Deals

Himachal for the Adventure / Experiential / Off-beat traveller

9N / 10D

Starting from : Rs.31660/-

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Ladakh and Kashmir with Zanskar Valley

16N / 17D

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Complete Rajasthan with Agra and Delhi

17N / 18D

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Picturesque South with Goa

21N / 22D

Starting from : Rs.100540/-

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South India Coastal Explorer

12N / 13D

Starting from : Rs.52420/-

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North and Central India Heritage Itinerary with Buddhist circuit extension

10N / 11D

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inbound traveller @ Nivalink

Overview

Nivalink has been catering to overseas guests since year 2000 and have catered to more than 10,000 individual overseas guests.


Nivalink team members have personally visited all the areas, destinations and experienced a lot of what there is in India and therefore are able to offer accurate and authenticated information for Overseas travellers to make an informed choice.


Nivalink having catered to many different customers from over 50+ nationalities, understands tastes and preferences and therefore are able to recommend hotels and services that are suited for overseas travellers.


Overseas travellers to India typically look to explore elements that are unique to India that includes Craft, culture, heritage, cuisine, fairs / festivals, beaches, wildlife, bird watching, Himalayas etc.


Typically a traveller makes initial request for interaction with our sector experts and through a series of email exchanges, the travellers are able narrow down to an itinerary flow.


Nivalink has executed itineraries that are anywhere from 3 nights (a simple getaway for an expat looking to take his family out for a few days) to 70 nights (for an experiential traveller looking to experience the very essence of India and countries around India).


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


Circuits Visited By Overseas Guests To India

Overseas Guests (Inbound Travellers) comprise Western Travellers from Europe, US/Canada, South Africa, Australia and Asia.

A comprehensive list of Popular circuits are detailed here summarised as: 

  • North India (Himalayas, Heritage, Plantation, Monastery and Temples)
  • North and Central India (Forts, Palaces, Heritage Temples, Countryside, Craft, Fairs and Festivals, Buddhist Heritage, Wildlife)
  • West India (Asiatic Lions of Gir, Birding circuit, Craft circuit, Ajanta, Ellora, Coastal Maharashtra)
  • Goa, Karnataka and Malabar Circuit (Coastal areas, Plantation highlands, Cuisine, Homestays, Wellness Retreats)
  • Heritage South India with Backwaters, Plantations etc. (Coastal areas, Plantation highlands, Cuisine, Homestays, Wellness Retreats)
  • Temple and Heritage of East India (Beaches, Heritage Temples, Buddhist Heritage, Sunderbans)
  • Himalayan Hills and wildlife in East India (Tibetan Buddhism Monasteries, Himalayas, Tea Plantations, Bird watching, wildlife)
  • Remote Islands - Lakshadweep, Andaman Islands (Scuba Diving, Remote Island experience)


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.

 

 

 


North India (Himalayas, Heritage, Plantation, Monastery and Temples)

North India combines many areas with Himalayas, Tibetan Monasteries, Golden Temple and Tigers (Corbett) being the main attraction for the Inbound travellers.

North India comprise Punjab (Golden Temple Amritsar), Himachal Pradesh (Himalayas,  Buddhist heritage, Adventure, Spiti Valley), Kashmir (Lakeside, Hillside, Adventure), Ladakh (High altitude desert, Overland trips, lakes, Tibetan monasteries) and Uttarakhand (Ganga Riverside, Yoga, Spirituality, Himalayas, Bird watching, Tigers (Corbett))

These are summarised as under


Punjab

  • Golden Temple and Sikh Pilgrimage Circuit in Punjab


Himachal Pradesh
      

  • Heritage Circuit of Kangra Valley and Tea Plantations of Palampur
  • Himalayan driving and adventure circuit with monasteries of Sangla, Nako, Tabo, Kaza (June - Sept)
  • Manali (Skiing in Winter and other Adventure activities all round the year)


Kashmir

  • Riverside Picturesque Shepherd village of Pahalgam 


Leh -
Experience the beauty of the Desert at 14000 ft above sea level at Leh. (Monasteries, Lakes, Rafting, Trekking, Ladakh Festival - Season - May-September) 


Uttarakhand
 (Garhwal Region)  

  • Ganges Riverside Spiritual and Yoga Retreats around Rishikesh


Uttarakhand
 (Kumaon Region)  

  • Birding, Angling and Wildlife at Jim Corbett National Park (Park Open Oct - June)


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


Golden Temple Amritsar Visit is a popular experience for a Western Traveller

North and Central India - Rajasthan - MP - CG

North and Central India represents the best of Forts, Palaces, cultural experience, fairs and festivals that India has to offer. To add to that there are Tribal heriitage of Chhattisgarh and Wildlife Parks of Central India (Tigers) that form a major attractions for Inbound travellers.

