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About India


India - The Subcontinent

General Information

States and Union Territories of India

India Facts

Whenever we look at India at a glance, the first thing we notice is its rich culture and unique diversity.
"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!"
- By Mark Twain
The above quote about India truly describes what India is all about. India is a mix of various traditions, cultures, rituals, religions, casts, etc. a comprehensive of all these is what we call India.
Read on further to explore other facts and information on India:
Name: India, also known as Bharat or Hindustan.
Area: 3.3 million sq. km
Population: 1027 million (as per 2001 Census)
Capital: New Delhi
Religion: India is a secular country where many religions co-exist. The major religions practiced are: Hindu: 80% / Muslim: 14% / Christian: 2.4% / Sikh: 2% / Buddhist: 0.7% / Jain: 0.5% / Zoroastrian / Others: 0.4%
Location: Between latitudes 8 ° 4' and 37 ° 6 ' north and longitudes 68 ° 7 ' and 97 ° 25' east.
Coastline length: 7,600 km
Languages: 17 Major languages, 844 dialects. Hindi and English are most Popular
Climate: India experiences three major seasons - winter, summer and Monsoon.
States and Union Territories: India has 28 states and 7 Union Territories
Government: Democratic form of Government
Currency: Rupees
National Anthem: Jan Gana Mana, written by Rabindranath Tagore
National Emblem: Replica of the Lion Capital of Sarnath
National Flag: Horizontal tricolor in equal proportion of deep saffron on the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. In the center of the white band is a wheel in navy blue colour.
National Animal: Tiger
National Bird: Peacock
National Flower: Lotus
National Tree: Banyan
National Fruit: Mango
Time Zone: The Indian time zone, Indian Standard Time (IST) is 5.5 hours (5 hours and 30 minutes) ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Business Hours: 10 A.M. - 5 P.M. (Monday to Friday)

Geography of India

India is a vast country with enormous geographical variations. The features that make Indian geography unique are - its mountain ranges, valleys, desert regions, tropical rain forests, fertile plains, dry plateaus, coastal areas etc. Read on to know other facts about India:

India is the largest democracy in the world. Other names of the country include Bharat or Hindustan. The identity of India is unique with its incredible diversity, both culturally and physically. India offers big regional variations in its climate, from cool mountain pastures beside the glaciers, through windy plateau, to warm river valleys and burning deserts. This diversity in the climatic conditions throughout the country is also reflected in its rich flora and fauna.

By area, India is the seventh largest country in the world. It consists of twenty-eight states and seven Union Territories. Area covered by India is 3.3 million Sq. Km. Regarding the location of India, it lies in the northern hemisphere. The Indian mainland measures 3214 Km from north to south between extreme latitudes and about 2933 Km from east to west between extreme longitudes. Its land frontier is approximately 15200 Km.

India is also the second largest populous country in the world, next only to China. Its population is around 1027 million (as per 2001 census). Around 16% of the world’s population lives in India. However, regarding area, India accounts for only 2.42% of the total world area.

India lies between 8º4' and 37º6' north of the Equator. Surrounding the country is the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. In the neighborhood of India lie Bangladesh (in east), Pakistan (in west), Nepal (in north-east), China (in north-east) and Sri Lanka (in south). Separating India from Sri Lanka is the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Straits. Also a part of India is the Andaman and Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal and the Lakshwadeep in the Arabian Sea.


Geography of India

Weather

You will experience a range of variations in the Indian climatic conditions. India has three major seasons – summer, monsoon and winter. The lines below will tell you about Indian weather in detail:

Summer:

The summer season in India lasts from March to June. During summers, temperature can even go above average, causing unbearable heat. Another drawback of summers is the dust-laden air that can hamper views. Many Indians, themselves, head to "hill stations" to get a relief from the extreme heat of the lowlands.

Monsoon:

The monsoon season lasts from July to September. Rains sweep across the country with heavy downpours. The drawback of this season is a high possibility of flooding in some areas. This makes it difficult to travel around. Duration of monsoons may vary in different regions by several weeks.

Winters:

The winter season lasts from October to February. It is the best time to visit India. The weather is pleasant throughout the country with minimal rainfall in most places. It is the ideal time to enjoy the beauty of India.

Economy

India, a land of rich culture, is the second most populous country of the world. And area wise, it is the seventh largest nation. Our Indian economy has undergone a tremendous change, with the implementation of a series of economic reforms.

These reforms focused attention on deregulating the country and inducing foreign investments. Eventually, it paved way for India occupying a position among the top countries in the fast growing Asia Pacific region. Read on to explore further information about the economic conditions in India. India has the largest democracy in the world and has experienced stability, since its independence. India's political institutions have encouraged the growth of an open society, where people can express themselves freely. It is truly an example of a free economy.

When the talk is about the economy of India, it can be undoubtedly said that it provides a complete security to its foreign investors. It promotes a transparent environment that includes a free press and a proper legal and accounting system. India has a competitive and dynamic private sector that forms the backbone of India's economic activities. It also accounts for more than 75% of India's Gross Domestic Product. It has a lot of scope for joint ventures and mergers.

India has established itself as one of the most aggressively emerging markets of the world, by harnessing the talent and skills of its managerial and technical manpower. India's abundant workforce provides it a competitive edge in the global market.

India's economy is vast and varied and consists of traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide distinctive range of modern industries, and a large number of support services. Government has become more liberal and has reduced its control on foreign trade and investment and is heading its way towards privatizing the domestic sector.

Since 1990, the economy of India has witnessed a decent growth rate of 6% and has been successful in overcoming poverty by about 10%. The strength of India lies in its vast pool of educated and skilled citizens. But, the weakness of India is the continuing public-sector budget deficit, which is nearly 10% of GDP.

People

Indian people are taught from their child hood to respect their elders. They are also very much attached to their family, not only their immediate family, but, all the near and dear ones. People of India are very hospitable. They welcome guests with an open heart. The phrase “Atithi Devo Bhava” is ingrained in them. So, the maximum chances are that you will have a very enjoyable time with the Indian people. Read on to know more about Indians:

India is probably the only country with the most diverse mix of races. People belonging to different religions, communities, casts and beliefs live in India, peacefully and in harmony. India is an amalgamation of the five major racial types. The five racial types, finding representation in India are:

  • Australoid
  • Mongoloid
  • Europoid
  • Caucasian
  • Negroid

To find the exact origin of the Indian People is a task next to impossible. A number of ethnic groups exist among the people of India. The 6 main ethnic groups are as follows.

