Traveling to India – What You Should Know -Part1

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

India which is considered South Asia, is the largest country within that region.  India defines itself with an ancient backdrop filled with rich culture, incredible cuisine, many languages, religions, and within the country, over a billion people. 
While visiting India, especially first time travelers, it’s essential that you plan your trip wisely, keeping in mind, religious principles, controversial territories, traditional customs, language and your safety. 
Here’s an overview to assist you in planning a trouble-free and pleasant trip to one of the most diverse and vibrant places on earth!

Preparing For Your Trip

All travelers visiting India will need to possess a Passportand Indian Visa
It is vital that you contact your local consulate so that they may advise you on the proper application process as it may vary depending upon the country in which you reside. 
In addition, once a foreigner to the country visits, you will not be able to return for two months, afterwards.
Malaria and/or sickness can be a problem in any foreign country so it is important that you visit your private physician or travel health clinic to receive the necessary shots, preferably 4-8 weeks prior to travel.

Here are recommended vaccinations you should consider prior to travel:  Meningococcal, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio, Yellow fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and Tetanus-diphtheria.
It is also recommended that you take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance.  If you have insurance, check with your provider to see what your policy covers while you are visiting a foreign country.  


India is vastly open to four seasons: winter (January and February), summer (March to May), monsoon (rainy) season (June to September), and a post-monsoon period (October to December.)
Most of the region consists of a warm to hot climate.  


Prior to visiting any foreign territory it’s beneficial to research the current temperament of the region. 
In certain parts of India, there exists civil unrest.  According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, travel alerts have been issued in these areas:  Rural areas of Jammu; Kashmir; areas bordering with Pakistan; Manipur; Srinagar; and Imphal.

If you are hiking or trekking in the areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, always do so within a group.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also suggests that you take precaution while visiting during Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August), Eid (20 August) and Diwali (13 November.)
In addition, while visiting India be sure to secure your Passport, and ATM/Credit cards.  Make a copy of your Passport, Visa and flight itinerary, and secure it separately from the originals. 
Never leave your baggage unattended; always eat and drink from well established Points of Interest (POA);be careful to walk in streets alone at night.

Currency, Credit Cards and ATMs

The Reserve Bank of India controls India’s currency which is called “Indian Rupee” also known as INR. 
When exchanging currency, always do so at an authorized dealer such as a well known bank.  You can also exchange currency within the Airport. 
There are a few different booths which will assist you.  Also, be sure to request a currency exchange receipt.  This will establish your currency exchange within India. 
Currency exchange rates will vary depending upon who exchanges your currency.
Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are broadly received in India, specifically in tourist friendly locations. 
Though, it’s best to exchange your foreign traveler’s checks into Indian Rupee.
Generally, ATMs available in cities, big towns as well on most of the tourist destinations.
If you are planning to travel ruler areas as well some
interiors area's make sure to carry sufficient cash as ATM's are available in very less numbers.

In the second part  we will try to cover  Language, cuisine and ways of communication.

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Indian Embassy July 25, 2012 at 9:03 PM  

Very informative post specially for those who are planning to visit India..

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