About India

"If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India."
- Romain Rolland



INDIAIndia is the largest democracy in the world, the seventh largest country and the second most populous. India is a picture of diversity seen in her people, culture, colorful festivals, dress and costumes, religions, flora and fauna and varying landscapes. India's history dates back to the Indus Valley civilization of about 2500-1700 BC. She is, as Mark Twain intones " the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, grandmother of legend, and great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India." She gave the world the knowledge of counting that transformed the scientific faculty of man. She was and arguably is the spiritual seat of the world.

India is the largest democracy in the world, the seventh largest country and the second most populous. India is a picture of diversity seen in her people, culture, colorful festivals, dress and costumes, religions, flora and fauna and varying landscapes. India's history dates back to the Indus Valley civilization of about 2500-1700 BC. She is, as Mark Twain intones " the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, grandmother of legend, and great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India." She gave the world the knowledge of counting that transformed the scientific faculty of man. She was and arguably is the spiritual seat of the world.

Travel Tips : General Travel Information for traveling in India

Travel in India will be a more comfortable experience if you keep a few things in mind. To start with, travelers must have a valid passport and a visa to enter India. Visas, which are of several types, have to be obtained prior to arrival in India. Relevant and detailed information can be obtained from the Indian consulate or embassy in your country. Travelers must also provide an International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever if they arrive from an infected area. Avoid drinking tap water in India, for more than 80 percent of diseases in India are related to contaminated water. Distilled water is readily available these days.

Travel Insurance Policy for India

A travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems is a good idea. There are a number of policies available, so check the fine print carefully. Some policies specifically exclude 'dangerous activities' which can include scuba diving, motorcycling or even trekking. You may prefer a policy that pays hospitals or doctors directly, rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. Check that the policy has ambulance and emergency flight home cover

Customs

Visitors are generally required to make an oral baggage declaration in respect of baggage and foreign currency in their possession. They are also required to obtain the currency declaration form from the customs. They should fill in the disembarkation card handed over to them by the airline authorities during the course of the flight. There are two channels for clearance at the international airports. Green Channel is for passengers not in possession of any dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage. Red Channel is for passengers with dutiable articles, unaccompanied baggage, or high-value articles to be entered on the tourist baggage re-export form. Dutiable articles, unaccompanied baggage, or high-value articles must be entered on a tourist baggage re-export form (TBRE). These articles must be re-exported at the time of departure. A failure to re-export anything listed on the TBRE becomes a payable duty levied for each missing item. The following duty-free possessions are permissible-clothes and jewellery; cameras and up to five rolls of film; binoculars; a portable musical instrument; a radio or portable tape recorder; a tent and camping equipment; fishing rod; a pair of skis; two tennis rackets; 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars; 95 liters of liquor; and gifts not exceeding a value of Rs. 600 (about $20).

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers' cheques a tourist can bring into India provided he makes a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form given to him on arrival. This will enable him not only to exchange the currency brought in, but also to take the unspent currency out of India on departure. Cash, bank notes, and travelers' cheques up to US $1,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travelers' cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc., in convertible currencies that tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorized moneychangers and banks. The encashment certificate issued by them is required at the time of reconversion of any unspent money into foreign currency. Exchanging of foreign currency other than banks or authorized moneychangers is an offense under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.

Tipping & Gifts

Tipping & Gifts: In India Gifts & Tipping is very common, Some suggested amounts for tipping are:

Chauffers/ Reps for transfers and sightseeing tours Rs. 150 – 250

Bell boy / potter Rs. 50 – 75

Drivers/ Guides for half day/ Full day sightseeing trips Rs. 150 - 250

Drivers/ Guides for long trips spread over many days Rs. 150 - 200 Per traveller/ day.

(The above amounts are mainly indicative. It is often customary to pay higher sums depending upon the quality of service.)

General important Tips in India

Carry your passport with you at all times. If you ever find yourself in a sticky legal predicament, contact your embassy. Always keep your luggage with you, and don't leave it around for it is easy for anyone to slip drugs in. Drug trafficking is a punishable offence by law and can put you behind bars. Carry a waterproof laminated card mentioning your name, address, blood group, and any other important personal or medical information.

Beware of pickpockets and don't carry too much cash at anytime. Always rely on your common sense and should anything seem suspicious to you, keep out of it and report to the police if necessary.

Monuments of India