India Travel Information

On this page we have compiled the most important and current travel information for India, as well as other useful travel tips that should give you an overview of this unique country and its people. Information about the entry requirements, currency, and optimum travel time as well as information on required vaccinations can be found below.

Entry & Exit

To enter India you will need a visa, this can be obtained through an application process. In every case, ensure you have your documents in order and ready at the border. An original, signed passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.

For double or multiple entry requests, you must provide an itinerary showing more than one entry into India and both business letters must specify the number of entries you are requesting. The decision to grant or deny additional entries lays entirely with the Indian Embassy.

Additional required documents for minors (under 18):

  • Application form. Both parents must sign the second page of the application. The signature space under the photo on page one can be left blank.
  • Consent form. A Consent Form for Minor Visa Applicant completed and signed by both parents. Minors not traveling with both parents must have the Consent Form NOTARIZED and submit the original. 
  • Parents' passport copies. A copy of the information pages of both parents' valid, signed passports.

When you are about to leave India, ensure that you are not transporting any prohibited items, such as the export of:

  • Indian currency
  • Protected animal skins and plants
  • Drugs
  • Weapons

There are some things that are allowed when leaving India, such as the export of:

  • 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
  • 0.95 liters of alcohol
  • Gifts up to a total value of 4,000 INR (Indian Rupees)

Ensure that you check with your local embassy before traveling to India, so that you have the most up to date information possible.

Vaccinations
Travelers will have to prove any compulsory vaccinations when traveling to India. It is generally recommended to check all standard vaccinations in accordance with the current immunization schedule of the Robert Koch Institute and see what current immunizations you will need. These could include: Diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, possibly measles, mumps, rubella and influenza. Furthermore, travel vaccines such as hepatitis A (and possibly B for longer stays) and typhoid should be considered.

The inclusion of international travel insurance that can be used in a case of emergency is strongly recommended if you choose to travel to India.

Malaria
In India (except at an altitude of 1500 meters) there is a year-round average risk of transmission of malaria. A particularly high risk in the months during and after the rainy season, and even large cities are no exception.

There is no absolute protection against malaria. Since this disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. It is recommended that you bring sufficient protection against mosquitoes, especially at night and during twilight to minimize the risk.

Also remember:

  • A long jacket.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Stay in mosquito-proof rooms with mosquito nets and air conditioning.
  • The use of mosquito nets at night.

This way you will also protect yourself simultaneously against other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as dengue fever or chikungunya.

After your trip to India (even up to weeks later) you might feel symptoms such as fever, chills, diarrhea, head and body aches and if so be sure to visit and tell your doctor about your stay in India.

Diarrhea & Intestinal Diseases
Diarrheal diseases can often occur throughout the year in India. You should avoid drinking from taps and other fountains, even in large cities. Instead carry and use bottled water. You should make sure to only buy the original packaged beverages from cans or bottles to drink, ensuring they have not been broken or tampered with. For brushing and washing of fruits and vegetables, bottled drinking water should also be used.

For more information please visit your local Foreign Ministry.

Travel Facts for India

India’s climate is determined by the season and area of your visit, which you should consider when planning your trip. End of March the rainy season begins in the Southwest of the country, which continues to the beginning of September. In the Southern Deccan, the rainy season lasts until November; in December the whole country is devoid of rain.

The best time for most regions of the country are the months of November to March. At this time the temperatures are cool and dry. The end of March are the average temperatures in the Ganges Delta and on the Deccan plateau at 33°C and in May it’s even hotter.

India is falling into the UTC +5.5 time zone and is not making use of Daylight Saving Time.

The currency in India is the rupee (INR), which is divided into 100 paise. There are 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupee notes. Rarely are 1, 2 and 5 rupee notes. Coins are in denominations of 10, 20, 25 and 50 paise and 1, 2 and 5 rupees.

In India, one needs a lot of loose change because large bills can be a problem, since most people cannot make change. This is especially true for food stalls and rickshaw rides.

The way to change money is equal to the destination airport in India, but also in almost every hotel. The best exchange rates, however, you find in various exchange offices of Satdt.

Throughout the country, you can easily withdraw money from bank machines (ATMs). However credit theft is common, to minimize your risk most banks can impose limits on credit cards so that if the card is stolen, large sums of currency can’t be withdrawn. You should also inform your credit card provider and/or bank about your trip before a trip to ensure that you and your card are protected.

Exchange rates:
1 CAD = 54,35 INR (last updated 06.09.2019)
1 £ = 88.17 INR (last updated 06.09.2019)

Electricity
The power supply in India is based on 220 V and 50 Hz and is relatively reliable. Sometimes there may be power outages or power fluctuations. It is recommended that you pick up a suitable power adapter before you embark on your trip.

Telephone
Even outside of hotels, you can make calls to India at a normal rate. Look for small shops with signs PCO, STD or IDS. PCO means that they carry local calls, STD stands for calls within India and IDS for international calls. The mobile phone usage in India is usually quite expensive, ask your cellphone provider for more information.

