Time Zone

GMT + 5 hours 30 minutes


The official language is Hindi but English is widely spoken throughout India.

Staff at airline, railway, telecommunication counters and offices are usually fluent in English. Most direction signs usually have an English version too. Books like Words in Indian English by S. Muthiah can help visitors interpret local additions to vocabulary and grammar.


The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100 Paisa 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.

Money Matters

Visitors may not bring in or take out any Indian currency, except in the form of travellers cheques. Do not use unauthoriszed moneychangers for exchanging foreign currency. You run the risk of receiving forged rupees or being cheated.

Exchanging facilities are generally available at airports and authorised moneychangers usually display the rates of exchange. Credit cards are widely accepted in major hotels, restaurants and shops. 


For full details on climate, please see Best Time to Go.


 Light and loose, easily laundered clothing is best for the south, and the northern plains, especially from April to September. You will need warmer clothes for the north during winter. Warm clothing is a must in the hill stations all year round.

India does not have a very formal dress code, although some hotels and clubs may insist on a dress code in their dining rooms - long trousers and a conventional shirt usually suffice.

When touring, women should avoid wearing revealing tops, short skirts and all but the baggiest shorts.


For up to date information on latest health and vaccination recommendations, please contact your doctor.


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Arrival and Departure Formalities

Visa & Immigrations: All visitors, except those from Nepal and Bhutan, must have valid passports stamped with current visas. There is no provision for visa on arrival in India. Visitors must register with the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office within 14 days of arrival. Your hotel will take care of this service upon check-in. Contact the nearest Indian embassy or consulate in your home country before making your travel plans.

All Indian consular offices around the world issue visas. Business travellers should apply for a multiple-entry business visa which is valid for one year. Special visas are also issued for trekking, botanical expeditions and sports and journalism related activities. Visitors may move freely throughout the country, except to restricted or prohibited areas.

Customs: Visitors possessing more than US $10000 (or the equivalent in travellers cheques or bank notes) must fill in a currency declaration form.  If you plan to bring to bring any expensive electronics/cameras, ask for a re-export permit from customs officials when you arrive. The permit will be written into the back of your passport, and unless you can present the item to Customs while leaving, duty will be levied.

India restricts the export of antiques, including foreign-made artifacts and items more than 100 years old. The Archaeological Survey of India is the authority that determines whether items are restricted. Visitors may not bring in or take out of India anything made from endangered animal species.

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