contact
Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 7 Slideshow Image 8 Slideshow Image 6
Travel Tips

"The natural beauty, historic landmarks, and incredible culture of India are all worth experiencing without having to worry about any of the negative possibilities. If you keep these tips in mind as you travel you should be guaranteed a safe, healthy, enjoyable trip."

Useful Traveling Tips While Traveling in India

Clothing
Clothing and laundry are both quite inexpensive. It’s better for women to avoid tank tops or short skirts / shorts. The best outfit, especially during the hot summers, is a T-shirt worn with loose cotton trousers. You can purchase them anywhere in India, at very reasonable rates, at any of the shops. Adventurous ladies can try wearing the Indian 'salwar-kameez'. It is comfortable and free sized.

Social Interaction
If you give the impression of being from a different country, chances are that you might be stared at, especially in the smaller towns. Don't be offended - they mean no harm, it is just curiosity.

Toilets
In India, public toilet facilities 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.

Beggars
Do not let them hassle you, and do not encourage them by giving them money.

Food and Drink
Drink only bottled water. Many popular brands are available. In restaurants insist that they bring a sealed bottle to your table. Eat non-vegetarian food only in good restaurants.  Curd or yoghurt is served with most meals. It is a natural aid to digestion and helps temper the spicy food.

Shopping
Try to shop only in government handicraft shops. There the prices are fixed and the quality is certified. If that is not an option, check the prices at a few shops before making a choice. Bargaining is standard in most places and is enjoyed by all.
Get used to the fact that you will probably be charged more than the locals. If possible, take a local along when you go shopping.

Tipping
In hotels and restaurants, tips are not normally included in the bill. Some hotels include service charges on their bills. In such cases tipping is not necessary. The standard tip is 10%.
In hotels, porters and room service attendants are normally tipped at the end of the stay, though an early tip is likely to get you better service. Tipping of taxi drivers is not customary.

At the time of Sightseeing

  • Dress codes for religious places can include covering your head, being barefoot etc. Ask, so that you don't unwittingly give offence.
  • Some temples do not permit any leather articles at all on their premises.
  • Certain temples are not open to Non-Hindus. Please check with the local tourist information office.
  • Most museums in India are closed on Mondays and Site Museums, those near archaeological monuments, on Fridays.
  • The dry summer heat can drain you completely. Drink lots of water and fluids.
  • The sun is strong. Remember to use sunscreen on exposed parts of the body. Wear sunglasses to screen out harmful rays.
  • 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.
  • Smoking is not allowed at public places. All properties of the Indian Railways including trains and railway stations are strictly non smoking zones with stiff penalties for violations.
  • English is spoken at almost all tourist centers, but you can also request Government-trained and approved guides who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian.

Health Precautions

  • Always drink bottled water.
  • For the first few days it might be advisable to clean your teeth in bottled water.
  • Eat fruit you can peel.
  • Always wash fruit well before eating it.
  • Always keep a tube of mosquito repellent with you.
  • Always carry a kit of the basic emergency medicines you might need for diarrhea, fever, band aids and an antiseptic ointment, etc.
  • Drink lassi - a yoghurt drink. It will help tone down the bacteria.
  • Eat plain rice, or try a simple khichdi - an easily digestible mixture of rice and lentils.
  • Drink plenty of coconut water. It's cooling, and naturally sterilized!
  • Drink plenty of fluids and take some electrolyte salts if the bug persists

Other
Keep extra photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport. This will be required for Indian permits. Also, keep extra photographs of yourselves. These will be required for permits, filling out forms, etc.
Taxi and auto-rickshaw fares keep changing, and therefore do not always conform to readings on meters. Insist on seeing the latest rate card (available with the driver) and pay accordingly.
Insist on the taxi/auto meter being flagged down in your presence. As much as possible, especially from the airport or railroad station insist on using the pre paid services which are available at most important places.
In cities you can change most major foreign currencies and brands of travelers' cheque - but you'll widen your options and save yourself hassles if you stick to US dollars or pounds sterling, and either Thomas Cook or American Express travelers cheque.
Most big cities have ATMs which accept Visa and MasterCard as well as American Express. The ATM network is ever expanding and in some states, you can find them even in some smaller towns.

Requirement for Visa:

  1. Original passport valid for at least 6 months
  2. Correct visa fee
  3. Two passport size photographs
  4. Supporting documents, where necessary
  5. Duly completed application form

Additional requirements for different types of Visa are given below.

a. Tourist Visa
Tourists wishing to visit India will normally be granted tourist Visa, effective from the date of issue. Tourist Visa is non-extendible and non-convertible. Travel Agents who have to visit India frequently may be granted tourist Visa for a longer duration.

b. Business Visa
Business Visa is normally granted for 3 or 6 months. However, multiple-entry Business Visa for up to 2 years validity may be granted to technicians/experts going to India in pursuance of bilateral agreements or joint venture projects having government approval.

c. Student and Employment Visa
Student Visa can be obtained on furnishing proof of admission to recognized Universities/Institutions in India. Employment Visa can also be obtained on furnishing of proof of employment with companies in India.

d. Transit Visa
Transit Visa is valid for halts of up to 72 hours in India within 15 days from the date of issue of the visa and must be obtained before departure. Transit Visa cannot be obtained from immigration counters at ports of entry in India. Evidence of onward travel to a destination outside India is required.

e. Entry Visa
Entry Visa is issued to persons of Indian origin for duration of up to 5 years. These can be obtained, depending on the purpose of visit and eligibility, on a case by case basis.

Please Note:
Persons holding long term Visa (having validity exceeding 6 months) are normally not expected to stay in India more than 6 months during each visit. Please refer to the boxed note further down for requirement to register with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO)/Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

Visa Exemption Letters for Minors
Visa Exemption Letters previously granted to children of Indian origin (for a maximum validity of 90 days from the date of issue) have been discontinued since 1 July 1999. Visa Exemption Letters issued in the past are hence no longer valid. All children holding separate passports are now required to obtain regular Visa.