India Driving Guide 2021

India is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit.

Updated Apr 9, 2021·9min read
Driving Guide
India Driving Guide

Namaskar!

Of all your travel trips, few countries will leave a deep mark on your heart and a lasting impression. India is such a place that will get into your heart because of the richness of the land, diverse destinations, historical architectures, and delicious cuisines. As the birthplace of Buddhism and Hinduism, you’ll get a grasp of the cultural and religious importance of the places you’ll visit. Wherever you go, you’ll surely be touched by the warmth of the locals.

To smoothly go to the variety of destinations in India, you must have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to be able to rent a car. Driving in India will give you the freedom to go to places that are not readily available to public transportation. India is truly a land of astounding diversity and languages, a land where tradition speaks, culture echoes, and where the beauty is unparalleled. It is a must to see all these wonders of creation in India.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Before you travel to India, it is essential to know general information about the country, what makes it special, and what you need to explore different cities. You’ll learn more about the International Driving Permit, renting a car, road rules, driving etiquette, driving conditions, opportunities, and even the country’s top destinations.

General Information About India

Before traveling to India, it is a must that you know the general information about the country so that you’ll be able to understand the history, culture, religion, food, and even the locals. Knowing these things will help you connect and understand more of the people and the places you go in India.

Geographic Location

Myanmar, Bangladesh, and China border India in the northeastern part. Pakistan and Afghanistan also border it on the west, Bhutan and Nepal in the North. It is set off from the rest of Asia, having the Himalayas in the north and by adjoining mountain ranges to east and west. Arabia Sea and the Bay of Bengal surround India’s territory.

India is a big country that is politically divided into 28 states, a capital territory, and six union territories. Its geography is also very diverse, and the climate is mostly tropical. Its geography is exceptionally diverse, with landscapes ranging from the hills, plateaus, deserts, plains, mountain ranges, and terrains. Due to its diversities, India is considered a subcontinent since it comprises all the continent’s characteristics.

Languages Spoken

India is one of the most populous countries globally, so one of the things you need to know is its exceptionally diverse linguistic language. Hindi and English are India’s official languages. There are also 22 official languages and hundreds of other languages spoken in the country that are all recognized by the Indian constitution. There are also numerous dialects found in different regions. So it can be a challenge for you when you travel to India.

Do not worry if the only language you can speak and understand is the English language because it has a strong presence in locals’ everyday lives. Although for cultural and linguistic reasons, standard English is somehow different from Indian English. Nevertheless, you can talk to locals using the English language. So if you’re planning on traveling and driving in India, you can probably go to the big cities and tourist areas.

Land Area

India ranks as the seventh-largest country globally, covering a total land area of 32,87,263 sq. km. (1,269,219 sq mi.). The country is known for its highest mountain range, the Himalayan range, located in the north. Most parts of India lie on a peninsula with a coastline of over 7,000 km. (4,300 miles) that protrudes into the Indian Ocean and a land frontier of 15,200 km (9,445 mi).

History

In the early 16th century, a Mongol leader named Babur founded the Mongol Empire created a golden age of art and architecture. Indians built mosques, roads, and tombs, including the grand Taj Mahal. In 1757, Britain gained control of almost all parts of the country. Series of uprisings against British rule began afterward. The famous Mahatma Gandhi began a nonviolent protest in 1920 to push the British out until it gained independence in 1947.

Government

The British influenced India’s parliamentary government. Direct administration by the British affected the political and economic unification of India’s subcontinent. After India’s Independence in 1947, one party, the Congress Party, and one family, the Nehru family, dominated the government for many decades. Now, many parties compete for different government positions.

India has the most diversified economies globally, but due to its enormous population, it is one of the world’s poorest countries based on its gross domestic product (GDP). The manufacturing industry is India’s substantial component in GDB; however, finance, trade, and other services make up most of its GDP. As per India’s economy, experts predict that it will be one of the world’s leading markets since it grows so fast.

IDP FAQs

It’s a great thing to finally get your local driving license and be able to drive anywhere you want, isn’t it? It’s like freedom is already in your hands. But what should you do if you’re going to another country and you still wanted to freely explore the variety of destinations through driving? Do not worry because once you have your International Driver’s Permit (IDP), you are legally permitted to drive in all the places in India.


You are not permitted to drive in India if you do not have an IDP and the legal documents required. The last thing you wanted to be is to get in trouble with Indian authorities, right? Your IDP serves as your legal document to drive in India. Get yours now and start your application in the International Driver’s Association.

How Can I Get an International Driving Permit in India?

Once you already have your airplane ticket and your itinerary, you can already get an International Driving Permit in India. The International Driver’s Association's (IDA) application process for getting an IDP is simple. Just visit our application page here, select an IDP plan, fill out the form, pay the shipping fee, verify your identity, and lastly, wait for your confirmation. IDA will send the digital copy of your IDP to your email.

