Ilsar's India Info

E-mail: nitzan@hotmail.com

まだ英文のままですが、貴重な情報が載っている為、
日本語に移行しました。 日本語はしばらくお待ち下さい。

'99 info was provided with the help of Nitzan Ilsar
All our thanks
LANGUAGE
English is widely spoken in India. There are many other official languages like Hindi, Tamil, Marati, Orray, Telogo, Ordo, Kanada, Malailam, Begali, Kashmiri, Pangabi, etc. There are around 300 dialects and tribal languages.

SEASONS
Check local area.

BANK/EXCHANGE
There are many banks but not all deal with foreign currency. Those that do include the Bank of Barouda, ANZ, Bank of Hong Kong, and, the best, is STATE BANK OF INDIA. Credit cards are commonly excepted. Cash Advance at banks. There are also many private exchange agencies but their rates are lower. There is no longer black market in India!

BASIC TRAVEL COSTS
rooms- Bombay 250-500r toilet paper 5-7rs
elsewhere 40-150rs postcard 2-5rs
food- chai(tea) 2-5rs local cigarettes(10 ps)10-17rs
thali(rice meal) 10-30rs film 36 180rs
mineral water 10-12rs coke 10rs
pizza(6 ps) 130rs beer 50-70rs
breakfast(cont) 30-50rs t-shirt 25-100rs
breakfast(loc) 10-15rs sleepers 30rs

IMMIGRATION/VISA
It's easy to get a 6 month-1 year visa in the Indian embassy in most countries. The visa fee varies according to nationality, not in the locations of the embassy You can extend your visa at the immigration offices in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Trivandrum. It's really rare to get an extendable
visa. Special permits to visit the north east region are usually are granted. If you take an organized tour. You can get more information from the tourist offices in Delhi(not in Calcutta!) Assam, Mhagalia are open to foreigners(98)
Andaman islands, sikim-you need permission to travel.

BORDER CROSSING

You can cross the border to Pakistan and Bangladesh(as an Israeli I don't have any info. about it)
There are several border crossings to Nepal from Siligori(W. Bengal), you can take the bus to the border and then change to another bus to Katmandu.
From Gorakpur (bihar) to the crossing point Lombini.
From Ninital and Almora (Uttar Paradesh).

INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS
BOMBAY, DELHI, MADRAS, CALCUTTA AIRPORTS. Have flight connections throughout the world.
VARANASI, BANARAS AIRPORT - Flights to Nepal.
TRIVANDRUM, TRIVANAPURAM flights to Sri Lanka and South East Asia.


COMMUNICATIONS

MAIL
Letter to Europe: 11 rps
Postcard to Europe: 7 rps
Parcels: It's a good idea to go to the GPO(main post office) The tailors around the GPO will prepare your parcel packages.

HOW TO GET MAIL?: At GPO you can find the "poste restante" service. Inform your relatives to write to you c/o the GPO address, you will need your passport to pick up the mail.
Example:
LEVINSKIE Monika, the poste restante, GPO, New Delhi, INDIA

TELEPHONE
Big signs written in yellow. ISD/STD-is the place if you want to make a phone call or send a fax. It's usually cheaper to make calls late at night. These places are computerized and the price is fixed.


ACCOMMODATION
COMMING SOON

FOOD
Vegetarian food is common but the carnivores will find what they looking
for easily out side Holy cities(Rishikesh, Pushkar...)the Moslems don't eat
pork but eat beef unlike the Hindus.
Indian basic meal is based on rice. You will find THALI(canna, meal)every where
its a rice meal with lentil soup and vegetables, always very cheap and
when you finish your rice or dal(lentil) you will get more.
ROTI you can find western bread in food stalls but Indian traditional
bread is flat and thin.
Chapaty- flat thin bred made on fire
Parrata- like chapaty made with ghee(pure butter)
Puri- fried thin bread.
Naan- tandori(special oven) roti.
Tandori food is close to western grilled food.
raita and lassi is curd based.
CHAI sweat tea with milk.
Don't miss the Indian sweets.
gobi-cauliflower,alo-potato,matar-peas,palak-spinach,namak-salt, chini-shoger,marag-chikensabgi-vegetables.

