Foreign travel advice

India

Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah.

The FCO advise against all travel to Manipur and against all but essential travel to Imphal, the state capital of Manipur. See Local travel

The FCO advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of (i) travel within the city Jammu, (ii) travel by air to the city of Jammu, (iii) travel within the region of Ladakh. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the city of Srinagar and travel between the cities of Jammu and Srinagar on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. The tourist destinations of Phalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg fall within the areas to which the FCO advise against all travel. See Local travel and Terrorism

Ruling Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalithaa died on 5 December 2016 and her funeral took place on 6 December 2016. The State of Tamil Nadu is observing a 7-day period of national mourning. All schools and colleges will remain closed until 8 December 2016 and local infrastructure could be affected.

The British Deputy High Commission in Chennai was closed on 6 December as a mark of respect and resumed normal operations on 7 December 2016. If you’re in or travelling around Tamil Nadu and especially Chennai give yourself extra time to reach your destinations. Be vigilant, avoid large crowds, monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company.

On 8 November, 2016, the Indian Prime Minister announced that existing 500 and 1,000 Rupee banknotes will be withdrawn from immediate circulation. Banks will no longer accept these notes for exchange, but will accept deposit of these notes into customer accounts until 30 December 2016. New 500 and 2,000 rupee notes are in circulation but you may find that they are in short supply and businesses may not be able to provide you with lower denomination notes in change.

Some ATMs are now operating. There may be queues to access them and until further notice withdrawals are limited to 2,500 rupees per card, per day. If you have debit or credit cards, use them instead of cash where possible. You can use old 500 Rupee notes for certain services up to 15 December 2016. Foreign tourists will be able to exchange foreign currency or old notes of not more than 5,000 rupees per week into legal tender until 15 December 2016. For more information visit the Reserve Bank of India website.

Foreign tourists can also go to banks or any authorised foreign exchange dealer and in exchange for cash in foreign currency can be issued with a pre-paid card which can be used as a payment card at all businesses and retailers that usually accept credit and debit cards. For more information, see the Reserve Bank of India website.

There have been recent media reports suggesting Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) interest in attacking targets in India. There may be an increased threat to places visited by British nationals such as religious sites, markets and festival venues. You should be vigilant at this time, monitor local media and take all precautions for your safety. See Terrorism

The England cricket team will tour India from November 2016 to January 2017. See this information and advice page for travelling supporters.

If you’re travelling in or through Srinagar you should remain vigilant, avoid protests or large gatherings, follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company and monitor the curfew restrictions in place and the local media. Srinagar Airport is currently open as is the road leading to Srinagar Airport. Please take all precautions for your safety. If you’re travelling with a tour operator you should keep in touch with them and contact them for further information on arrangements they may be making for you to leave the area. Due to the accessibility and current unrest the level of consular assistance that the British High Commission can provide in Jammu & Kashmir is extremely limited.

Additional security measures have been implemented at airports across the country. If you’re travelling through an airport you should allow additional time to complete check-in and security as you and your baggage may be required to undergo random x-rays and baggage checks.

Tensions between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Cauvery River water sharing continue. If you’re in or travelling through Karnataka or Tamil Nadu you should be vigilant, avoid protests, monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company.

Over 800,000 British nationals visit India every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Tropical cyclones are common, particularly off the east coast. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders. See Natural disasters

There is a high threat from terrorism throughout India. Recent attacks have targeted public places including those visited by foreigners. See Terrorism

The Indian Ministry of Tourism has a 24 hour multi-lingual telephone helpline on toll free number 1800 111 363 providing visitors to India with information about travel and tourism.

Before you travel, take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance and read the India specific health information and advice published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre.