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India Travel Tips

India is completely different to any other country with its diverse mixture of peoples, climates, scenery, religions and cultural influences. It can be inspiring, moving and, at times infuriating. In order to gain maximum enjoyment from your tour, go with an open mind and don’t attempt comparisons with any other destination or civilisation. We have prepared these notes to help your pre-holiday planning and once you arrive in India.

 

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL


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 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.

HEALTH AND VACCINATION

For advice on vaccination and immunizations you may please www.masta.org

TRAVEL INSURANCE

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.

MEDIA

Most national papers are published in Hindi, English and all regional languages.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Tourists should seek permission from the concerned authorities before taking photographs of places of military importance, railway stations, bridges, airports, military installations, metro trains, tribal areas and sensitive border regions. It is prohibited to take photographs in some of the temples, historical monuments, forts, palaces, tombs and monasteries. Visitors are required to take special permits from the Archaeological Survey of India for photographing monuments with tripods and artificial lights. Camera fee is charged extra in some historical monuments.

CURRENCY

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers cheques a tourist may import, provided a declaration form is completed on arrival. This will also facilitate the exchange of imported currency as well as the export of unspent currency on departure. Cash, bank notes and traveler's cheques up to US $ 10,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Use authorized money changers for converting foreign currency.

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; you can also book the services of trained and approved guides who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian through the GTO in advance.

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. (These estimates are for 5 and 4-star hotels and would be proportionately less in 1, 2 or 3 star hotels).

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.

 
 
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