From the horse’s mouth
Visa & Health
A passport valid for at least 180 days and with at least two blank pages is required by all Australian, British, USA, Canadian and other EU nationals.
Visas for India are required by all nationals referred to above. Nationals not referred to are advised to contact their embassy to check visa requirements for India.
Certain parts of the country have been designated protected or restricted areas that require special permits and in some cases prior government authorisation. You should indicate your intent to visit a specific restricted region when applying for a visa and a permit will be granted to visit that region only. It is advised that you apply for the special permit for restricted areas when you enter India by visiting the FRRO (Foreign Regional Registration Office) which has offices in all major Indian airports and cities. You must complete an additional form, but there is no fee for a restricted area permit.
Passengers are advised to check with the consulate for up-to-date information before departure. You must fill in application forms completely, and with as much detail as possible, otherwise the application may be rejected and a new application only allowed after three months have passed.
You should be aware that there have been changes made by the Indian Government, on visa formalities for foreigners who are hospitalised in India, when travelling on a short-term tourist visa. If you or someone you are travelling with is travelling on a tourist visa and is hospitalised, we would advise you to immediately get in touch with the local Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) to check if visa conversion is required.
IMPORTANT: the information below is for UK citizens. Citizens of other nationalities please contact us. For up to date information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india/entry-requirements
You’ll need to get a visa before travelling to India. You can find further information about how to apply on the Indian High Commission website (https://www.hcilondon.gov.in/index).
Make sure you get the right visa for your travel and that it’s valid for the purpose and duration of your stay. If you enter India on the wrong visa, you could be detained on arrival and you may be deported and blacklisted, meaning that you can’t enter India again. Make sure you meet entry requirements. Tourist visas can’t be extended while in India.
From 1 April 2017, the length of stay on an e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days with double entry on tourist and business e-visa and triple entry on medical e-visas. This means you can stay for or re-enter within 60 days of the date of your first entry into India on your e-visa. However, you must leave the country before your visa expires, irrespective of when or how many times you enter. When you arrive at the airport, your passport will be stamped and an expiry date for your e-visa will be handwritten by an Immigration Officer. Please be aware that 60 days is not automatically equal to two calendar months. Check the date that is written on your passport and make sure you leave the country before your visa expires.
Holders of passports endorsed ‘British citizen’ who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for a double entry e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) to enter India at certain designated airports. You can find more information about the eligibility criteria on the government of India’s e-Tourist Visa website (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html). Beware of fake websites offering the e-TV service. You should check carefully whether or not you’re eligible for an e-TV before you apply. British subject, British protected person, British overseas citizen, British national (overseas) and British overseas territories citizen passport holders aren’t eligible to apply for an e-TV.
Your passport must be machine readable, with 2 blank pages for your visa and valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of your visa application. However, the guidelines regarding passport validity on arrival in India are unclear. To avoid possible problems at immigration, make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of entry into India.
India’s Bureau of Immigration has announced that with immediate effect, foreign nationals who arrive at an Indian port holding non-machine readable passports will be denied entry. Carriers who transport foreign passengers holding non-machine readable passports may be subject to a fine.
All visa applications in the UK now have to be filed online at http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk. After the mandatory electronic filing of visa applications, applicants are asked to submit printed copies of their applications, photos, passports and fees to respective Indian Visa Application Centres (IVACs). Processing times vary at the sole discretion of the High Commission of India and its consulates in the UK, and some applications may take longer than others to get processed. You should confirm your travel plans only after obtaining the visa.
Postal applications take a minimum of 10 working days (not including transit). In addition, if the High Commission or the Consulate General requires an applicant to attend an interview, the India Visa Application Centre will contact the applicant and inform them of the date and time of the interview accordingly.
Addresses of consulates
- High commission of India
Tél. : +44-(0)20-76323070/7
- Paris | Ambassade d’Inde
15, rue Alfred Dehodencq
Tél. : 01.40.50.70.70
- Ambassade de France en Inde
2/50-E Shantipath - Chanakyapuri
Tél. : +91 (11) 43 19 61 00
Malaria prevention is strongly recommended so use insect repellent and wear protective clothing. Obtain anti-malarial medicine from your doctor before travelling.
Even seasoned travellers may find themselves at the mercy of travellers’ diarrhoea. Hygiene standards vary. If possible, travel around with soap or antibacterial gel in order to clean your hands. The culprits that cause diarrhoea are often the microorganisms found in local water supplies, so decrease your chances by drinking bottled or boiled water. You can have alcoholic drinks but say no to ice. Drink carbonated beverages or those with only boiled water like coffee and tea.
