India

Latest update

This Advice was last issued on Friday, 19 December 2014.   This advice contains revised information in the Summary and Safety and security (we continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks in India. In mid-December 2014, Indian authorities increased security at Metro stations and other public spaces in New Delhi). We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in India overall because of the high threat of terrorist activity, civil unrest and crime and the high rate of vehicle accidents.

India overall

North-eastern states (Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur) and Chhattisgarh and the border areas of neighbouring states

Cities of Jammu and Srinagar

State of Jammu and Kashmir (except Ladakh region, Jammu and Srinagar) and India-Pakistan border (except Atari crossing)

Summary

  • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in India because of the high threat of terrorist activity, civil unrest and crime, and the high rate of vehicle accidents. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
  • We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks in India and assess that attacks could occur anywhere at anytime with little or no warning, including in locations frequented by Australians. In mid-December 2014, Indian authorities increased security at Metro stations and other public spaces in New Delhi. See the Safety and security section.
  • Safety of women is a concern in India. Women should take particular care in all parts of India and exercise caution, even if they are travelling in a group. See the Safety and security section.
  • Violent protests and demonstrations occur sporadically throughout India. See the Safety and security section.
  • Australians must obtain a visa before travelling to India. Eligible Australians may apply for a Tourism Visa on Arrival for visits of 30 days or less. From 15 December 2014, all other Australian visa applicants will need to make an appointment online prior to submitting their visa application. See Entry and exit.
  • Australians considering or undertaking surrogacy arrangements in India should be aware that India will rigorously assess visa applications to ensure full compliance with Indian surrogacy laws and regulations. Accordingly, visa processing times may take longer. See Entry and exit.
  • Driving in India is unpredictable and the number of road traffic deaths is high. See the Local travel section.
  • There are several regions of India where we advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel, or avoid all travel. For information about these regions, see the Safety and security section
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
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Entry and exit

Visas and passports

Australians must obtain a visa or be eligible for a Tourism Visa on Arrival before travelling to India. If you arrive in India without a visa or are not eligible for a Tourism Visa on Arrival, the Indian Government will likely refuse you entry.

The Indian Government has launched its Tourism Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme through the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility. From 1 December 2014, eligible Australians may apply for an ETA tourism related travel of 30 days or less. Further information on eligibility is available is on the Government of India’s Visa on Arrival website.

TVOA holders should be aware that on-arrival biometric collection of fingerprint data and facial imagery is expected to be introduced early in 2015.

From 15 December 2014, all other Australian visa applicants (i.e. those not applying for TVOA) will need to make an appointment on-line prior to submitting their visa application through the Indian Bureau of Immigration website.

As part of the roll out of on-arrival collection of biometric details, the Indian Government will also introduce early in 2015 a requirement for non-TVOA applicants to attend in person at Indian Visas Application Centre (IVAC) to provide biometric details (fingerprint data and facial imagery).

For more information, contact the Indian High Commission in Canberra or your nearest Indian Consulate.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the Indian High Commission for the latest information.

There are heavy penalties, including jail sentences, for overstaying your visa in India.

If your passport is lost or stolen while you are in India, you will need to obtain an exit visa to leave India. More information regarding exit visas can be found at the Indian Government’s website.

Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.

Visa guidelines for commissioning surrogacy

Visa guidelines for foreign nationals intending to visit India for commissioning surrogacy are strictly enforced.

Australians considering or undertaking surrogacy arrangements in India may be aware of media reports suggesting that the Indian Government had introduced a freeze on issuing medical visas to Australian parents commissioning surrogacy in India. The Indian Government has recently advised that there is no change to its current policy but rather there is a requirement for overseas missions to rigorously assess visa applications to ensure full compliance with Indian surrogacy laws and related visa regulations. Accordingly, visa processing times may take longer. We therefore strongly recommend that Australians seeking medical visas to enter India for surrogacy purposes contact the appropriate Indian mission in Australia for advice and familiarise themselves with India’s surrogacy regulations well in advance of their planned travel.

See India’s surrogacy regulations .

We also strongly encourage Australians considering commissioning surrogacy overseas to seek independent legal advice.

The following websites provide an overview of the legal issues affecting Australians considering overseas surrogacy arrangements:

Currency restrictions

Indian laws controlling the import and export of Indian rupees, foreign currency, and other goods can change. Before you travel, you should check the Indian Customs Board webpage to confirm your allowances.

