India is a land of rich cultural heritage and geographic beauty. There are many places of tourist interests in India and every year many foreign tourists from different parts of the world come to explore the eternal beauty of this Nation. Tourists come for different purposes such as tourism, business, education, family reunions, etc. Cited below are certain guidelines that the foreign visitors are advised to follow.
* Foreign tourists are required to obtain a visa from the Indian Mission in the country of their residence or in a nearby country. They need a valid permit to visit certain restricted/protected areas.
* They must fill up their Disembarkation/ Embarkation cards on arrival/departure.
* Foreigners coming from or through Yellow Fever countries must be able to produce a valid vaccination certificate.
* Vaccinations like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Typhoid are recommended. There are some health risks in India like Cholera, Dengue Fever, Dysentery, Malaria and Meningitis. Travelers are advised to take precautionary measures against the same.
* Foreigners visiting India, who hold long-term visas (more than 180 days) are required to obtain a Registration Certificate and Residential Permit from the nearest Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRRO) within 15 days of arrival. The foreigners registered at FRRO are required to report change of their addresses.
* Certificates of registration issued by the Registration Officers should be surrendered to the immigration officer at the port/check post of exit from India.
* Passengers embarking on journeys to any place outside India from a Customs airport / seaport are required to pay a Foreign Travel Tax (FTT) of Rs 500 to most countries and Rs 150 on journeys to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
* The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act bans all forms of wildlife trade. Violations of the provisions of the Act are punishable with heavy fines and imprisonment. Foreigners are therefore, advised not to buy any wild animals or their products and derivatives like articles of ivory, fur and skin.
* Climate in India generally is cooler in the north, especially between September and March. The south is coolest between November to January. In June, winds and warm surface currents begin to move northwards and westwards, heading out of the Indian Ocean and into the Arabian Gulf. This creates a phenomenon known as the south-west monsoon, and it brings heavy rains to the west coast. Between October and December, a similar climatic pattern called the north-east monsoon appears in the Bay of Bengal, bringing rains to the east coast.
* Foreign tourists are advised to do a complete research on the traveling and accommodation arrangements on the places they intend to visit.
*Some religious places in India have dress codes, like covering your head, being barefoot, etc. Tourists are advised to comply with them, so as not to seem offensive towards the religious sentiments of the concerned community.
Photography - Tourists should seek permission from the authorities concerned before taking photographs of places of military importance, railway stations, bridges, airports, military installations, metro trains, tribal areas and sensitive border regions. It is prohibited to take photographs in some of the temples, historical monuments, forts, palaces, tombs and monasteries. Visitors are required to take special permits from the Archaeological Survey of India for photographing monuments with tripods and artificial lights. Camera fee is charged extra in some historical monuments.
Protected Areas in India - There are certain places in India where entry is restricted. Tourists are required to take special permits from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), New Delhi for visiting these places. These places include certain areas of Assam, North Eastern Frontier States (Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh) border areas of Jammu & Kashmir, selected areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Union Territories of Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands. One can visit in person or inquire on phone the details of getting special permits.