New Delhi


In India, Hindi is the most common language that is followed and then comes English. But English is still spoken as the medium of language


Since India is birth place of Indian-origin religions, namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, their holiest sites and highest concentration of religious sites pertaining to these religions are in India. .There are in all 22 officially recognized languages.


The standard time for India is calculated from Allahabad and is common to all cities. Indian Standard Time (IST) is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of GMT.


220 volts & 50Hz. A variety of power outlets are used in India, but most plugs have two or three round pins.


A valid passport is required by all nationals. All Passengers are responsible for securing proper documentation prior to joining the tour. Please ensure that passport/s are valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the intended date of return and contain between 2-6 blank “Visa” pages. You should have at least two free pages in your passport. Please access the Travel & Visa Requirements Section on the top of this page for the latest visa entry requirements for the country/ies you are visiting. Passports are required; in addition, travelers are also advised to check with local consulates for full details regarding visa requirements. Please note securing a valid visa for entry is the sole responsibility of the traveler.


The monetary unit in India is the India Rupee (INR). Rupee (INR; symbol Rs) = 100 paise. Notes are in denominations of Rs500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of Rs10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50 Paise.

Note: The import and export of local currency is prohibited.

Keep in mind that sometimes smaller vendors will not take bills larger than Rs 500. It is best to carry a range of rupee notes if you are shopping at bazaars and local markets.

On November 8, 2016, the government of India announced that existing 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes are being withdrawn immediately from circulation and will be replaced with new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes. Airports, railway stations and hospitals will accept 500 and 1,000 rupee notes until November 11, 2016.

**Do not accept bank notes that have been taken out of circulation**


Banks & ATM can be found in most cities and sizable towns where it is possible to exchange cash. Many hotels also offer currency exchange and may offer a faster service at similar rates. Credit cards are usually only accepted in larger shops and more expensive hotels and restaurants.

Credit cards:

In major cities, the full cadre of banks cards are generally accepted including debit cards, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa. However, in smaller towns and villages, choice is generally narrowed to cash or MasterCard and Visa.


24 hour ATM machines can be found in all the major cities and most large towns. Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Plus are amongst the most commonly accepted cards.


As a general guideline, clothing should be lightweight and loose fitting. In India’s hot summer months, cotton clothing is much more comfortable than materials like nylon. In the winter months (Dec-Feb) North India can get very cold so warm clothing is recommended.


Internet cafes can now be found in most cities and sizable towns. Connection times are often painfully slow although this does vary from city to city. The average cost for an hour is approx. US$1.  Most hotels offer wifi service and rates can vary from hotel to hotel.

The Indian phone system is fairly good. Look out for shops/booths labeled with a yellow “PCO-STD-ISD” sign which can be found almost everywhere. A 3 minute call (to the USA) will cost approx. US$10 from a hotel and approx. US$3 from a shop/booth.

Emergency Numbers

100 -Police

101 -Fire

102 – Ambulance

1033 – Emergency Relief Centre on National Highways


Please note that when flying within India, the airline baggage allowance is 15KG (33LBS).  Airlines are becoming quite strict with the weight restrictions and will charge a fee if you are over your weight allowance.


Approximate costs for meals and snacks not included are shown below:

  • Simple snack – US$ 5-8
  • Light meal – US$ 10-15
  • Fancy restaurant – US$ 25-35


Approximate costs for drinks bought in a shop in the street are shown below. Note: Prices in restaurants and hotels can be as much as double as those specified.

  • 1l of water – US$ 1.00
  • 30cl bottle of soft drink – US$ 1.00
  • 65cl bottle of beer – US$ 3.00


Indian food is world-renowned for its tantalizing flavours, spiciness, and enormous variety. Curries are created from the subtle and delicate blending of spices such as cumin, turmeric, cardamom, ginger, coriander, nutmeg and poppy seed although these vary from region to region and every spice has medicinal properties and use.

Vegetable dishes are more common than in Europe, particularly in the fruity, coconut dishes of southern India, while northern India has an entirely different but equally satisfying cuisine to sample. Breads like paranthas, chapatis, naans and rotis are also part of the main diet in several states like Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. Achars (pickles), relishes and chutneys again vary by region and add more resonance to amazing meals.

Sweets or mithai have regional specialties. They tend to be milk based and some are syrupy and fried. Well-known northern sweets are gulab jamun, jalebi (it’s worth watching how these syprup-based confections are made in the street), kulfi, kheer, halwa and laddu. From the east are rasgulla and rasmalai. The south has several burfi and halwa-type desserts like coconut burfi and badam halwa made from almonds.

While care should be taken in where one eats, exceptional food can be had in the humblest surroundings such as food at ashrams as can be found in 5-star restaurants. Non-vegetarians will find fabulously spiced mutton dishes according to regional specialities including fish dishes typical to coastal areas.


  • Dhal (curried lentils).
  • Kulfi (firm Indian-style ice cream).
  • Gulab Jamuns (deep-fried dough balls in sweet syrup).
  • Jalebi (circular-shaped deep-fried batter in sweet syrup).
  • Dosa (fermented crepe stuffed with vegetables, meat and sauces, originally from the south).

Things to know:

Bottled water is recommended for visitors but make sure the bottles are properly sealed. Alcohol is mainly served at mid- and upper-range restaurants in the larger towns and cities known as “resto-bars”; in budget eateries, it’s usually only found at non-vegetarian restaurants which have a liquor license. Bars on the lower end of the scale are generally male and seedy.

