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Travel on Your Own

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Single travelers staying in a room by themselves will be charged this additional single supplement fee, as all of our regular prices are otherwise based on double occupancy.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will make every effort to find you a roommate of the same gender, in which case you will not have to pay the single supplement fee. The single supplement will be charged until we are able to confirm a roommate for you. If we are able to match you with a roommate, the single supplement will be refunded. In the event that we cannot find a share for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement fee.

New: Click the Singles Find a Share' icon below or check our "Community" page to connect with other single travelers looking to share.

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Travel on Your Own

Choose from any destination in the country and we can arrange a trip that you can enjoy on your own, including accommodations, transportation, activities and guides. Gain access to our full-service local offices and benefit from our expert local naturalist and biologist wildlife guides, trackers, vehicles, logistical support, and intimate destination knowledge. Please give us a call and we would be happy to craft a custom itinerary to meet your desires!


India Lodging

We specialize in quality lodging with an emphasis on the highest quality meals possible for a safe and comfortable - even luxurious - stay in India. Great care has gone into our selection of lodging partners, with particular emphasis on lodges that offer outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities. These special lodges offer all the comforts of home and pamper you with delicious local Indian regional specialties. Our meals are sometimes extravagant, always healthy, and can cater to most special dietary needs.


The Gateway Hotel, Ganges Varanasi

The Gateway Hotel is set amidst 40 acres of lush green gardens, the veritable haven of peace and tranquility in this crowded and ancient temple city. The hotel is constructed in the holy Swastik shape (The Swastika is an ancient symbol which re-presents good fortune and blessing). The Gateway Hotel, Ganges offers recently renovated & refurbished world-class contemporary rooms & suites with choice of views ranging from the lush green gardens or the swimming pool.


Trident Hotel, Jaipur

Breathtaking views of the serene Mansagar Lake and the striking Aravalli range welcome guests at the 134 room Trident Hotel, Jaipur. Situated en route to Jaipur's famous Amber Fort, the Trident, Jaipur offers gracefully furnished rooms that are well-equipped.


Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi

The Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi is located only five kilometers from Indira Gandhi International Airport and offers Delhi visitors 261 modern rooms and suites with amenities like LCD televisions and free wireless Internet. Guests can also enjoy unlimited kababs at The Great Kabab Factory and all-day dining at NYC. A state-of-the-art gym makes it easy to keep up with your workout, and the luxurious on-site spa helps melt away the stress of the day.

Jaypee Vasant Continental

A tribute to the cosmopolitan culture of New Delhi-the Jaypee Vasant Continental unfolds the finest lifestyle experiences for you. An exquisite blend of business and pleasure, it is the perfect place to confer, relax or pamper your senses. It is one of the finest boutique hotels in New Delhi, India. Jaypee Vasant Continental is located in the upmarket Vasant Vihar area, strategically close to the New Delhi Airport.


Chambal Safari Lodge

The accommodations at Chambal Safari Lodge combine the warmth of local Indian homes with the comfort of modern amenities. Every effort has been made to make this lodge as eco-friendly and respectful to its surroundings as possible.


Laxmi Niwas Palace

Since 1904, only a few have been deemed worthy of a higher order of hospitality - princelings, Europe's pre-eminent bluebloods, King George V and Queen Mary, a handful of statesmen; a few of the notable architects of history. The world at large had been shut out of the Laxmi Niwas Palace.

You may now actually go a step further. Gaze at hand-painted friezes and gold-laden walls. Examine up close the inspiration behind Lutyens' and Baker's architectural style. And perhaps reflect on the fact that exclusion does sometimes make a place what it is.

Bhanwar Niwas

Commissioned by the late Seth Bhanwarlalji Rampuria in 1927, the architecture of the haveli and its interiors is a fascinating blend of Indian and European styles. Now a heritage hotel, Bhanwar Niwas offers its guests an experience of the lost flamboyant world of Rajputana.


Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge

Karnali is an intimate lodge with a focus on fresh organic produce. Located in an area of extraordinary beauty and abundant wildlife, a visit to Karnali Lodge is a journey of adventure and an opportunity to reconnect with nature. With twenty newly decorated rooms, each with an adjoining bathroom, Karnali Lodge is the epitome of comfort with a focus on privacy and calm. The rooms, designed to minimize their impact on the environment, are adorned in soft natural colors and fabrics. As part of its commitment to responsible tourism, Karnali Lodge runs almost entirely on solar energy.

