasthan is unmarked in some areas. Approaching the border away from an official crossing point could be dangerous, and where unmarked could lead to a visitor straying into the other country illegally.