An International Driver’s Permit is a legal document that identifies the legally-licensed drivers. An IDP is a translation of your local driver’s license, and over 150 countries worldwide recognized it, including India. An IDP is a useful form of identification. It contains the essential details about the driver and includes translating driving terms to help drivers communicate to car rental companies and authorities.

Is an International Driving Permit Valid in India?

Foreign travelers can drive in India as long as they have an international driver’s license. You need to have both your native driver’s license and your international driver’s license to drive and see the beautiful places in India. These two are the essential documents you need to carry with you every time you are driving in India. It serves as a form of identification that you are a legal driver. If you have these, you do not need to worry about the local authorities.

An IDP is the translated copy of the driver’s native license, and it is by no means a replacement of the original native driver’s license. An IDP is a mandatory and legal document you need to have to drive a car. An IDP translates your local driver’s license in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and others. An IDP is also valid for over 150 countries, so what are you waiting for now? Get yours now, and explore the beauty of India.

Can I Apply for an IDP Online?

If you want a hassle-free application, you can get your IDP online. All you need to do is complete IDA’s online application and wait for your confirmation. You don't need to take a special exam to get one. Once approved, you can already get the digital copy of your IDP after a few hours. The physical copy will be sent to your address after 15 days if you are within the US or 30 days outside the US. Here are your application requirements:

  • Complete application form
  • A valid copy of the front and back of your local driver’s license
  • Upload a passport-style photo
  • Upload your signature
  • Application Fee

Having an IDP has many advantages, especially if you want to have a convenient travel journey in India. Your IDP can serve as your proof of identity as a legal driver. You can easily rent a car if you already have an IDP, and it is faster to claim insurance if you have an IDP. If you lose your international driving license, kindly report to the Indian Embassy and inform the local authorities about it.

Renting a Car in India

India, known for its rich land, iconic historical and religious buildings, colorful cities, and crazy traffic, can be an intimidating place to drive. But you can take the fun and adventure if you drive around the cities and meet the locals. If you wanted to take the challenge and freely explore India’s cities, you could rent a car. Here are a few reminders and tips to keep in mind before renting a car.

Car Rental Companies

To avoid travel delays, you must book your rental car before going to India. Renting a car ahead of time will give you a cheaper rate, and you have a better chance of getting a good deal. Also, you should pay the rental car in rupees to avoid Dynamic Currency Convention fees. Even though it may seem easier to pay the rental in dollars, this option will cost you more. Another tip is that you should double-check your car insurance coverage.

Car rental companies offer different pick-up and drop-off locations in the airport and other places within the city. The famous car rental locations include New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kochi. If you can’t go directly to the given sites, you can book online. There are many car rentals located in tourist areas and busy cities of India. Here are some of the car rental companies:

  • S.s. Travels
  • Avis
  • SmileCars
  • Rana Cabs Pvt. Ltd
  • Madras Self Drive Cars
  • MyChoize
  • ECO Rent A Car / Europcar
  • ZoomCar

Documents Required

If you are thinking of exploring many stunning places in India, you should rent a car. The document required to rent a vehicle may differ from one car company to another, especially if you want to self-drive or to have a chauffeur. If you’re going to drive the car on your own, you need to submit an International Driving License in India, your local driving license, a passport valid for at least a year, and a credit card with a sufficient limit. Check the agreement first before you sign a contract.

Vehicle Types

If you are on a solo trip or with your family, there’s always the right car fit for you. You may choose from a car at an affordable price, a car best for group travel, or the best car for long-distance driving in India. Here are some of the best choices:

  • Economic Car - If you are looking for an incredible fuel economy car at an affordable price, consider renting it. It is a fit for you to have a vehicle for four passengers and one driver. Two luggage spaces are also available. This one is the most chosen type of car by foreign travelers since it is available at a good deal.
  • SUV - If you are game for an outdoor adventure, then this car for you. The smooth drivability, style, and even the spacious legroom is the match for your experience of the hills and mountains. SUV is also the best car for long-distance driving in India. An SUV can accommodate seven passengers and two spaces for luggage.
  • Van - If the available space for an SUV is not enough for your group travel, a van is perfect for you. You can rent a van to accommodate 9-12 passengers so that you are not too packed for your trip and adventure.
  • Luxury Car - If you have all the money to rent any of the MBW Series, Mercedes, Jaguar, or even an Audi in India, then you must grab this chance to show the people what you’ve got.

Car Rental Cost

The most popular cities to rent a car are New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Rental cost in India varies depending on the type of car. On average, renting a car costs $36 a day or $251 per week. Here are the average costs of most cars in India:

  • $36 per day for an economy car
  • $38 per day for a mini car
  • $46 per day for compact SUV
  • $62 per day for a standard SUV
  • $64 per day for passenger van
  • $75 per day for a full-size SUV car
  • $144 per day for a luxury car

Age Requirements

The minimum age to get a driving license in India is 18 years old, but some car rental companies have a higher minimum driving age of 21 to 23. You must need an International Driver’s Permit and a passport valid for at least one year to rent a car and drive in India. The validity of a driving license for those between 30 and 50 is ten years. If you are under 50 to 55 years old, your driving license is valid until the holder’s 60th birthday.

