Top events in India

December
16

One of the largest music and dance festivals in the world - a celebration of classical music and dance of South India (Carnatic style), which is...

January
01

Banganga Festival is celebrated for two days in the picturesque Malabar Hills and takes its name from a sacred water tank in Walkeshwar Temple,...

January
26

Military displays and cultural performances mark the annual event which marks the birth of the country's constitution.

Taj Mahal, India
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Taj Mahal, India

© 123rf.com / Ashwin Kharidehal Abhirama

India Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

3,287,263 sq km (1,269,219 sq miles).

Population

1,339,180.13 (UN estimate 2017).

Population density

450 per sq km.

Capital

New Delhi.

Government

Federal republic.

Head of state

President Draupadi Murmu since 2022.

Head of government

Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs have either two or three round pins.

As beautiful as it is bamboozling, India is an endlessly fascinating country that challenges and surprises even the most seasoned traveller.

Stretched between the golden beaches of the Indian Ocean and the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, India dazzles with an incredible tapestry of natural and man-made wonders. Home to some of the world’s most iconic monuments; its astounding temples, mystical monasteries, frenetic cities, pristine national parks, lavish palaces and mesmerising markets will capture and inspire your imagination.

Visiting India is an exciting assault on the senses. Sights, sounds, smells and sensations are all experienced at maximum intensity. It can feel intimidating on day one, but eventually, the noise and chaos become an ordinary part of everyday life. The sensory stimulation becomes strangely addictive. Presided over by an extraordinary array of gods and deities, approximately one-sixth of the planet's population can be found here, living in anything from high-rise apartments and inner-city shantytowns, to simple huts in remote villages. India is one of the world's great melting pots, where an incredible diversity of cultures, religions and ethnicities live in unexpected harmony.

An explorers paradise, you could spend a lifetime discovering the relics left behind from ancient empires and trekking its dramatic landscapes. From its tiger-filled jungles to the frozen Himalayan deserts, India’s veritable bounty of breath-taking scenery is sure to leave you awe-struck. On the first trip, almost everyone finds time for the so-called ‘Golden Triangle’; zipping from the colonial capital, Delhi, to the Taj Mahal at Agra, then on to Jaipur, the colourful capital of Rajasthan. With more time to spare, you can discover 36 UNESCO-listed sights ranging from creaking mountain railways and ancient fortresses to mangrove forests and temples overflowing with multi-armed deities.

Don’t expect to absorb all India has to offer in one visit; the country is best appreciated like a buffet table, with repeat visits to sample the next tantalising platter. And with India’s legendary cuisine, rest assured that on every trip, you will feast like a Maharaja.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.

Areas where FCDO advises against travel

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice. Consular support is also severely limited where FCDO advises against travel.

India-Pakistan border area

FCDO advises against all travel within the vicinity of the India-Pakistan border, except for at Wagah where travellers can cross the border.

Jammu and Kashmir

FCDO advises against all travel to the region of Jammu and Kashmir (including Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, the city of Srinagar, and the Jammu-Srinagar national highway), except for:

  • travel by air to and from the city of Jammu
  • travel within the city of Jammu
  • travel within the region of Ladakh

Manipur

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the state of Manipur.

In April-May 2023 violent ethnic clashes broke out across Manipur, including in the state capital Imphal. Curfews and other restrictions have been imposed in many parts of the state. There may be transport disruptions. Internet services may be limited and restrictions might be imposed at short notice.

You should:

  • avoid protests or large gatherings
  • follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company
  • monitor local media and follow any curfew restrictions

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:

  • advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks
  • information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and potential expenses in an emergency.

This advice reflects the UK Government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in India set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the High Commission of India in London or another Indian consulate in the UK.

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering India.

Passport validity requirements

Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry into India.

Your passport must also:
- have 2 blank pages for your visa

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Visa requirements

Apply for the right type of visa for the purpose of your travel.

You need a visa to travel to India unless you are an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder.

India has a number of visa categories. Make sure you get the right visa for the purpose and duration of your travel.

Penalties for having the wrong visa can include refusal of entry or deportation. This may also include not being allowed to enter India in the future.

For latest information on Indian visas and immigration requirements, see the e-FRRO online portal (part of the Indian Foreigners Registration Office), the Bureau of Indian Immigration website and Indian Ministry of External Affairs website.

