Visa - Indian Tourist Visa
Please apply for a Tourist visa only! Purpose of your visit to India should be travel or tourism (yoga and ayurveda retreats in Rishikesh, visiting TAJ in Agra etc.). An invitation letter is not required for a tourist visa. Please do not mention that you will be joining a yoga course on your visa application form to avoid any complication. You cannot get a study or yoga visa by registering for our course.
Apply for your visa about a month prior to your departure. Your Visa will be valid as of the day of issue! For most countries a basic tourist Visa will get you a Visa that is valid for 6 month but do check with the Indian embassy in your country.
Before you book your flights!
Travel to Rishikesh takes by taxi about 6 hours and sometimes 8 (this is India time is flexible and very relative) and if you arrive at night and wish to stay in Delhi before you travel up to us please be mindful that you ought to arrive at least one day (24 hours) prior to your course start day! Orientation is on Sunday evening before your course starts. The pooja ceremony is an important part for you as well as us and we really would like you to be there. Accommodation with us is free of charge 2 days prior to you course start so make use of this option.
Upon departure please be aware that your graduation ceremony happens literally on your last course day and will last till approximately 9pm. After 6/12 weeks you will undoubtedly have become attached to your fellow students and you will regret if you have to leave in a hurry. Again we offer free accommodation for this additional night.
Travel to Rishikesh
Taxi: This may be the more expensive option but also the most convenient and for first time visitor to India probably the best way to get here. We can arrange the pick up for you and a round trip Delhi - Rishikesh return will cost $130 or $70 single way. This price will decrease should we be able to pair you up with someone else arriving roughly at the same time.
Train: You can also get a train to Haridwar which will take approximately 5-7 hours depending on the service you use. Fares vary from about 500 to 1200 rupees depending on the comfort you wish to travel in. Once in Haridwar you will still need to take a taxi to get to Rishikesh. We can organise taxi pick ups,which costs approx. USD 20, for you as long as you let us know your arrival time a few days ahead of time.
Bus: This is certainly the cheapest way to get here and may cost you as little as 500 rupees from Delhi.The travel time is estimated at 7 hours but it may take 10. However you will have to get to the correct bus station and most busses are overnight buses with a somewhat questionable comfort level even if they advertise AC and comfort class. On top of this it tends to be a lot more of a rocky ride then the taxi and would certainly not be advisable for people that get easily travel sick. Once the bus drops you in Rishikesh you will still have to get transportation to us in Ram Jhula and although not expensive may be more hustle than you want as it will be unlikely to get a tucktuck to take you all the way to us so you will have to walk the last 2km. You probably be able to get a porter to help you with your luggage but do not count on this.
• You need to arrive at IGI airport, New Delhi. Please be aware that once you leave the building after arrival you will not get back inside. If you think you missed your taxi, if you still have to change money be aware of this as public phones and foreign exchange are inside!
• January is the coldest month of the year. The days are pleasing and nights are cold. Suitable for pilgrimage visits but not the most ideal time for rafting as the water is very cold. The sky is partially clouded and mornings can be very foggy. Warm clothes are recommended for this period. Besides, care should be taken if travelling with old people or kids.
• February is pleasant with temperate climate. Days are pleasing but can be a bit cold. Sightseeing and adventure activities like trekking can be enjoyed. Temperatures starts to warm up from the end of the month and is dominated by lot of blue skies.
• March is moderately hot all through the days and nights. The atmosphere becomes moderate with cool breezes making it comfortable for tourist activities. This is the best time for enjoying rafting and other adventure sports. Also, a good time for learning Yoga in Rishikesh as the International Yoga Festival also takes place during this month.
• April has moderately hot climate. Days are favorable for outdoor activities. Temperatures begin to rise but still ranges within comfort zone and is ideal for tourist activities. The clear skies and plenty of sunshine make it ideal for indulging in water sports, especially white water rafting.
• Climate becomes a bit hot in May and is often referred to as the hottest month of the year. It may not be the best season but tourist visits are still possible. Adventurous sports like rafting and trekking are highly enjoyable during summer days.
• Weather becomes hot during June in Rishikesh and the month is considered as not the best time for visit. But religious activities can still be carried out if you like to. Ice begins to melt in the northern region, feeding the streams of Rishikesh. High level of water makes difficult for rafting.
• Monsoon sets in July and gives the required coolness to the atmosphere. Skies remain cloudy for most of the days which gives rise to humidity, but is not difficult to manage. Rafting is closed during monsoon but nature enthusiasts can enjoy the scenic beauty of the place. Carrying proper rain gear is recommended.
• August is the wettest month of the year in Rishikesh and rain lovers can enjoy their holiday. The days are warm and the evenings are pleasant. It may not be a good time for adventurous sports. However, the place looks very beautiful in rains and green environs can be enjoyed in monsoon.
