India power adapters - what plugs are used in India?

Indian power outlet

What adapter do I need for India?

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting India all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to power in an Indian power outlet. If you don't know which voltage your device uses then please read the section below on how to find out the voltage of your device before going any further.

  • If you are visiting India from the US then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter to fit a US plug into an Indian power outlet. As the voltage is different in India use a power converter if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage and ensure that your it can work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in an Indian power outlet then it should work in India.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in an Indian power outlet you'll need to bring a suitable plug adapter for India such a Type D plug adapter [3]. A plug adapter for India (or power adapter) is designed to change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in India, but doesn't change the voltage from 230 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage then you'll also need a power converter for India to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You'll still need to bring along a suitable plug adapter for India if the power converter doesn't use the correct Type D plug adapter.
  • If you simply want to power USB devices such as a tablet or a mobile phone then a USB travel power adapter will be more suited and it should be dual voltage, however ensure that you bring one which includes a Type D plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for India.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in India please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Background

If you are planning a vacation it can be helpful to know if you can charge all your important electronics like cell phones and laptop computers that you'll be bringing along. However, by not knowing which plug socket to expect you may end up either bringing unnecessary adaptors or pack the wrong adaptor, meaning needing to buy a potentially expensive power adaptor when you get there which could be incompatible and damage your device. Various combinations of standards and plug types can often lead to confusion when planning on visiting a different country, especially if you've never visited before. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used in the world this guide tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in India. This page contains links to simple instructions showing exactly how to charge your devices when you're travelling to India by using the D, C or M type Indian 230 volt 50Hz wall outlets, Type D power outlets will be typically used by most Indians. You will find power sockets vary depending on which region you are travelling to therefore we suggest reading the World power adapters page for a full list of countries. We also recommend referring to the India Wikipedia page [1] for more indepth information on the location.

India power adapters

What is the best power adapter for India?

The best power adapter for India will be a Type D plug adapter [3] which will allow you to use any 230 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for India?

What is a power adapter for Indian power outlet?

A power adapter is a compact and lightweight plastic adapter that permits a different type of power plug on an appliance from a foreign region to correctly fit into an Indian power outlet.

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for India allows visitors travelling from another country to use electrical appliances and devices in India by altering the shape of the power plug from one shape to another.

Do I need a plug adapter in India?

This depends on the type of plug you are attempting to use in India.

Do I need a plug adapter if I'm visiting India from America?

A US plug won't physically fit into an Indian power outlet so you will need to bring a plug adapter for India, and because the voltage is 230 volts you will also need to use a power converter for India if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage to prevent damage or overheating.

Will a power adapter change the voltage from an Indian power outlet?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Indian power outlet and is unable to convert to a higher voltage. Should you wish to safely use a 100-120 volt device you also need a more expensive step down power converter.

Where can I buy a power adapter for India?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for India?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

India power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in India?

Type C, D and M power outlets

What plug sockets are used in India?

There are three different types of power supply used in India, types D, C and M with the primary power outlets being type D:

  • Plug Type C - The wall outlet, technically known as a type C socket or Europlug, is identified by 2 round holes adjacent to each other where the two pins go.
  • Plug Type D - You can recognise this wall socket by the 3 round holes forming a triangle configuration.
  • Plug Type M - This plug socket (technically known as a type M power outlet) can be identified by the three holes forming a triangular shape for live, neutral and ground pins.

What is the voltage from an Indian power outlet?

The voltage used from an Indian power outlet is 230 volts.

Do US plugs work in India?

No; an American plug won't work in India because it won't fit in an Indian power outlet without the use of a power adapter. The voltage is different therefore use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.

What is the frequency used with an Indian power outlet?

The frequency from an Indian power outlet is 50Hz.

Are Indian power outlets the same as the US?

American plugs won't fit in an Indian power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for India. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage please use a power converter for India and check that it works with a 50hz supply.

Is the voltage in India the same as the US?

The voltage which comes from an Indian power outlet is 230 volts, whereas 120 volts is used in America. If your US appliance or charger can't handle dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for India which allows a 120 volt American appliance to work with a 220-240 volt outlet.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in India?

Use a step down power converter if you wish to use either a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in India.

India chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for India?

When travelling with more than one device then the best travel adapter for India to buy is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [6]. There are three types of power outlets in India (types D, C and M) and bringing this will ensure that you are covered for type C. Because these types of chargers come with interchangeable pins and handle from 100 volts - 240 volts will mean that you can travel to multiple countries in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa just by switching the heads over. If your device supports Fast Charge (not all USB devices will) then you will benefit from quicker recharging times by using one of these travel adapters plus additional compatibility with certain power demanding devices like tablets.

