Preparations for trip to India

Jan 23rd, 1998, 06:38 AM
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Preparations for trip to India

Looking for advice about health issues, what to take,when to apply for visa, etc for trip to New Delhi in late June/early July. Will be first trip to an Asian country. Thank You!
Jan 24th, 1998, 09:08 AM
Phil Pearmain
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You will need jabs for typhoid, tetanus, havrix (hepatitus - this is a 2 course jab - get the first asap) as a minimum. If you are planning to go off the beaten track, call your GP for further advice on jabs. Also, ani-malarial tablets are a must. In India, only drink mineral water from a bottle with an unbroken seal. Do not have ice in drinks. Wash fruit in mineral water and peel if possible. Do NOT drink water from taps in hotel rooms - I would also suggest you use mineral water to clean your teeth.

It will be hot so take sunscreen, also the monsoon starts in early July, starting in the south and reaching Delhi end July. If you've never seen rain bounce 2 feet off the pavement, now's ypur chance.
Jan 30th, 1998, 12:27 PM
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Congratulations! You have chosen, in my opinion, the world's most facinating nation, a place I have been visiting thirty years. While I second most of what the first respondent has said, I see no need to buy bottled water when you can get a two-part sterilization kit at such places as REI which not only kills bacteria but kills the iodine taste. Or, you could compromise: sterilize water for teeth brushing, but buy water for drinking. Start early in getting your visa. For the application and information, the fax # is 1/900/329-4634; the telephone # is 1/900/484-6342. Note the different types of visas you can get and buy the cheapest you need. THE place to go, besides the Taj Mahal in Agra, is Varanasi (Benares) on the Ganges River. You have to see it to believe it. Plan to spend more than the one night and one day most tours spend. I spent a week there in 1996 and would go again tomorrow, if I could. One great advantage that India has over many other nations is the wide use of English and the ease of travel on your own.
Jan 31st, 1998, 08:09 PM
Jo Harriet Haley
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India is great. I was in New Delhi and 2 northern cities and Agra for 2 weeks last June. It is very hot (105 degrees) so always wear a hat, put on moisterizing sunscreen every morning, and take a rest in the middle of the day. Take all the immunizations that are recommended and take some very good prescription diahreal medication with you. Always check the water bottle seal too make sure the bottles were not refilled. Everything is so cheap in India, I do not think it is worth it to try to sterilize your own water. If you decide not to got to Varnassi (although I understand it is fascinating) go to Rishikesh as my son and I did. It is a pilgrimage town on 70,000 in the north on the Ganges (which is still clean at that point). There is a wonderful ceremony at sunet daily, a prayer to the river. Have a great time!
Feb 20th, 1998, 09:01 AM
Robert Russell
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We are worried about the violence and terrorism. Aso we will be with a driver in a mini-bus going from Bombay to Delhi. How dangerous do you think this would be.
Feb 26th, 1998, 12:50 PM
Cecile Major
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We recently brought ~40 westerners to our wedding in Delhi and then about 2 weeks of touring through Agra & Rajastan. (My husband is Indian & I'm American) We had a fabulous time and I can't possibly recommend our Indian travel agent highly enough: Commander Rakesh Gupta

[email protected]

For immunization information the is invaluable. I checked with the family's local physician and Indian children now routinely get the long term immunizations. We traveled in November so skipped the malaria with no harm done.

At least half of us got the diahrea towards the end of trip. You can't possibly pack too much Pepto Bismal. I guess it can also be taken 1 a day as a preventative. The most serious illnesses were from dehydration. DRINK LOTS OF LIQUIDS!!! especially on the long flights.

It was literally a life changing experience for several guests who are now seeking/considering job transfers abroad. While travel in any developing country is strenuous it is well worth the effort!!!
Mar 31st, 1998, 06:22 PM
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I travelled to India for work a few years ago, it was a wonderful experience. Bombay is a very busy city. Drink LOTS of bottled water, take a few rolls of toilet paper (really). The people are very polite, a lot of English customs. If you keep your mind open, you'll have a great time.
Apr 2nd, 1998, 04:58 AM
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I am off to India at the begining of October, flying into Bombay; wanted advice on Visa's (for six months) medical provision, where to get the best insurance and possible places of interest to visit. Also i am on the look out for a festival which only occurs in one of the four sacred cities once every three years, and then a big version every twelve years HINDI Festival. Please let me know by emailing me at the above address
Apr 8th, 1998, 09:09 PM
Andy Mittal
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I am a US citizen, native of India. I know India has changed a lot in last few years towards industrialization and while population remains high in urban areas the small towns offer a refreshing experience. Here are a few tips --
1) Save time and hassle book all hotels and transportation in advance thru' travel agents. Particularly airlines and trains. Often booking a taxicab for a day or two trip is more convenient if you can share the expense. Road trips may be a little scary since highways dept. is way behind while traffic is grwing very fast.
2) Rajasthan is the most colorful of all states in India. It has palace on wheels train (5 star) which is a great experience. Watch beautiful Indian dances, royalty, palaces and architecture. Train starts in New Delhi and stops close to all major tourist spots. Costs $2000+
3) New Delhi has plenty of stuff to see and Agra is few hundred KMs from there. Khajuraho is the ancient temples of Kamasutra sculptures. Banaras is the holiest and thousands of years old Hindu city.
4) Caution: India is too big and spread out to see in one trip. I reecommend you pick fast tour of north or south and for more keen students of Indology there are never ending great ancient and post ancient historic sites so take your time.
5) For beach lovers there is Goa(near Bombay), Kanyakumari.. India is not very dangerous for travelers but there may be pickpockets and con artists so hold on to your money and don't deal with street moneychangers. South is more pleasant as the people are mellow. Write to me with sopecific questions. I am myself planning to go Dec-Jan for a historic tour, interested???

Andy M

Apr 14th, 1998, 07:08 AM
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You don't need to buy only mineral water to drink. Good plain bottled drinking water is readily available (only buy in stores, not from street vendors especially in tourist spots!) Most good hotels and restaurants have filtered/ purified water which is safe for consumption. Bottled sodas are also safe and plentiful. I was born and brought up here (US) but have been to India many times and have never had difficulty with food or water. You should try to visit South India- especially Kerala to see the natural beauty and distinct temple architecture (Kerala and Tamil Nadu). Kerala is MUCH cleaner, more literate and with less obvious poverty than anywhere else in India- although the heat and humidity make it only bearable for the average tourist to visit in Dec. through Feb.
May 12th, 1998, 08:25 AM
Ayesha Sood
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Hi! I'm an Indian, and live in the heart of New Delhi. I must say that the advice you've been given is extremely good. Although, being from New Delhi, I'm sure I can help with ideas for making your stay more comfortable etc... Not that i'm in the hospitality business.. just concerned about how many tourists only go by tour books and tour guides that they miss the best things about this city. It has a vibrant food culture and great monuments and bazaars to see. Feel free to contact me for any information.
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