• September is moderate and associated with intermittent showers. The month is ideal outdoor travels. Rainfall almost ceases at the end of the month and tourists can enjoy trekking trips to the nearby located region. The clear sky and sunshine helps in keeping the temperature within the bearable range.
• October offers mild post monsoon showers and the atmosphere becomes humid and cool. One of the best months to visit Rishikesh as the natural beauty is most ethereal. White water rafting, pilgrim tours and Yoga and meditation are a few activities tourists will love during this month.
• November is very pleasant and the ambiance is attractive. This month is perfect for enjoying indoor and outdoor tourist activities. Suitable for pilgrimage tours and adventure water sports like water rafting. Winters starts from the end of the month but plenty of sunshine in the regions keeps the climate cozy.
• In December, the days are pleasing and nights are cool. This month is ideal for outdoor activities as the days are pretty comfortable. Enjoyable time for taking up pilgrimage visits and adventure water sports like water rafting. Woolens might be required during nights. Tourists being accompanied by kids or aged need to exercise little more care.
• We try our best to provide varying food while providing you with a mostly sattvic diet. However it is hard to please everyone and eating for 6 weeks in the same place you may wish to go out and experience something new once in awhile. If you do please let reception know at least the night before if you are not going to dine with us so no food gets wasted. Also please be aware that eating out will increase your chances of getting sick. It is most likely unavoidable but make sure you do your best to stay save and make sure to use hand sanitizers when you go out. Vegan Food: We do not provide vegan food. Eggs and meats are not provided. One needs to coordinate with our chef to exclude certain food items (e.g. milk products, honey etc.) from their diet.
Things we will provide
• Your room with en-suite bathroom, 3 meals a day, filtered water any time you need it, your course book, yoga mat, neti pot, pen and notebook. You can also book massages and travel through us and generally asked us anything.
Things you can expect from us
• We are there for you and any queries you may have pretty much 24/7.
• If we do not know the answer to your question we will try and get it for you as soon as we can or point you to the right person.
• We will give 100% teaching you and being there to support you
• We will take on board any feedback you may have
Things we will expect from you
• That you try to give us your 100% as well.
• That you attend all class without fail unless you are ill.
• That you show dedication to your studies and let us know if anything is amiss with you or if you have any trouble understanding some parts of it.
• We are not yet mind readers so please insure to always come and find us and talk to us if you feel something is amiss.
• General: Think shoes! If you want to trek and even if you don’t take something along that is comfortable to trek in with you. India is Flip Flop country so you can always get those here. Yoga clothes of course and also some more practical and modest things to walk around town in and visit the local temples.
• Winter: Bring layers and many of them! Go all the way from simple t-shit/ tank top to heavy woolen jumper. The temperatures may not seem low on paper but do remember you will be in a place without the comfort of central heating or feather duvets and you will take your meals in the cafeteria which is outdoors. You will want clothing to stay warm indoors and out it might even be good to get some yoga socks so you don’t have to practice bare feet.
• Spring:The layer principle still applies but a hoodie and long trousers or skirt will be enough to get you through the cooler times of spring. During evening practice the yoga hall will already start to get pretty warm by the end of March so make sure to pack light yoga gear and again think in layers.
• Summer:Think cotton clothes or really anything that lets air though so try and stay away from synthetics. As this is India you can’t just strip off but within your yoga home spaghetti tops/ tank tops and ¾ length leg wear are not unreasonable. Do be mindful though that when venturing into town it is appropriate to cover shoulders (scarf all the way) and knees ideally. Also be aware that you can’t just swim in the Ganga in a bathing suite! So pack something that you don’t mind getting soaked in our holy river.
• Monsoon:Well it will get wet and humid so make sure to have footwear that reflects this for starters. Once the roads become rivers bare in mind that they aren’t as clean as what you may be used to at home so you may wish to have closed shoes with you as well as flip flops. Clothing wise the same as for summer but if you have a raincoat or small umbrella you may want to pack this too.
Other things you may need
• Toiletries (moisturising/body oil and conditioner are a must you can get most things here but if you are attached to particular brand bring them), bug spray, hygiene articles, hand sanitiser, a mobile phone for emergencies, any comfort article that you feel you can’t be without, hot water bottle if you arrive between November and February, in case of small cuts or blisters you may wish to bring plasters and antiseptic balm/spray/cream, things like tea tree oil may be useful too, alarm clock (unless you use your mobile), adaptor plug, anti diarrhea medication, travel towels, 1st Aid kit, torch (we do have power cuts in India a bit more frequently than in the west and the streets are not as well lit at night as you are used to also you want to be able to escape the experience of stepping into the cow droppings).
Things you don’t need .
• Nail kit, scissors, swiss army knife, castile soap (biodegradable all purpose soap), mosquito net, musical instrument (if you play one or any other item like poi), mp3 player, speakers, tarot cards, she wee, water purification tablets/drops if you intend to go trekking,
• Personal belongings: Your camera, laptop (any 300/500 hours attendees you may wish to bring one for sure as you may have to write longer assignments during your course), USB stick for file sharing, external hard drive with movies is always a good choice if you are likely to miss your home entertainment.
