India is a popular destination for tourists and business travellers. For every kind of trip to India, it is important to start off well-prepared. This page provides you with further details about the current travel advice for India, including how to prepare well. Read this page carefully when you are planning on travelling to India.
On this page, you will not find any information about the developments regarding COVID-19 in India. All important information about this can be found on this page.
The information on this page has been compiled with care. Official government websites were consulted, including the UK government. Following this travel advice can help you avoid unnecessary risks during your trip to India. However, it is not a guarantee for a risk-free stay. Therefore, no liability can be accepted on the basis of this travel advice for India in case of damage or injury.
India travel advice summary (6 June 2023): Moderately safe, with non-recommended areas
Moderately safe: Tourist travel is possible in most of India. However, travellers in safe areas should remain alert to safety risks. In these areas, the embassy can help you if you run into problems. Be especially careful around national holidays, such as Independence Day (15-08), Republic Day (26-01), and Eid and Diwali (alternating dates).
Travel not recommended: It is not recommended travelling to the state of Manipur, except for the capital and the Meiti Valley areas.
Do not travel: The British government advises against all travel to the areas near the border with Pakistan, with the exception of Wagah. The areas around Jammu and Kashmir are also deemed unsafe, as well as the tourists destinations located in these areas, such as Pahalgam and Srinagar. While travel to these areas is not forbidden, it is at your own risk. Certain areas may require a special permit.
Clarification of the high-risk areas
Do not travel (life-threatening):
The only legal border crossing from India to Pakistan is at Wagah, in the state of Punjab. In many other places, the border is not officially marked. Terrorists and militants are active here, and visiting these areas is life-threatening. Stay at least 20 km away from the India-Pakistan border. The border with China in the Aksai Chin area is also extremely dangerous. Both Indian and Chinese army troops are active here. In the Kashmir valley, armed groups regularly attack government buildings and security institutions. Civilian casualties are unfortunately not uncommon.
Travel not recommended:
- The Siachen Glacier is at extreme altitude, which is associated with a lack of oxygen. Soldiers are known to have died here due to extreme weather conditions. Keep in mind that tourists need a special permit to access the glacier.
- In the eight northeastern states of India, excluding Sikkim, political extremists are active and often target civilians and foreigners. In the past, public places such as hotels, festivals, markets, or train stations have sometimes also been targets of attacks. Additional measures, such as a temporary curfew, are regularly implemented in these areas, which everyone must adhere to. You should therefore be alert and check the local news. Always follow the instructions of the local authorities.
- The state of Chhattisgarh and the extremities of the states bordering it are also best avoided. This mainly concerns areas outside the cities.
- The areas in India bordering Myanmar, China, and Bangladesh are high-risk areas due to the many common conflicts between the government and rebel groups. These areas, however, can only be accessed with a permit issued by Foreign Affairs.
Fortunately, most of India is more accessible to tourists. However, there are increased security risks everywhere. On this page, these risks are explained in more detail, and you can read how to prepare for a trip to India. Regardless of where you are in India, always follow the advice of local authorities.
For a tourist or business trip to India, it is important to be well-prepared. Most preparations can be made long before the trip starts. By making timely arrangements, unpleasant surprises can easily be avoided. For instance, applying for a visa for India, arranging vaccinations, and knowing about the safety risks in India.
Travel documents and insurances
|India visa||For tourism or visiting family/friends in India, travellers can apply online for the India e-Tourist visa. There are two visa types available. One visa type is valid for 30 days and can be used for a 30-day stay in India, while the other type is valid for a total of one year and allows you to stay in India up to 90 days at a time. For other purposes of travel or a longer stay in India, a different type of visa must be applied for, depending on the exact purpose of travel.|
|Passport and driving licence||To apply for the visa, travellers need a valid passport. This passport must be valid for at least 6 more months upon arrival in India. Children also need their own passport and visa. To drive a vehicle in India, travellers need an International Driving Permit (IDP). This must be applied for before travelling.|
|Travel Insurance||Due to the increased security risks, it is especially wise to take out comprehensive travel insurance. Get advice from an insurance company to make sure that all possible scenarios are covered. To practice extreme sports and climb the Siachen Glacier, an additional insurance is required.|
|Register at the embassy|| You can no longer register your trip to India with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. Instead, you are advised to carefully read the FCDO foreign travel check list and the crisis overseas page prior to your trip. Should you have any questions that cannot be answered on those pages, you can fill out an inquiry on the UK government website. However, keep in mind that the advice given is only general in nature and cannot be tailored to your specific trip.|
It is recommended to write down the contact information of the British High Commission, the British Consulate General, or the Irish Embassy in case of any emergencies.
|Stay in touch||Make sure that other people, such as the people at home or friends who are not travelling with you, have a copy of your travel documents, vaccination booklet and insurance and credit card details. Also make sure that you have an emergency contact in your contact list called ICE (In Case of Emergency) and that your emergency contact has the IMEI number of your phone. You can obtain this number by dialling *#06# on your phone and the details will appear on the screen.|
Travel advice India
To eliminate as much risk as possible during your trip, it is important to carefully follow the safety advice. Never ignore instructions from local authorities or from your place of residence. Ignoring this advice can lead to unpleasant consequences. This advice applies to all areas of India where travel is allowed. For the high-risk areas, the only advice is not to travel there.
Safety and protection
- Do not carry your wallet in a loose bag, but on your body and keep a constant eye on your belongings. Especially in trains, at stations or other busy places, theft is a regular occurrence among tourists. Do not wear flashy jewellery or other unnecessary accessories.
