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Travel Tips in India

The Information given below is a personal opinion of Tarun Raikhy, who has spent 21 years in the Tourism industry sepcialising in Foreign Tourist to India. We are not liable for any type of responsibility for any action related with the information given here. If you require exact information of any sort, kindly contact the Indian missions in your country or Indian Tourist centers (where all the information & guidelines are issued by the Government of India)

Tourist Information of India - General

FIRST RULE, make photocopies of all the travel documents you are carrying into India, including your credit cards & traveller cheques.

India is a relatively safe place but it is advisable to take some precautions. Women traveling alone should avoid going out after dark. On board a train, women traveling alone may request to be accommodated near other women travelers .

It is advisable to follow the code of conduct while visiting a place of religious significance like Temples, Mosques and Gurudwaras. .

There is no restriction regarding the amount of money that can be taken to India. However, if this amount exceeds USD 2000, it needs to be declared on arrival and the Customs Authorities will issue a certificate. .

Always exchange your money at banks or official moneychangers.

Discourage beggars as once you encourage them, they could continue to pester you. .

It's always better to seek the services of a professional and authorized Guide than to fall into the trap of fouls. .

Don't open your luggage in a crowded place as it could invite unwanted trouble. Never leave an unlocked suitcase in a hotel room. Never leave suitcases unattended on airports or train stations. .

Never leave your valuables and important documents unattended especially on a hotel reception counter or rail ticket reservation center. .

Always seek travel related advises from a government recognized travel agency as it is the best way to gather relevant information. .

Avoid getting over friendly with strangers specially while travelling in a train or bus.

Carry proper maps as they can prove to be very useful in the absence of signboards. These can be obtained from the State Tourism Offices. .

Everyone should be alert in crowds for pickpockets. Wear a money belt. .

One should be careful while using his or her credit cards. .

Tips on Arrival
 
Do not feel pressurized by local porters at the airport when you arrive. Most airports have carts available, so you can collect and transport your own luggage if you wish.

Get your entire luggage and do not allow anyone to quickly move off with your bags.

Most taxis and ground transportation can be arranged through counters inside the airports.

If you have to take a domestic flight [Jet Airways, Indian Airlines, Sahara Airlines] usually these airlines provide FREE transportation between the airports.

Banks are also located inside the international airports, so you can change some money immediately.

We strongly recommend you exchange part of your money inside the airport and not outside the airport with touts.

Mishandled / Lost Baggage
 
If your baggage is mishandled or lost in transit, you should obtain a certificate to this effect from the airline and have it countersigned by the customs.

Lost passport
 
Foreigners should file a report with the local police regarding loss of passport. After obtaining new travel documents the foreigner should approach for grant of visa / exit permit with the following details:

Customs on Arrival
 
>> Clearance

There are two customs clearance channels. The green channel is for travelers carrying no dutiable items. The red channel is for travelers carrying dutiable items.

>> Items allowed duty-free

Duty free items which you may bring to India include personal effects like clothing, travel souvenirs, gifts, Cigarettes, Cigars, Tobacco, Alcoholic Liquors but not if this is commercial merchandise.

All expensive electronic equipments must be declared at the customs, which will be rechecked, on departure.

You should obtain an Export Certificate for these items if you are traveling to neighbouring countries and intend a multiple entry.

Special Concessions For Tourists Of Indian Origin to Bring Articles On Payment Of Duty, Foreign Exchange/Currency.

Customs Enquiry / Complaints
 
For any enquiry or clarifications, at the International Airport, contact:

Assistant Collector of Customs OR Commissioner of Customs
New Customs House, Near IGI Airport
New Delhi 110037
Tel : + 91 11 25696042

Health
 
>> Health Precautions

Foreign tourists should be in possession of their Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulation, if they are originating or transiting through Yellow Fever endemic countries.

>> Health Certificate

Citizens and travellers coming from the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, do not require any vaccination certificate or inoculations.

>> Vaccinations

As a precautionary measure vaccination against Hepatitis B is recommended, if staying for a longer duration.

>> Precautionary Measures
 
To avoid Malaria, Dengue, carrying mosquito repellents, nets, clothes covering the body and using sprays against insects in rooms is sufficient.

A first aid kit carrying adhesive bandages, thermometer, water-purification tablets, antibiotics, antiseptic creams and mosquito repellents is advisable.

Drinking only mineral or boiled water curbs down the chances of stomach ailments, thus whenever going out carrying a bottle always comes handy.

At Eating Joints, though sticking to a vegetarian diet is recommended, eating only thoroughly cooked meat is advisable.

Avoid Pork products, fried food from vendors, dishes using excessive oil

Kinds of Visa
 
>> Tourist Visas :
Usually, a multi-entry visa, valid for a period of 180 days, is granted for the purpose of tourism. The visa is valid from the date of issue.

>> Collective Visas :
The facility exists for group tours consisting of not less than four members and sponsored by a travel agency recognized by the Government of India.

>> Transit Visas :
Transit visas are granted by Indian Missions abroad for a maximum period of 15 days.

Visa for purposes other than tourism
 
If a foreigner wishes to come to India for a purpose other than tourism, he should come after obtaining one of the following visas:

>> Business Visa :
A foreigner can obtain one from an Indian Embassy abroad. A multiple entry visa is valid for 5 years, provided he wishes to come for some business. Foreigners of Indian origin can obtain a 5-year multiple entry visas for business, to meet their relatives etc.

>> Student Visa :
A student visa can be obtained from the Indian Embassy on the production of proof of admission and means of sustenance while in India, etc. The visa is valid for one year but can be extended in India for the duration of the course.

>> Conference Visa :
Delegates coming to attend international conferences in India can be granted Conference Visa to cover the conference as well as for tourism in India. Delegates are advised to apply to Indian Embassies well in advance.

>> Employment Visa :
Foreigners desirous of coming to India for taking up employment should apply for an Employment Visa, which are issued by Indian Missions abroad. Initially granted for a period of one year, it can be extended in India up to the period of contract.

>> Recreation :
Foreigners wishing to undertake any international sporting event, trekking, botanical expeditions, yoga, journalists, media men, documentary and feature film makers may obtain visas after due formalities from the Indian Embassy.

>> Exemption from Registration
 
Foreigners coming to India on tourist visas for 180 days or shorter period are not required to register themselves with any authority in India.

They can move about freely in the country, except to restricted/protected areas and prohibited places.

Nationals of Bangladesh are exempted from registration up to six months. If their stay exceeds six months, they have to register themselves.

Individuals without nationality (stateless persons; IRO refugees, persons receiving legal or political protection, etc.) should have valid passports, identity documents or sworn affidavits along with the visa for which they should apply two months in advance.

Family passports issued by other governments are recognized without discrimination. Extension of Visa: As a rule no extension of stay is granted on a Tourist Visa.

>> Date & type of visa.

Name of Indian Mission from where visa was granted.
Port of arrival including flights number / details of vessels.
Places visited in India.