India Info Sheet & FAQ
Welcome:) This is an info sheet for our India Journey. Please read through and if you have any questions please email us at [email protected]
Journey Beginning Day + Time + Place
Our group journey and meeting is March 17, 2023 in Rishikesh, India. People will arrive at various times so I have not set the schedule for that day yet.
But plan to gather together for lunch and an afternoon meeting. There will also be dinner available and an evening program. So basically arrive as early as possible on March 17 or earlier!
End of Program.
We will conclude the program on the evening of the 31st in Chennai, South India. On the 31st we are traveling back to Chennai we will have a group dinner and final evening together. Many of the flights from India leave late at night or early in the morning. Your hotel will be covered on March 31 evening if you need it. There’s also a breakfast covered on the morning of April 1.
Documents Needed / Indian Visa **
You must have an electronic visa prior to entering India. India has an electronic visa system it is very simple with a short form to fill out takes up to 15 minutes. There’s a $79 fee and you will receive the visa within 3 to 5 days. You can also choose an expedited option that cost a little more but they will get it to you within one to three days. Do you have your visa keep a copy on your phone or print out that is easily accessible just so that you have it when you arrive in India.
Link to apply for Indian E- visa – https://indianvisaonline.gov.in
You must have a passport with six months validity. If you need a new passport there are expediting services that will expedite the passport usually within a week two weeks.
2 Copies of passport / important documents – Bring a copy with you and have access to electronic copies of your important documents.
Flight / Arrival Info
* International Flight to New Delhi on or by March 17th.
* Departure city will be Chennai in South India own April 1 or March 31st.
* Try to Arrive in India by early morning of March 17th or earlier. It takes about 20 + hours to get to India from USA. So you will need to leave on 15th or 16th.
* From Delhi, you will need to book a Domestic Flight to Dehra Dun. I do this separately. But you can book it all on one itinerary. Please want to leave enough time to arrive and go through customs in Delhi and either go to the domestic airport for a flight to Dehra Dun. Or I recommend to spend at least one night in Delhi just to acclimate and get over Jetlag. You can stay at an airport hotel very easy, I will help you coordinate.
• Dehra Dun TAXI Rishikesh – 45 minutes
Currently very good deals available round-trip tickets on good airlines for under $1000 in some cases $800 range. I have traveled on Turkish, Qatar, British Airways, emirates and all of those are good international flights. There are many others. I always try to read the reviews, but all of the major airline carriers are mostly the same. The international carriers tend to have better international service I have noticed than the American Airlines in general.
I recommend kayak, sky scanner, momondo etc. How many online travel services. I recommend using the one that you feel comfortable with already.
There are three domestic flights that will be a part of our journey together.
Flight 1 – New Delhi to Dehra Dun on or before March 17th – ( approx $40)
Flight 2 – Dehra Dun to New Delhi on March 22 – this is group flight, we will travel together.
I will email everyone who is joining the group exactly which flight to buy as we get closer. ( approx $40)
Flight 3 New Delhi to Chennai on March 25 (approx $80)
I will email everyone who is joining the group exactly which flight to buy as we get closer.
* The note, the Indian airlines baggage allowances tend to be lower than the US. So having a light check suitcase is a better idea for domestic flights. I recommend everyone travel light, there will be plenty of things you can buy on the trip. That said the baggage fees for extra weight are not that expensive.
Our group size will be between 10 and 15 people, myself included. I like to keep the group size is a little smaller so the experience is more intimate and it is easier to travel and get in and out of places.
Travel Support / Questions
As your guide to India, I’m always happy to help you with extra arrangements before or after your trip. It’s a great idea to arrive either a few days early or to stay onwards and I have some wonderful contacts there I can put you in touch with folks that help arrange travel professionally that I personally trust. And as things arise on the trip you can also ask me questions etc., usually things unfold in the way that they are meant to.
Trip Insurance / Travel Health Insurance
I recommend that everyone purchase trip insurance. A policy that also has travel health for any medical costs. In this day and age it is better to be safe, these policies are relatively cheap and you can buy a good amount of protection. So if there are any issues you will be covered.
Trip Cancellation / Refunds
Deposit is nonrefundable, but it is transferable to other programs that I’m doing. The principal payment is also not refundable but is transferable in case you cannot make the trip. With the advance costs etc. that are necessary, I cannot do refunds. But that being said I always work with all of the participants and where I can give you a refund in part I will and I will also give credit towards a future program or retreat as much as possible.
Cash to Bring
It is good to bring cash to India you get a better exchange rate with dollars. But it is also easy to get money from ATM machines and at the banks. Fairly easy anyway. You can also use international credit cards and debit cards, just make sure to notify your bank. I recommend credit cards because of the fraud protection just in case. It’s a little better protection that way.
Yoga Mat and Props
Please bring with you a lightweight travel yoga mat and any props that you need for practice. A simple cushion or blanket can be helpful too. There are also inflatable meditation cushions that are a little easier to travel with. Most of the places we are staying do not provide mats or props. There are mats available to buy in India but they’re usually not the best quality. But fine if you want to buy one while here and then either take it with you or donate it along the way.
