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General Profile

Location: The Indian peninsula is separated from mainland Asia by the Himalayas. The Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Indian Ocean to the south surround the Country.

Area: 3.3 Million sq km
Geographic Coordinates:
Lying entirely in the Northern Hemisphere, the Country extends between 8 4' and 37 6' latitudes north of the Equator, and 687' and 9725' longitudes east of it.
New Delhi
Border Countries:
Afghanistan and Pakistan to the north-west; China, Bhutan and Nepal to the north; Myanmar to the east; and Bangladesh to the east of West Bengal. Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea, formed by Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.
7,516.6 km encompassing the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
The climate of India can broadly be classified as a tropical monsoon one. But, in spite of much of the northern part of India lying beyond the tropical zone, the entire country has a tropical climate marked by relatively high temperatures and dry winters. There are four seasons - winter (December-February), (ii) summer (March-June), (iii) south-west monsoon season (June-September), and (iv) post monsoon season (October- November)
Natural Resources:
Coal, iron ore, manganese ore, mica, bauxite, petroleum, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, magnesite, limestone, arable land, dolomite, barytes, kaolin, gypsum, apatite, phosphorite, steatite, fluorite, etc.

Political Profile

Government Type:
Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government.
Administrative Divisions:
29 States and 6 Union Territories.
The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950.
Executive Branch:
The President of India is the Head of State, while the Prime Minister is the Head of the Government and runs office with the support of the Council of Ministers who form the Cabinet.
Legislative Branch:
The Federal Legislature comprises of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) forming both the Houses of the Parliament.
Judicial Branch:
The Supreme Court of India is the apex body of the Indian legal system, followed by other High Courts and subordinate Courts.

Demographic Profile
Population (as on March 2001):
1028.5 Million

  • Males: 532.1 Million
  • Females: 496.4 Million

Density of Population (2001): 324 persons per square kilometer

Life expectancy at Birth (2001- 2006)

  • Males: 63.9 years
  • Females: 66.9 years

Literacy Rate: 64.84 percent

  • Males: 75.26 percent
  • Females: 53.67 percent
India Main Fesitvals for the year - 2008-09
India climate chart
Indian Currency details




(iii) "tourist" means a person not normally resident in India, who enters India for a stay of not more than six months in the course of any twelve months period for legitimate non-immigrant purposes, such as touring, recreation, sports, health, family reasons, study, religious pilgrimage or business

A visa (short for the Latin
carta visa, meaning "the document has been seen") is a document issued by a country giving a certain individual permission to enter the country for a given period of time and for certain purposes. Visa is usually stamped or glued inside of a passport, or sometimes issued as separate pieces of paper.

Categories of Visa

Note:Change of purpose is not permitted once you have reached India. Depending on the nature of your journey, apply for the correct visa category.

Tourist Visa

Tourist visa is valid for 6 months to 10 years. Ten (10) year visa is available only to US citizens under a bilateral arrangement. Irrespective of the duration of validity of visa, on each visit maximum period of stay in India is limited to 6 months (180 days). Multiple entry visas are given.

Transfer of Visa

For transferring an Indian visa from an old passport to a new passport. The regular visa application form with 2 photographs is required along with a fee of $25.

Transit Visa

A transit visa is granted for the sole purpose of enabling the holder to travel through India to reach his/her ultimate destination. Change of purpose is not allowed. The visa will ordinarily be valid for a single/double journey and for entry within three months of date of issue. The Transit visa is valid for direct transit only for a maximum period of 3 days. Confirmed airline ticket for onward journey and valid visa for final destination are required. For a stay in India beyond 3 days, an appropriate visa should be obtained.

Entry Visa

Entry visa is valid for six months to five years stay, with multiple entry given only to persons of Indian origin. However, members of the family of a person employed in India are also eligible for Entry visa.

Business Visa

Business visa is valid for six month or one/more years with multiple entries. However, the period of stay in India (for each visit) under this category is limited to six months only. A letter from the sponsoring organization indicating nature of applicant's business, probable duration of stay, validity of visa, places and organizations to be visited and also a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses etc. should accompany the application. Business visa valid for ten years with multiple entries is available to foreign businessmen who have set up or intend to set up joint ventures in India.

Employment Visa

For employment visa,an appointment letter, contract letter, applicant's resume and proof that the organization is registered in India are required. Duration of visa would depend on the period of the contract.

Student Visa

Student visa is valid for the period of study in India. Multiple-entry visas are given to bona fide students to pursue regular studies at recognized institutions in India. A letter confirming admission from such an institution along with evidence of financial arrangements for stay in India should accompany the application. In case of admission in medical or paramedical courses in India, a letter of Approval or No objection certificate from the Ministry of Health, Government of India, is also required. Similarly, for admission to graduate or post-graduate courses in engineering/ technical institutions in India, a letter of approval or a No objection certificate from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education) is required.

Research Visa

Approval of Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education), New Delhi, should accompany the visa application. The validity of the visa would coincide with the research period.


