TRAVEL INFORMATION

India is a union of 29 states and seven union territories. It is the second most populated country in the world after China and has 22 officially recognised languages.

Visa information

The Government of India has introduced e-Tourist Visa (enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation) facility for travellers visiting India from 43 countries. Please check to see if your country is included in the list.

Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.

The validity of visa will be 30 days from the date of arrival in India.

E-Tourist Visa once issued on arrival is only single entry, non-extendable, non-convertible & not valid for visiting Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) is valid for entry through only 9 designated Airports i.e. Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai & Trivandrum.

For up-to-date information and instructions for the e-Tourist Visa, kindly visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html.

When to travel

The climate can broadly be described as tropical, with the exception of the Himalayas. India has four seasons:

Winter – from December to February

Summer – from March to May

Monsoon – from June to August

Autumn – September to November

Health information

Vaccinations are not required when you travel in India. However, anti-malaria medication is strongly recommended. If you have visited or transited a yellow fever area ten days prior to your scheduled trip, a yellow fever inoculation certificate is mandatory.

Should you need to consult a doctor, most hotels have doctors on call. We would be happy to assist you in visiting specialists, although appointments are likely to be limited to a certain time of the day. In the unlikely event of hospitalisation, primary and secondary metros offer very high standards of health care. Should you be using prescription medicines, please carry an adequate supply – what you use may not be locally available and substitutes may not be suitable.

As a precaution, always drink bottled water. Also, ensure your liquid intake is consistent throughout the day.

Lastly, we always recommend that you consult your personal physician prior to any travel.

Domestic Airlines

Indian cities and towns are now well connected by an extensive network of flights, including budget airlines. The list includes:

Air India – www.airindia.in

Go Air – www.goair.in

Indigo – www.goindigo.in

Jet Airways – www.jetairways.com

Spicejet – www.spicejet.com

Currency

The units of Indian currency are the rupee and the paisa.

(100 paisa=1 rupee)

Visitors may bring up to $10,000 US dollars into India.  Visitors may not bring or take away any Indian currency.  Money should leave only as travellers’ cheques. At all international airports, a bureau de change is available as you leave customs. You can change money here or at the many hotels, which offer foreign exchange facilities, at rates generally on par with those quoted by banks. Also, ATM machines are widely available in all cities.

Credit cards

American Express, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.  It is sometimes necessary to have cash (rupees) on hand for smaller hotels, lodges and camps.  When making a credit card transaction, ensure slips are completed and validated in your presence.

Time difference

India is 5.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Electricity

The standard is 220/240 volts. Bring 50 hz. adaptors for electrical gadgets and laptops to protect equipment from voltage fluctuations.  Triple and double round pin plugs are very useful, though high-end hotels provide these.

If you are travelling off the beaten track a small torch is often useful. Power cuts in India are still frequent and though luxury hotels have back-up generators, home stays and budget hotels may not.

Visa information

All tourists travelling to Sri Lanka have to fill in the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) form on-line and apply for your visa prior to arrival. For more information, visit www.eta.gov.lk

When to travel

Sri Lanka is tropical, with distinct dry and wet seasons. There are two monsoons as follows: the Yala monsoon brings rain to the southwest from May to August, and the Maha monsoon brings rain to the north and east from October to January.

The driest and best seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west coast, the south coast and the hill country, and from April to September for the ancient cities region and the east coast.

Festivals

Sri Lanka has more public holidays than anywhere else in the world. The most common holiday is Poya Day, which occurs every full moon. As a general rule, no alcohol is served and entertainment is restricted.

Health information

You are strongly advised to contact your own GP or vaccination centre in respect of required vaccinations for Sri Lanka. Check on recommended inoculations at least a month before travel. Malaria tablets, plus inoculations for tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A and polio are all recommended. Top hotels can advise on reputable local doctors, or private hospitals in the event of serious illness. Pack body-salt replenishment powder in case of diarrhrea and malaria tablets are advised if visiting areas in the east or far north.

Currency

The unit of Sri Lankan currency is the rupee.

(100 Sri Lankan cents = 1 rupee)

Time difference

Sri Lanka is 5.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Electricity

As for India.

Visa information

All visitors must have an approved visa prior to arrival. We recommend that your visa application be forwarded to us at least three weeks before you arrive. Please note that your passport must be valid for six months from the date of your return. For further information refer website: www.tourism.gov.bt

When to travel

The southern part of Bhutan is tropical and in general the eastern part of the country is warmer than the central valleys. The higher the altitude, the cooler the weather, and with winds blowing off the mountains, the valleys can become chilly. The valleys of Punakha, Wangeduephodrang, Mongar, Trashigang and Lhuentse enjoy a semi tropical climate with cool winters, while Paro, Thimpu, Trongsa and Bumthang have a much harsher climate, with summer monsoon rains and winter snowfall.