North and Central India is also home to some of the most exquisite experiential retreats that are highly popular with Inbound travellers for the authentic experiences they offer.

Major North and Central India circuits are summarised as under:

Rajasthan with Agra, Delhi, Varanasi

  • Monuments of Agra and Delhi (Taj Mahal Agra, Humayun Tomb Delhi, Red Fort Delhi etc)


Heritage Retreats in Rajasthan


Popular Circuits


Madhya Pradesh
, Chhattisgarh

  • Crafts of Maheshwar
  • Heritage destinations of Dhar 
  • Fort of Gwalior


Buddhist Circuit
- Pilgrimages linked to Birth and life of Gautam Buddha


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


A Varanasi Spiritual experience remains favorite with Inbound Travellers

West India (Asiatic Lions of Gir, Birding circuit, Craft circuit, Ajanta, Ellora, Coastal Maharashtra)

Western India is renowned for its Asiatic Lions, Ajanta / Ellora Caves, Heritage city of South Mumbai, Coastal Maharashtra and Gujarat craft / tribal heritage / bird watching circuits.

Circuits are summarised as under:


Gujarat
 

  • Beaches of Gujarat and Diu


Maharashtra
 


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


Ellora (March 2009) - A popular UNESCO world heritage site monument for Inbound travellers

Goa, Karnataka and Malabar Circuit

Goa is a world renowned beach destination renowned for its Portuguese heritage, beachside retreats, homestays, hotels and pristine countryside. The beaches South of Goa are idyllic in character and forests of Goa continues into plantation highlands of Karnataka and North Kerala. 

Most visited Inbound traveller attractions and areas are as under:


Goa

  • North Goa Beaches (Offbeat - Vagator, Anjuna, Morjim, Ashwem, Arambol etc.), 
  • South Goa Beaches (Offbeat - Patnem, Coco, Canacona, Palolem)


Karnataka


Tamilnadu Hills

  • Heritage Hill Stations : Coonoor, Ootacamund (Ooty) and around


North Kerala


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


Virupaksha Temple in Hampi (March 2011) - A UNESCO heritage site

Heritage South India with Temple Heritage, Backwaters, Plantations etc.

Backwaters of Kerala and Temple heritage of Tamil Nadu are two major attractions for Inbound travellers to South India. The area is home to exquisite retreats, experiential homestays and some of the best experiences India can have for heritage travellers and those who love a bit about green countryside, authentic cuisine and culture. 

Major attractions and areas are summarised as under:


Tamilndu
 with Pondicherry


Kerala

  • Homestays (Heritage, Plantation, Backwater, Experiential) 


email
to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.

 


Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur (May 2009) - UNESCO Heritage Site

Temple and Heritage of East India

Buddhist heritage circuit of Orissa, Konark Sun Temple, Beaches of Puri, Tribal heritage areas of Koraput and Sunderbans Delta remains major attractions for Inbound travellers. Guests also visit Kolkata enroute to discover some of its colonial heritage.

Major attractions are summarised as under:


West Bengal


Orissa


Andhra Pradesh


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


Rajarani Temple (Bhubaneswar) (Nov -2014) - Popularly visited by Heritage Travellers

Himalayan Hills and Wildlife in East India

Famous Darjeeling Tea, Heritage Tea Plantation bungalows of Assam, Wildlife of Kaziranga, Ancient monasteries of Sikkim all get captured into East and North East India experience.

Major attractions and areas for Inbound travellers are:


West Bengal
 
and Sikkim 


North East 

  • Tawang Monastery (Arunachal Pradesh) and Unexplored nature and remote destinations of Arunachal Pradesh (e.g. Ziro)


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


One Horned Rhinos in Kaziranga (Feb 2015), Assam

Remote Islands

Indian Ocean / Andaman Sea and Arabian Sea are home to Islands that offer travellers a rustic version of Maldives / Mauritius experience. Guests here explore pristine waters, beaches, remote island character and enjoy some water based adventure sports.


