Passport has to be valid for at least another 6 months
and you need a visa to enter India. See Additional
Information on how to get a visa for India in Islamabad, Pakistan.
We did not have a valid insurance for India. Nobody checked
or seemed to care.
Did not get checked, but I am sure that officially you
are required to have one.
You will need
a Carnet de Passage to take your vehicle into India. Also you need to
have your 'vehicle passport' (vehicle registration papers) with you
Own license plates are sufficient.
How it went
Immigration: The first building on the left hand side is the Immigration/Custom
office. At the Immigration office go up to the counter and get the entry
form. Fill that out, careful to fill out all the information. They will
ask you for a hotel address with telephone number in India. Make something
up, or have this information handy.
Hand in the entry form and the passport and they will stamp your passport.
Now you can move down to Customs.
a lot of patience. This will take a while! They will want to see your
passport, your vehicle registration paper and your carnet. Also you
have to be able to show them the chassis number and the engine number
on your vehicle since they will check this against the information in
The officers speak very good English, so they will guide you through
the process. Which means I will not go into the details here. Just know
this: it takes a while! Stay friendly and calm and politely answer all
their questions and you will not have any problems.
Point of Exit
Sunauli, Nepal 16.03.2007
How it went
Immigration: The border crossing is pretty much in the middle of the city, so it can be pretty hectic. As you drive towards the border the immigration is in a building right on the side of the road, on the right hand side. Someone will come forward and tell you where to go. The customs officials are sitting practically in the road, and with all the traffic the noise is incredible, not to mention the dust and smog. Anyway the procedure is painless, they give you and exit form, you fill it in. They check your passport and stamp it out, and you are done. It takes 5 minutes. The main problem is that there is nowhere to park, which is why there is a traffic jam. With a bike you can usually pull out across the street.
The customs post is on the left hand side around 20 meters further down from the Immigration post. Just walk in waving your carnet, and the someone will direct you to the correct guy. He will have a quick look at your vehicle, and then fill in his book, stamp your carnet, call his boss, offer you a tea, and ask you a lot of questions about your trip and the bike. Everyone will have a look at your bike and then send you on your way. A 10 to 15 minute procedure if the carnet guy isn't on break. The only unpleasantness came when one guy started asking about how much money I had, I just dodged the question and told them I had no cash, only credit/atm cards. This satisfied them and I was sent on my way without any further "unpleasantness".
One thing that might interest some people, there is no customs formalities for Indian registered bikes (or bikes registered in SAARC countries).
Getting visa for India: We got our visa for India in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The Indian Embassy is in the Diplomatic Compound in Islamabad. This
means that you can't just walk up to it, but you have to get on the
official bus. The bus-stand is down from the compound, across a bridge.
You will not be allowed to take anything into the Diplomatic Compound,
so leave your bags and your mobile at the hotel/campground or check
it in at the security station at the bus stand.
Once you get to the Indian embassy ask one of the guards for the
visa forms. You can then fill these out while you are waiting in line.
You have to fill out two identical forms, so you will need two passport
pictures. Also bring some glue for sticking the pictures onto the form,
otherwise you might run into problems.
You then hand in the forms and your passport and you will be told to
come back in seven days. There is no express service. You will have
to wait seven days.
When picking up the visas check them. We have heard from a lot of travelers
who only got issued 3 months single entry visas even though they had
asked for 6 months multiple entry visa. We did not have this problem.
Should you run into this problem complain and keep insisting until they
change it. That seems to have worked for all the people we spoke to.
Changing money: Changing money on the Wagah border is not a problem. The officials
on the Pakistani side will pester you about changing money with them.
However there is an official notice posted stating that this is illegal.
On the Indian side there is a bank and a tourist information office.
Leaving India, it is easiest just across the border in Nepal, where there are plenty of change booths.
are the details of the border crossing into this particular country.
The information is correct as of the date on which the border was
crossed. But, due to the stability and vagaries of the regimes involved,
it is prudent that you get additional data directly from the embassy
involved, preferably in your own country. Also you should keep in
mind that the procedure can vary depending on exactly who is on duty.
So never assume anything is a particular way, and regardless of what
anyone says, the impossible is often possible if you are in the right
place at the right time. Good Luck.