Karnali Lodge specializes in creating sumptuous meals from only the freshest and most local ingredients. For 10 years Karnali has been cultivating and expanding it's organic vegetable farm. Today the Lodge is close to self sufficient, providing an abundant array of fresh fruit and vegetables for guests to enjoy. The Tiger Tops food concept emphasizes dining as part of your experience at the lodge - fresh, healthy and delicious.


Tiger Den Resort

The Tiger's Den Resort is located in the beautiful lush green and tranquil surroundings of the Land of the White Tiger - Bandhavgarh National Park. The resort has 34 elegantly appointed Deluxe and luxury cottages rooms. The balconies of the cottages overlook the marvelous and gigantic hills of the Vindhyanchal range.


The Baagh, A Forest Retreat

This resort is situated on the border of Kanha National Park, home to India's majestic tigers and numerous mammals, reptiles and bird species. The luxury property is surrounded by the park's jungles and traditional tribal villages in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, a central Indian state. The Baagh Resort at Kanha provides refuge from the hectic world and an opportunity to enjoy the wonders of nature in the wilds of India. Here you'll experience the adventure of the jungle, magnificent scenery, the romance of brilliant sunrises and sunsets, and the comforts of home in your jungle retreat.


Hotel de l' Annapurna

Hotel Annapurna has an illustrious history of decades of hospitality excellence since 1965. Named after the Goddess of Plenty, this 5.5 acres of luxury located in the heart of Kathmandu offers both comfort and convenience, making it the ultimate address for both leisure and business travelers. The hotel promises the finest accommodation and services to complement its varied facilities: fine dining outlets, one of the largest hotel swimming pools, well-equipped gym, splendidly landscaped gardens, Wi-Fi facilities and the most prestigious shopping.


Siana Garden Lodge (Alternative - Additional Cost)

Siana Garden Lodge offers 15 suites-style cottages with all-modern amenities, is about 45 minutes away from Siana tented camp and can be used as an alternative for those travelers who do not want to stay at the tented camp. It is also sometimes used for your arrival night in this area depending upon your logistics

Camp Aisrana (Primary)

As the name suggests, this is a camp situated away from any habitation or settlement. Located atop a dune, it offers a commanding view of the Aisrana Valley. These camps are an ideal getaway for those wishing to relax and unwind after a hectic city life. The air is fresh and absolutely pollution free. These camps are totally eco-friendly and in tune with the surrounding countryside.


Reni Pani Jungle Lodge

Reni Pani Jungle Lodge is an exquisitely designed conservation and wildlife-focused lodge located close to the Satpura National Park and Tiger Reserve. It features 12 luxury cottages encompassing 3 distinct structural designs, a cozy central meeting place called the Gol Ghar & a jungle pool located along its seasonal nullah. It's spread over 30 acres of striking forest cover typical of the Satpuras'. The camp-site features magnificent trees, a sprawling meadow, a seasonal nullah, uneven yet beautiful topography & water holes that attract several species of birds & animals.


The Gateway, Raipur

The Gateway Hotel Raipur on GE Road welcomes you to the heart of Chhattisgarh. Standing conspicuously on Labhandi, G.E. Road, Surat-Hazira Bypass, The Gateway Hotel Raipur is one of the best hotels in the city. Built on 3.5 acres of prime real estate, the property is strategically located at the heart of the city centre, close to the principal business districts. The hotel offers spacious rooms with the best amenities in Raipur along with efficient 24/7 service.


Musa Tiger Lodge

Musa Jungle Resort can be compared to a futuristic , well planned Indian forest village with a 24 hours back up power and water supply encasing jungle lodges that are a fusion between traditional and contemporary architecture.  Situated ancient, dense jungle, our cottages offer you comfort and convenience within the ambience of nature.   With 24 hour view of the park on the north side of the property, guests wake up to peacock calls and fall asleep to the sounds of the forest, often broken by the call of a tiger.  


Oberoi Grand

The Oberoi Grand, fondly referred as the 'Grande Dame of Chowringhee' offers the ultimate classical residence in the City of Joy. This heritage hotel's neo-classical facade and grand pillared entrance mark a successful fusion of classical Victorian and traditional Indian style and reflect the city's colonial history. Standing stately for over 125 years, The Oberoi Grand combines classic architecture and charm with state of the art amenities and facilities, offering guests an oasis of tranquility amidst the bustling city. The hotel features elegantly appointed rooms, equipped with all modern facilities blending uniquely with the colonial architecture.


