Currency, Customs & Baggage Rules for Visitors to India


Airports in India


Airports of Entry

India is 5.30 hours ahead of GMT. Business travellers can enter India through any of the five major cities with regular International Airports – New Delhi, the capital, in the north; Mumbai (formery Bombay), the commercial capital on the coast of the Arabian Sea in the west, Chennai (formerly Madras) on the southern coast of the Indian Ocean, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), in the east, and Thiruvananthapuram in the South-West. In addition to the International Airports there are also several Domestic Airports in India with limited international operations: – These have customs and immigration facilities for limited international operations by national carriers and for foreign tourist and cargo charter flights. These include Bangalore (CE), Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Calicut, Goa (CE), Varanasi, Patna, Agra (CE), Jaipur, Amritsar, Tiruchirapally, Coimbatore and Lucknow. India also has several Customs Airports across the major centres of trade in the country. Visit the Airports Authority of India for obtaining more information on the various types of airports in India.

Airport Charges

Airport departure tax for international departures is Rupees 500 (Foreign Travel Tax) plus Rs.200 (passenger service fee), i.e Rs 700. For departures to India’s neighbouring countries, the charge is Rs 150 (Foreign Travel Tax) plus Rs 200 (passenger service fee). Although departure tax is usually included in the cost of ticket, it is advisable to recheck before departure with your ticketing/travel agent.

Currency Declaration, Customs and Baggage Rules

Currency Declaration

The unit of the Indian currency is the Rupee.

Travellers can bring into India any amount of foreign exchange, subject to the condition that on arrival a declaration is made to the custom authorities in a Currency Declaration Form. It is necessary to fill out a declaration form if the foreign exchange exceeds US$ 10,000 or its equivalent and /or the aggregate value of foreign currency notes is US$ 5,000 or its equivalent.

Travellers Cheques in US Dollar and Pound sterling are easily exchangeable and ATMs are available in major Indian cities. Credit cards are accepted in hotels and large stores.

Customs and Baggage Rules

There are two channels for customs clearance :-

(i) Green Channel for passengers not having any dutiable goods.

(ii) Red Channel for passengers having dutiable goods.

Passengers walking through the Green Channel with dutiable / prohibited goods are liable to prosecution/penalty and confiscation of goods.

Duty free allowances and the rates of duties applicable for goods imported as personal baggage are contained in the rules established by the Central Board of Excise and Customs, Government of India.

Domestic Airlines operating in India

Some major domestic airlines are provided below

International Airlines in India

India is well connected by air on all international routes and served by all major international airlines. You may contact your travel agent or the airlines for flight schedules. The international airlines that operate services in to and out of India include:

International Airlines operating in India
Aeroflot Delta Airlines Myanmar Airways
Air Arabia Druk Air Nas Air
Air Astana Egypt Air Nepal Airlines
Air Asia Berhad El Al Israel Airlines Oman Air
Air China Emirates Pakistan International Airlines
Air France Ethiopian Airlines Pamir Airways
Air Mauritius Etihad Airways Qantas Airways
Air Slovakia Finnair Qatar Airways
All Nippon Airways GMG Airlines Royal Jordanian Airways
American Airlines Gulf Air Saudi Arabia Airlines
Ariana Afghan Airlines Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Silk Air
Asiana Airlines Iran Air Singapore Airlines
Austrian Airlines Japan Airlines South African Airways
Aerosvit Airlines Kam Air Srilankan Airlines
Armavia KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Swiss International Airlines
Bahrain Air Kenya Airways Thai Airways
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Korean Air Tiger Airways
British Airways Kuwait Airways Transaero Airlines
Cathay Pacific Airways Kyrgyzstan Air Company Turkish Airlines
China Airlines Lufthansa German Airlines Turkmenistan Airlines
China Eastern Airlines Mahan Air United Airways
China Southern Airlines Malaysia Airlines Uzbekistan Airways
Continental Airlines Maldivian Virgin Atlantic Airways
Condor Mihin Lanka Yemen Airways

Indian Railways

Indian Railways

Travel Maps

Detailed and digitised maps helpful for travelling inside India are now available from the Internet. These also provide interactive facilities for obtaining more detailed information about specific locations by zooming inside the maps. You may visit MAPTELL web site or Maps of India web site for viewing the maps. You could also buy these maps online.

Inter-State Travel

Most parts of the country are well connected by air, rail, and road transport infrastructure. Indian Airlines, the government-owned airline, and a number of other private airlines run scheduled flights to various destinations. Charter flights are offered by a few private companies. For more details on Indian Airlines services, please

Railway reservations can be made from any of the 520 reservation centres in the country or at railway stations. For further details, please visit

Travel Agents

India has a well established network of Travel Agents and tour operators. Most Travel Agents and Tour Operators are also Members of reputed National and International Associations. The Government also has a system of providing recognition to them. You may search for members of the Travel Agents Association of India from TAAI.


Hotels in India are classified into different groups such as deluxe, international chains, heritage and palace hotels, tourist bungalows, traveller lodges, rest houses. etc.

Liberalization and a spurt in travel have brought a large number of international hotel chains to India. While well-known chains such as Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Hyatt, Inter-Continental, Meridien, Quality Inns, Best Western and Kempinski have been in the country for a while, the recent entrants are Country Hospitality with all its chains (Regent, Radisson, Country Inns, TGIF), Marriott, Hilton, Park Plaza, Four Seasons and SHPC.

Centralized reservations may be obtained through the travel agents. For further information, please visit the following websites:


Indian cuisine differs from region to region.There is Mughlai food, Tandoor (bar-be-que in clay Oven), South Indian food. For people in the north wheat is the staple, while it is rice in south India. Generally Indian food is spicy and hot. The waiters can be told to make it less spicy.

There are some Indians who are vegetarians. Hindus do not eat beef considering cow as sacred. Muslims do not eat pork. There are some vegetarians who do not eat egg, onions, garlic etc.

The trend towards dining out has increased and many restaurants serve Continental, Chinese,Thai,Spanish,French.Mexican,Italian,Lebanese,Mediterranean,and other cuisine. American fast food is very popular and outlets are present in most cities and towns.

Tipping is optional but a common practice in India. The usual option involves leaving a 10% tip for the services provided.

For further information, please visit the following websites:


Airports In India



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