Applying for a visa or e-visa

Find out how to apply for a visa from the Indian Bureau of Immigration. Depending on your requirements you may be able to apply for:

Check your eligibility and any restrictions before you apply and allow plenty of time for your application to be processed.

More information is available from the website of High Commission of India in London.

Applicants of Pakistani origin

If you are of Pakistani origin, a British-Pakistan dual national, or holding a National Identity Card for overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), the visa processing time will be substantially longer than other visa applications. More information is available from the High Commission of India in London.

If you are a British-Pakistan dual national, you must apply for an Indian visa on your Pakistani passport. If you have renounced your Pakistani nationality or cancelled your Pakistani passport, you will need to submit documentary proof of this.

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders

If you hold a valid Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card, you can use this, along with your valid British passport to visit India. You do not need a visa. If you have a Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card, you will need to convert it to an OCI card. More information is available from the High Commission of India in London and the Indian Bureau of Immigration.

Arrival, registration, and extensions

If you plan to stay in India for more than 180 days and do not hold an OCI card, register within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO). You could be denied permission to leave if you do not do this. Check if you are required to register your arrival.

Overstaying in India on a visa is an offence. Make sure you leave the country before your visa expires or get an official extension if needed. More information is available on the Indian Bureau of Immigration website.

If you’re hospitalised

If you or someone you’re travelling with has a short-term Tourist Visa and is hospitalised, you may be able to extend or ‘convert’ to a Medical Visa.

Exit requirements

You will pass through immigration as you depart India. Officials will check when you entered the country. If you do not have an entry stamp, for example if you have a newly issued passport, you will need to apply for special exit visa before you travel. This must be done online and can take between five and fifteen working days for straightforward applications. Factor this into your timeframe to leave India when you are booking flights. For further information see the e-FRRO online portal (part of the Indian Foreigners Registration Office).

Vaccination requirements (other than COVID-19)

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and vaccination certificates you may need on TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre).

Depending on your circumstances, these may include:

  • polio
  • yellow fever

The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also provides vaccination guidance and data.

Accommodation

By law, hotels, hostels and other accommodation providers must register the stay of foreign guests with the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) using a “C Form”.  Please ask your accommodation provider to ensure they have done so.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods that can be brought into and taken out of India. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

Satellite phones and listening devices

It is illegal to possess and operate satellite phones in India without a licence. British nationals have been arrested for bringing them into the country without prior permission. You can contact the Indian Department of Telecommunication to request a licence.

You may also need prior permission from the Indian authorities to bring equipment like listening or recording devices, radio transmitters, powerful cameras, or binoculars into India. You can ask the High Commission of India in London for advice.

Taking money into India

There are restrictions on bringing Indian rupees into India.

Visitors, including tourists, must not bring any amount of Indian currency into the country. If you’re resident in India, you can bring up to 25,000 rupees into the country.

If you’re visiting India, you can bring cash, travellers’ cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India.

You must declare any amount above 5,000 US dollars in notes, or 10,000 US dollars in notes and travellers’ cheques combined.

Read this guidance alongside FCDO’s overall travel advice and warnings for India.

Terrorism

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in India

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in India.

There is a heightened risk of terrorism in some Indian regions. Read our advice on regional risks in India for more information.

Terrorist and insurgent groups operating in India include:

  • Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) in Kashmir
  • Naxalite (radical communist insurgent) groups active in India’s eastern states
  • Khalistani extremists operating mainly in Punjab
  • Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), and other groups may also be planning attacks

Terrorist attacks have mainly targeted Government of India interests. Security has been strengthened, notably at major hotels and transport hubs. However, terrorist attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreign nationals, such as:  

  • restaurants, hotels, bars, and markets
  • stations and airports
  • places of worship and tourist attractions
  • festivals, sports venues, and beaches

Take particular care during periods of national or religious significance, such as:

  • Republic Day (26 January)
  • Independence Day (15 August)
  • Diwali (usually in October or November)
  • Eid (date changes each year)

Stay aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Political situation

Strikes (sometimes referred to as ‘bandh’ or ‘hartal’), political rallies and demonstrations occur frequently and can become violent. The risks are higher during elections and after the death of party or government leaders. Protests may also occur at short notice, especially around days of national importance. Local authorities may impose curfews and other restrictions at short notice. Transport and public services including mobile and internet network coverage may be disrupted at short notice.

