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India travel information

Map of India showing states Map of India
1. Andhra Pradesh
2. Arunachal Pradesh
3. Assam
4. Bihar
5. Chattisgarh
6. Delhi
7. Goa
8. Gujarat
9. Haryana
10. Himachal Pradesh
11. Jammu and Kashmir
12. Jharkhand
13. Karnataka
14. Kerala
15. Madhya Pradesh
16. Maharashtra
17. Minipur
18. Meghalaya
19. Mizoram
20. Nagaland
21. Orissa
22. Punjab
23. Rajasthan
24. Sikkim
25. Tamil Nadu
26. Tripura
27. Uttar Pradesh
28. Uttaranchal
29. West Bengal

Union territories
Andaman and Nicobar islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry.

Passports and visas
All foreign nationals must have visa to enter India. However there are some relaxations for Bhutanese and Nepalese nationals. Details can be obtained from Embassy of India in your place.

Tourist Visa is normally valid for 120 days. Visa extensions can be had by applying to the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi.

Border crossings
India has border crossings with Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar. The crossing to and from Nepal are officially open to third party nationals. Border check points with Bangladesh and Pakistan have been used by foreign tourists even though they are not regarded as official. The crossings with Myanmar could be open for foreigners in the near future (rumors in 2002 - 2004).

Permits and restrictions
Visit to some places, especially the remote places and new states, need permit. The permit will allow you to enter and stay there for a certain number of days. Please contact the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi, or the tourism director of the state for the permit. Your travel agent in India should be able to do this for you.

There are places where tourists are not allowed to visit.

Trekking and mountaineering expeditions require special permits. Climbing to the peaks higher than 6000 meters shall be approved by Indian Mountaineering Federation. For other expeditions you need to submit the detailed itinerary, map, etc. when applying for the visa.

Health issues
Yellow fever : People without a certificate is quarantined on arrival for a period up to 6 days if arriving within 6 days of departing from an infected area.

Malaria : Risk exists throughout the year in the whole country excluding parts of the States of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim. No certificate required, but a course of anti-malaria pills may be recommendable.

Drinking water : Bottled water is available and usually provided in flasks in hotel rooms. For people with delicate digestive systems it is recommended to use bottled mineral water which is widely available.

Facilities : Bring your medicines. There are state operated facilities in all towns and cities and private consultants and specialists in urban areas.

Official language is Hindi, however English is widely spoken and understood. Most of the government, bank, airport, procedures and forms are available in English and Hindi.

India standard time is GMT + 5.5 hours
The standard time is calculated from Allahabad and is common to all cities. Indian Standard Time (IST) is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of London.

Voltage in most places is 220 volts AC, 50 cycles.

Money matters
Currency is Rupee = 100 Paise. Coins are in denominations of 10, 25 and 50 Paise and l, 2 amd 5 Rupees. Notes are in denominations of Rs 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000.

Credit Cards: American Express, Master Charge, Visa and Diners Club credit cards are generally accepted by large establishments including hotels, shops, and airlines.

Fax, telex and telegram services are available in large hotels and telegraph offices in major cities. With the latest technologies, international calling is cheap and can be done directly to most of the countries. Also, people settled overaseas can call India as there are telephone facilities in most cities and towns.

Internet facilities are available in most hotels. Most cities and towns have cyber internet cafes. The international direct dialing code for India is +91 plus city code.

Airport Tax
Airport departure tax for international flights is Rs. 300. For journey to Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives it is Rs. 150.

Public Holidays
There are many festivals and special events in India, but only a few of are public holidays for the whole country. These include 26 January Republic Day, 15 August Independence Day, 2 Oct Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday.

More information
Please check the below web sites for more details and tips.

www.tourisminindia.com Ministry of Tourism, Government of India

www.meaindia.nic.in Ministry of External affairs, India

www.indiagov.org Embassy of India, Washington DC, USA

www.tourindia.com India travel information by the government of India

More photos from travels and trips in Laos, Thailand and Myanmar