Official currency of India

The currency used in India is the Rupee (INR). Its symbol is ₹, whose origin can be traced back to the Indian flag: it’s supposed to represent the orange and green horizontal stripes of the flag. The India currency is divided into 100 paise. 

There are banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1.000 rupees. The coins are of 10, 25 and 50 paise; and 1, 2 and 5 rupees.

It is important to know that the India currency is partially convertible. This means that it’s virtually impossible to get rupees outside of India and for you to get them exchanged outside of India.

Credit cards

You can use credit cards in big cities in India. It’s recommended to travel with Visa or Mastercard, they’re the brands most widely and easily accepted. Nevertheless, if your itinerary includes small villages or do small transitions, it is recommended to have some currency in cash. 


In India you will have no problems getting cash through ATMs, especially around the bigger cities. The ATMs of Citibank, HSBC, Axis Bank, HDFC, ICICI and the State Bank of India are the easiest to use for tourists. Other ones may not accept your credit or debit card. Be aware of commissions for extractions so you can choose the one that suits you best with all the information. 


It is recommended when you travel internationally, to contact your bank and let them know to not get your car blocked. Also, you should check the limit for extractions in case it’s too low for the entirety of your trip. You can always check the List of agency banks of the Reserve Bank of India to check out the banks that are in India. 

Exchange rates for the Indian Rupee

You can check the current exchange rate for the Indian Rupee and your currency here

Currency restrictions

Restrictions exist on bringing Indian rupees into India. Visitors, including tourists, should not bring any amount of Indian currency into the country. If you are a resident of India, you can bring up to 25,000 rupees into the country.

When visiting India, you can carry cash, traveler’s checks (in British pounds or another foreign currency), or a bank card and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India. Any amount exceeding 5,000 US dollars in bills or 10,000 US dollars in bills and traveler’s checks combined must be declared.

Customs Information 

There are strict rules regarding the goods that can be brought into and taken out of India. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to taxes or duties.

Regulated imports and exports

The Indian customs officials uphold stringent rules pertaining to the temporary import or export of various items, including antiquities, electronic devices, currency, ivory, gold articles, and other restricted materials.

Obtaining approval from the Government of India is mandatory for bringing in such restricted items, even if you are simply passing through the country. Non-compliance with these regulations may result in potential consequences such as arrest, fines, or a combination of both, along with the confiscation of the items.

A visitor is allowed to bring in a maximum of two liters of spirits, wine, or beer, along with up to 100 cigarettes, 25 cigars, or 125 grams of tobacco. Importing electronic cigarettes is not permitted. You may transport up to 60 ml of perfume and 250 ml of cologne without the need to declare them to customs. 

As for jewelry, the allowable value differs based on the traveler’s gender. Men can carry jewelry valued at up to 50,000 INR, while women are permitted up to 100,000 INR worth. If you are carrying medications, ensure you have a medicine passport with you when traveling to India.

When purchasing pashmina shawls, it is recommended to request a receipt from the seller with a brief description of the items, price, name and address of the establishment. This should work as a certificate that it does not contain “Shahtoosh”.

Certain states in India enforce diverse forms of bans on beef. In certain remote regions, groups advocating for cow protection have targeted individuals they believe are involved in the sale or consumption of beef, or in possession of items made from cowhide.

Banned imports 

Banned products include: certain animals and animal products are prohibited by default. These include (products made from) poultry and (products made from) pigs. Additionally, it is forbidden to import e-cigarettes, vaporizers, or their components, plants, drugs, non-current gold and silver coins, and gold and silver bullion. Firearms can only be imported from India with special permission.

Banned exports

You can purchase and take with you gold jewelry in India up to the value of Rs 2,000, and other jewelry up to a maximum of Rs 10,000. The export of antiques and art objects older than 100 years, ivory, leather from all animals, snake skin, and items made from them is strictly prohibited.

The acquisition, possession, holding, or introduction of shawls or other garments containing Tibetan antelope fur (Panthelops Hodgsonii, locally known as “chiru” or “Shahtoosh”) is a serious offense that entails confiscation, hefty fines, and imprisonment of up to 6 years.