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At last India has a semi-sensible tourist visa system although you still have to fill out the online paperwork ahead of time. Start early as the process is particular and bureaucratic.
This system has been expanded and now covers most European and western countries, including the UK, Canada, USA, Australia and NZ (see the full list). It is valid for 30 days in India, and so we run all our treks so that you are within this time.
First, you must fill out the form online more than 4 days prior to arrival, then you can get a Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVOA). You can fill out the form up a month prior to arrival, and we suggest you start on this early. The 30 days starts on your arrival in India.
When arriving at Delhi, go to the TVOA counters which are at the very end of the Immigration hall. Don't line up at the normal passport counters.
If you need longer than 30 days this requires filling out a different online form and taking the EXACT paperwork to a special contracting office in your country of residence, and in many cases undergoing a biometric scan there (finger prints and face shot). There may be several alternative contracting offices, check what is going to be most convenient for you. Be warned that most websites are not particularly clear about the paperwork or exact process.
and BLS International is one of the contracting companies with offices in quite a few places around the world.
Getting your India visa in your home country or country of residence (ie legal residence) is definitely best. If travelling (ie out of your home country), you will have to fill out forms and go for an interview, a real interview.
You might have to list two contact addresses in India, you can use these.
The unusually named hotel in Delhi we occasionally use:
Cottage Yes Please
Laxmi Narayan St, Raj Guru Rd
Chunu Mandi, Paharganj
New Delhi 110055
Tel: +91 11 2356 2100, 2356 2300
And the best travel agent for you/us in Delhi:
Kipling India Travels
D1/5, 3rd Floor, Khasra No 29/20/1 Extn
Sector 7 Dwarka, Dwarka
Tel: +91 11 2552 5312
We don't recommend you use the real addresses of our agents or say that you are visiting Leh/Ladakh as small parts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir are still restricted without being well defined in the literature, and often you get asked awkward, stupid, time-wasting questions and told that they can't give you a visa to go to restricted areas (which you are not going to). Simply say that you are going to Delhi and Agra or Rajasthan and Manali or something equally mundane. This is less of an issue than it once was.
However, if you are handing in your flight details, and your flights are all the way through to Leh then you might need to give addresses in Leh:
Phunii Nawang Tsering
Jammu & Kashmir 194101
tel: +91 1982 252 119
Fort Road, Leh
Jammu & Kashmir 194101
Tel: +91 1982 252 153
If you are merely transiting New Delhi en route to Kathmandu then staying in the Eaton transit hotel in the airport may be the best option - no visa required. You must be arriving and leaving from the same terminal.