You should:

  • avoid protests or large gatherings, including at religious sites
  • follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company
  • monitor local media and follow any curfew restrictions

Crime

If you’re the victim of crime, call Police helpline number 100 or National Emergency Number 112 and ask for police assistance.

India’s Women Helpline Number is 1091.

Protecting your belongings

Keep a copy of your passport, visa, and flight ticket separately from originals when travelling. Leave copies at home where others can access them, and also store them electronically so you can access them easily. If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the police immediately and get a police report.

Take particular care of your possessions on buses, trains and in crowds. Criminals may ride past on motorbikes and snatch valuables.

Be cautious in tourist areas, where scammers, pickpockets and ticket touts target foreigners.

Scams

Cybercrime, internet scamming, card skimming, and confidence scams are common. These scams come in many forms and can pose great financial loss for the victims.

Criminals often use the details of British High Commissions and embassies to carry out their fraud. Be cautious and check the authenticity of details before responding.

Drink and food spiking

As in the UK, be wary of accepting drinks or food from strangers or of leaving drinks unattended. There have been reports of spiked drinks and food, with travellers, including British nationals, subsequently being robbed, or assaulted.

Sexual assault

Sexual assaults occur. This includes attacks on foreign female visitors in tourist areas and cities.

Female travellers often experience verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men. Serious sexual attacks involving both Indian and foreign nationals have been reported. British women have been victims of sexual assault, including rape, in Goa, Delhi, Rajasthan, Mumbai and Kerala. Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, when alone at any time of day.

Read our advice for women travelling abroad.

Laws and cultural differences

There may be serious legal penalties for doing something which may not be illegal in the UK.

Dress code

Women travelling in India should respect local customs and dress codes.

Alcohol laws and bans

Laws on alcohol, including buying, drinking and the legal drinking age, vary by state. Get advice from your travel agent, hotel, or the authorities about the laws in areas you are visiting.

It is an offence to drink alcohol in public places, such as public parks.

In some states, foreign nationals and non-resident Indians can buy 30-day alcohol permits.

There is often a ban on the sale of alcohol during major religious festivals, national holidays, and elections.

The consumption, production or transportation of alcohol is banned in:

  • Bihar
  • Gujarat
  • Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • the region of Lakshadweep
  • Manipur

If you drink or possess alcohol in these states, you could be arrested without bail. Charges can carry a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years.

Smoking and e-cigarette bans

Smoking is banned in most public places. You should only smoke in designated smoking areas.

E-cigarettes and related products are banned. You will be unable to buy e-cigarettes in India or bring them into the country.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

Do not get involved with any illegal drugs. Drugs are not categorised as they would be in the UK, into Class A, B and C. There is a minimum sentence of 6 months for possession of small amounts deemed for personal consumption only. A 10-year sentence for possession of other amounts applies. The judicial process is slow and being detained for several years whilst your case is processed is normal.

Using cameras and binoculars in secure areas

Activities involving cameras and binoculars, like photography, bird-watching, or plane spotting, may be misunderstood. Be particularly careful near military sites, government buildings, airports, and railway stations.

Swimming safety

Every year, several people drown due to strong currents in the sea. There are strong currents off many coasts. Most beaches do not have warning signs, flags, or lifesaving equipment. Take local advice, follow warnings and instructions issued by lifeguards. Emergency service standards may differ from those in the UK.

Trekking in India

Trekkers should:

  • travel in groups
  • use reputable local guides and stay on established routes
  • check if you need any special permits

Leave details of where you’re going and when you expect to return with your accommodation. You are extremely unlikely to have a phone signal in the mountains, so make sure your accommodation provider registers your whereabouts using the online C-form.

It is illegal to possess or operate satellite phones without prior permission of the Indian authorities.

The following hazards exist throughout the year, especially above 3,000 metres (m):

  • altitude sickness - see our advice on Health in India
  • sudden weather changes, including thunderstorms
  • avalanches and snow drifts
  • landslides, flooding, and rock falls

Make sure your insurance policy covers you for altitudes over 2,400m and mountain rescue and helicopter costs.

