Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
- Conservative Yoga clothes: While at the ashram you will need to cover up down to your elbows and knees. While in the New Year’s Yoga Immersion at the ashram they will ask us to wear white.
- Think about thin layers for warmth like smart wool or other types of thin layers.
- Camera & Chargers so you can keep these memories fresh
- Journals and your favorite writing implement
- Any travel goodies, prescriptions or specific requirements you may have
- Rain jacket just in case.
- Comfortable walking shoes which are easy to slip in and out of. Holy sites in India are entered without foot ware.
- There will be opportunity to buy scarves, kurtas, and other Indian clothes to accent what you bring with you while there.
India has an old unique culture which is important to respect if you want to get the most out of it. It is therefore very important to follow the Indian dress code: women: cover legs and shoulders and you should not wear deep cut t-shirts. Men should not wear shorts in the temples. When traveling you may dress more western but women must always cover their legs from the knees and up. A shawl to cover the shoulders is also fine.
WHERE TO FLY INTO/TRAVEL INFO
Plan to arrive at New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport by the evening of December 27/ early morning hours of December 28th. Depending on where you’re traveling from, your arrival date may differ from your departure date. You may cross the dateline and may need to plan your international flight 2 days prior to the date of arrival.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
January as one of the best months to visit India due to its pleasant temperatures and low precipitation. The temperatures can vary largely between the day and night. Be prepared for a maximum of 30° C/86° F and a minimum of 15° C/60° F. Sometimes even lower. Best you pack for any circumstances.
CAN I ARRIVE EARLY OR STAY LATER THAN THE RETREAT?
Yes. Contact us and let us know when you want to arrive or leave, and we’ll be happy to give you suggestions in making arrangements that best suit your vacation.
WHAT IF I’VE NEVER DONE YOGA?
No need to be intimidated. Everyone has to start somewhere and we provide a comfortable, supportive environment where you can feel safe.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE TRIP?
- New Years retreat at holy banks of Ma Ganga in the lap of the majestic and sacred Himalayas.
- Daily Yoga with Kari or local Master Teacher
- Darshan/satsang with Pujya Swamiji and Sadhvi Bhagwatiji
- 14 nights of accommodations at an ashram, family house, and hotels
- Breakfast and dinner included (except on some travel days)
- Transportation to and from all the destinations on our trip
- Tour of temples with experienced guide
- All classes and activities are optional
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN THE trip?
- Airfare to Delhi
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- Ayurvedic Spa Treatments
- Offering at temples and gratuities
- Alcoholic Beverages
ARE THE ELECTRICAL OUTLETS THE SAME AS NORTH AMERICA? DO I NEED TO BRING AN ADAPTER?
No, you will not need an adapter if you are travelling from North America, as electrical outlets are North American.
WHAT CURRENCY SHOULD I BRING AND HOW MUCH? IS THERE AN ATM OR BANK CLOSE BY?
If it makes you feel better bring some rupees with you. There are places to exchange money at the airport. Or, some find it easiest to take rupees out at the ATM at the airport upon arrival. There is also easy access to an ATM in Rishikesh as well.
DO I NEED VACCINATIONS? DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MALARIA?
Talk to your doctor about recommended vaccinations and/or prescriptions to prevent hepatitis, typhoid, polio, malaria and food- and water-borne illness. You can also learn more at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
IS THE WATER DRINKABLE?
The ashram has filtered water for us to refill our bottles. In India if not at the ashram, bottled water is best. Always check when opening the bottle that you are breaking the seal.
WILL I NEED TO GET A VISA?
Visa is required and you should apply for visa 3 weeks before your arrival in India. You may apply earlier but notice that the 3 or 6 months visa period starts the date of issue. You must apply for tourist visa
DO I NEED INSURANCE?
We recommend TRAVELGUARD, which offers a variety of travel insurances, including the option for a comprehensive “cancel for any reason” policy. If you cancel your retreat – for any reason – your airfare, hotel, retreat costs, etc. up until 48 hours prior to travel, will be covered. This comprehensive package is called the “Gold Package Cancel for Any Reason Policy”. You must contact Travelguard and purchase the policy within 15 days of buying your airline tickets or incurring any costs for any part of your travel. You can also just insure your air tickets. Travelguard can give you quotes for each scenario.
CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE MY DIETARY RESTRICTIONS?
We want you to thoroughly enjoy your stay with us, and that includes dining experiences. Please contact us prior to arrival so we can best accommodate your needs.
DOES THE STAFF SPEAK ENGLISH?
IF I WANT TO TIP/OFFERING, HOW SHOULD I DO SO?
This depends on the hotel or restaurant. The Shanti Home in Delhi has special receptacles in the lobby and restaurant as all tips are shared among staff. A donation can be made in the main office at the ashram. There are usually either offering bowls or boxes at the temples. If you have a question about this ask Kari. It’s best not to offer money to children or people on the street unless you want to be completely surrounded. There are charities we can make offerings to if you want to help people while at the ashram.
CAN I DO LAUNDRY?
Yes, many of the places we stay offer a laundry service at an additional charge.