WELCOME TO INDIA
A land of stupendous dimensions- colourful, exotic, traditional, modern.....
The destination of nineties and beyond, India meets the expectation of every type of tourist. With her varied topography, pictureque valleys, high mountain peaks and cacading rivers, she never ceases to surprise tourisrts with her kaliedoscopic attractions.
The pomp and pageantry of India's festivals and local fairs are matched by the warmth and hospitality of her people who welcome tourists with open hearts and warm smiles. The shopping scene in India is a journey through centuries -embracing old traditional crafts and artistic skills.A land for recreation, adventure and business, India is an intresting amalgation of tradition and modernity.
Indian visas are available from Indian Consular Offices around the world, on payment of a visa fee of around $5. UK citizens have to pay a visa fees of 23Pounds. Application for multiple and single entry visas are accepted. Indian visas are necessary for all foriegners visting India.
There are several kinds of visas including Entry Visa, Tourist Visa, Business Visa, Long Term Visa ( upto 5 yrs with multiple entry facilities) etc. are available for foriegn tourists in groups.
Tourists visas are available for maximum period of 180 days. No charges are levied for visa extension within the maximum period of 180 days.Identical passport photographs are required.
However in case of extension beyond 180 days, which is allowed in exceptional cases, an extension fees of Rs. 100 for U.S. citizens and Rs. 200 for UK citizens is charged.
Tourists from other countries are advised to check current applicable visa fees/visa extension fees with Goverement of India Tourist Offices or Indian Consular Offices located in thier respective countries.
Special Permits can be obtained if specifically asked for while applying for a Visa or they may be obtained after arrival in india. The FRROs ( Foriegners Regional registration offices) in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and the chief Immigration officer in Chennai can issue the same as well as group permits. The permit is valid for amaximum period of 15 days only. Permits must be applied for at least two weeks in advance for group tourists.
Permits are required for the following places.
1.North Eastern Frontiers
2. Andaman Islands
Tourists are not allowed to bring Indian Currency into the country. Unlimited amounts of foriegn currency or traveller's cheques are allowed into the country but an amount over 1000$ should be declared on arrival and a certificate obtained from Customs.
All money should be changed at official banks or at official money changers.The tourist recieves a currency exchange form for each transactioon. These forms are important as they may be required for re-exchange while leaving the India, for certain official purchases such as airline tickets, for visa renewal and for obtaining income tax clearance.
Most branches of State bank of India and all major nationalised banks have special foriegn exchange counters. Credit cards ( like Diners, American Express and Visa Card among others ) are now widely accepted in India.
Customs Formalities And Regulations
The usual duty free regulations of one bottle of whisky, i.e.950 ml or less and 200 cigarettes apply for India. If the tourist brings in more than $1000 in cash or in traveller's cheques, it must be declared by completion of a currency declaration form.
While small items like perfumes, cosmeticsetc. are allowed into the country, larger items like video camreas are likely to be entered on a 'Tourist Baggage Re-export' form to ensure that the article is taken away on Deprature. The TBRE form should be resubmitted on Departure.
A tourist can clear goods upto Rs.2,400? in value duty free.Goods brought in excess of this are charegable to duty as per Prevailing law.
Foriegn Travel Tax
For international travel from Indian airports Rs.150/- must be paid for travel to neighbouring countries and Rs. 300/- for travel to all other countries.This tax is also applicable to infants occupying seats.
Photography is prohibited in places of milltary importance, railway stations, bridges, airports and other millitary installations.
Barring a yellow fever vaccinations for tourists, coming from infected areas ( African and South American countries ) there are no vaccination requirements for tourist in India.
Restricted & Protected Areas
Millitary installations and areas, defence organisations and research organisation are considered protected areas, where permits are generally not given to foriegn
Export Of Antiquities
Antiquies include sculpture, painting or other works of art and craftsmanship, illustrative of science, art, crafts, religion of bygone ages and of historical intrest which has been in existence for not less than one hundred yrs.
Also manuscripts or other documents of scientific, historical, literary or aestic value in existence for not less then seventy five years- art, -treasures- not necessarly antiquities but having regard to the artistic and the aestetic value cannot be exported out of India.
Restrictions Pertaining to Export Of Articles Made of Animals etc
Govt. of India is concerned about the coservation of its endangered species and rare fauna. With this view, export of all wild animals indigenious to the countrhy and the articles made from such listed animals like skin, pelts, furs, ivory, rhino horns, trophies, etc. have been totally been banned.
Tourists are advised to aquaint themselves with provisions of Conventions on International Trade of Endangered species of wild flora and fauna. All the member countries of the convention allow import of the articles covered by the convention on the strength of a certifcate of export from the country of origin.
There are various modes one can adopt, they are
1. Air :India is well connected and all major cities in India
2. Train :The Indian Railways is the world's second largest railway system, under a single management with route length of over 62,000 Kms.. Time Tables are available at all railway stations.
3. Bus:India has an extensive and well developed bus system, with the system varying widely from state to state. Buses with Video shows are becoming extremely popular on major routes.
4.Driving:Car rental system ( similiar to those in west ) are available in India.Also available are chaffeur driven cars and the short and long distance metered Taxis.
5.Other Transport: In Some places, auto rickshaws ( three whellers ), tongas ( horse- drawn two wheelers) and Victorias ( horse -drawn carriages) operate.Calcutta boasts of an extensive tramway. New Delhi and Calcutta boasts of India's only underground Metro Railway.
have Airport. The National Carrier is Indian Airlines and there are others to chose from they are Sahara Airlines, Jet Airways, Alliance Air etc.
India has three major seasons : summer, winter and the rainy season or the monsoon.
The Summer months ( April -June) are hot in most parts of India.This is the season to visit the summer resorts of Shimla, Mussorie, Nainital, Kufri and the Kashmir valley, Darjeeling, Shillong, Ootacamund, Kodikanal, Panchmarhi and Mount Abu.
The Winter Months are ( November -March) are plesant throughout India with bright sunny days.Winter is more severe in the Northern Plains, and in the foothills of himalayas, while the soutern , eastern, and the western zones of India, remain pleasantly cool.
The Monsoons break at the beginning of the June on the South West coast of India, and gradually break at all parts of the country, except South Eastern areas.These areas recive most of the rainfall between mid -October and end -December.
India At A Glance
Longest Road Bridge- Gandhi Setu on river Sone in Bihar.
Longest River In India- The Brahmaputra in Assam.
Largest Lake- Chilka lake in Orissa.
Highest peak- Godwin Austen of Himalayas.
Largest City ( Area)- Calcutta.
Highest waterfall- Jog Falls in Karnatka.
Largest State -Madhya pradesh.
Most thickly Populated State- Kerala.
Highest Rainfall- Cherrapunji in Meghalaya.
State with largest area under forest- Assam
Largest delta- Sunderbans delta in West Bengal.
Largest Cantilever Span Bridge- Howrah Bridge in Calcutta.
Biggest Cave Temple-Ellora in Maharastra.
Longest Road- Grand Trunk Road.