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Every year I visit Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, South India, to teach in the Virology, Microbiology and Biochemistry Departments in Sri Venkateshwara University.
LINKS to my India Pages

My Teaching presentations in SV University 
My Pictures  Huge numbers of pictures from 1982 - 2013   
My Snapshots of the birds of India  
My information [Useful scraps] 
Books on or in India
Travel Advice [Visas, Maps etc]
Maps of India
India: My Early Pictures
Some of my Videos

EXTERNAL LINKS
Travel to India Indian News Science & Education
Guides Weather Commerce
Indian tourism websites Music Miscellaneous
Places Birds  
Tirupati    
Hotels    
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My travel Advice
This is really just bits and pieces that might be useful, based on my 25 years of visits.

VISAS.
These should be applied for well in advance. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your application date. It should have at least 2 blank pages [preferable adjacent]. Applications are made to a company vfsGLOBAL [not direct to the Indian High Commission]. Applications must be online. It can take 6 weeks unless a printed copy is taken by hand but this is a lengthy messy business.
     The best way [but costing an extra £30] is to use a specialist company. I recommend Travcour [UK] Ltd. They provide excellent advice [online] to help fill in the online Visa Application Fom. You print this and send it by Royal Mail special Delivery to them with passport, 2 photos and fees to them. They then take the application to vfsGLOBAL and post it back to you. They give excellent advice by phone and are completely reliable.
Links: Indian High Commission;    vfsGLOBAL;   Travcour.

MAPS and GUIDES.
Maps are rarely used in India even for long distance driving.  For my list of good sources go to Guides. I recommend the Lonely Planet travel atlas and guides. Maps in Lonely Planet and Rough Guides are of course useful. One of the best places to buy maps in UK is Stanfords. The biggest website for maps is Maps of India which has a huge range of maps for download or purchase.
      If you need maps of villages, towns, cities other than the major places then an excellent site is Google maps. For an example of the quality look at a map of 'my home town', Tirupati. And of course you can see the terrain and general appearance of the region in Google earth.

Booking flights.  My main experience has been with British Airways to Chennai. It is always cheaper to book direct with BA [their stated policy].

Travel by Car and auto.  I would not recommend driving yourself; to see why not then Click Here. Hired cars come with drivers. It is usual to pay for their food but they usually find their own overnight accommodation. I usually offer in advance a higher tip if they drive more slowly and considerately, especially through villages. It is more difficult to get them to give up the pleasure of hooting their horns randomly every few seconds. The autorickshaws [tuk tuks in Thailand] are often the best way of travelling shorter distances in towns. It is usual to haggle over price. It is often so low that you think haggling is not needed but still best to do so. If you find being driven in an auto is nerve-wracking you should consider how much you would have to pay for such excitement in a fairground. I love them.  
Travel Links

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                   Recommended internet sites

Travel to India [see also My Travel Advice]  
British Airways Indian Railways India Travel
Jet Airways Rail reservations Student travel planner
Quatar Airways India Railway catering and tourism Student travel programmes
vfsGLOBAL For VISAS   The India Tree   Travel/photo club
Travcour for VISA application   FlightRaja Indian travellers portal
Indian High Commission   See also Guides
     
     
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News Weather Guides Places
Msn News

India

Lonely Planet Andhra Pradesh
The Hindu Bangalore    India Sri Venkateshwara National Park
Yahoo [India] Chennai    Bangalore Chennai
News general Chittoor    Hyderabad Mahabalipuram
  Tirupati Rough Guides Mahabalipuram [Wikipedia]
  Mumbai WhatsonWhen Chandragiri [Wikipedia]
  Weather general Maps of India  
    Chennai map  
 
Hotels Tirupati Tourism sites Music
Kalyan Residency, Tirupati TirupatiTimes All India Introduction
Golden Sun, Mahabalipuram Tirupati Andhra Pradesh Indian Rag
Temple Bay, Mahabalipuram Tirupati-Tirumula [Wikipedia] Tamil Nadu Telugu songs
Trident Hilton, Chennai Tirumula Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association Asian Music Circuit
Breeze Hotel Chennai Tirupathi-Tirumula    
  Tirupati hotels    
  Tirupati airport    
  Sri Venkateshwara University    
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Birds of India   Science and Education Commerce
Birds of India Fatbirder site Indian Institute of Science Bangalore Spinco Biotech
Indiabirds Great galleries / Butterflies     Molecular Biophysics Unit Indo-Polish Chamber of Commerce
Indian birds By Suresh     Prof. Balaram ETA-M&E Division Dubai/India Engineering
Andhra Pradesh Fatbirder site Vellore Institute of Technology [VIT]  
Bird books [Amazon]   Sri Venkateshwara University  
My comments   Anna University Chennai  
My pictures        Biotechnology  
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Miscellaneous, including UK sites for use by Indian students
Orhanage/School [Dr. T. Venkateswarlu]
Dr Yogesh S. Shouche
Websites for UK Universities
Map of UK Universities including websites
Alphabetical list of University websites
political

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MAPS OF INDIA ROAD MAPS OF INDIA
Political South India  
Physical Andhra Pradesh
Languages Tamil Nadu
Major airports Chittor AP
Air Network Nellore AP
Rail Network Anantapur AP
Population Density Cuddappa AP
Andhra Pradesh Districts Kurnool AP
Tamil Nadu Disricts Chennai TN
  Tirupati AP
  Mahabalipuram TN
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Road Maps of India
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Tirupati maps
Top of Tirupati maps                     TOP of MAPS
Mahabalipuram maps  

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Tirupati from Google maps. the scale can increase considerably from this.          Back to Advice


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INDIAN BOOKS
These are more fully described in the Books Section

I have only included those that made a big enough impression to remember while working here in India [Feb 2008]. I have only included those that I recommend with enthusiasm.

Recommended novels, usually set in India. See also Indian Fiction

These are novels that I have read, usually in India, that have helped me feel that I understand something, have increased my sympathy or described better than I can myself, the beautiful and frustrating complexities of India

Vikas Swarup: Q & A
Vikram Seth: A Suitable Boy;
Vikram Chandra: Red Earth, Falling Rain.  Sacred Games.
Rohinton Mistry: A fine Balance; Family Matters
Amitav Ghosh; The Hungry Tide
Kiran Desai: The Inheritance of Loss
Arundhati roy: The God of Small Things
VS Naipaul: A House for Mr Biswas
Salman Rushdie: Midnight’s Children
RK Narayan: Malgudi Days.  The Painter of signs.   Waiting for The Mahatma  [and all the rest].
Paul Scott: The Jewel in the Crown [trilogy]

General, Travel and History.    See also Indian Books
William Dalrymple:
   The Last Mughal; the Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857; White Mughals
   The Age of Kali; City of Djinns
Geoffrey Moorhouse:
   Pax Britannica
   Om: An Indian Pilgimage
Alexander Frater:
   Chasing the Monsoon
VS Naipaul:
   INDIA:A Million Mutinies Now
John Keay:
   India; A History
Jan Morris:
   Trilogy: Rise and Fall of the British Empire.
Paul Hyland:
   Indian Balm
Amartya Sen:
  The Argumentative Indian
Edward Luce:
   In Spite of the Gods; the Strange Rise of Modern India
William Radice: Myths and Legends of India [including the Mahabharata; The Folio society]
Mark Tully: India in Slow Motion

Others to be checked for author’s names:
The smile on the Face of Murugan

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