For our recent trip to India, we opted to obtain PIO cards. These are more expensive than a visa, but they allow visa free travel to India for 15 years. Break even in terms of visa fees is about 7 trips, but if you factor in the hassle factor of getting in to the High commission and standing in line, plus train fares, then we feel it'll be worthwhile in around three trips. The cards are available to 'Persons of Indian Origin', and I am quite tickled to be entitled to one (due to marriage). It's quite freaky to have a document which demonstrates that I am of Indian Origin when I am a white guy from South-East London.
There was always the possibility that the Customs people in India might be similarly amused... ulp!
We have been PIO cardholders since mid november, though the docket says the end of october we did not receive the cards at that time.
We got back from India last night, and I have to go to work today. I woke at 4am this morning, having gone to bed at around 11pm. The original idea was to stay awake, i.e. have a long day on the 3rd, wake up at the usual time on the 4th, suffer a bit, then be okay for the 5th. I woke up at about 9:30am Indian time, so the body clock has shifted, but only about half way - looks like I'm going to really have problems today! Ah well.
I came back to discover there had been problems with the site in my absence, there was something behind the scenes that required that the account be stopped to protect the server it's running on. This has been fixed and things should be back to normal. There may be a few apparently empty pages which have not been rebuilt, hopefully this should work itself out as the site is built and rebuilt during the normal course of events in coming days and weeks. Of course, if there is a problem that you notice, I would like to know!