- All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad.
All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Indian Visa through Online application link, in order to make an application for getting the Indian visa.
[For further information/guidance, please visit www.indianvisaonline.gov.in.]
- Government of India has launched the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) Scheme. Countries whose citizens are eligible for TVOA are: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Guyana, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam.
- International Travellers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
- Passport should have at least six months validity.
- International Travellers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
- International Travellers having Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin may please apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission.
- Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders.
- Plan and obtain necessary immunisations and malaria prophylaxis. Travellers should get properly inoculated against Yellow Fever if coming through infected regions. If, planning for a long trip, consider having a complete pre-departure health check-up.
- The Foreigner (Protected Areas) Act requires foreigners to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit certain areas in India (mainly in the North-East). This requirement is in addition to getting an Indian visa. A PAP is normally issued for 10 days and has an option of a 7-day extension. The PAP is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Also, different authorities of the concerned Indian states, FRROs, and Indian missions abroad can also issue such permit. Normally, your travel agent should be able to obtain the PAP for you.
- Have photocopies of all the important documents like passport, visa et cetera, travel insurance and driving license et cetera, just in case it is lost.
- Carry mosquito repellents or nets with you.
- It is a good idea to obtain some local currency at the exchange currency bank once you reach the arrival lounge where the local representative shall meet and greet you. This would help meet few immediate expenses. [Exchange rate at the airport is not good so it’s recommended to change small amount there.] Exchange money only through authorised banks or moneychangers. Insist on Encashment Certificate while exchanging money. These certificates will be required to reconvert the unused money on departure from India.
- While some banks and 5 star hotels will change Travellers’ Cheques, the process is very time consuming and commissions can be high (up to 10%) and it is difficult to change Travellers’ Cheques on weekends and public holidays. The easiest cheques to change are Thomas Cook and American Express in USD. All banks in India function from Monday to Friday. There are many ATMs from which one can withdraw cash 24x7.
- The hotel check-in time in India varies between 12-noon and 14:00 hrs, and the check-out time: 12-noon.
- The electrical supply is 220/240V and 50Hz. Carry the appropriate "round pin" electric connectors similar to European ones.
- Please DO NOT drink tap water, even in hotels or restaurants as it usually contains high levels of minerals than the water you are used to drinking in your own country. It is fine for a local to drink water from a tap as their bodies are conditioned to it, but for everyone else it is highly recommended you drink bottled water at all times. Bottled water is found everywhere and is quite cheap.
- As a general guideline, clothing should be lightweight, loose fitting, hard-wearing and easily washed. In India’s hot summer months, cotton clothing is much more comfortable than man-made materials like nylon. You should bear in mind that India has conservative attitudes towards dress, particularly in remote areas. Women, and also to a certain extent men, will find that the way they dress will often determine the degree of respect they receive from both men and women. It is advisable to keep legs, shoulders and upper arms covered, and it is recommended that you bring appropriate clothing for this purpose.
- Do not encourage beggars and street urchins by giving them money or other articles. In most of the cases they beg, as they have become habitual of easy money.
- Don't ever enter a temple, tomb, dargah or gurudwara with shoes on. Leather articles are forbidden to be carried in Hindu and Jain temples. Do not wear black clothes while visiting a Jain temple. Dress conservatively at a place of worship. In a gurudwara or dargah, one should cover his/her head with a cloth. Parikrama or walking around the sanctum sanctorum should always be in clockwise direction. Taking photograph of the deity in a temple is normally not permitted.
- Female travellers often receive a lot of extra attention from men in India. You can reduce some of the unwanted attention by dressing extremely conservatively. Avoid tight-fitting clothes; consider wearing ankle-length skirts and covering the shoulders. The beautiful local shawls sold everywhere are an excellent investment.
- Export of most wildlife and their products, antiques more than 100 years old is either banned or strictly regulated. Selling and buying "shahtoosh" shawls and Ivory is a crime. Buy at genuine shops only. Bargaining is a popular practice in India and necessary too. While buying an article, make sure that the entire transaction is legal and transparent so that you may claim later if dissatisfied.
- Don't eat anything offered by fellow travellers on train or road travels. It might have sleeping pills. Always travel reserved class in trains. Always chain and lock your luggage under your berth in a train. Don't keep anything valuable near the window. Always carry plenty of water, fluids in trains. A lone woman traveller may request to be accommodated near other women travellers.
- India is geographically varied, therefore the climate also varies. Always be aware of the weather before you travel to a region. Always make sure you carry the appropriate clothing to keep yourself comfortable, so you can enjoy your trip. English is a commonly used and understood language throughout India. However, interpreters and guides for other languages are also easy to book. Indians are fairly friendly and helpful.
- Remember photography in many places is not allowed such as airports, sensitive controversial religious places such as Mathura and Ayodhya. You might need special permission to take photos or shoot videos. If you are a casual tourist then it will be fine. You might have to pay a "camera fee".
- If you are happy with the services provided by your tour leader, local guides and drivers, waiters, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels; inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. Please consider this when budgeting for your extra expenses on this trip.
- On the whole, India is a safe country. But all visitors should exercise the usual levels of vigilance.