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Useful Tips

Do's & Don'ts -        

 
 

DO'S

DONT'S

ACCOMODATION

* Always book into approved hotels or RTDC run hotels.

* Make enquiries at the information bureaux located at most Railway stations, Bus stands, Airports

* Before staying in a paying guest accommodation, always check about its authorization by the Department of Tourism

* Always keep your hotel room locked when there or when out for sight seeing, shopping.

ACCOMODATION

* Don't stay with or be coaxed into staying with people you meet at Railway platforms, Bus stands or shopping areas.

* Don't think you are getting a bargain if a free ride is given by any transporters to a hotel, check with tourist information office first.

* Don't allow any one into your room for a drink and snacks or just a chat unless the person is really well known to you.

TRANSPORT

* Take autorikshaws from pre paid kiosk wherever available.

* Otherwise settle the amount before embarking on the journey.

* Hire taxis from approved Travel Agency, RTDC or through Govt. Tourist Reception Centres.

TRANSPORT

* Free rides can culminate in trouble at hotel suggested by the driver.

* Don't leave your valuables, luggage with the driver

* Make enquires (As to where & how far each monument, tourist site is located ) before setting out on sight seeing with only the driver as a guide.

SHOPPING

* Always insist on a bill for purchases made

* Purchase from reputed or recognized shops.

* Ensure RST/ CST registration numbers in a corner on the bill sheet.

* Payments made by credit cards must have the amount mentioned in words and numerical too.

* Always double-check the goods in the parcel before leaving the shop or allowing it to be packed for despatch.

* Ensure payment by credit cards is made only once for each bill.

* Wrongly made out bills must be destroyed there and then to avoid double payment to the shopkeeper.
 
SHOPPING

* Don't let the driver coax you into doing more shopping than sight seeing

* Avoid showrooms near tourist sites or else ensure the price and authenticity of the purchase being made.

* Avoid shops that have names very similar to govt. run emporia or concerns like RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation) or Rajasthali, Which are public sector undertakings.

* Don't sign on blank letter heads or bills.

* Avoid carrying out business or developing relations for furthering business with unknown persons who are sweet talkers and at times impeccable turned out.

* Avoid help of guide /driver while shopping. Try to avoid shops recommended by them.

* Don't let shopkeepers pack your purchases behind a counter or in another room it must be done infront of you and sign across the joints or ensure some method whereby no changes can be made.
MONEY EXCHANGE
 
* Take from authorized money exchangers and take a receipt.
MONEY EXCHANGE

* Don't exchange from unauthorized money exchangers who do not provide a receipt.
 

TAXI

* Utilize services of pre-paid taxis, wherever available.

In case Cheated: -
If you are cheated, inform nearest Police Station or Police control room immediately or TAF (Tourist Assistant Force) personnel posted near monuments

TAXI

* Don't leave your valuables & goods/ luggage in taxi/auto rickshaw etc.


Communications

GETTING TO AND AROUND RAJASTHAN

International Airport.
Jaipur is the only International Airport in Rajasthan and only daily international flight of Indian Airlines from Dubai. The infrastructure at the airport is being upgraded so that more international airlines open Jaipur as their destination.

However most travelers arriving in Rajasthan land in New Delhi or Mumbai. New Delhi is the closest major international airport and is the preferred gateway of most travelers to Rajasthan. New Delhi airport is 260 kms from Jaipur and variety of transport to Jaipur is available from there. Mumbai is also an alternative and is one of India major international airports.

AIR
Rajasthan has airports at Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur, while the airport at Jaisalmer opens from 1st October to 31st March. Government run airline Indian Airlines and private airline Jet Airways operate daily services to all airports in Rajasthan from New Delhi and Mumbai. The domestic airport at New Delhi and Mumbai are located near the international airport and flight to Rajasthan operates from domestic airports only.

Check-in time for all airlines is one hour before the flight scheduled time. You are allowed 20 kgs of baggage in economy and 30 kgs of baggage in business class. There is a stringent security check your clothing is frisked and your hand baggage is checked. Remember to get a hand baggage tag before checking-in because it is stamped if cleared for security. You will also be required to identify your baggage at tarmac before its loaded on the aircraft. If you are taking a domestic flight to catch an international make sure to have at least 12 hour in advance to avoid missing their flights because of delays.