  • Negrito
  • Proto
  • Australoids or Austrics
  • Mongoloids
  • Mediterranean or Dravidian
  • Western Brachycephals
  • Nordic Aryans

Popular Indian Language

Hindi is the mother tongue of about 20% people in India and the most poular of all the languages spoken in India. It was declared to be the official (national) Indian language by the Constitution of India. English is the additional official language of India. Hindi and English are spoken and understood in most of the regions in India. Apart from Hindi and English, there are 18 regional languages of India.

Following is a list of languages spoken in India:
Assamese: It is the language of Assam, spoken by nearly 60 percent of the population.
Bengali: It is an official language of West Bengal.
Gujarati: It is the official language of Gujarat, spoken by 70 percent of the population.
Hindi: Hindi is the national language of India.
Kannada: It is a language of Karnataka, spoken by 65 percent of the population.
Kashmiri: 55 per cent of the state's population speaks Kashmiri.
Malayalam: It is the state language of Kerala.
Marathi: It is an official language of Maharashtra.
Oriya: Oriya is the official language of the State of Orissa.
Punjabi: It is the official language of the State of Punjab.
Sanskrit: Sanskrit is the classical language of India. It is also one of the oldest languages in the world.
Sindhi: It is mainly spoken by a great number of people in the Northwest frontier of the Indian sub-continent comprising parts of India and Pakistan.
Tamil: It is the State language of Tamil Nadu.
Telugu: It is a language of Andhra Pradesh.
Urdu: The state language of Jammu and Kashmir is Urdu.
Apart from these major Indian languages, there are a number of other languages spoken in India.

 

Religions

India is a land of diversity, even in religion. All the religions in India exist simultaneously and peacefully. Religion is an integral part of Indian customs and traditions. The oldest Indian religion to develop was Hinduism. Later on other religions developed. Apart from Hinduism, India is also the birthplace of another great religion, Buddhism. Also, Zoroastrianism and Jainism owe their birth to India itself. Sikhism is another very recognizable religion that began here. People following the religions that originated in other countries such as Islam, Christianity, Bahaism and Judaism also form a part of the Indian population.

At present, the dominant faith in India is Hinduism. The 2001 Census revealed the following facts about the percentage of various religions in India:

Hinduism:

About 80.5% of the population of India practice Hinduism. It is one of the ancient religions in the world.

Islam:

After Hindus, Muslims hold the second dominant position in India. The proportion of Muslims in this country is 13.4% Muslims (over 100 million)

Christianity:

Out of the total population of India, Christians constitute almost 2.3% (over 20 million).

Sikhism:

About 1.9% (18 million) of India’s population consists of Sikhs.

Other Indian Religions:

Rest of the population (less than 2%) includes Buddhists (6 million), Jains, Parsis (Zoroastrians), Jews and Bahais.

Customs

A number of faiths and religions have merged in India and exist simultaneously. India is a country with “Unity in Diversity”. This diverseness in culture makes India a unique country in the world with a lot of different customs and traditions. Traditions and rituals in India have become an integral part of everyday life. Customs of India are a major attraction for the tourists coming here.

Right from birth to death, an Indian keeps on performing various customs and traditions. Almost every occasion in India (birth, engagement, marriage, death and so on) has a ceremony attached to it. Following are some of the Indian customs:

Birth Ceremony:

Soon after the birth of a child, a ceremony for naming the child takes place. A priest tells the first alphabet from which the name of the child should start.

Traditional Welcome:

Indians believe in the phrase “Atithi Devo Bhava”, meaning a guest is the reflection of God. In the traditional welcome, the guest is garlanded and a tikka (vermillion) is put on his/her forehead. Even the Tourism Ministry of India has launched the 'Atithi Devo Bhava' campaign to make people aware of India's rich culture and traditions.

Wedding Ceremony:

Weddings are conducted in India with great fanfare, following various customs and rituals. The wedding is not a single day affair in India; rather, the functions carry on for 3 - 4 or even more days.

Namaskar / Namaste:

The most popular form of greeting, especially the elders, is to say Namaste with the hands joined at the chest level. It is also used at the time of farewell.

Lighting Lamp / Diya:

In almost every Indian household, a lamp / diya is lighted before the altar of God in the morning. Some people light the lamp in evening also.

Prostrating Before Parents and Elders:

Indians prostrate before their parents, elders and teachers by touching their feet. The elders in turn place their hand on prostrating person’s head and bless him/her.

Death Ceremony:

After a person passes away, the cremation is done according to certain rituals. The rituals continue a few days after the death.
In the above lines, we have mentioned only some of the customs and traditions of India. Other important occasions when different customs and rituals are followed are the Indian festivals. Come and visit India to know more about the other fascinating aspects of Indian customs and rituals.


Indian Money

Indian currency is known as rupee. The Indian money (rupee) is available in denominations of Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1000. One rupee consists of hundred paise. Paise are in denominations of 10p, 25p and 50p. However, these paise are rarely used. Coins are available for Re1, Rs 2 and Rs 5.

Exchanging Money in India:

Changing money in India can be a tedious and cumbersome process. So, it is advisable for you to change a substantial amount at one time. Travelers’ cheques are not accepted at each and every bank. It is even difficult to change currency other than dollars or pound sterling. However, make sure to change the money at accredited bureaus only, changing at any other place is illegal and also runs the risk of being counterfeit.

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ cheques. A tourist may import any amount, provided he/she has filled a declaration form on arrival. This will help in exchanging your currency at the time of arrival as well as the taking back your unspent currency at the time of leaving.

You can get your currency exchanged at the airport itself also. The moneychangers at airports are open 24 hours. Also, moneychangers are available in some hotels too. In big cities, you will find several branches of International foreign exchange providers. However, in small towns however, only minor banks will be providing the service. You should save all exchange receipts (encashment certificates). You may require them for visa extensions and other formalities and at the time of going back, when you want to convert the rupees.

