Money/ Visas and other official matters.
Updated: 19 Sep 2016
- Duration: Arrival day 10 December in Delhi, the departure day is 24th January in Katmandhu. To get back to Delhi takes about 2 days so it is better not to book your return before the 28th. Alterntively you can fly back from Katmandhu to Delhi for about $90-120 in that case you could book your return flight from 24 night time. If you like to see other places like Taj Mahal add sufficient days.
The only real option is to come for the whole tour but if you really want to come and due to time constraints you can't, we may be able to adjust. People who come full time will have preference and you are expected to adjust with the group as to minimise the impact of arriving late and or leaving early. (see footnote 1)
- Cost & Discounts in USD for the full tour:
||Amounts to be paid by:
||Pay after 15 August
||Monthly 100 deposits starting May. Balance on arrival
||Make deposit by 15 Aug and pay balance by 15 Nov
||Pay in full by 15 August
|| Make deposit by 15 Jun and pay balance by 15 Nov
||Make deposit by 15 Jun and pay balance by 15 Aug
||Pay in full by 15 June
||Make deposit by 15 March and pay balance by 15 Nov
In rare case we can give some further discount or scolarship to LFTs or other volunteers joining the tour. This is decided individually.
- Minimum requirements: To be able to have a nice flow it's important that we all do the same practices. So if you are not yet initiated in Ananda Marga meditation please find a Dada or Didi to teach you. It's good if you are at least familiar with the basics of our practices and have practiced the meditation. As India is already intense it's a bit much if the meditation is also completely new. If you really can't make it before, we can teach you on the tour but be prepared for a lot of good, but new, things. You'll also need to be physically fit and healthy. Minimum age is 18 maximum 28. We do make exceptions if convinced you'll have no trouble getting along with the program. Also you need to speak sufficient English for basic communication. On the last years tours actually most people were over 28 so do not worry too much about that age limit. But, you do need to be fit physically and mentally. As said in many places already, this tour will be challenging you in many ways.
- Further discounts & Payment plans: We like everyone to be able to come so in case this amount is a real problem please ask your Acarya to write on your behalf so we can see what to do. We do have to cover our tickets so exceptions only when possible and really needed. No bargaining please! We organise this tour for you and not for profit, however we do need to cover our own expences. There is no special discount for LFTs but in case they really help out, really help as one should expect of an LFT and clearly putting in more than other participants there may be an extra 10% discount in the form of a refund at the end of the tour. In case you have the funds but can't have it ready on time we can work out a payment plan. Just contact me.
- Included: All accommodation, food, travel, and any other collective expenses (such as a Rafting day and Camel safari :-) for the entire trip. Naturally it also helps with Didi's and my expenses. To protect you from individual requests we also make some donations on behalf of the tour at the various projects we visit. If you feel inspired you can of course also make donations additionally.
- Excluded: Visa for India ($100) and Nepal ($40), your flight ticket to and from Delhi, DMS fee if you like to attend and any personal expenses including bottled water. (We have a water filter for those ready to pump) You can manage your personal and expences with as little as $200 as things are still cheap in India. But bring more according to your spending habits... Definitely bring more if you'll stay longer after the tour, want to do many of the optional things (below) or if you want to bring lots of presents or buy personal or commerce items. I see sisters tend to spend a lot more and love all the clothing and other things on offer...
When ever you do things that are not part of the tour the expences are your own. For example if you decide not to go trekking but enjoy quiet time in Pokara the hotel and food costs are yours, no compensation from money that may have been saved by you not joining the main program. If you decide to have a meal in a restaurant the same applies. Snacks that you may like to buy etc etc. Also if you do not want to fast during fasting days, or only want to fast on the ekadashi's, you are responsable to buy your own food, take care of preparation and cleaning naturally. Fasting is part of our practices and thus part of our tour. Of course there can be good reasons not to fast and we respect that.
