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HOME > India > tips


India travel tip

  1.   DOCUMENTS

  2.   HEALTH

  3.   ALTTITUDE EFFECTS

  4.   MONEY

  5.   TIPS/ SAFETY IN INDIA

  6.   TIPS/ SAFETY IN KASHMIR

  7.   EQUIPMENT IN GENERAL

  8.   EQUIPMENT IN LADAKH & KASHMIR

  9.   TRAINS


 

DOCUMENTS

     You can get the visa at the borders or at the airports. Anyway I was already holding mine got at the Italian embassy (50 euro for a 90 days visa)

      To enter Kashmir you do not need any special permission besides your Indian visa

      To visit some areas of Ladakh, like the ones near the Tibetan border you need some permission you can get when you organise the trip in Leh

 

HEALTH

No compulsory vaccination for italian citizens, anyway what I reccomend is:

     meningitis

      hepatitis A/B  

    typhus 

    tetanus 

Since I had not planned to go to Kolkata, but only in the mountains, I didn’t take any anti-malaria pill and I didn’t have any mosquito net, and I don’t think they are really necessary. Don’t forget a good mosquito repellent

 

ALTITUDE EFFECTS

The altitude can be a problem and for us it has been a huge one.
The sensitivity is very personal and unfortunately there’re no medicine to prevent it beside a good training. We acclimatised for 4 days in Leh, but I was far from being in my best shape, and then the journey by bus to Manali has been a tragedy. I would not do it again, although the amazing landscape we passed through.

 

MONEY

I changed Euros and Dollars, both of them are easily changeable.

 

TIPS/ SAFETY INDIA

      Pay attention to your belongings during the night on the train. We paid the carelessness having our small bagbacks stolen from Kolkata to Varanasi, losing pics and camera (this was a great pity). Don’t get paranoid, it’s enough you use the small backbag as pillow, and keep ALWAYS your passport and money in the money belt! Hardly you will get robbed violently, but you’ll pay any carelessness

      Watch out the blackouts especially in Varanasi and Agra. If you take a A/C rooms, it could be useless most of the time

      Watch out the riscio’ drivers, they are the biggest cheater we found in India. Especially in Varanasi and Agra they take you where they want despite what you asked for. In Varanasi they  will take you to hotel with a name similar to the one you have asked for; give them the address and  not the name of the accommodation. Never accept to visit a shop proposed by a riscio' driver, even "just to look". It'll be only a hassle.

 

SAFETY IN KASHMIR

     Kashmir is safe despite it’s plenty of militaries and check points every few hundreds metres, here be ready to show your passport and be registered on some crappy piece of paper. Keep away from any military celebration and base.

      When I landed in Srinagar they asked me to give an address of a booked accommodation to be registered in the country, otherwise I had to book one from the reservation office of the airport. It’s enough you just have a name of a houseboat.

      Obviously keep away from the line of control between Pakistan and India

      Due to the past and present tensions, avoid even naming in public the word Pakistan

      In summer book the bus from Srinagar to Leh (2 day sleeping in Kargil) at least 2 days in advance

 

EQUIPMENT IN GENERAL

I'll list just the main stuffs:

      There are a lot of places where you can burn your CD so you don’t need to have tons of memory sticks for your camera (2$ per CD, CD included)

     Mosquito repellent burning stuff

    Mosquito repellent spray

    A flash lamp with batteries change

    A good knife

 

EQUIPMENT IN LADAKH & KASHMIR

In Kashmir and Ladakh while I was there (15- 30 August) the daily temperature: 15-30 C (in Leh the sun burns a lot), while the minimum night temperature: 10 C

    A cap and sun cream will turn out useful

    Unless you are not going to trek you don’t need a thick sleeping bag, since the guesthouses have the blankets.

    I do not recommend trekking shoes; I had sport shoes

  Long pants are important but short ones useful during the day. In kashmir for females in it’s convenient to covers legs and shoulders, and the same in Ladakh to enter the Gompa (monasteries).

 

TRAINS

     Train is always more comfortable than bus.

       For long distance trains (New Delhi- Varanasi), book at least 2 days in advance

   Safety in train (read above)

    There are efficient reservation offices for foreigners at the station

Table price

One way and change 1 euro= 51 Rs (08/2005)

Varanasi- New Delhi 3A 825 Rs 16 euro
Varanasi- Tundla (Agra) 3A 680 Rs 13 euro
New Delhi-Kolkata 2A 2335 Rs 46 euro
Kolkata- Varanasi 2A 1240 Rs 24 euro
Agra- New Delhi CC 280 Rs 5.5 euro

Classes:

  • 1A tier: couchette at one level (2 beds) with A/C

  • 2A tier: couchette at two levels (4 beds) with A/C

  • 3A tier: couchette at 3 levels (6 beds) with A/C

  • 1A: beds without A/C

  • 2A: beds (benches) without A/C

  • CC with A/C: seats

  • CC without A/C: seats

  • Seat without reservation (more or less like cages at the zoo)

2A is a very good standard and in some trains the meals are included in the price

Generaly speaking even long journeys by train in India are a pleasure

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