Regional drinks:

  • Chai (tea) is India’s favourite drink. It will often come ready-brewed with milk, sugar and other spices usually at minimum cardamom and ginger unless ‘tray tea’ or ‘separate tea’ is specified.
  • Coffee has long been popular in the south. South Indian coffee made and poured in a particular fashion is a specialty. Nowadays most large cities and towns have cafés serving cappuccinos, lattes, espressos and more.
  • Nimbu Pani (lemon water) served sweet or sweet and salted.
  • Lassi (iced yogurt/buttermilk beverage) also flavoured with fruits like mango or banana or sweet and salty.
  • Indian beer (in many varieties, with Kingfisher the most popular brand).


Each region has its own specialties, each town its own local craftspeople and its own skills, often passed down from generation to generation. For fabrics, silverware, carpets, leatherwork, gems and antiques, India is a shopper’s paradise. Bazaars can be found in cities and many regional hotspots – Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.

Shopping is as varied as India’s topography. There are specialized wholesale markets for specific items like spices, coffee, and tea in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk or in Jaipur where there are single streets allotted to one item like clothing, chappals and jewelry. Prices are not usually visible, and bargaining is the norm at most local bazaars. Be aware, there is a tourist premium affixed to many items. If you are uncomfortable with bargaining, many tourist spots across India will have state-run emporia where reasonable prices can be found such as Delhi’s Baba Kharak Singh Marg or Aparant network of outlets in Goa. Cash is the usual form of payment. It sometimes helps to have a local with you when shopping who can help you discern quality and good prices.

India has one of the world’s largest carpet industries and exquisite Persian rugs can be found nationally. If you prefer to shop direct head to Jammu & Kashmir and Leh to pick-up hand-woven carpets and pashmina shawls. Shahtoosh shawls may be on sale, but it is illegal to buy or sell them so avoid this. Other goods include pickles, spices, Indian tea, perfumes, soap, handmade paper, incense, puppets, and musical instruments.

The best time to shop is around festival time at Diwali, which generally runs from late October to early November. This is high season and many retailers from around the country will converge at the large melas in major cities to sell their goods.

Shopping can also have charitable benefits if you buy directly from the producers at the bazaars. Alternatively, there are a few non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supported through items they make and sell in their own shops.

There is a veto on the export of antiques, art objects over 100 years old, livestock, animal skins, products made from animal skins, live plants, human skeletons, illicit drugs, weapons, ivory, products made from ivory, animal horns, endangered shells, antiques, gold and silver bullion.


Tipping is a way of showing your appreciation and will be welcomed by the recipient, although if you decide not to tip in a particular circumstance, this doesn’t mean you’ll receive a lower level of service. Ultimately, tipping is discretionary and should be done at a level that feels comfortable.

Here are some guidelines that you may find helpful:

Services Tipping amount Per Person/Day
Individuals (Min. 02pax) Groups (10 & above)
Drivers US $ 05 US $ 05
Assistant Driver US $ 02
Guides US $ 8 – 10 US $ 8 – 10
Houseboat Staff US $ 05 US $ 03
Bellman at hotels/check-in or check-out US $ 02 US $ 01
Meals 10% of the total amount 10% of the total amount



It is hard to generalize in a country that stretches from the Himalayas to the beaches of the Indian Ocean but broadly speaking October to March tend to be the most pleasant months in India, when it relatively dry and cool.

Cool  North India’s cool season is from October to April and South India’s cool season is from November to March, however cool does not necessarily mean cold. Daytime temperatures are still quite high – the sky is clear, but it is not blisteringly hot. Evenings are cool and comfortable. This is the most pleasant time to travel in sub-Himalayan India.

Hot – From April to June the whole country experiences a hot and humid climate by day and night.

Wet  The monsoon falls on North India from July to September and in the South from July to October. During this time the climate is humid and wet by day and night.

Delhi: (approx)

MAX TEMP (CEL/FAH) 21/70 24/76 30/86 36/97 41/106 40/104 35/95 34/94 34/94 33/92 30/86 23/74
MIN TEMP (CEL/FAH) 7/45 10/50 15/59 21/70 27/81 29/85 27/81 26/79 25/77 19/67 12/54 8/47
RAINFALL (cm) 8 4 4 1 3 5 14 14 7 3 1 2

Chennai: (approx)

MAX TEMP (CEL/FAH) 24/76 28/83 33/92 38/101 42/108 41/106 38/101 36/97 36/97 36/97 31/89 26/79
MIN TEMP (CEL/FAH) 8/47 11/52 17/63 21/70 26/79 27/81 26/79 24/76 23/74 18/65 12/54 9/49
RAINFALL (cm) 2 1 3 1 5 7 89 86 14 1 5 2

Mumbai: (approx)

MAX TEMP (CEL/FAH) 29/85 30/86 33/92 32/90 33/92 32/90 30/86 30/86 30/86 32/90 32/90 31/89
MIN TEMP (CEL/FAH) 19/67 20/68 23/74 25/77 27/81 26/79 25/77 25/77 25/77 25/77 23/74 21/70
RAINFALL (cm) 0 1 0 1 5 20 28 27 21 6 3 1

Jaisalmer: (approx)

MAX TEMP (CEL/FAH) 29/85 31/89 33/92 35/95 38/101 38/101 36/97 35/95 34/94 32/90 29/85 29/85
MIN TEMP (CEL/FAH) 19/67 20/68 22/72 26/79 28/83 27/81 26/79 26/79 25/77 24/76 22/72 21/70
RAINFALL (cm) 2 1 0 1 1 4 7 8 7 11 11 5


As a general recommendation, it is advisable to check with your family doctor or travel clinic for latest health information.


It is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance. Health plans only provide limited coverage while traveling outside of the country. Holy India Tours can offer you a complete travel insurance package. Some credit cards do offer travel insurance; however, they do not always provide adequate coverage. Review and understand the terms of your credit card insurance policy. Extra travel insurance can be purchased.

Open chat
Hello 👋
Can we help you?