Dress / Attire
One of the wonderful things about India is cheap loose fitting Indian clothing. I will take you on the first few days to some nice quality clothing stores where you can buy some clothing for the journey. there’s really no dress code in India except that for women entering temples they ask that the shoulders are covered. Usually a loose fitting shawl or wrap is enough.
Modest dress for everyone is encouraged. That said there are some wonderful Indian clothing items that you may want to purchase for dress up!
Phone / Wifi
I recommend purchasing an international plan or at least calling the phone carrier that you are with to figure out what their international rates are. Pretty much everywhere we go has Wi-Fi and so you can always get on line. It’s also possible to get a cheap Indian SIM card while you are there which has very cheap international calling rates. But is often more hassle than it’s worth. If you save your phone calls for Wi-Fi time makes it much easier.
WhatsApp is a great way to keep in touch with other people as well as communicate with me for the retreat.
Health / Vaccinations
India does not require any vaccinations at this time and there are no requirements for the trip. I personally have not received any vaccinations to travel to India over the last 30 years. But I advise everyone to empower themselves, talk to their healthcare providers and make choices that are the best for them. It is always a good idea to boost your immune system bring extra supplements and be mentally and physically prepared for your journey to India.
We ask everyone to practice cultivating and sharing a positive mental, spiritual attitude or Bhava on this trip. Being kind, respectful and caring towards all that we meet and encounter. This also begins with ourselves.
Focus of the Trip
This is a spiritual tour and cultural immersion. It is also an adventure. We will be traveling through i and there are sometimes challenging moments that we account encounter, delays etc. but my experience is always amazing. So please know that this is a Third World country, we will travel very comfortably and we will eat in healthy restaurants with good clean Food and I’ll take care of you to the best of my ability.
What to expect / A typical day on our Journey
This will be an adventure, much will be planned, much will be spontaneous. Keep an open mind and heart for an amazing experience. A typical day of the Tour is like this …
~ Morning Yoga, Meditation + Mantra Practice
~ Morning Excursion Adventure ( i,e. Beatles ashram, Ganga river, temple, etc,.) ~ Lunch / rest, free time
~ Afternoon program / excursion ( visit with a teacher, shopping, sightseeing, Children’s Home or Seva opportunity)
~ Evening Program ( Kirtan, Discussion, Satsangh)
Laundry – There will be laundry facilities available at the different hotels we stay at. Usually takes a few days. Send out when we get there. This will be at your own cost. You can also wash in your room and dry if there is time. Easy hand wash in the shower is good.
Seva means service. During our trip will be visiting different charitable groups that we are affiliated with. You will have the opportunity to donate something to each group, please wait until we let you know the best way and time to do that.
Food & Water
Dear has amazing food. I will always make sure that our group eats at healthy clean restaurants where the food is prepared with Westerners in mind. In general street food is not good and you have to be careful with water, especially brushing your teeth. But if you do brush your teeth with tapwater, don’t freak out. It’s not the end of the world. Just take extra precautions. I have done it many times and it’s fine. But generally just get in the habit of using bottled water. Bottled water is easy to buy in India. And you always just make sure the seal is intact.
There is also a great variety of food in India besides Indian food so we will explore an experiment. And you will figure out quickly what you like :)
What to Bring
Pack Light and bring a suitcase with some room for your new Indian clothes and shopping items!
* Travel yoga mat
* Money Pouch/ waist pack – Carry passport, documents and cash close to your body in a money belt (not a fanny pack !) or neck pouch inside the clothes.
* Day pack / Backpack
* Sun / Hat
* Shawl or covering for women ( women are required to cover shoulders in temples) – you can buy one of these easily in India.
* Flashlight, small lock for suitcase is good.
* Travel Adapter / surge protector
* Earplugs + Eyebag for restful sleep
* Neck support for plane ride and bus rides
* Journal and pen
* Four to Five days worth of clothes should be good, a sweater or hoodie, jacket, cotton pants shirts that you can easily get around and feel comfortable with.
There will be plenty of places to shop in India. Clothes are good and cheap.
* Bring a warm jacket, a light down jacket and sweater are good. North India can be a little cold in March. Temps in the 50’s at night and possible lower.
* Travel toiletry bag
* Book – A book is a great travel companion. There are also some wonderful bookstores in the places we are going. And books are cheap in India.
* Extra glasses or contacts. If you were contacts bring enough saline solution for the whole trip.
* Health supplements, vitamins – I recommend some good immune system support things like oregano oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, kick ass immune, wellness formula etc. I also recommend grapefruit seed extract and pro and pre-biotics. You can start taking the probiotics before your journey. Good greens supplement like Spira Lena chlorella or multigrain formula is also good. You won’t be eating too many fresh vegetables in India.
* Xylitol nasal spray or colloidal silver. These are a personal recommendation by me for airline travel. Xylitol has been shown to be effective against viruses as has colloidal silver.
* A mini First aid kit / band aids anti-diarrheal medicine, benadryl, clippers, pain deliver / fever reducer/ Natural Disinfectant Wipes, hand sanitizer, mosquito repellent without DEET, tea tree oil to always carry in bag, Para-Guard.
ANY MEDICINE THAT YOU NEED TO TAKE- BRING EXTRA !
Double Check / TRIPLE CHECK – 24 hours before your departure for India.