 

Food

There is no single cuisine in India. Just like the culture of India, the Indian cuisine is also very diverse. From Punjabi to South Indian to Gujarati, India food consists of a number of different regional cuisines. Read further to know about the traditional food of India.
Most of the Indian cuisines have a liberal usage of spices. Also, there is a wide usage of a variety of vegetables. Within these basic similarities, there is also diversity in the local styles.

North and West:

North Indian meals consist of basically chapatis or rotis, along with dals (pulses), vegetables and Curd (yoghurt). Use of rice is there but not too much. There are also side dishes chutney (preserves) and achars (pickle). In the North and West, there are also Kashmiri and Mughlai cuisines, reflecting the strong influence of central Asia. There is a heavy consumption of Milk based sweets also.

South and East:

In South and East India, there is a heavy consumption of rice, along with dals and curries. The dishes are mostly rice-based. Coconut is a very important and widely used ingredient in most of the South and East Indian dishes. Fish also consists of a part of this diet.

Desert Area:

In the desert area of Rajasthan and Gujarat, there is a usage of a wide variety of dals and achars. A reason for this is the relative lack of fresh vegetables.
However, the staple diet of India consists of rice, atta (whole wheat flour), a variety of pulses and vegetables. Besides the main dishes, there are a number of snacks that are quite popular in India. Some of them are samosa, pakodas, vadas, chillas, etc. Regarding drinks, the most popular is tea. Coffee is more popular in South India. Nimbu pani (lemonade), lassi, and coconut milk are also popular. Traditionally, meals are eaten while sitting on the floor. But with the modernization of India, this practice has diminished to great extent. Also, most of the Indian food is eaten with the fingers only.

 

Holidays

India is a land of Fairs and festivals. Almost every month, some major festival is celebrated. Only some of the holidays and festivals of India have fixed date. Other festival dates change from year to year. Given below is a list of festivals in India:

Id - Ul Zuha (Bakrid):

It is a Muslim festival commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham
.

Republic Day:

Republic Day, on Jan 26, marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India in 1950.

Muharram:

Another Muslim festival, it commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the holy Prophet Mohammed.

Rama Navami:

Rama Navami is celebrated to mark the birthday of a Hindu God, Shri Rama.

Mahavir Jayanthi:

It is the birth anniversary of Vardhamana Mahavira, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara.

Holi:

Holi is a festival of colors welcoming the onset of summer.

Good Friday:

On this day, Christians mourn over the nailing of Jesus Christ.

Buddha Purnima:

This day marks the birth and enlightenment of Buddha.

Id - Ud – Fitr:

This festival celebrates the end of Ramzan, the Muslim month of fasting.

Independence Day:

On 15th August is the Independence Day of India.

Gandhi Jayanti:

On 2nd October, India celebrates the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Dussehra:

To commemorate the win of good over evil, Dussehra is celebrated in India.

Diwali:

One of the major festivals in India, Diwali celebrates the return of Hindu God, Rama, to his birthplace.

Guru Nanak Jayanti (Gurupurab):

This day celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Christmas:

On 25th December is celebrated Christmas, a Christian festival.

Janamashtami:

Janamashtami marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, a Hindu God.

Pongal:

It is three-day harvest festival joyfully celebrated in South India.

Baisakhi:

On this day, Guru Gobind Singh organised them into the 'Khalsa', brotherhood of man. Punjab farmers start harvesting on this day.

Easter:

A Christian festival, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Public holidays in India tend to be observed on a strictly regional basis. The only holidays to be observed throughout India are Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. In addition, there are a number of festivals and fairs that are also observed in some States as holidays.

Electricity

Electricity in India is 240 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. You will require a voltage converter if you are carrying a device that does not accept 240 Volts at 50 Hertz. To adjust your device according to the power and voltage in India, the following three types of Voltage converters may be used:

Resistor-network converters:

This type of converter usually supports approximately 50 -1600 Watts. They are lightweight. You can easily use this converter for high-wattage electrical appliances like hair dryers and irons. But, you can use them for short periods only and they are not ideal for digital devices.

Transformers:

Transformers support low watt rating, around 50 – 100 Watts. Generally, you can use them continuously. Also, they provide better electricity for low wattage appliances like battery chargers, radios, laptop computers, cameras, mp3 players and camcorders. Their drawback is the low wattage and heavy weight.


Combination converters:

Combination converters are also manufactured by some companies. They are a combination of a resistor network and a transformer in the same package. You can easily switch between the two modes. If you need both types of converters, then it is better to buy this combination converter.
Outlets in India generally accept the following types of plug:

  • Two round pins
  • Three round pins arranged in a triangle

If your appliances plug has any other shape, you will need a plug adapter. If you plan to travel a lot in the future, it is better to get a combination voltage converter and a plug adapter.

Modes of Communication

Communicating while in India is no problem. There are various modes of communication in India. There is an availability of all the modern communication forms in India. Read on to know about communications in India.

Public Phone Booths (PCOs):

One of the main modes of communication in India are the Public phone booths. They are generally known as PCOs in India. They provide the facility for local (within the city) calls, STD (Inter - State) calls, ISD (International) calls. Even Fax facility is available. You will find these PCOs in every nook and corner.

Mobile (Cell) Phones

:
Another way to communicate in India is through Mobile or Cell phones. If you have a mobile phone with the tri-band technology, you can easily use it here. You don’t need to use the service provider of your own country. There are a number of service providers in India to keep you connected. You can buy a prepaid sim card from any service provider. You only need to make payment for it and give a photocopy of your any Identity proof (like your passport). Get it recharged and enjoy free mobility.


Cyber Cafes:

Looking for an inexpensive and fast communication, you can use the services of cyber cafes in India. These cyber cafes provide all the Internet facilities like e-mail, chatting, voice chat, etc. You can easily locate them, as they are present in quite a large number.

Postal Services :

Last, but not the least, you can even use postal services as a means of communication in India. You can make use of postcards, letters, etc. For faster communication, use telegrams, speed post and courier services.


Local Transportation

The transport system in India is large and extensive. Millions of people of India use the large network of railways and roadways in India. Even the local transportation in India is very developed. To know fully about the local modes of transport in India, read the following paragraphs:

Buses:

The cheapest mode of local transport in India is the buses. You will find almost every city having a well-developed system of buses. The government of India is even people to use this local transport. This will go a long way in reducing pollution generated by the large number of private vehicles on the road.


