Top events in India


National holiday to celebrate India's independence from British rule.


Mumbai's biggest festival held in celebration of Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity and god of wisdom and prosperity. The festival's colourful...


A major Hindu festival; this festival of lights is punctuated with firecrackers from dawn and fireworks at night, new clothes, gifts of sweets and...

Taj Mahal, India
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Taj Mahal, India

© / Ashwin Kharidehal Abhirama

India Travel Guide

Key Facts

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


1,339,180.13 (UN estimate 2017).

Population density

450 per sq km.


New Delhi.


Federal republic.

Head of state

President Draupadi Murmu since 2022.

Head of government

Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014.


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

FCDO advises against travel to parts of India.

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


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. Mobile internet services remain suspended.

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 for travel to India 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.

FCDO advises against travel to parts of India.

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 India’s entry requirements apply to you, contact the High Commission of India in London or another Indian consulate in the UK. The Ministry of Health in India also provides current guidance and vaccination data.

COVID-19 rules

Countries may restrict travel or bring in rules at short notice. Check with your travel company or airline for changes. There may also be information on COVID-19 from the Indian Ministry of Health.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Visit TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre) for general COVID-19 advice for travellers.

Travel to India

Passengers do not need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test before travel. However, you must comply with instructions and surveillance measures when you arrive in India, including:

  • thermal screening of passengers
  • random COVID-19 testing of 2% of all international travellers over 12 years old upon arrival in India

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow the instructions of national and local health authorities. This may include testing or being taken to a medical facility for isolation.

More information and detailed guidelines for International Arrivals are available on the Ministry of Health website.

Residents of India

You may need special permits to cross land borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal in east and north-east India. Contact local authorities for more information and relevant permits.

Travel within India

Before travelling between Indian states, check if there are any COVID-19 requirements put in place by local authorities.

Many COVID-19 restrictions have been eased. You are still encouraged to take precautions such as maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, washing hands and avoiding crowds. Restrictions may vary between states. You may be penalised if you break restrictions.

Additional COVID-19 restrictions might be imposed at short notice including mask mandates, localised lockdowns and curfews. Monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company.

Public places, services and accommodation

COVID-19 restrictions have been eased and most public places and services are functioning as normal. Follow the instructions of local authorities.

Ask accommodation providers about any specific rules and requirements before making reservations.

Passport validity requirements

To avoid problems at immigration, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry into India.

Your passport must also:

  • be machine-readable
  • have 2 blank pages for your visa

Foreign nationals who arrive at an Indian port holding non-machine-readable passports will be denied entry. Carriers who transport foreign passengers holding non-machine-readable passports may be subject to a fine.

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 eFRRO, Bureau of Indian Immigration and Ministry of External Affairs websites.

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.

There is more information from the High Commission of India in London.

Applicants of Pakistani origin

Applicants of Pakistani origin who hold dual British-Pakistan nationality must apply for an Indian visa on their Pakistani passport. If you have renounced your Pakistani nationality or cancelled your Pakistani passport, you will need to submit documentary proof of this.

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

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) need a valid OCI card and current foreign passport to visit India. They do not need a visa. Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders should convert their cards to OCI cards. More information is available from the High Commission of India in London and  the Indian Bureau of Immigration.

Arrival, registration and extensions

Some visa types require you to register with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) within a specific timeframe. You could be denied permission to leave if you do not do this. Check if you are required to register your arrival (includes online option).

Overstaying on a visa is an offence. Make sure you leave the country before your visa expires or get an official extension if needed.

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.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK ETDs are valid for entry to or exit from India with the relevant Indian visa. They are also valid for airside transit. However, you cannot use an ETD to both enter and exit India with the same ETD. You must also apply to the local authorities for an exit permit if you’re leaving India on a passport or ETD that is different to the one on which you entered. You must do this online, and it can take between 5 and 15 working days for straightforward applications. You should factor this into your timeframe to leave India when you are booking flights. For more information, visit the FRRO website.

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


It is a legal requirement for accommodation providers to submit a form (C -Form) to register the stay of a foreign guest. Before booking, check that accommodation is registered with the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO) to submit C forms.

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.

FCDO advises against travel to parts of India.

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


There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should stay vigilant.

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 more about the global threat from terrorism.

Terrorism in India

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

Terrorist attacks have mainly focused on Government of India interests. Security has been strengthened, notably at major hotels and transport hubs. However, terrorists may target places visited by larger groups, including foreigners, such as:

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

You should:

  • stay alert, especially in public places
  • check local media for warnings before you travel
  • report unattended baggage quickly

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)

Terrorist and insurgent groups include Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) and Naxalite groups. Media reports suggest Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and other groups may also be planning attacks. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has also previously targeted India.

