AREA3.3 million sq. km, stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south
ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS29 States and 7 Union Territories
TIME DIFFERENCE 51/2 hours ahead of GMT (winter) and 41⁄2 hours ahead of GMT (summer)
NATIONAL HOLIDAYS January 26 – Republic Day, August 15 – Independence Day and October 2 –Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
Citizens of all countries require a valid national passport (valid for at least 6 months) and valid Visa granted by Indian Missions abroad or e-Visa for entering India authorised by Government of India on https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/ . Before grant of multiple entry Tourist and Business Visa, biometric enrolment and interview will be mandatory. Those arriving in India without Visas bearing the correct validity dates and number of entries are subject to deportation.
*Special Note: A foreign national will also be permitted to club these activities provided he/she has clearly indicated the same in the application form along with requisite documents.Eligibility
|For||Time before Departure|
|Domestic Flights||75 Minutes|
|International Flights||150 Minutes|
In domestic flights in India, penknives and other sharp objects, liquids, matchboxes and lighters, batteries and some electronic items are not allowed in your cabin baggage, so pack them into your check-in luggage, or they will probably be either confiscated or taken away from you only to be returned at the other end of the flight.
As with airports all over the world in this era, security checks are stringent, and you and your luggage may be searched more than once before you get on the plane. At some places, it may be necessary to identify your baggage on the tarmac before it is loaded on to the aircraft.
As per the rules and regulations of the Aviation Ministry, passengers can carry a limited weight of luggage with them. There may be few changes in the rules of domestic and international flights regarding the baggage allowance (Checked/Hand baggage).
Please note the baggage allowance limits as given above are to be taken as an indication since these are carrier regulated and might differ between carriers or between flight sectors or change with amendments in airlines policies. Detailed information regarding the permissible baggage limits is generally displayed on the official website of most of the airlines and may be consulted before taking the flight to the desired destination
Airport departure tax is usually included in your international tickets and does not have to be paid at the airport.
There are two customs clearance channels. The green channel is for travellers carrying no dutiable items while the red channel is for travellers carrying dutiable items.
Note: Officials are liable to carry out sudden spot check on passengers passing through the green channel.
Visitors in possession of more than US$ 5000 (or equivalent) foreign currency notes and/ or more than US$ 10,000 (or equivalent) of traveller cheques, bank notes or currency notes are required to obtain a Currency Declaration Form before leaving customs.
Duty free items which you may bring to India include personal effects like clothing and other articles but not if this is commercial merchandise. All expensive electronic equipments must be declared at the customs which will be rechecked on departure. Visitors may bring in free of duty 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco and 2 litres of alcohol.
If your baggage is mishandled or lost in transit, obtain a certificate to this effect from the airline and have it countersigned by the customs.
It is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself against any mishap or unforeseen circumstance that could occur prior to or during your travels. It is important that you carry a copy of your policy with you while you travel so that you can refer to it should you need to make a claim.
No vaccinations are necessary to travel to India, however, foreign tourists should be in possession of a Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate conforming to International health regulations, if they are originating or travelling through Yellow Fever endemic countries.
There are state-operated facilities in all towns and private consultants and specialists in urban areas. It is recommended to carry your own medicines, since all medications in India are locally manufactured and you may not find the same brand names. There are very good drug stores and doctors everywhere, and they can advise on substitute medication. If the necessity arises, ask your hotel to recommend a doctor.
Voltage in most places is 220v AC, 50 Hz. Socket sizes vary, so it is recommended to carry adapters.
The Indian currency is Rupee, abbreviated as Rs, which is divided into 100 paisa. The Rupee notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of Rupee 1, 2, 5 and 10.
Foreign currency regulations are strict. Currency in excess of US$ 5000 and an aggregate total of US$10,000 and above (including cash, bank notes and traveller cheques) has to be declared at the time of entry. Only change money at banks or authorised foreign exchange dealers. There are 24-hour currency exchange facilities available at all international hotels and airports. Please also note that changing money in the more remote areas can be difficult; it is best to exchange currency in the metro city locations.