The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho

Located near the famous Khajuraho temples, The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho is only 500 meters from the world heritage site of Western Group of the Khajuraho Temples and is within the closest proximity to these temples. This lodge is surrounded by lush gardens, beautiful surroundings and temples dating back to ninth century and offers world-class comfort.


Iora - The Retreat

Iora is a beautiful 20 acre resort with 4 star amenities set in the world famous Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage site. Nestled amidst rolling hills of lush green tea gardens it offers close access to Kaziranga with luxurious accommodations.


Trident Hotel, Agra

Trident, Agra, set amidst beautiful gardens, fountains, landscaped central courtyards, is built of red stone reminiscent of the Mughal era. The Hotel is literally, a stone's throw away from one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal.


India Activities

At a Glance

We know you've chosen to travel with us for our wildlife emphasis, so we've included a wide variety of adventure activities designed to educate, inspire, and bring out the wonder in you. All of our activities are flexibly designed to accommodate different skill levels and interests, while exposing you to a variety of unique eco-systems in order to see the most amount of wildlife. And did we mention fun?


India Wildlife

Prolific Sightings

Wild Planet's wildlife safaris are designed for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Our "Ultimate Wildlife" safaris are specially designed for maximum wildlife viewing. We take care to seek out wildlife that is rare, off the beaten path, and in greater numbers than you will see on conventional tours.

Our expert naturalist guides will educate you in the field so your experience is intimate and unparalleled. Still, wildlife viewing can unpredictable and requires patience and sensory awareness. A partial list of some of the animals you are likely to see is below:

Primates: Macaque Monkeys, Langur Monkeys, Rhesus Monkeys
Other Mammals: Elephants, Rhinoceros, Wild Buffaloes, Muntjac, Chital, Nilgai Bluebuck Antelope, Sambar Deer, Mongoose
Reptiles: Monitor Lizards
Birds: 450 birds species including: Hornbills, Indian Rollers, Kingfishers, Marabou Storks, Cranes, Water birds of all kinds

Likely Sightings

Cats: Tiger, Leopards
Mammals: Sloth Bear, Striped Hyena, Golden Jackal, Otter, Wild Boar
Reptiles: Pythons, Gharial, Crocodile
Birds: Eagles, King Vulture, Siberian Crane


India Guides

Raj Singh

Master Naturalist, Head Guide and In-Country Coordinator

Acclaimed wildlife biologist Raj Singh is one of the world's leading authorities on wildlife in India. Cited by Lonely Planet and Frommers, and author of the 3 top field guides on India's wildlife and parks, Raj brings 25 years of unparalleled expertise to Wild Planet's India programs. While we don't let him out of the office much to run trips these days, Raj hand-crafted Wild Planet's programs together with director Josh Cohen, and his touch can be found in every aspect of your trip. Raj coordinates our ground operations from Delhi, India.

Ansar Kahn

Naturalist Guide & Wildlife Photographer

Ansar was born at Bharatpur and comes from a family of foresters who have worked in the Keoladeo National Park for two generations. He is an expert photographer as well as a high-end naturalist guide, who has guided for both Wild Planet Adventures and National Geographic. Many of his photographs have appeared in magazines and books for the WWF (World Wildlife Federation). His expertise is as a bird and wildlife naturalist in the north and east as well as Bhutan.

Rajveer Singh

Master Naturalist Guide

Master Naturalist Guide Rajveer was born and brought up at Bharatpur near Keoladeo National Park where he first developed his interest in birds and animals. He graduated from the University of Rajasthan with an emphasis on nature and wildlife interpretation. Rajveer has led wildlife safaris for many years throughout India, Nepal and Bhutan, including groups from National Geographic, Wild Planet Adventures and some of the most prestigious natural history museums, universities and wildlife societies in the U.S.

Vinod Goswami

Naturalist Guide

Vinod was born and raised in Delhi where he developed his interest in birds and animals during his employment in a renowned wildlife travel company. He is a graduate in history from the University of Rajasthan. Vinod has led wildlife safaris for many years throughout the Indian sub-continent and Nepal. He is the member of Bombay Natural History Society as well as member of Oriental Bird Club, UK.

Pankaj Joshi

Pankaj was born and brought up at Sawai Madhopur near Ranthambore National Park, where he first developed his interest in birds and animals. He graduated from the University of Rajasthan and studied nature and wildlife extensively. Pankaj is an avid birder who has led many wildlife and birding groups throughout India and Nepal with a lot of passion for sharing his love of India's natural and cultural history.