Regions with heightened risk

There is a heightened risk of terrorism in some Indian regions, including:

  • Jammu and Kashmir, and less often in some parts of north-east India
  • rural areas of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha
  • parts of Bihar and West Bengal

Read regional risks for more information.

Political situation

Strikes or ‘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 on 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


If you’re the victim of crime, call 112 and ask for police assistance.

You can also call 1091, India’s Women Helpline Number, if you’re the victim of sexual harassment.

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 bikes and snatch valuables.

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


Card skimming and confidence scams are prevalent. Cybercrime and internet scamming have increased noticeably during the lockdown periods.

Criminals often use the details of British High Commissions and embassies to carry out their fraud. These scams come in many forms and can pose great financial loss for the victims. 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.

Women 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.

You may also want to read FCDO:

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.

Laws and cultural differences

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

You should also be aware that in some areas there may be an expectation that people dress more modestly.

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.

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.

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 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 into Class A, B and C, unlike in the UK. 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 trials with detention lasting several years are 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. 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 Health
  • sudden weather changes, including thunderstorms
  • avalanches and snow drifts
  • landslides, flooding and rock falls

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

LGBT travellers

Homosexuality is 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.

LGBT travellers should be aware that showing affection in public, for example, could result in unwanted attention. Read more advice for LGBT travellers.

Child custody and family law

Indian family law is very different from UK law. Particular 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 prison sentences or fines.

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 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 Political Situation
  • Extreme weather and natural disasters - see Extreme weather

Driving in India

If you intend to drive, you must check that your UK driving licence is current and valid. Make sure that your licence allows you to drive in the country you are visiting. You may need a permit.

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. To arrange for a driving test, you should contact the traffic police office in the state where you live or intend to drive.

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. You may become at risk of being attacked or becoming 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, and drivers may instead wish to seek out the nearest police station, if safe to do so. You may also wish to contact your nearest British High/Deputy High Commission.

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. 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 x-rays 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

When travelling by train:

  • do not accept food or drinks from strangers
  • take care of your passport and valuables
  • avoid people at railway stations offering tickets and tours

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. Shipping/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 as well as what to do if there is a natural disaster.  Follow the advice of local authorities and consult the Indian Meteorological Department for up-to-date information.


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

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 becomes dangerous
  • storm surge: a hurricane 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

More about travelling in areas at risk of tropical cyclones.


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.

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

FCDO advises against travel to parts of India.

This section covers regions where FCDO has specific safety advice, including some areas where FCDO advises against travel.

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, and less often in parts of north-east India, including but not limited to Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur. There is a continuing threat, mainly towards Government of India targets.

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

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. Mobile internet services remain suspended.

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

If you decide that it is essential to travel to Imphal and the surrounding Imphal Valley areas, then only travel by air after checking the latest security conditions.

There is a risk of terrorism and organised crime in Manipur, especially in rural areas. Although foreigners have not been targeted, attacks can be indiscriminate.

Some insurgent groups are active in north-east India. During 2021:

  • violent clashes along the disputed border between Assam and Mizoram 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 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.

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. Permits for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands can be issued on arrival in Port Blair but this is not the case for the other states. 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 at e-FRRO online portal. If you decide that it is essential to travel to Manipur, you will need to inform the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) office in Imphal Manipur of your arrival in the state by road or the Immigration counter at the Imphal airport if flying into the state.

If you are travelling to Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland you are advised to check guidelines issued by local authorities – you should do the same if you decide that it is essential to travel to Manipur. 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

Maoist (or Naxalite) 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

Western region

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.


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.

Also read the safety and security guidance for India, including:

  • crime risks, including sexual assault
  • penalties for alcohol and drug offences
  • risks of road travel

FCDO advises against travel to parts of India.

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.

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.

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

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).


Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever occur all year round. There has been an increase in the number of cases of dengue fever, including in New Delhi.

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip:

If you might have COVID-19

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

Testing is available on demand from private laboratories. Testing arrangements vary from state to state, but there are a range of providers available. Contact local authorities for information on testing facilities. More details on testing labs are available on the Indian Council of Medical Research website.

COVID-19 contact details

You can call the Government of India 24-hour COVID-19 helpline number toll free on 1075 or visit the Indian Ministry of Health website.

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British High Commission or consulate.

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).


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 website and the Indian Customs website.

Travel and mental health

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

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.

FCDO advises against travel to parts of India.

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

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

Telephone: 112 (ambulance, fire, police)

Find out about call charges

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

Find out about call charges

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 how to help yourself stay 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

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.