UPDATED FEBRUARY 2015
Knowing how much to tip will forever be a guessing game in India. Read through forums where a simple “How much do I tip for…” question is posed and likely following are multiple replies condemning others for not giving hefty amounts “because they can afford it”. Foreign tourists from different countries bring a myriad of opinions on acceptable tipping. Below is a quick cheat sheet guide to tipping for India tourists. The amounts may appear low but keep in mind over-tipping can also be deemed rude. Alter appropriately to fit your budget, experience and satisfaction within individual services.
Try to carry as many small bills Rs 5, 10 & 20 as possible. Finding change for a Rs 100 when giving a tip can be considered rude and if nothing else, awkward. Carry as much coin as comfortable to avoid over-tipping at places that don’t require large tips (toilets, shoes).
Beggars: Rs 5 maximum if anything, preferably nothing
Car & Driver (Total, not per person):
Half Day Rs 300-450, Rs 500 maximum
Full Day Rs 1000 Maximum
Multi-Day Rs 600 per day, or as you see fit
Guides (Pick-up or arranged):
Half Day or less Rs 250-400, Rs 500 maximum.
All Day Rs 600-800, Rs 1200 maximum if the entire day was spent, no tricks to go shopping at the end, and they provided an extremely high level of facts/knowledge.
Porters/Bellboys/Coolies: Rs 20 per bag
Sadhus/Swamy: Rs 5, Rs 10-20 if asking for a photo
Services (Massage, Barber): 10% or as you wish
Shoe Handlers at Temples/Mosques: Rs 2-5 average, Rs 5 maximum per pair.
Street Vendors (Food): Rs 1-2 maximum if anything
Temple offering/Puja: Rs 5-10, Rs 20 maximum
Toilet Attendants/Pay to use toilets: Rs 5 maximum. Anything more is a scam.
Travel Agency Representative (Not owner): Rs 200 maximum
Tuk Tuk/Cycle Rickshaw: Rs 10-20 maximum
Waiter/Restaurant: 10% or less of check total