Travel Tips for International and National Travellers
|A proper VISA to enter and stay in India is a must. Foreigners who wish to overstay should contact the nearest Foreigners’ Regional Registration Officer or the Sadar Police Station in the town.
|Foreign, Nationals require Inner Line Permits to visit certain inner area of Kinnaur Distt. and Spiti of the Lahaul Spiti Distt. Bordering Tibet. The Permits are issued by SDM, Manali and SDM, Reckong Peo, Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul Spiti at Keylong and Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur at Reckong Peo.
|Change money only at authorized Foreign Exchange Outlets/Banks/Hotels. Insist on receipt for money changed.
|Observe local traditions and customs especially while visiting religious places. Contact your nearest Tourist office or your hotel for guidance.
|Always enter a temple, mosque, tomb, dargah or gurudwara without shoes on and properly dressed. One should cover his/her head with a cloth while in a Gurudwara or Dargah.
|Keep identity card/passport with yourself while travelling.
|While visiting interior places, please inquire about local authority contacts
|Himachal has an wide range of weather conditions. Most areas of Bilaspur, Una, Solan, Sirmour, Hamirpur and Kangra are largely warm to hot in summer, and mild to pleasant in winter. The district of Chamba, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla and Lahaul and Spiti are mild to pleasant in summer and cold in winter. Do check the type of clothing and other equipment you may require for the region you are visiting.
|Stay only in hotel/guesthouses that are registered with the Department of Tourism. A certificate to this effect is prominently displayed by them.
|In the main tourist centers, the rates of porters are fixed. For hiring porters, especially for treks, these are normally negotiated. Let the Department of Tourism help you.
|Take care of proper disposal of your bio degradable/ non degradable waste while you are exploring Himalayas or anywhere else.
|Dispose all litter carefully. The use of plastic bags is banned in Himachal.
|Stop at Government emporiums. Prices are reasonable and quality assured. Himachal Emporium outlets are located at Bilaspur, Chamba, Dharamshala, Mandi, Kullu, Keylong, Kinnaur, Rekong Peo, Nahan, Solan, Arki and Shimla. Outside the state, these are at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chandigarh. You can also buy directly from craftsmen located throughout Himachal. But if you plan to carry them overseas, do take a receipt for Customs.
|For electrical appliances, check voltage, 220 V is the standard in the state.
|For sightseeing and excursions, contact Himachal Tourism/ HPTDC Marketing Offices. The HPTDC has its own fleet of coaches.
|Some buildings and monuments require permission for photography and filming. Contact the nearest Tourism office or the concerned District Administration for guidance and assistance.
|Credit cards are accepted at most shops, restaurants and hotel in the main towns. Their use is minimal outside them and all payments are in cash.
|The online reservation of HPTDC hotels is also available on its website wherein rooms can be reserved and payment can be made using credit/ debit card.
|Normal banking hours are 10 am to 2 pm from Monday to Fridays, and 10 am to noon on Saturdays. Some banks also have evening counters but these rarely deal in foreign currency. Bank remain closed on Sundays and Gazetted Holidays.
|If a document is lost immediately contact the nearest Tourism Office or Police Station.
|STD/ISD/FAX facilities are available at small booths throughout the state.
|For medical assistance contact Government hospitals and dispensaries or accredited nursing homes/ clinics/ hospitals.
|For guide maps and information contact Himachal Tourism offices.
|It is advisable to cover yourself with travel insurance for thefts, loss and medi-claim.
|Unleaded petrol is available at selected stations only.
|While on adventure trips, keep yourself with proper clothing, shoes, stick, food, water, some instrument to lit fire (match box/ lighter etc.)
|Before undertaking the adventure activities such as trekking, rafting, paragliding, local authorities such as SDM, Police, Tourist Offices etc. should be informed in advance and permission may be taken in advance wherever require.
|Tourists intended to take adventure activities are advised to hire the services of the travel agents and guides approved by the Department of Tourism, HP Govt. only.
|There is excellent coverage of communication network in Himachal. Please keep important numbers of Tourist Information Offices/ Police Station with you. Important numbers are :-
Police Station – 100
Ambulance – 102
Tourist Information Office (Shimla) – 0177-2658302, 2652561
|Don’t stand at the edge of cliff or on the bolder near the bank of river for photographs etc. The current of the river in Himachal Pradesh is very strong.
|Don’t leave non – biodegradable litter behind. Polythene is banned in Himachal under Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act of 1995.
|Don’t encourage beggars
|Smoking is not allowed in public places under Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008.
|Don’t eat anything offered by fellow travellers on train or road travels. It might have sleeping pills.
|Don’t get hared in to shopping or sightseeing tours by touts, taxi drivers or strangers. Let the Department of Tourism, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation or your hotel help you.
|Don’t buy articles made from rare or endangered species or animals. Antiques more than 100 years old may not be purchased.
|Don’t disfigure or scribble on rocks, trees, building etc.
|Do not leave your cash and valuables in your hotel rooms. Keep your cash divided in different pockets.
|Don’t trust strangers, trust your hotel
|Do not carry any prohibited substance covered under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
|Females may not be photographed without their consent.