TIPS ON TOUR & SHOP

Safety Precautions And Emergency Information

Contact Information

Never leave an unlocked suitcase in a hotel room. Never leave suitcases unattended on airports or train stations. Women traveling alone should never get into a taxi or rickshaw if there's a second man accompanying the driver. Women should also chain lock their door when they are in their hotel room. Everyone should be alert in crowds for pickpockets. Wear a money belt. One should be careful while using his or her credit cards.
East West can provide a referral list of doctors, dentists, opticians, chemists, and lawyers throughout India. It is also the only clinic in India (so far) recognized by most international insurance companies. Patients, however, pay for services and are reimbursed by their own company or can arrange for payment through S.O.S. East West accepts major cards and is open 24 hours. It also provides 24-hour emergency medical services (including medivac) anywhere in India. Most hotels have chemists that are open daily until about 9 PM. The chemist in Super Bazaar in Connaught Place is open 24 hours.

General Timings to Visit Places

Delhi observes numerous national and religious holidays, in such cases the commercial places are closed. Most government and private banks are open weekdays 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM and on Saturdays 10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon, they are closed on government holidays. The international airport and some luxury hotels have 24-hour money-changing facilities. The major offices of American Express that offer check-cashing facilities also have extended hours. Western-style hotels will also change money for their guests. Post offices are open Monday-Friday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM,Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM and are closed on government holidays and Sundays. Most museums are closed on Mondays and site museums (near archaeological monuments) are normally closed on Fridays. Museums are also closed on government holidays. Business hours of market places, shops, bazaars vary from place to place.

Customs To Keep In Mind

Visiting a religious monument demands respect.

Points to Remember

With all sects, removing shoes is a must before entering a shrine, though sometimes cloth overshoes are provided for a small charge. Drinking alcoholic beverages on the premises or speaking in a raised voice is not permissible. Some structures are off-limits to visitors who don't practice the faith. One should not try to force or bribe to enter such places. Women should always be properly dressed and should cover their head before entering a Sikh gurudwara or a mosque. When you enter a mosque, you are supposed to step right foot first into the courtyard. In some Hindu and Jain temples all leather products inside a shrine like shoes, belts, handbags, camera cases etc. are prohibited. Many temples also expect visitors to purify themselves by washing their hands and feet under a tap or tank available there before entering. No visitor in a gurudwara should keep his feet pointing towards the Holy Book or step over any one sitting in prayer or meditation. Usually try sitting on the floor of a Hindu or Sikh temple with cross-legged or with feet tucked beneath is best.


Shopping & Tipping

Tipping is virtually unknown in India, except in swanky establishments in the major cities. In tourist restaurants or hotels a 10% service charge is often added to bills. In smaller places, where tipping is optional, you need only tip a few rupees, not a percentage of your bill. Most major hotels include a service charge of 10%. Waiters, room service boys, housekeepers, porters, and doormen all expect to be tipped. Railroad porters should be paid Rs. 5 - Rs. 10 per bag, depending on the weight. Set the rate before you let him take your bags. Taxi drivers don't expect tips unless they go through a great deal of trouble to get to your destination, but if you hire a car with a driver, tip him about Rs.50-Rs. 100 per day, depending on the distance travelled. If you hire a local guide, tip him or her Rs. 40 for four hours, Rs. 80 for a full day.


The units of Indian currency are the rupee and the paisa (100 paise is equal to one rupee). Paper money comes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 & 1000 rupees. Coins are in denominations of 25, and 50 paise, one rupee, two rupees, and five rupees.
Changing Money
Importing and exporting the currency is strictly against the rules. International airports have currency-exchange booths that are always open for arriving or departing overseas flights.A good idea would be to change certain amount of money in small denominations.
Always change money from an authorized money-changer and donot forget to take the encashment slip. Some banks now charge a nominal fee for this slip, which is necessary for paying hotel bills or travel expenses in rupees. The encashment slip is also required when reconverting rupees into another currency.
Essentials For Packing
In India, delicate fabrics do not stand up well to laundering facilities except at deluxe hotels. Plain cottons or cotton/synthetic blends are the most practical and the coolest in summer. It's best to avoid synthetic fabrics that don't 'breathe'. For protection from the harsh sun a hat with a wide brim is recommended. When traveling during monsoons, a collapsable umbrella comes handy. During the winter months, sweaters and light jackets are required. For functions carry formal suits for men and skirts and tops for women. To enter a holy shrine, women should wear a long skirt or dress or trousers. Travel in a Muslim community calls for even more discretion. Women should consider wearing a salwar kameez, or loose pants and long blouse. Trekkers and travellers going on any outdoor adventure should bring a day pack that will hold a sweater, camera, a water bottle. A good pair of binoculars and sunglasses that block out ultraviolet rays are advised. Also carry strong sunblock, sewing kit, premoistened towelettes, pocket knife with can opener,lock and key for each duffel or bag, high-power impact-resistant flashlight, spare batteries (unless they're a popular size). Sports enthusiasts should bring their own tennis or golf balls, which are expensive in India. Electronic Gadgets For electric-powered equipment, bring a converter and an adapter. The electrical current in India is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC), wall outlets take plugs with two round prongs.