Travel Info For:
International travelers to the Indian Himalayas usually fly into the gateway city of Delhi. The flights arrive around midnight, and the domestic flights to Leh or other areas leave in the morning, so most travelers stay at least one night in a Delhi hotel. If you are making your own arrangements in Delhi, it is advisable to hire a taxi to your hotel at the prepaid taxi stand in the arrival hall.
There are two ways to obtain an Indian visa, but both must be applied for before your arrival. The old way is to obtain one from an Indian Consulate, preferably in your home country, prior to travel. In the USA this can be accomplished by downloading a visa form and instructions from www.indianembassy.org. The new way for citizens of certain eligible countries, is to obtain an Indian e-Tourist Visa (eTV) by applying on-line at: indianvisaonline.gov.in at least four days before your departure for India. The e-Tourist Visa is valid for a thirty day period and is provided upon arrival to travellers visiting India with the purpose of tourism only.
Indian e-Tourist Visa Airports
International travelers who are eligible for eTV may obtain their Indian tourist visa on arrival at entry of the following 16 international airports in India.
Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, and Varanasi.
Travelers do not have to exit India from the above listed airports; they may exit India from any authorized Immigration Check Post in India.
E VISA FACILITY IS AVAILABLE FOR NATIONALS OF FOLLOWING COUNTRIES/TERRITORIES
Albania, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon Union Republic, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hongkong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati,Kyrgyzstan , Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger Republic, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal , Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda,Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
1. International travelers whose sole objective for visiting India is recreation, sight seeing, casual visit to visit friends and relatives, attending a short term yoga programme, medical treatment including treatment under Indian systems of medicine, business purpose, as attendant to e-Medical visa holder, attending a conference/ seminar/ workshop organized by a Ministry or Department of the Government of India, State Governments or UT Administrations etc. & their subordinate/ attached organizations & PSUs and no other purpose/activity.
2. Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
3. International Travelers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
4. International Travelers having Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin may please apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission.
5. Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders or Laissez-passer travel document holders.
6. Not available to individuals endorsed on Parent's/Spouse's Passport i.e. each individual should have a separate passport.
7. Not available to International Travel Document Holders.
THE FOLLOWING TRAVELERS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR INDIAN E-TOURIST VISA.:
1. Citizens of the above listed countries, their parents, or their grandparents, who were born in and were permanent residents of Pakistan.
2. Persons with Diplomatic or Official passports.
3. Residents of India and/or people who work in India.
4. Anyone who is declared persona non grata by the Government of India.
5. Anyone who is the subject of a black list or any warning circular or other restrictive list.
International travelers with a Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin may apply for a regular Visa at Indian Mission.
APPLYING FOR INDIAN E-TOURIST VISA:
to apply for etv, applicants must follow the below steps.
1. Apply for eTV online at least 4 days before your date of arrival in India.
2. Upload photograph and passport page containing Name, Date of Birth, Nationality, Place of Issue, Date of Issue, Passport Number, and Expiration Date.
3. Pay visa fee online at least 4 days before the expected date of travel using a credit card or debit card. If you do not pay the fee at least 4 days before your expected date of travel, your application will not be processed.
4. Receive Indian eTV online. Your e-Tourist Visa will be sent to the email address you provide in your application. Print and bring with you while traveling to India.
5. Fly to India, making sure to have your printed eTV with you at the time of travel.
The visa processing time for Indian eTV varies depending upon the nationality/origin of the visa applicant, but applicants can check the status of their application by clicking check status.
INDIAN e-TOURIST VISA FEES
The Indian eTV fee is $60 USD per passenger (including children) and must be paid at least 4 days before the traveler's expected travel date.
INDIAN e-TOURIST VISA DOCUMENTS
The documents required for e-Tourist Visa include:
1. Scanned First Page of Passport in PDF format. Its minimum size is 10 KB and maximum size is 300 KB.
2. Passport valid for at least 6 months and contains a minimum of two blank pages.
3. Digital photograph that meets the following requirements:
- Format JPEG Size, Minimum 10 KB, Maximum 1 MB
- The height and width of the photo must be equal.
- Photo should present full face, front view, eyes open.
- Center head within frame and present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin.
- Background should be plain light colored or white background.
- No shadows on the face or in the background.
- Without borders.
4. Return ticket
In Ladakh, special permits are only required for restricted areas like the Nubra Valley and for summiting certain peaks. We will arrange for these permits as part of our trip package.
For Sikkim travelers, an innerline permit is required to enter the state and can be obtained free of charge in Siliguri after landing at the Bagdogra Airport. A passport size photo is required. For trekking in Sikkim, an additional trekking permit is required and must be applied for in advance or your trip. We will assist in obtaining these permits as part of our trip package.
The official currency in India is the Indian Rupee. Travelers can change money at the airport or at the banks and official money exchanges in Delhi and other cities. These exchangers will readily accept cash. American Express travelers checks are usually accepted, but other brands of travelers checks are harder to exchange. Credit cards are accepted at some businesses. ATM machines are beginning to make their appearance, but they are not widespread.
