India as a Country: The Government
Officially recognised as the Union/Central Government, India is a country run by democratic government. The country now comprises of 28 states and seven union territories and has New Delhi as its capital city.
The weather scene here is quite a variety with a six-season-cycle throughout the year. These include spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, prewinter and winter. Since India is a land of diverse topography at different places, the degree of weather varies as per the location and the altitude.
October to March, however, remain the most popular and feasible time to plan a trip to India. This is when the weather at most of the tourist destinations is at its prime and most relaxing.
Most of the seasons play to an extremity during their cycle. Hence, while the summers can get as hot as 33-44°C, especially during May-June, the winters can get pretty chilling with temperature ranging from 9-15°C, with certain high altitude regions getting as cold as minus temperature.
While India offers a myriad of colours in terms of culture and geography, mostly people are friendly and enthusiastic. However, while travelling to any foreign country it's best to follow certain safety guidelines to avoid any trouble during the entire course of your vacation. Some common security tips while travelling in India are:
It's a good idea to be familiar with the local customs and laws while staying at any place in India. This helps in enjoying the place better and don't hurt any Indian sensibilities at any given time.
- While travelling, you are likely to meet a herd of hotels and agents luring you into cheaper options/better accommodation among others. Avoid them as most of them are scams.
- Don't carry huge sums of money while touring around.
- Avoid discussing about how much money you are carrying to any stranger or in public.
- Without discouraging you, try and avoid travelling alone at night, especially on dimly lit lanes.
- While making new friends/meeting strangers, preferably pick a public joint.
- Take care of your luggage and never hand it over to any unknown person.
- Don't allow suspicious people or strangers to enter your room.
- Always ensure you keep your important documents and valuables safe in a secure suitcase or hotel locker.
- An extra copy of your important documents and carrying less of cash and more plastic money is always a better idea for smooth travelling.
Clothing and Accessories
- While light cotton clothes is best if travelling during summers, avoiding synthetic and carrying a multi-purpose stole/scarf always comes handy, especially where you have to dress conservatively. But feel free to have a wardrobe of t-shirts, trousers, shirts and anything comfortable that doesn't involve too much of skin-show.
- A good pair of sturdy shoes and floaters is a must to last you through the travel and long walks.
- To save your skin from sunburn and tan, full sleeved comfortable clothing really helps
- Carry sun-block lotion, binoculars, candy, sunglasses, insect repellent, sun hat, flashlight, additional camera batteries, tissues and basic medicines in your hand luggage bag.
Currency / Cash / ATM
Foreign credit cards are no issue and easily accepted across the country wherever card facility service is available. In addition, you will find easy option of currency and cheque conversion at main hotel desks, banks and Forex agencies. ATM service too can be easily found at all centres and corners of India.
Preserve all the exchange receipts (encashment certificates) since they would be required for visa extensions and other formalities.
Any individual from foreign nationality needs to have a valid passport and Indian Visa before entering the country. This is with exception to people from Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives for a trip comprising less than 90 days. The Indian Visa remains valid for duration of six months from the official arrival date.
The Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs is the sole authority for issuance of Indian visas to the foreign nationals for their India visit for various purposes. This facility is granted through various Indian commissions abroad.
In addition, there is a new scheme announced for travellers from Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore by the government of India. As per the scheme, the citizens can receive a tourist visa which is valid for up to a maximum of 30 days.
Arrival and Customs Information
Arrival Card is a mandatory form containing detailed information about your passport for immigration/custom clearance you need to fill before coming here. Please ensure to get the immigration stamp on your passport with an arrival stamp before leaving the immigration counter.
Rest of the official formalities is duly taken care of by our representatives before your trip.
Hindi remains the official language of India. Out of over 15 main languages and hundreds of dialects, English remains the common thread to connect different regions for official and administrative uses.
In India, the travel conditions depend a lot upon the weather and often responsible for major changes in the itinerary right before the tour or during it. As a travel service provider, we try our best to keep the itinerary in place.
But in case unavoidable situations force us to do it otherwise, we look for the best possible alternate option and offer the same with the client's consent. Similarly, while we contract for best available air-conditioned vehicles for all transfers and sightseeing, sometimes inconsistencies may occur.
Tipping is not mandatory in India and in case you want to tip someone for his/her good service you can directly tip that person.
There are plenty of options if you are looking for some incredible shopping experience. Most of the cities here are buzzing with great shopping options and having all national and international brands to pick from. For those who are looking forward for some local culture exposure, head to the colourful, local market where handicrafts, textile and silver jewelry make for pretty gifting options.
Indian Food and drinks
Popular across the world for its mouth-watering aromas and spices, Indian cuisine is a delectable mix of various cultures and cuisines established across the country. Broadly, it can be categorized under North Indian Food, South Indian Food, West Indian Food and East Indian Food. Whether you're a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, there is enough variety to cater to your taste buds. At all costs, Indian cuisine remains a thing to be tried whenever travelling to India.
In addition, it would be a good practice to avoid tap water and stick to bottled mineral water when in India. Also, avoid have peeled and unwashed vegetables from the stalls.
Almost all the hotels offer the same- day laundry service.
At present, you don't need to get any special vaccination before reaching India when travelling from any part of Asia/Europe/North America. However, for all those travelling from Yellow Fever endemic countries, it becomes mandatory to have your Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate while travelling as per the International Health Regulations.
Additionally, you'd be suggested vaccination for Hepatitis, Typhoid and Meningitis before you travel to India.
As far as flights are concerned, baggage limits are strictly followed by the Indian airways during domestic as well as international flights. For each person travelling, the maximum baggage allowance is 30 kgs (66 lbs.) on economy class and 40 kgs (88 lbs.) on executive class.
While traveling from India to Europe/Far East/Middle East, you are not levied for any charges on baggage depending upon which class you choose.
The electricity in India usually runs on a 220/240 Voltage. It's a good idea to get an international converter kit in case you intend to use your own electrical appliances.
If you like photography, your trip to India would be nothing less than a delight. Diverse culture, scenic hill-tops, chaotic roads and markets and never ending streams; there is everything you'd want to see and capture.
With a variety of communication modes available across India, communicating or getting in touch with your family back hardly becomes an issue. Traditional modes include Cyber Cafe, Mobile (cell) phones, postal services and Public Phone Booths (PCOs).
Wireless and Broadband internet facilities are available at all the hotels.
The international direct dialing code for India is +91