Travelling to India will also mean having to pay for all that delicious food and relics with Indian money, which can get pretty confusing for a foreigner. Worry not: here is everything deciphered.
Symbol of the Indian Rupee
So, we know that the Indian currency is Rupees(₹). Now, according to today’s exchange rates, one USD equals approximately 66 Indian Rupees. Just so you can relate, a regular train ticket in India will cost around ₹400, and a meal at a midrange restaurant will total between ₹400 and ₹1300.
Now, one Indian Rupee is divided into one hundred paise (p,) similarly to cents. There are ₹1, ₹2, ₹5 and ₹10 coins (very rarely, you’ll see a ₹50 paise coin) and they have notes in the following denominations: ₹5, ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹500 and ₹1000.
It is a fact that Rupees have a low monetary value, so they have come up with expressions to denote huge amounts of money. It is because of this that you’ll probably come across these two words: “lakh” and “crore.” One lakh equals 100,000 Rupees and one crore is 10,000,000 Rupees.
Travel Tip: when exchanging money in India, the same rule applies as in most countries: exchange rates are usually better in private owned exchange offices than in banks. You can also try to negotiate for a better exchange rate in private establishments. Always keep the receipt so you know the exchange rate you got Rupees for (information that will come in very handy when you need to exchange money back before leaving the country.) Plus, try to only exchange a small amount of money at the airport, because (as with other countries) you’ll find that rates are much higher than at other exchange bureaus.
FUN FACT: you won’t be able to find Indian money anywhere outside the country, and you cannot export Rupees anywhere else, either. The general rule regarding this issue is that only Indian citizens can take small amounts of Rupees with them.
Everything’s In Order
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