India FAQ

India Facts for Visitors

Climate/Best Time to Go

India is a huge subcontinent and has distinct seasons for the Central Plains, the far Northern Himalayas, the eastern Assam Region, and the Southern Peninsula. The monsoons start slowly in the south in early June, and work their way up the peninsula by July. They are usually done by late Sept or Oct. Best time to go for our Leopards, Tigers and Palaces Safaris: Early November through April. Trips after April are possible until late June, but may be hotter.

Indian Visa

Visa requirements and validity change quite often. The following is only a guide to the requirements at the time of writing. Before applying you should check with the Indian Embassy or Consulate in your own country about the latest regulations and fees.

All foreign nationals, except those of Nepal and Bhutan require a visa for entry into India. Tourist visas are issued for a period of six months and are valid from the date of issue. You should not apply for your visa too early. You need to make sure its validity covers your entire trip. Always specify that you require a multiple entry visa, for which there is no extra charge.

The best way to get your visa is online on the India government site The cost of a visa varies and often depends on your nationality and the current relationship between India and your country. Note that you can only apply for the visa starting 34 days before your arrival date, and the processing time is 3 business days..


Always carry your passport with you. This is normally required when changing money or checking into a hotel. A valid certificate of inoculation against yellow fever is necessary if coming from an affected area. No other health certificates are required.


It is highly advisable to take all possible precautions against diseases that you may come in contact with while traveling in India. Currently recommended vaccinations are against Tetanus, Typhoid, Polio, and Hepatitis A. Vaccination against Rabies may also be worth considering. Smallpox has been eradicated and immunization is not necessary. Vaccination against Cholera is no longer required, recommended or even available in most countries. Malaria is a serious problem in some regions and you should take a course of prophylactics. If you are going to be in the Indian Subcontinent for several months, inquire about the current situation regarding Meningitis and Japanese Encephalitis B which may be prevalent in some rural areas, especially during the Monsoon. Ideally, 6-8 weeks before you intend to depart, you should check with your doctor to decide on a suitable course of vaccinations.


Travelers may bring in duty-free one bottle (0.95 liters) of spirits and 200 cigarettes. Personal effects such as binoculars, telescopes, camera with a reasonable amount of film, personal stereo and video camera area allowed on condition that they are re-exported. If carrying an unusually large amount of equipment, it may be wise to fill in a Tourist Baggage Re-Export From on arrival to avoid complications on departure. Customs may check all baggage.

Currency and Exchange

The unit of currency is the Indian Rupee, which is subdivided into 100 Paise. In August 2013 one US Dollar was approximately equivalent to Rs 60. Money can be exchanged on arrival at the airport, in banks and at better hotels. The latter are more convenient but give a slightly lower rate. Outside major cities it is best to exchange money at the State Bank of India or another nationalized bank. Currency exchange at banks can be very time consuming, especially in the smaller cities, so you may wish to change enough each time to avoid repeating the painful process too often.

Pounds sterling and US dollars are widely recognized in India, but you may have trouble exchanging other currencies outside the big cities. For safety take the larger part of your money in the form of travelers' checks as these are insured in case of loss or theft. It is advisable to bring only the better known brands such as Thomas Cook or American Express as those of lesser known companies may not be accepted in some banks. Take some cash in case there is a problem exchanging your brand.

Credit cards are becoming more widely known and can often be used to pay bills at the 'better' hotels, but this cannot be relied upon. It can be useful to have a small supply of US dollars in various denominations to cover unforeseen eventualities. You are not allowed to take Indian Rupees in and out of India. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency you are allowed to bring into India, but amounts exceeding US$2,500 in cash/travelers' checks per person must be declared on arrival to facilitate re-export. When changing money, ask for and keep your official Foreign Exchange Certificate. This will allow you to re-exchange unspent Rupees on your departure, and is generally required by airlines, some hotels and by officialdom when extending a visa or suchlike. Rupees may be accepted if backed up by a FEC. Do not take damaged banknotes in your change, as you may experience difficulty in getting these accepted and even the banks sometimes refuse to change them. Notes worn to a hole in the center are a particular problem. The banks themselves staple notes together in bundles, and the resulting holes in the side are not a problem.


All of India is within one time zone (Indian Standard Time) 5-1/2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC), 10-1/2 hours ahead of American EST and 4-1/2 hours behind Australian EST. The local concept of time differs from that of Westerners and you should not always expect a high degree of punctuality. The pace of life is generally much slower. Road and traffic conditions are such that average traveling speed is relatively low, typically 30-50 km/h, and can be even less in the mountains. The traveler who can relax and adjust to this rhythm will benefit from the experience.


