Prior to boarding your domestic flights in India as you leave the
main terminal, please ensure that you "identify your checked
baggage". To do so, ask the airline representative where you
need to actually identify the baggage that you have checked for
your specific flight. Failure may mean that your checked baggage
will not be put on the flight. Unfortunately, this process is not
followed by all airlines and at all departure points, so make it
a good and safe practice to ask for where you should identify your
checked luggage just prior to boarding any flight. Please
be aware of this procedure, but it is not followed everywhere and
and Exchange Rate: The local currency in India is a Rupee
abbreviated as Re. or Rs. The Rupee is further divided into 100
paisa, but since the value of the paisa is so small, it is hardly
ever used. Internationally, within currency transactions, it is
also abbreviated as INR. The exchange rates floats and has recently
been varying between Rs. 40 and Rs. 50 to a US Dollar. For sake
of first approximation and ease of calculation, consider assuming
that the rate is Rs. 50 to a US Dollar, and thus Rs. 10 is 20 US
cents, and Rs. 100 is US $ 2.
If you are planning to wear full length clothes during your walking
tours, then make sure that they do not drag on the floor since streets
can be dirty and wet. You should not wear clothes that are very
loose because they can get caught in protruding stones and surrounding
bushes. Bring light rain gear. Consider bringing, as a minimum,
one "Tee" shirt, one "heavy" flannel type shirt
and one light jacket. This will allow you to wear layered clothing
for a variety of ambient temperatures.
When you visit places of worship, you will need to take
off your shoes prior to entry. You are free to wear your socks,
but may find that the floor is wet, thus it may be prudent to take
off your socks also. Make sure that you bring comfortable and well
supporting walking shoes. You will be walking a lot in the ruins
of old temples and forts, and they normally do not have a clean
and clear path with upturned stones, and steep narrow and broken
It is best to make local, national and International telephone calls
from manned public booths, marked “STD/ISTD”, and all identified
with a right yellow sign. Amount payable is presented in an electronic
form. You would pay cash (any denomination, since it is not a machine)
at these locations. Do not make phone calls from
your hotel as they have exorbitant phone-call rates. The country
code for making calls into India is +91.
If you decide to bring your own phone, then read Telephones
There are some Hindu temples that demand that you do not take any
leather goods such as belts, wallets and leather bags inside the
temple. Therefore it is customary to take off ones belt and certainly
not wear a leather jacket.
Both men and women will need to cover their heads prior to entering
a Gurudwara (Sikh place of worship). Such covering can be in the
form of a large handkerchief for men or a shawl for women. As a
mark of respect it is NOT advised to cover ones head with a cap
or a hat.
Consider bringing your swimming trunks, air brush to clean
the dust from your cameras and lens, a telephoto lens if your camera
supports one, lots of clean wipes for your face and hands because
of the dust. Traditional 35 mm film is available in plentiful, however
you are advised to bring your memory cards for your camera, as these
might not be freely available.
safety: Prior to start of your journey, send yourself
an e-mail with all important passport and other numbers. Thus should
you loose any documentation, then you can retrieve your mail and
have all necessary information.
Due to security reasons, you are not allowed to carry batteries
in your hand luggage on flights. All batteries that you need should
be in your booked luggage, otherwise, security officials will confiscate
them and you may or may not get them back.
The electrical supply is 220/240V, 50Hz. The connectors are similar
to the European (not British) round pin.
Fee: You will have to pay a fee for using a still and/or
a video camera in most monuments, national parks and game sanctuaries.
This fee, which ranges from Rs 10 to Rs 500, depending on the place
and the type of camera used, is payable at the entrance gate. Please
ensure you carry sufficient funds with you to cover this charge,
as this is NOT included in the tour price.
Permits: Even with a visa foreign nationals are not allowed
everywhere in India. Check with us if you are planning to journey
on your own.
Indian Standard Time (IST) is 5 ½ hours ahead of GMT/UTC,
4 ½ hours behind Australian EST and 10 ½ hours ahead
of American EST.
Cheques: While one may get the best rate from a bank, banks
have limited opening hours and one will find the process time consuming
and laborious. You will find that your hotel will encash your checks
and the rate, which is government controlled, is within reasonable
norms. Encashing the cheques in shops will yield the most unfavorable
Travelers: Men holding hands in public is a sign of affection.
Generally, Indian society does not accept homosexuality, and Indian
homosexuals do not generally declare their orientation. Homosexual
relations between men is illegal in India.
We suggest you contact your personal care physician who will assess
your personal history and advise what you need to take with regard
to preventative medication accordingly.
Travelers: Very few special arrangements exist for people
with disabilities at airports, railway stations or hotels. However,
people are very helpful, and if you don't mind receiving their help,
then this will ease your travel difficulties.
and Drink: Street food should NOT be consumed. Do not eat
any cold (unprepared) food or which has been prepared previously,
such as salads, cut fruit, cut vegetables. Also do not eat any yogurts
or cold milk products unless they are from an established and good
quality restaurant. Feel free to eat fruit and vegetables which
you peel yourself. Do not drink water from any source unless it
is from a sealed water bottle purchased from a reputable shop (and
NOT from a street vendor). It is common for street vendors to re-fill
discarded water bottles with normal water. Do not consume any ice.
and Gratuities: Tipping is an important part of travel
in India. Unless specifically stated, your tour does not include
tipping as we feel that such a personalized reward is benefactor
to you, the traveler. First the easy part: You do not need to tip
regular taxi drivers. However, you will have a number of other opportunities
of tipping: To your waiters in restaurants, to your car driver,
to your guide and to the bell-hops at the hotels. For the waiters,
leave anything from Rs. 20 to Rs. 100 unless you are a part of a
very large group, in which case the total amount you may wish to
leave behind is Rs. 500 or so. Consider Rs. 100 or so per day for
your car driver. Again if you are in a bus with a number of other
people, this could be increased to Rs. 200 or so. Bell-hops could
be given Rs. 50 (in a small hotel) to Rs. 100 (in a more grand hotel)
Journeys: Your itinerary may include either a day or an
overnight train journey. As you enter the railroad station, you
will be faced (literally!) with the masses of the Indian
populace which will reflect the entire social status, from the very
poor to the very rich. Study, appreciate and memorialize this experience,
as this is true India, and not what you encounter at expensive hotels.
Your day journey will be in a class titled "Sitting Chair,
AC" which are upright chairs, where depending on duration of
the journey, you might be served food. Your overnight journey will
be in a class titled: “Two-Tier AC”, which means that you will have
reserved accommodation of your seat within an air-conditioned bogie
(rolling stock). Our representative will show you to your seat.
The arrangement of your Two-Tier AC compartment will be such that
there will be four seats, and these, together with a second tier
mattress, will convert to four beds at night. Keep your valuables
in your largest case and then keep this case such that it is difficult
to remove without waking you up. Do not show high value equipment
to your fellow passengers. Under no circumstances, accept
any food or drink from your fellow passengers and equally do not
offer your food to any other. This is normal practice,
and no offence will be taken if you decide to eat or drink without
offering to others. Use of a clean pillow, pillow cover, two sheets
and a blanket for each of you for your overnight journey is included
in your ticket. Use these, and leave them when you disembark. Feel
free to drink water which you buy in sealed bottles from the on-board
train staff. Eat hot food only.