Taxis:

Another mode of transportation is taxis. However, the taxis are a little bit on the expensive side. In some of the cities in India, the concept of radio taxis has been introduced. Apart from that, you can always hire the local taxis plying on the road. Make sure that the taxi-driver goes by the meter. In case you have any problem with the taxi-driver, immediately lodge a complaint with the traffic police.


Autorickshaws:

An autorickshaw is also called auto or rickshaw or tempo. It is a three-wheeler vehicle having no doors and no seatbelts. They are generally yellow or green in color and have a black canopy on the top. In the front, is a small compartment for the driver and in the backside is the seating space for three. If you hire an auto, try to go by the meter. If not possible, then fix the fare in advance and do some bargaining also.

Cycle Rickshaws:

Cycle rickshaws are a very common means of transportation in India. It is like a bigger tricycle in which two people can sit on an elevated seat at the back. The driver will pedal from the front portion. It is a quite cheap mode, especially for traveling short distances. However, fix the fare in advance and bargain a little.


Metro:

A fast and cheap mode of transportation in India is the Metro. However, the whole of India has not been connected with Metro. Metro rail was first introduced in India in the city of Kolkata (previously Calcutta). Presently, along with Kolkata, Metro is running in Delhi also. A metro system in Mumbai is under construction. Also proposed is a Metro system in Noida and Gurgaon.

Traffic Rules

There are some Indian traffic rules you need to follow while in India. Given below is a list of some guidelines for ensuring traffic safety in India:

  • Indian government recognizes the International Driver's License (IDL). However, renting a car without a driver is not common in India. And even the expenses of hiring a car without a driver are similar to those with a driver. Also, it is safer to rent a car with a professional driver.
  • If you are planning to stay in India for a long time and have a valid driver's license (not necessarily an IDL) issued by any competent authority in your country, then getting a driver license in India is no big problem. You can apply for a local license for driving a car or motorcycle. You will have to give a written examination for the same. However, the actual driving part of the test may be done away with (sometimes).
  • If your International Driver’s License (IDL) has expired, you can easily get a local driving license in India by submitting your expired license, along with a letter of introduction from your country’s Embassy.
  • If by any chance, you get involved in an automobile accident, wait until the police arrive and make a report. However, if a crowd gathers and appears hostile, immediately leave the place and go to the nearest police station to file an accident report.
  • If you are driving or riding pillion on a two-wheeler in India, don’t forget to wear a helmet.
  • Frequent use of horns is very common and in fact, customary in India.
  • Traffic in India moves on the left side. So, be extra cautious while crossing the road, especially if your country follows right side driving.

As far as the Indian road conditions go, apart from the big cities, the roads are poorly maintained. You will hardly find Indian roads free of traffic. Congestion on roads is a normal phenomenon. In the big cities, you may also encounter frequent traffic jams. You may also come across livestock roaming freely on the roads in small cities. So, don’t feel surprised. Let an Indian driver drive you around and you will enjoy roaming around in India.

 

International Airports

India has a number of airports for national as well as international flights. These days the aviation industry is in the boom period. The Delhi and Mumbai airports are even being modernized to meet the growing demands of the aviation industry. India's airport network, even today, is catering to hoards of tourists and other travelers coming to India with efficiency. There are more than 20 international airports in India. Apart from that, there are also several domestic airports.
The main India International airports in are:

Delhi:

Indira Gandhi International Airport

Mumbai:

Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport

Hyderabad:

Begumpet Airport

Calicut:

Calicut International Airport

Chennai:

Chennai International Airport

Cochin:

Cochin International Airport Limited

Bangalore:

HAL Airport

Kolkata:

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport

Amritsar:

Raja Sansi International Airport

Ahemadabad:

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport

Trivandrum:

Trivandrum International Airport

Domestic Airlines

There are a number of India domestic airlines. The main domestic airlines of India are given below:

Indian Airlines:

Indian airlines is government owned and is the oldest domestic airline operating in India.

Jet Airways:

Jet is a privately owned airline, having the highest market share of Indian domestic traffic
.

Air Sahara:

Owned by the Sahara group, Air Sahara is another airlines operating on domestic routes
.

Air Deccan:

A Bangalore based airline, Air Deccan is the first low cost carrier in India.

Go Air:

GoAir is a low cost carrier promoted by The Wadia Group.

IndiGo Airlines:

IndiGo Airlines is a subsidiary of InterGlobe Enterprises. It is a rather new and a private domestic airline based in India.

Kingfisher Airlines:

Another Bangalore based airline, Kingfisher Airlines operates only on domestic routes. United Beverages (UB) Group owns this carrier.

Paramount Airways:

Based in Coimbatore, Paramount Airways mainly operates Embraer aircraft.

Spice Jet:

SpiceJet is a New Delhi based low cost carrier.

International Airlines

There are a number of India international airlines. The main international airlines of India are given below:

Air India:

The government of India owns air India. This national flag carrier airline of India has its main base in Mumbai. The other hubs of Air India are New Delhi and Chennai. It also provides cargo services worldwide. It is one of the two state-owned airlines in the country, the other one is Indian Airlines.

Air Sahara:

Based in New Delhi, Air Sahara is a privately owned airline. It got international flying rights some time back only.

Indian Airlines:

Indian Airlines is the second state owned airline. It is primarily a domestic airline. But, it operates internationally also. It is based in New Delhi.

Jet Airways:

Jet Airways is another privately owned airline operating in the international sector also. This airline also got international flying rights some time back only.