Diners, Master, Visa and American Express credit cards are widely accepted.
English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication. The official language of the Indian Union is Hindi, which is the primary tongue of 30% of the people. Besides Hindi, some of the other official languages include Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri and Sindhi.
Government Offices/Shops: Monday – Friday, 10:00 – 17:00 hrs
Banks: Monday – Saturday, 1000 – 1500 (except second and fourth Saturdays)
Some commercial offices operate on a five-day week, with Saturdays and Sundays off. Others work a half-day on Saturdays. Office hours tend to be 09:30 – 18:00 hrs.
Shops do not have any standard timings. In major metros, you may find malls and department stores open until 20:00 hrs, seven days a week. Shops in business areas tend to close a little after office closing time. In tourist areas, you will probably find small stores open late into the evening. In many small towns, shops would tend to close around 20:00 hrs.
Restaurants and bars have different closing hours in different states. In most parts of the country, this would be around midnight or even earlier. The only food establishments legally open 24 hours a day are coffee shops in five-star hotels.
NOTE: SOME GOVERNMENT AND COMMERCIAL OFFICES ARE OPEN ON ALTERNATE SATURDAYS.
India is a secular country and all religions are treated equally. Though the majority of people follow Hinduism, there are large minorities of other religions. Travellers should respect customs and traditions when travelling in India and the Subcontinent. Places of worship and religious ceremonies are particularly sensitive. Please dress modestly and note that you will be required to remove your shoes before entering a place of worship. It is disrespectful to touch a carving or statue of a deity. For religious reasons, touching local people on the head or directing the soles of your feet at a person are both considered taboo. When visiting Buddhist temples and religious, sites please try and remember to walk around them in a clockwise direction. Please also remember to use your right hand when greeting someone, eating or passing money.
Tipping is at the discretion of the guests. It is usually advisable to tip waiters, porters and guides. Most hotels include a service charge on their bills. Where this is not done, a tip of 10% is customary.
Travel with the absolute minimum. It is not advisable to carry valuable jewellery. Money should be taken in traveller’s cheques, with the receipt numbers retained separately in case they are lost or stolen. Cash kept on your person should be minimum. Where possible, leave any valuables, documents and passports in your hotel safety deposit box. Your luggage is particularly vulnerable at airports, railway stations or where crowds gather.
Only drink bottled water and always check that the seal is secure. Mineral water is readily available. Avoid food and drink from street vendors and restaurants that look suspect with their refrigeration and sanitary practices.
Between October and March, days are normally warm and sunny while nights are much cooler, particularly in December and January. The pre-monsoon months of May and June are very warm (air-conditioned transport is recommended), while the rains usually arrive in July and continue to early September.
|Max av temp (C)||23||26||32||38||42||40||35||33||34||34||29||24|
|Min av temp (C)||7||10||16||21||27||29||27||26||24||19||12||8|
|Av rain (mm)||8||8||3||4||21||42||148||148||99||21||2||7|
|Max av temp (C)||20||24||29||36||39||39||35||34||34||33||28||23|
|Min av temp (C)||8||10||16||21||26||28||28||27||25||19||13||9|
|Av rain (mm)||17||19||11||9||18||63||120||160||88||10||4||7|
|Max av temp (C)||22||25||31||37||40||40||34||33||34||34||29||24|
|Min av temp (C)||9||12||17||22||26||28||26||25||24||20||14||10|
|Av rain (mm)||6||9||2||6||9||36||128||139||51||15||2||3|
|Max av temp (C)||22||26||32||36||36||33||32||32||32||33||29||26|
|Min av temp (C)||13||13||17||23||27||27||26||26||24||21||15||9|
|Av rain (mm)||8||8||4||3||8||7||144||167||250||23||3||4|
Lightweight cottons and linens suffice throughout summer and most winter days, with warmer clothes needed for December and January, and winter nights. Waterproof clothing is required during monsoons.
