Know Before You Go



KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

PREPARING TO GO TO INDIA

INDIA LOCAL TIME

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

ELECTRICITY

220 volts & 50Hz. A variety of power outlets are used in India, but most plugs have two or three round pins.

LANGUAGE

Although English is generally used for official and business purposes, Hindi is the official language and is spoken by about 30 percent of the population. There are in all 22 officially recognized languages.

PASSPORT & VISA

A passport valid for at least 180 days and with at least two blank pages is required by all nationals

Citizens of all countries need to have a valid passport and an entry, transit or tourist visa obtained from the Indian Visa Service in their country prior to departure. Regulations and costs change frequently and differ according to nationality. For the latest information on your specific visa requirements, please contact your local Indian Embassy or Consulate. The servicing of visas has been outsourced by the Indian government in most countries to a Visa Services however information on which service is available on the website of the Indian consulate/embassy of your residing country.

US & Canadian citizens can now arrange an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) online through the following link: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html Please note this visa service only allows you to apply for your visa a maximum of 30 days prior to the departure of your trip to India and for single Entry Visa for max of 30 days.

For Multiple Entry Visas, you will have to apply at your local Indian Embassy or Consulate and get your Visa before departure.

E-Tourist Visa once issued on arrival is Only single entry, non-extendable and non-convertible.

The following countries are all able to apply for this ETV:

Mozambique, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom and USA, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hong Kong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turks & Caicos Island, UAE, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela and Vietnam, Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka

There is no visa fee for the following countries however one must still apply online: Argentina, Cook Islands, Fiji, Jamaica, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uruguay and Vanuatu

All Passengers are responsible for securing proper documentation prior to joining the tour. Passports are required; in addition travelers are advised to check with local consulates for full details regarding Visa requirements. Please note securing a valid visa for entry is sole responsibility of the traveler.

LOCAL CURRENCY

The monetary unit in India is the India Rupee (INR). Rupee (INR; symbol Rs) = 100 paise. Notes are in denominations of Rs1000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of Rs5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, 20, 10 and 5 paise.

Note: The import and export of local currency is prohibited.

Keep in mind that sometimes smaller vendors will not take bills larger than Rs 500. It is best to carry a range of rupee notes if you are shopping at bazaars and local markets.

On November 8, 2016, the government of India announced that existing 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes are being withdrawn immediately from circulation and will be replaced with new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes. Airports, railway stations and hospitals will accept 500 and 1,000 rupee notes until November 11, 2016.

**Do not accept bank notes that have been taken out of circulation**

MONEY EXCHANGE, CREDIT CARD & ATM

Banks & ATM can be found in most cities and sizable towns where it is possible to exchange cash and travelers cheques. Many hotels also offer currency exchange and may offer a faster service at similar rates. Credit cards are usually only accepted in larger shops and more expensive hotels and restaurants.

Credit cards:

In major cities, the full cadre of banks cards are generally accepted including debit cards, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. However, in smaller towns and villages, choice is generally narrowed to cash or MasterCard and Visa.

ATM:

24 hour ATM machines can be found in all the major cities and most large towns. Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Plus are amongst the most commonly accepted cards.

CLOTHING

As a general guideline, clothing should be lightweight and loose fitting. In India's hot summer months, cotton clothing is much more comfortable than materials like nylon. In the winter months (Dec-Feb) North India can get very cold so warm clothing is recommended.


COMMUNICATION & EMAILS

Internet cafes can now be found in most cities and sizable towns. Connection times are often painfully slow although this does vary from city to city. The average cost for an hour is approx. US$1. Most hotels offer wifi service and rates can vary from hotel to hotel.


The Indian phone system is fairly good. Look out for shops/booths labeled with a yellow "PCO-STD-ISD" sign which can be found almost everywhere. A 3 minute call (to the Canada) will cost approx. US$10 from a hotel and approx. US$3 from a shop/booth.

INTERNAL FLIGHTS

Please note that when flying within India, the airline baggage allowance is 15KG (33LBS). Airlines are becoming quite strict with the weight restrictions and will charge a fee if you are over your weight allowance.


MEALS

Approximate costs for meals and snacks not included are shown below:

Simple snack - US$ 5-8

Light meal - US$ 10-15

Fancy restaurant - US$ 25-35


DRINKS

Approximate costs for drinks bought in a shop in the street are shown below. Note: Prices in restaurants and hotels can be as much as double as those specified.

1l of water - US$ 1.00

30cl bottle of soft drink - US$ 1.00

65cl bottle of beer - US$ 3.00