The Foreign Office, in its advice to travellers, warns that although many parts of India have not been affected by violence 'outbreaks related to the Ayodhya dispute could occcur anywhere, particularly in the northern states'.
Until the situation becomes clearer, the FO advises that travellers should avoid visiting Uttar Pradesh (particularly Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi), Jaipur in Rajasthan, and the Old City area of Delhi. 'There have been violent clashes in Bombay, Calcutta, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Travel within these cities should be avoided or deferred if possible for a few days.'
The entire Kashmir Valley remains 'highly dangerous' for foreign visitors. However, the Ladakh area is quiet. The FO says: 'In Punjab, there are violent daily incidents and indiscriminate attacks. Violence has spread into areas bordering Punjab, namely Haryana and Chandigarh, and also north-western Uttar Pradesh. Travel to Assam should be restricted to escorted groups and essential business visits only.'
The Foreign Office Consular Department Travel Advice Unit can be contacted on 071-270 4129.
FROM 1 January to 31 March Paris Travel Service (0920 467467) is offering two-night packages to Paris from pounds 99, including return flight from Gatwick and accommodation. Bookings must be made before the end of December.
From 1 January France Voyages (081-332 0909) has two-night packages to Euro Disney from pounds 99, including return flights with British Airways from Gatwick and accommodation at Camp Davy Crockett. Packages, including accommodation at Hotel Santa Fe, start at pounds 105.
Walks in China
NEXT year, Waymark Holidays (0753 516477) is offering a 20- night walking holiday in the Chinese province of Guizhou, which has recently been opened to foreigners. The holiday, which costs pounds 1,895, including flights and full- board accommodation, is one of 19 new trips in the Waymark brochure, which features walking holidays in 20 countries.
A SEVEN-NIGHT holiday studying the flowers and birds in the Lot region of France is one of the packages featured in the new programme from Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays (0603 300552). The Lot holiday costs pounds 665, including return flights, accommodation, all meals and excursions.
IN ITS new brochure, One World Tours (081-946 6295) is offering holidays designed to support community development or conservation projects in the countries visited. Destinations include Indonesia, Thailand, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Turkey, Peru, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Round the world
Trailfinders (071-938 3366) has published a new round-the-world fare costing pounds 693. Itineraries include UK to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Sydney, San Francisco, New Orleans to UK. The fare is valid for departures from Heathrow, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Newcastle, from February until May 1993.
This week's best-selling travel books:
1. 1993 South Asian Handbook: Indian sub-Continent (Trade & Travel Publications, pounds 18.95).
2. Australia Travel Survival Kit (Lonely Planet, pounds 13.95).
3. The Rough Guide to Egypt (Penguin, pounds 9.99).
4. A Bike Ride: 12,000 miles around the world (Virgin, pounds 6.99) by Anne Mustoe.
5. The Ribbon and the Ragged Square: an Australian journey (Penguin, pounds 6.99) by Linda Christmas.
6. Pole to Pole (BBC Books, pounds 16.95) by Michael Palin.
7. An Indian Attachment (Eland Books, pounds 7.99) by Sarah Lloyd.
8. France, a Culinary Journey: classic recipes from the regions of France (Merehurst, pounds 25).
9. Petra (Chatto & Windus pounds 5.99) by Ian Browning.
10. Fishing Forays 1993: a Distinguished Companion to the Rivers, Lochs and Still Waters of Great Britain & Ireland (Kensington West Productions, pounds 15.95).
Information supplied by The Travellers' Bookshop, 25 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ (071- 836 9132).
Unijet (0444 458181): 17 December Birmingham to Arrecife, seven nights, pounds 69; 31 December Gatwick to Faro, seven nights, pounds 115; 1 January Manchester to Tenerife, seven nights, pounds 135; 2 January Manchester to Malta, seven nights, pounds 115; 5 January Manchester to Tenerife, three nights, pounds 79.
Kuoni (0306 743000): 21 December Gatwick to Luxor, seven nights bed and breakfast (plus Christmas dinner) at the PLM Azur Etap, pounds 633; 3 January Gatwick to the Maldives, 28 nights on the island of Meerufenushi, pounds 799.
Meon Villas (0730 268411): 17 December Gatwick to Lanzarote, seven nights self-catering in villa with private pool, pounds 349 per person based on four or more sharing, including car hire.
Olympic (071-359 3500): 16 December Manchester to Paphos, seven nights self-catering, pounds 149.Reuse content