India

India

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following states: Jammu and Kashmir

The Republic of India is a country in South Asia. Neighbouring countries include Pakistan, with a contested border, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Burma. India has a coastline that extends from the Bay of Bengal to the Indian Ocean and around to the Arabian Sea. The country's population is approximately 1.2 billion people and is the second-most populated country in the world.

India is a multilingual and multiethnic society with more than 400 languages and about 16 other official regional languages.

India has 28 states and seven union territories united in a federal republic. A president is chief of state and a prime minister is head of state.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Nevertheless, significant economic disparities exist with poverty, illiteracy, corruption and public health challenges. Militarily, India has the third-largest standing army in the world.

Visitors to India will see landscapes ranging from the Himalayas to beaches, megacities to small rural villages and historical sites of the past, such as the remains of fortresses that guarded old trade routes, the remains of the British Raj, and the Taj Mahal. Indian cuisine reflects the many ethnicities of this country.

Currency INR: Indian rupee
Language Hindi and English
Capital New Delhi
Recent Alerts 20
Latest Alert June 21, 2017 - Civil unrest in Darjeeling, India

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in India. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in India through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in India.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in India, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks occur in India, particularly urban and semi-rural areas in the north-central states, with fewer cases in the western states.

Malaria

The U.S. CDC states that all areas throughout the country at altitudes less than 2,000 meters, including cities of Mumbai and Delhi, are at risk for malaria; no risk in areas greater than 2,000 meters in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim. NaTHNaC (Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention for U.K. Travellers) considers that there is a high risk in the states of Assam and Orissa and parts of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. For the rest of India, the Committee no longer considers the risk of contracting malaria high enough to justify the use of anti-malarial medication. The WHO considers a higher risk exists in northeastern states including Andaman, Nicobar Islands, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka (except city of Bangalore), Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, (except cities of Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, and Pune), Orissa, and West Bengal, except the city of Kolkata.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs in rural India, especially in the state of Bihar.

Japanese encephalitis

The affected areas include all states except Arunāchal, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Gujarat, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Sikkim, and Lakshadweep islands. Urban cases have been reported. The transmission seasons are: Goa: May to October Tamil Nadu: October to January Karnataka: August to December. A second peak occurs April to June in the Mandya District. Andhra Pradesh: September to December North India: July to December The risk for travellers of contracting Japanese encephalitis is low, but visiting the listed areas and extensive outdoor activity in rural areas will increase this risk.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya occurs in India.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to India are at risk for tuberculosis, including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, if visiting ill friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Schistosomiasis

The parasite that causes schistosomiasis only occurs in Ratnagiri district.

Nipah Virus

Nipah virus infection has been reported from West Bengal State in India near the border with Bangladesh.

Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever has recently occurred in northern India.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in India. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in the India. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in this country. However, the Indian Government requires proof of vaccination for travellers over 6 months of age arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission. For details of certificate requirements, see Yellow Fever Vaccination.

Zika Fever

Zika fever may occur in India.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to India.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

All travellers 6 months of age or older arriving by air or sea without a yellow fever vaccination certificate can be detained in isolation for up to 6 days if that person (1) arrives within 6 days of departure from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission, or (2) has been in such an area in transit (except those passengers and members of the crew who, while in transit through an airport situated in an area with risk of yellow fever transmission, remained within the airport premises during the period of their entire stay and the Health Officer agrees to such exemption), or (3) arrives on a ship that started from or touched at any port in an area with risk of yellow fever transmission up to 30 days before its arrival in India, unless such a ship has been disinsected in accordance with the procedure laid down by WHO, or (4) arrives on an aircraft that has been in an area with risk of yellow fever transmission and has not been disinsected in accordance with the Indian Aircraft Public Health Rules, 1954, or as recommended by WHO. The following are regarded as countries and areas with risk of yellow fever transmission: Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte dʼIvoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda. America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad (Trinidad only), and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of). Note: When a case of yellow fever is reported from any country, that country is regarded by the Government of India as a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and is added to the above list.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country. Therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country. Therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities and rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Vaccination for Japanese encephalitis is recommended for all travellers to India between May and October, except those whose travel is limited to the following states where the disease does not occur: Dadra, Daman, Diu, Gujarat, Himachal, Jammu, Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Meghalaya, Nagar Haveli, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Sikkim. Travellers should consult their physician to determine if this vaccine is neeeded for their itinerary.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to India.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Anti-malarial medication is recommended for travel to all areas of India ,excluding areas above 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, and Sikkim. The cities of Delhi and Mumbai are also at risk for malaria. Most cases of malaria are reported from Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Karnataka. Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in India

