Boozing in Baroda
hfot2
India > States in India > India Travel > Gujarat
#1
| ElderS

Boozing in Baroda

I understand that foreigners can get a permit to purchase liquor in normally dry Gujarat by applying to the Gujarat Tourism counter of the Ahmedabad airport.

All very well, but we're starting in Vadodara (Baroda). Is there a similar Gujarat Tourism counter at the airport there? Or may we apply somewhere else in the city?

I see from our hotel's website that they can provide a "temporary liquor permit" for resident guests. Is that permit good only for the length of our stay at the hotel, or is it the same permit we'd be getting from Gujarat Tourism?

Bottoms up! :Beer
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

27 Replies

#2
| retired
You can also pick up a liquor permit in Mumbai.
#3
| ElderS

Originally posted by: steven_ber View Post

You can also pick up a liquor permit in Mumbai.


Thanks. Problem is, we're going in through Delhi. Any chance of getting one there?

(I don't want to sound dipsomaniacal about this, but it would be awfully nice to knock back a Kingfisher with dinner.)
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
#4
| Maha Guru Member
Someone in Gujrat to confirm that open liquor retailing has started! I had heard from some friends visiting last that Rajkot had liquor stores.
#5
| Member
I heard from another ex-pat that you can get a long term pass in Baroda from the wine shop in the WelcomHotel but they guy who works there will want a kickback and the official form you have to fill out had an extra 0 on the end of the fee. They claimed that 200"0"Rs was the new price since the form was "old". If you have a liquor license from elsewhere, you can buy from several places along R.C.Dutt Road.
#6
| Account Closed
I think it used to be you could get a liquor permit along with your visa if so required. Reportedly more expensive than getting it on the ground.

If you already have the visa, I guess you could give your visa services or embassy a ring about it.

I assume you ought to be able to get one in Delhi -- but where, eh. Could well prove one of those several-day fruitless pursuits.

I think with those so-called permit rooms (aka, bars, and possibly wine shops i.e. liquor stores) in fancy hotels in dry areas, the usual deal is you buy the permit along with your drinks yes, for that visit only.* (And/or drinks will be priced so that it's understood you have paid for the permit in the meantime. Have never done it myself yet, I must say. The one time I asked, they were closed for that day of the week, period, LOL :doh: You may run into this with bars and wine shops even in some non-dry areas, btw. So them being closed one fixed day a week. And for festivals and holidays and stuff. Can't have too many boozing people around at times of merriment or general leisure, apparently. Now can we. Elections btw whether national or local, another such time; more understandably, perhaps.) As the previous poster said, I guess there may be some creative variations on the theme.

Don't know how reliable this is, but this site http://www.tradewingstours.com/trade...ia/beftra.html claims that "When applying for your visa you can ask for an All India Liquor Permit. You can also get the Permit from any Govt of India Tourist Office in Delhi or the state capitals."

Steve, do you know where to get it in Mumbai? Might give us a clue.

* A post from last year here would suggest it may be valid for longer though, and so function as a true liquor permit: http://www.indiamike.com/india/domes...44/#post704102. That poster Rajered normally has his head on his shoulders, if I'm not mistaken. I.e., tends to know what he's talking about.
Reading tips, all picked up at IndiaMike :bunny: : INDAX's A Comprehensive Guide To India / ITHVC on Culture Shock & Travel Health / JetLag Travel Guides For the Undiscerning Traveller / India Travel Links
#7
| ElderS
Again, thanks to all.

After a bit more probing, I discovered a Gujarat Tourism office in Delhi, near CP. Needless to say, they didn't respond to my e-mail queries. Since one can get the permits at the Gujarat Tourism office in Ahmedabad, I reckon it's a possibility at the office in Dilly.

But I further understand there's no need. Stumbled across another thread on IndiaMike (too dim to remember to bookmark the thread or poster) that makes it pretty clear we can simply get 30-day permits at our hotel in Baroda without a lot of fuss. Our hotel says something about this on their website; but their language is opaque, and they too haven't responded to e-mail queries.

This does seem like a helluva kerfuffle for a beer.
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
#8
| Account Closed

Originally posted by: hfot2 View Post

This does seem like a helluva kerfuffle for a beer.


They sure know how to make you feel like the junkie that you are ;)

:Martini
Reading tips, all picked up at IndiaMike :bunny: : INDAX's A Comprehensive Guide To India / ITHVC on Culture Shock & Travel Health / JetLag Travel Guides For the Undiscerning Traveller / India Travel Links
#9
| Member
I've been told there's a place between the international and domestic terminals in the Mumbai airport. Apparently you can't miss it if you walk between the two terminals. Doesn't do much for you here, but maybe other people can benefit.
#10
| Account Closed

Originally posted by: spf3million View Post

I've been told there's a place between the international and domestic terminals in the Mumbai airport. Apparently you can't miss it if you walk between the two terminals. Doesn't do much for you here, but maybe other people can benefit.