|Max av temp (C)||26||29||33||36||36||34||33||33||33||32||30||27|
|Min av temp (C)||13||16||21||25||26||26||26||26||26||24||19||14|
|Av rain (mm)||10||15||34||37||108||211||250||247||214||120||29||5|
Temperatures are very comfortable between November and February, although evenings can be cold. Summers can be extremely hot, with monsoon rains between mid-June and mid-September.
|Max av temp (C)||31||31||33||33||34||32||30||30||31||33||34||32|
|Min av temp (C)||17||18||21||24||27||27||26||25||25||24||21||19|
|Av rain (mm)||2||1||1||2||14||354||344||381||239||64||4||2|
Lightweight cottons and linens are fine through most of the year, with warmer clothes needed for cooler winters and waterproof clothing essential for monsoons.
Tamil Nadu experiences higher temperatures and humidity than the north throughout the year, though the hill areas can be cold in winter. The north-east monsoon falls between October and December. Andhra Pradesh, including Hyderabad, is hot throughout the year and humid in summer. Winter is much cooler.
|Max av temp (C)||29||31||34||36||38||37||35||35||34||32||30||29|
|Min av temp (C)||21||22||24||26||28||28||26||26||25||24||23||22|
|Av rain (mm)||14||5||4||19||49||54||74||100||104||221||267||118|
|Max av temp (C)||29||32||36||38||39||34||31||30||31||31||29||28|
|Min av temp (C)||16||18||22||25||26||24||23||22||22||21||18||15|
|Av rain (mm)||9||7||15||15||26||87||138||149||84||80||20||4|
Lightweight cottons and linens suffice most of the year, with waterproof clothing required during the monsoon. Warmer clothes are required during winter, particularly in the hills.
South-west India experiences its most pleasant weather between November and March. Monsoon rains normally arrive in late April and last until July. Summer temperatures are lower than in northern India, although humidity is higher. There are normally cooling breezes along the coast and at the hill stations, due to their altitude. Inland, Mysore and Bijapur have pleasant climates with relatively low rainfall.
|Max av temp (C)||32||32||33||33||32||30||29||29||30||31||31||32|
|Min av temp (C)||23||24||26||26||26||24||24||24||24||24||24||23|
|Av rain (mm)||17||18||19||72||184||484||353||274||141||283||105||30|
|Max av temp (C)||32||32||32||33||34||30||29||29||30||32||33||33|
|Min av temp (C)||20||21||23||25||26||25||24||24||24||24||23||21|
|Av rain (mm)||3||0||0||4||55||585||650||395||154||85||8||4|
Lightweight clothing suffices all year round, with warmer clothes required for cooler evenings, particularly in winter. Waterproof clothing is necessary during monsoons.
India has both GSM and CDMA cellular phone systems. Reception is usually clear in urban areas, but can get patchy or non-existent in remote parts of the country. If you plan to use international roaming, check with your phone service provider on whether they have tie-ups with any Indian providers that will give you favourable roaming rates. If you use a GSM phone, you may want to consider buying an Indian phone card to use for your trip. You may buy a local SIM card by providing a copy of your passport and photo at the airport, or request our representative to assist you with the same.
Landline telephone calls to most countries are now direct. Fax and Telex facilities are now ubiquitously available. Internet facilities are also easily available in most cities and tourist centres, in cybercafés and business centres, but free wireless connectivity is rare.
Connectivity – wireless or conventional broadband – in five-star hotels tends to be many times more expensive than cybercafés in the same areas though some hotels are now Wi-Fi enabled and offer it complimentary.
The Indian postal service is huge; you’re likely to find post offices in the most remote towns. You can usually buy stamps and leave letters for posting at most hotels.
As per Indian constitution, alcohol is a subject in the State List. Hence, the laws governing alcohol vary from state to state.