Do some background reading before visiting India, so
that your visit becomes a great experience, something
you had never dream could happen to you.
Don’t be concerned about living conditions in India.
Our 5-star and 4-star hotels, are of international
standards and the comforts and cuisine they provide
compare with any in the world. The deluxe and palace
hotels are a world apart and many have been accorded ‘Leading
hotels of the world’ status. The 3-star hotels are
there for the medium budget traveler, and 1-star and
2-star hotels, Travelers lodges, Tourist Bungalows,
Holiday Homes, Youth hostels, YM/ YWCA’s are for those
with small budgets.
Your travel arrangements should be made well in
advance, especially if you are traveling between
October-March (high tourist season) and May-June, the
Indian holiday season. Travel facilities are limited in
relation to demand so prior bookings are a must.
If traveling by air, you should include one or more
trips by rail or road so that you can experience rural
India. When planning your trip, ask your travel agent to
include an Indian
fairs or festivals in your itinerary. Witnessing the
color and gaiety of these events is a great experience.
At each city you visit, try and attend a folkloric or
classical music, dance or drama program. Information on
programs can be obtained from any India tourist office.
English is spoken at almost all tourist centers, but
you can also request us to book Government-trained and
approved guides who also speak German, French, Spanish,
Japanese, Italian or Russian. Tour guides will help you
not only in your sightseeing, but also help you
understand India better.
Indians are hospitable and friendly people, if they
stare at you, do not consider it rude, it is only a
matter of curiosity. A tourist need never be lost in
India, most people are more than willing to go out of
their way to guide you to your destination.
If you want to meet Indians or go to an Indian home,
contact us. We will arrange a visit.
As with any foreign destination, the tourist is
advised to drink bottled water, bottled drinks, coffee
or tea. Most premier hotels have their own filtration
Avoid eating spicy food all at one time soon after
you arrive in India. Take one Indian dish only with each
meal and ask the waiter to cut down on the chilies.
Within a few days your system will get used to Indian
food, one of the most delicious of world cuisine. It is
advisable to stick to only cooked foods and to eat fresh
fruits whose skin you can peel off or remove.
Bring your own medicines, since all medications in
India are locally manufactured and you may not find the
same brand names. There are very good druggists and
doctors everywhere, and they can advise on substitutes.
If the necessity arises, ask your hotel to recommend a
Do not forget to remove your footwear when visiting a
place of worship or mausoleum. Also some temples do not
permit any leather articles at all on their premises.
Certain areas of temples are not open to Non-Hindus.
Travel with a camera and a color film. India is a
land of sunshine and color, begging to be photographed.
Most type of films are available in India.
Most cities have Beggar Homes to look after indigent
persons and to teach them a trade, but professional
beggars find begging more lucrative. If you wish to help
them, do so through a recognized charitable
organization, not by giving them alms.
It is safe to travel in
India, as you will find out for yourself. Even if
you read of some trouble in any town or region, do not
be discouraged, since most of India is safe at all
Most museums in India are closed on Mondays and Site
Museums, those near archaeological monuments, on
Fridays. However, please check with us for timings.
The electric current in India is 220/ 250 volts and
50 cycles. It is AC practically everywhere.
India is a shoppers dream. Shopping is recommended
from Government Emporia and suggested shops by us. Most
of the large stores will ship your purchases for you,
though, for convenience and to avoid postal delays, it
is advisable to carry your shopping with you or to book
it as baggage.
Do not crowd too many places into your itinerary.
Make sure that you get an occasional free half-day for
rest, shopping or exploring on your own.
If you wish to visit any restricted areas, as in the
north- eastern region, check with the nearest India
Tourist Office as to the permits needed.
For amateur photography of national monuments, there are no restrictions on taking photographs with a still camera (with flash inside the camera synchronized with exposure) or an 8mm.movie camera. It is prohibited to photograph places of military importance, i.e. airports, bridges, sensitive border regions. Certain temples may prohibit interior or exterior photography. Charges may be levied to photograph some monuments, forts or temples. Inside museums, or when photographing art works, flash cameras are prohibited. Photography inside the Taj Mahal is prohibited but prior permission can be requested from the Archaeological Survey of India, Janpath, New Delhi, 110 001. We at TCI will assist you with same. If tripods or other outside aids such as props or floodlights are used, or for professional and commercial photograph, special permission must be obtained from the Archaeological Survey of India. Similar permission must be obtained for movie cameras other than 8mm and for video cameras.
Some hotels include service charges on their bills. In such cases tipping is not necessary. Where this is not done, at tip of 10% is customary. If you are in a big group and the food bill is high, the tip on the total can come down to 5%. The porter who takes your baggage to your room is usually tipped Rs.5 per bag or Rs.10 to Rs.20 per trolley. (These estimates are for 5 and 4-star hotels and are proportionately less in 1, 2 or 3 star hotels.) Tipping of taxi drivers is not customary.
The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100Paisa equal 1 Rupee). Paper money is in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of Rupees 1, 2 and 5. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ checks a tourist may import, provided a Declaration form is completed on arrival. This will facilitate the exchange of imported currency as well as the export of unspent currency on departure.Cash, bank notes and traveler’s checks up to US $ 10,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of traveler’s checks, drafts, bills, checks, etc., which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorized money- changers. Tourists are warned that changing money through unauthorized persons is not only illegal but also involves the risk of receiving counterfeit currency. To exchange foreign money other than through banks or authorized money- changers is an offence. Please note that no Indian currency whatsoever can be imported or exported, except for Rupee travelers’ checks. Banks abroad to keep Rupee balances with their agents in India and are able to draw upon these balances to issue Rupee travelers’ checks to intending tourists. There are 24- hour exchange facilities available at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai international airports.