Vaccination certificate requirements

If you arrive in India from Pakistan, Israel, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Afghanistan or Somalia, you must present an international certificate of vaccination or prophylactic against polio.

If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you will be required to present a valid yellow fever certificate to be allowed entry into India.

Registration requirements

If you are planning to stay in India for more than 180 days, you are required to register within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, or with the Superintendent of Police in other areas. Failure to register may result in a fine or jail sentence, or prevent your departure from India until permission is granted by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.

Safety and security

Jammu and Kashmir - Ladakh region: We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir state. Travellers should take into consideration local security measures and the overall security environment when deciding to visit the Ladakh region. All travel to the region should be via Manali, or by air to the region’s main city of Leh, in order to avoid potential trouble spots elsewhere in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir - Cities of Jammu and Srinagar (including the Jammu-Srinagar highway): We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, including the Jammu-Srinagar highway, due to the risk of armed clashes, terrorist attacks and violent demonstrations. If you choose to travel to Srinagar, you should do so by air.

Other Parts of Jammu and Kashmir: We advise you not to travel to other parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, due to the danger of armed clashes, terrorist activities and violent demonstrations, particularly in rural areas and areas close to the border with Pakistan. In the past, attacks have targeted tourist buses. There have also been isolated incidences of kidnapping of foreigners in Kashmir.

Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh: Maoist insurgents, known as Naxalites, frequently conduct attacks in rural and forested areas of Chhattisgarh. Naxalites are responsible for more attacks in India resulting in deaths than any other non-state armed group. Border areas with neighbouring states are also at risk of Naxalite violence, particularly Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Andra Pradesh.

Borders with Pakistan: We advise you not to travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan (northern and western India), other than at the international border crossing at Atari, India and Wagah, Pakistan. On 2 November 2014, a terrorist attack on the Pakistani side of the Atari-Wagah border crossing killed at least 55 people and injured 200. Security at the daily flag-lowering ceremony has been increased, but visitors to the border crossing should maintain a high level of vigilance. Landmines pose a serious risk along some stretches of the India-Pakistan border.

North-eastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur: We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to these areas due to the risk of armed robbery, kidnapping, extortion, and separatist and insurgent violence, including in rural areas. Insurgent groups have attacked civilians and bombed buildings in these states.

Terrorism

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in India overall due to the high threat of terrorist activity. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security threats.

We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks in India and assess that attacks could occur anywhere at anytime with little or no warning, including in locations frequented by Australians. In mid-December 2014, Indian authorities increased security at Metro stations and other public spaces in New Delhi.

Terrorist attacks in India have involved multiple, consecutive explosions and resulted in a high number of fatalities. Many past attacks in Indian cities have been indiscriminate rather than directed against a particular target, with the aim to inflict mass casualties.

Terrorist groups regularly issue statements threatening to launch attacks in India and Indian security services have warned that attacks may occur. In September 2014, Al Qaeda announced the formation of an offshoot in the Indian Subcontinent. Most recently militants based in Pakistan threatened attacks in India following the 2 November 2014 suicide bombing on the Pakistani side of the border with India at Wagah, which killed at least 55 people. In 2014, Indian authorities made a number of arrests of suspected terrorists accused of planning terrorist attacks in India.

The threat of terrorism exists in all Indian cities and tourist centres. In the past, terrorists have targeted areas frequented by tourists including hotels, markets, tourist sites, transport hubs and networks and religious sites. Attacks have also targeted local courts, sporting events and cinemas, and Indian security and political establishments.

Take into consideration local security measures when deciding where to visit. There are limited security measures in place on public transport, such as buses and railways. Security arrangements at airports have been enhanced, reflecting the threat of terrorist attacks against Indian aviation interests.

Major secular and religious holidays and periods of religious significance, such as Ramadan, Eid, Diwali, Christmas, Easter and New Year’s Eve could provide terrorist groups an opportunity or pretext to stage an attack. You should also be vigilant in the period surrounding days of national significance, such as Republic Day (26 January) and Independence Day (15 August).

The Indian Government has in the past issued public alert warnings about possible terrorist attacks. You should take such alert warnings seriously and avoid any areas identified as a possible target of attack.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin for more information on terrorism and our General advice to Australian travellers for tips on staying safe overseas.