US residents are permitted a $400 per person (or $1,100 per family) duty-free tax exemption upon returning to the US

Departure Tax:

Approximately US $17.50


230-240 volts AC at 50 cycles. Power cuts and fluctuations and outages do occur regularly in some areas, though in better hotels these are covered by their own electricity generators. Sockets are of the round three-pin variety, often in two sizes. European round two-pin plugs will often fit, though not very well, so that it can be difficult to obtain a good contact. It is best to use a universal adapter.

Food and Drink

With the wide availability and popularity of Indian cuisine in the US, it doesn't really need any introduction. Throughout India the better hotels and restaurants serve a wide selection of Indian, Western and Chinese food. In these one can generally assume that the food is safe to eat. In less salubrious establishments, or if in doubt, avoid meat, fish, salad and ice cream, which are the main causes of stomach upsets. A vegetarian lifestyle has much to recommend it in a country where most of the population does not eat meat.

Always carry drinking water. Do not drink water served at table at any other than the best establishments. Bottled 'mineral' water is widely available at restaurants, grocery stores and pharmacies, stick to this and bottled soft drinks. Tea and coffee are generally fine because they are boiled. Cold milk may be un-pasteurized. A refreshing drink is fresh lime soda (not lime water), plain or with sugar. Make sure that ice is not added, as it is not always safe. Beer of the lager type, is generally available in most of the better hotels and restaurants, although prohibition is in force in some Indian states. Other alcoholic drinks are best avoided, although you may wish to taste a small sample a local specialty. In southern India, green coconuts (tender coconuts) served at the side of the road give safe, refreshing drinking fluid. If buying bottled drinks from a roadside vendor, check that the cap is not rusty. This is an indication that the cap has been recycled and the bottle may have been refilled with a drink using unsafe water. Freshly pressed cane sugar and fruit drinks are not always safe. Make sure that drinking water has been boiled. The answer to the question 'has the water been boiled' will usually be 'yes', but this is not an indication that it has! It is more likely an indication of the fact that people do not like to say 'no'. Filtering does not remove the bugs. If in doubt, use water purification tablets bought from a chemist or camping suppliers in your own country. Micropur is a general-purpose tablet that is silver-based with no unpleasant aftertaste. Chlorine-based tablets (Puritabs or Steritabs) are more widely available. If you suspect water may be less pure, use iodine-based tables (e.g. Potable Aqua), and only ones effective against some pathogens such as Giardia and Amoebae, but try not to use these too often, and always follow the manufacturers instructions.


For recommended immunizations, see section on Vaccinations. Travel to India, as with all tropical countries, presents the Westerner with particular health hazards, but with a little care most can be avoided. The most common problems are stomach bugs due to insanitary preparation of food, and especial care must be taken regarding food hygiene. Most stomach upsets are fairly mild and usually last 24 hours and are best treated by resting, eating little, avoiding fruit and dairy products and drinking plenty of fluid with a little added sugar and salt. However, cases of stomach upsets on our tours are extremely infrequent as long as you stick to the meals provided. Drugs such as Imodium do not cure the cause of diarrhea but simply alleviate the symptoms. They should only be used when absolutely necessary - on long journeys or in other circumstances where access to a toilet may be difficult. If symptoms are particularly severe with the stool containing blood or mucus, or last for more than three days, seek the advice of a doctor. If you are in a situation where no doctor is within reach, a course of antibiotics may be appropriate - Ciprofloxacin 500mg or Norfloxacin 400mg twice a day for three days. Giardiasis (Giardia) can also cause diarrhea with frequent foul smelling wind. The symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after infection and may disappear and return for a few days at a time. The cure is a single dose of Flagyl (metronidazole) or Fasigyn (tinidazole).

Malaria is prevalent in India especially during the monsoon and it is essential to take precautions including the currently recommended prophylactic drugs (consult your doctor for the latest recommendations) Start taking the tablets a week before your trip and continue the course of treatment for six weeks after leaving the malarial zone. It is unlikely, but possible to catch malaria while taking treatment. Avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. They are particularly active between dusk and dawn when you should cover exposed skin by wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts of a dense weave, long trousers and mosquito repellent. Sleep under a mosquito net, or use a mosquito coil or plug-in tablet. The same precautions are helpful against the risk of Dengue Fever for which there is no prophylactic. If affected by fever, shivering or severe headaches together with joint or muscle pain, seek immediate medical advice.