Single entry visa valid for the duration approved by the Government of India is issued. Three copies of the letter from the sponsoring organization indicating intended destination in India, expected length of stay, and nature of work to be discharged should be attached along with a guarantee for applicant's maintenance while in India. (Note: Processing of application for a Missionary Visa may take up to three (03) months.)

Journalist Visa

Journalist visa is given to professional journalists and photographers for up to three months' stay in India. (If you are intending to make a documentary in India, kindly contact the Press and Information wing in the Embassy /Consulate General of India).

Conference Visa

To obtain Conference visa, a letter of invitation from the organizer of the conference is to be attached along with the visa application. Visas for international conferences, or on certain subjects, as decided by the Government of India from time to time, can be issued only after clearance for the said conference is received from the Government of India.

Fee Structure for Visa Services

Type of Visa

US Nationals

Other Nationals

Transit Visa (Single/Double Entry) Validity 15 days only

$ 30

$ 10

All types of Visa other than transit Visa valid up to 6 months (Multiple Entry)

$ 60

$ 40

Student Visa (Valid for over 1 year to 5 years) Multiple Entry

$ 95


All type of Visa other than transit Visa valid for over 6 months and up to 1 year (Multiple Entry)

$ 85

$ 65

All types of Visa other than transit Visa valid for over 1 year and up to 5 years (Multiple Entry)

$ 150

$ 130

Tourist/Business Visa – (for US Nationals only) valid for over 5 years and up to 10 years

$ 150


Transfer of Visa to New Passport

$ 25

$ 5

Non-US Nationals, holding US tourist or short term visa should submit an additional $ 20/- for reference to be made with the Indian mission in their country of origin/permanent residence (Processing time: 5 – 7 working days)

Visa fee schedule for Japanese Nationals

Type of Visa


Transit Visa (Valid for 15 days only)

$ 1

All other kinds of visa

$ 8

Visa fee for:

a) Pakistani Nationals: $ 2/- (In addition to the above, an additional processing fee of US $ 20/- is required with each application.)

b) Russian Nationals: $ 40

c) Romanian Nationals: $ 6

d) Bangladesh Nationals: Gratis Visa

(However, an additional processing fee of US $ 20/- is required to be submitted with each application)

Nationals of following countries are granted Gratis (Free of charge) Visa:

Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mongolia, Maldives, North Korea (DPRK), Poland, Slovak Republic, South Africa and Uruguay.

No visa is required for nationals of Nepal & Bhutan.


Immigration Formalities in India
There is no provision of 'Visa on Arrival' in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports. However, there is a provision of granting TLF (Temporary Landing Facility) / TLP (Temporary Landing Permit) to allow entry of foreigners arriving in emergent situations like death/serious illness in the family, without an Indian Visa on cash payment of US$ 40/- (Indian Rupee equivalent i.e. Rs. 1935/-).

This facility can also be extended to transiting foreigners having confirmed onward journey tickets within 72 hours. Apart from this, foreign tourists in groups of four or more arriving by Air or Sea, sponsored by recognized Indian Travel Agencies and with a pre-drawn itinerary can be granted collective landing permit for a specified period of time on the written request of the Travel Agencies to the Immigration officer giving full personal and passport details of the group members and undertaking to conduct the group as per the itinerary and an assurance that no individual would be allowed to drop out from the group at any place

The above mentioned provisions of TLF/TLP, however, are not available to the nationals of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Algeria.

Citizens of all countries, except Nepal and Bhutan, require a national passport or travel documents and a visa granted by Indian Missions abroad for entering India. Nepalese or Bhutanese citizens need no passport or visa but should possess documents for their identification when proceeding from their countries.


For entry into India

Any person, Foreigner or Indian, (excluding infants below six months) arriving by air or sea without a vaccination certificate of yellow fever will be kept in quarantine isolation for a period upto 6 days if :

1. He arrives in India within 6 days of departure from an infected area.

2. Has come on a ship which has started from or transited at any port in a yellow fever affected country within 30 days of its arrival in India provided such ship has not been disinfected in accordance with the procedure laid down by WHO.

No other vaccination certificate is mandatory. Precautions can be taken against typhoid, hepatitis, meningitis, measles, mumps, cholera etc.

The following countries and areas are regarded as yellow fever infected

  • Africa
    Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire), Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan (South of 15 N), Togo, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia.
  • America
    Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Panama.

A Yellow fever vaccination certificate is valid only if it conforms with the model. The validity period of international certificate of vaccination or re-vaccination against yellow fever is 10 years, beginning 10 days after vaccination.

For leaving India

There is no health check requirement by Indian Government on passengers leaving India.


Currency Declaration

The unit of the Indian currency is the Rupee.

Travellers can bring into India any amount of foreign exchange, subject to the condition that on arrival a declaration is made to the custom authorities in a Currency Declaration Form. It is necessary to fill out a declaration form if the foreign exchange exceeds US$ 10,000 or its equivalent and /or the aggregate value of foreign currency notes is US$ 5,000 or its equivalent.

Travellers Cheques in US Dollar and Pound sterling are easily exchangeable and ATMs are available in major Indian cities. Credit cards are accepted in hotels and large stores.

