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INDIA TRAVEL TIPS

India is among the most colorful nations of the world and boasts of a rich history, culture and heritage. India is now recognized world over as one of the fastest growing economy. To get the most of your trip to India, it would be a good idea to equip yourself with useful information before you set out for a journey of a lifetime.

VISA

All non-residents require visas for India, which must be obtained prior to departure. Tourist visas are usually valid for 6 months from the date of issue. Passports must have at least 2 blank pages and be valid for 6 months after your return from India Two passport photographs are also required at the time of application. In case you are travelling to neighbouring country and are coming back to India after that visit again, ensure you have double entry or multiple entry visas. The Government of India has announced a scheme of granting Tourist Visa on Arrival for the citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore for a short period upto a maximum of 30 days. Please contact Indian Embassy/ Mission for more details and terms and conditions of this scheme.

GETTING IN AND OUT

It is always advisable to keep photocopy of the passport separate from your passport at safe place while traveling. Please be careful carrying your ID card, Frequent Flier Cards & Credit cards. One needs additional permits to go to certain destinations in India such as Andaman Islands, Gujarat, Ladakh, Kerala, Arunachal, Tribal areas – like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and more. Check with your travel agent or embassy while planning your visit. 15-Day visa extensions are granted under exceptional circumstances. .

GETTING AROUND

Most cities have means of efficient local transportation such as taxis, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and buses. It is advisable to use taxis from only known and authorized sources and fix up the rate before the use of the taxi or sit in taxis with a proper meter. It is important to carry an International Driving License if you wish to drive on your own. For inter-city and inter-state transport you can avail services of Indian Railways and domestic airlines. Buses & taxis. .

HEALTH

Do carry a kit of the basis emergency medicines you might need for diarrhoea, fever, antiseptic, band aids or the medicines prescribed to you by your doctor. Do carry Doctors prescription if you are having any case history of disease. You may occasionally need insect repellent cream. If you are allergic to dust, be sure to carry medication with you. Sunscreen is another must-have .

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Always carry Medical Insurance while travelling to India. As this is very helpful in invent of hospitalization. Adequate travel insurance is important for your personal safety. Mountain and other adventure sports enthusiasts should have insurance that covers trekking, climbing and mountain biking.

COMMUNICATION

Mobile phone coverage is extensive all over India, with the exception of some remote areas in National Parks, where it may not work. Please check with your mobile provider for network tie-ups. Most national papers are published in Hindi, English and all regional languages.

CURRENCY

Foreign currency above US $ 10000 brought into the country need to be declared in a Currency Declaration Form. Currency can be changed at Airport Counters of Authorised Banks / hotel counter/ bank/or any authorized money exchange dealer. Please keep the receipt with you always till you depart India. – As same will be required in case you wish to convert the remaining Indian currency into US Dollars /Euro at the time of departure.

Notes are available in denominations of INR 5.00, 10.00, 20.00, 50.00, 100.00, 500.00 and 1000.00. Coins come in INR 1.00, 2.00, 5.00 and 10.00

Be careful not to accept torn notes from anyone as no-one else will accept them, making them quite useless. Change is often in short supply, so try not to carry large denominations.

ANY TIME MONEY MACHINES (ATM)

All the banks have now placed ATMs at different locations in the city shopping / residential areas. You can withdraw money in local currency even using your international cards. - Most of the major shopping places will accept credit cards but still we request you to keep some cash with you at all the times.

BUSINESS HOURS

In the cities, offices are generally open from about 09:30 am to 06:00 pm on weekdays. Saturdays may be off, half-day or full working days. Banks are open to the public from 10:00 am to 03:00 pm on weekdays and 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays. Markets in India open from 11:00 to 08:30 pm. Markets generally closes for 01 day in week which may differ with other markets.

CLIMATE

It is best to visit Indian plains during cooler months from October to March. During this period Light woollen are recommended. During Summer Cotton are recommended. For a visit to mountainous regions of India – please avoid Monsoon months which are July to mid September. Visit to Leh / Ladakh is advisable from May till September. .

SIGHTSEEING

Most museums in India are closed on Mondays and site museums especially those near archaeological monuments, on Fridays. Photography is not always permissible, and at many places it is permitted only at a fee. There is usually a higher fee for using a video camera. When you are visiting religious sites, it is advisable to wear trousers, full-length skirts. Try and wear shoes that can be slipped on and off easily, as in some religious site you may need to entre the sanctorum bare foot. English is spoken at almost all tourist centres. .

CLIMATE

It is best to visit Indian plains during cooler months from October to March. During this period Light woollen are recommended. During Summer Cotton are recommended. For a visit to mountainous regions of India – please avoid Monsoon months which are July to mid September. Visit to Leh / Ladakh is advisable from May till September. .

CLOTHING

During the day it is best to wear light, comfortable cottons with a pair of good ventilated walking shoes (Open-toed sandals let in dust and pebbles). For the sightseeing session you may find a good pair of sunglasses and sun-hat handy. At some of the monuments/ temples/ mosques, it is advisable to avoid sleeveless tops and shorts skirts. Restaurants at hotels require their guests to wear formal clothes at their restaurants.

TIPPING

Some hotels include service charges on their bills; in such cases tipping is not necessary. Where this is not done, a tip of 5 to 10% is considered customary. The porter who takes your baggage to your room can be tipped Rs.20 per bag or Rs.50 per trolley. Tipping to taxi drivers for airport/railway station transfers is not customary. However, Tour guides and drivers do expect tips depending on the assignments and number of days spent on the tour.

FOOD

Indian cuisine is a tad too spicy for European and American taste buds. Indulge in the gastronomical delights only if you have the stomach for it. Also, there are plenty of non-spicy cuisines and Always insist on mineral water to drink. Do open seal of the water by yourself. Never accept open bottle from any body. Many popular brands are available in India. Always eat at a good restaurant / eating joint. Avoid eating from road side food stalls.

PUBLIC DECORUM

Public display of affection is not appreciated and neither is public nudity unless perhaps one is at a beach. One is expected to cover the head before entering a religious place such as a temple or mosque. Many times you may be asked to remove shoes before entering temple / mosque or any other religious places. Ask for permission before clicking pictures of women and religious complexes. Some places charge for taking pictures while it is prohibited at a few places as well.

DOMESTIC / INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES:

Check-in counter for domestic travel closes 90 minutes prior to the departure time and for international travel 60 minutes prior to the departure time. We recommend being at the airport well on time in order to catch you flight.

Baggage allowance of 15 Kgs for check-in and 07 Kgs for cabin baggage is allowed Baggage dimension: The maximum dimensions per bag (H + W + L) must not exceed 158 cm (62 Maximum domestic airlines do not have meals / snacks included in the flight cost and if required

TOILETS

In India public toilets are few and far between. Take every opportunity you can to use a clean toilet in places such as hotels and restaurants. Make this a habit wherever you go.

VOLTAGE

PThe electric voltage in India is 220 volts. Most English Appliances work well in India but a universal adapter is needed. Many deluxe hotels provide hair dryers but it is advisable to carry your own, if you use one regularly.