India

Latest update

This Advice was last issued on Thursday, 05 June 2014.   This advice contains new information in the Summary and under Safety and security: Terrorism (the level of advice for the state of Chhattisgarh has increased. We now advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel to the state of Chhattisgarh due to the ongoing insurgent activity). We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in India overall because of the risk of terrorism, civil unrest, crime and 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 risk of terrorism, civil unrest, crime, and high rate of vehicle accidents.
  • In India you should pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
  • Terrorist attacks could occur anywhere at any time in India with little or no warning. Possible targets include public places in New Delhi, Mumbai, other major cities, tourist sites, transport hubs, Indian security facilities and political interests. Major secular and religious holidays could provide terrorist groups an opportunity or pretext to stage an attack.
  • 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 for more information.
  • Violent protests and demonstrations occur sporadically throughout India. Australians are urged to avoid protests, to monitor international and local media, and to follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Homosexuality is a criminal offence in India, although prosecutions are rare. A conviction for homosexual behaviour could carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
  • Parts of India are subject to earthquakes, flooding and cyclones. In the event of a natural disaster it is likely that severe disruptions to services may occur. See under Natural disasters, severe weather and climate for more information.
  • Driving in India is unpredictable and driving practices differ significantly from Australia. Incidents of road deaths are high. You should exercise particular caution when travelling on buses, trains, cars and motorcycles in all parts of India. See the Local travel section for more information.
  • There is a high incidence of food-borne, water-borne and other infectious diseases in India. Before you travel, you should consult your doctor or travel clinic about disease outbreaks, preventative measures, immunisations and vaccinations. See the Health section for more information.
  • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Ladakh region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and to reconsider your need to travel to the cities of Jammu and Srinagar (including the Jammu-Srinagar highway). We advise you not to travel to other parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, due to frequent armed clashes, terrorist activities and violent demonstrations.
  • We advise you not to travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at the international border crossing at Atari-Wagah.
  • We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the north-eastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur because of the risk of armed robbery, kidnapping, extortion and separatist and insurgent violence. If you do decide to travel to these areas, you should exercise extreme caution.
  • We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Chhattisgarh due to the ongoing Maoist insurgent (also known as ‘Naxalites’) activity which primarily targets the Indian Government and security forces, infrastructure and government buildings.
  • Australians applying for an Indian visa online should use the Indian Government’s official website at indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
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Entry and exit

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Australians must obtain a visa before travelling to India. If you arrive in India without a visa, the Indian Government will likely refuse you entry. The rule preventing holders of tourist visas from re-entering India within two months of departure no longer applies to Australian passport holders.

The Indian Government has warned of a number of fraudulent (scam) visa websites. You can access the Indian Government’s online visa service through the Indian High Commission’s website.

If 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 (New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata) or with the Superintendent of Police in other areas. Failure to register may result in a jail sentence or fine, or preclude departure from India until permission is granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

If your passport is lost or stolen while in India, an exit visa is required to depart from India. Exit visas can be obtained by presenting a police report, two current passport size photographs and a letter from the Australian High Commission or Consulate General to the local Foreigners Regional Registration Office advising of your lost or stolen passport. As the Indian authorities generally need to verify entry details prior to issuing an exit visa, the process can take several days. More information regarding exit visas can be found at the Indian Government’s website.

There are heavy penalties, including jail sentences, for overstaying your visa. If you have overstayed your visa, processing an exit visa can take several months and decisions are generally made on a case-by-case basis by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.

There is no provision for changing visa categories (i.e. tourist to work) once admitted into India.

Visa guidelines for foreign nationals intending to visit India for commissioning surrogacy are strictly enforced. Further information about these visa requirements and general information regarding international commercial surrogacy is available on the Australian High Commission’s website . You should also familiarise yourself with Fact Sheet 36a on International Surrogacy Arrangements, available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website. These websites include an overview of the legal issues affecting Australians considering overseas surrogacy arrangements and strongly encourage Australians to seek independent legal advice.

Indian laws controlling the import and export of Indian rupees, foreign currency, and other goods can change. Before you travel, you should contact the nearest High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of India, or The Indian Customs Board webpage to confirm your allowances.

From 14 February 2014, 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.

As Indian law requires hotels and guest houses to verify your visa before check-in, it is recommended that you make copies of your passport details and Indian visa in case your passport is lost or stolen. You should carry copies in a separate place to your passport and leave a copy with someone at home.

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.

Safety and security

Terrorism

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in India due to the 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. Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere at any time in India with little or no warning.

We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks in India. Terrorist attacks in India have involved multiple, consecutive explosions. Many past attacks in Indian cities have been indiscriminate rather than directed against a particular target, with the aim to inflict mass casualties.

In the past, terrorists have targeted areas frequented by tourists including hotels, markets, tourist sites, transport hubs and networks, religious sites, and Indian security and political establishments. Attacks have also targeted local courts, sporting events and cinemas. The threat of terrorism exists in all Indian cities and tourist centres. Take into consideration local security measures when deciding where to visit. There are limited security measures in place on some public transport, including buses and railways. Security arrangements at airports have been enhanced, reflecting the threat of terrorist attacks against Indian aviation interests. Railway security is not as tightly controlled as airport security and for buses is non-existent.

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.

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).

Maoist insurgents (also known as Naxalites) are responsible for more violent attacks in India resulting in deaths than any other non-state armed group. Naxalite-Maoist insurgents are active in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha, primarily targeting the Indian Government facilities and security forces. Strikes and disruptions in Maoist insurgent areas can affect rail and road transport networks. We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Chhattisgarh and border areas of neighbouring states, particularly Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General advice to Australian travellers.