- Keep a copy of all important (travel) documents outside your hand luggage and digitally on your phone. Store anything you do not immediately need in a safe place.
- Never just take any taxi after arriving at the airport. There are many scammers active here who pretend to be employees commissioned by the government. They often wear a badge that says something like "government approved" and they show (fake) photos as proof that, due to circumstances, they cannot take the normal route or that they cannot get to the hotel at all. They say the alternative route is safer, but this can cost you a lot of money. Therefore, use official prepaid taxis, which can be booked at the airport.
- Book all your other taxi rides via an app with prepayment. Avoid public transport after dark, unless it is a trusted driver from your hotel, for example.
- Beware of other scams. A common variation in Jaipur and Agra is that they promise a high amount of money for delivering jewellery abroad in exchange for a deposit. This deposit of often thousands of Euros is always lost and the jewellery is worthless.
- Do not accept food or beverages from strangers. There have been several reports of tourists being drugged and robbed. Also, never lose sight of your drink. Something can be dropped in it at any moment. In case of a mugging or assault, call the emergency number 100.
- At some beaches, there can be treacherous currents heading out to sea. Follow local beach advice to avoid drowning.
- Traffic in India is chaotic. It is not wise to drive yourself if you are not experienced in such traffic conditions. Only board safe vehicles with seat belts and wear a helmet and protective clothing on a motorbike. Avoid driving in the dark.
Additional advice for women
- Never travel alone in public transport, taxi, or by rickshaw, especially in the dark. If you do have to travel alone, use trusted drivers, such as those at hotels. In general, avoid remote and poorly lit places.
- Never tell strangers your whereabouts, but keep them to yourself. Always lock the door properly when in your room and keep large windows and doors closed if you are on the ground floor. Also, do not let anyone know if you are travelling alone.
- Follow the local dress code and avoid crowded, obscure places. Especially if you are travelling alone, but also in groups.
- Unfortunately, sexual harassment or violence could happen to you. Keep all your emergency numbers (see bottom of this page) at hand and make sure other people know where you are. Call the emergency number 100 immediately, if trouble should arise.
Laws and cultural consideration
- Observe local rules and laws and respect local norms and values.
- Drinking alcohol is prohibited in the states of Gujarat, Mizoram, Bihar, Nagaland, Manipur and Lakshadweep. It is possible to get a 30-day alcohol permit in some cases. The illegal consumption of alcohol can lead to imprisonment for 5 to 10 years without bail.
- Smoking in public places is prohibited everywhere. Only airports, hotels or restaurants with designated smoking areas allow smoking. E-cigarettes are not available in India and cannot be taken into the country.
- There is no distinction between different drug categories. Possession of a small quantity of drugs for personal use can lead to a 6-month prison sentence. Large quantities can result in a sentence of 10 years.
- Be careful with cameras and binoculars near government buildings, army bases and airports. Innocent aircraft spotting can be considered suspicious.
- Gay marriages are still illegal in India, but homosexuality is legal. However, the population, especially outside the cities, is generally very conservative. So be careful with displaying homosexuality in public.
- It is prohibited to bring Indian currency, the rupee (INR), into India from abroad. Exchanging foreign currency can for rupees can only be done in India.
In the period from June to October, India suffers from monsoons (the wet season). This regularly leads to floods and landslides. Follow local media reports to see if there are any monsoon-related hazards in your area. Cyclones and tropical storms can occur on the east coast of India. Again, it is advised to keep an eye on local reports.
This travel advice has not been written by a physician. Always consult your general practitioner or other qualified physician for personal advice on vaccinations and personal health risks for India.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues a number of recommendations concerning vaccinations for a stay in India. This concerns vaccinations for yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, DTP, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, rabies, Japanese encephalitis and measles. If these vaccinations have already been taken and are still valid, they usually do not have to be taken again. Not sure whether you should be vaccinated? Then make an appointment with your GP. It may depend on the length of your stay, the places you are visiting or your medical history.
Protection against mosquitoes
In India, there are mosquitoes that can transmit diseases, including the Zika virus, malaria, chikungunya and dengue fever. Therefore, make sure that you have sufficient protection against mosquitoes before you leave. This can be done with an insect-repellent spray, long sleeved clothing or a mosquito net.
It is possible that you unexpectedly need to stay longer in India (for instance because of Covid-19). Therefore, be sure to bring sufficient medication. Check with the Check with the government website whether you are allowed to take your medication with you. Some medications, such as sleeping pills or heavier painkillers, are prohibited in certain countries, so you will need a doctor’s certificate for these.
Download the My Travel Health (USA) or the KnowAsYouGo (UK) app. This app can provide assistance in cases of unexpected health crises such as diarrhoea, bite wounds, sunstroke or other illnesses.
Important phone numbers
|General emergency number||100|
|Tourist assistance New Delhi||8750871111|
|Your travel insurance||Write your policy details down before your trip|
|The British High Commission New Delhi||+91 11 2419 2100|
If the local authorities cannot solve the problem, immediately let a family member, friend or acquaintance in your home country know where you are and what your situation is. You can also call for help via the emergency line of your travel insurance.
Disclaimer: This travel advice for India is composed with care, nevertheless, e-Visa.ie accepts no liability for any problems, damage or injury resulting from the use of this information. You should always be alert during your trip in India and you are responsible for your own safety during your trip and stay in India, as well as for the choice of whether or not to make a certain trip. Before you travel to India it is advisable to consult the latest safety updates of the British government (www.gov.uk) or consult the British Embassy in India and / or information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the India visa. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (25,63 USD per visa, via indianvisaonline.gov.in). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 25,63 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 36,16 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous India visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.