There are no commercial mountain rescue services operating above 3,000m. In some border areas only the Indian Air Force can carry out air rescues. However, they are under no obligation to perform them and only carry out rescues during working hours.

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex relationships are legal in India. However same-sex marriage is still illegal. Indian society remains conservative. This includes attitudes to LGBT+ people, which can be less accepting than in the UK. There is a risk of harassment and discrimination, especially outside of big cities.

Showing affection in public can receive unwanted attention.

Read our advice for LGBT+ travellers.

Child custody and family law

Indian family law is very different from UK law. Special caution is needed when child custody becomes an issue. In case of dispute, consult a local lawyer to find out more about the relevant laws.

Commercial surrogacy is illegal for foreign nationals in India. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) can seek legal guidance on surrogacy if at least one partner is an Indian passport holder.

Wildlife, animal products and souvenirs

It is illegal to buy, sell, kill, or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts without a licence. India has a strong legal framework to regulate and restrict wildlife trade and is also a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). If you’re caught purchasing or trafficking such goods illegally, you will be prosecuted and receive a prison sentence or fine.

Sexual offences against children

The penalties for child sex offences are severe. There is a minimum jail term of 20 years, which may go up to life imprisonment, or a death sentence for those convicted of raping a child aged under 12.

Transport risks in India

Be wary of unofficial transport at airports.

British tourists have been scammed by drivers who offer cheap transportation or hotels, unwanted tours, and extended taxi rides. Travellers who accept these offers have reported being threatened with violence when they have declined to pay.

Taxis and rickshaws

When using taxis or rickshaws:

  • avoid travelling alone and hailing taxis on the street, especially at night
  • use official taxi ranks. Pre-paid taxi services are available from inside all airport terminal buildings and many hotels offer transfers. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Ola are also widely available in India
  • if you’re being collected at the airport by a hotel driver, make sure they properly identify themselves before you set off
  • if you book a taxi online, there’s usually a way to share journey details with your contacts who can then follow your location

Cars and motorbikes

Road accidents including car and motorbike accidents are one of the biggest causes of injury and death overseas. Police figures estimate more than 150,000 people are killed every year in road accidents across India. Several British nationals are either injured or killed each year on Indian roads.

Road traffic hazards include:

  • reckless driving and manoeuvring
  • poorly maintained vehicles
  • poor quality and congested roads
  • roads shared with pedestrians, carts, cattle and other livestock
  • vehicles running red lights
  • protests - see our advice on the Political Situation in India
  • extreme weather and natural disasters - see our advice on Extreme weather in India

Driving in India

If you are planning to drive in India, see information on driving abroad.

You can drive with a UK licence and an accompanying international driving permit after you arrive, but rules on how long you can drive on a UK licence vary from state to state.

Driving can be dangerous in urban and rural areas due to wandering livestock, including cows. Cows are considered sacred in India and road accidents involving cows can draw crowds or potentially lead to violence. If you are involved in a road accident, you may be attacked or become a victim of extortion, even if you were not driving the vehicle. If you hit a cow or pedestrian, you should comply with the police if they are at the scene. If the police are not present, it could be unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident of this nature, if safe to do so you may prefer to find the nearest police station.

It is common to use your horn or flash your headlights frequently to announce your presence on the road.

If possible, avoid travelling at night and in fog as accidents are common due to low visibility and there is a higher risk of crime at night. Always travel in a well-maintained vehicle. Seatbelts are not common in three-wheel taxis (autos) or in the back seats of taxis. Try to use only cars that have seatbelts.

If you travel by motorbike, wear a helmet and proper footwear.

Buses are a convenient mode of transport, serving almost every city across India. However, they are often driven fast and recklessly. Accidents are common.

Vehicles drive on the left in India. Pedestrians should exercise caution when crossing streets, even in marked pedestrian areas and especially at night, as vehicles sometimes drive on the wrong side of the road.

Air travel

When you are travelling through an airport, allow enough time to complete check-in and security procedures, as your baggage may need to go through screening equipment and checks.  Allow time for transiting between flights if you need to change from international terminals to domestic terminals, even if using the airport shuttle service.

Tourists flying on charter flights booked through a tour operator can only fly into and out of the country by using the services of the same charter operator. Chartered flight passengers are not permitted to fly on inward or outward journeys using a scheduled airline.

