To enter India all travelers require a passport valid for at least 180 days and at least..Travel Health
Recommended vaccinations for travel to India are Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Malaria..Local Currency
The official currency for India is the Rupee. Notes are in denominations of Rs1,000, 500..Weather
The weather is hot throughout the year in India with variations in each region. The..Local Customs
The people of India are friendly and helpful and are generally happy to assist tourists..Languages
The main language in India is Hindi with about 40% of the population speaking it. English..Transport Options
The International Airports for India are: Chjatrapati Shivaji International Airport in..Travel Tips
Major airports, train stations, popular restaurants and tourist sites are common areas..Local Food
India offers a wonderful range of culinary diversity. There are varying degrees of spices..Local Timezones
India Standard Time is 5.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+5.5). India does not..Dutyfree Limits
The following goods may be imported into India without incurring customs duty: 200..
Recommended vaccinations for travel to India are Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Malaria, Rabies, Tetanus and Typhoid. If arriving from any yellow fever infected areas all travelers (including infants over six months old) are required to obtain a yellow fever certificate. Vaccinations for hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis and tuberculosis are sometimes recommended depending on the season and region being visited. In 2006 there was an outbreak of Dengue Fever and there have been reports of Chikungunya virus in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry (Pondicherry), and Tamil Nadu.
All water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should be boiled as should milk as this is often unpasteurised. Ensure all meat, fish and vegetables are very well cooked and all fruit is peeled.
Any traveler aged between 18 and 70 years of age extending their visa for one year or more will be required to take an AIDS test. Diarrhea is extremely common for travelers in India so ensure you stay hydrated and carry appropriate medication with you for treatment. Malaria is endemic throughout the country so try to avoid mosquito bites and stay away from stray cats and dogs as India has a high rate of rabies.
Health care facilities vary dramatically in standard and all travelers are advised to have full comprehensive medical insurance before arriving in India. Avoid small government hospitals if possible and try to stick to private hospitals as they offer much better service. Medical care in rural areas is very limited or unavailable.
Currently all travelers to India are advised not to go near rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir other than Ladakh and any where near the border with Pakistan. Travel to Srinagar and Imphal should also be avoided. If you do need to travel to any of these areas then it is advised to only arrive by air.
India has a serious threat from terrorism and special care should be taken in the lead up to and on days of national significance, such as Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August), Ramadan (11 Aug to 9 Sept), Eid (10/11 September) and Diwali (5 November). There have been many terrorist attacks since July 2006 in major cities such as Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur, Faizabad, Varanasi, Lucknow and Hyderabad.
Petty crime and theft is a problem throughout the country so always use common sense and protect any valuables especially in areas of Kashmir or northeast India. You should also be careful when traveling at night particularly in areas around Uttar Pradsesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. Stay alert when handling any cash as it is common for people to shortchange you including those in official roles such as police employees, merchants and official ticket sellers.
When visiting rural areas at night be especially cautious as it has been known for Bandits to abduct and rob tourists. Try to avoid driving at night and traveling in night buses in these areas. Although homosexuality is now legal in India to avoid harassment try to avoid any public displays of affection as the population is quite conservative.
Female travelers should take extra care when traveling throughout India. Verbal and physical harassment by groups of men is very common. Always dress conservatively even on the beach, try to avoid traveling alone even during the day, and do not smoke or drink in public as this will only bring extra attention to you. Avoid areas where there are likely to be inebriated men such as Festivals as these can be unsafe for women travelers and try to avoid conversations with unfamiliar men. Overall try to blend in to the Indian way of life including the way they dress.
Be especially careful when traveling on any roads throughout the country as India has the highest road fatality in the world. The roads are a confused mix of speeding cars, trucks, wandering cows, and crazy pedestrians who are all using a road in generally poor condition. Roads outside the main cities are usually congested and poorly maintained and lacking warning markers. Try to use trains instead of buses; taxis instead of auto rickshaws; government bus services instead of private ones, and avoid traveling at night.
Corruption in the police force is prevalent and the ethics of each police officer varies. The emergency contact numbers for India are: Police 100, Ambulance 102 and Fire 101. In Hyderabad, and several other cities throughout India, you can dial 108 for all emergencies.
We strongly advise that all Australian travellers check the latest travel advice on the Australian Government Smart Traveller site.