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.
For advice on vaccination and immunizations you may please consult with your doctor before traveling. Never, ever drink the tap water in India.
By far the most common complaint reported by first-time visitors to India is fatigue – simply trying to do too much in too little time. India is vast, colourful and addictive, but have realistic expectations about how much you can see. A wisely planned visit to a particular area can deliver far more of the unique texture and spirit of the place. And remember, India isn’t going anywhere – you can return time and time again.
Carrying huge quantities of cash isn’t a good idea anywhere, but in crowded Indian cities pickpocketing is a very present problem. Equally, haggling at a market can, at times, become an unpleasant, heated exchange. Inexperienced visitors are advised to try to stay cool. Be pleasant but firm, and don’t allow yourself to be irritated.
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.
One way of ensuring you can have a bit of personal space, albeit in your head, is to have earphones with you to shut out some of the surrounding din – there’s nothing like the sheer clamour of an Indian city.
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.
Most national papers are published in Hindi, English and all regional languages.
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.
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or traveller's 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 traveller’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.
Most shopping areas have opening times from 10:00 – 20:00 and most will have one closing day per week though this day will vary from place to place. Everywhere in India there are some government authorized souvenir shop, however ask for an original bill after your purchase.
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 enter 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 SURYA VOYAGE.
Tipping is not mandatory, but it’s expected in many circumstances for services. “Tipping leaves your impression but it depends on the impression of the Service which is given to You ". Tipping should only goes to people who are helpful; if they do not help you, do not tip them. Providing gratuities for small services is the part of the culture in India. These are additional to your package prices and not mandatory. It’s useful to keep some small denomination notes for tipping drivers and guides. The porter who takes your baggage to your room can be tipped Rs.20 per bag or Rs.100 per trolley. Tour Guides and drivers do expect tips depending on the assignments and number of days spent on the tour. In some places, it’s clearly displayed service charges or gratuity might be automatically added to the bill. Check your bills for these charges before tipping. Gratuity is an amount, you do not have to pay, but choose to. Do not pay for poor services and let someone know you were not happy with services.
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