Rail travel

India has a large passenger train network throughout the country. Although train travel in India is generally safe, accidents do occur and have previously resulted in death and serious injury. There are police or guards on trains and stations if you need help.

When travelling by train:

  • do not accept food or drinks from strangers
  • thefts are common - take care of your passport and valuables
  • avoid people at railway stations offering tickets and tours as you may be scammed

Sea travel

Tourist boats and other small crafts rarely carry life-saving equipment.

Although piracy has not so far affected India’s territorial waters, it poses a significant threat in parts of the Indian Ocean. Mariners should follow shipping industry guidelines on precautions to take.

Ships and crew must have the necessary authorisation and paperwork before entering Indian territorial waters and abide by Indian laws and regulations. If carrying weapons on board ships in Indian territorial waters, you must follow Indian laws and regulations.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

India can experience extreme weather events that can be hazardous to life and disrupt infrastructure, including buildings, roads, and communications.

Plan your travel so that you are aware of seasonal weather events, such as monsoon rains, as well as what to do if there is a natural disaster.  Follow the advice of local authorities and your travel company. Consult the Indian Meteorological Department for local and international weather updates.

Monsoons

Highest risk: June to October

Monsoon rains can cause:

  • flooding and landslides, sometimes leading to significant loss of life
  • towns and villages to be cut off for days
  • serious disruption to road and train travel
  • disruption in big cities due to flooding
  • other services including telephone lines, internet services and electricity supply to be affected

Cyclones and tropical storms

Highest risk:

  • East coast of India (September to December)
  • Bay of Bengal (April to June and September to December)
  • South India (June to November)

Tropical cyclones can cause:

  • high winds: buildings can be damaged or destroyed, trees, power and telephone lines toppled, flying debris can be dangerous
  • storm surges: can provoke a temporary rise in sea level of several metres which can flood coastal areas and damage buildings on the shoreline
  • very heavy rainfall: this can cause localised or widespread flooding and mudslides

See our advice on Extreme weather and natural hazards for more information.

Earthquakes

Several parts of India lie on highly active fault zones (including areas of the North and North-east). The most active are along the length of the Himalayas. Earth tremors are common in these regions and can cause landslides. Limited emergency response vehicles, equipment, and medical facilities could increase the impact an earthquake has.

Check you know what to do before, during and after an earthquake (US government site).

This section has safety advice for regions of India. It only covers regions where FCDO has specific advice.

You should also read FCDO’s overall travel advice and safety and security advice for India.

Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh

FCDO advises against all travel to the region of Jammu and Kashmir (including Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, the city of Srinagar, and the Jammu-Srinagar national highway), except for:

  • travel by air to and from the city of Jammu
  • travel within the city of Jammu
  • travel within the region of Ladakh

There have been frequent terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. There is a continuing threat, mainly towards Government of India targets.

There is a heavy security presence in the Kashmir Valley. This, combined with violent protests and operations by security forces, have resulted in a number of deaths and serious casualties.

Curfews and other restrictions can be imposed and lifted frequently and quickly. Stay vigilant, monitor local media, and follow the advice of local authorities and your travel company.

Foreigners are vulnerable in rural districts and outside the main population centres and tourist areas. There is a risk of unpredictable violence, including bombings, grenade attacks, shootings, and kidnapping. The long-standing policy of the UK government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The level of consular assistance that the British High Commission in India can provide in Jammu and Kashmir is severely limited.

Other northern states

FCDO advises against all travel within the vicinity of the India-Pakistan border, except for at Wagah where travellers can cross the border.

Follow FCDO advice if you are trekking in India.

North-east India

Manipur

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the state of Manipur. Some insurgent groups are active in North-East India in the state of Manipur.

In April-May 2023 violent ethnic clashes broke out across Manipur, including in the state capital Imphal. Curfews and other restrictions have been imposed in many parts of the state. There may be transport disruptions. Internet services may be limited and restrictions might be imposed at short notice.

You should:

  • avoid protests or large gatherings
  • follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company
  • monitor local media and follow any curfew restrictions

Other northeastern states

During 2021-22:

  • violent clashes along the disputed border between Assam and Mizoram and Assam-Meghalaya led to deaths
  • violent communal and political clashes were reported in Tripura
  • a number of civilians were killed by security forces in Nagaland near the Myanmar border

There have been skirmishes on the India-Bangladesh border. Travellers are advised to check with local authorities that it is safe to travel before visiting these areas.

