Indian Rupee is the local currency for India (a hundred paisa equal one rupee). Rupee banknotes are in the denominations of 2000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are denominations of 10, 5, 2, 1 and 50 paisa.
On 8 November, 2016, the Government of India demonetized the existing 500 and 1,000 Rupee banknotes. New 500 and 2,000 rupee banknotes were introduced and are in circulation but you may find that they are in short supply and businesses may not be able to provide you with lower denomination notes in change.
Cash can be obtained from the ATM’s, which can be found in all towns and cities. However there may be queues. Foreign tourists can withdraw their normal daily card limit. They will also be able to exchange foreign currency from banks or any authorised foreign exchange dealer. For more information, see the Reserve Bank of India website
All major credit and debit cards along-with traveler’s check and foreign currencies are accepted at most of the cities and towns.
You won’t need to take a great deal of money on the trip—just enough for any souvenirs you may buy, drinks, and any meals that are not covered in the cost of the trip. Anywhere from $300 to $500 should be enough, depending on how much shopping you like to do, plus an amount for any tips you may want to give the camp staff or trip leader (see the Gratuities section).
Cash or Traveler’s Checks:
Take some of your money in small denominations of traveler’s checks and some in small denominations of cash. Traveler’s checks by American Express are widely accepted in India.
Credit and Debit Cards:
All major cards - Visa, and MasterCard are widely accepted across the country and the Indian sub-continent. However these will not work at any place beyond the towns, e.g towns where roadheads are for treks, villages, where only local currency can be accepted. American Express is not accepted in small towns and some places.
It is customary in India to tip the camp staff. Trip members can contribute toward a group tip to be shared among the Sherpa guides, porters, cooks, and camp staff who have assisted you. We suggest each trip member tip about $50 to $80 towards the group tip, preferably in Indian rupees (traveler’s checks are difficult for the trekking staff to exchange). This generally works out to be $5 to $6 per day per person. The guide will help you distribute this individually amongst the trek team. Trip members also usually tip the trip leader.
Typically, individual trip members tip the main guide $125 to $200, depending on the level of satisfaction. All tipping is, of course, at your own discretion and you are under no obligation to tip.