The exchange rate – Pound to Rupee
The pound (GBP) to Indian rupee (INR) exchange rate refers to how many rupees you'll get to spend across India in exchange for a number of pounds. The exchange rate is currently 1 GBP to 87.34 INR, though it will fluctuate regularly and is likely to have changed since the time of writing.
Can I buy rupees outside India?
Unfortunately not. The Indian rupee is a closed currency, meaning importing and exporting it is heavily restricted. According to gov.uk, those visiting India aren't allowed to buy or bring in any number of rupees from another country (though some sources state you can bring a small amount in, if you've got currency left over from a previous trip for example).
If you're a resident in India returning home, you are allowed to bring up to INR 25,000 (around £286) into the country. However, you're likely to get terrible travel money rates in the UK as only a few niche providers sell the currency.
Currency exchange in India
You won't be able to change currency at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unless you hold an account there. Instead, look for currency exchange stores at airports, in large towns and branches of foreign banks that will be able to change your currency for you. Barclays, HSBC and Citibank all operate a number of branches across India, so visit these for the best rates.
Travel money card for rupees
As the rupee is so heavily regulated, you won't be able to preload a card with the currency before heading to India. However, options such as the Travelex Money Card are good for those who don't want to carry cash, as it can be loaded with your home currency which will be converted to rupees whenever you shop. You can also withdraw rupees when you're in India without incurring extra fees.
Can I use my card in India?
Visa, Mastercard, AMEX and other popular cards are accepted across India, particularly in the big cities, but always carry cash as much of India trades this way.
Another convenient alternative to travel money cards (particularly if you're a frequent traveller) is to open a UK debit/credit account which doesn't charge for foreign use. Many newer challenger banks offer this, as well as some of the 'big four' banks (like the Halifax Clarity Credit Card). Then, you can shop and withdraw without being incurring high fees.