Remember, whatever you experience or see, you were supposed to.
And this is the most important teaching of the *practice* of going to India.
and, from a poster at a monastery in Bodhgaya:
“Travel Teaches Tolerance”
and, from Swami Sivananda:
“Adapt, Adjust, Accommodate. This is the Highest Yoga.”
If you need even MORE information than this, go get yourself a copy of THE LONELY PLANET or ROUGH GUIDE for more details.
You need one. And a passport. Get a TOURIST visa. NEVER get a YOGA or STUDENT visa, much much hassle at embassies, etc.
On your Visa you need:
1. Usha Devi
Swami Omkarananda Saraswati Marg,
249 192 Muni-ki-reti, Dist. Tehri Garhwal
2. use your own, or contact me if you need one.
DIGITAL CAMERA & ELECTRONIC DEVICES
I travel with a digital camera. It is now easy to download your pictures, but I have not done it myself in Rishikesh, only in larger cities. Buy a very large memory card and maybe you won’t need to download until you get on your own computer. Myself, I download my pics to my iPod with a Belkin Attachment.
For your other electronic things you will need to get a 2 prong PLUG adapter. You can find the appropriate one in Delhi or other main markets. India is 220 volt, but most battery chargers work on it. You just need to change the plug type. You can also buy this in the Airport in Europe or in the states.
We travel with a portable camping water pump filter, but we travel for 3 months, and 3 months of plastic bottles for 2 people is quite frightening. If I was traveling on a short trip, I’d just drink Indian bottled water. It’s safe enough. The water at the Yoga Hall is super filtered, and I have drunk it from the tap. Engineered by Germans coming from the center of Ganga.
Train from Delhi to Haridwar and connection to Rishikesh
Shatbdhi express, which is a 4 hour “AC Chair Car” trip, directly to Haridwar. (Appx $25, breakfast included) Then you take a shared “auto” rickshaw to Rishikesh, appx Rs. 350. This part is a bit of a hassle at the Haridwar train station. The easiest way to do it is to look for other foreigners on the train, and ask them if they are going to Rishikesh and do they want to share a ride. You REALLY have to be strong with the auto guys, as they are very pushy, etc. But sharing IS allowed. You need to get off at the RAM JHULA PARKING LOT, right by the SIVANANDA ARCH. They know where it is. There will be a switch of autos (you get into a different one) at a place we call “chicken town”… just usual driver politics/policies. Don’t be freaked by it. Omkarananda Ganga Sadan is right by the parking lot. Ask any cafe owner, and they will point you in the right direction.
TAXI SERVICE in and to Rishikesh
YOU NEED TO ARRANGE THIS YOURSELVES.
Better to have one person do the arranging if you are coming as a group, preferably the first person that is arriving at the airport. That way the “sign” will have YOUR name on it, and then you can help identify the other passengers arriving.
Triveni Travels/ Mr. Buta Ram is super reliable. Has never failed my friend, a resident of India, (not even late) in 8 years. He has the newest cars and best (safest) drivers.
Arrangements for Airport Pick up can be done by email.
SHOP NO.-01,HARIDWAR ROAD
Contact: Contact – Mr. Buta Ram (Owner)
Harsh (His Son)
@ Rs. 2400/- From Delhi International Airport to Omkarananda Gita Sadan.
@ Rs. 400/- From Haridwar Railway Station to Omkaranada Gita Sadan.
0091-135-2430989-2432989 (Outside India)
0135-2430989-2432989 (From Delhi & Other Cities in India)
Visit us at www.triveniindia.com
http://www.shantimayi.com/rishikesh.htm (a picture of Mr. Buta Ram)
rates are out of date. These rates came from Buta Ram directly 1/11/06
The currency in India is Rupees. Change at least $200 at the Airport Money Change Counter (there are 2, both are ok) when you arrive in India. This is the easiest way to do it. Carry Travelers Checks- American Express is best and most accepted. They and cash (large, clean $100 bills the best) at shops and some banks in Rishikesh. There is an ATM that work with foreign accounts in Rishikesh now. ATMS also work fine in Delhi. Use the big banks: HSBC, Grinleys, Citi, etc. You will need to pay for your guest house and the yoga course in rupees. I’m not sure about the Taxi. Probably. There is no lock up safe at the guest houses, so be wary of how you flash your money around. If you are staying at a larger hotel you can pay with your credit card.
Rishisikesh is not Bombay, so please dress appropriately and respectfully. There are many western tourists and kids here, but please ladies stay somewhat covered. Bare soulders are ok, but spagetti straps aren’t ok in public. Wear a bra at all times. Bras are required in the Yoga Studio. And guys must wear underwear in the yoga studio too! (I’ve had to require it! yikes!) You can wear yoga shorts in the studio, but have a wrap to cover your legs when in the lobby. Salwaz Kamiz (Indian dress and Pant outfits) are available in all shops for comfort and cover. Longish skirts and t-shirts are fine, or light weight pyjama type pants. It will be warm.
Like $, be sensible and not flashy. This isn’t Bombay or NYC. Keep a low profile. Leave super valuables at home. There are nice places to buy jewelry in Rishikesh.
Please visit the cdc’s web site for the official recommendations:
I confir with getting Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetatnus-diptheria shots.
Your choice on malaria medicine. I do not personally take it.
Bring a DEET insecticide. Citronella types haven’t worked for me with Indian mosquitos.
Good, satvic, clean food is available at Omkarananda Ganga Sadan. It must be ordered in advance so the ladies can make enough of it. Lunch is Rice, chapatti, dal (beans of some kind) and a vegetable (cooked with sauce, not steamed). These are guest houses, not restaurants. Rishikesh is a VEGETARIAN and a DRY TOWN, although eggs can be found on the sly. Right at the Ram Jhula Parking Lot are two VERY good tourist cafes, where food is made to order. Soups, Green Pasta, pancakes, noodles, fruit salad, ice cream, apple pie, etc. Indian food is also available in the area. A big lunch costs about Rs. 50, just over a dollar. Rupees only.