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I'm travelling around a few cities in India, from Delhi to Bangalore. What type of plug adapter should I pack?

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Don't pack anything. You'll find much cheaper, and probably better, plug adapters all over India. Expect to pay Rs 15-30 for simple ones that just accommodate US-style plugs, and Rs 40-50 for full universal ones. You can find them at any general store/convenience store in major cities and tourist locations, but might get a better selection at electrician's shops.

  • My condolences on the economic situation. :-( At Rs 100 though that's still a good $10 or more less than what you'd pay to buy the adapter in the US or most western countries. – R.. Apr 19 '15 at 14:48
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I agree with @R.. I spent over four months in Delhi in 2009, and while I did bring over a couple of plug adapters with me, it's much easier and cheaper to just buy them there. Any market will have them. (Just remember that the price of almost anything in India is negotiable!)

In addition to buying a couple of plug adapters, you can also purchase a universal power strip with surge protector once you're there. It looks like this and I think I paid the equivalent of $5 USD for one in a market in Delhi. These are a good idea if you're bringing multiple electronics like laptop, tablet, phone, ipod.

The universal power strip is great for a couple reasons: 1) You can plug in all of your electronics at once. My experience is that many Indian hotels/hostels/guest houses do not have many outlets so if you have multiple things to charge, a power strip is your best friend.

2) Surge protection is really important (especially if you're traveling during summer in India, though you didn't specify when your trip was). Brownouts, blackouts, and power surges are common, and you don't want your laptop to get fried.

3) If you have one of these, you don't need to buy a lot of individual adapter plugs that are small and easy to lose.

As I mentioned before, though, this is something you'll want to buy in India to make sure the powerstrip itself has the right plug. (It'll probably be a grounded plug that looks like this.)

The last thing is to make sure you check voltage requirements for anything you bring with you to plug in. A lot of electronic devices can automatically convert, but things like hair dryers typically need a voltage converter to do it for them.

  • +1 for the surge protection, colleague of mine didn't bring one and his laptop got fritzed. – jpatokal Mar 15 '12 at 10:00
  • @jpatokal I've been using my electronics in India for a long time now. I didn't feel the need for surge protection, but it certainly is something I would recommend. Blackouts are quite common yeah. Especially in the summer where the grid is insufficient to provide power to the cities at all times. There just isn't enough power generated to fulfill the demands. – Aditya Somani May 29 '14 at 5:18
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I went to India (from the US) last year and brought one of these. It's only an adapter, not a voltage converter. It will work with your laptop, phone charger, etc. if they support 110V and 220V. If you have devices (electric shaver, hair dryer, etc.) that only operate on 110V this won't work. Some "international" hotels will have a 110V outlet in the bathroom for shavers.

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    seriously? people bring hair dryers and electric shavers on vacation? Might be cheaper to get a haircut/shave at a barber shop in india than paying extra for the excess or overweight baggage. – iHaveacomputer Jul 23 '11 at 1:33
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    @iHaveacomputer how big is your electric razor that you'd have to pay for extra weight to bring it? – Tom Harrington Jul 28 '15 at 6:37
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You'll need something like this:

http://www.roamingfox.co.uk/India-Travel-Adapter-pr-16236.html

What I do when I need confirmation is to check this website:

http://users.telenet.be/worldstandards/electricity.htm

It has an EXHAUSTIVE list of each and every type, the voltage and the countries that use them. It's been handy for some of the stranger countries I've been to and hasn't failed yet.

Myself, I have a multi-adapter. The only country it doesn't seem to handle is South Africa, which has 3 giant prongs - bigger than the UK ones!

Good luck, and enjoy India!

  • South Africa uses a Type M plug, based on the BS546 standard and used historically in the UK and still used for certain specialised purposes there, rated at 15amp for a fused circuit or 16amp for a breaker-protected circuit. That plug is also to be found in India though the more common plug in India is the smaller Type D, again originally designed for use in the UK on circuits fused at 5 amp. – John MacLeod Mar 28 '18 at 11:29
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I would highly recommend this one from Amazon. It appears that a 3rd party is selling it at the moment...I have used this extensively in Europe, India, the South Pacific and the US as well. Can't beat the price point and convenience...

Caveat - The build quality is not excellent, but considering Radio Shack sells individual adapters for upwards of $10 USD each, this is well worth the price, many times over...

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It depends where you're from. Most of my devices have the two pin mainland Europe plugs. For these you don't need an adapter at all. All the power points take them as well as three pin Indian plugs. For my one US plug I bought a very small/light US to Europe adapter for 20 US cents. UK and Australian ones need a bigger one available everywhere in India for 80 cents.

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Pick up a road warrior travel adapter. It is small and durable and has only two pieces that convert into every plug configuration imaginable! It is pretty cheap ($20) and you will have an adapter for life that you can take on all your adventures!

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There are 3 types of plugs used in India: Type D, C, and M

They look following:

D

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C

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M

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You will see a lot of universal sockets

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The voltage in India is 230 volts 50 Hz. So you are ok from Europe, and Asia, not so much from US.

More on Plugs and voltages

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