Which city in Maharashtra speaks more Marathi

DESTINATION: The state of Maharashtra is located in western India and is one of the largest in the country. Almost 100 million people live in Maharashtra, around one in ten of them in the metropolis of Bombay.

ARRIVAL AND FORMALITIES: Citizens from countries of the European Union need a passport that is valid for at least six months and a visa. It costs 50 euros and is available at the Indian Embassy in Berlin and at the consulates general in Frankfurt / Main, Hamburg and Munich (Internet addresses: www.indischebotschaft.de). Lufthansa and Air India fly non-stop to Bombay from Frankfurt. There are transfer connections for example via Paris with Air France and via Zurich with Swiss. The flight time is about eight hours.

TRAVEL TIME AND CLIMATE: There is a monsoon climate. The best time to travel is from October to February, when it is cooler and drier. In March it gets hot, from June to September it is hot and humid.

CURRENCY: The local currency is the rupee. One euro corresponds to about 57 rupees (as of October 2006).

LANGUAGE: In Maharashtra, the main language is Marathi. The official language is Hindi. Many residents also speak English.

TIME DIFFERENCE: In Maharashtra the Indian Standard Time applies. That means 4.5 hours "lead" over Germany. During the summer in Europe there is only a 3.5 hour difference.

HEALTH: Vaccinations are not required. It is advisable to bring medicine against diarrhea and motion sickness from Europe. Details should be discussed with tropical medicine specialists.

INFORMATION: India Tourism, Basler Strasse 48, 60329 Frankfurt (Tel .: 069/242 94 90, Internet: www.india-tourism.com).

ATTENTION: Next Tuesday (October 31st) the thematic service will send a travel report by Manuel Meyer about the olive route in Andalusia.