Do some background reading before visiting India, so that your visit becomes a great experience, something you had never dream could happen to you.
Don’t be concerned about living conditions in India. Our 5-star and 4-star hotels are of international standards and the comforts and cuisine they provide compare with any in the world. The deluxe and palace hotels are a world apart and many have been accorded ‘Leading hotels of the world’ status. The 3-star hotels are there for the medium budget traveler, and 1-star and 2-star hotels, Travelers lodges, Tourist Bungalows, Holiday Homes, Youth hostels, YMCA / YWCA’s are for those with small budgets.
Your travel arrangements should be made well in advance, especially if you are traveling between October-March (high tourist season) and May-June, the Indian holiday season. Travel facilities are limited in relation to demand so prior bookings are a must.
If traveling by air, you should include one or more trips by rail or road so that you can experience rural India. When planning your trip, ask your travel agent to include an Indian fairs or festivals in your itinerary. Witnessing the color and gaiety of these events is a great experience.
At each city you visit, try and attend a folkloric or classical music, dance or drama program. Information on programs can be obtained from any India tourist office.
English is spoken at almost all tourist centers, but you can also request us to book Government-trained and approved guides who also speak Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian. Tour guides will help you not only in your sightseeing, but also help you understand India better.
Indians are hospitable and friendly people, if they stare at you, do not consider it rude, it is only a matter of curiosity. A tourist need never be lost in India; most people are more than willing to go out of their way to guide you to your destination.
As with any foreign destination, the tourist is advised to drink bottled water, bottled drinks, coffee or tea. Most premier hotels have their own filtration system.
Avoid eating spicy food all at one time soon after you arrive in India. Take one Indian dish only with each meal and ask the waiter to cut down on the chilies. Within a few days your system will get used to Indian food, one of the most delicious of world cuisine. It is advisable to stick to only cooked foods and to eat fresh fruits whose skin you can peel off or remove.
Bring your own medicines, since all medications in India are locally manufactured and you may not find the same brand names. There are very good druggists and doctors everywhere, and they can advise on substitutes. If the necessity arises, ask your hotel to recommend a doctor. Do not forget to remove your footwear when visiting a place of worship or mausoleum. Also some temples do not permit any leather articles at all on their premises. Certain areas of temples are not open to Non-Hindus.
Travel with a camera and a color film. India is a land of sunshine and color, begging to be photographed. Most type of films is available in India. Most cities have Beggar Homes to look after indigent persons and to teach them a trade, but professional beggars find begging more lucrative. If you wish to help them, do so through a recognized charitable organization, not by giving them alms.
It is safe to travel in India, as you will find out for yourself. Even if you read of some trouble in any town or region, do not be discouraged, since most of India is safe at all times. Most museums in India are closed on Mondays and Site Museums, those near archaeological monuments, on Fridays. However, please check with us for timings.
The electric current in India is 220/ 250 volts and 50 cycles. It is AC practically everywhere.
India is a shoppers dream. Shopping is recommended from Government Emporia and suggested shops by us. Most of the large stores will ship your purchases for you, though, for convenience and to avoid postal delays, it is advisable to carry your shopping with you or to book it as baggage.
Do not crowd too many places into your itinerary. Make sure that you get an occasional free half-day for rest, shopping or exploring on your own. If you wish to visit any restricted areas, as in the north- eastern region, check with the nearest India Tourist Office as to the permits needed.
Diverse India offers varied themes to photographers – people, ancient monuments, Indian wildlife, festivals and landscape. Still photographers and video film makers have to pay a prescribed fee. The professional photographer and professional film makers need permission from .
Archaeological Survey of India,Janpath Road, New Delhi-110001.We at TashiTakgye Tours will assist you with same.
Photography in National Parks is on payment of a fee to the Wildlife Warden;
Photography is banned in tribal regions & defence properties.
Some hotels include service charges on their bills. In such cases tipping is not necessary. Where this is not done, at tip of 10% is customary. If you are in a big group and the food bill is high, the tip on the total can come down to 5%. The porter who takes your baggage to your room is usually tipped Rs.10 per bag or Rs.20 to Rs.30 per trolley. (These estimates are for 5 and 4-star hotels and are proportionately less in 1, 2 or 3 star hotels.) Tipping of taxi drivers is not customary.
