When travelling to India, you must take all necessary precautions to protect yourself from infectious diseases such as malaria, diphtheria, hepatitis and many others. Depending on your country of origin, you might or might not have been vaccinated against a set of infectious diseases as a child and it is prudent that you take the necessary vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks prior to your date of landing in India. This will ensure that your immune defences are strong when you visit India and illness does not take a toll on your travel plans.
Although, we take utmost care of ensuring that you eat from hygienic restaurants, you must exercise caution when drinking water as you travel across the country. Additionally, you may also have to take precautions against sun exposure, dehydration, insect bites and altitude/sea sickness when travelling to certain areas of the country.
In addition to this, you might also want to consult with your country of origin the procedure to be followed in the unfortunate event that you fall sick in India. Although, India has a strong healthcare infrastructure (public and private), it is better that you are aware about how the bills will be handled.
At times, the Health Ministry in India also issues certain directives for people travelling from certain countries with history of/ instances of epidemic outbreak such as Ebola, Chikungunya, Avian Flu etc. Therefore, please ensure that you check health advisories before departing, so that you can carry necessary documentation as and when required.
To ensure the best health on your vacation, we recommend consulting your local general practitioner at least 1-2 months in advance of your travelling dates to ensure that he/she can give you the necessary advice as well as vaccinations and/or medicines for the duration of your travel.
Depending on your country of origin, your visa requirements for travelling in India may vary. Holders of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card can freely travel to India without any requirement of applying for a visa.
Similarly, India has a arrangements with over 10 countries to grant a tourist visa to its nationals on arrival for a nominal fee. This facility is available at select airports in the country and requires the visiting national to demonstrate sufficient funds with him/her for the trip, a return/ onward ticket along with a valid passport. This visa is issued immediately for a nominal fee and has validity for 30 days with the condition of allowing only a single entry into the country. This type of visa is non-renewable, non-refundable, non-transferable and can only be issued to a visitor twice in a calendar year.
For citizens of all other countries, the traditional process of applying for a visa at the Indian Mission / Post needs to be followed. The Indian Mission/ Post usually take a minimum of three working days to process the visas application, but this may vary in case of nationality of the applying individual.
Additionally, to encourage tourism, the Indian Government encourages visitors to apply for the eTourist Visa (eTV) that allows the applicant to apply for visa online, pay the necessary fees, receive the visa online and simply print and travel with the visa. This facility is now open for visitors of a large number of nationalities and requires the applicant to carry a passport with at least six month’s validity, along with a return/onward ticket and sufficient funds for the trip in India. The visa is being issued purely for the purpose of tourism and offers only a single entry into the country for a period of 30 days. Processing time for eTV is at least 4 working days and therefore, a visit to the local Indian Mission might be a quicker way to get your visa.
Travellers interested in travelling to the North East (i.e. Sikkim, Nagaland, Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, and Mizoram), Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshwadeep islands in the south may note that travelling to these regions requires a regular visa and eTV is currently not accepted in these areas.