Travelling to the Conference
Citizens from most countries will require a visa prior to arriving in India. The visa application process can take a while, and we would recommend applying for the visa at least 3 months prior to the start of the conference. The specific visa requirements will depend on your citizenship and country of residence. For participants based in the USA, information can be found at Travisa (the Indian embassy outsources its visa services to this company). For participants based in other countries, you will need to contact the local Indian Embassy.
For most participants, the easiest option will be to get a tourist visa. Depending on your citizenship, you might want to consider a research visa instead. The latter requires more paperwork, and takes longer to obtain, but has the advantage that the conference organizers can provide you with supporting documentation (letter of invitation, etc). If you decide to apply for a research visa, please contact us to let us know.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
A number of international airlines provide direct service to Bangalore (BLR), including Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, and Air China. In addition, many international airlines provide service to one of the three major Indian air traffic hubs: New Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM), or Chennai (MAA).
Participants from the USA who intend to use NSF funds are reminded of the rules governing travel: "Any air transportation to, from, between, or within a country other than the U.S. of persons or property, the expense of which will be assisted by NSF funding, must be performed by or under a code-sharing arrangement with a U.S.-flag air carrier if service provided by such a carrier is available. Tickets (or documentation for electronic tickets) must identify the U.S. flag air carrier's designator code and flight number." Note that code-shared flights must bear the designation of the US-based carrier. This means that your ticket must show the flight code of a US-based carrier, independent of which company actually operates the airplane. Usually this means that you must purchase the ticket from the US-based carrier.
Within India, a number of budget airlines provide service between Bangalore/Bengaluru and other cities. Here are links to the webpages for some of these airlines: Jet Airways, JetLite, Kingfisher Airlines, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, and Paramount Airways. When searching for flights, we recommend using the destination airport code BLR (as various airlines use either Bangalore or Bengaluru for the destination name).
Trains provide a popular alternate form of travel within India. The Indian rail network is one of the largest in the world, with 63,000km of track, 6800 train stations, and transporting an average of 20 million passengers a day. Service is available between any two cities in India, and can provide a fairly unique travel experience. However, due to the size of the country, you should be aware that train travel can be fairly slow, and depending on the route you are traveling, can potentially take several days. More information on train travel can be found at the Indian Railways Website.
While there are some car rentals companies (Avis, Hertz) located in Bangalore, we recommend participants to use either taxis or public buses for travel within the city.
Housing in Bangalore
Housing will be provided to all speakers and registered participants. Please send us your arrival/departure dates. For people flying in from overseas, take into account the time of arrival of your flight, as you might want the hotel room to be available a day earlier than your actual arrival date (for instance, if your flight arrives at 1am). You can communicate this information via e-mail to C.S. Aravinda: email@example.com