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Travel TipsIndia is among the most colourful and amazing nations of the world and laced with rich history, culture and heritage. To get the most of your trip to India, it would be a good idea to equip yourself with useful information before you set out for a journey of a lifetime. India shares its borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal and Pakistan.
Passport / VisasTo explore India, you need a valid passport and visa. It is always advisable to obtain a multiple entry visa. Carry your passport at all times while enjoying a vacation in India. Notify your country’s embassy or consulate in case your passport is stolen or lost.
Some parts of the country are restricted areas and one requires a special permit to go to these places. Check with your travel agent or embassy while planning your visit. 15-Day visa extensions are granted under exceptional circumstances. If you intend to stay longer than three months on non-tourist visas, there is a registration requirement.
LanguageHindi is the national language and English is used for official and business purposes and is widely spoken. Urdu is common among the states with the Muslim demographic. There are 16 other languages spoken in different regions.
Getting Around and AboutMost cities have means of efficient local transportation such as taxis, auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws and buses. Train, metro, local bus, charter bus, tempo, river boat are also other means of transportation in some cities. It is recommended to hire private tourist cabs which are properly insured. For inter-city and inter-state transport, you can avail services of Indian Railways and Domestic Airlines.
ClimateThe climate in India varies from region to region. It is best to visit Indian plains during cooler months from November to March. For a visit to the mountain regions the months of April to October are better suited. The mountain regions of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir are recommended during the summer months from May to August. The deserts of Rajasthan and the north-western Indian Himalayan region are at their best during the monsoon from July to September. The best months to visit the south are between November and April, while north-eastern areas of India tend to be more comfortable between March and August.
Food and HealthRice and wheat (in bread forms, known as roti etc.) are the staple diet of Indians. Spicy food and sweets are popular in India, every region has its own speciality, and the way of cooking and serving also differs. The food in India is extremely diverse, as ingredients, spices, and the taste of the tongue, all vary from region to region. Also, there are plenty of non-spicy cuisines and delicacies to choose from.
It is strongly recommended to drink only bottled water and avoid eating food at stalls in the markets.
You may occasionally need insect repellent cream. If you are allergic to dust, be sure to carry medication with you. Sunscreen is another must-have.
Smart ShoppingIndians like to bargain and bargaining is the norm in local bazaars where products are without a written price by the seller. Resist the urge to buy without comparing prices from shops selling similar stuff. Be wary of roadside peddlers trying to sell you semi-precious and precious gems and jewellery. Visit proper emporiums who give guarantee for the product especially the handicrafts and carpets etc. Trading in ivory, fur, animal skins, antiquities and the like is illegal. If you must have it, obtain a certificate of legitimate sale and permission for export before leaving the country.
Do’s and Don’ts