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Carrying pocket knife in India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by InJungle, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. InJungle

    InJungle New Member


    I am traveling to India in December for 2 months; the primary purpose of my visit is camping at Himalayas (Himachal Pradesh and Nepal). In my camping gear I am planning to keep a pocket knife also for camping purposes, blade of the knife is approx. 3 inches long. Can somebody suggest me is it legal to carry a pocket knife or not and if yes then what is the permitted length of the blade. I do not want to fall in any legal issues or dialogue with cops.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

    The last I heard about legality of carrying a knife in person was that you cannot carry anything larger then 6 inches long and 2inches wide. That is what the 1959 act says but if there is an amendment then I am not sure.

    Whatever you do keep it in the check in luggage. Gurkha's carry their traditional knives all the time and I don't see any one troubling them. As long as you don't create a scene with your knife I would imagine you are safe.
  3. Aadi

    Aadi Member

    As you are a foreigner I would not suggest you to carry a knife in your pocket, if you really want one then keep it in your baggage and declare it as soon as security asks, plus remember to say that its for camping purpose only. Gorkhas carry a khukhri (knife) with religious purpose only and they are allowed to do so as they never harmed anyone and its something which religion tells you to do for self defense. Legally you are allowed to carry knife which is less than 6 inch long and 1.9 inch wide.

    If you do not want to fall in any legal interrogation then its better not to carry it in pocket and just keep it in your bag and no one will question you.
  4. ChaiNashta

    ChaiNashta Active Member

    You also cannot keep a button operated knife even if the blade is smaller then 6 inches. Just thought I must add this.
  5. DhongiBaba

    DhongiBaba Active Member

    If I was you I would buy the knife at the destination instead of carrying all along. Not that anyone would hassle me but just in case. I have seen people ask this question many times : is it allowed to keep knives in pocket in India and my answer is yes but within the legal limits as described in some of the other replies. Rules and regulations change all the time so it would would be a good idea to find out what the current limit is at the time of travel.
    travelguide likes this.
  6. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    As long as the width is less then 1.9inches you are well within the legal limits. Have some other camping related stuff in your bag too when you carry that knife. When you go camping take an axe or something with you too.
  7. travelguide

    travelguide Active Member

    I think this is a good practical suggestion. There is no need to carry it all the way through. You can easily buy one at the venue and I am sure there can be many shops selling knives as people who visit there may require knife for camping purpose. So, I would suggest you to buy it at the venue and travel with peace of mind.
  8. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    For all intents and purposes, I would advise you not to bring any deadly weapon when you travel. I never go without my camera bag which has a flashlight and a swiss knife aside from my credit cards and the camera, of course. That's the extension of my body when I leave the house. But when I travel abroad, I leave the flashlight and the knife at home. You know that saying, deadly weapon is not carried by decent people. So there.
  9. btalivny

    btalivny Member

    In a separate thread it was stated that one can carry pepper spray as well for protection. This may sound silly but it is very useful when it is needed.
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    Just because something might be legal, doesn't make it a good idea. I think if anybody got stopped by the police or by customs at the airport and they empty their pockets and pull out a knife, your going to have some explaining to do.

    While it may very well just be for camping purposes, and within any legal limits that are set, is it really worth all the questions you'll be asked?
  11. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Member

    I would advise against carrying any sort of knife on an international flight, no matter how big it is. You will be more than able to get one in India and you could well save yourself a lot of hassle at the Airport. Unfortunately any kind of weapon now-a-days is cause for concern for Airport security staff and they are likely to confiscate your knife if they have the slightest concerns, which they probably will.
    BayouBilly likes this.
  12. BayouBilly

    BayouBilly New Member

    Couldn't have been said any better. Last time I went to Espana, I had to forfeit my close-shave kit. I didn't feel too bad about it, since it wasn't sentimental, but it cost at least $40!

