If you are traveling to India for the first time, you may be wondering where to start to plan out the details of your travel. Here we share some initial tips which may be helpful. Once you register, our knowledgeable staff will provide you with additional information to assist with your planning.
Passport & Visa
You must have a valid passport and Indian Visa to enter India!
You will need to have a passport that is valid for a minimum of at least 6 months.
Download a Visa form with instructions and addresses for the Indian consulate in your area.
The Government of India has an online directory of the Indian Consulates around the world.
The name of this site is GOI Directory, to find it on line go to http//:goidirectory.nic.in
Please read the consular jurisdiction document so that you know from which consulate you need to get your Visa.
You will need to request a 6 month Tourist Visa or an ETV (Electronic Tourist Visa)
In order to get your Indian Visa you will need to provide 2 passport sized pictures (2”x 2”) of yourself along with your passport and the Visa application. (It is a good idea to keep a Xerox copy of your passport for your own records!) You will also need to provide a copy of your ticket. On the Visa application they ask for references in India – you may use our Hotel for this. If you hold a non-U.S. passport there are special instructions included with the Visa form.
If you cannot go to the Consulate in person to get your visa and you have to mail in the documentation, be sure to send it through a trackable service (Fedex or similar) and include an additional self-addressed, postage paid return envelope for the Consulate to return your passport to you.
Many independent companies offer Trip Insurance. If you choose to obtain such insurance, ensure that the policy has, as a minimum, high levels for Medical Expenses and Emergency Transportation, and coverage for cancellation due to a Travel Advisory issued by the U.S. State Department (many policies do not have this clause). You may research insurance policies online at www.insuremytrip.com
Try to pack as lightly as possible and remember to leave room for shopping. Most airlines allow you to check only two pieces of luggage and bring one small piece of hand luggage on international flights. However, check with the airline you are flying on to confirm their policy. It is good to have locks for your luggage once we are in India and on the road.
Money & Valuables
Leave your valuables at home. Only bring what you are willing to carry with you at all times.
The currency in India is the rupee. For the current exchange rate check an internet site such as www.x-rates.com. You should plan to use a credit card for most purchases in Delhi. (Some cards do not have a foreign transaction fee). You will need cash for donations at Gurdwaras and for shopping in Anandpur Sahib. You will have an opportunity to exchange currency at your hotel in Delhi.
While travelling, it is best to use a money belt to keep your currency, credit cards and passport safe.
Clothing & Packing List
India is a very modest society and it is appropriate to dress accordingly. November weather in Anandpur Sahib is in the range of 50-80 degrees farenheit. Women should dress modestly. (No tank tops, undershirts, low cut shirts, tight tee shirts, sheer shirts or pants, or short skirts.) If you can see any of your undergarments in any way, it’s inappropriate in India . Loose pants and tunics are perfect. It is optional to bring a long scarf that you can drape over your shoulders.
Please note that head coverings are required not only for meditating, but also for entering temples and Gurdwaras. It’s a good idea to bring a head covering that you’re used to and that will easily stay on your head.
In India shoes are taken off very frequently, so sandals and slip-ons are the most convenient footwear.
Travel as light as possible without depriving yourself of your needs. Here is a compiled list of things one might bring to India.
- Athletic shoes (if you want to do morning walks)
- Sandals or slip-ons
- Small locks for your bags
- Ear plugs, eye mask (helpful if you are a light sleeper in a shared room)
- Small flashlight
- Head covering (required in all Gurdwaras)
- Kleenex packets
- Sun protection, if needed (sunglasses, visor, sunscreen)
- Toiletries and sundries
- Plug adaptor for India if you are bringing electronics (check the voltage; it is 220v in India)
- Sweaters and shawls
- Medical supplies (if you prefer your own brands)
- Snacks (trail mix, power bars, granola and such)
- Water bottle
- Rain gear (small umbrella)
- Personal air filter device (“Air Tamer) to assist with smog if you are sensitive to air quality
- Notebook/ journal