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flag India India: Practical information

In this page: Accommodation | Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications

 

Accommodation

Hotels
Modern Western-style hotels available in all large cities and at popular tourist centers. Heritage Hotels, and 5 to 1-star hotels.
Hotels in India
Tourist Bungalows
At almost every tourist center in the country, under the control of the respective State government’s Tourist Development Corporation.
Youth Hostels
Capacity for about 40 beds. A convenient and cheap base for organized tours, trekking, hiking or mountaineering.
Youth Hostels Association
Camp sites /Caravanning
Throughout India.
Campsites India
Hotel Rules
Prices are given per room, based on whether the room is occupied by one or two persons (single or double occupancy).
For Further Information
Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India
India Tourism
 

Price Indications

Economy Room USD 30 - 100
Medium Price Room USD 100 - 175
Good Quality Room USD 175 - 400

Source: Lonely Planet

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Eating Out

Categories of Restaurant
 
  • Most restaurants are specialized according to the type of food they offer
Continental, Multi Cuisine, Fast Food, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Mediterranean; South Indian, Mughlai, Punjabi.
  • Bars & restaurants
Bars which can also serve food.
  • Road-side restaurants
‘Dhabas’ serve real authentic local food at very low prices. Favorite eating places for low-budget foreign tourists.
Rules For Eating Out
Rules vary from one establishment to another, but it is generally common to ask for the bill at your table after the meal.

A ‘tip’ is generally given after the meals; varies between 5-10% of the bill amount.

 

Price Indications

Economy Meal USD 5 - 8 per person
Medium Price Meal USD 10 -20 per person
Good Quality Meal USD 25 -75 per person
 
Food Specialties
Each region in the country has its own cuisine and style of preparation.

Food is broadly categorized into six tastes - sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter and astringent. Side dishes and condiments are chutneys, curries, daals and Indian pickles.

Milk-based desserts and gulab jamuns are popular.

Drinks
Tea (often ready-brewed with milk and sugar) and coffee are most widely drunk. Butter-milk (called ‘lasi’ in Hindi ) is a popular drink in the northern parts of the country.

All forms of alcoholic drinks including wine are easily available in the country. Large quantity of beer is produced and consumed within the country.

Dietary Restrictions
The left hand is considered unclean and to use the left hand when eating or receiving food is considered unclean.

Hindus consider the cow as sacred and the Muslims consider the pig as unclean. Hence, pork and beef are not part of popular cuisine.

Table Manners
Wash hands thoroughly before sitting at the table as some Indian foods are primarily eaten by hand.
It is considered unhygienic to use your spoon or fingers to share food from someone else's plate once you have started using your own.

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Getting Around

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
Taxis and auto-rickshaws are available in large cities and fares are charged by the kilometer.

Most of the drivers can understand English, though not all can speak English.

A metro system is operational in Kolkata.

A metro system was opened in Delhi in 2004. It is spreading its network to reach sub-urban districts like NOIDA, Gurgoan and Faridabad.

Maps of Urban Networks
Map of Kolkata Metro available on the site of Metro Railways Kolkata
Map of Delhi Metro available on the site of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
Urban Transport Agencies
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
Metro Railways Kolkata
 

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Mumbai - Chhatrapati Shivaji Intl (BOM) 37 km / 23 miles INR 475 INR 50-60 / 60-90 min - Available
Calcutta - Dum Dum (CCU) 17 km / 11 miles INR 135-200 / 40-120 min INR 8 INR 2-6 Available
Delhi - Indira Gandhi Intl (DEL) 15 km / 9 miles INR 220 / 30-60 min INR 50 - Available
 

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
Air routes connect over 70 cities and provide a faster way to travel around India.

The Indian internal railway system covers much of the country and is relatively inexpensive. An extensive network of bus services connects all parts of the country. A large number of chauffeur-driven tourist cars are available in the main tourist centres. There are also ships from Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai (Madras) to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands (Shipping Corporation of India) and from Kochi and Calicut to the Lakshadweep Islands.