Lakshadweep Islands
- Scuba Diving, Snorkeling on remote Islands on very remote Islands of Arabian Sea  


Andaman Islands
- Scuba Diving, Snorkeling on remote Islands on remote Islands of Andaman Sea


Accessing these island and planning other trip around this is always a challenge and therefore it is important to have experience travel planner handling this.


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


Lakshadweep Islands (April 2010)

Inbound Itinerary Circuits

Nivalink has collected a list of typical itineraries done by Inbound travellers or can be specifically recommended for them. These are listed as under:


Most itineraries however need some element of customisation and therefore these often act as a reference or starting point for a customisation exercise. 


Some of the above itineraries can be combined into a Pan India Itinerary.  India is many countries within a country and so most guests tend to restrict themselves to a region or a few destinations. However some guests having more time on hand or desire to plan a complicated Itinerary covering all major destinations / Circuits at one go. Most guests having time on hand also have a list of "must visit" places and dates (Typically a festival or some family/friend wedding) and require itineraries to be organised incorporating those in mind.  


However even considering the level of customising required, Pan-India Itineraries can be classified into three main categories: 

 

  • Multiple Sectors (This is most common where guests combine more than 1 sectors and makes it a combined itinerary)
  • Abstract Itinerary around Specific Must do Sectors / Experiences and Must visit Festivals
  • Wildlife / Birding Itinerary (for Photographers, Birders, Wildlife Enthusiasts)
  • Pilgrimage Itinerary (For visiting specific type of temples e.g. Jyotirlinga Shiva Temples)


Nivalink has organised Itineraries from 7 nights to 70 nights under Pan-India Itineraries.

 

Some details of the extent of Planning and Services required in Pan-India Itineraries: 

 

  • Larger itineraries typically need a bit of planning in advance. Guests plan often upto 4-6 months in advance on routing, stays etc.
  • Planning entry Point of arrival and the entire routing and the exit point.  
  • Domestic Airlines offer India Pass schemes where the routing has to be planned in accordance to the requirements for availing the pass.
  • Suggest, plan and eventually reserve Train reservations if required.
  • Multi-location Hotel/Resort stays, transit accommodation and transport need to be organised.
  • Guide services, Jeep safaris etc. can be organised. 

 

email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


Pan India Itineraries

This is most common where guests combine more than 1 sectors and makes it a combined itinerary.

Typical Sectors that are combined on a regular basis are:


Major task in an itineraries above is to suggest correct connectivity (flight or train), provide service providers and hotel reservations to ensure a smooth progress. 


Abstract Itinerary

These are Itineraries that are typically planned around Specific Must do Sectors / Experiences and Must visit Festivals. However it can also be just an itinerary based on a set of handpicked destinations. Itineraries under this segment tend to be abstract and totally as per individual choice. However it is observed that most of them revolve around definite must-do experiences that India is renowned for and connecting them with an Itinerary. Some of the experiences are listed as under:

  • Elephant Festival / Boat Race in Kerala
  • Houseboat Trip in Kerala (Alleppey, Nileshwar, Kollam)


Major task in an itineraries above is to suggest correct connectivity (flight or train), provide service providers and hotel reservations to ensure a smooth progress.


Pan-India Itineraries for Wildlife / Birding

Pan-India Wildlife itineraries are generally planned for Photographers, Birders and Wildlife Enthusiast whose main idea is to cover different parks. Among Mammals Tigers, One-horned Rhinos and Asiatic Lions are certainly the two most sought after. 


Typical combination wildlife itinerary here starts from Delhi with combinations such as: 

  • Bandhavgarh / Kanha (Tiger) Plus Gir (Asiatic Lions)
  • Corbett Plus Ranthambhore (Tiger)
  • Central India Tiger Circuit - Tadoba + Pench + Kanha + Bandhavgarh
  • Kumaon Birding (Corbett, Pangot, Sattal) Plus Bharatpur / Chambal birding
  • Gujarat birding (Little Rann of Kutch, Greater Rann of Kutch, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Sasan Gir, Velavadar) Plus Western Ghats Birding (Mollem near Goa or Thattekad)
  • North East Wildlife / Birding (Kaziranga / Nameri / Manas) Plus Orissa Birding (Chilika, Bhitarkanika, Simlipal)
  • North East Wildlife / Birding (Kaziranga / Nameri / Eaglenest / Cherrapunjee / Manas) Plus North Bengal - West Sikkim Birding (Mahananda WLS, Lava / Loleygaon, West Sikkim, Garumara, Jaldapara)
  • South India Wildlife and Bird watching - Coorg + Kabini (Nagarhole) + Bandipur + Mudumalai + Coorg / Ooty + Valparai + Thattekad


For Birding Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Sikkim and Karnataka States have extensive birding possibilities and itinerary can be planned accordingly.


