Tips for Visitors
of all countries (including Commonwealth) require a valid passport and an appropriate
(entry, transit or tourist) visa. The visa must be obtained abroad from an Indian
Mission. Tourist visas are generally valid for 120 days stay in India.
If you are planning to visit a neighbouring country such as Nepal and then re-entering
India, a double/multiple entry visa should be obtained for extending the visa
apply for a letter of permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Lok Nayak
Bhavan, Khan Market. Thereafter the letter is to be presented to the Foreigner's
Regional Registration Office (FRRO) located at Hans Bhavan, Tilak Bridge,
. Phone: 331 9489, 331 8179.
: Visitors who do not have any dutiable goods or 'high-valued'
articles or foreign exchange in excess of US$ 2500 or unaccompanied baggage,
all of which need to be declared, can simply walk through the Green Channel.
Others must go to the Red Channel for clearance. If you are on a tourist visa
with less baggage, it is very unlikely that customs will hassle you, in any
case, customs officials are keener to keep a check on citizens than foreigners.
: You can bring in any amount of foreign currency, travellers
cheques, etc., and take out as much as you brought in. However, if you are carrying
more than US$ 2,500 (or equivalent) you should declare it on arrival, to be
attested by the Customs Officer. No Indian currency may be brought into or taken
out of the country.
:The visitor can take back all articles brought in by
him. In addition, he can take out the following purchased in India: (a) Souvenirs
(including Indian silk, wool, handicrafts, etc.) without any limit; (b) gold
jewellery and silverware up to Rs.100,000 in value. Export of most wildlife
products is prohibited or strictly regulated. Therefore avoid buying anything
made of ivory, reptile skin, tortoise shells and any part of wild animals.
tourists and NRIs
:Call the International Tourist Bureau (First Floor,
New Delhi Railway Station, Paharganj side. Phone: 334 6804, Fax: 334 3050) for
advice and bookings. You can also enjoy unlimited travel on Indian Railways
from 7 to 90 days with an Indrail Pass.
Banks are open from 10 am to 2 pm from Monday to Friday and 10 am to noon on
Saturdays. Central Bank in Ashok Hotel and State Bank of India at the Airport
are open round the clock. Banks in residential areas generally observe the weekly
holiday of the area.
: Large establishments generally accept American Express, Visa
and Diners Club credit cards.
: By nature, Delhiites are affectionate. They will go all out to make you feel
at home. While visiting temples / places of worship one should always leave
one's footwear outside.
Suitcases with code numbers :
to carry suitcases made of light material with wheels, or suitcases with number
lock system. Keep your suitcases locked, and always carry an extra lock and
suitcase chains, so that if you have to leave your luggage for some unavoidable
reason, you can lock them in waiting rooms, hotel rooms etc.
: Taking cognisance of time, place and season of visit,
carry only the most important things with you. Avoid unnecessary items like
too much of eatables, bulky clothing, heavy items, etc.
: Avoid carrying valuable things. Wear a money necklace
or stitch a pocket inside your outfit to keep important documents like passport,
credit cards, travellers' cheques, etc. It's always better to take photocopies
of important documents and leave them with someone trustworthy. Make sure you
keep a card mentioning important contact numbers, your age, blood group, etc,
so that people may help you in the event of an emergency.
: Always book your taxi inside the airport. If you
take a pre-paid taxi, pay a stipulated fare while at the airport counter. After
which you need not pay anything to the taxi driver. Hordes of touts and taxi
men will crowd around you and offer to take you to wherever you need to go.
You are very likely to get overcharged upon reaching your destination. You are
not expected to tip taxis. If you are unsure about the cost conversions - which
are usually one and a half times to twice what the meter reads, you can always
ask for a meter card from the driver.