• Do NOT bring books you can buy all the yoga books really cheap in town! So make sure to leave space in your bag for them.
What to expect
• Daily schedule examples ONLY, these may change depending on season and any improvements that may have been implemented.
• 5.30am wake up
• 6am herbal tea
• 6.15am neti
• 6.30am - 8.30am Asana class
• 9am breakfast
• 10.30am - 11.30am Anatomy and Physiology
• 12 noon -1pm Philosophy
• 1pm lunch
• 2-5pm break
• 5pm - 7pm Asana class
• 7pm dinner
• 10pm (ish) lights out ideally
• 5.30am wake up
• 6am herbal tea
• 6.15am neti
• 6.30am - 8.30am Asana class
• 9am breakfast
• 10.30am - 11.30am Yoga Therapy class
• 11.30am -1pm self practice or join Philosophy class with the 200 hour people
• 1pm lunch
• 2-4pm break
• 4pm - 5pm Philosophy
• 5pm - 7pm Yoga Nidra, Meditation, Pranayama
Undoubtedly everyone's journey is different and everyone comes with different expectations but if you keep an open mind and try not to be too focused on what is written on a piece of paper but take in all the experience, talk to your teachers and the staff you will take so much with you from this.
• We are actually not in Rishikesh proper but in Ram Juhla which is one of the adjoining villages to Rishikesh. You will have everything you need here, temples, ashrams, restaurants, shops and so on. Ram Juhls is happily situated right next to mother Ganga and split by her into two parts connected by a rope bridge. The next village along is LaksmanJuhla which is also in easy walking distance. Just like Ram JuhlaLaksmanJuhla is split in two by the holy river Ganga. Both villages have a charm that is hard to describe but people are friendly and helpful all around.
Around the villages a lot of trekking can be done, there are some hidden waterfalls some you can walk to some you have to take a bus or taxi to. There is the famous Beatles Ashram just at the edge of Ram Juhla and several temples are dotted around both villages. Rishikesh itself is a rickshaw ride away and a 100 rupees will get you there easily. The best lassies are to be had at Papulassi, you can also enjoy a Bollywood movie at the local cinema and do your Sari and souvenir shopping here.
• Please pay the remainder of your course fee upon arrival at reception in USD, CAD, Euro or GBP. Traveler's check is also accepted. If you pay the fee with your credit card then 2% transaction fee will be applicable. ATM’s are freely available no more than 5-10 minutes walk from home. Some students however prefer to bring cash and exchange it at reception!
• If you want to pay the remainder fee online through Paypalbefore your arrival then 4.5% transaction fee will apply.
• You may not need money in order to be fed and watered by us but undoubtedly you will want to explore town, have the occasional meal out and of course go shopping so do budget for this. A cup of chai comes between 5 - 20 rupees, meals in restaurants vary but start around 100 rupees, juices and lassies are on average 70 rupees, you can buy a skirt for 150 - 350 rupee easily and a yoga mat bag will be around 150 rupees as well just to give you an indication.
• In Ram Jhula and LuxmanJhula you can get pretty lost in buying just about everything yoga. Books (which are a worthwhile purchase as many of them are not available outside of India or if they are they come with a stupidly huge price tag here you can get most books for around 250 rupees), yoga mats, yoga mat bags, clothing, CD’s, singing bowls, gems, jewelry to name but a few.
Things we do not provide
• Laundry services but we can point you in the right direction otherwise most of our students hand wash.
• Toilet paper but you can buy it round the corner at 20-25 rupees a roll.
• Drinks and food outside assigned meal times but there are plenty of corner shops and restaurants less than 5 minutes away.
What to bring
• 2 Passport size photographs
• Fee transfer receipt
• Copy of 200-Hour Certificate (for students registered for 300-hour TTC)
• Computer or tablet
• ATM Debit card (best exchange rate with ATM usually)
• Flashlight (torch) or headlamp
• 2 pairs of shoes…flip flops, multisport (running, walking, trekking)
• Necessary medications
• First aid kit (plasters, antihistamine, tweezers, thermometer, rehydrating drink packets with electrolytes)
• Clothes for cool evenings (only for October to February course)
• Raincoat (only for July and August course)
• Clothes for practice. There is no required uniform.
• Swimming clothes (women rest on the conservative side, so as to not draw unnecessary attention)
• Power convertor
• Cords to power electronic devices
• Side note that film streaming websites such as Netflix do not work in India
• Most importantly arrive with a flexible, open mind, ready to learn and understand. Almost everything you need (including the above items) is accessible for purchase here in Rishikesh: clothes, books, notebooks, cell phones, pens, toiletries. If you have specific needs, please don’t hesitate to ask.