Never offend by refusing your host's offer of food, even if you're full – luckily, burping is encouraged

Who’s out there

Arup, Atkins, Foster + Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Halcrow Consulting India, Bovis Lend Lease, Mott MacDonald and John McAslan & Partners are all active in India.

Who you need to know

Key clients are Cadagua (the water subsidiary of Ferrovial), Wal-Mart, Tesco, Tata Group, Reliance Industries, AP Group, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Delhi Development Authority.

Where the action is

New Delhi (10 new metro stations planned for 2010 and Connaught Place in particular), Calcutta, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Indirapuram, Greater Noida are all centres of construction activity.

What to do

Burp after a meal – it’s a sign of enjoyment.

What not to do

It is impolite to turn down food if you are a guest in somebody’s house, even if you have already eaten and are full.

Down time

Play golf on the highest golf course in the world at Gulmarg, party at a “full moon party” in Goa, snorkel in the Andaman Islands, visit the Taj Mahal in Agra or go clubbing at Elevate in Delhi – it boasts the world’s “fastest and most powerful body sonic dance floor”.

Fashion dos and don’ts

Wear loose cotton – pure cotton can make a huge difference when the temperature reaches 35ºC. Women should cover up, including shoulders and cleavage. Indians are also quite fastidious about their apparel, and all but the poorest wear freshly washed and ironed clothes – so try to keep clean and neat.

How far will your money go

A pint of beer is 90p, while meals cost around 44p in towns and cities but 25p in smaller villages.

Free and easy

Nude bathing is illegal in India, even in holiday resorts such as Goa.

Going down

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows security forces to shoot suspected militants on sight, with virtual immunity from independent legal inquiry.

Useful phrases

“Namaste”, the common Hindu salutation.


Vaccinations required
Diphtheria, hepatitis A, malaria, rabies, tetanus, typhoid, yellow fever

Foreign Office advice
There is at present a high threat of terrorism throughout India so exercise particular caution when in the vicinity of key government installations and tourist sites, attending public events and when in public places

Emergency phone number
The British High Commission: 91 11 2687 2161