Depending on which trek we will do in Nepal we may need an additional $100 to help with the flight back to Pokara or for tour operator in case we go outside the area where we can manage without bringing our own food.. In case you want to visit Agra the Taj Mahal entrance fee is ($15), the Agra Ford ($15) and Fatipur Sikri ($10) the fast train to get there and back to Delihi on the same day is ($20). We are not planning to go to Agra this time. If you do want to see it book your return flight so that you have some extra days. In Jaipur it's possible to do a 20 minutes elephant ride for $15, combined entrance fees to several interesting sites are $8 or so. Bring your student ID, it may give you good discounts! Paragliding in Nepal is around $90 for a 30min glide. There are places that we can rent Jeeps instead of taking buses. The cost of the Bus is of course included but if the group likes they can pay the difference and take a Jeep that is a bit faster and more convienient. Sometimes it is not... Always adventure :-)
- Deposit & Payment: A USD 500 deposit has to be paid latest by the end of August as we have to make train bookings by that time. As this deposit secures you a place on the tour it's best not to wait till the last moment but to make the deposit once you have decided. For us it helps in organising, see that you are committed and know the tour can go ahead as we need minimum 6 people. Trains can be fully booked out even months in advance. So your deposit will also allow us to try to book ahead. We need to book all the tickets together and 3 months in advance so we sit in the same compartments. In the schedule above you can see you can get further discounts if you pay before certain dates.
Unless you already paid in full the remaining amount should reach by the middle of November otherwise you can pay in cash on arrival in Delhi. (big denomination notes: US/EU50 or US/EU100 and no Traveler Checks)
To receive your deposit and or payments I have several options, click here for details. The sooner we have 6 people confirmed the sooner we can confirm the tour and everyone can book flights early. Early booking can save quite a bit of money on the program and also on tickets.
- Cancellation and Refund policy:
Only in very exceptional cases can there be a refund once the tour has started. In such case the refund will be 50% of the daily rate, minus the initial USD 500 deposit. This is normal practice with any organised tour. And indeed it's needed as the viability of the tour depends on the number of people joining. It's also so you will think carefully as the tour is a commitment to yourself and the others in the group. What is exceptional, is completely up to the descretion of the organisers.
If you cancel before November you will only lose your deposit plus any bank transfer fees. In case the tour can be filled (10 people) I can also give full refund (minus bank fees)
If you cancel before the tour is officially confirmed (normally June/July) you'd get a full refund (minus bank fees).
If you can't go but you have someone who wants to take your place we can just change names. This can be done upto the point the tour starts. The person would then reimburse you for what you paid (minus bank fees) and pay the balance (if any) to me.
- Plane ticket:
Book ticket so that you arrive in Delhi on 10 December. In case some
of you arrive earlier one of us will try to be there from 8th December. Naturally all expences before and after the tour are yours as well as the taxi from the airport to get to the Hotel. But best to arrive on the 10th itself. Do check if there is place on the tour and that the tour is going ahead before you book your ticket.
- Information we need:
Please register with this Google Form:
or if really needed .e-mail me (Dada Krpasundarananda) your:
Legal Name (first, last):
Year of initiation:
Name of your Acarya:
Email of your Acarya:
Are you an active margii:
Local Acarya/BP reference: (e-mail or phone)
Your address and phone:
Passport details (Nationality and Number)
Date of birth:
Emergency contact details: Name (both legal and if you have, Sanskrit)
Exact details of your arrival & departure (Flight number and time)
Any medical indications or dietary restrictions. (footnote 2)
Also inform when you are making your deposit/payment as I often can't from
the bank statement where a deposit comes from.
- Passport: Valid
at least until the end of 2018. Check with the embassies if in doubt.
Do bring 6 passport photo's for Nepal visa and trekking permits just in case. They don't have to be high quality.
Get a 3 or 6 month multiple entry tourist visa for India. Apply latest by the beginning
of November as in some countries it can take up to 3 weeks to get it. (the
3 or 6 month are counted from the date of issue so don't apply too early either... )
Enquire at the nearest Indian Consulate for the latest information. In most counties one has to apply on-line and then make appointment for an interview. Sometimes it can also be done through an agency.
For some countries you can now get a visa on arrival but this is limited to one month and no multiple entry. You can do this but need to make sure that you either fly home from Nepal where the tour ends or have a connecting flight in Delhi so you can just transit there. Check the Indian Immigration site to find out cost and details. I think you do have to fill out an application form online before you go.
