Everything an Icelander Wants To Know About India and Indian Visa Procedure
India is a magnet for those who want to explore diverse cultures and traditions because there is no dearth of the same in India. It has all major landforms for this world and has something to offer to each one who visits this breathtaking the country. However, a visa is one document that stands between you and your wanderlust for India; therefore, one must ensure that the document required for the visa because one does not want any last-minute hassle. Here are some things a traveller must know about the Indian tourist visa.
There are two ways of obtaining an Indian tourist visa-
- 1) one can opt for the traditional tourist visa. The applicant must log onto the website, fill out the online form and visit the Indian mission office to submit the required documents
- 2) The Indian government has recently launched the option of e-visa. This is an online travel authorization for those whose only objective to visit India is recreational, religious or a casual visit to meet their extended family members or friends. One can apply for the e-visa by logging on to the online portal, filling out the online form and submitting the scanned copies of the required documents. However, one needs to carry a hard copy of the same.
Who are eligible for the Indian Tourist e-visa?
According to the notification published by the Ministry of External Affairs in March 2019, 150+ countries' citizens can apply for the e-visa. The e-visa can last from 1 month to 5 years but this provision is not available for all countries. One cannot remain in India for a period longer than stay period mentioned on their e-visa letter at a stretch so the tourists who want to stay longer, they have to contact Indian embassy immediately before their e-visa expiry. This rule was introduced in 2009 due to the increasing cases of tourists misusing this visa. The validity of the e-visa is from 30 days to 5 years. Multiple and double entries are allowed on e-visa.
What are the documents required for getting the visa?
The passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in India. Sometimes, one is asked to prove this validity as well. So plan accordingly.
The traveller must have sufficient money to spend and buy a return ticket on for other in-bound travel.
The applicant must submit a coloured passport-sized photograph.
The format of the scanned copies must be in PDF, JPG or PNG.
The diplomatic or official passport holders cannot apply for the e-visa.
Pakistanis do not have the provision of applying for an e-visa.
How many entry ports are there?
The e-visa holders can enter the country through 28 designated airports and 5 seaports. Do not forget to carry the hard copy with you as it will be stamped when one lands on the Indian soil.
What is the fee?
The fee depends on the duration of the visa. It also varies from country to country. Therefore, please check out the visa fees on the eVisa Mart website to get the correct value.
Now that e-visa and visa rules have been discussed, let's see why India draws millions of travellers from different parts of the world.
India represents a society where cultures from different parts of the world have blended in and left their beautiful marks on the Indian society. There are temples, churches and other religious places that have stood the test of time and are not only places of worship but are also the silent representatives of the culture of their native places or countries.
Different cultures mean different cuisines and India has a mindboggling number of cuisines. Each cuisine has got its unique taste and leaves a permanent imprint on the one who has them. If you head to North India, then one will find a variety of mouth-watering street food such as Chole Bhature, Dahi Bhalla etc. Head to the south, then one can taste the spicy varieties of meat dishes made from pork, lamb and chicken. Each state, each region has got its unique dishes.
India also boasts of the rich traditional textile industry. Certain weaving patterns are now restricted to only a few families due to the increased globalisation. These intricate weaving patterns required years of craftsmanship and sheer hard work. Head to north Indian cities such as Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Banaras, and one can find real pieces of treasure which will cost a bomb but can be passed down as family heirlooms. The Indian fashion designers are now bringing these rare weaving designs and patterns into mainstream fashion circuit so these craftsmen and women get their due. Make sure you take something very traditional garment home.
As mentioned before, India has something to suits one's tastes. Head to pristine and happening beaches in Goa for those who are water animals; check out the beautiful deserts in Rajasthan for those who can deal with scorching Indian summer and equally cold. There are mountains for those who want to spend their vacation trekking and exploring the mountain trails. If you want to explore spirituality, head to Aurobindo ashram in Puducherry. If you are an adventure junkie, then explore the national parks and see the glorious remnants of Indian wildlife.
If you are someone who loves to get out of the comfort zone and challenges, then India is the place for you. Indians are warm-hearted people and we will welcome you into our homes and hearts. After all, we follow Atithi Devo Bhava!