| VISA, IMMUNIZATION
It is the responsibility of the visitor to make sure that
he/she obtains an Indian Visa valid for the period of his/her
stay. Travel arrangements are also made by the visitor personally.
The usual procedure for a traveller who has a passport is
to apply for a tourist visa, which is valid for a given
period of time, from the Date Of Issue, from the Indian
Embassy or Consulate in their home country. From time to
time there are changes in the registration process required
for visitors to India. Verify with the Embassy or Consulate
in your home country regarding the regulations in effect
at the time of your visit.
Immunizations should be started two months prior to departure
from home. (Some may start as much as six months in advance.)
It is best to check with your local physician, health department,
or Travel Clinic about which shots or tablets should be
taken. Presently, yellow fever immunization is required
if you have visited African or Latin American countries.
Immunization against polio, tetanus, typhoid, tuberculosis,
hepatitis B, cholera and specific antimalarial prophylaxis
is advisable before coming to India. You may want to bring
with you the prescription for any medicines you take regularly
and an extra pair of glasses.
It is advisable to have a good torch or flashlight for walking
about the campuses at night and for unannounced power cuts
which may occur. It is also useful to have a small padlock
with you to secure your passport and valuables, and a travel
kettle if you want a hot drink in your room. The voltage
here is 230 volts, AC, 50 Hz with round pin plugs, old style
English. Adapters are cheaply available to fit most other
types. All toilet articles such as tooth paste, soap, deodorant,
skin creams, powder, shaving cream and blades, toilet paper,
shampoos, sanitary napkins, tampons, etc are readily available
in local shops. It is best to bring a supply of sunscreen
(sun block) and mosquito repellent which you are familiar
with. Photographic film is also easily available. However
if you are used to a particular brand of film, it may be
advisable to bring your own. Film developing is quite cheap
and the quality and service are good. Digital pictures also
can be processed without difficulty. Most types of batteries
are also available. Other items to consider are a backpack
for weekend trips, a good travel guide (the Lonely Planet
Travel Survival Kit on India is a favorite), pictures of
home and family and a few of your favorite books and magazines.
It would also be advisable to bring your own alarm clock.
In addition to cool cotton clothing (see section on Clothing),
you will need an umbrella, as protection against both rain
and sun, and possibly a very light raincoat.
Once you arrive at an International airport in India, be
sure to complete any business you may have such as exchanging
currency, and making any necessary telephone calls, before
you exit the airport complex. If you are continuing your
journey on a domestic airline, you may have to travel some
distance to the domestic airport (both in Delhi and Mumbai
[Bombay], for example) or arrange for an overnight lodging.
Quite a number of airlines serve Chennai (Madras), and it
may be useful to check before finalizing your travel plans.
Some of the arrival timings are quite late in the day, complicating
the subsequent travel to Vellore (a three-hour journey by
car). Because late night travellers are easy prey for thieves,
CMC recommends against driving at night to Vellore. If you
choose to arrive very late in the day, please consider an
overnight stay in Chennai before travelling on to Vellore.
Flight safety regulations are currently very strict. It
is essential that your check with yours airline as to the
up to date regulations regarding size and content of hand
baggage that may be taken on board the aircraft and size
and weight of baggage to be put in the hold. Allow plenty
of time to complete immigration procedures before boarding
TO CHENNAI AND VELLORE.
You will probably arrive at Chennai, the International airport
closest to Vellore, before proceeding to CMC. If you wish
to rest at Chennai before coming on, you are advised to
pre-book a hotel room. The Directorate will be able to pre-book
your overnight stay at Chennai, if you request. There are
several excellent hotels in the city to which you may take
a courtesy van, airport bus, or taxi. Near the airport is
the Trident Hotel, which you may telephone for a courtesy
car. The telephone number is - 00 91 44 2234 6691, email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a YWCA International
Guest House in Chennai where you can book rooms. The telephone
number is – 00 91-9544-2532 424, email: email@example.com.
If you are planning to take a taxi from the airport to your
hotel it is advisable to get a pre-paid taxi, for which
you pay at the pre-paid taxi office, before you exit the
If proceeding directly to Vellore, you are advised to arrange
in advance through CMC to be met by a taxi, for which you
need to pay the driver after reaching CMC. (See tariff for
There are frequent buses leaving from the Chennai Bus Station
at Koyambedu, which reach Vellore in about three hours.
On arrival in Vellore, a taxi, or an auto-rickshaw can be
taken to the College or Hospital campus from the Bus Station.
(See tariff information).
There are also various trains leaving from the Central Station,
Chennai, to Katpadi Junction, the closest railway station
to Vellore. Both reserved and unreserved seats and air-conditioned
chair cars are available on these trains. The trip takes
about two hours and fifteen minutes by an express train.
From Katpadi Junction, you can take a taxi, auto-rickshaw,
or the town bus to the Hospital or College. (See tariff
in this guide will help you find your way round the College
campus and the Hospital. Be particularly careful to avoid
over-exposure to the sun and keep up your fluid intake,
especially in summer.
Vellore town covers an area of approximately 7km radius
from the Hospital, so if you are going out, take a ride
instead of a walk. Transportation is cheap and the weather
is usually hot.
In addition to CMC buses, public buses identified by the
numbers 1 and 2 ply frequently between the Hospital and
College during the day and until about 10.30 p.m. The Hospital
stop is at the intersection of Ida Scudder Road and the
road to Katpadi. Local transportation also includes auto-rickshaws,
taxis, bicycles, cycle rickshaws. It is best to agree upon
the fare before starting out, and no tip will be expected.
| TRAVEL OUTSIDE
Places in S. India which might interest you for a short
visit would be Bangalore, Mysore, Mamallapuram, Pondicherry,
etc. If taking a taxi for a long ride or overnight stay,
a tip to cover the driver’s food charges would be
appropriate. Make full enquiries about extras, such as driver’s
meals charge and tip, his bata payment, and any road tolls
before setting out.
People travel to and from Vellore by bus and train. Bus
travel costs less than train, but even railroad fares are
a bargain in India, compared with many other countries.
Buses from Vellore leave the “Puthoo” (New)
Bus Station, located near the Palar Bridge on the road to
Katpadi Railway Station. Finding the vehicle with the right
number may take time and effort. So arrive early, board
promptly, and pay the fare to the conductor.
The broad gauge train station serving Vellore is at Katpadi
Junction, 6km north of Vellore. Tickets may be purchased
there, or from the Cantonment Railway Station in Vellore,
or from travel agencies in Vellore (for a small fee). Tickets
should be purchased in advance to be assured of a seat or
berth. Travelling second class or air conditioned under
reservation is generally considered satisfactory. Railway
bookings can also be purchased through the Foreigners Quota
available at Central Station, Chennai.