Let's talk about our Yatra
We will meet in Rishikesh on October 13 at 8am.
We will depart in Rishikesh on October 26 around noon.
who can join?
Anyone. You don't have to be a reincarnated Yogi in order to join in. All you need is curiosity, an open-mind, and enthusiasm to explore the unknown on many levels. The only limitation is physical fitness as we're are going to spend few days with mid level trekking in the Himalayan mountains.
how much does it cost?
The cost of the Yatra is $2,690. People will be accommodated on a first-come basis so register early. We anticipate that the list will fill up quickly.
what is included in the payment?
The cost includes all accommodations, transportation, and meals during the Yatra (tour). It does not include flights and taxis required for you to get to/from Rishikesh (our starting and ending point), and accommodation in Rishikesh prior to the Yatra. It does not include any additional personal expenses you may incur such as gifts, additional foods, medicines, etc. There may be a few meals that you will pay for during your 'free' time, but the cost of food is minimal
what should I bring?
Generally speaking you can find almost everything in India. I've seen much more people regret for things they unnecessarily brought than people who regret for things they did not bring. It is a big advantage to travel light. Nevertheless you should bring mostly light clothes and just a few more warm clothes (particularly for the days we travel to Gangotri and Tihar). Please make sure to bring only modest clothes. In most of the places we're planning to visit you cannot wear shorts. It is considered an insult in many of these places to walk with low-cut, sleeveless or tight garments. The weather is not expected to be very hot so please be mindful of this issue. You do not need to bring bed-sheets but you may want to bring a towel (check out this type which is great for travel). You'll need appropriate shoes for hiking and the rest of the time you may want to use sandals or Crocs, as we are going to take off our shoes every time we enter an Ashram/temple/etc). Bring a lightweight rain jacket. You may want to bring with you some small snacks like granola bars if you know that you need to bite something between meals, but again, there are also many snack options available in India to taste the local fare. The mattresses in Sivananda Ashram in Uttarkashi may feel a bit hard for some of you. You may want to bring with you a sleeping bag. A sleeping bag may also be very handy for the nights we'll sleep in the villages.
what are the communication options during the Yatra?
We will come across some Internet Cafes during the Yatra, but you may not have access to them for parts of the journey. WiFi may be available on occasions, but it is not guaranteed. The best option is to stay 'off the grid' for the whole Yatra but, if you have to stay connected, a good solution may be to bring your smartphone (make sure it is internationally unlocked and it uses the GSM system). Once you arrive, you can purchase a local SIM card for an affordable price. Communication can be a little annoying in India... Once you have the SIM card, you'll be able to call and receive calls and use the 2G mobile network for a slowInternet connection. Don't expect miracles. You'll probably be able to send and receive emails, not much more.
should I get vaccinations?
Please consult your physician regarding appropriate vaccinations. The responsibility for your health during the Yatra and after is solely yours. We recommend that you follow strictly the advice of your physician and the authorities, such as Travel Vaccination Clinics.
am I covered by any insurance?
Heart Pilgrim does not provide any type of insurance. By choosing to join the tour you are agreeing to take full responsibility for your safety and well-being during and after the tour. We strongly recommend to buy a travel insurance coverage to help you in case of need.
Do I need a visa to India?
Absolutely! Please make sure to start the application process as soon as you enroll for the trip. You can apply for a visa at Travisa.com or through other reputable visa services.
Do I need to exchange money into Indian Rupees before the Yatra?
You should have some amount of Indian Rupees with you when you arrive in India (perhaps $100 dollars worth). However, the rates you'll get from a Money Exchange outside India or in the New-Delhi airport are very bad. You will always get the very best rate from ATM machines in India that are required to give you the current rate. There are ATMs in most places we visit, but sometimes they may be inconvenient (or out-of-order). In those instances, we can help find a reputable currency exchange
How do I get to the meeting point at Rishikesh India?
It depends of course where are you coming from. We warmly recommend to come to India at least 1-2 days before the Yatra starts, so you have time to rest from your flight. There are inexpensive flights from Delhi to Dehradun Airport, which is located about half an hour from Rishikesh. From there we can help you order a taxi that will take you to a hotel in Rishikesh. Please send us your itinerary so we know your plans and maybe hook you up with other friends of the group. If you need some specific advice please contact us
Will I share my room with others?
Yes. We're booking rooms for 2-3 people per room. The best way is to come with a friend and share a room with them, but if you are coming single, we will pair you with a roommate. Please notice that for a number of nights during the Yatra we will stay in an ashram that has separate accommodation for male and female. Therefore, regretfully, during the stay in this Ashram couples of opposite sex will be staying in different rooms
is the food going to be very spicy and safe to eat?
We will try our best to make sure the Indian food we get is mildly spiced and that there are plenty of options. We will ONLY be eating in restaurants with clean kitchens and high quality standards. We will provide recommendations for avoiding food-borne illness, such as only drinking bottled water, no ice, no street food, etc. before arrival.