Go through this detailed information article to know more about the tips and precautions that the foreigners need to adhere to, before planning a holiday in India.
India is a
myriad land which is famous for its diverse culture and architectural
marvels that receives more than 6 million foreign tourists every year. Tourists come here to be a part of its invigorating spirituality and visit numerous
heritage attractions. Foreigners come here in large numbers to practice the art of Yoga. Numerous wildlife parks, challenging adventure options and enigmatic natural panorama are some of the many facets that draw tourists to India.
There are numerous tips and valuable information, which when
put into practice, will make your trip to India – beautiful and memorable.
Tourists travelling from Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New
Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and
Indonesia can avail visa-on-arrival facility, but it is only valid for 30 days and
single entry. The cost of this visa is $60 for all travelers, including children.
However, nationals of other countries need to obtain an Indian tourist visa, prior to arrival in India. These visas can be availed for a maximum period of 6 months and can
have maximum duration of stay of 90 days per visit, depending on citizenship.
An Indian visa is valid from the date of issue and not the date of entry into
the country. Cross check with your
country’s embassy or read our Visa to India Guide for more info.
It is highly recommended that you get yourself checked up before your journey. Get advise on the vaccination at least 8 weeks
prior to travel or honeymoon trip to India for them to work efficiently. Some of the most recommended vaccinations you should take before venturing on your trip are - Hepatitis A and B, Dengue, Cholera, Typhoid and Malaria. A little precaution can take you
a long way. For more on vaccinations before travelling to India, please refer our detailed guide on Vaccination in India.
Local Culture and Language
Language is not a major problem in the big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata and you can easily communicate with the locals in English, but in small town and rural areas, it might be difficult to interact only in English. It will be really
helpful if you learn a few commonly used words or gestures before travelling. The Language Guide might help you in learning a few basic words for better interaction with the locals.
Time for Holiday
It is recommended you do a thorough research (through books or
internet) for the best time for holidaying in India, based on your
- Summer - The months
from April to July is summer in India and and northern India is comparatively hotter than the South.
The Himalayan hill stations and the South India holiday destination are the best
places to enjoy your holiday during this season.
- Monsoon - Monsoon
brings out the best of natural beauty. Lasting from the mid of June till the
mid of September, the cities and hill stations of Southern India, especially Kerala are their best
during this season.
- Winter - Winters in
India is beautiful with most of northern India covered in snow. Winters in
India last from November till March and is among the best time to visit the
country. Snowfall is common in the Himalayan region like Jammu and Kashmir and major parts of Himachal
Pradesh tours. If you are not a great fan of snow, then the cities in South India are
surprisingly green and pleasant during this time of the year.
Choose the holiday circuit based on
your interest and requirement, select the destination where you want to
holiday. Browse the internet for various holiday options. The best option will
be perhaps to book a well suited tour package and enjoy a stress free holiday. Following are some of the most
commonly travelled holiday route in India -To get more information in tour operators and travel packages, we recommend you to go through our Tour Package Guide.
Choosing the Right Hotel
Choose your hotel according to your need. Unless you are on
a stringent budget, try to mix a night or two at a top notch hotel for a varied
experience. In India, you can travel as cheaply and as lavishly as your pocket allows. There are options of hotels ranging from the budget category to 5 star hotels. While the tariff of budget hotel for a night will start from Rs 600, the tariff of a room in a luxury hotel can go up to Rs 8,000 for a night. As per the usual norm, many hotels impose special foreigner rate, which is usually much higher than the normal charge.
In India, besides the regular hotels and resorts, tourists also get a chance to enjoy staying in unique accommodations like heritage palaces, houseboats in Alleppey holidays, home stays and jungle resorts. For more information on hotels, go through our hotel guide.
Safety and Hygiene
While in India, safety
and hygiene might be a concern for travelers. However with some care and little
precaution can enjoy a perfectly healthy holiday in India.
Go through our Safety guide that will help you tackle the problem of hygiene and safety better.
