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| Updated on Jul 28, 2016

India and the art of health

India is a country of magnificent contrast and colours. A trip to India can be an overwhelming decision for inexperienced travelers, but a few easy recommendations will allow you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

India offers a great variety of landscapes which no tourist can resist. If you are travelling to rural areas, you should only eat freshly cooked food in order to avoid getting sick due to bacteria or parasite. Avoid salads, juices and raw food in local restaurants, as it has probably been washed with contaminated water that can make you temporarily sick. Try not to eat meals rich in chili and spicy, as they act like laxatives, especially when you are not used to them. Regarding water, you should avoid tap water at all times. Bottled water is an inexpensive alternative that can contribute to your wellbeing during your trip.

If you are visiting an area where bottled water is not sold at reliable stores, its is advisable to purchase a water sterilizing device such a travel SteriPEN, which uses ultraviolet light to kill all bacteria and other amoebas in the water. It’s fairly pricey (it normally ranges around US$50), but it is crucial to prevent getting sick from waterborne illnesses and it will allow you to safely travel to all parts of India. When arriving in India it is crucial to be up to date on routine vaccinations, such as measles mumps rubella (MMR), polio and the chickenpox vaccine.

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Make sure you are vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Typhoid, which are well spread illnesses that can be passed on through contaminated food or water, regardless of which part of the country you are eating or staying. These diseases are particularly common in rural areas and street food and can be easily avoided by vaccinating forehand. If you are travelling to india for more than four weeks you should strongly consider taking measures against diseases such as Hepatitis B, Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis. These illnesses are difficult to diagnose and the treatment can be very complicated, so it is highly recommended to vaccinate forehand and taking malaria tablets before, during and after your stay in the country. Make a visit to your General Practitioner in order to get informed about the health details of the country.

Travelling to India is relatively straightforward regarding costumes and controls, but the country holds an very strict visa policy that you must know about in advance. In order to travel to India you are required to possess a working passport, a valid visa and an onward or return ticket. An Indian visa can be obtained on arrival for some nationalities, but it is advisable to apply for a visa beforehand, in order to avoid bureaucratic issues. The basic tourist visa for India is valid for 30 days and has a cost of US$60. In order to apply for an Indian visa, you must upload a passport sized photograph and a copy of your passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended arrival in India.

If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you must contact your closest Indian embassy or consulate, as every country follows different visa regulations and procedures for long stay visas. Once you have applied, either for a short tourist permit or for a longer stay document, you can check the status of your Indian visa application on this official link. Extending your visa once you are in India is not as practical as it may initially seem, as the government currently only grants extensions in extreme circumstances.

In order to minimize the impact of potential complications such as robberies, it is advisable to make copies of your passport and travelling documents before you enter the country. Although India is not a particularly unsafe destination, knowing the location of your closest embassy or consulate can avoid many incidents. Please refer to the List of Foreign Embassies and Consulates in India](Travelling to India is relatively straightforward regarding costumes and controls, but the country holds an very strict visa policy that you must know about in advance. In order to travel to India you are required to possess a working passport, a valid visa and an onward or return ticket. An Indian visa can be obtained on arrival for some nationalities, but it is advisable to apply for a visa beforehand, in order to avoid bureaucratic issues. The basic tourist visa for India is valid for 30 days and has a cost of US$60. In order to apply for an Indian visa, you must upload a passport sized photograph and a copy of your passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended arrival in India. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you must contact your closest Indian embassy or consulate, as every country follows different visa regulations and procedures for long stay visas. Once you have applied, either for a short tourist permit or for a longer stay document, you can check the status of your Indian visa application on this official link. Extending your visa once you are in India is not as practical as it may initially seem, as the government currently only grants extensions in extreme circumstances. In order to minimize the impact of potential complications such as robberies, it is advisable to make copies of your passport and travelling documents before you enter the country. Although India is not a particularly unsafe destination, knowing the location of your closest embassy or consulate can avoid many incidents. Please refer to the List of Foreign Embassies and Consulates in India.

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