Protests and large gatherings are common in India’s north-eastern states. They can happen without warning and occasionally result in disorder. Avoid protests and leave as soon as possible if a crowd develops. Review your security arrangements carefully and follow the advice of local authorities.

Access permits in northeast India

Permits from the Government of India are needed for travel to Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and parts of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Apply at least 3 months in advance.

In India, apply at the liaison office of the state for which you need a permit or the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

Permit regulations can change at any time. Contact the relevant state liaison office or the Indian Bureau of Immigration for the latest guidance.

For travelling to Mizoram, you need to register online with the Superintendent of Police in Aizawl or state CID on the e-FRRO online portal.

If you are travelling to Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland you are advised to check guidelines issued by local authorities. This is because traffic along the National Highways connecting them with each other and with Assam may be disrupted due to blockades and protests, particularly in border areas.

East India

Naxalite (radical Maoist communist) insurgents target police officers, paramilitary forces and government officials. This caused several deaths and injuries in 2019. The Government of India has identified 25 districts as worst affected, 21 of which are in East India.

Get advice from your travel provider and local authorities if you plan to travel to rural areas of:

  • Gaya, Jamui or Lakhisarai (Bihar) - there is risk of violent crime in the rural areas of Bihar
  • Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Kanker, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon, Sukma (Chhattisgarh)
  • Chatra, Giridih, Gumla, Khunti, Latehar, Lohardaga, West Singhbhum, Saraikela-Kharaswan (Jharkhand) - there is risk of violent crime in the rural areas of Jharkhand
  • Kandhamal, Kalahandi or Malkangiri (Odisha) - foreign tourists and researchers must keep to security guidelines during visits to tribal areas in Odisha

West India

FCDO advises against all travel within the vicinity of the India-Pakistan border, except for at Wagah where travellers can cross the border.

The India-Pakistan border in Gujarat and Rajasthan is unmarked in some areas. Approaching it away from an official crossing point could be dangerous. Where it is unmarked, you could stray into Pakistan illegally.

Goa

Most British nationals visiting Goa do so without problems. However, because of the high number of tourists there are many opportunistic criminals operating in the region.

There have been some serious incidents involving British nationals in recent years, including sexual assaults and the murder of a young female traveller.

It is an offence to drink alcohol in public places in Goa. If you drink alcohol outside the limits of a place licensed to serve it, you could be fined or imprisoned. You can drink within the limits of a registered beach shack or bar, for example, but you cannot do so on an open beach or road.

The Women’s Cricket Team will tour India in December 2023. T20 Men’s matches will take place in India from 25 January to 11 March 2024.

For fans travelling to India to attend the cricket matches, here are some tips to help make your visit safe and enjoyable.

Before you go

Make sure you have a valid passport, visa and travel insurance.

Sign up for India travel advice email alerts, to get email notifications when our India travel advice gets updated. Monitor the official Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) website for more information.

Read the FCDO’s health advice and the latest information on health risks and what vaccinations you need for India on TravelHealthPro.

Follow FCDO Travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Staying and travelling in India

Carry photo ID

Always carry a form of photo ID. You may be asked to show it to authorities. Keep a copy of your passport, visa and flight ticket separately from originals when travelling. Leave a copy with friends or family at home, and save them electronically so you can access them.

Plan your travel

There will be increased demand for flights and hotels during the tournaments. Transport routes will be very busy. Plan your journey in advance and allow plenty of time, particularly on match days.

Accommodation

By law, hotels, hostels and other accommodation must register the stay of foreign guests. Before booking, check that your accommodation is registered with the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRRO).

Driving safety

British tourists have been scammed by drivers who offer cheap transportation or hotels, unwanted tours and extended taxi rides. If you are planning to hire a car or use taxis, see safety and security in our Travel Advice for more information.

Match tickets

Check the official BCCI website for ticket information. Only buy match tickets from official providers or they may not be valid. You could be prosecuted if you sell tickets unofficially. You must have your physical ticket to enter the stadium. Tickets can be picked up from collection points a week before the game.

At the matches

Some items are banned at cricket stadiums, including:

  • water bottles
  • cans
  • lighters
  • alcohol
  • cigarettes
  • sharp object
  • explosive materials.