Disinfect cuts and scratches, but only cover with a plaster if there is a serious danger of dirt entering the wound. Healing takes place much faster if the skin is exposed to the sun and air.

AIDS is spreading fast in India, mainly through heterosexual transmission. Practice safe sex and if you need an injection, make sure a sterile needle is used.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a serious threat at high altitudes. It can affect anyone without regard to age or fitness, normally at altitudes of above 3500m though fatal cases have been known at 3000m. If going on a trek in the High Himalaya, or traveling in Ladakh, make sure that you spend some time acclimatising by spending two or three nights at each altitude above 2000 m for every 1000m climbed. Drink more than you would normally to compensate for the moisture lost through your breath in the dry air. Avoid alcohol and sedatives in spite of possible sleeplessness. The low levels of oxygen will mean that most people will experience breathlessness, but the other main symptoms of AMS are severe headache, dizziness, confusion, loss of appetite, a dry cough, nausea and vomiting. Mild symptoms usually subside after a couple of days' acclimatisation but anyone suffering more acutely, should immediately descend to a lower altitude. Even a few hundred meters can help.

Jet lag, sun and heat can cause problems. Acclimatise by taking it easy for the first few days. Wear loose cotton clothes, drink plenty of fluid and make sure you take sufficient salt in your food. Sunburn can happen surprisingly fast in the tropics. Wear a wide brimmed hat, keep arms and legs covered and use a high-factor sun cream. Apply a zinc sun-block to the nose, lips and forehead and anywhere else you burn quickly. Use sunglasses. Spending too much time out in the sun can also cause heat-stroke, particularly during the middle of the day. Victims are likely to feel unwell with a throbbing headache, be unable to sweat, have a high body temperature with flushed skin and become confused and aggressive. They should be taken immediately to a doctor or hospital. An itchy rash called prickly heat is not uncommon and can be prevented by keeping cool, wearing loose cotton clothing, using talcum powder and bathing regularly.

Fungal infections can cause an itchy rash, particularly between the fingers and toes, around the groin or on the scalp. Wear loose clothes of natural fibers and use plastic or rubber thongs in the bathroom and shower. Infections are best treated with a fungicide such as Tinaderm and by regular washing with medicated soap and exposure to as much air as possible. Clothes and towels should be washed as frequently as possible

Intestinal worms are common and caused by ingestion of un-hygienically prepared food or walking barefoot. Possible symptoms include an itching around the anus, particularly at night, and diarrhea. De-worming tablets are available at pharmacies.

Leeches can be a problem, mainly in rainforests during and after the rainy season. They are not known to transmit any diseases, but are a nuisance as the ensuing bleeding is difficult to stop. Coating feet and legs with insect repellent containing Deet can offer effective protection for a few hours. Remove leeches by applying a squirt of insect repellent, salt or a lighted match.

The change of climate often makes visitors prone to catching colds and coughs. Cold remedies are readily available at pharmacies, but the strongest cough lozenges which can be bought locally are usually Strepsils, so you may prefer to bring your own. Although there are doctors and hospitals in most towns, standards of hygiene can often leave a lot to be desired. Most hotels can put you in touch with a good English-speaking doctor. Fees are usually reasonable though luxury hotels are likely to work together with doctors whose fees reflect their high-class treatment. If you have a serious problem and are in a place that does not have the standard of healthcare that you require, the best solution may be to get on a plane to somewhere that does. The largest metropolises have good clinics and your country's embassy or consulate should be able to recommend one.

Common remedies are inexpensive and available over-the-counter at pharmacies in most towns, but care is not always taken regarding storage and expiry date. If you need a specific medicine, take sufficient supplies with you in case it is not available locally. New prescription glasses can be made up the same day in Delhi and some other big cities but it is best to take a spare pair from home with you.

Travel Medical Kit

- Antacid tablets - for acid indigestion

- Antibiotics - in case of serious infection off the beaten track, take a copy of the prescription with you

- Aspirin or Paracetamol - pain killer and fever depressant

- Calamine lotion or Antihistamine cream - to reduce itching from insect bites

- Diarolytes - for re-hydration after diarrhea

- Dequacaine - for severe sore throats and coughs

- Imodium or Lomotil - to control diarrhea

- Insect repellent - containing Deet

- Plasters and bandages - for dressing wounds

- Scissors

- Sterile packed syringes - in case you need injections in less than hygienic circumstances. Ask for a note from your doctor to explain what they are for.

