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.
The situation regarding coronavirus is currently stable. However, on this page you will only find information about India’s general accessibility, independent of Covid-19. For information about Covid-19 and the consequences for your visa, please visit the India coronavirus 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 (1 April 2022): Moderately safe, with non-recommended areas
Moderately safe: Tourist travel is possible in most of India. However, travellers in safe areas should be extra 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: Only travel to the high-risk areas if it is necessary, such as for a funeral or an important family visit. Travelling to high-risk areas is entirely at your own risk. The embassy will have more difficulty assisting you in high-risk areas.
Do not travel: Regardless of the necessity, it is absolutely discouraged to travel to areas on the border with Pakistan and China. Do not take any risks and do not travel to any of these areas. The embassy can hardly help you if you run into problems in these areas.
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. In the states of Kashmir and Jammu, armed groups regularly attack government buildings and security institutions. Civilian casualties are unfortunately not uncommon. The Siachen Glacier is extra dangerous because of the extreme altitude that goes hand in hand with a lack of oxygen. Soldiers, among others, have died here because of the extreme conditions.
Travel not recommended: The cities of Jammu and Srinagar can be accessed by taking direct flights to them, but it is still strongly discouraged. Furthermore, in other high-risk areas there is a greater chance of attacks on government buildings or religious sites. In the past, public places such as hotels, festivals, markets or railway stations have sometimes been the target of attacks. So be alert and keep an eye on the local news. Always follow the instructions of local authorities.
Moderately safe: 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. Also in the rest of 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. This visa is valid for 30 days from the moment it is granted. From the moment of arrival in India, travellers may stay in India for up to 30 days. Only the arrival must fall within the validity of the visa. 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 the entire stay 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.|
|Register at the embassy||It is advisable to register your trip to India with the British Embassy in India. This can easily be done on this website in the application form for the India visa. When your trip is registered at the embassy, they can help you more easily in case of problems. You will also be warned by the embassy via email or text message in case of imminently dangerous situations. Please note: even the embassy can be of little or no help to you if you are in the high-risk areas of India.|
|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 the home front 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 that can be travelled to. 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.
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 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. Foreign currency can be exchanged for rupees only 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 Zika, malaria, chikungunya and dengue. 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.
HIt 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 NMRA 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 this one 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.co.uk) or consult the British Embassy in India and / or information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.