Yes you need a tourist visa to visit India. The visa normally lasts for six months from the date issued. It is reasonably straightforward and in the UK it takes about 3-4 days to process. In the US it can take several weeks.
There is also a new “visa on arrival” service. DO NOT use this, as it is only good for a 30-day visa.
You will not need much money for general living expenses while in Rishikesh.
Most meals are included in the cost of your training. Special meals in local restaurants are paid separately by you. You will have some time to enjoy food (and chai!) at the local cafes and restaurants.
You will also need some spending money for clothes shopping, incidentals and buying gifts. Approximate costs are in the range of £100-£200 ($125-$250) for some basic clothes. It is possible to get cash from ATMs in Rishikesh and we recommend you change some money in New Delhi Airport.
Also plan on tipping our Ashram hosts and staff at the end of the training.
Approximately £400/$500 should cover you for the entire time.
Don’t bring too much. We’ll be shopping Rishikesh for comfortable and appropriate Indian-style clothing.
It is going to be very cool when we arrive. You should bring plenty of thermal underwear and warm socks. Also hats and light gloves and other clothes to bundle up in.
By the time we depart in April, the temperature will be very pleasant however it can get quite hot in the afternoons (20-35 Celsius/ 68-95 Fahrenheit). You’ll be fine with your India gear. We recommend you bring sunglasses, sunscreen and a sun hat.
Because we are staying in an Ashram, we will be dressing in a traditional and conservative way. For women this means long sleeves, pants and skirts. Guys should opt for the traditional dhoti and kurta (they look like pajamas and are very comfortable). Again this all can be purchased in Rishikesh.
For rounding, you may wish to bring Western yoga gear. This will be fine in your room but not appropriate for around the Ashram.
You do not need to bring bedding for the Ashram. Towels will be supplied, however you may wish to bring your own as well. If you forget to bring any of your toiletries there is a wide selection available in the shops.
Accommodation at the ashram is very basic but comfortable. There are western style beds and each room has it’s own bathroom with toilet and shower.
India uses a European style two-prong plug. Most electronics will function fine with a normal adapter, no transformer is needed. Hair dryers and other small appliances from the US will not work, as they are on a different voltage.
During IT, outside communication should be kept to a minimum.
You can purchase an Indian SIM card at the airport on your arrival. This will allow you to make and receive calls. Short overseas calls are relatively inexpensive.
There is no internet access at the ashram. You can use the data plan on your unlocked smart phone to ‘tether’ your phone to a laptop and connect to the internet as required. Additional data can be purchased on an as-needed basis.