Itineraries can be planned for as many days based on time on hand and can be combined with Golden Triangle itineraries (For Taj, Agra) or any other sector if required.


Please visit Wildlife / Bird watching section for some ready ideas on itineraries which then can be combined together for more comprehensive pan-India itinerary.  


Major task in an itineraries above is to suggest correct connectivity (flight or train), provide service providers and hotel reservations to ensure a smooth progress.


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.


Kerala is a popular segment for any Pan India itinerary

Fairs And Festivals

Fairs and Festivals are major events in a calendar of an experiential traveller. Almost all Indian festivals (except local fairs) are popular with International travellers. Some of the most popular fairs can be broadly classfied into


International travellers often like to include some festivals as part of the itinerary to overall enhance cultural experience and therefore festivals typically gets integrated with a larger plan as part of the itinerary.


Nivalink has executed many festival centric itineraries (e.g. Gujarat - Rajasthan itinerary linking some of the Tribal Festivals) where the focus is on festivals alongwith overall cultural / rural india experience.


More often it so happens that customers discover that there is a festival around the dates that are being planned and so one looks to adjusts date accordingly. Nivalink has organised Lord Ganesha festival visit in Mumbai in August, Repulic Parade visit in Delhi in January, Kite Festival Ahmedabad in January or being in Jaipur during Deewali / Holi. These were included after some date adjustments as guests were anyways planning to visit these destinations. Therefore its a good idea to check on festivals before fully finalising a plan. 


email to expert@nivalink.co.in. This service is handled by the in-house travel planners who visited the sector and follow it on ongoing basis and would be able to give a quick reply which will help you evolve and conceptualise a rough idea to present for us to expand further eventually leading to a cost estimate.

 

 

 


Services On Offer

We provide services for Overseas Guests such as:

  • Complete Travel Planning - Nivalink Since year 2002 has extensively customised itineraries on an ongoing basis for overseas guests and provides guests with ground level information and updates for them to effectively plan an itinerary.    
  • Hotel Reservations - Nivalink has more than 5000+ accommodation options listed and of which most are listed with photos clicked during the visits undertaken by the team. These options represent the entire range available for respective sectors and Nivalink offers complete "mix and match" and customisation services as per individual preferences. The stay categories comprise Heritage Hotels, Homestays, Luxury Hotels, jungle Lodges, Resorts, business hotels etc. and Nivalink has direct relationship with all these Hotels. [ Full List ]. Nivalink also books hotels not listed if guests are looking for a specific option as part of complete solution.
  • Transit Accommodation 
  • Assistance and undertaking in Railway and domestic Airline reservations
  • Domestic Flight Reservations - Guests are booked at rates at Online rates as per what is best available on the day.
  • Convenient Payment Option - This is single biggest reason why a lot of Inbound travellers book with Nivalink is because they are able to book all the services direct with Hotels and service providers and pay for everything using their credit card using Nivalink Payment Gateway. This is most convenient as compared to booking for different services and having to keep track of confirmations.


email to expert@nivalink.co.in - Get in touch with Nivalink team members for planning an India trip.


"Nivalink" Benefits For Overseas Guests

Comprehensive Coverage - Nivalink has visited and now covers practically length and breadth of the country. Effort has been to visit every single stay option (Be it a large luxury hotel or a small homestay) and list it online with photos taken by the team to give an "as is where is"  idea for guests to choose based on that.  


Currently there are more than 5000+ options and of which 95% of them have photos and content (Our simplified maps and itineraries) that is not available anywhere online. Nivalink also offers to reserve hotels on behalf of the guests which are not listed but preferred by guests sometimes (Typically small budget stays / cheaper stays). Nivalink keeps updating with newer options that come up all the time and therefore always try and present most complete set of alternatives for guests to choose from. 


