Delhi Fast Facts and Resources for Business Travelers
Following agencies provide critical information for traveling to and within India:
- US Department of State, travel.state.gov
Choose the country India under International travel. The site provides travel warning, alerts, travel insurance, medical facilities, etc.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://cdc.gov, 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747)
The site provides information on vaccinations and other health precautions.
- World Health Organization's (WHO), http://who.int/countries/ind/en
The site provides information on disease outbreaks in India and lists reports & guides on health risks and safe food for international travelers.
- Many places in India require Govt. of India's permission to visit. For details, visit Foreigners' Division, Ministry of Home Affairs website mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=233 or call, +91-11-2309-2011.
US citizens traveling abroad are recommended to register their trip with the US State department. This will enable your family to contact you in case of emergency or there are crisis in the country you are traveling.
- Step 1: Register your trip at https://step.state.gov/step/
- Step 2: Give the number 1-888-407-4747 (calling from US or Canada) or +1-202-501-4444 (calling from abroad) for Office of Overseas Citizens Services to your family members
Under special circumstances, foreign travelers are required to register their travel in India with FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office). For instructions, visit Bureau of Immigration India site http://immigrationindia.nic.in/instr_foreigners2.htm
Visit www.indian-visa.com to apply for visa. Visit www.indianembassy.org or call +1-202-939-9806 to reach Indian Embassy in DC and for contact details of Indian consulates in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston.
Check with your medical insurance company about what is covered and what's not for your stay in India. Note down the contact information of the medical facilities approved by your insurance company.
You may also visit the Department of State travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1470.html#physicians to read about travel medical insurance and for the list of the companies providing the services.
You can reach Government of India's India Tourism centers in US for any travel related guidance at: +1-212-586-4901 (NY) or +1-213-380-8855 (LA) or visit www.incredibleindia.org.
Be aware of many fraudulent tourism centers in Delhi. The numbers below are the real centers for travel related assistance while in Delhi.
- India Tourism office: +91-11- 2332-0342 or visit in-person at 88 Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi
- Delhi Tourism office: +91-11-2464-7005 or click http://delhitourism.nic.in for details
US passport holders, contact US Embassy in Delhi at +91-11-2419-8000.
You can use your current US cell phone in India it if it is enabled for International calling (contact your service provider to make sure). However it will be expensive (a phone call between India and US may cost between $1.29 and $2.49 per minute).
Alternatively, you can use your GSM (and frequency unlocked) US phone by getting its SIM card replaced by a local-Indian operator. In case your US phone does not meet this requirement, you can buy a pre-paid handset in India ($25 for a simple phone) from numerous places in Delhi. You will have to fill out a registration form, submit your picture and a copy of your passport and have a verifiable local address. It takes about 24 to 48 hours to activate your service.
- Country Codes: India (91) and USA (1)
- City Codes (in and around Delhi): Delhi (11), Gurgaon (124), Noida (120)
Dialing telephone numbers from Delhi to numbers within Delhi, other cities in India and international. (Assume calls are being made from a cell phone)
- Calling cell phone in Delhi: number
- Call landline in Delhi: 011-number
- Calling cell phone in other cities in India: 0-number
- Calling landline in other cities in India: 0-city code-number
- Calling international numbers: 001-country code-number
- Bargaining: Buying without bargaining in India is like throwing money away. Since vendors in India know that their clients will haggle, the prices are already inflated. Tips: do not show the urgency to buy, don't take your wallet out before the final price is agreed. Expect to pay as much as 50% of the first asked price.
- Punctuality: Time is elastic for Indians. Expect your appointments to be a minimum of half hour late. Give extra time between appointments.
October, November, February and March are the preferred months. Average temperature for these months: 65F to 85F. December and January can get chilly with average temperature between 40F (night) and 55F (day). Due to smog, flights are often delayed. May and June get hot: 88F (night) - 115F (day). Expect dry heat with dusty winds. July and August are humid months: 85F (night) - 104F (day).
Take precaution if you eat at road-side stalls or at low-end restaurants. Request the server to get your silverware rinsed in boiling water even if you have to pay extra. Milk and milk products, spices and water are known to upset stomach.
Use bottled water only and that too from reputed shops. With poor outdoor air-quality in Delhi, especially from April to August, breathing-masks are advisable.