NATIONAL TRANSPORT

AIR-
The local national air line is Indian airlines. Good service all over the Subcontinent. There is an office in every airport and almost every city and tourist center, all working with computers. As a foreigner you will have to pay with hard currency or rupies with bank/exchange certification, credit cards are often accepted. People who don't have long can buy a 21 day unlimited ticket, the problem with this ticket is that the you cant have a return journey. If you're under 30 years old you can get 25% off the full price. There are a few more air lines like Jet air, Sahara airlines and etc. It's worth to check their prices as well and to ask for youth discount(passport copy is essential)

TRAIN-
The train in India will take you wherever you want and the journey will show one of the most interesting sides of the daily life in their amazing country.
There are several classes you can choose starting from AC1st class with sleepers for long journeys. The a/c seats are in some special routs like Satubdy Express and the journeys are shorter. 2nd class are equipped with fan and have plastic sleepers for budget and comfortable journeys. The last 3rd class is wooden seats with no option for reservation. Tickets-there is a tourist quota-in most of the tourist areas, you have to find the special office. Buying the ticket will probably take you a long time and the cashier will want to see a currency exchange certificate. At the local ticket window
1) look for the inquiry desk, ask them for the time, of the train, name and no. of the route and fill in 2 forms, write your choice of sleeper.
2) go to the right window - written on top north or south bound routes.
3) you can always get refund on your ticket even if the train has already left the platform.

BUS-LOCAL BUS-
Go to the central bus station ask someone(policeman is a good choice) where you can find your bus and get a seat. The Payment will be charged when the bus leaves the station.

DELUX BUS-
Go to central stations(train or bus) and look around for the private routes Choose the bus you like. Don7t pay till you are on the bus. Bargaining is okay.

BOAT-
The only sea journey you can take is the one to Andaman or Lakshadip island. the last one is only luxury journeys that you can book in your country. For the Andaman island you need to go to the SCI (Shipping Corporation of India) in Calcutta, Vishakapatnam, Madras. You can get the phone no. and schedule in the Andaman tourist office in New Delhi.

HITCHIKING
In some areas it's easy to get a ride on truck or other kinds of transport. I would not recommend it for females because the mainly male drivers might misunderstand. Any way, trips like this in India will be very special for you and often you will be treated like a real guest. It's important for your safety though to make sure that your driver is not drinking.


LOCAL TRANSPORT

TAXI-
In Bombay you can find the yellow & black taxies all over the city. They have taximeters but the final amount will be calculated according to the price list in the driver cabine+luggage.
in the rest of the country you will find the old ambasdor cars but then the
price is negotiate.

AUTO RIKSHA-
The tri-cycle motorbikes have seats for 2-5 passengers and usually have taximeter, It doesn't mean that the riksha walla(draiver) will agree to use the meter which is 5-8 rs per km.

CYCLE RIKSHA-
These tricycle bikes have seats for 2-3 passengers and the of motor isn't exist the price is between 3-5 rps per km.

RIKSHA-
Its not longer exist in most of the places all over India but in Calcutta you will see the riksha pullers running all over the city with their passengers price is negotiate.

TOMPO-
It's kind of big riksha that used as a public service all around the
cities ask for the direction and take a sit, cheap !

PUBLIC BUS-
It quite hard to find your way with those buses it a good idea to ask locals(policeman, hotel workers and act.)the bus no. you need. BE WEAR OF PEAKPOKETS and DONT SEAT IN THE LADIES SEAT(unless you are woman).


SAFTY

SAFTY IN GENERAL
India is not a violent country compared to S. America, middle East, etc.
There is a very low chance of getting heldup but it's still good idea to avoid walking late at night in big cities or doggy areas.
There are many poor people and there are some thieves so lock your room with your own key. be sure not to leave your backpack alone or unlocked on public transportation. Be careful of pick-pockets in crowded places. Stay away from religion/politically tense areas!!!! The most dangerous possibility of being robbed in India is by being cheated when drugged. Don't drink or take food that been offered by strangers! There are always some stories about people who make new friends on the train, accept a drink, and wake up a day later without money.

WOMEN'S SAFTY
Indian society is very traditional. I recommend that women dress and behave modestly (shoulders and legs covered), this will reduce the problem of sexual harassment and attention. In the bigger cities you are more likely to see local women in Western style dress. Indian woman never smoke or drink in public. Don't shake man's hand, "namaste" position is well respected and shows that you have made an effort to imitate local custom. Indian women never look directly at the man eyes or sit beside an unfamiliar man on public transport. Young unmarried woman will never walk alone in the street or with a male friend (if you travel with a man It's a good idea to say that he is your husband). Be firm with any man that bothers you. Don't give him any encouragement. And...take it easy.


INTERNET
In most of the big cities and the touristic centers you can find internet
shops and send your e-mail. It will cost 2-8rs.