Laws and customs vary from country to country, and in a nation as big as India, they even vary from state to state! Get know about the rules and practices of this wonderful land before getting on that plane.
It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts without a licence. India has a strong legal framework to regulate and restrict wildlife trade and is also a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). If you’re caught purchasing or trafficking such goods illegally, you will be prosecuted and receive prison sentences or fines.
The laws governing alcohol vary from state to state. During major religious festivals, national holidays and elections a ban on the sale of alcohol is often imposed. Seek advice from your local travel agent/hotel or the authorities to ensure you’re aware of any alcohol prohibition in the state.
Customs & Declaration
Indian customs has strict rules about goods and currency that can be brought into and taken out of the country. Failure to declare contents you’re carrying which may be prohibited or subject to a tax or duty payment can lead to heavy penalties including imprisonment.
You may need prior permission from the Indian authorities to bring equipment like listening or recording devices, radio transmitters, powerful cameras or binoculars into India. Seek advice from the Indian High Commission in your country.
Security Measures & Permissions
There may be very serious penalties for breaking a law which might seem trivial to you, or for doing something which may not be illegal in your native country. Hobbies involving cameras and binoculars, like bird-watching or plane spotting, may be misunderstood particularly near military sites, government buildings, airports and railway stations.
Respect for the National Anthem
On 30 November 2016, India’s supreme court ruled that the national anthem must be played in every cinema before a film is screened. Audiences are expected to stand when the anthem is played.