Budget and currency
1 Euro = 51 Rupees (based on September 05 rates) You can exchange Euros in all banks. You must hold onto your exchange slips, as they will be needed when you change your remaining Rupees at the end of the trip. Damaged or ripped notes are not usable.
We advise you to use color film cartridges, preferably with an ISO of 100 to 400.
+4.5 hours in the winter months, 3.5 hours in the summer months.
Pharmacies – Health
Bring your personal medications (correct dosages) plus aspirin, elastic bandage, rubbing alcohol, intestinal antibiotics, small scissors, band-aids, sun-cream for face and lips, mosquito repellant, etc.
In order to fully enjoy your trip, it is necessary to arrive in good physical shape.
No vaccinations are obligatory in India. However, vaccinations against tetanus, typhoid, polio, hepatitis A and B are strongly recommended. Check that your booster shots are up to date. You have to be very careful with drinking water. Never drink untreated “natural” water, or water from a tap in the city. You must drink only boiled water (or treated with Micropur or Hydro-clonazone), tea, bottled drinks (with well-sealed caps), or buy mineral water. A few basic hygienic rules will save you a few inconveniences: wash your hands regularly with soap before and after eating.
Sun: Don't forget to protect your skin from the sun's rays. Pack a t-shirt (long or short sleeves), because you can get sunburned without realizing it. We recommend that you bring along a small first-aid kit containing any personal medication, a role of bandage (5cm wide), good sun-cream,
tropical mosquito repellant, aspirin, basic broad-spectrum antibiotics. Also take anti-diarrhoea medicine and an intestinal antibiotic.
Bring 2 pieces of luggage
1 small (2 kg. capacity) back pack for walking trips and visits.
1 duffle bag or other sturdy type (several transfers, buses)
1 money belt (waist or neck) to wear under your clothing with your passport and money
Suggested personal equipment
Light duvet, sleeping-bag sheet, very light clothing, shorts (avoid wearing on certain visits), t-shirts (a t-shirt with sleeves to visit the temples), light and airy cotton pants, sweater for nights and a wind-breaker for the nights in Munnar, raincoat, toiletries, small first-aid kit, pocket knife, small torch-light (head-light practical) with extra batteries, cap to protect against the Sun.
Light hiking/walking shoes or sturdy tennis shoes
Relating with locals
Tact and courtesy are needed, especially while taking photos.
Respect local tradition, particularly in regards to an appropriate dress-code while walking through villages and more so in temples (long pants and a long top with sleeves). Attention: the caste system is still very alive in India. Before entering a house, wait to be invited in. Never shake a woman's hand, unless they extend their hands first (sign of a Western education).
Attention: be careful with children. Don't automatically offer small gifts (sweets, pens, etc.). Especially don't give money, which will encourage begging and cause problems for following groups/tourists.
Tipping is a tradition in India and a practice that can't be ignored. Anticipate about 20 euros to cover tips for the whole trip.
Winter is the best time to travel in South India. It's the coolest between November and mid-March, with an average of 24-33oC during the day. It is not very cool at night, about 20-25oC, except in Munnar, where the temperature can go down to 10oC at night.