You need to be:
– Initiated in Ananda Marga meditation
– Speak and understand sufficient English. We also speak Spanish, but to communicate with the local people English is essentialaa
– The main language is either Spanish or English
– Reasonably Fit
– Minimum 18 years old
– Maximum 38 years old. Though older but still young at heart may be okay 🙂
To be able to maintain a good flow it is 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 is good if you are at least familiar with the basics of our practices and have practiced the meditation. As India is already intense it may be very challenging if the meditation is also completely new. If you really can’t learn before you come, we can teach you on the tour but be prepared for a lot of good, but new, things. You will also need to be physically fit and healthy. The minimum age is 18 maximum 38. We do make exceptions if we are convinced that you will not have trouble adjusting to the program. Also you need to speak sufficient English for basic communication. In recent years many participants were over 38 so do not worry too much about the age limit. But you do need to be fit physically and mentally. As we have already mentioned several times, this tour will challenge you in many ways.
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Food and Special Diets
Although we will do our best, we may not be able to adjust to your special food needs.
For example many foods in India are prepared with milk products so a vegan diet may sometimes be hard for us to cater for. When cooking in one pot we can not always ask the whole group to adjust to the needs of one or two people. Naturally we will try to satisfy everyone’s needs, but just be prepared to accept that sometimes it may not work out.
Some people like to eat lots of nuts, and dried fruits. Although we will buy some, they are quite expensive. If you want to eat more, you can buy it locally. You may also want to bring some personal items for your special-diet that are not available in India.
In general if you want extra things, you will need to buy them. We have had people eating lots of peanut butter, huge bowls of fruit or needing olive oil with every meal. The tour budget can only provide a limited amount of such special items.
If you are taking any prescription medication, please bring sufficient supplies with your as it may not be readily available in India. And of course you need to let us know about any serious health issues in advance.
Your passport should be valid at least until the end of the year that the tour ends. If in doubt check with the embassy. You also need enough empty pages for stamps and visa stickers.
Visa for India
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 validity of the 3 and 6 month visas starts from the date of issue so don’t apply too early either… ) Inquire at the nearest Indian Consulate for the latest information. In most counties one has to apply on-line and then make an appointment for an interview. Sometimes it can also be done through an agency. The cost is around $100.
The citizen of many countries can obtain an eVisa instead. The application is done on-line (as above) but you do not need to go for an interview and you normally receive the approval within two days by e-mail.. This visa costs around $50-$200 and is valid for 1 or 5 years from the date of issue. You can get two multiple entries up to 90 days. The one year visa is perfect for the tour unless you like to visit India regularly. The details change each year so you have to check: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
Visa for Nepal
We get our visas for Nepal at the border, though you could do it before the tour if you like. Check if you need a visa for any other countries you may have to travel through. Some places require a transit visa even if you don’t leave the airport. Bring at least 6 passport photos for Nepalese visa and trekking permits. If you want to get a local sim card for your phone you will also need a passport photo. The Nepal visa can only be paid in USD and they do not give change. The cost was $50 last year.
If you do not have a direct flight but stopover in the airport of an other country, please check if you need a transit visa. While passing through the USA you must have a valid visa as there is no transit area and you have to enter the country. In Europe each country has different rules.