Intriguing, colourful, lively, magnificent, noisy, wonderful… These are some of the qualifiers that come up most often when it comes to describing India. Rich in the diversity of its religions, its cultures and its cities, this huge Asian country remains one of the most interesting destinations for a stay that is both exotic and captivating. In order to make the most of this unique experience, we offer you a short guide with the essentials: visas, favorable seasons, rules to observe, etc.
Visa for India: what are the formalities to be completed before departure?
Whatever your nationality, with the exception of Bhutan and Nepal, visa is required for travel to India. Two possibilities are offered in this context: a visa on passport at the Indian Embassy or an online e-visa.
Apply for Passport Visa at Indian Embassy
To apply for a visa for India, you can go to at the Embassy of India located in Paris, at 20 Rue Albéric Magnard, in the 16e arrondissement, with the following documents:
- A visa application form completed on the Indian official website and printed;
- A passport with a validity of at least six months with at least three consecutive empty pages;
- A copy of the passport identification page;
- Two 5cm x 5cm passport photos with a white background.
Note, however, that this procedure requires several hours of waiting at the embassy to submit the documents, initially. You must then make a second appointment and travel to the embassy again to collect your visa.
Apply for an e-visa, a simpler procedure
The advantages of an Indian e-visa are manifold. With this option, there is no need to travel to file a physical file at the embassy and to make a second appointment to collect your Visa. From your smartphone, your tablet, or your computer, you can make your request at any time.
The procedure is simple:
- Complete the online form on the official Indian website, making sure to provide all the information requested;
- Upload your hotel reservation, at least for the first day of your stay;
- Upload the identification page of your passport and a recent photo ID;
- Make the visa fee payment online.
Once your application has been processed, your India e-Visa will be delivered to your inbox within a maximum period of three working days. Once in Indian territory, your fingerprints will be taken on site and a stamp will be affixed to your passport.
How long is a visa for India valid for?
The Tourist Visa allows you to stay in India for a maximum duration of 90 days. It is valid for 120 days after issuance. In other words, you have a maximum of 120 days to arrive in India after the acceptance of the Visa.
When to go to India?
7e largest country in the world in terms of area, India is so vast that it is difficult to determine an ideal time to travel. However, in most regions, the weather is pleasant between November and March. Temperatures then fluctuate between 15° and 20°C.
On the other hand, it is not recommended to go to India in summer (between February and May). During this period, temperatures can reach 50°C. Similarly, the period from May to the end of September should be avoided. It is the monsoon season in most parts of the country. It is marked by violent storms and major transport disruptions.
Some recommendations for your trip to India
For a hassle-free stay in India, avoid clothing that does not provide enough coverage. This is valid for both boys and girls. If you have planned visits to temples, put in your suitcase pants, skirts, long dresses and t-shirts. Modesty is required in all regions, and even on the beaches.
As far as food is concerned, to avoid poisoning, wash your hands properly before and after each meal. Do not drink tap water, as it is not drinkable. Buy bottled water instead. Also avoid dishes that are too spicy and remember to keep a box of Imodium in your belongings. Unfortunately, stomach upsets are common.
Also, do not hesitate to negotiate each time the price of the articles. This will save you from paying double or triple the actual sale price. Here, haggling is indeed in order.
Finally, be patient throughout your trip to India and keep smiling.
Read also: Where to travel without a visa?