The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100Paisa equal 1 Rupee). Paper money is in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5 and 10. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ checks a tourist may import, provided a Declaration form is completed on arrival. This will facilitate the exchange of imported currency as well as the export of unspent currency on departure. Cash, bank notes and traveler’s checks up to US $ 10,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of traveler’schecks, drafts, bills, checks, etc., which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorized money- changers. Tourists are warned that changing money through unauthorized persons is not only illegal but also involves the risk of receiving counterfeit currency. To exchange foreign money other than through banks or authorized money- changers is an offence. Please note that no Indian currency whatsoever can be imported or exported, except for Rupee travelers’ checks. Banks abroad to keep Rupee balances with their agents in India and are able to draw upon these balances to issue Rupee travelers’ checks to intending tourists. There are 24- hour exchange facilities available at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai international airports.
EST plus 10hrs 30min’ in winter, EST plus 9hrs 30min’s in summer.
These may vary all over the country. Banks: 1000 to 1400 (Mon. to Fri.), and 1000 to 1200 (Sat.). International hotels have twenty four hour money changing. Post Offices: 1000 to 1700 (Mon. to Fri.) and Saturday mornings. Business offices: 0930 to 1700 (Mon. to Fri.), 0930-1300 (Sat.). Shops: 0930 to 1800 (Mon. to Sat.).
- 26 – Jan Republic Day
- 15 Aug Independence Day
- Mahatma’s Birth day 2 Oct
Indian Postal System
Stamps are available at at hotels. Airmail delivery service is week long or more. Internet connectivity and cafes are available in most hotels, GPOs and quite widespread.
Credit cards are a recent introduction in smaller cities in India and commercial establishments like hotels, restaurants, and shops centers accept popular credit cards as American Express, Master card and Visa.
CUSTOM / IMMIGRATION / VISA FORMALITIES
PASSPORT & VISA
Foreign Nationals coming to India are required to possess a genuine and valid national passport or any other internationally recognized travel document establishing his/her nationality and identity, bearing the photograph of the individual.
Nepal and Bhutan nationals if entering India by land or air from the Nepal or Bhutan border respectively do not require a passport for entering into India. However, they are required to possess, authorized identity proof.
Foreigners are advised to ensure that they are in possession of a valid Indian Visa before they begin their journey to India. The Government of India currently allows “Visa on Arrival” for foreign nationals of a few selected countries.
For further details and updated information, please visit www.immigrationindia.nic.in/visa_on_arrival2.htm
Powers of VISA conversions and extensions to foreigners residing in India, vests with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Foreigners can approach the ministry at
Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division),
Jaisalmer House, 26,
Man Singh Road, New Delhi
between 10 AM to 12 Noon on all working days (Monday to Friday).
The change of VISA status from one category to another category is normally not allowed. It can be considered by the Ministry of Home Affairs, only in extraordinary circumstances.
For further details and updated information, please visit www.immigrationindia.nic.in/
Immigration check is done for all passengers, Indians or foreigners, both at the time of arrival and departure. All overseas passengers on arrival at New Delhi International airport are required to fill in an ‘Arrival Card’ for immigration/customs clearance, similarly when departing from New Delhi a ‘Departure Card’ has to be filled.
Delhi International Airport Private Limited offers a unique immigration experience to all departing & arriving passengers. In order to provide smooth and fast immigration at IGI Airport, a large number of immigration desks have been deployed at the new terminal 3. These desks have clear demarcation for various categories.
These categories are
Passengers with special needs
Business Class / First Class Passengers
Passengers with Indian Passport
Passengers with Foreign Passport
Passengers of Indian Origin/ Overseas Citizen of India
Passengers from SAARC Nations
The baggage clearance at the major International Airports in India consists of two channels for clearance.
Not having any dutiable goods to declare.
Having dutiable goods to declare.
Non declaration & wrongful declaration of the dutiable goods may attract confiscation of goods, fine or penalty. Serious offences like attempting to smuggle Gold, without declaration may lead to arrest & prosecution. The Indian Revenue Department has specified a list of items, including the size that can now be imported duty-free as part of baggage.
Please visit the official website of Customs department, Government Of India for detailed information .
There are several countries regarded as Yellow Fever-infected. For further details and updated information, please visit
The following regulations apply to citizens of the affected countries:
(A) For entry into India:-Any person, Foreigner or Indian, (excluding infants below six months) arriving by air or sea without a vaccination certificate of yellow fever will be kept in quarantine isolation for a period up to 6 days if:
1. He arrives in India within 6 days of departure/transit from a yellow fever endemic area.
2. Has come on a ship which has started from or transited at any port in a yellow fever endemic country within 30 days of its arrival in India provided such ship has not been disinfected in accordance with the procedure laid down by WHO.
(B) For leaving India:-There is no health check requirement by Indian Government on passengers leaving India.