sometimes be a bit
unnerving for the first-time visitor - the lifestyle and culture is totally different from
the West. We've made a list of some important do’s and
don'ts for hassle-free and enjoyable travel in India.
A proper VISA to enter and stay in India is a
must. There have been cases reported of travellers advised to the contrary by their travel agents. Practically
every foreign national requires a VISA to enter India.
also be properly inoculated against Yellow Fever if coming through infected
It is advisable to cover yourself with travel
insurance for theft, loss and medical
Carry proper maps of the places proposed to visit in
India, as signboards are often absent. Try to reach a station during
daytime if travelling on your own. In any case, try to avoid
persistent touts and taxi-wallahs at airport/stations/bus stand
that ‘help’ you find your hotel. Always use tourist
assistance desk for proper advice.
alone should take extra care and not
walk in deserted places or
after dark without a trustworthy escort.
Don't ever enter a temple, tomb, dargah or Gurudwara
with shoes on and/or scantily dressed. One should cover his/her head
with a cloth while in a Gurudwara or Dargah. Parikrama or walking around
the sanctum sanctorum should always be in clockwise direction.
Do not wear black clothes while visiting a Jain
temple. Leather articles are forbidden to be carried in Hindu and Jain
temples. Taking photograph of the deity in a temple is normally not
Participating in a social occasion or visiting a
home requires conservative dress codes. Do not shake hands with ladies.
Always pick up food and eat using your right hand. Take only as much as you can eat, do not leave anything
uneaten on the plate.
Do not point your finger at any person. It is taken
as a sign of annoyance.
While changing money, insist on getting encashment
certificate, these may be
asked for on your departure from the country.
not checkout of your hotel in hurry, always leave time to carefully check your bill.
Do not leave your cash and valuables in your hotel
rooms. Keep your cash divided in different pockets. Money belts are a good idea.
Take care of proper disposal of your rubbish always
whether you are exploring the desert, or Himalayas
or beaches or anywhere else.
Try to be aware
of cultural and social sensitivities of the regions you visit. There is no single rule, the best way is to
observe and follow.
Take care of contamination
in water and food. Always drink safe, sealed mineral water and take well-cooked food.
Don't buy antiques more than 100 years old. Selling
and buying "shahtooh" shawls is a crime. The same goes for
ivory and wildlife.
Buy at genuine shops only. Bargaining is a popular
practice in India and necessary too. Don't ever believe in lucrative
offers of antique dealers in which they ask you to carry a parcel
of some other buyer back home with your own price reduced. The entire transaction
should be legal and transparent so that you may claim later if
Don't eat anything offered by fellow travellers on
train or road travels, it might have sleeping pills in it. Always travel reserved class in trains.
Always chain and lock your luggage under your berth
in a train. Don't keep anything valuable near the window. Always carry
plenty of water & fluids in trains. A lone woman
traveller may request to be accommodated near other women travellers.
Do not visit places which encourage orthodoxy,
social injustice and inhuman practices (like visiting a sati temple).
Don't photograph women without permission.
Don't accept offers of visiting anyone's home unless
you are confident of the person.
Use licensed guides for sightseeing.
Always use strong suitcases/baggage, as mishandling
is common at airports/stations.
Don't tip unreasonably and unnecessarily in a hotel.
The NEWS soon spreads in the hotel and by the time you checkout there
will be a group of them saluting you to expect something.
travelling, don't act confused. Keep the posture of a person known to the region.
Avoid eating buffet meals, even in expensive hotels.
The food may become contaminated due to over-exposure.
Maintain silence whilst visiting any place of
religious interest. Footwear is not allowed in Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and
Jain religious places / temples.
Dress code must be followed whilst visiting the
religious places, cities, hotels etc.
Exchange your foreign currency with authorised
moneychangers only. Retain the exchange receipts to enable you to
reconvert your unspent money on your final departure from India.
There is no prohibition on liquor consumption but
abuse of alcohol in public areas is punishable under the local laws.
Stay away from drugs and drug sellers. Possession or
consumption of drugs attracts 10 years
rigorous imprisonment as per Indian Law.
Do not purchase rail/air/bus or other travel tickets
through strangers or unauthorised travel agents/tour operators.
Do not encourage beggars by giving them money or any
Do not shop through touts
or brokers of the shopkeepers.
Prior to taking any photographs, check with the
office governing the monument.
Taxi and Autorickshaw fares change from time to time. Meters may be used sometimes and
it is advisable to fix the tarriff/rates with the driver before start of
Carrying of fire arms is banned, without a licence
and permission from the Police Department.
Voltage in most places is 220VAC/50 cycles. Check
the voltage before using any electric appliance
Unapproved guides are not permitted to enter
protected monuments. Check before you engage a guide.
Always confirm your onward air/bus/rail/sea journey tickets at least 72 hours in
or sale of fur or animal products is illegal without the necessary license and is punishable
under Indian Law.