Customs and Baggage Rules

There are two channels for customs clearance :-

(i) Green Channel for passengers not having any dutiable goods.

(ii) Red Channel for passengers having dutiable goods.

Passengers walking through the Green Channel with dutiable / prohibited goods are liable to prosecution/penalty and confiscation of goods


Articles allowed free of duty (2)

(i) used personal effects and travel souvenirs, if -

(a) these goods are for personal use of the tourist, and

(b) these goods,other than those consumed during the stay in India,are re-exported when the tourist leaves India for a foreign destination.

(ii) articles as allowed to be cleared under rule 3 or rule 4.

(i) used personal effects and travel souvenirs, if -

(a) these goods are for personal use of the tourist, and

(b)these goods, other than those consumed during the stay in India, are re-exported when the tourist leaves India for a foreign destination.

(ii) articles upto a value of Rs.8000 for making gifts.

No. free allowance.

(i) used personal effects and travel souvenirs, if

(a)these goods are for personal use of the tourist, and

(b)these goods,other than those consumed during the stay in India, are re-exported when the tourist leaves India for a foreign destination.

(ii) articles upto a value of Rs. 6000 for making gifts.



9. Provisions regarding unaccompanied baggage. - (1) Provisions of these Rules are also extended to unaccompanied baggage except where they have been specifically excluded.

(2) The unaccompanied baggage had been in the possession abroad of the passenger and is dispatched within one month of his arrival in India or within such further period as the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs may allow.

(3) The unaccompanied baggage may land in India upto 2 months before the arrival of the passenger or within such period, not exceeding one year, as the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs may allow, for reasons to be recorded, if he is satisfied that the passenger was prevented from arriving in India within the period of two months due to circumstances beyond his control such as sudden illness of the passenger or a member of his family, or natural calamities or disturbed conditions or disruption of the transport or travel arrangements in the country or countries concerned or any other reasons, which necessitated a change in the travel schedule of the passenger.

(4) If your baggage is mishandled or lost in transit, obtain a certificate to this effect from the airline and have it countersigned by the Customs

Domestic Airlines operating in India ::

Domestic Airlines

Air India

Indian Airlines

Jet Airways


 Kingfisher Red

 Paramount Airlines


Spice Jet

Indigo Airlines  

Go Air

MDLR Airlines


Indian Railways

Indian Railways

Travel Maps

Detailed and digitised maps helpful for travelling inside India are now available from the Internet. These also provide interactive facilities for obtaining more detailed information about specific locations by zooming inside the maps. You may visit MAPTELL web site or Maps of India web site for viewing the maps. You could also buy these maps online.

Inter-State Travel

Most parts of the country are well connected by air, rail, and road transport infrastructure. Indian Airlines, the government-owned airline, and a number of other private airlines run scheduled flights to various destinations. Charter flights are offered by a few private companies. For more details on Indian Airlines services

Railway reservations can be made from any of the 520 reservation centres in the country or at railway stations. For further details, please visit www.indianrail.gov.in


Travel Agents

India has a well established network of Travel Agents and tour operators. Most Travel Agents and Tour Operators are also Members of reputed National and International Associations. The Government also has a system of providing recognition to them. There are 02 main bodies



Hotels in India are classified into different groups such as deluxe, international chains, heritage and palace hotels, tourist bungalows, traveller lodges, rest houses. etc.

Liberalization and a spurt in travel have brought a large number of international hotel chains to India. While well-known chains such as Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Hyatt, Inter-Continental, Meridien, Quality Inns, Best Western and Kempinski have been in the country for a while, the recent entrants are Country Hospitality with all its chains (Regent, Radisson, Country Inns, TGIF), Marriott, Hilton, Park Plaza, Four Seasons and SHPC.

Centralized reservations may be obtained through the travel agents. For further information, please visit the following websites:


Indian cuisine differs from region to region .There is Mughlai food, Tandoor (bar-be-que in clay Oven), South Indian food. For people in the north wheat is the staple, while it is rice in south India. Generally Indian food is spicy and hot. The waiters can be told to make it less spicy.

There are some Indians who are vegetarians. Hindus do not eat beef considering cow as sacred. Muslims do not eat pork. There are some vegetarians who do not eat egg, onions, garlic etc.

The trend towards dining out has increased and many restaurants serve Continental, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, French. Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, Mediterranean, and other cuisine. American fast food is very popular and outlets are present in most cities and towns.

Tipping is optional but a common practice in India. The usual option involves leaving a 10% tip for the services provided.


Wildlife: The Indian Wildlife Protection Act bans all forms of wildlife trade. Violations of the provisions of the act are punishable with heavy fines and imprisonment. Travelers are, therefore, advised not to buy any wildlife or wildlife products or derivatives-specially ivory articles, fur and skin articles derived from wild animals such as Shahtoosh.

Drugs: The travelers should not buy, sell or use psychotropic drugs or any other narcotic substances while in India, as their purchase, sell or possession is a cognizable offence punishable by imprisonment

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