We have put together a couple of simple general guidelines for you to follow, to make your trip to India a truly pleasant one. India is a land of diversity, quite different from any other country. Each state in India has its own distinct culture, language, traditions, and food habits quite different from the rest of the state's country – so it is advised that you read the following guidelines carefully to avoid any hassles or unwanted troubles along your journey.
Clothes & Accessories
India due to its huge geographical size does not fit a particular climate zone. Generally speaking, you must include cotton outfits, sunglasses, hats, mosquito repellent cream/lotion, shoes/ light sandals, moisturizing lotion, and sun-block lotion mandatory, while planning your trip. If you are traveling to hill stations or the Himalayas do ensure that you carry woolen outfits with you. When in public places, care must be exercised to ensure your clothes are within the purview of decency to avoid unwanted attention.
Carry a bottle of mineral water with you at all times. Ensure that the seal is not tampered with when buying mineral water bottles. Do not drink water from public taps or roadside vendors. If you feel like having juice, please have it from a hygienic restaurant than from a roadside shack.
Buses are the cheapest option, auto-rickshaws, cabs, and trains come next in the line. When traveling on a rickshaw or cab do ask the rates before you board the vehicle to avoid any problems and confusion. Also, it is advisable to check the rates with some authority figure beforehand. When traveling on a train for long-distance reserve your tickets in advance, you can also get reserved tickets for short-distance which is the best way to avoid the heavy rush in un-reserved compartments. If you don’t get your tickets through the regular way you can get them through the “tatkal’ quota by paying a little extra charge. Do ensure to carry toilet paper with you when you are going on a long-distance journey by train. Most of the train stations have a pre-paid rickshaw counter, which is the best way to avoid bargaining and squabbling with the rickshaw driver.
This may come as a surprise to many; most places in India have a strict ban on smoking in public places. Smoking in public places is considered a punishable offense under the law.
Foreign exchange including foreign currency, traveler’s cheques, and drafts drawn on banks in India or letters of credit can be brought into India without any limit. However, if the gross amount brought into India in any form at one time exceeds USD 10,000/- or its equivalent, it is required to be declared by the holder to the Indian customs authorities on arrival on a Currency Declaration Form. The forms of which are available from the airport/seaport customs department.
Banks & Atms
The nationalized banks are open for business from 10.00 in the morning to 14.00 hrs in the afternoon. A couple of private banks are open for business between 8.00 in the morning to 8.00 in the night. There is also an extensive number of ATMs spread across the metros, towns, and villages of India.
Most of the prominent hotels, shops, and restaurants accept major credit cards.
Carrying or found possessing drugs is considered a grave criminal offense punishable under law.
If you are visiting a temple, please ensure that you understand the rules and regulations concerning that particular temple before going in. Each temple has its own rules and codes of conduct that must be strictly adhered to. In general, non-Hindus are barred from entering most of the temples. Wearing footwear and a particular type of clothes inside the temple premises is also strictly banned.
Do make it a point to savor some of the authentic Indian cuisines, garnished with exotic spices and herbs, while you are here. North Indian cuisines are quite different from their Southern and Eastern counterparts. In fact, each region has different types of cuisines and methods of cooking, quite distinct from the others. Do make it a point to savor the regional specialties when you travel.
Do carry your medical prescriptions and enough medicines to make your journey hassle-free. Also, ensure that you have taken proper vaccinations and precautions before you enter the country.
The standard voltage of electric supply in the whole of India is between 220 – 240 Volts. Two and three-pin plugs are widely used and you will have to get a voltage converter if the devices you carry do not accept 240 Volts at 50 Hertz. Voltage converters are easily available in electrical stores. The voltage converters that are adaptable to the Indian voltage are Resistor Network Converters (50-1600 Watts), Transformers (50-1000 Watts), and Combination Converters.