Other International Airlines Operating in India

  • Aeroflot (http://www.aeroflotlax.com/flights.htm)
  • Biman Bangladesh (http://www.bimanair.com)
  • Firstair (http://www.firstair.ca)
  • North West (http://www.nwa.com)
  • Swiss Air (http://www.swissair.com)
  • Air Canada (http://www.aircanada.ca/home.html)
  • Czech Airlines (http://www.csa.cz/en/czechia/cz_home.htm)
  • Gulf Air (http://www.gulfairco.com/index/index.asp)
  • Necon (http://www.neconair.com/)
  • Singapore International Airlines (http://www.singaporeair.com)
  • Air France (http://www.airfrance.com)
  • Cathay Pacific (http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_INTL/homepage)
  • JAL (http://www.jal.co.jp/en/)
  • Royal air
  • South African Airways (http://ww2.flysaa.com/saa_home.html)
  • Cyper (http://www.kthy.net/kthyen/html/index.htm)
  • Turkish
  • Kenya
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Thai
  • Air Mauritius
  • Druk Air
  • KLM
  • United Airlines
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Egypt Air
  • Kuwait Airways
  • SAS
  • Yemenia
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Lufthansa
  • Pakistan International Airlines
  • Qantas Airways

Travel Advice

India travel advice will come quite handy to you if you are thinking of coming to India. Here are some common dos and Don’ts for Indian travel:

  • Getting some background information on India and the particular place that you are planning to visit is quite a good idea.
  • Staying in India is not a big problem. There are a number of 4-star and 5-star hotels in India, measuring up to the international standards. They will provide you the comfort and luxury comparable to any other in the world.
  • Foreigners are required to pay all their dues regarding the hotel bills in foreign currency only, in the form of cash, traveler’s checks or credit cards. Even concessional tickets like Youth fares, Discover India Fares and Air Fares are to be paid for in foreign exchange only.
  • Never ever purchase air/ rail/ bus tickets through strangers or unauthorized travel agents/ tour operators, also known as touts. They are not at all reliable. Buy tickets from the authorized centers only.
  • It is advisable not to hire any type of transportation from unlicensed operators.
  • In case of taxis and auto-rickshaws, try to hire them from the pre-paid booths, if possible. Otherwise, insist on going by the meter and check the readings regularly to ensure that the fare is correct. In case there are no meters or the meters are dysfunctional, set a fare in advance to avoid being fleeced later on.
  • Make travel arrangements well in advance, especially if you are traveling in the peak season (between October to March).
  • English is spoken at almost tourist destination in India these days. However, if you want, you may hire Government-trained and approved guides who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian.
  • Indian people are quite hospitable and friendly. Do not feel offended if they stare at you. It is just curiosity on their part. Most of the people will also go out of the way to help tourists and properly guide them.
  • It is advisable for you to carry your own medicines. Almost all medicines in India are locally manufactured and you may not find the same brand names. However, you may easily set substitute products here. But take the advice of reputed druggists or doctors for the purpose.
  • Make sure to remove your footwear when visiting a place of worship or mausoleum. Some temples in India will not even allow you to carry leather articles inside. You can deposit them in the temple cloakroom and collect it on your way out.
  • It is not entirely unsafe to travel in India. You just have to take some precautions like avoiding isolated places, not going out after its too late, etc.
  • The electric current in India is 220/ 250 volts and 50 cycles. It is AC practically everywhere. Carry converters if you have some electric equipment with you.
  • Don’t feel offended if Indians ask you some personal questions like how much do you earn, are you married, do you have kids, etc. They are just a little curious and mean no offence. It is just their way of getting friendly.

Just some general conventions to follow and then India is a wonderful place to be. You will enjoy the scenic beauty, rich culture, engrossing traditions and almost everything about India.

Travel Documents

The most essential documents for Indian travel are passport and visa, along with their photocopies.

Passport:

One of the two most important India Travel documents to carry with you is your Passport. Make sure to have this basic document with you all the time. Before the trip starts, check that your passport is in order and will be valid for the period of your stay. Otherwise, get it renewed. If, by any chance, your passport gets lost or stolen, immediately contact your country's embassy or consulate in Delhi. And don’t forget to inform the nearest police station at the same time.

Visa:

The second essential document for an Indian visit is a visa. Only in case of Nepal, you don’t need any prior visa. The only requirement is of identification papers, and visa is issued at the airport itself. There are different types of visas for different travel purpose. Make sure to apply for the correct visa type, as per the purpose of your travel.

Photocopies:

Don’t forget to keep photocopies of your important documents for travel to India. Keep them separate from the originals, in case the originals get lost or stolen.

Indian Visa

To get a visa for India, you need to submit a number of documents. Following is a list of important documents for Indian visa:

  • Visa application form.
  • Passport, having a minimum validity of six months on the date of application.
  • Two identical passport sized photographs, black and white or colored.
  • Supporting documents, depending upon the type of visa.
  • Visa fee.

There are a number of Indian visa types, suitable for different purposes of travel. Given below are the different types of Indian visas:

Tourist Visa:

 
If you are coming to India on a holiday to explore the country, then, tourist visa is for you.

Business Visa:

For a business related trip, you need to apply for the business visa.

Student Visa:

For study purpose in India is the student visa.

Transit Visa:

It is meant for transit passengers only, to enable them to travel through India to reach the ultimate destination.

Missionaries Visa:

This visa is for people coming to India to act as missionaries.

Employment Visa:

Meant for skilled professionals or those people who have been appointed by Indian companies, organizations, firms, etc.

Journalist Visa:

Professional journalists and photographers visiting India should apply for the Journalist visa.

Conference Visa:

It is issued for attending conferences/seminars/meetings in India.

Research Visa:

For research purposes, a research visa is issued.

Entry Visa:

It is given only to persons of Indian origin or the family members of a person employed in India.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is necessary for not only traveling to India, rather, for any place in this world. Travel insurance acts as additional security in the case of unforeseen eventualities like cancellation or interruption of travel plans, lost or damaged luggage, travel delays, illness, accident, etc.

If you are not covered by travel insurance, any personal tragedy will be further compounded by a financial burden. Though each and every mishap is not covered by travel insurance, still, it covers most of the unfortunate circumstances. Check the small print of your insurance policy carefully to see if there is any exclusion. If anything goes wrong, you need to file a claim. For the purpose, keep your boarding passes, ticket copies and receipts for expenses paid during your trip as a proof.

 

Best Time to Visit India

Regarding the question of “when to visit India”, the best time to visit India for tourists is the winter season. The season lasts from October to February. It is a pleasure to visit India during these cooler months, when the heat of summer is no more. Around this time, the usually wet areas of Northeast also become dry, making it easier to travel there. Even the hot South India is blessed with cool weather and rain on beaches in this peak season for India.

