Travel And Visa Information

An entry visa is essential for all foreigners visiting India. A visitor’s Visa or Visa for taking part in the General Assembly can be obtained from your nearest Indian Embassy/consulate/high commission on producing valid passport, travel documents and sufficient means of support. If you are planning to visit neighboring countries and re-enter India, please obtain a multiple entry visa. Letters of invitations for delegates to the General Assembly of the IMU will be sent in due course. It is advisable to apply for the visa well in advance.

Invitation letter and other documents

Please print a copy of the Invitation Letter from the Secretary, IMU and the Chair, Local Organizing Committee from this link using your Access Key.

You may apply for a Conference visa to take part in the General Assembly of the IMU at Bangalore. You will need a photocopy of the permissions we have obtained from several Government Agencies. A pdf file containing all these permission letters is stored at the same link.

If you are traveling to Hyderabad to take part in the ICM and have already requested for a visa for your travel to India then please ignore these instructions.

Click here to view details of Indian Embassies

Customs and immigration clearance will be at Bangalore only if you fly directly to Bangalore. Otherwise it will be at the port of entry. Since flights to and from India are full most of the time, it is recommended to book your ticket several months in advance of your journey date.

Indian local time is ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) by 5:30 hours. International flights to/from India arrive/depart typically between midnight and early morning, while Indian domestic flights are mostly during the daytime. This makes getting good connections difficult. Only from Mumbai to Bangalore are there early morning flights by Air India and Jet Airways. Other domestic flights start around 6am. If you do not have a direct flight to Bangalore, you will have to clear immigration/customs formalities at your entry-point in India.

All the major Indian airports offer pre-paid taxi service (advisable if you don’t want to argue with the driver later). Bangalore boasts of a modern and new International Airport. Many international airliners, apart from Air India, such as Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Emirates etc. have direct flights into Bangalore, operating daily.

The Indian currency is Rupee (1 US$ = 46.09 Rupees at the beginning of February 2010; more recent information can be found at the Currency Exchange). Currency conversion is possible at airports and banks, although many of them deal only with US-dollars and British-pounds. At the end of the trip, rupees can be converted back into foreign currency, only if one has receipts demonstrating that a larger amount of foreign currency was converted into rupees earlier during the trip.

If you are carrying large amount of foreign currency (not travellers cheques but cash), that should be declared at the customs when entering India. Travellers cheques do not have to be declared and are easier to carry. Expensive equipment liable to custom duty (e.g. laptop computers and video cameras) should also be declared at the customs. Such items will be entered in your passport, and you don’t have to pay any duty provided that you take them back when you return.

International credit cards are accepted at major hotels and shops, but not everywhere. There are many ATMs all over Bangalore which provide a better exchange rate than that offered by hotels and shops. (The HDFC bank, for instance, charges the credit card company Rs.55 per transaction. The amount charged by the credit card company to you will depend on the agreement between you and your credit card company.)

Avoid accepting currency notes of denominations Rupee 1,2 and 5; ask for the corresponding coins instead. The government has stopped printing these notes, but old damaged and soiled notes are still in circulation.

India uses the metric system of measurements (it is after all the birthplace of the decimal system). The electricity supply in India is 220 Volts and 50 Hz. Appliances requiring 110 Volts would need a voltage adapter. The electrical sockets require three (or two) round pin plugs. Telephone booths with international call facility and internet cafes, accessible with cash payment, can be found at many street corners. Card-operated telephones (magnetic cards or electronic accounts) exist at many public places (e.g. airports, hotels). The cards are issued by the Telecom Department of Government of India, in denominations of 100, 200, 500, 1000 units. 1 unit costs approximately 1.20 rupee, and works for about 1 minute for local calls and for about 1 second for calls to the USA.

  This page was last modified on June 21, 2010

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