- Sun block

- Sun cream

- Tweezers

- Water purification tablets


It is generally safe to travel, although petty theft is common in some of the bigger cities and on public transport where items may be pilfered from unattended baggage, or more seriously, baggage has been stolen from sleeping passengers. A good method of avoiding total theft is to attach you bag to the luggage rack with a cycle lock. All side pockets should be individually padlocked. Theft from hotel rooms can occur (usually only in the cheaper establishments) so keep luggage locked. Make sure your travel insurance gives adequate cover for valuables and equipment. In better class hotels, deposit valuables in the hotel safe, but don't forget to claim them before your departure. Otherwise, keep valuables on your person and out of sight in a money belt. Keep smaller amounts of money for the day in a separate wallet or purse. This avoids displaying large amounts of cash in public. Expensive cameras and optical equipment should be kept out of sight when not in use. Binoculars often attract requests for a look, but beware of the risk of transmitting eye infections. Bring a photocopy of the main pages of your passport with extra passport photos in case your passport is lost. Do not wear expensive-looking jewellery.


India's huge size and varied topography means the climate varies from place to place quite markedly. Broadly speaking India has a hot tropical climate, with the exception of the Himalayan Region. One can divide the year into three periods: the hot, the wet and the cool. During the hot and dry summer from the end of March to the end of May/beginning of June temperatures can reach the 40's (centigrade) during the middle of the day. The onset of the southwest monsoon usually begins in South India at the end of May and works its away to Delhi by late June/early July. During the monsoon it can rain every day - heavily, lightly or not at all. It can be hot and humid although temperatures are not usually as high as the summer. Travel at this time can be difficult in out-of-the-way areas of the peninsula, and many national parks are closed. The southwest monsoon usually lasts until September retreating from the northwest to the southeast. It is usually followed by a short northeast monsoon which normally only affects the east coast of South India and the northeastern states. From October to February is the cool season when daytime temperatures in the south can be in the mid 20's - 30's. At this time of year it can be quite cold in the north with night time temperatures in Delhi regularly below 10 degrees C. The cool season is relatively dry.


Due to the varied climate, clothing needed depends on where and when you go. Three or four weeks in Delhi and Rajasthan from March to May require only light summer clothing, plus a warm sweater or jacket for early morning activities. At the other extreme a winter visit to the Himalaya dictates very warm clothing and a four season sleeping bag. Indian sensibilities may be offended by the sight of too much bare skin and whereas a pair of longish shorts and a t-shirt are suitable for a man, women should keep legs and shoulders covered as far as possible and not wear clothing that is too tight or otherwise immodest. In any case, it is best to wear long sleeved shirts and long trousers as protection against the sun and biting insects. A sun hat, sunglasses and sun cream should always be carried in your day pack. For high altitude trekking, you need an outer breathable waterproof jacket, an inner fleece or down jacket, thermal underwear, woolen hat and gloves. Layering is best so that you can add or remove layers depending on the temperature.

Pack primarily for comfort, with lightweight cotton or cotton-rich clothing. A laundry service is available at most hotels. The items listed below are essentials. Please bear in mind that local custom in India calls for modest dress. Women should not wear sleeveless tops or short shorts.

Suggested Clothing

- 2 pairs of light-weight long trousers

- 1 pair of shorts (men only)

- 2 dresses and/or skirts and blouses (ladies)

- 3 short-sleeved shirts/blouses/t-shirts

- 3 long-sleeved shirts or blouses

- 1 sweater

- 1 windbreaker or light jacket

- 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes

- Rubber thongs/flip flops

- 1 pair of casual shoes

- Brimmed hat for sun protection

- Light raincoat or folding umbrella

Do's and Don'ts

As a foreigner you will be forgiven most faux pas if you adhere to western codes of conduct, but it helps if you can respect local customs and standards of behavior. Indians dress modestly and visitors do well to follow suit. Nudity is absolutely unacceptable for adults, though you may on a very rare occasion come across a naked sadhu (holy man), which is a different matter. Women, and to a lesser extent men, should avoid sleeveless tops and short shorts. You will, no doubt, notice that a bare midriff is considered acceptable among the local ladies but they normally keep the shoulders covered. Men should avoid wearing shorts when entering temples or mosques, although this may be allowed in some places.

In most temples it is necessary to remove shoes before entering, if not the whole temple, then at least the holiest shrines. Follow the example of the locals in this. There is often somewhere to deposit them at the appropriate entrance. Sometimes a small fee may be charged. Some temples, or parts of temples, are reserved for adherents of the religion. In some areas women may not be allowed.

