OM SHANTI OM: Join me on this sacred journey that will transform your life. My first trip to India certainly changed mine! I offer YSS ashram stays with a mix of hotel and home stays. And if Ashrams are too challenging for your comfort level, you can opt for the 3, 4 & 5 star hotels to suit your pocketbook, while we pilgrimage to Guruji's shines of the Autobiography of a Yogi. India is changing fast. The architecture from Masters day is crumbling and replaced with a modern look. Experience the original India before it disappears. Pilgrimage is limited to 3- 4 devotees. Traveling in India can be challenging with sights of severe poverty, mass crowds, & interesting fragrances. It is the unpredictable country! Do your best to relax, flow with an open heart and you will have a most wonderful time. Itinerary may change due to circumstances and acts of GOD! God is very active in India. India runs on its own time, but as they say it all works out in the end. Set your intentions and the universe works to create them with you, always. God and Guru are constantly blessing this realm. I thank Them.
RESERVATIONS: Please fill out the medical statement and liability wavier and send them in with your deposit of $1,500. You can email email@example.com for the forms.
ACCEPTANCE: $500. of the deposit will be nonrefundable, in the event of cancellation for any reason.
CANCELLATIONS: Regarding cancellations for any reason, no refunds will be given after the pilgrimage start date.
TRAVEL INSURANCE & INNOCULATIONS: You are urged to get travel insurance and consult with a travel Physician for recommended health information. Ask you doctor how to remedy motion sickness if that is a concern for you. It is up to you to decide what you need. I advise not to over medicate yourself! Moderation and wisdom plus education.
TARA is acting as your pilgrimage coordinator only, with regard to itinerary, transportation, and accommodations. She will, of course, exercise every possible care for your safety, but we cannot be held responsible for personal injury, property damage, or inconvenience caused by the air carriers or the suppliers of any services being offered on the pilgrimage. We are not responsible for delays, accidents, or changes that occur due to events beyond our control.
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES: It is my pleasure to be your tour leader and will be with you for the designated pilgrimage dates while in India. Any departures from the itinerary for any reason will be the sole responsibility of the guest. You must follow the direction of the tour leader at all times. This is for the safety of yourself and others.
ASHRAM INFO: You must be a SRF lesson student to stay at the SRF/YSS ashrams. Hotel tours and Sacred Shirne's tours you do not need to be a lesson student. But read the Autobiography of a Yogi. It will make your trip all the better. Steve Job's favorite book!
Visiting Temples and Ashrams
When in our ashrams or visiting places of worship and mausoleums there are certain Indian religious customs to be observed. As a token of respect, it is customary to remove your footwear before entering all temples (a pair of light socks is useful if you prefer not to go barefoot; these also protect your feet from bites!). In our YSS ashrams, conservative dress is required. No see thru attire or shorts. They are not really acceptable. When we shop for clothes I can advise you. Remember you can get almost all your clothing needs when you arrive!
TOUR COST INCLUDES: Personal consultations for trip preparation in person or email and phone. Also included while in India: accommodations, all meals, entry fees, transportation in India, & portage. All accommodations on Twin Sharing Basis in ashrams, paying guest homes, and/or hotels. Single supplement will apply if no room mate is available.
TOUR COST DOES NOT NOT INCLUDE: International Airfare unless specified. Some prefer to use their airfare miles. Do inform me about your arrivals and departures for coordination arrangements...I prefer to use Singapore air. Lock in your tour cost. These prices are based on seasonal market trends. Prices are subject to change without notice.
ALSO NOT INCLUDED: Travel insurance, passport-visa fees, any departure from the itinerary, any medical or emergency care, personal gratuity, personal expenses as extra temple ashram donations, laundry, internet, gifts, medicines, etc and any other expenses not specified as included in the nature above.
Our 2013 Sharad Sangam tour, October-November, All meals are included, as well as all travel between destinations. This pilgrimage is limited to only 4 Kriyaban devotees. Small, private travel is the way to go in India! Sign up before August 15. Call me.