Convenience
 - Nivalink represents a one point contact where Guests typically check everything online and based on their references / guides etc. and start and interaction with the team which is accessible over emails online and ready for prompt responses.  


Nivalink is a "Book and Pay" service and therefore bookings can be made well in advance and paid later (closer to date of travel) without any advances or deposits required at the time of reservation.


Nivalink offers convenient payment options (Credit Cards, Bank Transfers etc.)  


Quality -
 Nivalink lists only quality options which represent a certain charm and character and while 4000 options have been listed, more have been rejected or not chosen for listing. Periodic reviews and feedback also ensures that some options that have earlier been listed are removed.  Every sector covered is visited at least once in three years and re-evaluation is carried out.  


Non-Partisan Approach - 
 Nivalink does not work under any business target obligations from resorts and do not have any internal guidelines laid for specifically promoting any particular hotel or service. Options are always open for guests to choose subject to their availability.  


Transparency
  Full cost breakup of all reservations / services rendered.  


Experience
 : Catered to over 10,000 guests from more than 50 countries and hundred and thousands of individually customised itineraries. Add to that about 200,000 customers within India.  


No Service Charge - 
 As Nivalink earns commissions / incentives from Hotels and service providers for reservations, there is no service charge that the guests pays over and above what they would have paid had they reserved directly to the hotel / service provider. In few services where service charge is applied, full breakup and justification is provided. So practically the entire Nivalink Service is complimentary ("Free" ) for all guests.


Dos And Donts

Nivalink has compiled a set of Dos and Donts that kind of prepares one for an India trip. These are self written based on our experiences and useful for first time travellers to India.


Visa

All overseas nationals coming into India require to procure visas from their respective Indian consulates overseas.   

For guests planning to go out and enter India back again, as per recent modifications in Visa regulations, There are restrictions and conditions that have to be complied with (Most relevant for Overseas Nationals who get married in India and plan honeymoon out of India and return back).

Some exceptions may be there for PIO Card holders (Non resident Indians / Persons of India Origins are eligible for PIO card issued by respective Indian Embassies).

E-visa on scheme is available for India. Please Visit Wikipedia link for details.

 

Guides

Guides are of mainly three types

Tour Guides are guides that accompany guests for entire trip. Non English speaking Individual guests (typically Japanese) or group travelers prefer to have a tour guide along. Booking tour guides is optional but if you are looking to avail services of a tour guide then doing it in advance is a must to ensure their availability. 

Monument Guides are supposed experts in giving a detailed orientation and explanation of a monument. Typically available at regular tourist circuits like Agra, Jaipur, Delhi, Cochin, Mahabalipuram etc. These are optional and not all guests avail them. Booking monument guides in advance is advisable to ensure services of good quality guides. 

Adventure guides are those who conduct any adventure activity. Provided along with any organized adventure activity.

Guides often form an informal commission tie-up with shopping boutiques and then have been found to entice hapless guests into making a purchase. Guests are advised not to get into shopping under advice of any guide anywhere.


Guides in Gulmarg, Kashmir (April 2013)

Language

If you know Hindi that’s can get you around everywhere. However as that’s most unlikely, English is a good alternative. Indians aren’t great at English either, so functional English would do. Accents sometimes are thick and your pronunciations aren’t best understood at the other end and therefore services of an English speaking driver is always helpful for any local interactions. French is widely spoken in select francophone destinations (erstwhile French colonies) such as Pondicherry.

 

Choice of Stays

Following points need to be noted before selection of a stay.

  • All stays are not suitable for Inbound guests due to a variety of factors most common being inability of the management to converse in English (more prevalent with Economy stays that are suited for local consumption. 
  • Location of the stay must be suited for the activity / sightseeing etc. 
  • Rates have no relation with category of a hotel. A well located 3-star could cost higher than a poorly located 5-star.
  • Cost is not everything. As rating in India is more about the facilities and not the quality of facilities, its best not to opt for the cheapest by default and take into consideration convenience (location) and quality (check some reviews) before deciding. 
  • Most hotels are not attached to any global brand. Some hotels are even better than some of the branded hotels in its category. Do a little bit of research before you decide on what you are looking at. 
  • For itineraries that are larger, required combination of car hire, hotels etc. its best to take services of a reliable travel agent.
  • Expect travel agent to provide full cost breakup and a transparent mechanism of charging you. Hotel pay agencies a commission and therefore agents provide travel planning services without any additional fee.
  • Business travellers doing online reservations must stick to reputed online websites. If they don't have the destination of your visit, then make sure a reliable agency is engaged in the reservation. 
  • Services such as overnight Laundry may not be available at all hotels and at premium hotels they may cost a lot more than expected. At all Hotels in leisure destinations and 3-star and below hotels in cities / transit points, services such as Wi-Fi, Internet Connection, Business Centre and other such business traveller centric options, even if they are listed may not be available at all times or reliable. Do recheck in advance before making a reservation or assume its availability. 

