Blackouts lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours are a part of everyday Indian life, particularly in summer when the load is high. But if you're staying at a mid- to high-end hotel, there will, no doubt, be a generator that can restore electricity within seconds. Storms can play havoc with electricity, and low-voltage electricity and surges are problems. It's always a good idea to have a flashlight or a small handheld fan if you plan on being in rural, rugged areas for any length of time.
The electrical current in India is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC). There are two types of wall outlets in India: large, three-pronged ones used for large appliances such as refrigerators and air-conditioners, and smaller ones that take plugs with two round prongs, like those used in continental Europe.
Consider making a small investment in a universal adapter, which has several types of plugs in one lightweight, compact unit. Most laptops and mobile phone chargers are dual voltage (i.e., they operate equally well on 110 and 220 volts), so they require only an adapter. These days the same is true of small appliances such as hair dryers. Always check labels and manufacturer instructions to be sure. Don't use 110-volt outlets marked "for shavers only" for high-wattage appliances such as hair-dryers.
Help for World Travelers Global & Electric Phone Directory. This directory has information on electrical plugs and telephones around the world. www.kropla.com.