Winter in Bhutan (mid-November to mid- March) is dry and sunny for the most part with temperatures of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius.  The spring season (mid-March to mid-June) offers warmer temperatures rising to 27 to 29 degrees Celsius. The monsoon arrives in mid June, and at the end of September, autumn suddenly arrives, and it is a great time for trekking till November.

Health information

No vaccinations are currently required for traveling to Bhutan. However, it is advisable to have tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A shots. Avoid drinking unboiled water or ice cubes, amoebae and giardiae are quite common. People prone to car sickness should bring appropriate medicine as the winding roads on the mountains have plenty of curves and turns. Anti-malarial medication is also recommended.

Time difference

Bhutan is 6 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Currency

The ngultrum is on par with  the Indian rupee. 100 Chetrum=1 Ngultrum. Tourists are advised to carry travellers’ cheques, preferably in US dollars. Credit cards are accepted at some high-end venues and a few shops. Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted. Bank of Bhutan ATMs in Thimphu and Paro now allow the withdrawal of local currency (both debit & credit).

Electricity

As for India.

Visa information

A tourist visa is available upon arrival at Kathmandu airport.  Please bring two passport size photographs with you.

When to travel

Nepal enjoys a temperate climate, which is highly changeable. The country is divided into three regions. The southerly plains enjoy a sub-tropical climate, where the summers are warm and the winters chilly. Further north in the Mahabharata range of mountains, the climate is still temperate but the winters are cold. In the north in the Himalayas, the climate is alpine with cool summers and extremely cold winters. Nepal also has monsoon rains in the summer but winter rains are common too.

Health information

All injections are recommended but none are compulsory with the exception of yellow fever if you have transited through a yellow fever zone. Hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and polio inoculations are all recommended and should be up to date. Malaria is prevalent and you should take sprays with you.

Time difference

Nepal is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Currency

The Nepalese rupee is tied to the Indian rupee.

Electricity

As for India.

+ INDIA

India is a union of 29 states and seven union territories. It is the second most populated country in the world after China and has 22 officially recognised languages.

Visa information

The Government of India has introduced e-Tourist Visa (enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation) facility for travellers visiting India from 43 countries. Please check to see if your country is included in the list.

Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.

The validity of visa will be 30 days from the date of arrival in India.

E-Tourist Visa once issued on arrival is only single entry, non-extendable, non-convertible & not valid for visiting Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) is valid for entry through only 9 designated Airports i.e. Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai & Trivandrum.

For up-to-date information and instructions for the e-Tourist Visa, kindly visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html.

When to travel

The climate can broadly be described as tropical, with the exception of the Himalayas. India has four seasons:

Winter – from December to February

Summer – from March to May

Monsoon – from June to August

Autumn – September to November

Health information

Vaccinations are not required when you travel in India. However, anti-malaria medication is strongly recommended. If you have visited or transited a yellow fever area ten days prior to your scheduled trip, a yellow fever inoculation certificate is mandatory.

Should you need to consult a doctor, most hotels have doctors on call. We would be happy to assist you in visiting specialists, although appointments are likely to be limited to a certain time of the day. In the unlikely event of hospitalisation, primary and secondary metros offer very high standards of health care. Should you be using prescription medicines, please carry an adequate supply – what you use may not be locally available and substitutes may not be suitable.

As a precaution, always drink bottled water. Also, ensure your liquid intake is consistent throughout the day.

Lastly, we always recommend that you consult your personal physician prior to any travel.

Domestic Airlines

Indian cities and towns are now well connected by an extensive network of flights, including budget airlines. The list includes:

Air India – www.airindia.in

Go Air – www.goair.in

Indigo – www.goindigo.in

Jet Airways – www.jetairways.com

Spicejet – www.spicejet.com

Currency

The units of Indian currency are the rupee and the paisa.

(100 paisa=1 rupee)

Visitors may bring up to $10,000 US dollars into India.  Visitors may not bring or take away any Indian currency.  Money should leave only as travellers’ cheques. At all international airports, a bureau de change is available as you leave customs. You can change money here or at the many hotels, which offer foreign exchange facilities, at rates generally on par with those quoted by banks. Also, ATM machines are widely available in all cities.