A wide price range of hotels is available in Delhi, but generally, the better ones are expensive (as in most big cities). Lodging in Leh is much more reasonable and can range from guest houses to Class A hotels. Most hotels in Leh have meal plans that are included with the cost of the room. We will gladly arrange accommodations to suit your budget.
Telephones and E-mail
India’s telephone system works well. The traveler can make local and international calls from one of the many STD/ISD facilities. The country code for India is 91. The city code for Delhi 011 and for Leh is 01982. Internet service is widely available.
India is 10 hours and 30 minutes ahead of New York (5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of GMT).
Voltage is 220 at 50 cycles AC. The central electricity in Leh usually is only available after dark. Many establishments have their own generators as a backup. Electricity is usually not available in the rest of Ladakh.
Flights to and from Leh
There are 3 to 5 flights each day in the summer.
Leh-Srinagar (twice a week)
Leh-Jammu (twice a week)
Currently the only airlines flying to Leh are:
Tourists can only enter Bhutan through Paro if flying in, or Phuentsholing if arriving by road. The only approved airline is Bhutan's own Druk Air. An example of the flight schedule is given below. Check their website: www.drukair.com.bt for the most up to date schedule. To arrive by road, the closest airport is Bagdogra.
Bhutan Visa Formalities
Other than Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; the Visa clearance takes at least 10 days to process and validity of the passport should not be less then six months from the date of travel. Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance.
Bring two passport-sized photos for visa.
Single entry visa fee: US$ 40. Double entry visa fee: US$ 80. Triple entry visa fee: US$ 120. Multiple entry visa fee: US$ 200.
All tourists must travel with a prepaid and preplanned itinerary through a Bhutanese tour operator. The tariff genrally covers all your expenses for accomodations, food (except drinks), tour guides, transportation and tour activities, whether trekking or staying in hotels.
The minimum tariff charged by the Bhutanese government for tourist visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:
High Season Tariff – USD$ 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
Low Season Tariff – USD$200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
The minimum price includes:
• All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
• All Meals
• All travel with a licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide
• All Internal Transport
• Camping Equipment and Haulage for Trekking Tours
The rates given above are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan. On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on actual basis.
Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than three persons shall be subject to surcharge, over and above the minimum daily rates applicable, as follows:
Single individual: US$ 40 per night
Group of 2 persons: US$ 30 per person per night
Permits are required everywhere outside of Paro and Thimphu Valleys. Your tour operator wil get the permits for your trip. These must be shown at poilce checkpoints at major road junctions.
The official currency in Bhutan is the ngultrum, Nu. The Indian Rupee is usually accepted also, as the currency is equivalent in value to the ngultrum. Travelers can change money at the airport or at the banks and and larger hotels. Well known brands of travelers checks are usually accepted, but a !% fee is charged. Credit cards are accepted at some businesses. ATMs are not available for tourists.
The hotels and meals are included in the daily tariff and will be arranged in advance by your tour operator. There are a number of premium hotels around the country that will cost more than the daily tariff allows.
Telephones and E-mail
Bhutan's telephone system works well. The traveler can make local and international calls from one of the many STD/ISD facilities. The country code for Bhutan is 975. The city code for Thimphu is 02 and for Paro is 08. Mobile phones are in widespread use and sim cards can be purchased for compatible phones. Internet service is widely available.
Bhutan is 11 hours ahead of New York (6 hours ahead of GMT).
Voltage is 220 at 50 cycles AC. Electricity is widely available in the cities and towns.
International Flight Info
Another company has started service to and from Paro to Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka, Bangkok, Kathmandu, and Yangon:
Paro Airport is located in a narrow valley at 2,235 meters (7,330 ft) above sea level, and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,900 meters (16,000 ft).
Train Stations - Railways near Bhutan
The only really practical train station is located near the town of Siliguri, WB, India. The station is called NJP or New Jalpaiguri. NJP is around 3 south of Darjeeling, around 4 hours south of Gangtok, around half hour from Bagdogra and around 4hrs from Phuentsholing. Trains run east towards Guwahati and further interior north east. Trains from Kolkata in the south take around 12hrs and usually there are overnight trains from or to go there. There are several trains though Varanasi or nearby station (Mughalserai) to Delhi, which take much longer. However due to stiff competition in the airfares, sometimes it is cheaper to travel by flight, than by train between Kolkata or Delhi to Bagdogra.
A visa is required to enter Nepal except for SAARC and Chinese nationals. SARC stands for South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation which represents Bangladesh, Bhutan, India. Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A visa can be obtained at a Royal Nepalese Embassy or consulate, or at the airport on arrival. Two copies of passport size photos are required for the visa.
Visa Fees are as follows:
|Single Entry||US$ 30 for 60 days|
|Multiple Entry||US$ 80 for 50 days|
|Visa extension fee||US$30 for 30 days|
|Re-entry Visa fee||US$ 30 for 30 days|
Children under 10 years of age are not required to pay a visa fee. A person who stays in Nepal for more than 15 days and wishes to re-enter within the same year (Jan-Dec), will get a free visa (NEW). Transit passengers will get a free visa for 72 hours (NEW).
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