Indian government allowed 16 year-old-teenagers to drive gearless scooters up to 100cc. If you are 16 years old, you can get a driver’s license in India for motorcycles without gears as long as you get permission from your guardian. This driver’s license is valid for six months. When you have already reached 18 years old, that’s the time you can apply for motorcycles with gears and other vehicles.

Car Insurance Cost

Many things can affect car insurance costs, such as age and gender, personal accident cover, type of car, model, variant, fuel type, no claim bonus, and an anti-theft discount. You can use an online tool such as a car insurance calculator to compare premium quotes that could help you save money. A car insurance calculator will let you see how changing the variables can affect your car insurance coverage and cost.

Be sure to get the premium quotes from different car rental companies to compare the rates and choose the best insurance plan that is fit for you. To be financially protected against any accident or car damage, you need car insurance before driving in India. The required documents to get car insurance are as follows:

  • Local driver’s license
  • International Driver’s Permit
  • Vehicle Information
  • Bank details
  • Complete application form
  • Tax receipt
  • All paperwork by the insurance provider
  • Other requested documents needed by the insurance provider

Car Insurance Policy

Car insurance offers financial protection against damage and loss, accidents, theft, and other unforeseen events. What will you do if your car needs a repair, but you do not have enough money to pay for the expenses? Car insurance is the key. Some of the standard car insurance policies are liability insurance, collision insurance, comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist protection.

Do you know that even the Indian government stressed the importance of having car insurance? The Indian government made a third-party insurance policy a mandatory requirement for all vehicles. It would be up to you if you wanted to go for a comprehensive car insurance policy. Car insurance will protect you from any damage and any unforeseen circumstance while driving in India. .

India

The Road Rules in India

Driving in India can be challenging, but with the right information about the driving rules and regulations, you can drive safely and confidently. You need to know the key road rules, speed limits, and prohibited things when driving in India.

Important Regulations

As a general road rule, drivers in India must have a driving license, proof of a valid insurance certificate, car registration, and pollution under control certificate when driving. It’s essential to know India’s driving laws and regulations to obey these rules and keep everybody safe

Among the essential rules in India is that drunk-driving is prohibited. Speeding and racing are also not allowed. Those who violated may face imprisonment of up to 1 month or a fine of up to Rs. 500. The use of a mobile phone is not allowed when driving. Driving an uninsured vehicle is also punishable under India’s law.

Drunk Driving

When driving in India, the maximum permitted alcohol level allowed in the bloodstream is 0.03% per 100 ml blood. Breath tests are rare and suspected drunk drivers need to go to the hospital for a blood test and a medical report. You must not go over the normal alcohol limit for driving in India, or else you’ll get your first offense of imprisonment for up to 6 months and a fine up to Rs. 10,000. An on-the-spot penalty does not apply to drunk driving. The fact that it is one of the leading causes of accidents should convince you not to drive intoxicated.

General Standards of Driving

In India, the general driving standard uses a manual or automatic car, depending on your preference. Each type of car has its advantages, like when you are using a manual car, it has better control and fuel efficiency. On the other hand, an automatic car is easier to use in heavy traffic and less restrictive. When you are driving, avoid distractions such as using your phone and never multi-task. Keep a safe distance from your vehicle ahead, so you have enough time to stop when the car is so near.

Speed Limits

In India, speed limits may vary from province to province, but as a general rule, the speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas and 80 km/h (50 mph) on national expressways and highways. The speed limit for cars in India is 140 km/h. It’s essential to follow the speed limits on a given area to keep away from any accidents. Driving below the speed limit allows you enough time to stop and avoid a collision.

Seatbelt Laws

According to the World Health Organization, the use of a seatbelt is one of the most important actions to prevent injuries caused by accidents. In India, there is a significant increase in death due to not wearing a seatbelt. As per law, the driver and the person seated in the front seat must always wear a seat belt. Under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, those who will be caught violating the law need to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000.

Driving Directions

In India, remember that the driving is on the left side of the road, so the correct way at the roundabouts is to give way to traffic coming from the right. You need to turn on your car signals on roundabouts. Use your indicators to let other road users know about your direction.

Traffic Road Signs

Drivers should have proper knowledge of the traffic signs. Traffic signs are essential, and these will guide the drivers in navigating the road. In India, Traffic signs are divided into three categories, namely, the mandatory traffic signs, cautionary traffic signs, and the traffic signs that provide information.