Another reason to visit India in these months is that they coincide with the celebration mood in India. This is the time when maximum well-known festivals of India are celebrated. In October - November falls Dussehra, Durga Puja and Diwali. Also in November is the Pushkar Fair (in Rajasthan), the largest cattle fair in India. In January is the Republic Day of India and Lohri - the festival of Punjabis. In March falls Holi, the festival of colors. Then there is Id, Easter, Christmas and a number of another festivals, each celebrated in totally Indian fashion. You can experience true India, in all its richness, by attending these festivals.

The summer months of March to May are very hot and humid. If you are planning to visit India during summers, then the best thing is to go to the hills and enjoy the scenic beauty. If you are interested in trekking or mountain climbing, then, the Himalayas are for you. Months of March to May, September and November are ideal for trekking in the Himalayas.

 

Health Precautions

Here are some health precautions for India you should follow if traveling to this country:

  • Don’t drink water from tap or roadside vends. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Also, buy water from respectable and decent looking outlets. Check the seal before buying the water to make sure that it is intact.
  • Never eat cut fruits sold by the roadside vendors. Always eat fruits you can peel. Wash the fruits properly with water well before eating them.
  • It is advisable to keep a mosquito repellent ointment with you always.
  • Always carry a kit of the basic emergency medicines you might need. Especially medicines for upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, etc. Also, keep some band-aids, antiseptic ointments, etc with you.
  • Avoid fountain drinks and ice cubes.
  • Avoid eating food from the roadside vends. If, by chance, you are forced to eat from there, make sure that the food is well cooked and is served hot.
  • Try to avoid spicy dishes, especially in the initial stages of your travel.
  • Avoid eating salads, especially at small restaurants and small hotels.
  • If you are visiting India in summer time, drink lots of water, cover your head with scarves or caps or hats, wear sunglasses and use sunscreen lotion. Try to stay indoors in the afternoon.
  • If you fall very sick, it is better to visit a doctor. However, ask the hotel authorities or the people at whose house you are staying to refer a good doctor to you.

 

Travel Vaccinations

To know about the major diseases and vaccinations for India travelers, read the following paragraphs:
Vaccinations for Indian Travel

Before embarking on your India vacations, you must make yourself familiar with different diseases that are common in Indian climatic conditions. In addition to that you should also consult your physician before going for any vaccination or medicine. Here is a comprehensive list of all the diseases that are common to India and vaccinations for them.

Hepatitis A:

Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for all travelers to India.

Typhoid:

All travelers are recommended to take Typhoid vaccination.

Polio:

In case of Polio, one-time booster is recommended for any adult traveler who completed the childhood series but never had polio vaccine as an adult.

Yellow Fever:

Vaccination for yellow fever is required only for travelers arriving from or transiting through any yellow-fever-infected area like Africa.

Japanese Encephalitis:

This vaccine is recommended for travelers staying for more than 1 month and traveling to rural areas or travelers engaging in extensive unprotected outdoor activities in rural areas, especially after dusk.

Hepatitis B:

Travelers who may have intimate contact with local residents should take this vaccination, especially if their period of stay is more than 6 months.

Rabies:

Any traveler who may have direct contact with animals should take this vaccination.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR):

If any person born after 1956 has not previously taken this vaccination, he/she should take two doses of the same.

Tetanus-Diphtheria:

You need to take this revaccination every 10 years.

Major Diseases in India:

Planning a trip to India and worried about common diseases in India? To make your India visit truly memorable, we are highlighting some of the major diseases that occur in India.

Diarrhea:

The most common ailment of travelers is diarrhea. The main cause of it is unclean food and water. It is advised to carry an antibiotic and an anti diarrhea drug if significant diarrhea occurs. In case of diarrhea, good amount of fluid intake is required. However, if diarrhea gets severe you should immediately call a doctor.

Malaria:

Prophylaxis with mefloquine (Lariam), atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone) or doxycycline is recommended throughout India (including Delhi and Bombay), except at places located at high altitudes (2000 m/6561 ft). Long-term travelers coming to India may not have access to medical care all the time; they should bring along medications for emergency self-treatment in case they develop symptoms indicative of malaria, such as fever, headaches, chills and muscle aches. It is importhant to note that symptoms of malaria sometimes may not occur for months or even years after exposure.

Altitude Sickness:

Altitude sickness may occur in travelers ascending altitudes greater than 2500m. This specifically includes the mountain areas of northern India. Those with a history of heart disease, lung disease, or sickle cell disease are advised to avoid high altitudes.

Food Precautions

The food you eat, how it's cooked, stored and served is very important. Make it a rule to stick to freshly cooked food, made in clean and hygienic place. Here are some food precautions for India that need to be taken by you:

  • The safest thing to eat is freshly cooked food. Food left sitting may attract flies and cause major health hazards.
  • Salads and cut fresh fruits should be strictly avoided. Eat only unpeeled fruits.
  • Avoid fresh fruit juice. If you want to have juice, go in for branded ones being sold in tetra packs.
  • If you are a non-vegetarian, buy from decent shops. It is better not to eat from lower end restaurants or station platforms.
  • Never ever eat anything from the roadside vendors. There are high chances of the food being contaminated.

 


Drinking Water Safety

There is no big problem of clean drinking water in India. However, you need to take certain precautions to ensure that you are drinking clean and pure water. Some of these water precautions for India are listed below:

  • These days bottled (mineral) water is available almost everywhere. However, sometimes, cheap fake bottled water is also given. To avoid this, make sure to check that that the seal of the bottle is intact. Also, see if there is anything floating in it before buying.
  • Even when you are visiting restaurants or hotels, insist on bottled (mineral) water. You will not face much trouble as almost all the restaurants and hotels keep bottled water.
  • Never ever drink water from roadside vendors selling water pumped up from the vend’s tank. That water is not at all safe.
  • You may also come across water being sold in polythene bags. Don’t drink it at all. Even this water is not safe.
  • If you are staying at someone’s place, don’t drink the tap water. If they have aquagaurds or RO systems or other purifiers, then it’s ok. Otherwise, insist on either boiled or bottled (mineral) water.

What to Wear?

If you are traveling to India, carry minimal clothing. We will suggest you to carry light luggage. The reason is that both clothing as well as laundry is quite cheap in India. “How to dress up in India” is not a very big problem. Read on to know about the clothes to wear in India.