Emergency Numbers

112 Mobile phone access only
100
101
102
1091 Delhi Women’s Helpline Service number
103 Mumbai Women’s Helpline Service number
1090 Kolkata Women’s Helpline Service number
1091 Chennai Women’s Helpline Service number
2345-2365 Chennai Women’s Helpline Service number
1-800-425-2908 Hyderabad Women's Helpline Service
1098 Hyderabad general crime

Personal Safety

The crime rate in India varies by location. With respect to your personal safety, be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is common in India. Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as expensive clothing, jewelry or electronics. Ensure personal belongings, travel documents and bankcards are secured at all times. Never leave your belongings out of sight. Cases of drugging have been reported, therefore, do not accept food or drink from strangers. Never leave your drinks out of your sight. There have been reports from tourists of being drugged and robbed on overnight trains.

Overall, there is a high incidence of crimes against women in this country, with rape being the most common. Reports of sexual assault and rape against foreign women have increased. Women should prepare for unwanted attention and harassment and should not travel alone, especially at night. Even women travelling in groups should exercise caution. Women can minimize safety risk in India by following some guidelines. Wear modest clothing. Clothing that is revealing, including t-shirts with straps, is considered underwear by people in India. Consider wearing a dupatta, a long scarf that can be used to cover the head and shoulders. Do not be too friendly with men, including hotel staff. Do not confront men who stare, but rather look away quickly.

Always avoid travelling alone on public transport, in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night. If possible, use only taxis from hotel taxi stands. Avoid hailing taxis on the street. When arriving at airports, use the pre-paid taxi counters. If you are being met at the airport, ensure that the driver provides proper identification.

There have been deadly stampedes at large religious gatherings. Avoid these gatherings or celebrations. If you are caught in a crowd, keep your hands up by your chest and attempt to move diagonally to the periphery.

Mumbai: There have been reports of armed robbery of taxis on the main highway between the airport and the city, particularly in early morning hours. If possible, arrange coach travel into Mumbai.

At the Mumbai airport, if you are transiting between domestic and international flights, use the free shuttle services between terminals. If you exit the terminal building, you will no longer have access to the shuttle service. Use only pre-paid or metered taxis. The international terminal has pre-paid taxis accessible both inside and outside the terminal building. The domestic terminal has pre-paid taxis accessible only inside the terminal building.

Scams have been reported at both terminals. Unofficial taxi drivers may demand huge sums of money once you get inside the taxis. After clearing customs and immigration, criminals sometimes pose as government officials. Hire guides only from reputable travel agencies.

Areas To Avoid

Overall, the security situation in northeastern India has improved, however, random violence does break out, sometimes unexpectedly. Overall, avoid unnecessary travel to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur.

Although attacks are not directed at foreigners, attacks are indiscriminate. In Assam, there have been grenade attacks in Lakhimpur, Karbi Anglong and Guwahati.

Overall, violence in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has decreased; however, there is the risk in these areas of unpredictable violence, fatal terrorist attacks, and kidnapping. Many countries advise citizens to avoid non-essential travel to the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, and to avoid all travel to the rest of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. If travel to Jammu and Srinagar is necessary, travel to the cities by air, and travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. Some countries advise citizens to avoid travel to the tourist destinations of Phalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg.

Avoid all areas along the border with Pakistan, except at Wagah. Fields of landmines have been laid along the border with Pakistan. Several foreigners have been kidnapped and killed in the past, and car bombs and grenade attacks occur regularly.

Violent crime occurs, and violent rebel groups operate in the rural areas of Chhattisgarh, Jharkand, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal with some clashes on the India/Bangladesh border.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations and other public gatherings occur frequently throughout India and have become violent. Monitor local media for reports because the Indian government generally alerts the public and may set curfews. Sitata reminds travellers to minimize safety risk by avoiding public and political gatherings and demonstrations in any city since even peaceful protests can quickly and unexpectedly become violent. Transportation services can be disrupted with short notice.

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