  • Mandatory traffic signs - As the name suggests, these are the mandatory traffic signs you need to follow to ensure a smooth and safe drive. As indicated in India’s Roadways and the Transport department, violation of any traffic signs may be punishable by law. Some examples of these signs are “Give Way,” “ No Entry,” and “Stop.”
  • Cautionary traffic signs - the primary function of these signs is to warn the driver of the potential danger on the road ahead. Drivers must take necessary precautions while driving. The Roadways and Transport added 40 cautionary traffic signs such as “Right Hand Curve,” “Narrow Road Ahead,” and “Slippery Road.”
  • Traffic Signs that give information - These traffic signs provide relevant information to the driver to help them understand more about the place. Some of the examples are “Public Telephone,” “Hospital,” and “Eating Place.”

It is essential to know these traffic signs to prevent accidents and dangers and any undesirable risks posed on every road. Traffic signs will also help the drivers to have easier navigation in routes.

Right of Way

In steep roads and mountain roads, the right of way is on the vehicle going uphill, especially when the width of the road is not sufficient for vehicles to pass each other together. The car going downhill should stop on one side of the road to let the vehicle going uphill to go and pass the road. In some cities, a cow also rules the road since its protected status gives them the right of way.

Legal Driving Age

India’s minimum driving age is 16 years old for motorcycles and must have a parent or guardian’s consent. On the other side, 18 years old is the minimum driving age in India for other vehicles. If you are 18, you already meet the required age to get a driving license in India, which is a normal driving age for most countries. You are not allowed to drive if you do not meet the minimum driving age in India. You also need to be aware of the traffic, road rules, and driving rules to be qualified.

Laws on Overtaking

Overtaking from the left is the most common traffic violation in India. You must take note that you can only overtake a car only from the right side of the lane. No vehicle shall overtake if it will impede the incoming traffic. If you are in a narrow ditch or on a street where there are “School Zone” and “Hospital Zone” signs, you can’t overtake, too. Never increase your speed to prevent other drivers from overtaking you.

Driving Side

India is a former British colony, and just like Britain, drivers need to drive on the road’s left side. When you need to turn onto a road on the left side, you need to stay close to the road’s left side and let other vehicles overtake you from the right side. Do not cut across lanes such as from the left side to the right side of the road. Most of the countries drive on the right side of the road, so don’t confuse these two. Always remember that your safety is your priority.

Driving Etiquette in India

There is freedom in getting to your chosen destinations in your own time. But along the way, you may encounter some difficulties and travel delays because of unforeseen circumstances. Sometimes, the situation is out of your control, and there are also times that you just need to follow road rules and protocols in India.

Car Breakdown

Your first car breakdown in an unfamiliar place may be scary. But it is essential to stay calm and remember the safety tips when this happens. If your car breaks down out of nowhere, turn on your hazard light so that other drivers will know that there is something wrong. Engage the emergency brake and put your car on the side of the road to avoid causing traffic. Call for help and road assistance. Stay on with your vehicle until the help arrives.

Everyone’s experience differs from one another. It can depend on where you are, the time of the day, what type of car you are driving, and the problem you encounter at the moment of the car breakdown. Cars are still machines that are prone to malfunction at a given point. But car breakdown can be prevented if right before you rent a car, you already checked the quality of the vehicle. It can be a harrowing experience if this happens but stay calm and be safe.

Everyone’s experience differs from one another. It can depend on where you are, the time of the day, what type of car you are driving, and the problem you encounter at the moment of the car breakdown. Cars are still machines that are prone to malfunction at a given point. But car breakdown can be prevented if right before you rent a car, you already checked the quality of the vehicle. It can be a harrowing experience if this happens but stay calm and be safe.

Police Stops

It might be confusing for you if a traffic police officer stops you even if you haven’t done anything wrong. If that’s the case, stay calm, polite, and respectful when the traffic policeman talks to you. The first thing you need to do is present your legal documents for identification. The only thing you are required to present is your driving permit. You have nothing to worry about if you did not violate anything as they are just doing their job.

On the other hand, if the traffic policeman found that you have violated any driving and road rules, know that you have rights when this happens. You have the right to ask the reason for stopping you and the right to ask for the identification of the traffic officer. You have the right to ask for a receipt if the traffic policeman gets your driving license. The officer cannot force you out of the vehicle, too, and the traffic police can’t tow the car if you are still inside.

Asking Directions

Do you still remember the thrill and excitement of rolling down the window of your car and asking the locals for driving directions? With technological advancement, there have been real-time maps like google maps and Waze that you can resort to if you are lost. These advancements can give you traffic situations, alerts, and the estimated time for arrival. India can be tricky because there’s no map culture, and there are no structures addresses in place.

If you ask for driving directions in India, you’ll notice that the locals lead you to landmarks instead of road names because not all roads have names. India is a landmark-based society since it has a complex urban ecosystem. There is also a lack of signboards that will let you know where you are located. If you are asking for directions in the English language, take note of the landmarks given by the locals so that you can go right to the place.

