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flag India India: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Ministry of External Affairs
Diplomatic Representations
Indian Missions Abroad
 
IATA Travel Center
 

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
Taxis and auto-rickshaws are available in large cities and fares are charged by the kilometer.

Most of the drivers can understand English, though not all can speak English.

A metro system is operational in Kolkata.

A metro system was opened in Delhi in 2004. It is spreading its network to reach sub-urban districts like NOIDA, Gurgoan and Faridabad.

Maps of Urban Networks
Map of Kolkata Metro available on the site of Metro Railways Kolkata
Map of Delhi Metro available on the site of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Mumbai - Chhatrapati Shivaji Intl (BOM) 37 km / 23 miles INR 475 INR 50-60 / 60-90 min - Available
Calcutta - Dum Dum (CCU) 17 km / 11 miles INR 135-200 / 40-120 min INR 8 INR 2-6 Available
Delhi - Indira Gandhi Intl (DEL) 15 km / 9 miles INR 220 / 30-60 min INR 50 - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
Air routes connects over 70 cities.
There are also ships from Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai (Madras) to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands( Shipping Corporation of India). and from Kochi and Calicut to the Lakshadweep Islands.

There is a catamaran service from Mumbai (Bombay) to Goa.


The Indian internal railway system covers much of the country and is relatively inexpensive.
An extensive network of bus services connects all parts of the country.

A large number of chauffeur-driven tourist cars are available in the main tourist centers.

Rail Companies
Indian Railways

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Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Indian Airlines National Yes Yes
Jet Airways Major Yes No
Kingfisher Airlines Low-Cost Yes No
Spice Jet Low-Cost Yes No
Go Air Low-Cost Yes No

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

Recommendation
One must be very cautious when driving because of the bad condition of the roads and chaotic character of the traffic.
Driving around India is not recommended. Moreover self-drive cars are not generally available in the country. It is recommended to have a licensed and experienced local driver who has a "feel" for local roads and driving conditions.
The third party insurance liability is compulsory.
Road Maps
Maps of India
India Maps
Find an Itinerary
Make my trip
Maps of India

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Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
Delhi: testimony of the Muslim time.
Agra: testimony of the Moghols times: the Taj Mahal and the fort of Agra. The Taj Mahal, became the tourist symbol of India.
Goa: Former Portuguese enclave on the Western coast, gained its tourist reputation in the 60s, at the height of the hippy period.
Cultural
Rich cultural heritage and an element of mysticism. Various fairs and festivals: Pushkar fair, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund mela. Rajasthan, Udaipur (the most romantic city). Is famous to be the center of theater, dance, painting and art craft activities. Some Indian sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, consult the website UNESCO
Nature
Rich forest cover with some beautiful and exotic species of wildlife: Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, and Corbett National Park.

For ecotourism in India, tourists can go to places such as Kaziranga National Park, Gir National Park, and Kanha National Park.

Religious
Vaishno Devi, Golden temple, Char Dham, and Mathura Vrindavan.

Varanasi (formerly Bénarès): the holiest of the holy cities. The Indian pilgrims come to bath in the waters of the Ganges, supposed to wash all the sins. The most sacred is the Manikarnika Ghat; you will be able to attend cremations, but leave your cameras in your hotel. Go sit down in Dasawamedh Ghat to observe ablutions.

Beach
Variety of beaches : Goa, Kovalam, Puri, Mahabalipuram, and Andaman & Nicobar.
Winter Sports
Winter sports in India bring out the best of adventure in Indian outdoors: Skiing, Heli-Skiing, Mountaineering, Ice Climbing etc.
Outdoor Activities
Camel safaris, Rock climbing, Trekking, River Rafting, Para Gliding, Camping, Biking & Cycling, Golf.

For trekking: Ladakh, Sikkim, and Himalaya. For skiing: Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir Tourists flock to Uttranchal, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh for whitewater rafting . Visit: India Adventure.

Shopping
From the semi precious stone to a trendy leather shoe, Indian market is the ultimate destination for the shoppers around the world.
Tourism Organizations
Ministry of Tourism
Dehli Tourism
Tour India
India.Org

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No obligatory vaccinations, but all travelers arriving from Sub-Saharan Africa or other yellow-fever areas must have évidence of vaccination against yellow fever.Vaccinations against Poliomyelitis, Meningococcal meningitis, Rabies, Cholera are recommended.
Risk of malaria exists. Other diseases like Dengue fever are present . H5N1 avian influenza has been identified among birds in this country.
Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilized. Milk should be boiled in case unpasteurized or otherwise also
International Hospitals
International hospitals are not allowed to operate directly in India, but some of the private hospitals have tied up with international hospitals for technology & services transfer. Some of the hospitals of international standard operating in India are:
Apollo Hospitals;
Wockhardt Hospitals.

For more details, visit:
Mediescapes.com;
Hospitals in India at: http://www.hospitalsinindia.org/

For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
The World Health Organization web pages devoted to India
The American government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
The Current Travel Warnings given by the American State Department
Travel Report on India by Canadian Foreign Office
 

Emergency Numbers

Police 100
Fire 101
Ambulance 102
Railway Enquiry 131
Telephone assistance in English or Hindi or Regional Language 197
 

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In New Delhi (GMT+5:30)
Summer Time Period
None
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
India has broadly three seasons: warm, wet and cool. Heat begins to rise in the plains of the North in February and becomes unbearable in April - May. The monsoon appear towards the end of May in the South, then heads to the North, then covers the whole country in the first week of July till the end of October. There are even some cold nights in December - January. The extreme South remains warm all year long.

Autumn and Winter are undoubtedly the best times to visit India.

For Further Information
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

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Eating

Food Specialties
Each region in the country has its own cuisine and style of preparation.

Food is broadly categorized into six tastes - sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter and astringent. Side dishes and condiments are chutneys, curries, daals and Indian pickles.

Milk-based desserts and gulab jamuns are popular.

Drinks

Tea (often ready-brewed with milk and sugar unless ‘tray tea" is specified) and coffee are most widely drunk. Butter-milk (called ‘lasi’ in Hindi ) is a popular drink in the Northern parts of the country.

All forms of alcoholic drinks including wine are easily available in the country. Large quantity of beer is produced & consumed within the country.
Dietary Restrictions
The left hand is considered unclean and to use the left hand when eating or receiving food is considered vulgar and unclean.

Hindus consider the cow as sacred and never eat beef. Muslims consider the pig unclean and never eat pork. If they are not on the menu then one would not ask for them for risk of offending the restaurateur.

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Indian Rupee
ISO Code
INR
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The import of local currency is prohibited. Currency can be changed at banks, airports or authorized money changers.
ATMs are easily accessible and are open 24x7.
Possible Means of Payment
Payment is usually in cash. All major credit cards like American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are also widely accepted.
Travelers' checls are widely accepted and may be changed at banks and larger hotels.

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Speaking

Official Language
Hindi (spoken by more than 50% of the country’s population) and English.
Other Languages Spoken
18 regional languages are recognized by the Constitution of India: Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Nepali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Manipuri , Konkani and Sanskrit. Around 2000 dialects have been identified.
Business Language
English
Getting Some Knowledge
 
Free Translation Tools
Shabdkosh : Hindi-English-Hindi free dictionary (46,000 terms)

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
Hotels in India


India Hotels


Youth Hostels Association
India Tourism
Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India
India Tourism

To Find an Apartment

To Find a Job
The Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET)
Naurkri.com (a web-based private job site in India)
MonsterIndia.com (a web-based private job site in India)
JobsAhead.com (a web-based private job site in India)
Careerjet (an employment search engine for India)

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Last Updates: October 2014