|Squeezed onto a small island connected by bridges to the mainland, Mumbai is India's largest city and financial epicentre, home to great wealth, incredible real estate, glistening skyscrapers and fashion-savvy locals. But Mumbai is also a city of extreme inequality where affluence and abject poverty sit side by side. It is India's fashion capital and home to Bollywood - a city of contrasts that is endlessly fascinating.
Taj Mahal Palace & Tower is one of Mumbai's favourite landmarks, and draws countless visitors each year.
Mumbai's 136-year-old Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is where the city's dirty laundry gets washed and aired. Every day hundreds of dhobi wallahs (someone who does the laundry) beat the dirt out of hundreds of bags of laundry in row upon row of open-air troughs.
In Delhi there are monuments, mosques and tombs in abundance, impressive colonial architecture, brilliant museums, excellent restaurants and more than enough bazaars, markets and shops.
|Official Name:||Republic of India|
|Capital:||New Delhi (DEL)|
|Currency:||Indian Rupee (INR). It is illegal to take Indian currency out of the country.|
|Language:||Hindi and English. 20 other languages are also spoken, including Urdu, Bengali and Punjabi.|
|Dialling code from SA:||+ 91|
|Time Zones:||UTC / GMT +5½ (3½ hours ahead of South Africa)|
|Public Holidays 2019:||
Jan 1, 13-15, 26; Deb 10, 19; Mar 1, 4, 20, 21; Apr 6, 12, 17, 19, 21; May 7, 18, 31; Jul 4; Aug 12, 15, 17, 24; Sep 2, 10, 11; Oct 2, 5-8, 13, 17, 27-29; Oct 2, 10, 12; Nov 24; Dec 24, 25
|Side of the Road:||Left.|
|Best Time to Go:||India is a large country, the best time to go depends on which area. Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan and Central India: October – March; Himalayas: year-round, but are cold in December and January and wet from June to September; Kolkata: hot from February – April and wet from June – September; Kerala: April – May is very hot and June – August has heavy rain; Goa: year-round, heavy rainfall is June – September; Mumbai: year-round, heavy rainfall in July and August.|
|Best for:||Beaches, Bollywood, Ancient Architecture, Religious Sites|
|Plugs:||230-240 volts AC, 50Hz. Some areas have a DC supply. Plugs are of the round two- and three-pin type.|
|Drinking Water:||All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Bottled water is available; ensure that the seal is closed.|
|Health:||There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. In rural towns, medical facilities may be more limited. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. If visiting a rural area, it is advisable to carry basic medical supplies. Food poisoning is common, it is best to carry rehydration salts with you.|
|Customs:||There are many cultural and religious customs, which differ between cultural groups. Shoes should be removed when entering places of worship. Many Hindus are vegetarian and do not drink alcohol. Women should dress modestly (no short skirts, tight or revealing clothing) and men should dress respectfully. Avoid using your left hand, especially when eating. Wasting food is frowned upon.|
|Local Offences / Laws:||Smoking in public is prohibited. Topless bathing is illegal.|
|Travel Tips / Warnings:||There have been terrorist attacks in the main cities – check the local political situation before travelling. Religious events can attract thousands of people, and stampedes are reported at these types of events. Women should take care not to travel alone after dark or to rural areas, as rape and assault is common.|
|Duty Free:||The following items may be imported into India by non-resident travellers over 18 without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 2L of spirits or wine.
• Goods for personal use (only one laptop allowed per traveller).
• Gifts and souvenirs to the value of Rs8,000.
• Reasonable quantities of medicines. Import by non-residents is only permitted if the national has entered India for a stay of not less than 24 hours and not more than six months, provided they visit not more than once a month.
|Prohibited Imports:||Prohibited items include narcotics, pornography, counterfeit and pirated goods, and antiquities. Restricted items include firearms and ammunition, live birds and animals, endangered species, gold and silver (other than ornaments), and Indian currency. Indian residents only may import up to Rs7,500.|
|Prohibited Exports:||Prohibited items include narcotics, pornography, counterfeit and pirated goods, and antiquities. Restricted items include firearms and ammunition, live birds and animals, endangered species, and Indian currency. Indian residents only may export up to Rs7,500.|
a) Consulate-General of India
No. 1 Eton Road, Cnr. Jan Smuts and Eton
Roads, Parktown 2193
P O Box 6805 Johannesburg 2000
Tel: (011) 581 9800 - 9998
Fax: (011) 482-8492 / 4648
Applications and phone calls received from 09h00 - 1700
b) Consulate General of India
1 Kingsmead Blvd, 2nd Floor, Kingsmead Office Park
Tel: (031) 335 0300 / 0325
P O Box 3276 Durban 4000
Hours : 09h00-12h00 (Mon-Fri)
c) Indian High Commission
852 Frances Baard Street, Cnr Frances Baard & Eastwood Street, Arcadia
Tel: (012) 342-5392/93/94/95
Fax: (012) 342 5310
d) Consulate General of India
34 Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 419 8110
Office Hours: 0900-1730
ALL VISAS ARE TO BE APPLIED FOR THROUGH VFS INDIA.
VFS Global Johannesburg : (Residents of Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces should apply at the VFS Global Centre in Johannesburg. When filling out the online application residents should select the Indian Mission as “SOUTH AFRICA – JOHANNESBURG” )
2nd Floor, Harrow Court 1
Isle of Houghton Office Park
Park Town, Johannesburg
VFS Global Durban: ( Residents of KwaZulu Natal, Free State and Eastern Cape provinces should apply at the VFS Global Centre in Durban. When filling out an online application residents should select the Indian Mission as " SOUTH AFRICA - DURBAN")
Cowey Park, Essenwood, Office 401, 4th Floor
91-123 Cowey Road, Essenwood
VFS Global Cape Town: ( Residents of Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces should apply at VFS Global Centre in Cape Town. When filling out an online application, residents should select the Indian Mission as "SOUTH AFRICA - CAPE TOWN")
1st Floor, 47 Strand Street
VFS Office hours : Submissions Mon-Fri 0800-1600 (except public holidays)
Collections Mon-Fri 1100-1700 (except public holidays)
Tel: (012) 425 3007
The length of stay on an e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days , for double entry on tourist and business visas . For more info see https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
Visa Processing Time
S.A. High Commission, B18 Vasant Marg, Vasant
Vihar, New Delhi, 110057, India
|Compulsory:||Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)|
|Recommended Travel Vaccines:||Hepatitis A & B, Japanese Encephalitis (Not available in SA), Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio|