Obtaining your VISA Visas are required for India and must be purchased well ahead of your trip. If you are staying in India for less than one month you can apply for your online visa 34 days before your tour starts. Click here for the visa website. Read and fill out your application very carefully.
Ensure your passport is active and does not expire within the time you will be in India.
For longer term visas find the Indian embassy closest to your city by checking online. The Indian embassy website will direct you how to get your visa.
Please note that it is important that you apply for a TOURIST VISA. Tourist Visas aregenerally valid for 6 months from the date of issue, so you should not apply for the visa any earlier then this. Follow the instructions on the website carefully. Fill in theapplication carefully. Apply for your visa at least 6 -8 weeks before your tour date to give them plenty of time to issue your visa.
IMMUNIZATIONS If this is your first trip to India, you may be worried about diseases. Contact your doctor or the Disease Control Center in the local hospital if you would like professional immunization advice.
For stomach issues please bring some suitable medicine or there is also good medicine in India for these issues.
Drink and brush your teeth with only bottled water and eat only in recommended places and protect yourself from excess sun.
PACKING LIST To understand the weather conditions during your tour please check this site (click).
Particular clothes, which can include:
Some warm clothing for Rishikesh especially if you are on a tour in October, November, February or March. While the daytime weather is pleasant the morning can be quite chilly and windy.
Modest light-weight summer attire
A couple pair of light pants
Three or four simple T-shirts
A sunhat for protection from the sun
A lightweight wrap for heavily air-conditioned buses or trains.
Women can bring or buy a few blouses and a couple of saris or long skirts ordresses. Although Shorts for women are inappropriate in India.
A pair of knee length shorts and a t-shirt for bathing in the Rishikesh Ganges (yes,it's clean up there) Please no bikinis.
A pair of worn in runners for doing some light trekking around Rishikesh.
Sandals that can be easily removed, Also bring a very cheap pair of sandals forwhen we visit temples. Monkeys like designer shoes and they trade them for bananas!
Over the counter diarrhea medication, as previously mentioned.
Sanitary hand wipes
A small flashlight
A water bottle carrier if you want. I always buy bottled water from the shops.
A lite shoulder bag to carry your things while on the bus, and a smaller fanny pack or purse to carry your valuables into the temples or while you shop, especially for women.
Some band aid bandages, a role of medical tape, and a tube of anti-septic ointment, just in case.
Don't forget your finger nail clippers, and any other small toiletries that you like,such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and razor & blades, or hair shampoo, yet these are readily available in India if you forget or run out
A money belt, or thin wallet to keep in your front pocket or under your shirt.
Make copies of your passport and visa, and your list of travelers checks, to keep in various places amongst your belongings.
Traveler's checks and enough cash, keep them in separate places. An ATM card is also convenient. There are often more ATM machines than banks who can cash traveler's checks, especially in smaller towns.
Sunglasses, and an extra pair of glasses.
An electrical adapter to change voltage for any appliances brought from Americato be used in India is also a good idea, like hairdryers, recharging batteries fordigital cameras, etc. they use 220 v over there.
Print out of your plane ticket
YOGA MAT ( If you are joining a yoga tour)
Travel Insurance We recommend you get travel insurance and there are many companies which offer it. Two companies that are well known and reliable are travelex and statravel
CURRENCY EXCHANGE Plenty of places to exchange money. In the airport most exchange places take commission and don't offer very good rates compared to places near our hotel. Never change on the blackmarket.
Tipping Many tour members ask about tipping so here are some guidelines. Tipping is a voluntary but common practice in India. Our guides and drivers have a short tourist season and the tips are a big help for them in the off season. If you are satisfied with the services it is typical for each tour member to offer anywhere between $6 - $20 per day. This amount can be given towards the end of the tour directly to your main guide who will divide the amount appropriately to the drivers and any other helpers. Tipping is voluntary and dependent on the inspiration of the tour member.
FOOD PRECAUTIONS Eat light when you first arrive. Drink and brush your teeth only with bottled water. Never eat street food. Eat only in places that your guide approves. Avoid salads, meat, chicken, fish and fruit that is not "wrapped". Enjoy the fine authentic vegetarian cuisine.
Avoiding Scams and Cheaters India has plenty of saints and plenty of cheaters. Don't be naïve. If you are in doubt ask your guide's advice. Keep your valuables safely. Wearing a money belt under your clothes is a good idea.
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion Bring a sun hat, sunglasses, drink sufficient pure water daily (at least 2 liters/daily).
The real India Please try to read a good guide book before your journey to prepare yourself for your journey and give you some idea of what to expect. India is a developing country and can be very challenging, raw, chaotic, and overcrowded. Don't expect things to be like in developed Western countries. Despite that it's a wonderful and deep place which offers the chance for unique and powerful experiences. We've got a great tour planned and if you come with a mood of adventure, some patience and the willingness to accept India on it's own terms you'll have the experience of a lifetime.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.