Checkpoints

In India, the provincial police operate the checkpoints for security purposes. There are checkpoints in Punjab and other neighboring states such as Rajasthan, Delhi, and Haryana. Drivers are not required to stop at these checkpoints unless they are flagged down by the policemen conducting the checkpoint. If you are required to stop, you can present your legal documents for identification, and you can pass after it.

Other Tips

Aside from the driving situations mentioned above, it’s also necessary to know what to do in emergencies and accidents. Many things can happen on the road, but it's essential to know these things to be prepared and stay calm. Read below to learn more.

What if I Get Involved in an Accident?

Car accidents can happen even to careful drivers. If this happens, the first thing you should do is move your car to a safer nearby place if you are not injured. Have a presence of mind and turn on your emergency flashers to alert oncoming vehicles. Call the ambulance and the police for immediate help. Once the authorities already arrive, give accurate information about the accident. File a police report so that it will be easier for you to get your insurance claim.

The emergency numbers you can contact in case of emergency or accident are as follows:

  • Police - 100
  • Fire Brigade - 101
  • Ambulance - 102
  • National Emergency Number - 112
  • Road Accident Emergency Service - 1073

Driving Conditions in India

India’s driving conditions and the situation can vary depending on the cities subject to massive traffic congestion. Road conditions are in slightly poor condition, and you need to watch out for hazards, bumps and potholes, and even animals on the road. Driving in India is not as easy as in other countries due to the bad roads, drivers who don’t follow road rules, and lack of road sense.

Accident Statistics

India has the busiest roads in the world. In 2018, India was the top rank in the number of road accident deaths among the 199 countries included in World Road Statistics. In the WHO Report on Road Safety, India accounts for almost 11% of the world’s road accident deaths. The leading cause of road accidents is human errors such as violating traffic rules, non-use of safety devices, and road environment.

In the 2019 report of India’s National Records Bureau (NCRB), there were a total of 437,396 road accidents recorded across the country last year, resulting in the death of 154,732 people and injuries to another 439,262 people. Over-speeding is the top cause of road accidents. Other reasons for road accidents are road crashes, negligent human conduct, careless driving, overtaking, and natural forces.

Common Vehicles

In a country with the third-largest road network globally, India was the fourth-largest car manufacturer in the world in 2019. Two-wheel vehicles form the majority of cars on Indian roads. Four-wheel vehicles such as cars and SUVs are also standard vehicles used in the country. In cities, the usual public transport is bus services. Three-wheel cars, also known as auto-rickshaws in India, are also used for commercial purposes.

Toll Roads

India’s toll tax rate is different in every toll plaza, based on a specific road distance. On average, private car owners pay Rs 30 - Rs 250 toll tax depending on the highway. There are over 374 toll plazas across the country, and the Indian states with the most number of toll roads are Tamir Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Some of the toll roads are Delhi–Faridabad Skyway, Mumbai–Nashik Expressway, and Vijayawada–Hyderabad Expressway

Road Situation

You should exercise extreme caution when driving in India. It is also hazardous to travel and drive at night. Within and outside the busiest and major cities, roads are frequently congested, especially during rush hours. So expect heavy traffic in the tourist and urban areas. Roads and highways are poorly maintained and sometimes so narrow. If you get involved in a road accident, remember the important numbers to call to ask for help.

Also, throughout 2019, there is 71% average road congestion. What should have been a 30-minute trip during the evening rush hour becomes an hour and five-minute trip. In the 2019 TomTom’s Traffic Index, Mumbai and Bengaluru in India are among the top 5 cities in countries with the worst traffic.

Driving Culture

Driving conditions in India are chaotic, and most locals do not have any regard for road and driving rules. It is also common for drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road. The locals drive fast and recklessly, without having consideration for the driving rules. So when you drive around the places in India, be sure to maintain a safe speed and follow the road rules to enjoy going back and forth to the destinations you wish to go to.

Driving in India is extremely challenging. It is not for the faint-hearted since the cities and towns have disorderly traffic and have bumpy and chaotic roads. If you are driving in India, be sure that you follow all the driving and road rules, and you drive safely and cautiously to avoid accidents. You must also remember that you need your local driving license and your International Driver’s License to drive around the places in India.

Other Tips

Road safety should always be your prime importance when driving. It’s essential to follow all the driving laws to have traffic awareness to ensure everyone's safety. Aside from India’s crucial road rules, here are some tips to keep you safe when driving on Indian roads.

What Are the Hand Signals While Driving in India?

Although vehicles have built-in indicators to signal road users, drivers can also use hand signals to tell hand signals while driving in India. These are some of the hand signals you can use:

  • Hand signal for right turn - extend your left arm out the driver's window with your elbow bent and your hand pointing to the sky
  • Hand signal for left turn - Extend your left arm straight out the window with your palm facing forward
  • Hand signal to stop - Extend your left arm out the driver's window with your palm facing rear war

Are Night Vision Glasses Advisable for Car Driving in India?