Carry rehydration solution packets, Pepto Bismol or Imodium in case you are afflicted. Before your travel, seek medical advice about what to take for self-treatment.
Wear adequate sunscreen or do like the locals to beat the heat and avoid the sun between 1200 and 1600 when it is at its harshest; don a cotton kameez to keep covered and cool.
Our recommendation :
Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.
Budget and money
Note: The import and export of local currency is prohibited. 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.
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.
Telephone and jetlag
Dialling code +91
Religion: About 80% Hindu, 13% Muslim, with Sikh, Christian, Jain, Parsi and Buddhist minorities.
India's main industrial development has been in engineering, iron and steel, chemicals, electronics and textiles. Since the 1990s, trade has been liberalised, the sprawling public sector cut back, and some state-owned industries sold off.
India ranks among the top ten in the world by gross national product. The economy has resumed its healthy growth rate, currently at around 8.5% per annum, while inflation is at 8.7%. The unemployment rate hovers around 9.4%. Further improvements to the national infrastructure and basic services are now seen as the priority for central and regional governments.
Perhaps the most well-known of India’s colonisers were the British. The Mughals granted British traders a licence to trade in Bengal in the 17th century; by the early 19th century India was effectively under British control but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century, following the Indian Mutiny in 1857, that the British government took over administration of India from the East India Company.
Notions of Indian independence were temporarily pushed aside at the start of the 20th century and India fought alongside Britain in two world wars. It was during this time that one of India’s greatest political figures came to the forefront. Mahatma Gandhi preached a policy of equality to be gained through passive resistance. In 1942 he introduced the ‘Quit India’ campaign and was imprisoned, not for the first time, for subversive behaviour. Gandhi was assassinated in January 1948, not long after India gained independence from Britain in 1947.
With independence came the decision to divide India into Muslim and Hindu territories; a decision that is reaping the seeds of discontent even today. Indian foreign policy continues to be dominated by relations with Pakistan. The main cause of friction is the status of Jammu & Kashmir, a disputed territory straddling both India and Pakistan.
In July 2007 Pratibha Patil became India's first female president and her supporters hailed her election as a victory for women. She succeeded APJ Abdul Kalam, an esteemed scientist and the architect of the country's missile programme.
The far northeastern states and territories are all but separated from the rest of India by Bangladesh as it extends northwards from the Bay of Bengal towards Bhutan. India is separated from the rest of Asia by mountain ranges, forest, and desert -the Himalayan mountain range in the north, the Thar Desert in the west and the Chin Hills and Patkai ranges in the east. The Indus River runs through the northern disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The most sacred of rivers, the Ganges, is in the east.
Rajasthan , known as “the land of Kings” is the largest state of India by area. Located in the west of India it comprises of the large Thar Desert, which is also known as the Great Indian Desert. Rajasthan is also bordered by Haryana to the northeast, Gujarat to the southwest , Madhya Pradesh to the southeast and Punjab to the north. Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the state.
The main geographic features of Rajasthan are the Thar Desert and the Aravalli Range, which runs through the state from southwest to northeast, almost from one end to the other, for more than 850 kilometres. Mount Abu lies at the southwestern end of the range, separated from the main ranges by the West Banas River, although a series of broken ridges continues into Haryana in the direction of Delhi where it can be seen as outcrops in the form of the Raisina Hill and the ridges farther north. About three-fifths of Rajasthan lies northwest of the Aravallis, leaving two-fifths on the east and south direction.
People, culture and traditions
Choosing the right riding holiday
Choosing the right riding holiday
The Marwari is a rare horse breed from the Marwar (or Jodhpur) region of India. This very beautiful smart horse is best known for its inward-turned ear tips which give them a very unique look.
It has an interesting breed history where it was usually referred to as the Marwari pony. However, the breed standard is very flexible and you can find members of the breed standing at 14 hands high. Some legends say that the Marwari horse's height increased when they were interbred with Arabian horses. According to folk tales, an Arabian cargo ship was wrecked in the Indian West Coast and the 7 Arab horses that survived were interbred with the Marwari.
The Marwari also made a name for itself during the First World War when it was the mount of choice for the Marward Lancers under the command of Sir Pratap Singh. Sadly, during the British Raj period in India, the Marwari went into decline and was even mocked for its inward- turned ears. It was not until 1995 when this marvelous horse breed made a comeback.
Even though it was originally only bred in black, the Marwari horse can now also be found in many colours including bay, chestnut, grey, black and pinto. It is a great companion and riding horse and as such, it has gained a lot of popularity.