    You can't really trust airport security sticking to the rules - if they don't want it on the plane, it's not going on the plane.
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    At the end of the day the rules are there for everybody's safety and so if I knew there was a person sat at the side of me carrying a knife, no matter how legitimate the reason was, I'd feel a little uncomfortable.
  14. comlink

    comlink New Member

    If you are going to use the knife for cutting very hard objects like wood and things, then just keep it in your bag and you most likely wont get any hassle, if you want to use it as a blade for cutting food, try to go for a hard plastic knife and you won't get much hassle for it.
  15. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    For me I would just be wondering if it was really 100% necessary. I guess if it meets the size regulations then from a legal standpoint you'd be okay - but like others have said, it's questionable whether you'll even be able to get on a flight with it. I've known a person who was told by airport security they couldn't take a sewing kit through with them because of the needles -- so I don't know how a knife would get on board. For me I would just be thinking the juice wasn't worth the squeeze!
  16. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I think common sense also needs to play a part and just because you are taking that knife for a specific reason, you feel that it's your right to carry it as its securely packed away and maybe doesn't break any specific laws, is it really worth all the hassle?

    If you really HAVE to use a knife, then buy one when you enter that country, and safely dispose if it before you leave.
    amelia88 likes this.
  17. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    That's what I would be doing if it was an absolute must that I needed one. It's just better than dealing with any questions that arise when you've got one in your luggage. I like to try and make things as stress free for myself as possible when I travel, and I just wouldn't want any additional scrutiny or anything!
    pwarbi likes this.
  18. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    Well I ALWAYS get stopped by customs anyway, I must have one of them faces that look like I'm doing something wrong, haha...so if I tried to take a knife through, even if it was for a genuine reason I'd get it taken off me anyway.
  19. Delirium

    Delirium Member

    Some of you make very interesting points about this. Generally speaking, I always carry a small pocket knife that I use for self-defense, and then another one for general use like cutting fruits or something. I don't really use it all that much but I thought it was necessary since I don't want to ruin my self-defense pocket knife. I've never had to put it to use so it's still in perfect condition, but when the time calls for it I'll at least be ready. Going down without a fight isn't my style.
  20. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    Being sent down for manslaughter or murder isn't my style either so while I'm not sure where you live, I'd be tempted to not carry a knife for self defence to be honest.
  21. Delirium

    Delirium Member

    Well I mean it's not like you're going to flip it out and stab everyone in sight. You're just fighting a defensive fight. Defending yourself from those that are attacking you. They're not going to charge you for that. I don't think it matters where I live, although I travel to less-developed countries a lot I like to remain safe at all times. Beside, chances are once they see that you have a knife they'll run away because they don't want to get hurt. Most thieves and amateur criminals are cowards. So it's not going to be some sort of Hunger Games bloodbath situation where only one can survive.
  22. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I only mentioned where you live, as here in the UK, you have every right to defend yourself but if you used a knife to do that, then you would face charges yourself.

    I fully understand your point of view about self defence, and I agree with you but over here having a knife in a public place, even if you use it or not, is a chargeable offence, that's all I was meaning.
    Delirium likes this.
  23. misskrystal1982

    misskrystal1982 New Member

    I think I wouldn't want to try to take the knife on a plane, personally. Yeah, you may have good intentions but that doesn't mean they will believe you. I think I am with the ones saying to buy it there. After all, is the knife really worth the headache it could end up being it it's not within regulations? Even if it is, that doesn't mean that you still won't get hassled about it.
    pwarbi likes this.
  24. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Honestly, it happens to me too and I'm a 20-something female!! Kind of makes me laugh, because every time there's a random search or random check I always seem to be the lucky one plucked from the line. I guess I'm always pretty smiley and look fairly happy go-lucky so maybe they try and choose people that won't give them any grief for the random checks, maybe? At least that's what I tell myself!!
  25. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I'm a 38 year old male, usually travelling with my girlfriend and 2 children and I get stopped. Maybe if I have a mean look on my face they'll pick on somebody else? I'll give that a go and see how that works out, haha
    amelia88 likes this.
  26. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Yes! Maybe give that a try!! I just hope it doesn't backfire on you and then you get more scrutiny as a result! Haha lets be honest, I have NO idea what goes through the minds of airport security people -- whatever strategy I pick, I'm pretty convinced that the opposite will happen. I'm just not lucky when it comes to that sort of thing!
    pwarbi likes this.
  27. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I think a lot of it does seem to be pot luck and they'll stop anybody they want and not have a set agenda, and that's fair enough.

