Tourist Information: Do's and Dont's
The following is a list of the do's and don'ts for tourists visiting India.
The DO's for India
- All foreign nationals must pay hotel bills in foreign currency (cash or travellers cheques). This can be paid in rupees if the visitor has a bank receipt as proof of currency exchange.
- Exchange money only through authorized banks or moneychangers.
- Insist on a receipt when exchanging money.
- Retain all receipts to facilitate re-conversion of unspent money on departure from India.
- Shopping is recommended from Government Emporia and suggested shops on the list of the Department of Tourism. Information on these can be obtained from tourist offices in India.
- Export of most wildlife and their products is either banned or strictly regulated. Export of the few permissible items - even as passengers' personal luggage - is allowed only under an appropriate export permit.
- Insist on getting a certificate for the legitimate sale of a particular animal product and permission for its export to avoid inconvenience on departure.
- Taxis and auto-rickshaws in cities do not all have meters, but where they do, insist on the meter being flagged in your presence. If the driver refuses to cooperate, seek the assistance of a policeman.
- In addition, the above fares change from time to time and so will not always conform to readings on the meter
- To avoid confusion, insist on seeing the latest fare chart and pay accordingly.
- If you wish to visit any prohibited or restricted areas, check with the nearest Government of India Tourist Office to ascertain details of the formalities required.
- Check with the nearest Government of India Tourist Office the rules regarding photography at archaeological monuments.
- Try to avoid the touts and brokers of shopkeepers.
- It is obligatory to cover your head before entering Sikh shrines.
- In case of any difficulty contact the nearest tourist office or police station.
- Concessionary tickets such as Indrail Pass on Railways, Youth Fare, Discover India Fare and Air Fare (Indian Airlines) are to be purchased in foreign exchange only.
The Dont's for India
- Don't get lured by shopping bargains on the street.
- Don't exchange money except with an authorized moneychanger.
- Don't purchase travel tickets through strangers or unauthorized travel agents or tour operators.
- Don't encourage beggars by giving them money or other articles.
- Don't buy silver/ivory articles or peacock feathers in bulk.
- Don't wear any footwear inside Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Jain places of worship. Some temples do not permit leather articles to be taken in
There are also some great e-brochures on the Incredible India Tourism Website.