- Avoid drinking
tap water and carry bottled water instead
- Carry general medicines for minor headaches and similar. In India, you can general medicines, like for head ache, body ache, fever etc, over-the-counter. Carry your prescriptions in case you want medicine for any particular ailment. In the metros and big cities in India, medicine shops remain open till midnight. In town and rural areas, they close at around 10 pm.
- Do not miss the lip smacking India street food, but eat with caution. \
- As a general rule,
dress modestly, especially if you are in a small town.
- Do not get offended if
you find yourself being stared at. It’s simply curiosity. However, trust your
instincts as well.
- Be careful while
choosing the mode of transport, especially at night.
- Do not carry valuable
as well as your documents in your wallet to prevent theft.
- Always better to carry
travelers cheque rather than cash.
- Be wary of touts as they can mislead you for their benefits.
Choosing the right
mode of travel within as well as outside the city can have a positive impact on
- Taxi - One of the most common means of travel,
especially for long distances and outstation. Metro cities like Mumbai and
Kolkata have the option of hiring taxis on the streets. In most of the cities,
taxis needs to be hored beforehand. Whenever possible, ask your hotel to
arrange for taxis.
- Buses - A perfect option for local travels, buses in
India are run is almost all the cities and are cost-effective.
Rickshaws - These is the most
commonly used means in almost all the cities.Ask the driver to flag the
meter in your presence and also ask for the tariff card so that you
are not duped.
rickshaws - These are
available in most parts of the country. They are among the cheapest mode
of transport available and can be used for travelling short distances. In old
parts of Kolkata, hand-pulled rickshaw are very popular.
Local train services can be availed only on tour to Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Go through our Transportation
Guide for more details
What to Wear
While holidaying in India, dressing right is important,
especially if you are in a small town. In religious places and temples, you are
expected to dress modestly, especially on tours to Rameswaram or other holiday cities in India. Women are expected to be conservatively dressed.
Most of India remains hot for most part of the year, so what
you dress is also determined by the climate of the place. Women should try Indian
tunics and loose kurtas. This will not only be comfortable for you and the
people around you, but will give you a feel of being part of the culture.
Bargaining is a key for shopping well in India. Many sellers increase the price of the products up to 10 times after seeing a foreign face. Street shopping can be fun in India, but don't be duped.
Read our Indian
Shopping Guide to know more about 'what to
buy' from the city you are travelling.
- You can negotiate the price with the street hawkers, but not at
the departmental stores and its likes.
- Avoid shopping from
hawkers and road side costermongers.
- It is always better to
shop from government emporiums as their price as well as quality is genuine.
- Always compare prices
from various shops before purchasing anything.
- Beware of roadside
peddlers selling gems and stones.
Women Travelers tip
- Always cover your head
while entering a temple or any religion place
- Avoid wearing revealing
as well as attention grabbing clothes
- Avoid travelling late
at night, unaccompanied
- In small cities wear
long sleeved dresses, preferably the ones which are loose and comfortable. They
are not only modest, but will protect you against sun burns
Numerous ATM's are
available across the country. While the ATM's in the large and metro cities
remain open 24 hours a day, the ATM's at the smaller town and rural areas close
down by 10 pm due to security reasons. Most of the ATM's allow transaction up
to Rs 25,000 per day. Check with your debit or credit card provider regarding
the compatibility of your international cards in India, before hand.
- Public display of
emotions as well as nudity is not appreciated
- Don’t take pictures of
the locals without permission, or else they might get offended
- There are many places like temples and other where foreigners are not allowed. So carefully read the instruction before entering the place.
Mishappenings and emergencies cannot be predicted and you should
be prepared for these things much in advance. It is always better to purchase
the travel insurance from your own country. Travel insurance is helpful in case of cancellation or interruption of travel plans, lost or damaged luggage, travel delays, accident, etc.
the land of rich history and culture and bewildering diversity welcomes the
foreigners with open arms and heart. With keeping the few tips in
your mind, you can make your next journey to India – a remarkable