Our 4 & 5-Star Hotel stays Ashrams are not for everyone. Everyone is in a different place at different times of our lives. Ashrams & India can be challenging to first time visitors. It is a beautiful country but has the duality of poverty on many levels. During our day we can visit the ashrams, have meditations in Master's sacred shrines than retire in Taj group hotels and or Starwood $250 -$350 off season . Oberi and Leela group off season begin at $600 per night and take the experience to another level. See the Hotel Page. Visit India as a Raj and Maharini. These tours are priced individually and created within your budget for an exclusive itinerary.They are based on Market trends - India gives an interesting choice of duality!
The 4 Char Dhams Yatras are sacred destination temples, in Badrinath (valley of flowers), Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri. 20 days, available April through September weather permitting. Landslides are not uncommon, and hotel conditions are basic. Not recommended for those prone to motion sickness This is more of a camping pilgrimage. It is not a easy path, but a sacred journey-rewarding if you are in the devotional frame of mind.
Private tours of one person to SRF/YSS ashrams and ancient holy sites, with a mix of ashram stays, private home stays, Starwood & Taj Hotels ( Tour may be higher in winter) Discuss you needs for your personal journey.CALL ME!
Ashram tours are available year-round.
You must have a valid visa to travel to India. Apply now at Travisa
If you wish to travel with me, please email me to request a registration form.
Good Advice for your India Experience
Tara at your service
India . . . where do you begin to give advice on such a vast sub-continent that’s a world all its own, with over 415 living languages, and multiple climates and cultures. So before we embark on our journey, it is auspicious to check out a few facts to make your stay there as comfortable as possible. For your convenience, we have provided you with links to sites you can visit for more detailed information.
The following information is correct and valid at the time of publication, to the best of our knowledge. This advice is a genuine effort on our part to make your stay as pleasant as possible, but we regret we cannot accept any responsibility for any changes to the advice or information given.
We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase adequate trip cancellation and interruption, medical, and baggage insurance, and carry the details of their coverage with them on tour. You may wish to check first with your own private insurance carrier regarding the terms of your coverage (or lack of coverage) outside your home country, including emergency medical evacuation.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travelling to India, although it is strongly recommended that you protect yourself during travelling against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Cholera, and Malaria and Dengue fevers. (Don’t be scared, be educated!) We advise you to consult your doctor, and allow at least 4 weeks before the date of travel for all medical advice.
Here is what I personally do to protect myself in India. I take Grapefruit seed extract and Triphala everyday while in India. Triphala supports my overall health. (In fact I take it all the time wherever I am.) In India I stock up on it, and use the Himalayan Herb brand.I have an up-to-date Tetanus shot. I lived in India for 4 months last year. This is my personal experience. Do what you trust!
At times I wear a mosquito net like a shawl when I meditate. It frees you from the worry of getting bit, and you are able to sit in peace. (Unless you are free from mosquito consciousness!) Take mosquito repellent.
Passports are required for all travellers. Get the full 10-year passport! You’ll be returning to India soon, and I give discounts to loyal clients and referrals. Make sure your passport is valid at least 6 months beyond your planned return date of tour. Passports may be obtained by post from any Passport Office located in the traveller’s home country, and also through main post offices. Visas are required in advance of travel for entry into India.
Visa for India
The Indian Embassy and Consulates in the US have outsourced the Indian visa processing to Travisa. Travisa requires travellers to complete the visa application online and mail the application (via FedEx) with passport and photos to Travisa directly.
India is a vast country with complex seasonal and geographical variations in climate. Generally, the best time to spend your vacation in India is during the months of October through April. The Monsoon season can start in mid-May and continues through to the end of August. Most of the game sanctuaries of India are closed during the Monsoon period. During the summer months of May and June the lower plains of the South and the desert areas of the North are very hot, either dry in the North or humid in the South; while the hills and mountain regions provide a cool sanctuary.
