What comes to mind when one
thinks about travel in India.....The world famous TAJ MAHAL !
It was built by the Emperor Shah
Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th
child! Its beauty ranges from the surrounding classical gardens and
reflecting pool to the elaborate patterns of semiprecious stones
decorating the white marble. Plan on spending a minimum of an hour to
see the Taj Mahal. The new price to enter the Taj Mahal (Rs 500) applies
to one admission per person on a single day, and is irrespective of the
time of entry. The Taj is still closed on Mondays for cleaning.
A visit to India can be an
adventure that you will never forget. India has an enormous variety of
destinations to offer from the breath taking Himalayas to the artistic
temples, tombs, forts, abandoned cities and ruins. You will be
surrounded by the warmth and kindness of the Indian people.
Though the sheer size of the
country means that travel is seldom straightforward, the extensive road,
rail and air links ensure that you can reach your destination
The widespread use of English
makes communication easy for the majority of Western visitors as many
understand and speak English fluently...although the accent maybe
difficult to understand at times.
The fun way to travel within
India is by train, with computerized booking now established
almost everywhere, the Indian rail network is as efficient as almost any
in the world. Rail journeys also offer the chance to meet other
travelers and Indians from all walks of life. A constant stream of
activity as chai-wallahs, peanut-sellers, musicians, astrologers and
mendicants wander through the carriages...a great pastime.
Indian visas are
necessary for all foreigners visiting India. Tourist visas are issued
either for one month or for six months. Entry into India has to be
within one month from the date of issue for the one month visa and the
latter is issued for six month from the date of issue. Fees for both the
categories are same. It is advisable to take the six month Visa only if
you are planning to visit the neighboring
Foreign citizens who
visit India to study, do research, work or act as missionaries, as well
as all travelers planning to stay more than 180 days are required to
register, generally within 14 days of arrival, with the Foreigners
Regional Registration Office (FRRO) closest to where they will be
staying. The FRRO maintains offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai
(known as the "Chennai Immigration Office"), Kolkata and
Amritsar. In smaller cities and towns, the local police
headquarters will normally perform this function. General
information regarding Indian visa and immigration rules, including the
addresses and telephone numbers for the FRRO offices, can be found at
the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs web site for its Bureau of
Immigration at http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in.
If the stay in the
country exceeds 180 days, then tourists are required to get a "tax
clearance certificate". Also an extension beyond 180 days, is
allowed only in exceptional cases, an extension fee of Rs. 100 for U.S
citizens and Rs. 200 for U.K citizens is charged.
For the most
current information on entry and exit requirements, please contact
Embassy of India at 2536 Massachusetts
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 939-9806 http://www.indianembassy.org
or the Indian Consulates in Chicago http://chicago.indianconsulate.com,
New York http://www.indiacgny.org,
San Francisco http://www.cgisf.org
or Houston http://www.cgihouston.org.
Outside the United States, inquiries
should be made at the nearest Indian embassy or consulate. To apply for a
visa please visit this link to download visa forms and instructions
needed for visas. Indian
(Application Forms for Passport,
Visa and other Services)
Please note that most of the links carry multiple forms viz applying
from India and Abroad and since the forms are clustered and hosted on
Ministry of External Affairs Servers, downloading may take time.
in pdf format
Passport Renewal Download
Passport Renewal Application
Passport Application Download
Passport Application (Fresh/After Full Term Expiry of Passports)
Application & Instructions (Lost/Damaged)
Person of Indian Origin Card PIO Card
Rules (Instructions for filling up PIO Cards)
Application (Grant/Renewal of PIO Card - To be filled in Duplicate)
Affidavit (Affidavit to be submitted by the single parent with the
application for a passport of a minor child where the consent/signature
of the other parent is not available)
Wavier Certificate (US)
of Wavier Certificate
Miscellaneous Services (US)
(For change of name, birth/life/marriage/police clearance certificate,
attestation of property, no obligation to return to India and
endorsement for emigration not required etc.)
Acrobat Reader Free
In order to view PDF documents, users must first download the free
Acrobat Reader software, which lets you view, navigate through, and
print PDF documents. Detailed instructions for downloading
and installing the Acrobat Reader. If you are not able to complete
the indicated procedure, a Troubleshooting
guide is available. For best results, make sure you have installed
version 3.0 or later of the Acrobat Reader.
Visitors are generally required to make oral baggage declarations in
respect of baggage and foreign currency in their possession. Visitors in
possession of more than US$ 10,000 or equivalent thereof in shape of
travelers check, bank notes, currency notes are required to obtain a
currency declaration form before leaving customs. They should fill in
the Disembarkation Card handed over to them by the airlines during the
course of the flight.
much money (in dollars) one can carry without declaration while going to
value of Foreign Currency brought in by a person, in the form of
Currency Notes, Travelers Checks etc. should not exceed total of 10,000
US Dollars or it's equivalent.
Currency Notes should not exceed 2,500 US Dollars or its equivalent.
If it is above this limit, then you need to declare it at the customs,
and need to fill up a CDF (Currency Declaration Form).
: The two channels for customs are
Green Channel - for passengers not having any dutiable articles
or unaccompanied baggage.
Red Channel – for passengers having dutiable articles or
unaccompanied baggage or high value articles to be entered on Tourist
Baggage Re-Export (TBRE) form.
Travel Tax : For
international travel from Indian airports, Rs.150 must be paid for
travel to neighboring countries and Rs.300 for travel to all other
countries. This travel tax is also applicable to small infants who may
not be occupying seats.
Regulations : Barring
a yellow fever vaccination for tourists coming from infected areas
(African and South American Countries ), there are no vaccination
requirements for tourists visiting India.
