The below are the basic information you should be knowing before visiting India. Starting from applying a Visa to India to the Cuisine you should be expecting.
PASSPORT & VISA
You should ensure that your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from the date of travel.
A valid visa is required to cross the borders to India except for Nepalese, Bhutanese and Maldivians. six months tourist visa is issued for people intending to visit India. The rule for Visa remains the same for all the states and union territories that come under the Union of India, including Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.V
Visa on arrival is available for certain nationalities, for more information kindly visit the Visa on Arrival Page
Below are the requirements for the visa:
- For Visa: 6 months / Multiple–entry
- Visit (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html) to know complete information about the online visa application formalities to India.
- You can find the online application for at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/info1.jsp.
For applicants with a Pakistan origin (Born in Pakistan/Parents or Grandparents or spouse born in Pakistan) wanting to apply for Indian Visa must fill up the application form online by clicking the link below. (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/)
Manual application Forms are not accepted
Each applicant is required to submit the original passport, 1 copy of visa application form (duly filled and signed) and 1 recent colored passport size photo
Vaccinations are not compulsory except for people traveling to India from certain African and South American countries where yellow fever is endemic. Vaccinations against Cholera, Typhoid and Malaria are recommended.
India follows a time scale known as Indian Standard Time (GMT + 5 hours 30 minutes) throughout the year. We do not observe day light saving. However there is a time difference of two hours from East to West.
The Indian unit of currency is the Rupee, available in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Rupee. One rupee is split into 100 paise, available in denominations 50 paise only. There are coins for 1, 2, 5 and 10 Rupee
US dollars, Euros and Great Britain Pound are easily exchangeable in most hotels and cities through authorized money changers.
Most ATMs will pay out only 10,000 rupees in each transaction. State Bank of India (SBI) is the biggest bank in India has the most ATM’s. ICICI bank has the second largest network of ATMs and accepts most of the international cards at a nominal charge.
It is always worthwhile to have bank cards or credit cards from at least two different providers to ensure that you have a backup available in case one card is suspended by your bank or simply does not work at a particular ATM.
In many cities and towns, credit cards are accepted at retail chain stores and other restaurants and stores. Small businesses and family-run stores almost never accept credit cards, so it is useful to keep a moderate amount of cash on hand.
Visit xe.com for real time exchange rates.
It is customary to tip 10% of the bill at restaurants, but you may tip less if service charges have been included in the bill. Most bills would not have a service charge included.
Below is our recommended guideline:
(Base on a couple traveling)
USD 10 per couple per day
USD 10 per couple per day
USD 2 per luggage
USD 2 per couple
All taxes are collected at the point of ticket issuance. You are not required to pay anymore airport tax upon departure.
Voltage is 220 AC 50 cycles and effective international telephone and Wall outlets take plugs with two or three round prongs. Some hotels provide a 110-volt AC socket for shavers and hair dryers.
Auto-roaming of hand-phone is possible in India. India uses both GSM and CDMA and mobile phones are widely available, starting from Rs 1500. In case if you wish to buy a local mobile connection, the best place to buy one would be at the Airport. They have all facilities to scan and print your passport copies. Local calls are relatively cheap and will not cost you much. International calls are also comparatively cheap, with most destinations under Rs 10 – Rs 20/ pulse.
1. +91 – India international code
Call Another City
1. Always include the STD code (including the first zero) for the city you are phoning.
2. If you are calling a mobile number, dial the number (10 digits)
We highly recommend that you take up personal insurance policy to cover you against sickness, accident, loss of baggage, unexpected alterations to travel arrangements, cancellation etc from your home country
WHAT TO WEAR
Modesty in dress is an important aspect of Indian life and, away from beaches, one should respect the local customs. This is especially important when visiting temples and religious sites, where trousers or full-length skirts should be worn, shoulders should be possibly covered. At Sikh temples, your head must be covered. Shoes that can be slipped on and off easily are very useful as they must always be removed at all religious sites. A wind proof jacket, a sweater and even a woolen hat may be required while at hill stations. Formal clothes are not necessary but something elegant is always appreciated. For general day wear, we recommend light cottons and loose clothing, with jumpers or fleeces and sturdy shoes for those traveling to hill stations and desert locations. In many hotels, restaurants and trains, the air conditioning can be rather chilly. A cardigan or pashmina will come in handy.
Generally speaking, food is safe in India. You can eat meat provided you are sure it is fresh and well cooked. Your instincts are usually right in this respect. Drink only bottled or filtered water from a reliable source. almost all hotels provide bottled water in your room. If you do become unwell, the hotels have excellent doctors who have plenty of experience in dealing with upset stomachs. To avoid mosquito bites, use insect repellent and keep your arms and legs covered after sunset. Take care not to get sunburn; avoid the midday sun, wear a hat, protective sunscreen suitable for your skin type and sunglasses with UV filters.
The photographic opportunities in India are immense. The scenery and architecture are superb, and you will wish to capture the colorful local people, their animals, houses and shops etc. Please be respectful when taking photos and ask permission of people before taking their picture. Photography in religious institutions is generally not permitted. Outdoor photography is usually permitted when visiting such places, but please check with your guide before taking any photographs. At most major monuments, you have to pay a camera fee of between 50 and 200 rupees. Also, bring spare batteries, as these are unlikely to be available locally. Recharging batteries should not be a problem, but a back-up battery pack will prevent any disappointments.
India has an amazingly diverse cuisine with numerous regional specialties. Whilst touring Northern India, make sure you try a few of them. Tandoori food is dry cooked in a charcoal oven and can involve meat, chicken, paneer (cheese) or prawns. Meat, paneer and vegetables cooked in thick gravies are also popular in the north and breads including naan, roti and chapatti will accompany them. Vegetarian food is widely available, in fact, the range is far greater than in most European destinations. Pickles and chutneys accompanying the meal are made from a vast number of different fruits, vegetables and even meat but can be fiery so take care. If things are too hot, ask for some yoghurt or curd to cool it down. Indians are renowned for their sweet tooth and produce a large number of puddings, two of the most popular being rasmali and gulab jamun. Good quality Chinese and European food is increasingly available in both hotels and restaurants.
For a refreshing drink, fresh lime juice is widely available, make sure you have it from a reliable source. Chai is a very sweet type of tea made with boiled milk, lots of sugar and a hint of spice. It is available everywhere and the quantities of sugar make it a good pick-me-up but can be something of an acquired taste. Wine is now produced in India and whilst not of the highest quality. Imported spirits are available in the majority of hotels though they cost more than local brands. Beer is available almost everywhere with Indian brands such as Cobra and Kingfisher being among the most popular. Ice in five star hotels is made with bottled water and is therefore safe. The liquor policy in each state of Kerala is different, for example in Gujarat Alcohol is banned, in Kerala beer and wine is widely available and hard liquors are available at five star hotels and state run outlets.