TRAIN
India has one of the worlds biggest railway services network managing over 60,000 kms of track and transporting over 11 million passengers every day. Indian railways are an efficient service and reliable and cheap means of transport. A variety of services like the super fats, mail, express, inter city and country passenger services are offer to choose from. The services are also classified for comfort in travel like the most luxurious in air-conditioned first class. Most of the trains offer air-condition service in other classes also two tier, three tier and chair car. The lowest is second-class three-tier sleeper berth and chair car. Good catering is available on train and constant supply of cold and hot beverages and mineral water is available. Alcoholic drinks and smoking are forbidden on Indian trains and should be avoided. Bookings of tickets can sometimes be taxing and trains are overcrowded so advance planning is suggested. However most railway booking office offer a separate queue for foreign travelers as a facility. Special quota reservation for foreign tourist is also available on showing travel documents and money changing receipts or ATM slips when paying in rupees.

Indian railway stations have every conceivable amenity on the stations. There are refreshment room, kiosks selling snacks and beverages, books, newspaper and magazine stall, waiting rooms with toilets and change facility, lockers, emergency medications and first aid, basic toiletries, overnight stay room, wheel chairs for the invalid and infirm, push trolleys for heavy baggage and phone booths. There is well-informed enquiry window besides frequent announcement of train delays, arrivals and departure on the public address system and of course the porters can also give authentic information. The reservation chart is placed at a well-appointed place to locate you coach number. Every railway station is protected by the railway protection force and have police station for complains. In case of any assistance you also approach the Station Master or the Station Superintendent.

Rajasthan has well connected network of railways and well managed railway stations. Most important Rajasthan town are well connected by daily services from New Delhi, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and other principle cities of India. For comprehensive information on train schedules, fares and booking position you can log on to www.indianrail.gov.in . The railway enquiry number locally from any city is 131. You can book tickets to from any destination to any destination from a remote booking office. Railways also offer packages for tourists.
 

Visa Rules

1. Passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India should accompany visa applications.

2. Paste one photo and staple the other one on the form at specified place.

3. Foreigners holding other nationalities (other than the country where applying for visa), should submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/ permanent residence in the country (where applying). For citizen of other countries, a reference has to be made to their country of residence for which an additional fee is applicable and will involve extra processing time. Please refrain from making inquiries about the status of application during this time.

4. Following visas are available from the Indian missions abroad:

TOURIST VISA
Is given for 6 months normally, rest specifically depends on the country of residence. The applicant is required to produce/submit documents in proof of his financial standing. Tourist traveling in groups of not less than four members under the auspices of a recognized travel agency may be considered for grant of collective tourist visa.

BUSINESS VISA
Valid for one or more year with multiple entries. A letter from sponsoring organization indicating nature of business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited incorporating there in a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc. should accompany the application.

STUDENT VISA
Are issued for the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is less, on the basis of firm letters of admission from Universities/recognized colleges or educational institutions in India. Change of purpose and institutions are not permissible.

TRANSIT VISA
Are issued for a maximum period of 15-days with single/double entry facilities to bonafide transit passengers only.

VISA TO MISSIONARIES
Are valid for single entry and duration as permitted by Government of India. A letter in triplicate from sponsoring organization indicating intended destination in India, probable length of stay, and nature of duties to be discharged should be submitted along with guarantee for applicant maintenance while in India.

JOURNALIST VISA
Are issued to professional journalists and photographers for visiting India. The applicants are required to contact on arrival in New Delhi, the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and in other places, the Office of the Government of India's Press Information Bureaus.

CONFERENCE VISA
Are issued for attending conferences/seminars/meetings in India. A letter of invitation from the organiser of the conference is to be submitted along with the visa application. Delegates coming to attend conferences may combine tourism with attending conferences

EMPLOYMENT VISA
Are issued to skilled and qualified professionals or persons who are engaged or appointed by companies, organizations, economic undertakings as technicians, technical experts, senior executives etc. Applicants are required to submit proof of contract/employment/engagement of foreign nationals by the company or organization.

FEES
The fee structure depends on the nationality of the passport holder and type/duration of visa applied. The existing fee structure is:

Transit Visa
US$ 5.00

Visas with validity upto six months
US$ 30.00

Visas with validity upto one year
US$ 50.00

Student Visa
US$ 50.00

Visas with validity between one to five years
US$100.00

Visa fees indicated in US$ are payable in local currencies as well. Visa fees are not refundable except in cases where a visa already issued is cancelled thereafter.

PROCESSING DURATION
Depends on the type of visa applied.

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION:
The duration of stay in India, for each visit on a tourist visa or business visa is only for a period of 6 months even though a valid visa may be for more than 6 months.

Visa is given for a period for which passport is valid. For example, if a passport is valid until April 30,2003 and an applicant is applying for 5 years visa on December 31,1999, the applicant will not be issued a 5 years visa as the passport expires before the 5 year visa.

Validity of all visas is counted from the date of their issue.

