- Full name as it appears on Passport
- Designation/Business Title
- Passport Number
- Country of Issue
- Date of Expiry
- Duration of your stay in India
Additional Notes: Visitors who intend to travel to India’s neighbouring countries, returning to India, will be required to apply for a transit visa. We recommend that all visitors travel with a copy of passport and visa, held separately from your original documents, in the event of theft or loss of your passport.
Money & Currency
Here are some further notes concerning money:
- Most international airports in India have foreign exchange counters for easy exchange
- Most major hotels, including the ITC Grand Chola, have currency exchange facilities
- It is recommended that you carry small notes with you for minor purchases or tipping
- Chennai has many ATMs, which accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express
- Banking hours at most commercial banks are: Mon-Fri 9:30am-2pm and Saturday 9:30am-noon
- Be sure to carry newer notes as very old/torn notes are not often accepted
- Proof of identity may be requested in some instances when using a credit card. It is useful to carry a passport or some form of photo identification at all times. Credit cards are not accepted at petrol/gas stations. Be careful with your credit card. Wherever you use it, try to keep it within sight and ensure you have it returned to you when making purchases.
- Taxation values are different and complicated in the various states of India
- For current currency exchange estimates, go to www.xe.com.
It is also 12.5 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
- Casual trousers and/or skirts
- Cotton shirts (long and short sleeved)
- Jacket or sweater for cool weather in the evenings
- Slip-on shoes for temple or mosque visits
- Any special medicines, especially anti-malaria and diarrhea medications, if needed
- Insect repellent
- Sunhat, suntan lotion and sunglasses
- Tissues, wet wipes, and toilet tissue – good to carry when travelling around the city or country (not always available in public restrooms)
Dress conservatively when visiting religious sites. You may be required to cover your head and shoulders. Shoes should always be removed before entering a place of worship or a person's home. Some temples do not permit any leather articles at all on their premises. Certain temples are not open to non-Hindus.
Visitors should be careful not to use the left hand for giving, receiving, eating or pointing.
- Visitors are not to be expected to tip taxi drivers
- Hotel, airport and train station porters should be tipped approximately INR 50/bag
- If a service charge is not included, tip guides INR 200, drivers approximately INR 350/day, or 10 percent where appropriate
- In restaurants, if the service was good, tip anything between approximately 5-10% of the bill
- Receipts will often include a "Service Charge"; this is NOT an automatic tip charge on your bill. It is a government issued tax that has nothing to do with the service your waiter provided you
Medical Precautions – Vaccinations are not required when you travel to India. However, anti-malaria medication is strongly recommended. If you have visited or transited a yellow fever area ten days prior to your scheduled trip, a yellow fever inoculation certificate is mandatory.
Emergency Medical Cover & Comprehensive Travel Insurance – Before you travel to India, we highly recommend you subscribe to comprehensive travel and emergency medical insurance. Medical services in India are readily available and usually of a good standard, but they are usually private and therefore costly. Always bring an ample supply of specialised medication.
Drinking Water – Do not drink tap water while in India. Consumption of bottled water is always advisable. Check that the bottle is sealed before you purchase it, and please remember to dispose of it properly. Do not buy water from side street vendors. We also strongly advise against buying food from side street vendors.
Travelling in India is usually relatively safe, but it is best to use the following precautions:
- Use the hotel safe to store valuables and travel documents
- Avoid wearing ostentatious jewellery or carrying large amounts of cash during sightseeing as tourists are easy targets for pickpockets
- Avoid giving money to beggars as you will be flooded with requests
- Do not accept food or drinks from strangers during travel
- Do not walk in deserted areas at night
- Most stray dogs are feral, so it is best to avoid them
- Use care when crossing roads in India
- Luggage and bags should be secured with locks where possible
- Do not leave electronic equipment unattended
Public buses for longer distances, auto rickshaws for short distances, and private cars/taxis are the most convenient means of getting around. Here are some tips for using these forms of transportation:
If you use a taxi, be sure it is prepaid
Tourist air-conditioned buses are recommended; they are less crowded than government buses, which also frequently break down
If you use an auto rickshaw, be sure it contains a meter – auto rickshaws are legally required to have meters
Auto rickshaws start at a minimum fare of INR 25 for the first 1.8km
Discuss getting a lower price when using auto rickshaws