The Indian Passport has been ranked 75th by the Passport Index’ Global Passport Power Rank 2017 with a Visa-free score of 51. While this rank is on the lower side of the spectrum, India has fared better than most of its neighbours, including Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. According to the Index, Asian Powerhouse, Singapore is the strongest passport in the world with a Visa-free score of 159, followed closely by Germany with a score of 158.
A good part of the world has opened its doors to Indian Citizens by easing up the visa rules and regulations. Different rules apply for different countries, for example, countries like the US and the UK have a sterner approach, in that they require a pre-approved visa before the date of travel. Some countries also allow a Visa-free travel on their turf, while some require a Visa-on-Arrival. In the recent years, a number of countries allow E-Visas to Indians.
As of late 2017, Indonesia, Serbia, Qatar, and Ukraine have lifted the requirement of a visa for Indian Passport Holders. While Indonesia and Serbia now allow visa-free entry for Indians, Qatar and Ukraine provide Visa-on-Arrival. Australia announced eligibility for Online Visitor Visa (e600) to Indian Citizens, effective from July 2017. Online application offers benefits such as round-the-clock accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application charge and the ability to check the status of applications. Armenia and Gabon now allow Visa-on-Arrival for Indian Passport Holders.
Starting 2018, Rwanda will allow Visa-on-Arrival. Indian Nationals will also get visa-free access to Primorye and rest of Khabarovsk, Sakhalin, Chukotka and Kamchatka regions of the Russian Far East.
Here is the list of countries that allow Visa-free or Visa-on-Arrival for Indians –
With a number of long weekends coming up in 2018 and all these countries as exploration options on your plate, the planning must begin. New to the Visa-free and Visa-on-Arrival list, here’s some insight into the new destinations you can venture out to tour and traverse. With an amazing offer on international flights at ixigo, maybe these places will appeal all the more.
Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda in Africa is scenic, stunning and utterly remarkable owing to its mountainous landscape beautified by bamboo forests and inland beaches. Home to the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas, Rwanda with Kigali as its capital city is a land of many majesties and mystics.
Places to Visit: Volcanoes National Park, Lake Kivu, Mount Bisoke, Nyungwe Forest, Akagera National Park, Rusumo Falls, Ethnographic Museum
Things to Do: Gorilla Trek, Congo Nile Trail Hiking, Bird Watching, Primate Tracking, Wildlife Safari
Best Time to Visit: Mid-December – February, and June – September
Wealthy of beauty, culture, and cuisine, Qatar is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations. Surrounded by sand dunes on the outside and speckled with skyscrapers in its interiors, the cities of Qatar are diving headfirst into the future, while retaining its rich heritage.
Places to Visit: Katara Mosque, the Doha Desert, Al-Zubarah Fortress, Al Jassasiya Carvings, Al Wakra Museum, Barzan Towers, Doha Fort, The Pearl Qatar, Museum of Islamic Art
Things to Do: Shopping in Souks, Desert Safari, Sand Dune Buggy Riding, ATV Sand Safari, Nightlife
Best Time to Visit: Between November and April
Mostly unexplored, Ukraine is the largest country of Europe (Russia excluded). Charming cities, fairytale castles, surreal countrysides, and its hospitable hosts make Ukraine a divine destination for off-the-map experiences.
Places to Visit: Vorontsov Palace, Tunnel of Love in Klevan, Akadia Beach, Chufut-Kale, Askania-Nova Reserve, Lutsk Castle, Saint Sophia Cathedral, Khotyn Fortress
Things to Do: Hiking in the Carpathian Mountains, Skiing in Dragobrat, Dance on the Dnipro Party Boat
Best Time to Visit: Between May and September
Popular as the ‘Party Destination of Europe’, Serbia is for the wayfarers and the wild ones. While it also clothes cultural, the country mostly exudes a spirited stir of elan and inat (rebellious defiance, which happens to be their national trait). Stay for the maddening Novi Sad – the most famous Music Festival in the world.
Places to Visit: Golubac Fortress, The Skull Tower of Nis, Bubanj Memorial Park, Uvac River Meanders, Bridge of Love, Vucjaka River
Things to Do: Belgrade Underground Tour, Nightlife, Wine Tours on the Palic Wine Routes, Hiking in the Fruska Gora region
Best Time to Visit: Between May and September
The Russian Far East
The extreme East of Russia, also known as the Russian Far East is not a very tread upon territory. The most popular place of the Far East is Kamchatka, which steals the show with its volcanoes, hot springs, and snow-capped mountains.
Places to Visit: Permafrost Kingdom, Russky Island, BAM Museum, Cathedral of the Nativity, Primorsky Oceanarium, Land of the Leopard National Park, Peak of Chekhov, Three Brothers Rocks
Things to Do: Volcano Tours, Hiking, Arctic Cruise
Best Time to Visit: Between August and October
The options are more than just a few, so plan ahead and jet off to explore the joys of the destinations on the list, both old and new. Let adventures find you!