    I did once get stopped though because I was wearing a England football top, and the security freely admitted that they'll stop anybody who they think may be connected with an hooligan element, and an Englishman in an England top fits that profile perfectly apparently!
  28. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Wow...definite profiling going on there!

    Once I was traveling in Australia and I had my camera tripod in its' tripod bag thing. The guy at the scanner says to me (jokingly of course!) "what's in there, a sawn off shotgun?"

    I was thinking "dude...you of all people should NOT be joking like that!" but all I could politely muster was "it's my camera tripod" (I mean what else can you say to that?!)

    A bit more laid back down under it seems, when the security people are making jokes about what you might have in your baggage!
    pwarbi likes this.
  29. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I wouldn't have thought he would hav been able to get away with a joke like that these days though to be honest, and while it's obviously just a joke (unless it really was a sawn off shotgun? Haha) the seriousness involved in the security aspect of travelling these days isn't really a joking matter.
  30. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Yes exactly! And when a passenger can get big fines and not be allowed on their flight/have a date with police if they only so much make a joke about having something dangerous in their luggage I was flabbergasted that the security scanner employee would make a joke like that!
    pwarbi likes this.
  31. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I think Australians do tend to get away with more than others though because of their characters and personality, and while if that happened in the US or the UK he'd have been fired by now, over there it does seem a bit more relaxed.

    I don't think that's so much of a bad thing though...
  32. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Yeah honestly this guy's personality was so big and out there that he could have legitimately been a character on a comedy TV show!

    I guess there was something nice about him being so relaxed about it. I know security is important - especially with things that have happened in our lifetime - but I think sometimes it can be seen as too over the top as well.
    pwarbi likes this.
  33. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I think there needs to be a balance, as we all know how important it is, at the same time making people feel relaxed as well as secure is just as important.

    Yes obviously got the relaxed part right, maybe just needs to work work on the professional part now!
  34. sillyllucy

    sillyllucy Member

    I would not travel there with one, but I would buy one while I am in India. I know that so many airlines restrict the size of the blade. You should check with local laws about it.
  35. Emilyhutchinson0922

    Emilyhutchinson0922 New Member

    I would think it would be easier to purchase what you may need there instead of risking flying with it. That being said if you really want to bring your own, definite make sure it is in your checked luggage you can most certainly not rbing it on the plane. Each state and airport is different as well.
  36. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    I am not a violent person at all and i am very fond of knives. I have several pocket knives and i think that the law is mostly universal but do not take my word for this. Here, the blade should be shorter that 5 cm. If you need to transfer into inches be my guest. I carry it sometimes because i got used to it when i worked as an electrician where it was very much a must. I also believe it is the most useful tool you can have at you. It helped in numerous occasions. For example when i worked in a hotel kitchen i had to open and then fold some hundred boxes in few hours. You can only imagine how big a help my little knife was.
  37. TravelCheap3

    TravelCheap3 Member

    No, as far as I know you're not supposed to carry any knifes through to India. I was contemplating bringing mine and I contacted the Canadian Border Service Agency and they said not to. Good luck.
  38. GammaRay

    GammaRay Member

    Don't put the knife in your carry on, remember to have it in your luggage if it's just a simple pocket knife then it will be fine. You're going camping even without you telling about it to customs they'll probably assume you are from the size of your bag and attire. Trust me I've been there they know which people are going camping, to Nepal-- even to climb Mt. Everest.
  39. Rezonate

    Rezonate Member

    Not sure what the law are in regard to carrying a pocket knife in India are but my suggestion is Not to carry one maybe choose to carry a less lethal stop in for protection if you that's what you're carrying a pocket knife for in the first place. A non lethal weapon like pepper spray is more appropriate this way you won't offend anyone and ask you why you have a knife in the first place.

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