We are listing few of the important things to be considered before or while travelling to India.
Best time to visit
India has varying range of temperature across different seasons. Summer tends to be very hot in some places with temperature as high as 45 degree centigrade. The best time to visit is September - March, when the air is bracing, and on some mornings there is a light mist. Light woolens may be required in the hills in the evenings and early mornings. The warmer months are March to August. Mid-May to August is the monsoon period, and one can expect a wet time.
Cotton outfits, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion plus an umbrella, which will come in handy throughout the year are advisable. Further to confirmation of travel, we would be sending you a detailed checklist for travel.
All standard restaurants offer a variety of cuisines including North/South Indian, Continental, Chinese and food from many other regions. The items in the menu vary from state to state. Vegetarian food is also widely available throughout the state.
Tap water is purified and quite safe to drink across India. It is not advisable to drink water from slow moving streams, lakes or dams. Mineral water is available throughout India. For visitors while traveling it’s recommended to drink mineral water.
“Bare minimum”, the thing you should be well aware of. During winter months in the North and the highlands in the South do get cold at night, but at all other times light weight cotton is best. Respect their culture, discreet clothing for women especially. For footwear - comfortable sandals are all you need.
You will find a huge selection of Internet cafes. A favorable tip is to duplicate records of Travelers Cheque numbers, passport and plane details, etc. on your Yahoo/Hotmail accounts.
Citizens of all countries require a valid national passport and a valid visa granted by missions abroad for entering India. Tourist visas are currently valid for 120 days stay in India. Visitors must obtain visas at an Indian Embassy or Consulate abroad prior to entering the country, as there are no provisions for visas upon arrival. In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated additional screening procedures at entry/exit points. These often include documentary evidence of relationship and notarized written consent for the child's travel from the absent parent(s) or legal guardian. Having such documentation on hand may facilitate entry/departure.
Visitors should be alert of suspicious packages in public places and avoid crowds, political demonstrations, and other manifestations of civil unrest. Travelers should also exercise care when hiring transportation and/or guides and use only well known travel agents to book trips. Adequate to excellent medical care is available in the major cities in India.
Banks are open for transaction from 10.00 to 14.00 hrs IST on all days except Sundays (10.00 to 12.00 hrs) IST. Foreign Exchange comprising foreign currency notes/coins, traveler cheques, drafts drawn on banks in India or Bank letters of credit can be brought into India without limit. However, if the total amount of foreign currency notes/coins or traveler cheques brought into India at one time exceeds US$10,000/- or its equivalent, it is required to be declared by the holder to the Indian customs authorities on arrival by filling out a currency declaration form (CDF). A copy of the CDF duly certified by the customs will be handed over to the individual. This declaration helps easy conversion of foreign currency into Indian currency by the tourists and also re-conversion of their unspent balances of Indian rupees into Foreign Currency at the time of departure from India. Banks’ CDFs are available at the Airport/Seaport customs. The rates for purchase and sale of Pound Sterling and US Dollar currency notes and foreign currency travellers cheques, where applicable, are quoted by authorised dealers/money changers within the floor and ceiling rates worked out daily in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India. For other currencies, check banks’ quoted rates based on market conditions
Large establishments, including hotels, shops and airlines, generally accept major credit cards. Taxis, Auto rickshaws etc generally do not accept credit cards.
The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100 Paisa 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 and 5. 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 facilitate the exchange of imported currency as well as the export of unspent currency on departure. Cash, bank notes and travelers cheques up to US $ 10,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travelers cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, 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. Please note that no Indian currency whatsoever can be imported or exported, except for Rupee travelers cheques.
Mobile connections in India continue to increase.
Major mobile connections available are,
1. BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited)
2. ESCOTEL (now called IDEA).
5. RIM (Reliance India Mobile)
Pre-paid and Post paid cards are available in every shop in the state.
• One Lakh is an Indian term for One Hundred Thousand.
Internet Cafes are available in all the major cities and towns.
Indian time zone is GMT +5:30 hrs
International Air Travel - Reaching India
According to the classification of Airports Authority of India, India has 12 major international airports - Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Amritsar (Punjab), Guwahati (Assam), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Vasco da Gama (Goa), Bangalore (Karnataka), Cochin (Kerala), and Trivandrum (Kerala). These airports cater to around 85% of international air traffic in India.
Amritsar International Airport
The Amritsar International Airport is located in the city of Amritsar, which is in the North-Western state of Punjab. All major international airlines operate from the airport.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi
The Indira Gandhi International Airport is situated around 20 km from the city center. The normal time taken to reach the airport from the city center is around 20-25 minutes.
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordolio International Airport, Guwahati, Assam
The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordolio International Airport is located in the North-Eastern state of Assam. It is well-connected to all major cities inside India. In addition, Jet Airways, Indian Airlines, and Air Sahara operate internationally form here.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad
The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport is situated in Gujarat, the border state of India. It is 8 kilometers from the Ahmedabad Railway Station. The airport operates both international and domestic flights.
Hyderabad Airport, Andhra Pradesh
The Hyderabad International Airport is located in the Southern State of Andhra Pradesh. Rajiv Gandhi Terminal is the international terminal of the airport.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai (Bombay)
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is situated around 15 km from the Mumbai Central. This airport handles the maximum number of international flights to and from India. It takes around 1 to 2 hours to reach the airport from the city center.
Chennai International Airport Chennai (Madras)
The Aringar Anna International Airport is situated at Trisoolam in Meenambakkam, 12 km from the city center. It takes around 30 minutes to cover the distance between the city center and the airport.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (Calcutta)
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is located at Dum Dum, about 20 km from the city center. It takes around 30-60 minutes to cover this distance, depending on the traffic situation.
Bangalore International Airport, Bangalore
Bangalore airport is situated at Airport Road. The airport is within city limits and has connections directly to many international airports.
Goa Airport, Vasco da Gama, Goa
The Goa International Airport is located in the city of Vasco in Goa. It is 30 kilometers from the capital city Panjim.
Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery, Cochin, Kerala
The Cochin International Airport is located in Nedumbassery, which is 28 kilometers North East of the city of Cochin.
Trivandrum International Airport, Trivandrum, Kerala
The Trivandrum International Airport is located 4 kilometers from the city of Trivandrum in the southernmost state of Kerala.