Civil unrest/political tension

Violent protests and demonstrations occur sporadically and often spontaneously throughout India. Civil unrest and communal violence have in the past claimed a significant number of lives. You should avoid locations where protests and demonstrations are being held as these may become violent. Travellers should remain vigilant and monitor the local news and media sources to keep abreast of the latest developments.

You should be aware that international events, political developments in the region and local events can trigger demonstrations in India, often causing disruptions to public transport.

In October 2014 inter-communal clashes occurred in Trilokuri, in New Delhi’s east, resulting in a number of injuries.

Religious ceremonies and gatherings attended by large crowds can result in dangerous and life threatening incidents, such as stampedes. In response to such events, Indian authorities may impose curfews and restrict activity in the affected location.

In the event of a protest or demonstration you should monitor international and local media for information concerning your safety and security and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Crime

Women should take particular care in all parts of India, including major cities and tourist destinations, even when travelling in a group. Exercise vigilance at all times of the day, avoid walking in less populous and unlit areas, including city streets, village lanes and beaches, and take care when travelling in taxis and rickshaws. Avoid travelling alone on public transportation, autos and taxis, particularly at night. Foreign women can be subjected to unwanted attention and more serious harassment and assault. Successful prosecutions are rare. See our travelling women page for more information.

There are persistent allegations and media reports of sexual misconduct involving religious groups and their leaders in India. Australians visiting India for such religious purposes should be aware of these risks.

Petty theft is common in crowded areas such as markets, trade fairs, expos, at airports and on buses, metros and trains, including overnight and long-distance trains. Thieves on motorcycles commonly snatch shoulder bags and jewelery.

Travellers have been robbed and assaulted after consuming 'spiked' drinks or food. There have also been reports of travellers being abducted, assaulted and robbed when leaving venues alone late at night, particularly when intoxicated. See our partying overseas page for tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

Hikers have been attacked and have disappeared in the Kulu/Manali district in Himachal Pradesh, particularly on more remote trekking routes. Hikers are strongly urged not to hike alone and to obtain detailed information in advance about proposed hiking routes.

Money and valuables

Take care when receiving change or dealing in cash as counterfeit currency is in circulation.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

Review the general advice to Australian travellers for further information on being safe and prepared abroad.

Local travel

Travelling by road

Travelling by road in India can be dangerous, accidents are commonplace and the number of road traffic deaths is high. Local driving practices are often undisciplined and aggressive, and vehicles are often poorly maintained. Roads are often of poor quality and congested, and shared with pedestrians, carts, cattle and other livestock. Travelling by road at night is particularly dangerous due to insufficient or non-existent street lighting and the presence of other vehicles driving with headlights off or on high beam. Vehicles may travel in the wrong direction, often without warning.

Driving: To drive in India, you must have either a valid Indian driver’s licence or an International Driving Permit together with an Australian driving licence. An Australian licence alone is not sufficient. Motorcycle riders must wear helmets. If you intend to ride a motorcycle, you should check that your travel insurance policy covers motorcycle riding and exercise extreme caution.

If a vehicle hits a pedestrian or cow, the occupants are at risk of being attacked or becoming victims of extortion. If it is unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident, drivers may instead wish to go to the nearest police station. For further advice, see our road travel page.

Taxis: Pre-paid taxis at airports or taxis booked from hotels should be used rather than hailing them on the street. For your safety, you should not use private taxi drivers who wait outside airports and railways and drive unmarked cars.

Buses and trains: Bus and train services are often overcrowded and drivers may lack adequate training. Buses and trains are often also poorly maintained and fires can occur. If you choose to travel by train, you should familiarise yourself with the emergency exits.

Restrictions on movement

State and Union Territory governments may impose restrictions on the movement of foreign tourists in particular states and near tribal areas. You may need to obtain permission from the Indian authorities to visit those parts of the country, particularly in the northeast. Permits are generally required for Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, parts of Kulu District and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, tribal areas of Odisha, border areas of Jammu and Kashmir, some areas of Uttrakhand (formerly Uttaranchal), parts of Rajasthan adjacent to the international border, the Tibetan settlements between Hunsar and Madikeri in Karnataka, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

There are stringent penalties for entering a protected or restricted area without prior permission. Indian authorities generally require at least four weeks to process permit applications. You should seek advice from the nearest Indian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate; or the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division, NDCC-II Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi.