If you are invited into a person's home, you should likewise remove your shoes unless otherwise indicated. Do not go into the kitchen or water-storage area unless you are invited, in which case remove your shoes. As in practically all of Asia it is rude to direct the soles of your feet at a person, or at anything of religious significance. When sitting, try to keep feet on the ground or tucked in. You should also avoid pointing with a finger at religious objects but rather use the open palm of the hand. A person's head is often regarded as sacred or vulnerable and should not be touched. Try to resist the Western temptation to pat children on the head. The symbolism of the hand, and the distinction between left and right, are considerably more important in Asia than in the west. The left hand is reserved for everything to do with the lower part of the body. Consequently, you should try to use your right hand in all social situations. Only eat with the right hand. If giving food, money, or any other object to someone, use the right hand. In special circumstances when making a presentation, it is polite to use both hands. Wash your hands before and after meals.

Do not touch anyone else's food, cutlery or cooking utensils. If you are drinking from the same container as someone else, do not touch it with your lips. Pour the liquid from a little way above your mouth. The fire and hearth are often considered sacred, hence it would be inconsiderate to throw anything into them. The holding of hands in public by persons of the opposite sex is frowned upon. Possibly because of the relatively overcrowded conditions in India, the interpersonal distance is much lower than in the West. You may feel that someone is being too intimate and standing too close to you. This is not deliberate aggression, it is just that this is the normal distance for locals, though somewhat mitigated by considerations of caste and rank. Traffic conditions are similarly affected.


India offers many opportunities for photography. Please respect people's sensitivities, and always ask for permission before taking a photograph of a person. Be prepared to send them a copy if requested. If you promise to do this, please do not 'forget' on returning home. Do not take photographs at airports, military installations, bridges, railway stations and other places of a sensitive nature. Beware also of using binoculars and cameras in such areas. Inside temples photography is often not allowed; the use of flash generally banned completely. Always check, since photographing religious objects may cause offense.

Film is often available locally, but is not of particularly good value, and may be past its shelf life. It is better to bring enough rolls and spare batteries to cover your needs for the trip. Officials at the airports insist that the x-ray machines are safe for films, but you may prefer to have your films hand searched to be on the safe side.

Many sanctuaries and cultural sites charge a modest camera fee in addition to the entrance fee. Video camera fees can be extremely high, but use of a video camera without the necessary permit can result in confiscation of the equipment. If you are carrying expensive cameras and optical equipment, it is a good idea to make sure it is covered by your insurance. If your tour goes to high altitudes, remember to take appropriate UV filters.


18 languages are officially recognized in India plus hundreds of minor tongues and dialects. Hindi has been encouraged as a national language, but English is widespread and the first language for many educated people. In most urban settings and official dealings English will see you through. A small phrasebook such as the Lonely Planet Hindi/Urdu Phrasebook might be useful. A knowledge of the numbers, which are broadly similar in most of the country's languages, can be of some help.


Hotel porters expect a tip, and waiters expect 10-15% of the bill. It is not necessary to tip taxi drivers with whom you have agreed a price for a single journey, but if you keep the same car for a day or more, it is appropriate. If you go trekking, and use a guide and porters, reward them at the end of the trek. In some situations, the judicious use of baksheesh may expedite matters. Giving money to beggars is a personal matter, although it is not encouraged. In India beggars can be extremely tenacious and keeping loose change handy can resolve the situation. Unfortunately, some tourists misguidedly give away pens and sweets, so children now consider pestering tourists for pens (Gimme one pen!) and sweets (Mithai!) normal. Thankfully this problem has not become widespread in Bhutan. If you would really like to help the local children, consider making a direct contribution to a local school, perhaps even with a long-term commitment.

Arrival and Flight Transfers

If you have arranged private transfers, you will be met by our driver/representative on arrival at the airport.

Departure and Airport Departure Tax

Indian regulations demand that you check in for your International flights three hours before departure. The Indian government levies an airport tax on departing international flights. Most airlines now add this to the ticket price, but in some cases you may have to pay on departure. Check with the airline to make sure you keep enough rupees for this purpose. It is illegal to take Indian Rupees out of the country, but any excess can be re-exchanged into hard currency at the airport on production of a Foreign Exchange Certificate (which you should insist on being given on first changing your money). You can do this at the airport banks after checking in but before going through passport control.

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