Getting Here

Passport & Visa

Unless you are a resident of India, you must acquire a passport from your country of residence and a tourist visa from your local Indian Consulate. If begun early enough, both of these can be acquired easily on line. Instructions regarding visa application submission will be emailed to you upon receipt of your first deposit.

Travel Arrangements

Elephant    Transport

 

You have three choices for making your travel arrangements:

  • Hire a travel agent, who will take care of everything to the best of their ability. This is a relatively expensive, but easy option.
  • Hire Robin Jameson, who will help you to book your travel within India yourself. This is much less expensive than hiring a travel agent. Having been in the Dharamsala area for eight years, Robin can instruct you on how to  travel in this area safely and without hassle. Robin is not a travel agent, and thus can not book your flights or hotels for you. She can instead provide website links and detailed instructions to guide you. Robin’s contact information will be provided upon receipt of your initial deposit.
  • Hire no one, and do it yourself. This option is only recommended for those who are experienced with traveling in India. If this is your first trip to India, we very strongly recommend that you garner some assistance in making your travel arrangements.

    Dhauladhar

The Basics

  • Book your international flight into the Delhi airport. Ask your hotel to send one of their taxi drivers to pick you up. Do not trust the taxi drivers waiting outside of the Delhi airport.
  • If you have a long international flight, we recommend spending one night in Delhi. The long international flights often arrive later than scheduled and are exhausting. Get some sleep, a shower and a meal before heading back to the airport for your domestic flight. If jet lag is going to be an issue, consider spending a few days in Dharamsala or Bir, resting up and enjoying the mountains before the seminar begins.
  • The seminar schedule is fairly intense. Making an effort to be well rested at the beginning will help you to fully enjoy all that the seminar has to offer.
  • Book the 1.5 hour domestic flight from Delhi to Dharamsala. Ideally, do this via Spicejet. The flights that Air India offers (Delhi-Dharamsala) have proven to be far less reliable than the Spicejet flights. In other words, this Air India flight is cancelled and delayed much more often than the Spicejet one.
  • When booking your round trip flights, it is advised to leave a minimum of sixteen hours between your return domestic flight and your return international flight. This is because the Dharamsala airport is small, and if the weather is bad, your domestic flight could be cancelled. A minimum of sixteen hours gives you enough time to taxi from the Dharamsala airport to the Delhi airport in time for your international flight’s check-in.
  • The seminar location is 2.5 hours from the Dharamsala airport. You can trust the taxi drivers waiting outside of the Dharamsala airport. Your destination is the Colonel’s Resort in Bir / Billing.
  • Registration and orientation begin at 4pm on September 18th, 2017 at the Colonel’s Resort. Foreign currency exchange services will be provided at this time. Dinner that evening, which is included in your seminar fees, will begin at 6:30pm.

Important Information

Weather

The weather in late September is glorious.  The monsoon rains are coming to an end, so everything is very green and alive, yet the skies are clearing. The evenings are cool and crisp, and the days are mostly sunny and warm.

Due to the altitude, the sun is very strong here, so you will feel very hot when you find yourself in direct sun. In the evenings, when you are inside or when you are in the shade, you will find a dramatic difference in the temperature. Temperatures can range from 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, the key to staying comfortable is to pack lots of layers.

What to Bring

Lots of layers!

  • T-shirts and thin, long sleeved shirts
  • Long pants
  • Sun hat and / or sun screen
  • Good walking shoes
  • Thick warm socks
  • Shawl
  • Sweaters
  • Warm vest/coat
  • Warm hat
  • Light rain jacket
  • Rain worthy shoes

Other useful things to pack

  • All batteries and chargers you require for any equipment you are bringing
  • flash light
  • durable refillable water bottle (filtered water is available at Colonel’s Resort)
  • travel size hand sanitizer
  • travel size tissue packets (for toilet paper when traveling)
  • sunscreen lotion or sun hat (for optional outdoor adventures)
  • mountain hiking boots (for optional outdoor adventures)

Please bring 4 passport size photographs & 2 copies of  your passport and visa

Remember that we are staying in a rather traditional, rural village and female participants will feel more comfortable if they avoid wearing sleeveless tops, tight fitting or low necked outfits and shorts.

Don’t leave us your trash

Rural India does not have waste disposal systems so please avoid bringing unnecessary plastic packaging and other disposable items.  Bring re-chargable batteries and a durable water bottle that you can fill with filtered water when ever possible.

Laptops & other electronic equipment

This seminar is very focused upon increasing your skill in utilizing the reperatory. It is strongly recommended that you bring a laptop. We often experience short term power outages in our area. So, it is important to bring a battery which has enough hours of life in it.  You can recharge your battery each evening in your room. We can not be responsible for any damage done to your laptop, or other electronic equipment, during this seminar. Free wifi is available at Colonel’s Resort.

Money

You can easily change money at the Delhi airport.  We recommend only changing enough money to get you through the first day or two, as the exchange rate at the airport will not be very good.  The little currency exchange shops on the streets of all major cities usually give the best rates. Be sure to check the rate online before going to make your exchange. Bank rates are usually less favorable.

During the seminar you will not require a lot of money. You will need a small amount for our optional day off activities and cultural events, or laundry services and alcoholic drinks at the Colonel’s Resort. Also, most people enjoy doing some shopping in the Indian and Tibetan markets. Foreign currency exchange services will be provided during seminar registration and orientation. ATMs are available but not in the immediate locality. Please inform your bank and credit card company that you will be traveling to India and using your card there. Otherwise, upon noticing transactions in India, they will deactivate your card for security purposes. Also, be sure to keep a record of the numbers to call in case your cards become deactivated.  This has been known to happen even after proper notification. Traveler’s checks are not easily cashed in our area.

Staying Healthy

You will be well taken care of once you arrive at Colonel’s Resort.  During all travel outside of Colonel’s Resort, please observe the following recommendations:

  • bring hand sanitizer and use it
  • public toilets in India do not usually provide soap or toilet paper, so go prepared
  • drink only filtered and bottled water
  • major hotel restaurants often provide filtered water, but always check with the waiter before drinking
  • avoid all raw food, this includes the fresh juice stands on the street
  • avoid street food vendors