General advice

IMMUNIZATIONS

You know you will need travel immunizations. So far, the recommendations most people have received for immunizations include vaccinations for typhus, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B. According to Kaiser Permanente, neither Delhi or the Himalayan area where we will be requires a malaria vaccination. However, your own medical condition may require special support, and we strongly recommend that you consult your primary care physician if you think that might be a possibility. You should start your immunizations as soon as possible, because some of those recommended require booster shots 30 to 60 days after the series is started.

Your Arrival Time in Delhi and Travel Insurance Requirement

As soon as you have made your travel arrangements to Delhi arriving, please email us the airline, flight number, and time of arrival so we have someone there to meet you once you have cleared Indian customs and take you to the hotel where we still be staying overnight in Delhi.

You should also have your travel insurance information by that time, so be sure to send us the REQUIRED proof of purchase. If you wish, you can send us a copy of your policy so that we have that handy as a backup for you should it be necessary. We will also have copies of your passport main page, passport photo, and other information if needed.

Currency Restrictions

Some of you have asked about what form of cash (currency) to take to India. Dollars appear to be the answer for most of us. As of 2013, it is illegal for Westerners to take Indian rupees into India. Here’s what their official web site says:

Importing Foreign or Indian Currency into India

Foreign Currency

Any foreign passenger can bring any amount of foreign exchange into India without any limit. However, you have foreign currency notes (bills) of more than US $5,000 or equivalent and/or foreign exchange including currency of more than US $10,000 or equivalent, you will have to make the declaration before the customs officer.

Indian Currency

Generally, import of Indian currency is prohibited. However, in the case of passengers normally resident of India who are returning from a visit abroad, Indian currency up to Rs. 7,500 is allowed.

(http://www.immihelp.com/travel-to-india/import/currency.html)

So, you will need to convert dollars, pounds, or euros into rupees once you have arrived in Delhi. All your travel, food, and transportation expenses are covered through the Gyalshen Institute arrangements; your need for Indian rupees will be for whatever items you may wish to purchase for yourself along the way.

In the arrival section (Terminal 3) of the Delhi airport, there are currency exchange counters before the customs and after the customs area.

Before the customs, there are 2 currency exchange counters: 1) Thomas Cook and 2) Central Bank of India.  Both the counters are open 24 hours.

Difference: Central Bank of India doesn’t charge any commission whereas Thomas Cook does and both give the same exchange rate.

Make sure that you ask for Central Bank of India’s counter since they are not as strategically located as Thomas Cook. The current rate is about 67 rupees to the dollar.