Thiruvananthapuram

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Last Updated Friday January 20 2017 05:29 PM IST

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

People

Kerala has one f the most educated societies in India and people here have a high degree of political awareness. People are conservative but simple and helpful. Most of them understand English though the most widely spoken language is Malayalam. The people of Kerala are called Keralites or Malayalees. Keralites prefer a simple dress code.

Money

The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee which is divided into 100 paise. Coins come in denominations of Rs 1, 2 and 5 and notes in Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. For travel in public transport, it is important to carry coins. There are also options like Axis Bank's rupee denominated travel card for those who don't want the headache of exchanging foreign currency.

International Transfers

Money can be wired through moneychangers linked with Western Union or Money Gram.

ATMS

Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Plus are the most widely accepted cards in Kerala and ATMs are common in most towns and cities. But it is necessary to carry cash as power outages, though not frequent, do occur. Also hotels and small shops in remote Kerala or streetside shops in even big cities will not have facilities to accept plastic money. Passports have to produced whenever one changes currency or travelers cheques.

Visas

Visa should be applied through private processing agencies authorized by the Indian Embassy for well in advance to your intended date of travel. In the US it is Travisa Outsourcing and in most of the other countries it is VFS Global that has the responsibility for issuing Indian visas. Visa applications can be obtained through the Indian Embassy of one's country. Multipleentry tourist visas valid for six months from the date of issue are granted to those who wish to visit India.

Vaccinations

The only mandatory vaccination is for yellow fever. If you are travelling from countries in the yellow fever zone six days prior to visiting India, you would have to produce proof of vaccination. But it might be best if you check with your local clinic for a health checkup and also takes vaccinations suggested by your doctor. The last place you want to be sick is in a foreign land.

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