 

 


Heritage Retreats are a popular stay options for Inbound Travellers

Availability of ATM, Money changing and Use of Credit Cards

24 hour ATMs are common at all Metros, Mini-metros and Tier – I cities especially around good and reputed hotels are situated. At remote destinations and getaway locations, you are most unlikely to find one, so carrying cash is better.  

Most guests arrive at a Metros / Mini-metro location (most typically Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Cochin, Kolkata) first. If rest of the trip is all about remote destinations, it may make sense to spend some time in transit and exchange some home currencies against Indian rupees.  Authorised moneychangers at the Airport do not offer favorable rates and therefore it would make sense to change currency or Travellers Cheques at any other Authorised Money Changer like Thomas Cook, LKP Forex or Centrum, outside Airport premises.

Most 3-star and above hotels at cities do accept foreign currencies, credit cards and some even have authorized money changing facilities. Unfortunately most of them don’t offer good exchange rates.  

GSM SIM Cards

Available on arrival at International Airports or any city guests may be staying in transit. Cell phone and SIM card retailers are found at every everywhere. Make sure you visit an authorised shop. Major brands operating in India are Airtel, Vodaphone, IDEA, Tata Docomo and BSNL etc. Except BSNL all other are interconnected. BSNL, a Govt service has the deepest connectivity and works in most remote areas.  

A SIM card may not cost more than Rs. 100 - Rs. 150 and can be procured against a photo copy of the first page of your passport. Opt for a pre-paid card and then purchase a few recharge coupons (Rs. 500 should be ok if you are planning to use cell phone as just a contact point and not really looking to make long calls from it). Every SIM will come with its unique no. Make sure SIM is activated before you leave the SIM Card retailer.

 

Medical Preparedness

India is as much like any other tropical country and with as many tropical infectious diseases possible. 

Healthcare for the rich and elite is pretty good and availability of medicines is widespread to even a small tier - II town.

Best to carry pills / syrups for allergies (for those having allergies), cough / cold, digestion and upset stomach. Any prescription drugs that you may be taking regularly must be carried as the same brands may not be available here. 

Malaria shots before are just precautionary and not a must. Malaria is more prevalent in larger cities and most likely guests would be travelling to leisure destinations and so probability is that much less and if it happens medication and doctors are readily available. 

In case of any illness its best to stick to a qualified doctor and allopathy medicines. There are quite a few alternative medicines available in India but are advised only if there is no other alternative.

Definite Donts

It is advisable for first time travelers to be a little discrete when it comes to a few things such as:

  • Never be out late alone.Indians are conservative when it comes to dressing. 
  • Never dress skimpy especially in the evenings. May attract eve teasers or may get mistaken for an invite to socialize.
  • Say “No” where you have to. Small Niceties sometimes are mistaken for a tacit approval.
  • Never keep luggage open or things spread around in your room and leave. 
  • Never get too friendly or too personal with anyone. It may be misunderstood.
  • Tipping is always optional and at your discretion. Never get coerced into giving one. 
  • Never purchase anything expensive without making it sure that its authentic. 
  • Never get coerced into making a purchase by your driver, any agents hanging around or any individual you are not familiar with.
  • Avoid astrologers, face readers, tantrics or anyone sporting to be a spiritual / religious Guru.
  • Never use credit card at small seedy shops / restaurants.
  • Never fully trust a stranger trying to offer help even at Airports. 
  • Always make reservations with a reliable travel agent before you start a trip. Only those who are used to India may just set about on a journey without prior reservations. Even for them never do that during holiday season (Deewali, Christmas).

In case of any theft / crime or offensive behaviour, report directly to the local police or tourist police.

Holidays for Inbound Traveller

For any further clarity on destination, seasonality, stay options, access etc., you may always connect with our expert on +91-22-61506363 OR email to expert@nivalink.co.in

Inbound Traveller