Tourist visa up to 5 years may be granted if the foreigner is connected with the tourism trade.

If visa is for more than 180 days, registration is compulsory within 14 days of first arrival in India.

Extension of visa in Delhi-
MHA- Director(F), Lok Nayak Bhawan, Ist floor, Khan market, New Delhi-110003.
 

Utilities

Money
The currency in usage in India is Rupee. It is divided in 100 paise. Coins are available in .25, .50, 1.00, 2.00 and 5.00. Currency notes are available is Re 1 and Rs 2,5,10,20,50, 100, 500 and 1000. Rs 1000 note is good to keep your wallet slim while travelling but it is recommended to keep change since getting change is always painstaking. Make sure the notes are not torn or deface in any manner before taking.

You are not allowed to bring in or take out Indian rupee from the country. You can bring as foreign currency as you wish but for above $ 10000 or equivalent it must be declared.


Money Exchange
All Banks exchange foreign currency at the prescribed rate of the day by the Reserve Bank of India. Authorized moneychangers are also located at strategic market places and hotels. If you are traveling to remoter area it is advised that you change your money before hand. American Express and Thomas Cook Traveler chouse are also well accepted. At cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur ATMs are conveniently available. ATM accepts Cirrus, Maestro, Master Card and Visa. Though all ATMs may not accept all the cards. All major shopping establishments, hotel and restaurants accept credit cards. But budget hotels, restaurants and small shops may not accept credit cards.

Postage
India has well established postal service. A post card can be sent in Rs 8 or an aerogramme in Rs 8.50 to anywhere in the world. A standard mail can cost upto Rs 11 to Rs 20 per 20 grams. Parcels can also be sent they are charged as per weight and distance. It is advisable to get the parcels stitched by a tailor or a parcel wallah normally available just outside the post offices.

Courier
Couriers services are available for through out the country and internationally. Some international couriers have offices in Jaipur while most others have associates.

Receiving Mails
Post can be received as poste restante with your surname written first addressed care off GPO or General Post Office of any town you intend to visit. While looking for your mail check both for surname and first name as it could be filed under any. Make sure the senders write the return address so that the mails if uncollected can be returned.

Telephones
Even in small town you will find abundance of phone booths called PCOs or Public Calling Offices. You can make local calls our STD call that is Subscribers Trunk Dialing or ISD International Trunk Dialing from these booths. You can spot such booths by a glow sign displayed outside the booth saying PCO/STD/ISD. You dial yourself and pay as per the print out metered bill only. These are cheaper options that direct dialing from hotels. The phone service is usually and you can get connected in moments. Most of the phone booths also offer fax services.

Cyber Cafes
Cyber Cafes are existing all over and Internet and email access. The Cyber Cafes with leased line or ISDN lines are generally faster. However Internet can be very slow between 5 pm and 9 pm but is generally faster in mornings, early afternoons and late nights. The rates can vary between Rs 10 to 50 per hour.

Newspapers
Newspapers in English language with good quality international and national coverage are easily available. Newspapers like The Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, The Hindu and The Statesman are available. Selected bookstall may have some international newspapers too.

DRINKING WATER & BEVERAGES

The Indian loves tea called locally chai it forms an essential part of the social milieu and served as a hospitality brew. Tea is available all over in roadside teashops or restaurant and even on railway and bus stand platforms. A very hygienic tea service is available largely on railway station is in clay pot, which are disposable, but this now being replaced by disposable plastic cups. Unless you specify specially tea is a mixed brew and many traveller find it too sweet. So you specify tea in a tray and manage the addition of milk and sugar. Coffee though less freely available can be found in more exclusive joints. Now coffee vending machine of popular international brands is also gaining currency and some places also have an espresso machine.

There is an apparent over dose of international Cola and carbonated drinks like Coco Cola and Pepsi, which are available in abundance at every corner. These are supplemented by local brands like Thums UP and Limca. Masala Soda a peculiar concoction of rock salt and lime with soda can be a pleasant surprise and very digestive. A variety of fresh and canned fruit juices and local drink particularly good for summer like khas and rose are also very soothing. A diluted and churned curd drink called lassi, which is thinly salted and sweetened and often topped with cream can be quite filling and a remedy to sun strokes.

A variety of alcoholic drinks like whiskey, gin, rum, brandy or vodka is available in good standard. Blended whiskeys with Scotch are available and are generally more expensive. Wines and Champaign are also available but in major towns. Bottled and canned Beer is very easily available and is generally chilled before sale. Bars are licensed by the government and are available only in mid range and expensive hotels. There are plenty of liquor shops but public drinking is banned.
 

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