o A proper VISA to
enter and stay in India is a must. There are reported cases when travelers
are advised non-requirement of Indian VISA by their travel agents. Practically
every foreign national requires VISA to enter India.
o Travelers should get properly inoculated
against Yellow Fever if coming through infected regions.
o It is advisable to cover yourself
with travel insurance for thefts, loss and medi-claim.
o Carry proper maps
of the places proposed to visit in India, as signboards are often absent.
Try to reach a station during daytime if traveling on your own. In any
case avoid persistent touts and taxi-wallahs at airport/stations/bus stand
to help you find your hotel. Always use tourist assistance desk for proper
o Women traveling alone in certain
deserted places should avoid walking at odd hours.
o Don't ever enter
a Temple, Tomb, Dargah or Gurudwara with shoes on and / or scantily dressed.
One should cover his/her head with a cloth while in a Gurudwara or Dargah.
Parikrama or walking around the sanctum sanctorum should always be in
o Do not wear black
clothes while visiting a Jain temple. Leather articles are forbidden to
be carried in Hindu and Jain temples. Taking photograph of the deity in
a temple is normally not permitted.
o Participating in
a social occasion or visiting a home requires conservative dress codes.
Do not shake hands with ladies. Always pick up a thing and eat with your
right hand. Take only as much as you can eat, do not leave anything uneaten
over the dish.
o Do not point your finger at any
person. It is taken as a sign of annoyance.
o While changing money, insist on
getting encashment certificate.
o Do not encourage beggars.
o Do not checkout
of the hotel in hurry. While checking out it has been noticed in some
hotels, the extras are unreasonably charged which the guest hurriedly
pays without cross-checking.
o Do not leave your cash and valuables
in your hotel rooms. Keep your cash divided in different pockets.
o Take care of proper disposal of
your rubbish always whether you are exploring desert, or Himalayas or
beaches or anywhere else.
o Be careful of cultural and social
sensitivities of the regions. There is no single rule for that, the best
way is to observe and follow.
o Take care of contamination of water
and food problem. Always drink safe mineral water and take well-cooked
o Don't buy antiques more than 100
years old. Selling and buying "Shahtoosh" shawls is a crime.
The same goes for ivory and wildlife.
o Buy at genuine shops
only. Bargaining is a popular practice in India and necessary too. Don't
ever believe in lucrative offers of antique dealers in which they offer
you to carry a parcel of some other buyer back home with your own margin
described. Entire transaction should be legal and transparent so that
you may claim later if dissatisfied.
o Don't eat anything offered by fellow
travelers on train or road travels. It might have sleeping pills. Always
travel reserved class in trains.
o Always chain and
lock your luggage under your berth in a train. Don't keep anything valuable
near the window. Always carry plenty of water, fluids in trains. A lone
woman traveler may request to be accommodated near other women travelers.
o Do not visit places which encourage
orthodoxy, social injustice and inhuman practices (like visiting a sati
o Don't photograph women without permission.
o Don't accept offers of visiting
anyone's home unless you are confident of the person.
o Use licensed guides for sightseeing.
o Always use strong suitcases/baggage,
as mishandling is common at airports/stations.
o Don't tip unreasonably
and unnecessarily in a hotel. The News soon spreads in the hotel and by
the time you checkout there will be a group of them saluting you to expect
o While traveling, don't act confused.
Keep a posture of a person known to the region.
o Avoid eating buffet meals, even
in expensive hotels. The food may become contaminated due to overexposure.