Comfortable Clothes in India
Keep cool in the Indian sun with cotton clothing, along with a comfortable pair of open sandals. Sunglasses are a necessity. In the cooler months, you will require some warm clothes such as light sweaters or shawls for the evenings. (Do not pack a lot of clothes, we will shop for most of your clothes upon arrival, you will be so happy you don’t have all that extra baggage. See our testimonial page!) In the mountain regions of India you will require warmer clothes. As it can sometimes warm up during the days, layers are always a good option along with comfortable walking shoes.
Indian cities are bustling and exciting, and in most areas, quite safe. There is little danger of being mugged on the streets here, but don’t be offended if the locals stare at you; the Indians are friendly and hospitable people, and just curious. Almost all city-dwellers speak and understand English, and you will find all the street and shop signs in English as well. Should you get lost, the local people are so obliging that often you’ll find they will not only give you directions, but walk you all the way to your destination!
With the exception of inside the Taj Mahal, the airports, and other restricted areas, you may photograph to your heart’s content; although many popular sites will levy an additional charge for the use of your camera, and a video camera may cost a little more. It’s just their way!
Cabs and Cars and Rickshaws
The majority of hired cars are chauffeur-driven in India. Hiring a taxi is no problem and quite reliable. Always (and I did I say ALWAYS) settle the fare before you set off.
Gratuities & Tipping
This is entirely at your discretion. However, the following may be helpful. If service is not included in the bill, 10% is usually the accepted amount. Hotel and railway porters will expect about 50 rupees for one piece of luggage and about 200 rupees for a trolley full. At the end of your stay if you wish to tip your sightseeing guide and driver, an acceptable amount for the guide would be approximately between 400 – 500 rupees per day; and for the driver, it would be approximately between 200 – 400 rupees per day.
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travellers cheques you may bring into India. For safety and convenience we would advise that you take the majority of your money on a debit card. It is advisable to change your money through authorized ATM’S banks and hotels. The units of Indian currency are: Paper money comes in the denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 rupees and coins are available in 1, 2, and 5 rupees. All major credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants and government shops, as are travellers cheques in US dollars .
How to Eat in India
Avoid eating spicy foods when you first arrive in India, however tempting. Allow your system at least a day or two to get used to them, introducing one Indian dish with each meal for the first couple of days. After that it is best to stick with cooked foods, and remember to peel fruit before eating it. The best drinks to enjoy with your meals or to quench your thirst are the bottled mineral waters, other bottled drinks, coffee, and Chai. The water from the purifiers in the ashrams of YSS and Parmath Niketan in Rishikesh are fine. If in doubt, ask me. I may come over to you and say “what are you thinking? Put that down!” I do take care of you!
Shopping in India is FUN. Please note that bargaining is common in India. You must try it and smile as you do it! In Government Emporiums the prices are generally fixed.
Travelling by Road – Seat Belts
It is mandatory that all passengers/guides wear seat belts if driving in the front seat of a car. Long journeys : Motion sickness remedies are advised if you have a motion problem.
India is a developing country with an enormous and growing population. Social and economic development continues apace, and tourism income undoubtedly has had its part to play. But you will certainly experience many of the inescapable symptoms of poverty during your tour, some of which can be shocking to western eyes. For obvious reasons, beggars will be attracted to tour parties, but we would ask that you do not give to them. Many of the beggars will be operating “professionally,” and regardless of this, giving to them simply perpetuates the practice.
The electric current in India is 230-240V and electricity is widely available in the main towns, cities, and tourist destinations. Sockets are the three-round-pinned variety, similar (but not identical) to European sockets. European round pin plugs will go into the sockets, but as the pins on Indian plugs are somewhat thicker, the fit is loose and a connection not always guaranteed.
Prices and itinerary are subject to change without notice. ALL information is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief. It is current at the time of publication. We regret we cannot accept any responsibility for any changes on advice or information given. The advice given is a genuine effort on our part to make your stay as pleasant as possible.