If you want to get a pair of glasses, you can use them while driving in India at night. You must find the appropriate eyewear product to protect you from the glare of oncoming vehicles and also the dust particles. You must take note that night vision glasses are not car driving glasses you can use in India. Night vision glasses use thermal imaging technology. What you need is a pair of yellow-tinted glasses from an optical store.

You must follow these driving rules in India to maintain peace and order on the roads. Neglecting these driving rules may result in damage, loss, accidents, or any unforeseen events. You must not ignore the importance of the traffic signs and the driving laws, and you should give paramount importance to other things to secure a safe drive. Always be a responsible driver. It is vital to ensure your life and the life of others.

Things To Do in India

India is a crossroads of the past and present history and culture. Once you travel to India, it will leave a deep mark in your heart and mind to the point that you may wish to go back again or even stay here for good. Check out what are the things you can do in a country full of beauty and wonders.

Drive as a Tourist

You can drive in India as long as you have your legal documents with you, such as your International Driving License Permit and local driving license if you are staying for less than a year. On the other hand, you need to get an Indian Driving License if you are planning to stay for more than one year in India.

Work as a Driver

If you are not an Indian citizen and you don’t know how to get a driving license in India, there is a procedure to get one. You can apply for an International Driving License if you want to reside for less than one year in India. But if you want to stay in India for a more extended period, you need to apply for an Indian Driving License.

Here is the set of procedures you need to follow if you’ll be staying for more than a year:

  • Visit the nearest RTO office in your area of residence.
  • Complete the registration form.
  • Submit all the documents required such as Vehicles Registration Certificate book, Tax Certificate, Insurance paper, and Pollution test certificate.
  • Know what type of vehicles you are applying for, such as Licence for a two-wheeler, Licence for Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) like passenger cars, or Licence for Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV) like a truck or bus.
  • Pass the driving test.

Work as a Travel Guide

Suppose you have traveled to many places in India, and you already acquired in-depth knowledge about its history, culture, religion, and arts. In that case, you can apply to become a travel guide in India. It can be exciting, but you must undergo the process and preparation. You should get a certificate and diploma courses and pass the exam. Training sessions are conducted under the guidance of professors from the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management.

The minimum age for the course is at least 20 years old. Graduate in any discipline is accepted. You must also be fluent in English. A written exam comprises:

  • History
  • Knowledge of tourist destinations, sites, and monuments
  • General Knowledge

Take note that it is illegal to practice as a travel guide without a license. And that travel guide licenses are given out to people according to the state for regions. So, you can only practice your profession in your chosen area of expertise. Roaming around different places is truly thrilling as you can interact with other groups, with diverse people, and you’ll know more about the culture and tradition in India.

Apply for Residency

It wouldn’t be a surprise if India left a deep mark in your heart that you wanted to stay for good. If you wish to apply for a permanent residency in India, you have two options: Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) or Persons of Indian origin (PIO). The OCI is for those who have given up their Indian citizenship but still want to retain links from the country. On the other hand, PIO is for all those of Indian origin holding another country’s passport.

You can also acquire citizenship by naturalization if you have lived in India for 11 of the last 14 years before your application. You can also acquire citizenship if you have lived for 12 months before the date of your application. You must also take note that India does not permit dual citizenship.

Other Tips

When driving a car in India, you must know other relevant information to make informed decisions. Here is some information you need to see if you are driving in different states in India.

How to Learn Car Driving in India?

Driving may seem like a daunting task, especially if it is your first time driving, but things will be easier if you familiarize yourself with the basic driving rules. Before driving, you need to have functional knowledge on how to start the car, change the gears, and many more. The best way to learn car driving in India is to go to the right driving school. You can take a driving lesson for five days, which will help you build confidence in driving.


But if you don’t have the budget for going into a driving school, you can learn car driving in India by asking a friend or a relative who is an expert on driving. It will be a good idea to have an experienced driver in the co-drivers seat to guide you and tell you the basic rules. You can also ask how to drive depending on the type of car. You can start driving near your place or in familiar territory first.

What Is the Driving License Number in India?

An Indian Driving License number is a composite key that has 13 characters. You may think, what is the format of the driving license number in India? The first two digits are the state name, and the next two digits are the branch code of the motor vehicle authority. The license’s issued year is the next four digits, and the remaining last seven digits are the driver profile ID, seen in the application form.

Can I Transfer My Driving License Address to Another Interstate in India?

You can, but you need to follow procedures to transfer your driving license address to another interstate in India. You need to write a letter to the RTO requesting a change in address for your driver’s license. Go to RTO and fill out the form required. Apply with the required documents. And lastly, pay the fee required.