Information for Travelers to the Indian Subcontinent :
This page by the Center
For Diseases Control lists some of the precautions to take before flying
: There are modern hotels in all large cities as well as at popular
tourist attractions. These have been classified under the
internationally accepted star system ranging from 4 to 5-star hotels
which are fully air-conditioned with all luxury features, 3 star hotels
which are functional and have air-conditioned rooms, and 1 to 2 star
hotels which offer basic amenities. Most hotels offer a choice of first
class Western and Indian cuisine.
The Consular Passport and Visa
division of the Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for issuance
of Passport, Visa and Person of Indian Origin Cards to eligible persons.
Click here to
go to their website.
Petty crime, especially theft of
personal property, is common, particularly on trains or buses.
Pickpockets can be very adept, and women have reported having their bags
snatched, purse-straps cut or the bottom of their purses slit without
their knowledge. Theft of U.S. passports is quite common,
particularly in major tourist areas, on overnight trains, and at
airports. Train travelers are urged to lock their sleeping
compartments and take valuables with them when leaving their berths.
Air travelers are advised to carefully watch their bags in the arrival
and departure areas outside of airports.
Otherwise travelling to India is
Consulates in the United States
General of India - New York Homepage
Jurisdiction: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island,
Vermont, Virgin Islands)
- 3 EAST 64TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10021
- Phone : 212-774-0600 and 0699
Fax : 212-861-3788 and 212-570-9581
General of India - San Francisco Homepage
Jurisdiction: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho,
Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington,
- 540 Arguello Boulevard San
Francisco, CA 94118
Tel: (415) 668-0662 Fax: (415) 668-7968
General of India - Chicago Homepage
Jurisdiction: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)
- NBC Tower, 455 North Cityfront
Plaza Drive, Suite #850, CHICAGO, IL 60611
- Tel: 312-595-0405
Special Hotline for Enquiries: 312-595-0417
FAX 312-595-0416 and 0418
General of India - Houston
(Consular Jurisdiction: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas)
THREE POST OAK CENTRAL
1990, POST OAK BOULEVARD SUITE 600
Embassy in the United States
2536 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 939-9839/9806
Fax: (202) 265-7532/387-6946
Note : Visas can be filed online.
Embassies Around the World : This
page provides a list of Indian Embassies
around the world. Also phone numbers and addresses.
|Level 1, 17,
New South Wales 2000,
0061-2-232-1600/, 17961, 0061-2-233-7579
|Vlla No. S,
Fax: 00973 71527
Toronto, Ontario M4 W3 B8 , Tel:416-962-3787,416-962-3788 Fax:
de la Madeleine
83-86, 42 65 7706, Fax: 42-65-0116
Strasse 48, 60329, Frankfurt AM-Main
2429490, Fax: (069) 24294977
8053506, Fax: 72021681
Building, 9-18 Ginza. 7, Chome, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo 104
571-5062/3., (33)571-5197 Fax: (33) 571-5235
HLA, Lot 203, 2nd Floor,
Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
|Rokin 9-l5, ,
1012 KK Amsterdam
020-6208991, Fax: (+)31 20-6383059
Lane, # 01-O1A United House,
|Tel: 235 3800
, Fax: 235 8677
|C/o Embassy of
XII 130-32, Madrid 28016
3457340, Fax 4577996, 3457340
9-11, Ist Floor, S 11157, Stockholm, 11157, Tel: 215081/101187
|1-3, Rue De
Chantepoulet, 1201 Geneva
7321813/1677, Fax: 0041-22-7315660
Kentucky Fried, Chicken Building,
Road, (SILOM), Bangkok 10500
2352585, 2356670, Fax: 662-2352585, 2368411
12856, , NASA Building ,
Road, Deira, Dubai
236870, Fax: 274013
|7 Cork St
London, WIX 2AB
01-437-3677/8, 01-434 6613
North Mezzanine, New York, NY 10112
212-584901, 4902, 4903, 4904
001-212-582-3274, Telex: 9102508316
Boulevard, Room 204
Angeles, California 90010
011-(213)3 80-6111, 30
Know and Travel Tips
Best Time to travel
: Broadly speaking October to March tend to be the most pleasant months
over much of the country.
: India's major international airports are Mumbai (Bombay) Delhi,
Calcutta, Chennai (Madras) and a newly constructed international airport
Take lots of film : you wont want to miss out on the numerous photo
opportunities. Caution : Keep your camera bag zipped - beware of
the beggars who tug on your arm. Dust is a big problem; bring a lens
brush and small can of air. Some places charge to take pictures.
GMT plus 5 hours 30 minutes
Electricity: 230-240V, 50 HZ
Weights & Measures: Metric
Shopping and the Art Of
Bargaining in India
: Never take anything at the first price offered. Always halve the
price first and bargain from there. It works!! If they don't give
in, walk away slowly and they'll eventually call you back to negotiate
until you get the better deal. Some of the bigger shops in the cities
may have fixed prices. Most of the shops maybe air conditioned and the
owners may hand out free cold drinks / tea to keep their potential
: Almost all major cities now have Internet Access Centers so you can
remain connected. Faxing centers are places that will charge per minute
or per page faxed.
Hand Towel :
Take a hand towel with you while traveling since temperatures and
humidity can get unbelievably high if visiting during the summer months.
Travel Light :
Travelers make the mistake of taking too much stuff. Take a good pair of
walking shoes and a pair of flip flops.
Make sure that the meter is working. If not decide on a fare ahead of
time. Many taxi drivers in India never admit to having change (though
often they obviously do), so you're better off negotiating a fare that
you can pay precisely.
Where to Stay : Hotelstravel.com
is a great page connecting you to the most wonderful hotels in many
major Indian Cities and Towns across India.
More to come.................