Credit cards

American Express, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.  It is sometimes necessary to have cash (rupees) on hand for smaller hotels, lodges and camps.  When making a credit card transaction, ensure slips are completed and validated in your presence.

Time difference

India is 5.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Electricity

The standard is 220/240 volts. Bring 50 hz. adaptors for electrical gadgets and laptops to protect equipment from voltage fluctuations.  Triple and double round pin plugs are very useful, though high-end hotels provide these.

If you are travelling off the beaten track a small torch is often useful. Power cuts in India are still frequent and though luxury hotels have back-up generators, home stays and budget hotels may not.

+ SRI LANKA

Visa information

All tourists travelling to Sri Lanka have to fill in the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) form on-line and apply for your visa prior to arrival. For more information, visit www.eta.gov.lk

When to travel

Sri Lanka is tropical, with distinct dry and wet seasons. There are two monsoons as follows: the Yala monsoon brings rain to the southwest from May to August, and the Maha monsoon brings rain to the north and east from October to January.

The driest and best seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west coast, the south coast and the hill country, and from April to September for the ancient cities region and the east coast.

Festivals

Sri Lanka has more public holidays than anywhere else in the world. The most common holiday is Poya Day, which occurs every full moon. As a general rule, no alcohol is served and entertainment is restricted.

Health information

You are strongly advised to contact your own GP or vaccination centre in respect of required vaccinations for Sri Lanka. Check on recommended inoculations at least a month before travel. Malaria tablets, plus inoculations for tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A and polio are all recommended. Top hotels can advise on reputable local doctors, or private hospitals in the event of serious illness. Pack body-salt replenishment powder in case of diarrhrea and malaria tablets are advised if visiting areas in the east or far north.

Currency

The unit of Sri Lankan currency is the rupee.

(100 Sri Lankan cents = 1 rupee)

Time difference

Sri Lanka is 5.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Electricity

As for India.

+ BHUTAN

Visa information

All visitors must have an approved visa prior to arrival. We recommend that your visa application be forwarded to us at least three weeks before you arrive. Please note that your passport must be valid for six months from the date of your return. For further information refer website: www.tourism.gov.bt

When to travel

The southern part of Bhutan is tropical and in general the eastern part of the country is warmer than the central valleys. The higher the altitude, the cooler the weather, and with winds blowing off the mountains, the valleys can become chilly. The valleys of Punakha, Wangeduephodrang, Mongar, Trashigang and Lhuentse enjoy a semi tropical climate with cool winters, while Paro, Thimpu, Trongsa and Bumthang have a much harsher climate, with summer monsoon rains and winter snowfall.

Winter in Bhutan (mid-November to mid- March) is dry and sunny for the most part with temperatures of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius.  The spring season (mid-March to mid-June) offers warmer temperatures rising to 27 to 29 degrees Celsius. The monsoon arrives in mid June, and at the end of September, autumn suddenly arrives, and it is a great time for trekking till November.

Health information

No vaccinations are currently required for traveling to Bhutan. However, it is advisable to have tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A shots. Avoid drinking unboiled water or ice cubes, amoebae and giardiae are quite common. People prone to car sickness should bring appropriate medicine as the winding roads on the mountains have plenty of curves and turns. Anti-malarial medication is also recommended.

Time difference

Bhutan is 6 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Currency

The ngultrum is on par with  the Indian rupee. 100 Chetrum=1 Ngultrum. Tourists are advised to carry travellers’ cheques, preferably in US dollars. Credit cards are accepted at some high-end venues and a few shops. Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted. Bank of Bhutan ATMs in Thimphu and Paro now allow the withdrawal of local currency (both debit & credit).

Electricity

As for India.

+ NEPAL

Visa information

A tourist visa is available upon arrival at Kathmandu airport.  Please bring two passport size photographs with you.

When to travel

Nepal enjoys a temperate climate, which is highly changeable. The country is divided into three regions. The southerly plains enjoy a sub-tropical climate, where the summers are warm and the winters chilly. Further north in the Mahabharata range of mountains, the climate is still temperate but the winters are cold. In the north in the Himalayas, the climate is alpine with cool summers and extremely cold winters. Nepal also has monsoon rains in the summer but winter rains are common too.

Health information

All injections are recommended but none are compulsory with the exception of yellow fever if you have transited through a yellow fever zone. Hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and polio inoculations are all recommended and should be up to date. Malaria is prevalent and you should take sprays with you.

Time difference

Nepal is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Currency

The Nepalese rupee is tied to the Indian rupee.

Electricity

As for India.