India

India

Use Normal Level of Caution
Avoid Travel to the following states: Assam, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, and 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 49
Latest Alert December 13, 2019 - Ongoing Civil Unrest and Travel Disruption Over Amended Citizenship Bill - 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.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

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 From mobile phones only
100 From mobile phones only
101
102

Personal Safety

Most travellers to India have no safety trouble. The crime rate in India varies by location. Also, there is more safety risk associated with travelling alone. 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. Cases of drugging have been reported, therefore, do not accept food or drink from strangers, and never leave your drinks out of your sight. There have been reports from tourists of being drugged and robbed on overnight trains.

Women travelling in India should be cautious. Reports of sexual assault and rape against foreign women have increased. Women should be prepared for unwanted attention and harassment and should not travel alone, especially at night. 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 overly friendly with men, including hotel staff. Do not confront men who stare, but rather look away.

Always avoid travelling alone on public transportation, 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. If possible, arrange coach travel into Mumbai.

The incidence of road accidents is high in India. Road travel may be dangerous in some rural areas due to poor road conditions, debris, traffic congestion, poor vehicle maintenance, and drivers may not follow standard rules of driving.

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.

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in India and same-sex relations and behaviours are considered socially unacceptable by many people.

Due to the conservative nature of the country, all travellers should avoid public displays of affection, and dress and behave conservatively.

Travellers should take note of whether they will be travelling during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. During this time, respect the religious practices of the country and avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. Always dress conservatively to respect local customs.

Monsoons are common in India, especially during the rainy season (June-September) and cyclonic storms may also occur, affecting India's coastal areas. Flooding, landslides, major damage to infrastructure and disruption to travel plans may result. Some parts of India are also located in an active seismic zone. Dust storms in northern India and air pollution throughout the country also present health and safety risks to the traveller. Heavy fog in December and January can cause travel disruptions in northern India. Heat waves may also severely impact northeastern India. Monitor weather reports closely. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

Exercise extreme caution when participating in outdoor adventure activities, and ensure safety standards are adequate. Have travel and medical insurance before departing and make sure that your insurance policy covers outdoor adventure activities and medical evacuation, if necessary.

Travel restrictions are imposed in designated tribal areas and permission may be required to access these areas. To apply for a permit, seek advice from the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of India in your home country.

It is illegal for non-residents to import or export Indian rupees.

Taking photos of military or governmental installations, airports and dams is prohibited. Always seek permission before photographing temples and other religious buildings.

Carry your passport with you at all times.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid travelling to the northeastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur due to the risk of kidnapping, robbery and violence. There is also a threat of insurgency in these states.

Avoid travelling to the Chhattisgarh state due to the presence of Maoist extremists (Naxalites) who may carry out terrorist attacks, violence and kidnappings.

Avoid travelling to the states of Jammu and Kashmir due to the risk of violence and terrorism. The security situation is volatile and the Indian army is present in this region. Curfews and other movement restrictions may be imposed by local authorities in attempts to control the security situation. If travel to the major cities in these states is necessary, do so by air.

Avoid all areas along the border with Pakistan due to the presence of landmines and the risk of kidnapping, car bombs and grenade attacks.

Avoid areas bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar.

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.

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