Do I need a visa to travel to India?
Yes. Citizens of the U.S., Canada and most Europeans countries require a Visa to travel to India. You can obtain a visa through Consulate General of India. The web address for New York Consulate is https://www.indiacgny.org/pages.php?id=36. Please, note that we strongly recommend using a private visa expediting service like TraVisa (www.travisa.com) to obtain your visa as the process through the Indian consulate is convoluted, long and often unreliable. Please, do not make your travel arrangements until you have your Visa.
If the Visa application asks why you are going to India or you have a Visa interview, indicate travel and tourism as your reason for requesting a Visa. Do not indicate you are going for training, schooling, or education as that will engage you in the incorrect Visa process. The same goes when clearing customs in India; indicate travel and tourism as your reason for visiting India. Use the following if asked for contact information for the Visa:
Name: Hotel Jaipur Inn
Address: Laxmanjhula, Rishikesh
District: Pauri Garwhal
Can I get a visa on arrival at New Delhi?
The answer is maybe. Relatively new regulations allow certain foreign tourists to obtain a Visa on arrival at Delhi airport. These regulations are new, confusing and untested. As many airlines will refuse you boarding without a valid Visa, we strongly urge you to obtain a Visa before traveling to India.
What about immunizations?
The decision on whether to get immunizations and which ones to get is between you and your doctor. We strongly advise you to speak with your physician and/or with a travel physician to determine what is best for you.
What is the weather like?
In November during the day, it is generally sunny and warm (between 70F-80F). Between sunset and sunrise, the temperature dips to around 50F. Occasionally, it may rain, though rain is relatively rare outside the Monsoon season (August – September).
Do I need to worry about altitude sickness?
We will mostly be at altitudes of 5,000 feet and below. At no time will we be going about 10,000 feet.
What should I pack?
Layers of light, washable travel clothes, bathing suit, comfortable walking/hiking shoes, yoga/exercise clothes, one or two sweaters for colder nights/mornings, one or two light jackets, sunglasses, toiletries, hats, underwear, sanitary products, journal, and camera equipment. As we will be in a relatively rural and conservative area, please avoid clothing that is too revealing and clothing with any provocative or offensive branding or wording on it.
What is the time difference?
India is 10 1/2 hours ahead of the East Coast U.S. Thus, you lose time on the way there and gain it when you return.
Is it safe?
Northern India is one of the safest areas in India for Westerners. Of course, as anywhere in the world, you must exercise common sense. From our experience, the two greatest threats to visitors to India are chaotic traffic and water. Everywhere you walk you have to keep alert for foot, animal, motorcycle, bicycle, and vehicle traffic. When it comes to water, tap water is not safe for drinking. We recommend always having a water bottle with you and avoiding all foods such as raw fruits and vegetables from street sellers which might have come in contact with tap water. Another thing to be mindful of is the bathroom facilities. To be delicate, some toilets in India leave much to be desired. We recommend always having some bathroom tissues and hand sanitizer with you.
What can I expect at the Sattva Center?
Sattva Center is a majestic place located in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is a 4-star resort that has simple, modern and comfortable amenities. All rooms have private bathroom and shower, safe, air conditioning and either a single king bed or two queen beds. Some rooms have balconies. Sattva Center also has a pool, Ayurvedic Spa, Cafe, and a Gift Shop. There is 24-hour per day security and on-site English-speaking manager who can assist with any questions, concerns or bookings.
What about the food?
Chefs at the Sattva Center serve three wholesome, fully vegetarian meals per day. The food is prepared in Indian style and is moderately spiced. Please, contact us if you have any dietary restrictions which require accommodation. Please, note that by law businesses in this region of India are prohibited from serving meat and alcohol.
Will we be going to the Taj Mahal and other famous tourist sites in India?
We will not be traveling to the Taj Mahal or any other major tourist attractions outside the greater Rishikesh area. If you would like to visit the Taj Mahal and/or any other sites, we can put you in touch with a travel agent who can help you arrange a visit. You will be responsible for all charges associated with your visit.