Other local travel issues

Standards maintained by tour operators, including adventure activities, may not be comparable to those in Australia. Check operators’ credentials and safety equipment beforehand and ensure your travel insurance policy covers your planned activities. If appropriate safety equipment is not available, you should use another provider. Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if the locals don't.

Tourist boats, ferries and other small commercial craft may not carry life preserving/saving equipment.

Delays in travel can be expected throughout India, including due to additional security measures, especially in the lead up to and on days of national significance such as Republic Day (26 January) and Independence Day (15 August).

Fog often affects northern India, particularly during December and January, and may delay air and rail travel, and may make road travel more dangerous.

Touts are often found at airports, railway stations and bus stations and may use aggressive tactics to persuade travellers to buy tickets on tours. They may not have any connection to the relevant commercial service providers and you may be overcharged.

Piracy occurs in the coastal areas of India. See our piracy bulletin for more information. The International Maritime Bureau issues weekly piracy reports on its website.

Airline safety

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in India.

Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.

Laws

When you are in India, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research local laws before travelling.

Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.

Matters concerning dowry have resulted in some Australian citizens being subject to arrest upon arrival in India. The act of giving or receiving a dowry is prohibited. Claims for dowry can result in an arrest alert notice being issued by a court at the request of an aggrieved party.

Homosexuality is a criminal offence in India. Though prosecutions are rare, you should be aware that a conviction for homosexual behaviour could carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. See our LGBTI travellers page.

Legal processes in India generally take several years to conclude. Australians arrested for major offences may be imprisoned for several years before a verdict is reached in their case. The requirement for official approvals by Indian authorities can cause delays in consular services being provided to Australians in prison.

Penalties in India for some crimes, such as murder, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery with murder, and treason, include the death penalty. Penalties for drug offences are severe and include mandatory sentences and the death penalty.

You are required by law to carry your passport at all times and you will need your passport to check into hotels and check in for flights.

Trespassing and photography of airports, military establishments and dams is illegal with penalties ranging from three to 14 years imprisonment.

Some places of worship and temples do not allow visitors to take pictures or videos; travellers need to check beforehand with the temple’s administrative office.

It is illegal to carry or use a satellite phone in India without permission. The penalty for doing so could include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Legal drinking ages range from 18 to 25 depending on the state, and can vary by alcohol type. Some states permit alcohol use for medicinal purposes only, and others require you to hold a permit to buy, transport or consume alcohol. Some states prohibit the carriage of alcohol brought in from outside the state, and police may perform checks on vehicles to enforce this law. Penalties for violation of these laws can be harsh, so travellers are advised to check with Indian authorities in the states they plan to visit.

Deliberate maiming or killing of a cow is an offence which can attract a punishment of up to five years imprisonment.

Foreigners planning to undertake missionary work in India need an appropriate visa. Missionaries without an appropriate visa risk deportation. Some states within India have passed legislation making it an offence to induce conversion to another religion by force or other enticement.

Strict regulations apply for the possession and export of antiquities, with penalties of up to three years imprisonment. The government of India requires the registration of antiquities. For further information contact the High Commission of India in Canberra or the Indian Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, child sex tourism, and commercial surrogacy, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.

Local customs

There are strong codes of dress and behaviour in India, particularly in northern India and at religious sites, and you should take care not to offend.

Physical contact between men and women in public is not considered appropriate. If in any doubt, seek local advice.

The timing of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan varies from year to year. For information on how this may affect travel, see our Ramadan travel bulletin.

Information for dual nationals

The Indian constitution does not recognise dual nationality. However, local law allows persons of Indian origin in a number of countries, including Australia, to apply for Overseas Citizenship of India. Further advice is available from the Overseas Citizenship of India section of the Indian Government's Ministry of Home Affairs website.

Our Dual nationals page also provides relevant information.

Health

Insurance, vaccinations and other considerations

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

Medical facilities

Medical facilities providing an adequate standard of treatment can be found in India's major cities; however in remote and rural areas facilities can be very limited or unavailable. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities may be necessary.

"Medical tourism", including for cosmetic and experimental stem cell treatments, has become more common in India. Australians should ensure that they do not attend discount or uncertified medical establishments where standards can be lacking.

Decompression chambers are located at the Indian naval base in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and at the Goa Medical College, Goa.