Internet
Often hotels have an internet connection that you can use as a guest, but internet in cafes in the larger cities is readily available.

Embassy of Canada (New Delhi)
7/8, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021
Website: india.gc.ca
Tel.: +91 11 4178 2000

British Embassy (New Delhi)
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, 110021, India
Tel.: +91 11 2419 2100
Internet: www.gov.uk/contact-consulate-new-delhi

People & Landscape

India is the country where the Buddha lived and taught, it is also noteworthy for the country's deep tradition of spirituality and magic. India is also a land of contrasts that you will discover on your tour, as nowhere else is poverty and wealth, tradition and modernity in such close proximity to each other. Approximately 40% of the population lives below the poverty line in the huge urban slums.

India is the seventh largest country in the world, but will be surpassed by China soon. There are 18 main languages spoken and more than 1,000 local languages and dialects. However, Hindi and English are considered official languages.

India’s main religion is Hindu and the lives of most Indians are strongly influenced by their religion, which is also reflected in education, politics and everyday life.

Approximately 83% of the population are Hindus, the second largest religious group are the Muslims, who make up about 12% of the total population and 5% of the population are Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains.

The Hindus use the caste system, which is defined in the scriptures Dharma Shastras and Dharma Hutrus. There are four hierarchical classes (Varna), where certain social and religious obligations are associated with. People who do not belong in a caste, aka the Dalits, or the "untouchables". They belong to the bottom of society. The caste system decides people's lives, because it determines diet, religious obligations, contacts to other castes and the choice of spouse.

India, with its Bengal Tigers, the plateaus of the Himalayas, the Rajasthan desert and the tropical backwaters of Kerala and its diverse habitats for plants and animals. This is what makes India such a unique destination for active travel. There are 65,000 animal species, including 340 species of mammals, 1,200 species of birds, 2,000 species of fish and 13,000 flowering plants! India is the only country in the world, where wild tigers, lions, bears, and snow leopards can be found in a country.

However the Indian tiger has had to contend with a lot of environmental dangers like hunters and habitat destruction. A ban on tiger hunting was introduced in 1972 in India and the "Project Tiger" project was born to help save the tigers. Nevertheless, many of the endangered animals are still killed by poachers. The rhinoceros and Indian elephant are also threatened with extinction. However, there are more than 560 wildlife sanctuaries and 80 national parks offer the animals protection.

India is known for its aromatic and tasty dishes. Indian cuisine uses a lot of spices such as pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, chili, turmeric, ginger, coriander, saffron and garlic. Indians have a special fondness for chili and soften the hot chili taste with chutneys, yogurt, mint leaves, cucumber or other herbs and vegetables, so that you can enjoy a varied and exotic cuisine.

Many Hindus eat neither meat nor fish, therefore the Indian cuisine is a colorful variety of vegetarian recipes for lentil or vegetable curries (dhal), which are true specialties. Hindus also don't eat beef (sacred cow) and Muslims do not eat pork. Often goat or mutton is eaten instead of other meats.

The regional cuisine is very different: Bengali' eat particularly like fish or meat and exotic vegetables, plus rice. In the North, very little meat is eaten, usually there are vegetable curries (dhal) with bread (roti), here also is the Mughlai cuisine known. It is mostly vegetarian and very culinary with ingredients such as almonds, raisins and cream. Also tandoori (clay oven baked) is widespread in the Northern areas.

Chai tea is usually drank, which is grown in Darjeeling or Assam and the Nilgiri Hills. Indian tea is often prepared with the tea leaves, milk and water boiled together in a pot and then mixed with a lot of sugar. The tea is then flavored with ginger or cardamom. Another typical Indian drink is lassi which is made from yogurt mixed with sugar, fruit or salt.

In India, you'll find various types of restaurants: from cheap Indian restaurants, tourist restaurants, to fast food and street food vendors. Of course there are Western themed restaurants as well, which are usually expensive and not particularly tasty. If you travel to India, it's best to stick to the local cuisine, as this is particularly delicious and varied so you’ll have lots of options.

Sightseeing

Beside the practical information about entry & exit requirements etc., are important for your planning but also tips about the best sights of the country. The rich history of India, its temples, vivid markets and mountain ranges are baiting tourists to the country. Of course, a visit to Taj Mahal is a must do. Maybe you want to go for hike in the Himalaya?

We've put together information about the most interesting places and listed them on our page Highlights in India. Here you can find out about the different regions and which tours are covering certain higlights.

If you are well informed about India now, have a look at our Trips to India or contact our team.

Current Situation
Please keep in mind, that the security situation at place can change at any time. Therefore we recommend to have a look at the current safety information at Global Affairs Canada or Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Exclusion of Liability
Those who choose to travel do so entirely at their own risk. SC Travel Adventures endeavours to inform tourists of the risks involved with travelling but cannot be held liable for any events which occur outside of their direct control. Tourists are advised to avoid areas considered unsafe, remain vigilant and cautious at all times throughout their stay, and heed the advice of local authorities.