Visiting India

INDIA gained independence from the British in 1947 and became a republic in 1950. The parliament was established in the capital New Delhi. It has 28 states, each having its own assembly to run local affairs. Many have their own various by-laws, for example alcoholic drinks and eating beef are strictly prohibited and illegal to sell or consume in Gujarat, whereas in the neighbouring state Maharashtra it’s legal to sell and consume both. Each state have their own different language. E.g. Gujarat will have Gujarati; Maharashtra will have Marathi and so on.India has now over 35 states(28+7 UT).

GUJARAT. At the time of independence India was divided into 17 states, Gujarat was combined with Maharashtra and used to be called Bombay state. In the early 1960s Gujarat separated and became Gujarat state.Population in excess of 60 millions.Muslim population is just over 10%.

Gujarat has some 26 different districts, each district has sub-districts called Taluka. Many villages makes up a sub-district, and so many sub-distict (taluka) make up one District.

Alipore is situated in Navsari district and under sub-district of Chikhli.


Postal code (pincode) is used to identify a post office in India. Every city and village post office is allocated with a pincode number.

The pincode has 6 digits like 396409. The first 2 digits represent the state.

Alipore pin code is 396409, shared by 3 other villages. Ambheta, Bamanvell and Kalwach.



STD (subscriber trunk dialling) code represent the area code for Indian landline phones. Each phone exchange has a STD code no. For example Chikhli 2634.



The licence plate number in India has 4 parts like GJ-21-AA-5928.
First 2 letters represent the state in which it is registered. For example Gujarat GJ, Mahrastra MH etc
Second 2 digits represent the RTO office code from 01-99, Navsari is 21
Next 2 letters is the serial numbers from AA to ZZ. The last 4 numbers are serial numbers from 0001 to 9999.



Indians drive on the left (though not all the time!) same as most ex-British colonies. Driving rules are very much same as UK but most drivers flaunt them at will. Roads are getting better as there are growing numbers of vehicles on the road. A trip to this land is full of surprises. India offers an open invitation to all travelers to visit this land and relive pure pleasure without any hassle.



And finally a few words of caution. Enjoy India as it comes, you are not going to change anything. It’s their life, so don’t get involved in to their politics and religious beliefs. Don’t keep reminding them of the way you live in the UK, they will simply shrug it off.
Remember also Indian are very touchy about outside criticism, so be careful of what you say. And yes, someone will take you to the cleaners at least once. Don’t make a fuss about it, you will be wiser for the rest of your stay.

If you are visiting India for the first time then food and water should be carefully measured and watched for the first week or so. I must say the temptation and persuasion from the locals is so overwhelming, that you may give in and enjoy the pain of an upset stomach for a few days. And not forgetting diarrhoea.
There is a well known saying “if you visit India and don’t have diarrhoea once, then you haven’t visited India at all“. Let me assure you its well worth it.



Do plan ahead for your entire stay. A few days in Alipore and the surrounding villages is a must, followed by visiting major cities like Mumbai, Surat etc. If you have time then North or South India is also recommended. Don’t travel on your own in India, always have some company.

Do visit and find out everything about your ancestor’s way of life, you will hear some interesting and eye opening stories about them to cherish. While you are there, if you chance upon old photographs of your family, bring them back with you, otherwise they will perish forever.

And don’t forget to visit Alipore Kabrastan (the cemetery) which is a must for all visitors. This will be the only opportunity you will have to pay a visit to your ancestors. So don’t miss it for the world.
Have a good trip !! Bonvoyage !!!

More to follow………!


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