SUMMARY:India is a country teeming with unpredictability and new experiences. From the mysterious food choices to the changeable climates of spanning deserts, southern jungles, high Himalayas, and crowded Bombay slums, you never know what will happen next. Anything or anybody may want to sit down next to you, thus India requires an open mind and an enthusiastic outlook. The air is thick with pollution, and whether in small villages or massive cities, the stifling heat follows you everywhere. Although India is crowded, dirty, ceaselessly hot, and poverty-ridden, the fascinating country has loads to offer to traveling explorers.

PROFILE: Full country name: Republic of India Area: 3,287,590 sq km (1,229,737 sq mi) Population: 1,014,003,817 Capital city: New Delhi People: 72% Indo-Aryan, 25% Dravidian, 3% other Language: Hindi Religion: 80% Hindu, 14% Muslim, 2.4% Christian, 2% Sikh, 0.7% Buddhist, 0.5% Jains, 0.4% other Government: Federal Republic

MONEY & COSTS: Currency: Indian rupee Relative costs: Budget meal: US$2-3 Budget room: US$5-10 Tourist Visa: US$45 (valid up to 6 months) By staying in cheap hotels, traveling 2nd class on trains, and eating like a local, you can journey India on just US$10 a day.

TRANSPORTATION: Since air travel can quickly get expensive for the average tourist, you may opt for traveling by train or rickshaw. While trains are suitable for distance travel, rickshaws are convenient for city travel costing as little as $.50 to $1.00. Buses are also an option for those who don't mind the crowded and cramped conditions similar to trains.

RELIGION: Religion is extremely important in Indian life, and Hinduism, which makes up 80% of the population, also remains the largest religion in Asia. Hinduism has several gods and a number of holy books that assume salvation is achieved through a series of births, or reincarnations. While only 14% of the population is Muslim, a mere 2.4% are Christians.

CALL TO MISSIONARIES: Because India is a country consumed by Hindu beliefs, there lies a desperate need for the Gospel to be communicated. With India's immense population of a billion people, missionaries are far from completing their task. Even though missionaries are currently working in Indian cities, there is still much work to be done in the rural areas. It is important to pray that through the Gospel's power and efficiency, the lost and hungry souls of India will be satisfied.