Taxis charge a minimum fare of about Rs 8 and auto-rickshaws about Rs 5 for
the first kilometre. There are no extras, except for luggage for which Rs. 5
is charged per piece and a late night charge for travel between 11 pm and 5
: For hotel bookings and other information, check out our Travel & Accommodation
section. There is no dearth of hotels in Delhi. There are numerous touts offering
hotel services at the airport. If you must consider employing their services,
make sure they have some kind of a visiting card. Take the card to a nearby
policeman or airport authority and ask him if it is a reasonable hotel.
: 100, Fire
: 101, Ambulance
102, Cardiac arrest
: Tipping is optional, although cabbies and rickshaw drivers seem to expect
tips from foreign tourists. Make sure the driver turns down the meter after
you get in. If he refuses to do so (cabbies and rickshaw drivers may refuse
to do so late at night or early in the morning or if you want to travel a short
distance), hail another cab or rickshaw. If nothing else, ensure that you fix
a price before you get in. It is generally expected at hotels and restaurants.
Ten per cent of the bill or around Rs. 5 for other services is in order.
: To see all the places of historical interest in Delhi, it
is advisable to use a guided tour. Delhi is a round and widely spread out city,
and it may be difficult to get to all the places with considerable ease. Compared
to Bombay, Delhi has a much more complex structure and easier to get lost in,
so be careful. You can rent a chauffeur-driven car or join a conducted tour
that is probably the best way to see most in the least amount of time.
: India offers many facilities for tourists' travel within
the country. However, special permits are required for visiting certain border
areas as specified from time to time.
: If you need a doctor, your hotel can contact a house physician. The medical
stores in Super Bazar, Connaught Circus and in AIIMS and at some private hospitals
such as Batra (Tughlakabad Institutional Area) and Spring Meadows (East of Kailash)
are open 24 hours.
Food and Beverage
: Delhi has an amazing variety of non-vegetarian and vegetarian cuisine. Contrary
to what you may have heard, all Indian food is not hot and spicy. Most dishes
are only richly garnished to provide an exciting flavour. You will find excellent
restaurants that serve Indian, Chinese, Continental and other cuisine in Delhi.
Consumption of liquor is prohibited in public places.
: India is a shopper's paradise. Delhi markets specialise in carpets, handicrafts,
jewellery, readymade garments and leather goods. It's best to buy goods only
from the more established shops and official Indian Government outlets.
: If you encounter beggars, who are rare in New Delhi, give in kind rather than
: Asking for a discount is part of the shopping experience - you might be
lucky and the shopkeepers may oblige. Otherwise the prices are more or less
fixed at most places. Remember, it's a game you should both enjoy and if you
get "swindled", you are contributing to the local economy! At Connaught
place, Meena bazaar, Palika bazaar and other shopping centres, bargaining is
necessary. Begin by quoting half of whatever the vendor quotes.
: You can direct dial to most cities in India, and
to countries abroad. For elsewhere book a call through the operator. On the
direct dial facility within the country, note that while during the day - 6
am to 7 pm - the full rate is charged. On Sundays and National Holidays there
is a concessional charge of 50%. Half rate is applicable daily 7 am to 8 am
and 7 pm to 8.30 pm. The tariff from 6 am to 7 am and from 8.30 pm to 11 pm
is 1/3 the rate, and from 11 pm to 6 am it is 1/4 the rate.
: Carry your wallet and credit cards in an inside jacket pocket
or side trouser pocket, never in the rear pocket.
Keep pocketbooks on your lap when dining out, not dangling over the back of
a chair. Leave valuables and important papers, such as jewellery and passports
in your hotel's safe deposit box. Never leave these items unattended in your
room. Beware of unexpected persons coming to your hotel room. Never open the
door to unsolicited room service or maintenance people. If you schedule a meeting
with a potential client, research the company and the individual with whom you
are meeting. Meet in a public place, such as a restaurant. Make sure that luggage
is only given to a member of the hotel's bell staff and a receipt is issued
for stored luggage. Never leave luggage or other expensive items, unattended
at airports or taxi stands.