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Obtaining paid work in India is harder than you might expect, and local wages rarely make this cost effective for travellers. Business trips are easy, but working for an Indian company requires visa sponsorship from an Indian employer and finding a job before you travel. Although not strictly legal, casual opportunities exist at some tourist resorts teaching adventure sports and holistic therapies. However, this may deprive locals of much needed employment.

There may be opportunities with international package holiday companies for tour reps in Goa and Kerala (though you normally need to complete seasons in Europe to qualify), and opportunities for drivers and guides with the big overland tour companies.

If you’re a Bollywood fan there may be opportunities for working as an extra in Mumbai. Film crews also visit traveller hotels in Chennai looking for extras for the day.

Business hours

Official business hours are from 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, but many offices open later and close earlier. Government offices may also open on certain Saturdays (usually the first, second and fourth of the month). Most offices have an official lunch hour from around 1pm. Shops generally open around 10am and stay open until 6pm or later; some close on Sunday. Note that curfews apply in some areas, notably Kashmir and the northeast. Airline offices generally keep to standard business hours Monday to Saturday.

Banks are open from 10am to 2pm on weekdays (till 4pm in some areas), and from 10am to noon (or 1pm) on Saturday. Exact branch hours vary from town to town so check locally. Foreign-exchange offices open longer seven days per week.

Main post offices are open from 10am to 5pm on weekdays, and till noon on Saturday. Some larger post offices have a full day on Saturday and a half-day on Sunday.

Restaurant opening hours vary regionally – you can rely on most places to be open from around 8am to 10pm. Exceptions are noted in the regional chapters.

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