The Top Destinations in India

A road trip in India is the best way to enjoy the views and landscape and appreciate the culture and history of every place. Whether you are planning on a solo trip or traveling together with your family, road trips will help you relax and be free. You must use your best car for long-distance driving in India to enjoy the long drives. Enjoy your ride!

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu

There’s no denying that Tamil Nadu is famous for its glorious temples, sacred pilgrimage, and beautiful hill stations. It ranks as the most-visited state in the country, and it is a particular place in India’s cultural heritage and identity. The capital city, Chennai, offers a blend of modern and ancient culture, so it’s a great chance to see the fusion of two worlds. The best months to visit the state are between November and February.

Driving Directions:

From Avinashi, you’ll reach Nilgiri Mountain Railway in about two hours and 30 minutes if you drive via Annur - Avinashi - Mettupalayam Road and NH181. Here’s your driving guide:

  1. Head west on NH544.
  2. Take Annur - Avinashi - Mettupalayam Road/Annur to Avinashi Road to NH948.
  3. Slight left at Arul Murugan Agencies onto NH948.
  4. Turn right at Sai Pukh Raj Paramal onto Annur - Avinashi - Mettupalayam Road.
  5. At Poornam, continue onto NH181.
  6. Continue on Elk Hill Road to your destination.

Things to Do

Tamil Nadu is a fascinating place that features a lot of attractions. Here is the list of things you can do while in Tamil Nadu.

  • Ride a train on Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

One of the prominent Ooty Hill Station attractions is the iconic Nilgiri Mountain Railway or Toy Train. UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site in 2005. Once you ride a train, you’ll have an unforgettable journey through the winding mountains of Nilgiri ranges as it covers a distance of 46 kilometers in five hours. The train ride starts at Mettupalayam station and ends in Ooty.

  • Swim in Marina Beach.

Marina Beach is India’s longest beach, and it is one of the most extensive urban beaches in the world. It is a great place to spend your holiday trip or even a weekend at the beach. Due to the turbulent undercurrent, swimming and bathing are not allowed, so you can use the time to stroll at the seashore or taste South Indian food. Relax and enjoy the sunrise or sunset views.

  • Go to the Thousand Lights Mosque.

The Thousand Lights Mosque in Anna Salai is one of the famous worship places of the Muslim Shia community in the capital city, Chennai. The mosque has been built in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style with towering minarets and multiple domes. The mosque got its name from an interesting anecdote that the state needs 1,000 lamps to lit up the mosque.

  • Relax at Kodaikanal Lake and Berijam Lake.

Kodaikanal Lake is a star-shaped artificial lake at an elevation of 2,285 meters above sea level. You can do different activities here such as boating and fishing. On the other hand, you need to secure your permit from the forest department to visit Berijam Lake. The public gets its drinking water from the lake, so boating is prohibited. You can relax near and take the time to refresh. Stroll near the lake.

  • Know the Tamil Culture.

Tamil Nadu’s culture is one of the most ancient and can be equal to antiquity. One of the best-preserved traditions is the Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music of Tamil literature. Listen and appreciate the recitation of Thevaram or witness a performance in the Chidambaram Nataraja temple.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra

You’ll find this third largest state in India’s western part and the second most p[opulous state in the country. There is a diverse and dazzling range of experiences in Maharashtra. You can go to the caves, swim in golden beaches, or know the historic sites. Maharashtra’s capital city is Mumbai, India’s financial capital and the Bollywood film industry’s home. The best time to go here is in June to August, monsoon season.

Driving Directions:

It will take you about two hours and 37 minutes to go from Mumbai to Rajmachi Fort. The fastest route you can take is via the Bengaluru - Mumbai Highway - Pandharpur Road. You can go there by following these driving directions:

  1. Head southeast on CST Road/Tamasi Bandat Road toward AH Wadia Marg.
  2. Turn left onto Bengaluru - Mumbai Highway/CST Road.
  3. Turn left onto Post Office Road/Shri Ramdeo Maurya Marg.
  4. Slight left at Municipal Road.
  5. Merge onto Bengaluru - Mumbai Highway - Pandharpur Road - Pune Highway.
  6. Take exit Khandala Lonavala toward AH47.
  7. Take Della Enclave Road to Trek to Rajmachi Village.

Things to Do

Many fun activities await you here in Maharastra. Below are the things you can do in the area.

  • Visit the Rajmachi Village.

Your Maharashtra tour is incomplete if you do not visit the famous Rajmachi Fort. You can find the Rajmachi village in Sahyadri Mountain, and it is a fantastic place for trekkers. There are only two routes that can lead you to Rajmachi Fort; climbing about 2,000 feet or the second is just by straight walking from Lonavala. The best time to go here is during monsoons where there are streams, waterfalls, and meadows.

  • See the shrines from Ellora and Ajanta Caves.

In Maharashtra state, you can find the Ellora and Ajanta Caves. At Ellora, you can explore the intricate shrines carved from rocky landscapes. These 34 cave shrines come from three distinct religions, namely Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. These cave shrines are dated up to 1,500 years old. Two hours away is Ajanta cave, which is home to 29 cave shrines. The murals and paintings reflect Buddhism.

  • Go to Muktidham Temple.

Muktidham is a marble temple complex in Nashik with 12 Jyotirlingas. The temple wales have the inscription from Mahabharata, the eighteen chapters of Geeta, and Lord Krishna’s life. There are also rooms full of Raghubir Mulgaonkar’s paintings. Once you are in the temple, you can see the major Hindu gods such as Vishnu, Laxmi Rama, and Ganesha.

  • Refresh in Juhu Beach.

You’ll enjoy the peaceful surrounding and the scenic beauty of the beach. Listen to the waves’ sounds, enjoy the soft breeze, especially in the evening, and wait for the dream-like and lovely sunset view. You can also ride on the carriages pulled by the horses. Take the opportunity to eat the food served at the beach, mainly Sevpuri, Pani Puri, and Bhelpuri.

  • Watch the birds in Pu La Deshpande Garden.

The Ikeda Royal family developed Pu La Deshpande Garden in the 12 spacious hectares. They got inspiration from the renowned 300-year-old Okayama Korakuen Garden of Japan. You can go for bird watching in the park as there are movements of migratory birds. You can also stroll on the tilled passages and adore the flowers and plants in the garden.

Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh

In the northern part of India, you’ll find land which is the epitome of diversity. Uttar Pradesh is an unmatched land of rich culture, history, traditions, and beautiful scenic landscapes. It is the home to the two prominent religions globally--Buddhism and Jainism, and it is also the home to the iconic Taj Mahal. Take your time to visit different Hindu temples and Christian pilgrimage destinations. The best time to visit Uttar Pradesh is between November and February.

Driving Directions:


The ideal route to take if you are from Agra Fort and want to go to the Taj Mahal is Western. You can also enter the Taj Mahal from other directions: the Eastern entrance in Fatehabad Road and the Southern Entrance from the local shops around. Here are the driving directions from Agra Fort:

  1. Head southeast on Dipak Road toward General Cariappa Road.
  2. Pass by Agra Square on the right.
  3. Take the third exit at a roundabout.
  4. Pass by the Taj Mahal Westgate Parking.
  5. Turn left at Neem Tiraha Taj Mahal.

Things to Do

Ready to explore Uttar Pradesh? Read below to know the activities you can do in the area. Enjoy your visit and make lots of memories.

  • Go to the famous, iconic, and impressive Taj Mahal.

Located on the Yamuna River’s south bank, the Taj Mahal draws over a million tourists a year. Emperor Shah Jahan built it as an extravagant memorial to his wife. The mausoleum’s porcelain white marble signifies romance and adventure. A visit to this beautiful architectural wonder should be on every traveler’s list. You can peer over the ancient Mughal-era Agra Fort wall and see a glimpse of the beautiful and majestic Taj Mahal.

  • Explore the ghats of Varanasi.

Varanasi is a place of great religious importance. It may seem a little strange to foreign travelers, but this holy city sits on the diving Ganges River, a sacred place for pilgrimage. Pilgrims wash with water coming from the Ganges River. Indeed, a visit to Varanasi is contemplative and reflective and can help you understand India’s religious, cultural, and spiritual practices. Explore the ghats of Varanasi and find peace in the temples of Mathura.

  • Visit the Dwarkadheesh Temple.

The temple has an intricate architecture that has a strong resemblance to the Havelis of Rajasthan. The temple’s facade has latticed windows and an arched gateway. It is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus, and it is the oldest of all temples in Mathura. You can hear the chanting mantras: “Hare Krushna” and “Radhe Radhe.”

  • Know India’s history by visiting the Lucknow Museum.

The State Museum in Lucknow, established in 1863, is on the premises of Lucknow Zoo. The museum houses several galleries with artifacts such as objects from the Stone Age and natural history objects. The multi-story museum has the Indian sculpture gallery, Nawabs arts, Buddha Gallery, and Egyptian galleries. The museum is open every week, except Mondays, from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

  • Witness a Hindu Pilgrimage in Allahabad.

One of the holiest cities in India is Allahabad or also known as Prayagraj. It is a religious site for Hindu. Every year, a festival occurs at the three rivers’ confluence-Ganga, Yamuna, and the invisible Saraswati. Every 12 years, about 80 million devotees visit the Kumbh Mela, the largest gathering of pilgrims globally.

As a country bordered by seven different countries and with more than 20 official languages, India is truly one of the world’s diverse countries. You indeed have a lot of places to go to witness the beauty India has to offer. Be sure to have your International Driver’s Permit so that you can rent a car and explore the wonders of India.

References:

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