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The Bengal tiger is India's national animal.
India Standard Time Zone (IST) is GMT + 5:30, meaning that it’s 9.5 hours ahead of New York and 4.5 hours ahead of London (Not calculating for Daylights Savings).
A valid passport that must be valid for six months beyond date of visa application to obtain a visa.
A tourist visa – including US citizens
Countries that don’t need a visa:
Bhutan, Maldives (Up to 90 days stay), Nepal
Countries that are allowed Visas on arrival:
Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea,Vietnam
For more information visit: Immigrationworld.com
Travelers should bring a copy of their vaccination certificates.
All travelers experience thermal screening upon arrival and those with symptoms are isolated and retested. 2% of all visitors, whether vaccinated or not, will be randomly chosen for testing upon arrival and those who test positive must isolate for eight days.
These are 3 popular international airports in India:
Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in New Delhi and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) in Mumbai, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) in Kolkata.
Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) is located in New Delhi, India and is India’s biggest airport. It is 15 km south-west of the New Delhi railway station and 16 km from New Delhi city centre.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), located in Mumbai and is reachable by bus and taxi. It is the second busiest airport in India.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) is located in Dum Dum, West Bengal, India and serves the Kolkata metropolitan area. It is located approximately 17 kilometres from the city centre.
India has many modes of local transportation. Most popular options are rickshaws, buses, taxis, and Uber in some areas.
Rickshaws are a very common form of transport in India. Also known as tuk-tuks the rickshaw is a three-wheeled vehicle that typically lacks windows and comfortably fits two passengers (there is limited room for luggage). Out of all the modes of transportation rickshaws are the cheapest option.
Buses are a good option if you are looking for a long journey to a certain destination. However, the public bus system is known to be overcrowded and dirty and definitely not the most enjoyable. A typical 2-3 hour journey is around ₹100, which is about a dollar and a half.
Taxis are also readily available. Taxi meters typically don’t work properly so the best move is to ask for the fare before you begin your journey.
Uber is currently available in India- but there have been periods where it has been banned due to safety reasons.
India is considered to be moderate in terms of crime. The country is relatively safe for tourists but it’s important to look out for crime, armed robbery and rape. The most common assault upon a woman in India is rape- so being vigilante is very important. It is often recommended for women not to travel solo in India.
The emergency number in India is 112. This number is an overall emergency number that loops in police (100), fire (101) and the women (1090) helpline numbers.
Overall, India can be a safe place as long as you are street smart!
Temperatures vary during the year and depend on what part of India you are in- but generally the country doesn’t get too cold. The average low during the winter is 10-15 Celsius (50-59 Fahrenheit) and up to 20-25 Celsius (68-77 Fahrenheit) in Southeast India. The average high during the summer is 32-40 degrees Celsius (90-104 Fahrenheit).
December, January, February (Winter): The coldest months of the year.
March, April, May (Spring): Hottest time of the year.
June, July, August (Summer): Monsoon season.
September, October, November (Autumn): BEST TIME TO VISIT.
There are two official languages, Hindi and English. According to the Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. The most spoken language in India is Hindi but Bengali is the second most spoken language.
*Here’s a few basic words and phrases:
Hello: namaste ( नमस्ते )
Thank you: dhanyavaad ( धन्यवाद )
You’re welcome: aapaka svaagat hai ( आपका स्वागत है )
Excuse me: mujhe maaph karen ( मुझे माफ करें )
I’m sorry: mujhe maaph kar do ( मुझे माफ कर दो )
Please: krpya ( कृप्या )
Good morning: shubh prabhaat ( शुभ प्रभात )
Good night: shubh raatri ( शुभ रात्रि )
My name is…: mera naam hai… ( मेरा नाम है… )
Check, please: krpaya chek den ( कृपया चेक दें )
I don’t understand: mujhe samajh nahin aa raha hai ( मुझे समझ नहीं आ रहा है )
Do you speak English?: kya aap angrezee bolate hain? ( क्या आप अंग्रेज़ी बोलते हैं? )
Where is…?: kahaan hai…? ( कहाँ है…? )
Call the police: pulis ko bulao ( पुलिस को बुलाओ )
*Hindi terms may be different depending on the region of India.
India’s etiquette is on the formal and conservative side due to it being a mix of European and Asian culture.
- Bring a gift to whoever is hosting you- like flowers or chocolate.
- Be wary about bringing alcohol to someone’s home as drinking alcohol is culturally unacceptable in most parts of India.
- Be cautious of giving leather items as gifts as most Hindus are vegetarians.
- Take off your shoes before entering someone’s home.
- Indians of all ethnic groups disapprove of PDA.
Wine and Dine:
- Eating with your hands is considered appropriate.
- Don’t eat your food with your left hand- it is considered dirty and offensive.
- Wait till everyone is seated before eating.
India’s unit of currency is the Rupee (₹). Approximately ₹ 1.00 equates to USD $0.014.
Exchanging money in India is relatively easy. You can only exchange money when in the country. ATMs and the airport are great places to exchange money.
Tipping! 5% tip is considered the average tip percent for a bill.
India uses either a Type D plug- whose sockets are either grounded or earthed 3 pin connections. Or a Type C plug with 2 ungrounded pin connections. India uses 230 Volts and 50 Hz altering current as the power source.
Your converter should look like this: This is a Plug D.
Drinking water straight from the faucet is not safe in India and is the leading cause of illness for foreigners. It is recommended to drink bottled water. You don’t want Delhi belly!
Staying in the country for a long time? Here’s how to get a SIM card:
You can find mobile stores in the arrival halls of India’s international airports.
Convenience stores sell SIM cards, too.
Recommended places to buy SIM cards: The stores for Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio.
SIM cards that have 1 GB of 4G speed network per day plus unlimited calls and SMS cost around 199 INR (2.90 USD)
India has recently been becoming more LGBTQ+ friendly. In 2018 India’s Supreme Court struck down a law that made gay sex illegal. This is a step in the right direction for India. However, India is a pretty conservative country. When it comes to physical displays of affection it is best to keep PDA to a minimum.
India has the highest plastic recycling rate globally. However, India’s segregation and recycling system is an informal operation that required workers to sort through the debris.
Must See Highlights for Eco-Travelers:
- Whitewater rafting or canoeing in Rishikesh, India.
- Looking at tigers at Bandhavgarh National Park, a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
- Explore the Dudhsagar Falls in Goa, India.
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