Note: The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Sometimes smaller vendors will not take bills larger than Rs 500. It is best to carry a range of rupee notes if you are shopping at bazaars and local markets.
In major cities, the full cadre of banks cards are generally accepted including debit cards, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. However, in smaller towns and villages, choice is generally narrowed to cash or MasterCard and Visa.
24 hour ATM machines can be found in all the major cities and most large towns. Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Plus are amongst the most commonly accepted cards.
These are widely accepted and may be changed at banks and larger hotels. The most widely accepted currencies include US Dollars and Pounds Sterling. Some banks may refuse to change certain brands of traveller's cheques whilst others may exchange quite happily.
Mon-Fri 1030-1530; Sat 1030-1300.
The import and export of local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currency is unlimited. However, amounts exceeding US$5,000 or equivalent in cash, or US$10,000 or equivalent in all forms of currency must be declared. The export of foreign currency is allowed up to the amount imported and declared.
Currency can be changed at banks, airports or authorised money changers. Many hotels also have facilities to change money but this is a more expensive option. It is illegal to exchange money through unauthorised money changers. US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are the easiest currencies to exchange.
India duty free
The following items may be imported into India by travellers over 18 without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 2L of alcoholic liquor or wine.
• Goods for personal use (only one laptop allowed per traveller).
• Reasonable quantities of medicines.
Note: (a) Import by non-residents is only permitted if the national has entered India for a stay of not less than 24 hours and not more than six months, provided they visit not more than once a month. (b) Domestic pets (cats, dogs, birds etc) are permitted to be imported into India as long as they have a health certificate from the country of origin. (c) Cash/travellers cheques totalling more than US$10,000 should be declared at customs.
Livestock, live plants, illicit drugs, weapons, ivory, gold and silver bullion.
Livestock, animal skins, products made from animal skins, live plants, human skeletons, illicit drugs, weapons, ivory, products made from ivory, animal horns, endangered shells, antiques, gold and silver bullion.