frequently asked questions

Currency

The local currency is Rupees.

The notes in circulation are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 2000 Rupees.

Do I need a visa to visit India?

All visitors to India require a Visa which MUST be obtained before arrival in the country.

There are many types of visas. Please select the one suitable for your stay. A multiple entry one is required if you intend exiting and re-entering India. Visas are issued by all Indian Embassies and Consulates or their appropriate Agencies. E-Tourist visas are available for nationals of many countries (Australia being one of them.

Please check the website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

How safe is drinking water in India?

Bottled water is the best option and is widely available. Make sure that the seal is intact. Order the same when you are at a restaurant. As far as possible, avoid drinking any kind of water or juices from roadside carts and vendors.

What about Shopping in India?

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets. In most markets you are expected to bargain and it adds to the fun of shopping. Major credit cards are accepted at all the bigger shopping outlets.

What about tipping?

It is usual to tip waiters, porters, guides and drivers. The acceptable amount is 10% of the bill in restaurants. For porters it is Rs.100 per piece of luggage.

What immunisations do I need before I visit India?

Check with your doctor — recommended vaccinations for travel to India include Hepatitis A/B, Tetanus and Typhoid. We do recommend taking anti-malaria medication. Your G.P. will be able to advise you on this.

What is the best thing to do if pestered by beggars and street urchins?

You will come across this on a regular basis. Please do not encourage begging. If you give alms to one, you will be surrounded by many more. The situation could soon get out of hand.

What is the best time to visit India?

India has high and low periods for tourism, which correspond to changes in the weather as well as the timing of holidays and religious festivals. The high season, October to March brings a flood of tourists; low season April to August. Some tourist towns close down altogether during this time. Peak seasons vary by location.

What should I pack?

Summer wear for the warmer climate and woollens for the colder climate.

Insect repellent, hand sanitiser, wipes and a torch is always handy.

Be sensitive to the local religious customs and traditions. Shorts, mini-skirts or sleeveless tops are not permitted when visiting places of worship. Footwear is normally removed prior to entering a temple, mosque or gurdwaras. In some religious places leather goods such as bags and belts are not permitted.

Will I get sick?

Staying healthy in India is really just a matter of common sense. Some people may find that their body takes a few days to adjust – a gradual approach is the best. A few guidelines to be observed:

Tap water should not be drunk. Bottled water is readily available. However ensure the seal is intact. Avoid ice, ice-cream, fresh curd (similar to yoghurt) and fruit juices from any unreliable sources. Avoid salads, unless it is from a reliable source. Eat fruit that you can peel yourself.

Drink plenty of water (bottled), as you will be sweating profusely in high temperatures.