Indian summers are too hot. So, if you are planning to come in the period of March to June, carry light clothes. Men can wear loose cotton shirts or T-shirts and baggy Pants. In the big cities and Metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore, Pune, etc you can wear shorts also. However, women should dress conservatively. Short tops, short skirts / shorts, etc should be avoided. You can wear cotton shirts or T-shirts, with cotton trousers or ankle length skirts. Make sure that the clothes are not too tight or body revealing. These clothes can be easily purchased from the Indian markets at a reasonable price. If you want to try Indian clothing, then, men can wear “kurta pyjama” and women can try “salwar-kameez”.

Winters (October to February) in India are quite cold, especially North India. So, pack some woolen clothes with you. Also, pack some warm innerwear, especially if you are planning to roam around too much. During Monsoon (July to September), there is a high level of humidity in India. So don’t wear synthetic stuff. In this case also, cotton clothing is the best.

Last but not the least, while visiting places of worship (Temples, Gurudwara or Mausoleum), you should be fully clothed. Also, don’t forget to remove your footwear before entering any religious place.

 

Baggage Rules

Baggage means "belongings" of a passenger traveling from one place to another. There is no particular definition of the items included in luggage/baggage. Most of the international flights and countries have almost the same rules as far the weight of the luggage is concerned. However, there may be some differences on the number of items you can check in.

As far as luggage rules in India are concerned, each and every article coming into or going out of India come under exchange management. Also, customs duties are imposed on them at the pre-determined rates. For getting a clearance from the custom official, a declaration is required to be made to them by the owner regarding the contents in his possession. This is done on a prescribed form. On the basis of the date of the declaration, the rates of duty and tariff valuation are determined.

Indian baggage rules vary according to the duration of stay of the passenger, the country he or she is traveling from, and the passenger’s age. As per the usual practice, every passenger gets a duty free allowance. Within this allowance, he/she can bring various goods without paying any duty on them. However, if the total value of the goods exceeds the duty free allowance, a flat customs duty has to be paid only on the value in excess of the duty free allowance. However, personal and household goods are treated as baggage and can be imported freely without any restriction regarding their value. Flat rate of duty is not applicable to certain items. On these articles, duty is charged at various rates based on the Customs Tariff.

There is a special case for a person residing abroad for a minimum period of two years and transferring his residence for a minimum period of one year. Such a person may avail “Concessions for Transfer of Residence”. For importers and exporters, a license or Customs Clearance Permit (CCP) and Import Export Code number has to be obtained to import/export goods into or out of India.

Items that are not permitted:

  • Gold or silver jewellery or any other article articles mainly consisting of gold or silver, in excess of permitted limit. The limit is Rs.20,000 for females and Rs.10,000 for males.
  • Indian currency exceeding the amount of Rs.1,000.
  • Any harmful drug. This includes coca leaf, cocaine, hemp, charas, opium, morphine, etc, along with their mixtures and derivatives.
  • Any vulgar material. This includes obscene magazines, books, pamphlets, paper, drawing, painting, representation, figure, article or objectionable literature or any other items not appealing to the Indian sensibilities.
  • Also restricted are plants, parts of plants, soil seeds, fruits, dry fruits, vegetables, flowers, coffee seeds, coffee beans, cottons and un-manufactured tobacco.
  • Pet animals and birds can be brought along but their number is limited.
  • Fire arms.

Shopping

India is well known for its arts and crafts. For centuries, they have been the famous shopping items of India. A reason for this is that arts and crafts have been perfected in India over the centuries. Traditions and techniques have passed on from generation to generation making the techniques almost perfect. Each and every region, state, city and town in India has its own skills and thus, own specialties.

Shopping in India is a wonderful experience. Almost all the items of India are appreciated throughout the world. Some of them include silks, spices, jewelry, handicrafts, silverware, antiques, carpets, leatherwork and so on. India is a shopper’s paradise. You can easily bargain in India. To know about the reasonable or fair price, check the state-run emporia.
Now we will provide a quick look into the main Indian shopping attractions and the famous shopping centers in India:

Fabrics:

India is quite famous for its fabrics. The most popular Indian fabrics include silks, cottons, and wools. They compete amongst the best fabrics in the world. For silk, the most famous places are Varanasi (brocade), Kanchipuram, Murshidabad, Patna and Surat. For cotton, the best place is Rajasthan, especially cotton with the ‘tie and dye’ in bright colors. Also popular is the Chennai cotton, known for its special ‘bleeding’ effect after a few washes. For wollens, especially shawls, Kashmir is the perfect place.

Carpets:

One of the world’s largest carpet industries is India. Carpets have been famous in India since the time of the Maharajas. Each region in India has its own specialty. Quite popular are the brightly colored Tibetan rugs, available mainly in Darjeeling.

Clothes:

In India, you can get quality as well as reasonable prices. Cloth includes silks, cottons, himroos, brocades, chiffons, chingnons, etc. also, most of the international brands are now available in India.

Jewelry:

The traditional Indian jewelry is very heavy and elaborate. However, the new generation is going for more delicacy and sophistication in the designs. Also quite famous is the Indian silverwork. Gems include diamonds, lapis lazuli, Indian star rubies, star sapphires, moonstones, aquamarines and so on. For pearls, Hyderabad is perfect place.

Handicrafts and Leatherwork:

There is no one best place for handicraft and leatherwork in India. Each area has its own specialty. The items cover the range from bronzes and brasswork (often inlaid with silver) to canework and pottery. Also the Kashmiri woven rugs and papier mache (some decorated in gold leaf) are very famous. Agra is known for its inlaid marble and alabaster. Rajasthan specialties include its colorful fabrics and silks. Leatherwork includes open Indian sandals and slippers.

Other Goods:

Apart from the above-mentioned goods, the following items are also popular:

  • Pickles
  • Spices
  • Indian tea
  • Perfumes
  • Soap
  • Handmade paper, etc

Tipping

Tipping in India is a common practice. There are basically two types of tips. In the first case, the tip is paid after the work is completed. In the second case, tip is given beforehand to ensure a good service. In hotels, porters and room service attendants are generally tipped at the end of the stay. However, the amount of tip varies depending on the type of services rendered and the type of establishment.