Some useful items to carry: Hand Sanitizer lotion, Toilet rolls, and Paper soap
You may carry Tylenol/Advil, Alka Seltzer, Immodium, Robitussin/NyQuil with you. Medication that you can get over the counter at the Indian pharmacy/chemists shop: Indian Crosin (fever), Combiflam (ibuprofen), Norflox (diarrhea), Volini (spray for muscle spasms), Coldarin (cold and cough), Benadryl (cough)
For planning your travel to cities other than Delhi, India Tourism offices in US can provide excellent assistance: +1 212-586-4901 (New York) or +1 213-380-8855 (Los Angles)
For an ad-hoc plan to travel other cities when already in India, you should first call the 'Tourist Information Centers' above for guidance.
5 star hotels in Delhi can charge up to $475/night for a double bed room. For getting the best of Indian culture and hospitality, staying at 'paying guest facilities' (approved by Delhi Government) is recommended. Besides saving lot of money (average cost below $50 per night), you will also get to make good friends.
You may view the list of government approved facilities at http://delhitourism.nic.in/delhitourism/accomodations/paying_guest.jsp
Indian money: Rupee
One US dollar currently fetches about 45 Indian Rupee. Travelers checks and credit cards are widely accepted in India. For credit card transactions in India, most issuers charge 2-3% transaction fee.
For ATM transactions in India, the average fees charged for money withdrawal can be high if the ATM belongs to bank different than the card issuer. Example, use of Bank of American's card on Citibank ATM, the fee may be about $10.25 for withdrawing $325. You may want to use Western Union for online transfers. You can get money in minutes ($15 fee) and pick up money by any of the agent locations. It is the best option in case of emergency. To reach Western union, visit Western Union or call 1-800-325-6000
You can call the following numbers to get information for restaurants, hospitals, service providers, hotels, railway station, etc.
- 197 (MTNL)
- +91-11-2222-2222 (Just Dial)
Indian government recognizes the International Driver's License (IDL). However, it is safer to rent a car with a professional driver. Note that vehicle traffic in India moves on the left side of the road.
- Wildlife Trade: All sort of wildlife trade is banned in India.
- Photography: Government permission is required before clicking photographs of any of the following:
Places of military establishments, metro trains, bridges, airports, railway stations, tribal areas, sensitive border regions, some of the temples, monuments of historical value, forts, palaces, tombs and monasteries.
- Protected Areas in India: There are certain protected areas for which tourists have to take special permit to visit. These places include certain areas of Assam, North Eastern Frontier States (Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh) border areas of Jammu & Kashmir, selected areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Union Territories of Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands. For permission, contact Ministry of Home Affairs: +91-11-2309-2011, +91-11-2309-2161
- Carrying a satellite phone without permission is banned in India. For permission, contact Department of Telecommunication at Room No. 1204, Sanchar Bhavan, 20, Ashoka Road, New Delhi - 110 001.
- Emergency: Police 100; Ambulance: 102; Fire: 101; Accident and Trauma Service: 1099
- Helpline: Tourists +91-11-2336-5358; Women +91-11-2331-7002; Senior Citizens +91-11-2349-0233
One of the best uses you can make of your travel to India is to get a preventive health check-up done at a very meager cost. Preventive screening is often not covered under medical insurance plans in US and it can be expensive. Same quality health check-up can be done in India at 10th of the cost. An inter-disciplinary team of physicians, working together will assess your current and (near) future health and risk factors and design a program for your wellness, which includes diet, exercise, regular screening and follow-up. You can find facilities that provide these services here:
|Morning - Subha||Night - Raat||Yesterday - Kul|
|Today - Aaj||Tomorrow - Kul||Fish - Machli|
|Vegetable - Sabzi||Salt - Namak||Rice - Chawal|
|Milk - Doodh||Boil - Ubaalna||Water - Paani|
|How are you?|
Aap kaisay hain?
|Glad to meet you|
Mil kay ucha laga
|What is your name?|
Aapka naam kya hai?
|My name is Raju|
Mera naam Raju hai
|I want to get down here|
Mujhay yahan utarna hai
|Please help me|
Kripya meri madad karo
Main manta hoon!
|This is very good|
Yeh bahut ucha hai
|I am sorry|
Mujhay maaf kar do!
|What does this cost?|
Yeh kitnay ka hai?
|Is this water good for drinking?|
Kya yeh paani theek hai peenay ke liyay?
|Can I make a phone call from here?|
Main yahan se phone kar sakta hoon?
|Where can I hire a taxi?|
Taxi kahan se hir karoon?
|Where does this road lead?Yeh sadak kahan jaati hai?|
|What is the time?|
Kitna baja hai?
|Have you eaten?|
Aapnay khana khaya?
|Please would you tell me where I can find this address?|
Kya aap bata saktay hain kee yeh pata (address) kahan par hai?
For more detailed information on these and additional subjects see http://www.indiabusinessandtravelguide.com/browse/delhi_special