Rail Companies
Indian Railways
 

Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Indian Airlines National Yes Yes
Jet Airways Major Yes No
Kingfisher Airlines Low-Cost Yes No
Spice Jet Low-Cost Yes No
Go Air Low-Cost Yes No

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 
 
 

Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
One must be very cautious when driving because of the bad condition of the roads and chaotic character of the traffic.

Driving around India is not recommended. It is recommended to have a licensed and experienced local driver who knows the region and driving conditions.

Driver's License
One must have either a valid Indian drivers’ license or a valid international drivers’ license. India recognizes international driving permits.
Conditions For Renting a Vehicle
18. An international driving license is required.
Rental Agencies
Taxi Rental India
Tolls or Taxes
The concept of toll roads is catching up in India. Recently built motorways are subject to tolls and the rates are quite reasonable.
Road Maps
Maps of India
Find an Itinerary
Make my trip
Maps of India
Parking Facilities
Parking is a paid service and facilities are available at all public places like airports, railway stations, shopping centers, etc.
 

Rules of the Road

Minimum Driving Age
18
Side of the Road For Driving
Left
Speed Limits
Motorcycles 50 km/h, trucks and buses 65 km/h. Cars 80 km/h in Maharashtra, 50-60 km/h in New Delhi, and none at all in Uttar Pradesh.
Safety Belts
Obligatory in all major cities.
Permitted Amount of Alcohol in the Blood
30 mg/deciliter
National Roads Organizations
National Highways Authority of India
Department of Road Transport and Highways
Indian Driving Schools

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Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In New Delhi
Summer Time
None
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

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Climate

 
Type of Climate
India has broadly three seasons: warm, wet and cool. Heat begins to rise in the plains of the north in February and becomes very high in April - May. The monsoon appears towards the end of May in the south, then heads to the North, then covers the whole country in the first week of July till the end of October. Temperature falls sharply around December - January. The extreme south remains warm all year long because of coastal climate.

Autumn and Winter are undoubtedly the best times to visit India.

 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

 

Climate

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Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used
Metric system
Unit of Measurement of Temperature
Degree Celsius (°C)
 

Use our service Measurement Converter.

 
Electricity
 
  • Voltage
230 Volts AC
  • Frequency
50 Hz
Type of Electric Socket
Type C and Type D.
Type of Telephone Socket
British (old) phone plug; US RJ-11 phone plug.
DVD Zoning
Zone 5

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Indian Rupee
ISO Code
INR
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The import of local currency is prohibited, except for residents of India importing up to INR 7,500. Currency can be changed at banks, airports or authorized money changers.
ATMs are easily accessible and are open 24x7.
Possible Means of Payment
Payment is usually in cash. All major credit cards like American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are also widely accepted.
Travelers' cheques are widely accepted and may be changed at banks and larger hotels.
 

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator

 

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Speaking

Official Language
Hindi (spoken by more than 50% of the country’s population) and English.
Other Languages Spoken
22 languages are recognised by the Constitution of India: Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Nepali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Manipuri , Konkani and Sanskrit are among them. Around 2000 dialects have been identified.
Business Language
English
Getting Some Knowledge
 
Free Translation Tools
Shabdkosh : Hindi-English-Hindi free dictionary (46,000 terms)

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Emergency Numbers

Police 100
Fire 101
Ambulance 102
Railway Enquiry 131
Telephone assistance in English or Hindi or Regional Language 197

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Communications

Quality of Communications
The use of mobile phones and internet is widely developed. Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Public telephones are accessible everywhere.
Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From India, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in India, Dial +91
Number of Digits of National Telephone Numbers
10
+ 0 + 2-4 digits corresponding to regional codes + local city/town numbers.
Mobile Telephone Standards
Both CDMA and GSM
National Mobile Phone Operators
AirTel, Reliance Infoecom, Idea cellular, Vodafone (earlier HUTCH), BSNL/MTNL.
 

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
.in
National Internet Access Providers
BSNL, AirTel, Sify, Tata Internet Services, Reliance, Netcom, Hathway.
Access in Public Places
Internet cafes with Wi-Fi connection facilities spread across the country.
Access in Hotels
Easily accessible from most of the large and medium sized hotels operating across the country.

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Latest Update: June 2022