You mean a bar (there is, at the international terminal at least -- or there was, earlier this year, and since confirmed on this site. Could well be it's situated between the two, I don't quite recall. No, I'm pretty sure it was past immigration, really. It features one of those depressing "smoker's rooms," btw), or a place to pick up the permit?
Reading tips, all picked up at IndiaMike :bunny: : INDAX's A Comprehensive Guide To India / ITHVC on Culture Shock & Travel Health / JetLag Travel Guides For the Undiscerning Traveller / India Travel Links
#11
| Member
I was referring to a stand where you can get a permit. I've only heard about it second hand from other co-workers on my job.
#12
| Account Closed
Ah, oki, thanks. Would be nice if it is so.
Reading tips, all picked up at IndiaMike :bunny: : INDAX's A Comprehensive Guide To India / ITHVC on Culture Shock & Travel Health / JetLag Travel Guides For the Undiscerning Traveller / India Travel Links
#13
| ElderS

Problem Solved, for us at least

Here's how it worked out for us.

We thought initially to go to the Gujarat Tourism office on Baba Kharak Singh Marg (Radial 2) just off Connaught Place. But so many places in Karol Bagh were closed to celebrate Eid that we decided it wasn't worth the trip. Instead we trusted to chance that something would turn up in Baroda.

We needn't have worried. Our meet&greet bundled us into a car at the airport and whisked us off to our hotel, the Surya Palace (3-star business) before we could check out the airport for a permit office. But we'd no sooner been hustled into our room by a busybusy porter than he gathered us up forcibly and dragged us down to the liquor shop in a corner of the hotel lobby. There, in short order, we were sold a liquor permit (Rs 100) good for 30 days. Turns out that many hotels in sizable cities have these liquor shops, and you can get your permit and your liquor there. But you can only get your permit when the approved government rep is on duty. Not every clerk is a government representative, so you'll have to find out when you can buy a permit. Once you have the permit, though, you can buy your liquor whenever the shop is open.

It took a while to grasp the arcane rules of liquor purchases in Gujarat. You're permitted two "units" a week, but only six units for the entire month (don't want these ferriners gettin' all tiddly). A unit is a 750 ml bottle of hard spirits or 10 bottles of beer. You may buy half units – a 375 ml bottle of whisky, for instance, or five bottles of beer - and you may buy half units at any time during the week, not to exceed a total of two units per week. But you may not buy just a single bottle of beer – you must buy half or whole units.

The hard stuff is convenient, of course, because it packs its punch in comparatively little volume and is therefore easy to transport. The beer is more of a problem. Because you can't be sure when next you'll find an hotel with a liquor shop, you have to drag around several bottles; and if you're already carrying around a case of mineral water in the boot of the car in addition to a ridiculous amount of luggage, things begin to get crowded.

The other problem is where to drink the stuff. You're not permitted to drink in public and are therefore confined to your room. That's not so bad for a quick nip before dinner. But if you fancy a beer with dinner, you're going to have to order room service. Even assuming it's available, room service served in a rathole doesn't necessarily make for a nice meal, never mind the beer.

And then there's the problem of refrigeration. If you prefer your beer chilled, you're going to have a hard time, as most of the hotels don't provide fridges. We resorted to the old Boy Scout trick of wrapping the bottle in a sopping hand towel and placing it in a draft to promote evaporative cooling. This works especially well in the draft from an air conditioner, but we ran into few of those and it was mostly too cool in Gujarat to warrant using them anyway. But any good fan will do the job of cooling the beer enough to make it pleasant.

There are reports earlier in this thread on how to make do as an expat resident in Gujarat. All we know about is how to get alcohol as a transient tourist. In the end the boozing was relatively unimportant. What mattered most was finding out how to deal with the Gujarat prohibition.
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
#14
| Humble Genius
Hfo2

I'm writing this note on behalf of a friend who will be traveling to Gujarat and is currently researching how to get a drink in Ahmedabad after a hard week touring the state. Despite my sincere entreatments to honor the Gandhian values in the state of the great man's birth, the dipsomaniac just cannot be convinced to hold it for a few days.

So, here're a few quick ones:

a) Is the ice bought locally safe enough (I suspect he has a delicate stomach, though he wont admit). Trip'd be in winters, too cold to use your airconditioning method.
b) Can a permit be procured in Rajasthan (specifically in Jaipur) or does it have to be in Delhi? What's the address from where you got the permit?
c) Would the hotel staff buy the beer and deliver in his room if he has the permit? (it'd be a nice hotel, three star I think)
d) Can he use the permit anywhere in Gujarat? ('suppose so but nice to hear a yes)
e) Is kingfisher available in Gujarat?

I know your're away fishing at the moment, but when you're done downing one or several, have some consideration and help him quench his thirst too. I'd have gladly given him more reliable information but I don't drink.

thanks in advance!!

- Vaibhav
#15
| Account Closed
Now this is a really useful thread. Plus several to hfot2 for telling us all about a subject that others may have run shy of. I hope the Gujarat Tourist board have been suitably grateful.
I wasn't really looking forward to a week's tour of the state next year but I now realise that we shall have to party pretty hard if we are to consume our ration. If we don't manage to get through it all are we allowed to take the excess away with us or does it have to be consumed in Gujarat?

I love the definition of a "Unit". A single can of lager amounts to 1.8 units here.

Vaibhav - I would advise your "friend" to avoid ice altogether. It's made from water which all the guide books and Mr W.C. Fields* tell us to avoid. Personally I only trust beer, and then only when I see the crown cork removed.

*I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. W. C. Fields
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