TRAVEL TOOLS

India is a land of rich cultural heritage and geographic beauty. There are many places of tourist interests in India and every year many foreign tourists from different parts of the world come to explore the eternal beauty of this Nation. Tourists come for different purposes such as tourism, business, education, family reunions, etc. Cited below are certain guidelines that the foreign visitors are advised to follow:

  • Foreign tourists are required to obtain a visa from the Indian Mission in the country of their residence or in a nearby country. They need a valid permit to visit certain restricted/protected areas.
  • They must fill up their Disembarkation/ Embarkation cards on arrival/departure.
  • Foreigners coming from or through Yellow Fever countries must be able to produce a valid vaccination certificate.
  • Vaccinations like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Typhoid are recommended. There are some health risks in India like Cholera, Dengue Fever, Dysentery, Malaria and Meningitis. Travellers are advised to take precautionary measures against the same.
  • Foreigners visiting India, who hold long-term visas (more than 180 days) are required to obtain a Registration Certificate and Residential Permit from the nearest Foreigners' Registration Office (FRRO) within 15 days of arrival. The foreigners registered at FRRO are required to report change of their addresses.
  • Certificates of registration issued by the Registration Officers should be surrendered to the immigration officer at the port/check post of exit from India.
  • Passengers embarking on journeys to any place outside India from a Customs airport / seaport are required to pay a Foreign Travel Tax (FTT) of Rs 500 to most countries and Rs 150 on journeys to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
  • The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act bans all forms of wildlife trade. Violations of the provisions of the Act are punishable with heavy fines and imprisonment. Foreigners are therefore, advised not to buy any wild animals or their products and derivatives like articles of ivory, fur and skin.
  • Climate in India generally is cooler in the north, especially between September and March. The south is coolest between November to January. In June, winds and warm surface currents begin to move northwards and westwards, heading out of the Indian Ocean and into the Arabian Gulf. This creates a phenomenon known as the south-west monsoon, and it brings heavy rains to the west coast. Between October and December, a similar climatic pattern called the north-east monsoon appears in the Bay of Bengal, bringing rains to the east coast.
  • Foreign tourists are advised to do a complete research on the travelling and accommodation arrangements on the places they intend to visit.
  • Some religious places in India have dress codes, like covering your head, being barefoot, etc. Tourists are advised to comply with them, so as not to seem offensive towards the religious sentiments of the concerned community.

Photography

Tourists should seek permission from the authorities concerned 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.

Protected Areas in India

There are certain places in India where entry is restricted. Tourists are required to take special permits from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), New Delhi for visiting these places. These places include certain areas of Assam, North Eastern Frontier States (Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh) border areas of Jammu & Kashmir, selected areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Union Territories of Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands. One can visit in person or inquire on phone the details of getting special permits:

Foreigners' Division

Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block,

Central Secretariat, New Delhi - 110 001

Phone: +911123092011, +911123092161

Fax: +911123093750, +911123092763

Language

There are 22 National Languages recognized by the Constitution of India, of which Hindi is the Official Union Language. Besides these, there are 844 different dialects that are practiced in various parts of the Country.

The official language is Hindi in the Devanagri script. The States are free to decide their own regional languages for internal administration and education. English is widely spoken.

Time

GMT + 5 1/2 hours.

Electricity

Voltage in most places is 220 volts AC, 50 cycles, although some areas also have DC supplies.

Communications

The Indian telecommunications Network is the fifth largest in the world and is the second largest among the emerging economies of Asia.

Today it is the fastest growing market in the world. Private operators like vodafone, Reliance, Tataindicom have made mobile telephony the fastest growing industry (over 164% p.a.) in India.
Wireless and Broadband internet is among the fastest growing communication sectors.
The international direct dialing code for India is +91.

Currency

Currency of India is Rupee. 1 Rupee = 100 Paise. The Reserve Bank has the sole authority to issue banknotes in India. The Reserve Bank has introduced banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series since 1996 and has so far issued notes in the denominations of Rs.5, Rs.10, Rs.20, Rs.50, Rs.100, Rs.500 and Rs.1000 in this series. Coins in India are presently being issued in denominations of 10 paise, 20 paise, 25 paise, 50 paise, one rupee, two rupees and five rupees. Coins upto 50 paise are called 'small coins' and coins of Rupee one and above are called 'Rupee Coins'.

There are 24 hour exchange facilities available at all big cites and international airports. All Credit cards are accepted in Major cities of India. All major Banks in India have a facility of 24hr Internationl ATMs. http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/ic_banknotes.aspx

Indian Quotation Amount International Quotation
1 Lakh 100,000.00 100 Thousands
10 Lakhs 1,000,000.00 1 Million
1 Crore 10,000,000.00 10 Million
10 Crores 100,000,000.00 100 Million
100 Crores 1,000,000,000.00 1 Billion

Customs and Currency Regulations

Al personal objects which are required in India are free from duty. Professional material and articles which have a high value can only be imported duty free if the traveler gives a written undertaking that these articles will be re-exported.

For the purpose of Customs clearance of arriving passengers, a two channel system has been adopted

(i) Green Channel for passengers not having any dutiable goods.

(ii) Red Channel for passengers having dutiable goods.

However,

1 All the passengers shall ensure to file correct declaration of their baggage.
2 Green channel passengers must deposit the customs portion of the disembarkation card to the custom official at the gate before leaving the terminal.
3 Declaration of foreign exchange/currency has be made before the custom officers in the following cases :
a where the value of foreign currency notes exceed US $ 5000 or equivalent
b where the value of foreign currency notes exceed US $ 5000 or equivalent

Public Holidays

India is a land of festivals. There are many festivals and special events in India, but only a few of these are celebrated in various parts of India on various days.

The full public holidays are:

26. January Republic Day
15. August Independence Day
02. October Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
Click here for more information on holidays and festivals in India.

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