In restaurants, the tip to waiters is around 10-15 percent of the bill. In cases of restaurants of famous and prestigious hotels, generally a 10 percent service surcharge is added to the bill. Tipping at such a place is discretionary. In smaller places, the tip is not a percentage of the bill. Rather, few rupees are given as a tip, depending on the quality of service.

Tipping taxi and three-wheeler a driver is not too common. It is up to your discretion. However if you want to give tip, then, 10 percent of the fare or leaving the change is enough. If you are hiring a car throughout your stay, then, tip the driver Rs. 50-100 per day, depending on the distance traveled. At railway stations, pay the porters around Rs. 5-10 per bag. But, make sure to set the rate beforehand. If you stay at somebody’s house, ask your host before giving tips to his/her domestic help.

Tourist Guides

If you are coming to India as a tourist, with lots of sightseeing in your itinerary, then you will find these tips for handling Indian guides quite useful. Hiring tourist guides in India is a very good idea, especially when you are traveling on your own, with no local person to help you. They will help you understand and appreciate better the place you are visiting. Read on for further tips for handling guides:

  • While visiting religious places, hire guides very cautiously. They may take you to unnecessary places and crooks posing as Sadhus or Yogis to extract money out of you. Stick to the places you know and let the guide lead you.
  • Fix the amount to be given to the guide in advance only. Apart from the fixed amount, you can also give some extra tip to the guide if he has provided you with good services.
  • Hire guides authorized by the Indian government as far as possible. Try to avoid private guides. They may try to fleece you.

Guidelines for Women Travelers

Even after the modern influence of western countries, India still remains a conservative country. Some western habits are perceived as inappropriate and degrading if practiced by women here. Here are some travel tips for women in India:

  • Don’t wear revealing clothes while in India. They do not appeal to Indian sensibilities. You will attract unwanted attraction and advances if you are wearing skimpy outfits.
  • Apart from the big cities, touching between people of the opposite sex in public is very unusual. Even married couples avoid any display of affection publicly. It will be better if you do not shake hands with a person of the opposite sex unless the other person extends his/her hand first. Among Hindus, the way to greet is by bring your palms together in front of your chest, or simply saying 'Namaste'. You can say Hello or Hi also. But some old people may not appreciate it.
  • Smoking by a woman is not acceptable anywhere in India, except for the metro cities. A woman who smokes / drinks is thought to be having a loose moral character, especially amongst the middle class.
  • Discos, dance clubs, pubs, 5-star hotels are areas with a modern touch. You can easily head there for some entertainment or for drinks. However, having a male companion or at least another female with you is quite a good idea.
  • Even at beaches, the people here are fully clothed. First find out what kind of attire is appropriate for the beach you are heading to. In some places like Goa, the visitors to beach mainly consist of foreigners. There, you may wear swimsuits on the beach. However, even there it is inappropriate to roam about dressed in swimwear away from the beach.
  • In local trains, some cars reserved only for women. It is advised for you to travel in those.
  • It is better not to venture outside in a street party. Street parties on holidays generally don’t consist of women. Inebriated men are seen partying at such occasions. Women, in these parties, can be subjected to groping and sexually aggressive behavior from the inebriated males. It is very unsafe for women to attend these festivities alone.
  • Avoid talking in a friendly manner with men you meet in buses, trains, restaurants, shopping places, etc. It may be viewed as a flirtation. It may also lead to unwanted and unexpected sexual advances. However, befriending Indian women can be a wonderful experience for female travelers. But, you may have to start the conversation.
  • A way to get more respect from Indians is to wear traditional Indian clothes, such as salwaar kameez or sari.
  • Do not venture in isolated places alone. It is also advised not to go outside alone after it is very late and dark.

Handling Seeker of Alms

If you are traveling to India, you are bound to come across beggars. Mostly you will find them begging at the red lights. Following are some tips for handling Indian beggars. So, if you want to know some Indian beggar handling tips, read on:

  • If the beggar is a healthy person, don’t give him any money or anything else. Ignore such people. Just walk past them or pull up the windows if you are in a car.
  • In case of a physically handicapped person, you can give some money or even something to eat.
  • "normalashtext">If you come across children begging on the street, don’t be surprised. Its better to give the children something to eat. If you give them money, it will most probably go into the pockets of their parents or some other person. They will hardly ever benefit from it.
  • Always give beggars money at the time of leaving a place (if you want to give), as you get in the car. Otherwise, there is a possibility of your getting mobbed.
  • Give a tip to beggars between Rs. 2 and Rs. 10. If you give more money than this, you will run the risk of getting mobbed by beggars.

 

Safety Guidelines

Some safety guidelines for India are suggested here, so that you don’t face any avoidable problem. Read on to know about the guidelines for traveling in India:

  • Find out about the infectious diseases endemic in India and countries to which you will be traveling and get the appropriate shots and pills, and take the appropriate medications with you if your doctor thinks it's necessary.
  • You should be aware of the local laws and customs prevailing in India. This will help in making your trip hassle free.
  • It is better to keep your contacts at home and in India well informed of your whereabouts and activities. Also, keep copies of your important travel documents with them for any unforeseeable in the future.
  • Don’t keep your wallet in the rear pocket. Keep it in an inside jacket pocket or side trouser pocket.
  • All valuables and important papers (jewelry, passports, return tickets, etc) should be kept in your hotel's safe deposit box. Never leave them unattended in your room. Avoid carrying large sums of cash on your person.
  • If any unexpected or unknown person comes to your hotel room, exercise caution. It is better not to open the door to unsolicited room service or maintenance people. In case of any suspicion, call the reception or the front desk of the hotel.
  • Don’t hand over your luggage to any person other than a member of the hotel's bell staff. Make sure to collect a receipt for stored luggage. Never leave your luggage or other expensive items, unattended at airports, bus stands, taxi stands or railway stations.
  • Don’t take the advice of taxi drivers for the purpose of accommodation.
  • If you have a meeting with a potential client or any other unknown individual, it is better to meet in a public place, like a restaurant.
  • Don't use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets. Avoid traveling alone at night.
  • Avoid conversing or arguing in loud tones. Never ever discuss your travel plans or any other personal matter with strangers.
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