Refer to the BCCI website for guidelines for entering individual stadiums.

Scams

Be cautious in tourist areas, where scammers and touts target foreigners.

Sexual assault

Sexual assaults occur. This includes attacks on foreign female visitors in tourist areas and cities. Avoid isolated areas when alone at any time of day.

Local laws and customs

Respect local laws and cultural differences. There may be serious legal penalties for doing something which may not be illegal in the UK.

See safety and security on the India Travel Advice page for more information.

Alcohol

Laws on alcohol, including buying, drinking and the legal drinking age, vary by state. Alcohol is banned in several states, including Gujarat. Some cricket matches will be held in Ahmedabad, which is in the state of Gujarat.

It is an offence to drink alcohol in public places. See safety and security for more information.

In some states, foreign nationals and non-resident Indians can buy 30-day alcohol permits.

Get advice from your travel agent, hotel or the local authorities about the laws in areas you are visiting.

Health

The standard of medical facilities in India varies between government and private hospitals. Make sure you have comprehensive travel health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and accessible funds to cover the cost of any treatment abroad.

The British High Commission in New Delhi publishes a list of the most commonly used hospitals including those with English-speaking staff.

Onward travel

If you are planning to travel elsewhere in the region during the tournament, you should check the Travel Advice page for every country you plan to visit or transit through. Entry requirements, and local laws and customs, will likely be different for other countries.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Air pollution

Severe air pollution is a major hazard to public health, especially during the winter months (October to February). North Indian cities are most affected by extremely high levels of pollution. Children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. If you’re pregnant or have a respiratory or heart condition you may wish to consult a medical practitioner before you travel. More information about outdoor air quality is available from TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre).

Diseases

Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and Chikungunya occur all year round but are more widespread during the monsoon season. More information about disease risk and suggested preparatory measures is available from TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre).

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip check:

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of north and northeast India, including mountainous regions in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and West Bengal. Certain southern India states, like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, also contain high altitude regions. More information about altitude sickness is available from TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre).

Medication

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

TravelHealthPro explains best practice when travelling with medicines.

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.

For more information, contact the High Commission of India in London or view the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website and the Indian customs website.

Healthcare facilities in India

Local medical facilities are not comparable to those in the UK, especially in more remote areas. For psychiatric illness, specialised treatment may not be available outside major cities. In major cities, private medical care is available but expensive.

FCDO has a list of English-speaking doctors in India.

COVID-19 Healthcare in India

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want more information, contact a registered medical practitioner.

Testing is available on demand from private laboratories. More details on testing labs are available on the Indian Council of Medical Research website.

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also guidance on TravelHealthPro.

Healthcare facilities in India

Local medical facilities are not comparable to those in the UK, especially in more remote areas. For psychiatric illness, specialised treatment may not be available outside major cities. In major cities, private medical care is available but expensive.

FCDO has a list of English-speaking doctors in India.

Transplant surgery

If you’re travelling to India for organ transplant surgery, check in advance with the hospital to find out what proof they need about your circumstances in the UK. You may need to submit evidence of your marriage and birth of your children before the operation can take place. You can get copies of marriage and birth certificates from the General Register Office in the UK. You may want to have them legalised by the FCDO Legalisation office before travelling. The British High Commission cannot provide guarantees and certificates on your behalf.

If you are considering travelling to India for medical treatment, you should:

  • read more advice on going abroad for medical treatment and elective surgery
  • discuss plans with your UK doctor before going ahead with any medical procedures abroad 
  • do your own research - private companies have a financial interest in arranging your medical treatment abroad and the information they provide should not be your only source of information

Find further advice on medical tourism from TravelHealthPro, and NHS guidance on going abroad for medical treatment, and (if relevant to you) on cosmetic surgery abroad.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in India

Telephone: 112 (ambulance, fire, police)

These services provide support in English, Hindi and additional languages.

You can also download the 112 India mobile app which can track your location to support response in an emergency.

Indian Ministry of Tourism Helpline

Telephone: 1800 11 1363

The tourism helpline provides:

  • advice on reputable sites and services
  • the option to make a complaint about a company

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO provides guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

Find more support for British nationals abroad.

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

Help abroad in an emergency

If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate, or high commission.

You can also contact FCDO online.

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.