This will allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously without needing to bring individual power adapters on your Indian trip or occupying additional wall sockets. By only packing a single international travel charger will help keep the overall size and weight down, making it perfect to fold up and store in hand luggage. Because of their space saving flexibility these types of travel chargers can be used back at home so when you're not travelling they can be used overnight charging multiple tablets, smartphones and e-readers without using up an additional power outlet.

For those travelling regularly we suggest buying an adaptable travel adapter similar to this online. The multipurpose travel charger illustrated is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [6] which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries around the world with perfect reliably.

What USB charger do I need for India?

Why use a travel USB charger for India?

  • Most travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, this means that you now only need to bring one charger to charge all your devices. Instead of bringing 4 individual power chargers it's now only necessary to pack one 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 devices, thereby cutting down on the size and weight of your luggage.
  • Most travel USB chargers will include swappable plug heads for different regions thereby making them perfect if visiting different countries across Asia which will probably use different power outlets to India.
  • A good power charger is rugged, lightweight and compact - ideal for the rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be impossible to repair in India.
  • USB chargers can accept both the 230 volt power outlets in India plus other voltage standards in other countries.
  • It's possible that some accommodation or hotel rooms in India only have one wall outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports allows you to share the single power supply with family or other traveler instead of waiting to charge each device one by one.
  • Because of their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the worry out of visiting any unknown destination as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets found in airport departure lounges are often scant and the demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets during departure can be high, therefore a USB charger with multiple ports and the ability to fast charge is perect.
  • Some countries power grids are unstable, a quality travel USB charger allows for unexpected fluctuations and will prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded smartphone or tablet in India could prove problematic and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers should also include a power outlet strip to use multiple low wattage devices such as laptops, howeverthese are unsuitable for high wattage domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Read our section on using travel appliances with an Indian power outlet for helpful guidelines on the best power adapter for a high powered devices in an Indian power outlet.
  • Some mobile phones might pull more than the usual 500 mA (milliamps) produced from a normal 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Ensure that the USB power adapter can support fast charging should some of your devices draw extra power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be useful by recharging multiple mobile phones on a daily basis using one power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for India?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices, but for those also wishing to use their domestic plugs these power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power adapters offer surge protection which is crucial for visitors of counties with unreliable power grids. These travel adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both India and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from America visiting India.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from North America using type B plugs and gives almost the same set of features as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a generous 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it ideal for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting India.

Power converters for India

What does a power converter for India do?

A power converter allows travellers to use a 100-120 volt electrical appliance with a 230 volt Indian power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter?

A heavy and bulky power converter [8] will transform a 230 volt Indian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt appliance, but a cheaper and smaller power adapter [7] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in India.

Do I need a power converter for India?

If travelling to India from a different country ensure the device will accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [9] if you are travelling to India from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance or device isn't compatible with 230 volts. See the WikiConnections list of world power outlets guide to find out the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already use either a 230 volt single voltage device or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Normally electrical devices designed to use a lower voltage such as 110 volts and then used in a 230 volt outlet run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device.
  • You won't need a power converter if you are attempting to power a smaller electrical device such as a mobile phone or laptop as these are typically designed for international use and dual voltage, however always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • For powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example hair straighteners and clothes irons) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter [10].
  • It will be more cost effective to bring a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than trying to bring a heavier high wattage power converter to India just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our travel guides on how to use clothes irons, curling wands, blow dryers and flat irons in Indian power outlets , along with guides for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm visiting India from the US?

The 230 volts used in a electric outlet in India is different to an 110 volt American outlet, therefore you will need to use a step down power converter if your appliance or charger doesn't support dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for India?

In order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in India you will need a step down power converter [9].

What is the difference between a power transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a power converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

What voltage does India use?

India uses 230 volts in their power outlets.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [9] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with an 230 volt Indian power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for India before plugging that into an Indian power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with an 230 volt Indian power outlet.
Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair dryer

Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

The way to see if a device is either single voltage or dual voltage is to look for a sticker on the supplied power plug, or on the appliance itself, typically on the rear of the unit or near to where the power cord sits. The location might depend on the make or model of your unit, it should also state on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

What can I connect to an Indian power outlet?

Travel appliances which can connect to an Indian power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to an Indian power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with an Indian power outlet

Mobile phones that can connect to the Indian power outlet

Apple iPhones which can be connected to an Indian power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with an Indian power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with an Indian power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with an Indian power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting India, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [11].

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India - wikipedia.org entry about India.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type D plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type D power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  6. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  7. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter
  8. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  9. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  10. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets