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Foreign Currency

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Indian Currency is the Indian Rupee (Re/Rs). Since you are not allowed to bring in Indian currency, your best option is the airport bank. Indian Rupee notes are printed in denominations of Rs 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, and 10. The Rupee is divided into 100 Paise. You will see only 1, 2, 5 Rs coins, though coins below 50 paisa are rarely seen.
You should keep small denominations notes for the small payments like tips, bus tickets, and meals. When going to a remote area or small town where encashing of travellers cheque will be difficult you can take 1000 Rs and 500 Rs notes, but you should be careful when using them and should not be confused with 100 Rs.

Travelers cheques

Traveller's Cheques issued by reputable companies (eg Thomas Cook, American Express) are accepted without difficulty. Traveler's Cheques exchanged in banks or hotels, and can only very rarely be used directly for Payment. You need identification documents like a passport to be shown. Except in hotels, encashing Traveler's Cheques nearly always takes up to 30 minutes or longer, So it is worth taking larger denomination Traveler's Cheques and changing enough to last for some days. Banks accept both Dollar and sterling. Other major currency Traveler's Cheques are also accepted in some larger cities. If you are traveling to remote areas it is advised that you buy Indian Rupee Traveler's Cheques from a major bank, as these are more widely accepted than foreign currency ones.

Credit cards

Major credit cards are increasingly accepted in the main centers, though in smaller cities and towns it is still rare to be able to pay by credit card. Visa and Master Card have a growing number of ATMs in major cities, but many ATMs only deal with local account holder. HDFC bank have the facility of withdrawing money from you overseas account. You can use their ATM m/s to withdraw money in Indian Rupee, presently there branches are in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur only in Rajasthan. Railway Reservation center 17 major cities are now taking payment for train tickets by visa card which can be very quick as the queue is very short.

International transfers

Don't run out of money in India unless you have a credit card against which you can draw traveller's Cheques or cash. You can also use HDFC ATM facility to withdraw money from your overseas account, but there is a limit of Rs 15,000 in a day. Having money transferred through the banking system can be time consuming. It's usually straightforward if you use a foreign/private banks elsewhere it may take a fortnight and will be a hassle.
You can also use Western Union for money transfer and they are having agents in Rajasthan.

The Financial Year in India is from 1st April to 31st March.

Exchange Rate

1 Euro
1 Yen
Source: Reserve Bank of India (as on June, 2012)

Cost of travelling

Cost of travelling depends how you spend money, your budget and the comfort level you are looking for. We divide in three categories:

10-12 USD: The cheapest, you stay in dormitories or in cheap hotel, travel by ordinary bus, eat regular Indian food like dhal (curried lentils), roti and rice.

30-40 USD (Budget Travel):
Most of the travellers comes in this category. You travel in luxury bus, take auto rickshaws for local transport, stay in reasonable hotel (sometime even in AC rooms, and off beaten heritage hotels), good food.

70-75 USD: You stay in AC rooms, travel in taxi, travel by AC coaches, eat at good restaurants.

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