Civil unrest/political tension

Violent protests and demonstrations occur sporadically throughout India. Civil unrest and communal violence has in the past claimed a significant number of lives. You should avoid locations where protests and demonstrations are being held as they may become violent. You should be aware that international events, political developments in the region and local events can trigger demonstrations in India.

Demonstrations can begin spontaneously and escalate or turn violent with little or no warning, causing disruptions to local transportation systems and city services, and can pose a risk to travellers.

Religious ceremonies and gatherings attended by large crowds can result in dangerous and life threatening 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.

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

North-eastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur: We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the north-eastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur. If you do decide to travel to these areas, you should exercise extreme caution. Armed robbery, kidnapping, extortion and separatist and insurgent violence occur frequently in these states. Insurgent groups have attacked civilians and bombed buildings. There is also a risk from insurgent groups in rural areas of these states.

Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh: Naxalite attacks occur frequently in rural and forested areas of Chhattisgarh. Border areas with neighbouring states are also at risk of Naxalite violence, particularly Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Andra Pradesh. We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Chhattisgarh and border areas of neighbouring states, particularly Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

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 due to the risk of armed clashes, terrorist attack and violent demonstrations. While there has been an overall decline in violence in these areas over recent years, the threat of acts of violence and armed unrest persists. On 26 September 2013, there was a coordinated attack on a Police station and an army base which resulted in the deaths of eight soldiers and police. On 24 June 2013, an attack on an army convoy on the airport road on the outskirts of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, killed eight soldiers and injured several others. Travellers should travel to Srinagar 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 close to the border with Pakistan. There is an ongoing dispute between India and neighbouring Pakistan regarding Jammu and Kashmir.

Attacks have targeted tourists and tourist buses and there have been isolated incidences of kidnap of foreigners in Kashmir.

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. Landmines pose a serious risk along some stretches of the India-Pakistan border.

Crime

Recent cases highlight the risk of sexual assault against women, including foreigners. 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. See our travelling women and sexual assault pages for more information for women travellers. Avoid travelling alone, particularly at night, on public transportation, autos and taxis, and avoid isolated locations. Foreign women can be subjected to unwanted attention and more serious harassment and assault. Successful prosecutions are rare.

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, airports and bus, metro and railway transport. There have been cases where property has been stolen from travellers on overnight or long-distance trains. Thieves on motorcycles commonly snatch shoulder bags and jewellery.

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

Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work overseas.

Make photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep your copies with you in a separate place to the original documents and leave another copy with someone at home.

While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.

As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

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.

You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passport.

Local travel

Travelling by road in India can be dangerous, and accidents are commonplace as local driving practices differ significantly from Australia. Roads are often poorly maintained and congested, and shared with pedestrians, carts, cattle and other livestock. Night driving may be 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.
You should exercise particular caution when travelling on buses, trains, ferries, cars and motorcycles in all parts of India. Events around traffic accidents can turn violent, if it is unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident drivers may instead wish to seek out the nearest police station. See the road travel page for further advice.

Standards maintained by transport services and 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.

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.

Driving: Vehicles may be poorly maintained and may not have seatbelts fitted. 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.

Local driving practices are often undisciplined and aggressive, and vehicles are often poorly maintained. 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 seek out the nearest police station. For further advice, see our road travel page.

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

Taxis: Taxis from hotels, or pre-paid taxis at airports should be used rather than hailing them on the street. It is not advisable to engage private taxi drivers who wait outside airports and railways and drive unmarked cars.

Avoid touts in public places: 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.

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.

Travellers should exercise caution while visiting areas around the coastal town of Mamallapuram (also known as Mahabalipuram) in Tamil Nadu, as the restricted area surrounding the Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Centre, Kalpakkam, is nearby and may not be clearly marked.

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.

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

Airline safety

For further information, please refer to our air travel page for information about 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.

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.

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 imprisonment.

Some states prohibit the carriage of alcohol brought in from outside the state, and police may perform checks on vehicles to enforce this law.

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

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, can 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

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around 28 June 2014 and finish on or around 27 July 2014. During Ramadan, Australians travelling to countries with significant Muslim communities should take care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. In particular, people who are not fasting are advised to avoid eating, drinking and smoking in the presence of people who are fasting. For more information see our Ramadan travel bulletin.

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.

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 provides further information for dual nationals.

Health

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.

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, 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.

Mosquito-borne diseases: 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.

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. Most hospitals require up-front payment or confirmation of insurance cover prior to commencing treatment. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities may be necessary. Medical evacuation costs could total in excess of A$300,000 depending on circumstances.

For divers who experience compression problems, decompression chambers are located at the Indian naval base in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and at the Goa Medical College, Goa.

"Medical tourism", including for cosmetic and experimental stem cell treatments, has become more common. Australians should ensure that they do not attend discount or uncertified medical establishments where standards can be lacking. You should ensure you have appropriate insurance cover.
Air pollution: 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 websites 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

In India, you can obtain consular assistance from:

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

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

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

Cyclones occur commonly in Indian waters in the period April-December, particularly around the Bay of Bengal. Coastal and some inland areas of India are vulnerable to storm surges, particularly the southern states and territories of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Puducherry, Lahshadweep Island 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.

Annual monsoon rains from June to October can cause extensive flooding and landslides, particularly in the states of 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.

Parts of India are in active seismic zones and are subject to earthquakes. 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. Landslides and flooding occur in the monsoon season (from June to October) and may disrupt essential services, such as power, water and transport.

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. Travellers should respect wildlife laws and park regulations, use reputable and professional guides and maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife.

For parents

For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with children page.



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.