Country Information

Bookmark and Share
About country

The Republic of India or India is located in South Asia. It is the second most populous country in the world and also the seventh largest country. To the West of the country are Pakistan and the Arabian Sea. Bordering the South of the country is the Indian Ocean. On the East side is Bangladesh and Burma.  China, Nepal and Bhutan are located in the North East.

 

There are four major religions practiced in the country: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.  There are also those who practice Islam, Christianity and other religions in the culturally-diverse country.

 

There is no National language in India, but English and Hindi are widely used.   The country is now considered to have one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

For more information on India, visit the official website of the Tourism Ministry of India: http://www.incredibleindia.org/

 

Accommodation

There are more than enough luxury hotels and budget inns in the country to make your stay comfortable.  You can book the right hotel for your budget and preference with your travel agent or you can use travel websites to book your accommodation. There are usually ratings and recommendations in these websites to help you make the right choice.

 

Airport Tax

A Foreign Travel Tax (FTT) is charged at Rs.500 (Indian Rupee) except for neighboring countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. For these countries the FTT is only at Rs.150. Transit passengers (by air or by sea) are exempted from paying the FTT.

 

Arrival and Departure

There are currently 15 international airports in India. These are: Ahmedabad Airport, Amristar Airport, Bangalore Airport, Calicut Airport, Chennai Airport, Cochin Airport, Delhi Airpost, Goa Airport, Guwahati Airport, Hyderabad Airport, Jaipur Airport, Kolkata Airport, Mumbai Airport, Nagpur Airport and the Trivandum Airport.

The Mumbai Airport is the busiest airport in the country. It is also known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. It is the major gateway to India.  The Delhi Airport is the also another major getway in India and connects the Northern part of India to the rest of the world. It is also known as the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

 

Currency

The National currency of India is Indian Rupees. US Dollars can be changed to Rupees in banks and private money changing agents.

 

Money Changers

While changing money used to a tedious process in India, it is now a breeze to have foreign currency changed in the country.  India currently has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and so infrastructure, and banking and finance systems have greatly improved in the last decade.  Traveler’s cheques are easily changed in airports and major banks in cities. There are also authorized money changers in most parts of the country that will exchange US dollars, Euros and British pounds to Rupees.

 

Banking

There are twenty-eight (28) public sector banks, eighty-eight scheduled commercial banks (SCB), twenty-nine (29) private banks and thirty-one (31) foreign banks in India. The growing economy of the country has lead to the increase in the number of banks in the country and in the improvement of services offered by the banks.

 

Credit/Charge Cards

Major credit cards, Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted in business establishments in cities in India.  The cards can also be used to draw cash advances from ATMs.   Banking and money matters are more convenient in cities than in remote towns. Make sure you have enough cash with you when traveling to remote provinces.

 

Food  

India is a fantastic country for food lovers to be in. The range of foods available in the country is fantastic with American fast food joints such as McDonalds operating in busy cities along side authentic Indian restaurants. The country’s diverse culture is also evident in the food in the country. Anyone who likes to go on food adventures will be in for a treat.

 

Drinking Water

To ensure the safety of the drinking water, a traveler must only consume bottled water that are available in supermarkets and stores.

 

Electricity

Electricity in India is at 240 volts, at 50 cycles per second.  You will need a voltage transformer or converter if your device runs on 110 volts.  Electrical outlets in India accept round pins, either two round pins or three prong plugs (also round).

 

What to Wear

It is best to wear casual but conservative clothes when traveling to India to avoid unnecessary attention.  Avoid showing your cleavage, midriff, and legs. It is not advisable to wear halter tops and bikinis even at the beach. Observe what the locals are wearing and follow their direction.  Make sure you bring a sarong on your trip so you can have a beautiful cover-up if you think the clothes you are wearing may be a little too sexy or inappropriate. It is best to wear loose, casual clothes that do not show too much skin. If you are spending a long time in India then you can also choose to have local clothing made by the local tailor.

 

Mobile Phones

It is easy to purchase prepaid SIM cards in India for use with GSM mobile phones.  You will need a valid ID to purchase a prepaid SIM in India but it is the cheaper option as compared to having your US or UK SIM activated with a roaming feature.  The SIM card can be easily loaded with phone cards so you can use it for local and international calls.

 

Payphone Services

Pay telephones are abundant in India so making local calls and even international calls should be no problem for travelers.

 

Postal Services

Due to the size of the country and the size of its population, India also has the largest postal network in the world. The postal services in the country are efficient and safe.  It takes two to five days for local mail to arrive to its destination.

Transport

Traveling around India can be fairly convenient as the large population of the country requires that transportation systems be efficient.  There are a number of ways to get around the country from air travel to riding motorcycles and the type of transport you will choose will depend on your destination.  There are many private airlines that can take you to various provinces in the country. There is also the government airline- Indian Airlines to take you to domestic destinations.

Traveling through the Indian Railway systems can be uncomfortable and the only reason most tourists ride in them is because they are legendary and definitely part of the Indian culture. It is best to travel through the railway systems with a guide or a local.

There are also buses, cycle- rickshaws, taxis and other forms of transportations to help you get around India.  You can also hire a car or a  motorcycle.

 

Visa and Entry Facilities

India requires a valid passport and Indian visa for US citizens traveling to the country for any purpose. The visa can be obtained from an Indian embassy or consulate before entering the country.  Those entering India without passport or ID will face immediate deportation.

 

Country Code

The country code for India is 62. There are different city codes so check with the local operator or check the local phone directory for city codes. You can also use the internet to search for specific city codes.

 

Useful Telephone Numbers

Domestic airport terminal: 5696535; 5665121
International Terminal: 5652011/21/50

Numbers Enquiry: 197
Trunk Booking (National): 180; 181; 3322299; 3717600
Booking (International): 186; 187; 5751575
Complaints: 198

Control Room, Delhi: 100
Ghaziabad: 91-4710158
Noida: 91-45242555

Questions for us?

Ask a Question