We get our visas for Nepal at
the border. Check if you need a visa for any other countries you may have
to travel through. Some places you need transit visa even if you don't leave the airport. Bring at least 6 passport photo's for Nepalese visa and
trekking permit. Also if you want to get a local sim card for your phone you need a pasport photo. The Nepal visa can only be paid in USD and no change. So bring 2x$20 notes.
- Money belt: It
is good idea to keep your valuables (money, passport) on your body and under
your clothes at all times.
- Changing Money:
Change your local currency into EUR or USD before leaving. In India you will get
the best exchange rate value for EUR-USD 50 or 100 notes. You can also bring Travellers
Checks for your personal expenses but realise that away from the main cities
they are not always easy to cash. Additionally: If bringing USD notes make sure they are the new ones, old ones are often not accepted and if they are you may get a much lower rate. Now a days there are also ATM machines in many places that is probably the easiest way. There is often a charge ($5 or so) for each withdrawal so it's good to take out bigger amounts at the time. You can check with your bank what they charge. The charge of the banks in India is around $2-3 and in Nepal around $4 per withdrawal.
- Travel Insurance:
We do not have a group insurance and everyone
is responsible for any extra personal expenses such as medical. So we strongly
encourage you to make arrangements in this regard. Ours is not an ‘official’ group
tour, as you can understand we are not in the position to take legal responsibility.
try to do everything to help when anyone is in need, make minor adjustments the schedule
need recover. We will ask you to sign a waiver form and give this on arrival.
- Inoculations: Partcipants from Africa and South America need to bring proof of
for Yellow Fever and maybe others. Normally you have to show a Yellow 'pasport' with the neccesary stamps. Again check with the embassy or travel agency if in doubt. If this proof is needed and you don't have it immigration will keep you 10 days in quarantiene!
1. Team spirit and participation in all activities.
2. Rules and instructions presented at the tour by the tour organisers are
to be followed otherwise it will lead to the termination of your participation
with all costs involved born by the participant.
3. Alcohol, non prescription drugs, smoking of any type or Tamasik foods are
not permitted at the program (no non vegetarian foods excluding dairy products). It's appriciated if you also avoid Rajasik foods such as cofee, tea, dark chockolate etc.
4. Be respectful, polite, considerate to each other and your self. Adopt a
playful, positive and fun attitude to fully enjoy and learn from our program.
5. Participants should refrain from romantic and intimate behaviour during
the tour. To prevent confusion... this means no hugging, massages or other physical contact between brothers and sisters. Feel free to ask me why. But if you feel this is a problem, please reconsider as the tour maybe not what you want.
6. In case a (married) couple joins we also expect them to
respect point 5. at least while with others. We can only give a room together when possible,
and if you are officially married. No exceptions! Again if this is a problem, please reconsider
as the tour maybe not what you want.
- Please read the waiverform.
- The three options:
1) From 10 Dec till about 7th Jan when we go to the Himalayas.
2) From Chrismas till the end; from around 27 Dec till 24th Jan
In case you arrive late you are responsible to catch up with us. I will try to help with the travel arrangements. In case you leave early you'll have to make your own travel arrangements back to Delhi.
The cost in UDS will be: 1) 1400, 2) 1400, 3) to be calculated. (Discounts as in the above table, $300 if paid in full before 15 June etc.)
Intentionally, the per
day rate is more than when coming for the full tour.
Naturally when you come shorter you'll miss out on some places, can't help
When places are limited those who join longer have priority, also younger and newer margiis get preference as the tour is organised for them..
- Though we will try, we may not be able to adjust to your special food needs. For example many things in India use milk products so a vegan diet may sometimes be hard for us to cater for. When cooking with one pot we can not always let the whole group adjust to one or two people. Again, naturally we will try to make everyone happy with the food, just be prepared that sometimes it may not work out. Some people like to eat lots of nuts and dried fruits. Though we may have some of it, they are quite expencive. If you want to eat more you can buy locally. You may also want to bring some things for your own special diet that is not available in India.
The medication you need may not be available so also here be prepared, we can not take responsability.