Your stay in India: everything you need to know.
India is a source of fascination. It's often even an obsession for those who’ve been lucky enough to discover it.
What is for sure is that India is literally teeming. With its thousands of colours and smells, it is a land of contrasts, and brimming with life. India is certainly a culture shock but also a sublime, unforgettable country. That is why we set up the concept of a car hire service with driver in India.
Those running the company are: Dominique who handles all the contacts, from Paris. And Randhir, a former driver, for the reception and all the organization on site, in New Delhi.
The team is a partnership of drivers who are friends or from the same family, a fact that guarantees a certain cohesion. Their work is done with no intermediaries, and is based on trust, friendship and the love of service.
The passion of helping people to discover India.
You have decided to entrust us with running your trip? Take full advantage of the experience of our English-speaking drivers, who all receive fair payment for their work.
Here's everything you need to know about your chauffeur-driven tour in India. And please note: remember to keep all your important papers with you and scan them to have a spare copy of them.
Your Application for a Tourist Visa for India
Apply for your visa in one of the following ways:
- Application for a Tourist Visa for India through a centre in France:
- VF SERVICES (UK) Limited
42-44 Rue du paradis 75010 Paris
18-22, Rue Edmond Rostand
20 rue de la Villette, Le Bonnel 5e étage
69328 Lyon Cedex 03
20, place des Halles, Tour Europe-13e étage
81, Boulevard Pierre 1er
33110 Le Bouscat Bordeaux
Online application for an e-tourist visa for India from the Indian Consulate
Consulat de l'Inde
20 rue Alberic Magnard
Visas are issued for a period of 6 months. Please note that the tourist visa can be neither exchanged nor extended in India.
Flights and airlines for India
The top 2 airlines for direct flights from Paris to New Delhi are:
- Air India : http://www.airindia.fr
- Air France : http://www.airfrance.fr
Vaccines - health prevention in India
No compulsory vaccination.
However, you should check that your vaccinations are up to date for:
- Hepatitis B
Consider taking an emergency treatment kit with you in case of an attack of malaria.
You can add to your luggage a first aid kit containing:
- Sun cream
- Mosquito repellent
- Cream for insect bites
- Hand sanitizer
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Medication for temperature, flu-like conditions, and headaches.
It’s worth knowing that you will have no problem finding medicines in India.
Do not forget to take out health, accident and repatriation insurance.
The weather and temperatures in India
India has 3 seasons: winter, summer and the monsoon season.
- Winter (the dry season): ideal for going to Rajasthan, from October to March for dry and clear weather. Temperatures of 15° to 25° during the day. Nights can be cold between November and February, from 5° to 10°. You’ll need a sweater and a jacket in the mornings.
- Summer: from April to the end of July, scorching hot. But in northern India, it's ideal from June to September.
- The monsoon season: starts late May-early June with high humidity and short, violent storms. Ends in late September with temperatures dropping. In southern India, some roads and railways may be blocked but there are fewer problems in the north.
You can check the weather by clicking on this link: https://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-monde/inde/pays134
The currency in India
It is forbidden to export Indian rupees. But you can easily change your money on the spot. Ask your driver-guide in India: he will show you the best places.
You will find distributors everywhere. VISA, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are generally accepted.
Check the exchange rate here: https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=INR&To=EUR
Languages spoken in India
Hindi and English.
Security in India
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against travelling near the Pakistan border and the Line of Control. Our driver in North India is there to advise you on safe routes.
Never accept a cake or drink from a stranger. He might be trying to to drug you.
Administration: always ask to see a superior officer, as high-ranking as possible. Be firm, be self-confident and be patient!
India is a country with numerous festivals:
- January: Camel Festival in Bikaner - camel fair, parades, races and dances to celebrate the camel in Rajasthan. February: Desert Festival in Jaisalmer - attractions such as snake charmers, acrobats, camel races ...
- February / March: Holi, the Festival of Colours throughout Rajasthan – to celebrate the equinox (the end of winter). A fine opportunity to spray yourself with multicoloured powders and eat delicious food.
- March: Elephant Festival in Jaipur - processions of elephants, shows, competitions, puppeteers, dances.
- March / April: Gangaur, in Jaipui especially (but also all in many other places) - a religious festival in which young women pray to the goddess to find a good husband and married women pray for the happiness of their home.
- March / April: Thar Festival in Barmer - livestock fair and different shows.
- April: Mewar Festival in Udaipur – a celebration of spring.
- May: Summer Festival at Mount Abu - music presenting the tribal and cultural life of Rajasthan.
- July / August: Kajli Teej in Jaipur and Bundi – to celebrate the arrival of the monsoon season.
- October: Marwar Festival in Jodhpur - music and dancing to keep the legends of the country alive and well.
- October / November: the Festival of Light or Diwali – a famous Hindu festival that is celebrated everywhere
- October / November: Bundi Ustav Festival in Bundi – a cultural festival with processions and fireworks.
- October / November: Kashavraipatan between Bundi and Koto - a religious festival celebrating the month of Kartika.
- November: Pushkar Mela in Pushkar: livestock fair (camels ...).
- December: Mount Abu Winter Festival - concerts and traditional dance performances to pay tribute to the tribal culture of Rajasthan, water sports competition.
Basic tips on how to behave in India
- Dress decently: no low necklines, shorts, skin-tight trousers, short skirts or bare shoulders, the Indians are very modest.
- Don’t hold hands if you are a couple, it shocks the Indians. And never kiss in public - it's even forbidden by law!
- If you are a woman, be careful when talking to a man, he might quickly get the wrong idea.
- Don’t display any external signs of wealth (jewellery, mobile phone, etc.) and don’t leave your luggage unattended. Our driver in India is there to serve you and accompany you safely.
- Take off your shoes before going into a store or someone’s house.
- Avoid eating raw food and eat only fruit with skins (bananas, oranges). Eat the least spicy food possible. Drink mineral or boiled water (even to rinse your mouth), with no ice-cubes.
- Don’t take too many photos and always ask if you can do so beforehand. Never take photos of cremations, which are very intimate occasions for the Indians.
- Don’t forget that their head movement to signal "yes" looks like what we do to say “no”.
- To greet strangers or traders, a "Namaste" is sufficient. With people who are older, of high caste, who you respect or who you wish to talk to, accompany your hello with the gesture of joined hands in front of your chin.
- If you are invited for a meal, the Indians will be vexed if you offer to set the table or try to help in any other way. There is no need to leave your seat - gallantry doesn’t exist in India.
- In a queue, stand up as close up as possible to the person in front of you, even if you touch them, otherwise you may find someone else in front of you. This is the norm in India.
- Never touch the head of a child - you would sully their souls.
- Don’t step over a person, even if they are asleep and you can’t get by. Go around them or wake them up.
- Don’t eat with your left hand, as it is considered impure.
- If you are a couple and you are asked if you are married, always say “yes”, even if it’s not true: it will avoid the woman having problems.
- For tips: give the equivalent of 5 € day to your private driver in India (in banknotes, not in coins - small change is only for beggars!)
- In a restaurant, leave about 10% of the bill.