Travel health concerns

There is a high incidence of food-borne, water-borne and other infectious diseases in India (including meningitis, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diphtheria and rabies). Tap water in India may not be safe to drink, we recommend you boil all drinking water or drink bottled water with intact seals, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

You should not consume home-made or unlabelled alcohol as it may be adulterated with harmful substances.

Dengue fever is prevalent in India. For more information on dengue fever, see the World Health Organisation’s dengue fact sheet. Malaria is a risk in most parts of India, including major cities. There is also a risk of other mosquito-borne diseases (including Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya fever and filariasis). It is strongly recommended you take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes, including using an insect repellent, wearing loose fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof. Seek medical advice if you have a fever.

Major cities in India experience frequent high levels of air pollution, which in some places can reach hazardous levels. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly cardiac and respiratory, may be especially affected. If you live in or intend to visit India and are concerned about the levels of air pollution you should seek medical advice. You should also follow advice from local authorities about methods to reduce exposure on days with high levels of pollution. You can monitor the pollution index for many cities through resources such as SAFAR or the DPCC website. Information on air quality can also be found on the World Health Organization website.

Where to get help

Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurance provider in the first instance.

If the matter relates to criminal issues, contact the police on 100.

If the matter relates to complaints about tourism services or products, contact the service provider directly.

The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas. For consular assistance, see contact details below:

Australian High Commission, New Delhi

No. 1/50 G Shantipath (Gate 1)
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi INDIA 110021
Telephone: (91 11) 4139 9900
Facsimile: (91 11) 2687 2228
Website: www.india.highcommission.gov.au
Email: ahc.newdelhi@dfat.gov.au

Australian Consulate General, Mumbai

Level 10, A Wing
Crescenzo Building
Opp MCA Cricket Club
G Block, Plot C 38-39
Bandra Kurla Complex
Mumbai 400 051
Telephone: (91 22) 6757 4900
Facsimile: (91 22) 6757 4955
Website: www.mumbai.consulate.gov.au
Email: cg.mumbai@dfat.gov.au

Australian Consulate General, Chennai

Australian Consulate General
9th Floor, Express Chambers
Express Avenue Estate
Whites Road
Royapettah
Chennai 600 014
Tamil Nadu
Telephone: (91 44) 4592 1300
Facsimile: (91 44) 4592 1320
Email: chennaiaustralianconsulate@dfat.gov.au

See the Australian High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you are travelling to India, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.

In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the High Commission you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Annual monsoon rains from June to October can cause extensive flooding and landslides, particularly in the states of Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the north and east, and in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the south. In the past, floods have affected millions of people, resulting in many deaths. If you are travelling during the monsoon season, you should contact your tour operators to check whether tourist services at your planned destination have been affected. For further information see the India Meteorological Department website.

In September 2014, heavy monsoon rains caused widespread flooding and a number of landslides in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, resulting in a large number of deaths. There has also been significant damage to infrastructure and services. If, despite our advice, you choose to travel in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, you should monitor the media and follow the advice of local authorities at all times.

Cyclones occur commonly in Indian waters in the period April-December, particularly around the Bay of Bengal in eastern India. Coastal and some inland areas of India are vulnerable to storm surges, particularly Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In the event of an approaching cyclone, you should follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor media and weather reports for the latest developments. You can obtain up to date advice on cyclone activity from the India Meteorological Department website. Our Severe weather page also contains useful information on what to do in a cyclone.

Earth tremors are common in India, particularly in the North-eastern states, and can cause landslides in hilly and mountainous areas. In the event of an earthquake it is likely that severe disruptions to services will occur. Information on volcanic activity can be obtained from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service.

All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there is a more frequent occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches. See the Tsunami Awareness brochure.

In the event of a natural disaster, follow the advice of local authorities.

Wildlife

Fatal tiger attacks have occurred in India. Monkeys may attempt to steal items from visitors at temples and busy tourist attractions. Travellers should respect wildlife laws and park regulations, use reputable and professional guides and maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife.

Additional Resources

For additional general and economic information to assist travelling in this country, see the following links:



While every care has been taken in preparing this information, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees, including any member of Australia's diplomatic and consular staff abroad, can accept liability for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained herein.

Maps are presented for information only. The department accepts no responsibility for errors or omission of any geographic feature. Nomenclature and territorial boundaries may not necessarily reflect Australian Government policy.