India has three major seasons – Winter ( October- March), Summer ( April-June) and the Monsoon ( April – June) and the Monsoon ( July – September). Winter months are pleasant throughout India with bright sunny days. Summer finds the temperature hovering around 40 degree centigrade. During this period hill resorts like Shimla, Manali, Nainital, Mussorie, Darjeeling, Leh and the Kashmir Valleys provide retreats. By the beginning of July, Monsoon clouds are all over the Country. But it does not rain all the time in most of the places.
Winter - Light weight woolen clothes and some cool cottons in October to March.
Summer – Light weight cotton dresses, skirts, blouses and trousers for women and light weight suit and cotton shirts, T-shirts, and trousers for men.
In India as many as 15 languages with an additional 250 live dialects. Though Hindi is spoken by a majority of people in North and Central India. The rest speak different languages. English however. Is understood in most big cities and towns all over India.
There is no restriction on the amount in India However, the Import and Export of Local currency is prohibited due to stringent exchange control regulation. On arrival, visitors should declare all Foreign Currency. Exchange of currency only at Banks and through Authorized dealers. With each exchange of currency, you are issued an exchange certificate which should be retained to re-exchange unused Rupees on leaving the Country.
CUSTOMS CLEARANCE :
The Duty Free Allowance for passengers) above 12 years of age) is Rs. 24,000 for Indian residents or foreigners residing in India if the stay abroad is more than 3 days( Rs. 4,000 for tourists of foreign origin; nill for tourists of Nepalese or Bhutanese origin coming from their respective countries)for bonafide baggage ( i.e. for personal use or giving as gifts). The Allowance is Rs. 6,000 if the stay abroad is upto 3 days. These include 2000 cigarettes or (50 cigars or 250 gms tobacco) and liquor upto 01 litre plus wines/liquor upto 1 litre. You can also bring in articles for your personal use including cameras with 5 rolls of film, a reasonable quantity of Jewellery, on pair of binoculars, one portable musical instrument, one tape recorder, one protable typewriter, laptop computer, one perambulator and professional equipment, on the undertaking that you will take them back with you when leaving India, the duty rate beyond the free baggage allowance is 60.4 per cent. Drugs and narcotics and the import of firearms is prohibited. There are DUTY-FREE Shops at the airport both in the Arrival and Departure lounges.
EXPORT REGULATIONS :
The visitor can take back all articles brought in by him. In addition, he can take out the following purchased in India; (a ) Souvenirs ( Including Indian silk, wool , handicrafts, etc.) without any limit: ( b) gold Jewellery, silverware and Jewellery , silverware and Jewellery with precious stones for which if the value is high or quantity is large an export certificate should be obtained from the customs authorities in advance of travel. In the case of Jewellery items the appraisal of a renowned jeweler could be presented on the basis of which an export certificate may be taken and thereafter declared to customs.
There are restrictions of the export of antiquities and art objects more than 100 years old. In case of doubt, consult the Director, Antiquities, archaeological Survey of India, Janpath (Tel. 23017443) or Suptdg. Arch. ASI, Safdarjung Tomb (Tel. 2301-7293, 2301-4186). It is advisable to obtain a certificate of prof. Export of most wildlife products is prohibited or strictly regulated ; therefore avoid buying anything made of ivory, reptile skin, fur, musk, tortoise shells mongoose hair and any part of wild animals.
While Western style and Chinese cuisines are available in most large Hotels and Restaurants in India’ bigger Cities. Foreigners should try India’s wide such as Tandoori items (Roasted in a clog oven) and Thali (Platters) that offers a variety of exotic dishes.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS:
In India, must city offices are open from 1000 hours to 1800 Hours. Monday to Saturday shops however open from 1030 Hours to 1930 Hours to 1200 Hours on Saturday. Sunday is holiday.
In India, the unit of currency is the Rupee (Re) divided into 100 paise (P). AUTHORISED MONEY CHANGERS (at the airport, most banks, hotels and certain large shops Thomas Cook (I) Ltd. Foreign exchange counter). Insist ona receipt as it will help you reconvert unused rupees into the original foreign currency at the time of departure. Avoid any people on the street who offer to change your money at a temptingly high rate of exchange.
Thomas cook and State Bank of India at India at the Airport are open round the clock. There are ATMs at both the domestic and international airports arrival lounges.
Atleast one month before departure, check with your doctor about appropriate inoculations, carry prescriptions for any potential required drugs with drug/s generic name. It is advisable to carry personal medicines of common ailments, bandage.
DRINKS & DRINKING WATER:
Foreigners should play safe and only drink and brush their teeth with bottled water, which can be purchased at your hotel and from most shops. Indian beers are acceptable, white and red wines are drinkable, and whisky is tolerable, European wines and imported spirits are expensive and are not always available in small towns, so carry your full quota of duty free liquor.
Gratuities to the staff/Personnel are entirely at the client’s discretion.
There are many handicraft and other beautiful items to buy in India. Different towns and cities are famous for their own individual crafts. Indian markets are always bustling with activity and offer excellent bargaining opportunities. Try to buy precious and semiprecious stones and valuable items in Government approved showrooms and emporiums.