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India Travel Tips


Requirement of Visa: Foreigners desirous of visiting India can do so after obtaining a visa from the Indian Mission in the country of their residence. They should posses a valid National passport - except in the case of nationals of Bhutan and Nepal, who may carry only suitable means of identification.

Transit Visas:
Transit visa are granted by Indian Missions abroad for a maximum period of 3 days.

Exemption from Registration:

Foreigners coming to India on tourist visas for 180 days or a shorter period are not required to register themselves with any authority in India. They can move about freely in the country, except to restricted/protected areas and prohibited places. Individuals without nationality or of undetermined nationality (stateless person; IRO refugees, persons receiving legal or political protection, holder of Nansen passport etc.) should have valid passport, identity documents or sworn affidavit with visa for which they should apply at least two months in advance

Currency Regulations:

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travellers' cheques a tourist may bring into India provided he makes a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form given to him on arrival. This will enable him not only to exchange the currency brought in but also to take the unspent currency out of India on departure. Cash, bank notes and travellers' cheques up to U.S.$10,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in form of travellers' cheque, draft, bills, cheques, etc. in convertible currencies which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorized money changers and banks who will issue an encashment certificate. This certificate is required at the time of re-conversion of any unspent money into foreign currency. Tourists are warned that changing money through unauthorized persons is not only illegal but also an offence under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.It also involves the risk of receiving counterfeit currency.

Customs Formalities And Regulations:
The usual duty free regulations apply for India. - Alcoholic liquor and wine upto 1 litre each. - 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 gms. of tobacco. Visitors are generally required to make oral baggage declaration in respect of baggage and foreign currency in their possession. Visitors in possession of more than US $ 10,000 or equivalent thereof in the shape of travellers' cheque, bank notes currency notes are required to obtain a Currency declaration Form before leaving Customs. They should fill in the Disembarkation Card handed over to them by the airlines during the course of the flight There are two channels for Custom clearance:

Green Channel:

For passengers not having any dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage.

Red Channel :
For passengers having dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high value articles to be entered on Tourist Baggage RE-Export Form.

Immigration Passport :
Citizen of all countries require a valid national passport or valid travel documents and valid visa granted by Indian Mission abroad for entering India Except Nepalese or Bhutanese citizens who when proceedings from their respective countries need no passport or visa should possess suitable documents for their identification.

Arrival Formalities:
If the visa for stay in India is more than 180 days, registration Certificate and Residential Permit should be obtained from the nearest Foreigners' Registration Office within 7 days of arrival. Personal appearance is absolutely necessary at the time of registration, extension or exit as required by the Law of the Land. Four photographs/pictures are also required for registration. The foreigners are registered at Foreigners' Registration. The foreigners registered at Foreigner's Registration Office are required to report change of their addresses. Departure from India All persons except nationals of Nepal and Bhutan leaving by roads or rail have to fill an Embarkation Card at the time of departure. All tourist visitors holding Registration Certificate are endorsed by the appropriate registration authorities before departure. Registration Certificates and Residential permits are to be surrendered at the Registration Office.

Exit Formalities:

For holders of Tourist and Transit Visas : None for holders of Entry Visas (Except tourist/Transit Visa Holders). All visitors holding Registration Certificate have to obtain, before departure, exit endorsement from the Registration Officer of the district in which they were registered.

Inland Air Travel Tax:

An Inland Air Travel Tax is leviable at 10 percent of the basic fare on all passengers paying their airfare in foreign exchange will be exempted from payment of this tax. In addition infants, cancer patients, blind persons and invalids (those on stretchers) are also exempted from this tax after fulfilling certain conditions stipulated in the relevant notifications.

Trained English speaking guides are available at fixed charges at all important tourist centres. The Government of India Tourist Offices can be contacted by tourists for these. French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian and Japanese speaking guides are available at some cities. Please consult the nearest Government of India Tourist Office. Unapproved guides are not permitted to enter protected monuments and tourists are, therefore, advised to ask for the services of guides who carry a certificate issued by the Department of Tourism/Archaeological Survey of India.

Health Regulations:
Foreign tourists should be in possession of Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulations, if they are originating or transitting through Yellow Fever endemic countries (Africa and South America).

International Airport Facilities:
The international airports offer a range of services ensuring that the traveller on business can continue working while waiting to catch an international connection, or when transferring between international flights. These include gourmet restaurants, business centres and are equipped with state of the art equipment including word processors and telefax.

Restricted And Protected Areas:

Military installations and areas, defence organisations and research organisations are considered protected areas, where permits are generally not given to foreigners.

Photography Restrictions:

Photography is prohibited in places of military importance, railway stations, bridges, airports and other military installations.

Export Of Antiquities: Antiquities include sculpture, painting or other works of art and craftsmanship, illustrative of science, art, crafts, religion of bygone ages and of historical interest which have been in existence for not less than one hundred years. Also manuscripts, or other documents of scientific, historical, literary or aesthetic value in existence for not less than seventy five years — art - treasures — not necessarily antiquities but having regard to the artistic and aesthetic value cannot be exported out of India.

For farther clarification on the antiquity of an artefact, the tourists can contact the authorities and get information on the Acts and Rules governing Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972.

Restrictions Pertaining To Export Of Articles Made From Animals Etc.
Govt. of India is concerned about the conservation of its endangered and rare fauna. With this view, export of all wild animals indigenous to the country and articles made from such listed animals like skin, pelts, furs, ivory, rhino horns, trophies etc have been totally banned.

Tourists are also advised to acquaint themselves with the provisions of Convention on International Trade of endangered species of wild fauna and flora. All the member countries of the convention allow import of the articles covered by convention on the strength of a certificate of export from the country of origin.

India has three major seasons: winter, summer and the monsoon. The winter months (November-March) are pleasant throughout India with bright sunny days. In the northern plains, the minimum temperature may vary between 4 to 10 degree Celsius and there is snowfall in the hills. In the west, south and the east, however, December and January are pleasantly cool, never really cold.

The summer months (April-June) are hot in most parts of India, and it is during this season that hill resorts such as Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital, Kullu and the Kashmir valley, Darjeeling, Shillong, Ootacamund, Kodaikanal, Pachmarhi and Mount Abu provide cool retreats.

The south-west monsoon usually breaks about the beginning of June on the west coast and reaches elsewhere later. With the exception of the south-eastern areas, India receives the major share of its rainfall from the north-east monsoon between mid-October and December-end. Traditionally, India had been popular in the winter months. However, with easy availability of air-conditioned hotels, transport and leisure facilities (such as dining and shopping), the summer months too have become popular, and India has become a year-round tourist destination.