What are key features of Anandam India journeys?
'Anandam India' journeys are uniquely designed with captivating cultural and mystic elements which are non-touristic in nature. These journeys essentially attempt to capture the deeper essence of 'India' in its authentic traditional forms by directly experiencing its people, cultures, cuisine, landscapes, knowledge and way of life. They also bring you into the blissful folds of meditation and yoga, and provide rewarding glimpses into the unknown wonders of ancient Hindu sciences.
Each journey programme is crafted personally by dedicated, passionate and highly experienced explorers who know where and how to experience places and events that are beyond the privilege of normal tourists. These journeys in India are aimed at providing for you an opportunity to enrich your inner self while embracing a never-to-be-forgotten experiences of a lifetime. Being with us you are not a typical tourist nor a mere observer behind your camera lens but being with us means that you are also a participant in the life of people and communities, their rituals and heartbeats. If you decide to bring your heart to India, we will do everything we can for you, to bring India into your heart.
All our programs are set in specially selected places (which are non-touristic in character) and where the real time India in the backdrop provides the vibrance, colours, excitement and live cultural stimulation apart from the isolated tranquility necessary for meditation and yoga. We ensure that you also get to see famous highlights in well known cities. You are most welcome to make photos on your own, however we also offer you special Photo Shoots by local photographer which we will convert into a photo book for you to carry back.
What is included in the cost of the program?
We have included nearly everything in the cost. This includes necessary ground arrangements, local transportation, train fares, your accommodation everywhere, meals at camp locations, local rituals, cultural events and excursions.
The cost does not include International flights, Indian visa fees, entry fees to monuments in touristic cities (so you can choose which monuments you would like to see), meals in trains and touristic cities as well as any kind of personal expenses.
What kind of accommodations will I stay in?
You can expect to be staying in different types of accommodations on a fully sharing basis (dormitory style arrangement by setting up ground beds). Due to nature of locations, accommodations can range from stay in local house in a village, local rest house, camping or in local guest house.
How big is the size of the group?
We ideally prefer small to medium groups (between 8 to 16 people) so we can pay greater attention to details and personally look after each of you. We are also prompted by the motivation of getting to know each one of you to make your journey even more meaningful and unforgettable.
We would advise you to signup and reserve your place in the journey of your choice without loosing too much time since places fill up quickly for different departure dates.
What is the way for me to sign up?
Please fill up basic form which is given on the 'Bookings' page if you are interested in joining any group. We will then contact you and discuss with you before confirming a place in your name. Please feel free to ask questions by email if you have any? You can also reach us directly on our email 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
Do I need knowledge of English to interact with locals?
India has essentially two official languages (Hindi and also English) and 22 recognized regional languages spoken in different regions. Most people generally use their regional language and local dialects within their communities, however many of them can also speak Hindi as well as bits of English. Therefore the easiest way to talk to the locals would be in English or you can also easily learn some Hindi from the Hindi glossary which you can easily download form this website www.anandamindia.com/glossary-of-hindi.html. In any case don't worry, we are always happy to translate and interpret everything to you in your native language. Anandam India team speaks different local Indian languages apart from fluent English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, Dutch.
Will I have access to my Bank account or ATM?
It is not a problem in India to withdraw cash money from ATM as long as you use Debit or Credit cards of Popular International Banks. In fact a Credit card can be very useful to carry with you, there is even a possibility to combine a travel insurance with your card.
What is the national currency of India?
Indian Rupee (INR) is the national currency used in India. Exchange rates fluctuate. You should check up the exchange rates before coming to India to get a general idea of the rates. You can easily check the current currency converter rates on www.xe.com.
Can I use my SIM mobile phone in India?
Yes you can. Ensure that your phone's SIM card is 'unlocked' and not attached to any plan. When you arrive in India, you can even buy a local SIM card for your stay which you can use in your phone. You can share this number with your family if they wish to call you. International calls are far cheaper using a local sim card.
What is the Indian food and cuisine like?
Indian food has a huge variety and can be very tempting. It tends to be a bit spicy. Give your body the time it needs to get used to this different kind of food. Your stomach and system has to get used to Indian food with some element of spices. However we always try to make sure that food you eat is not too spicy.
How will I travel around during my journey?
Traveling around in India is great fun. You shall be using public transports, metros, public buses, local public jeeps and vehicles, jugads, public coaches, camel carts, autos (three wheels) and other types of local transport vehicles. Remember to store your luggage safely under your seats or on the overhead rack.
What should I do just in case I ever get sick?
Nothing to worry. Most places have a local pharmacy and doctors on call. There are also several international hospital chains in the large cities where the high quality of healthcare is at par with western standards. There is very little regulation regarding prescription of medical drugs in India, so if you want to self-prescribe, you can get just about everything over the counter at a local pharmacy shop. In any case we always have with us a 'box of first aid and general medicines' at our different locations.
Do I need a power adapter to charge my phone?
The standard electricity supply power in India is 220 Volts. Most electric sockets accept plugs of the round-pins design. You can find a power adapter at any travel store in your home country or you can also buy it cheap in India. They fit into three pin sockets.
Will I have access to Internet?
Most places now have internet, both broadband as well as mobile, however sometimes depending on local factors at specific locations the signal can be disrupted for short time intervals.
How to get my visa? Should I do it on my own?
It is not at all a problem to obtain visa for India. It is easy. The visa application process runs quite smoothly. We can provide you with help in case you face any kind of problems. In general it is quick and simple to get an e-Visa. It is getting popular now as it saves time and is very convenient. Look up the link www.india.gov.in/topics/foreign-affairs/embassy-consulates and visit the Indian embassy website related to your country and go through the visa formalities and documents required.
How to book my International Flight tickets?
We will provide you information on which flight to book, and you can use any websites to book your flight. Normally you can get good prices on website like www.skyscanner.com showing you the best prices to book your ticket. In case you face any difficulties, we are always here to help you. The sooner you book your flight the cheaper will be the price.
What should I pack and bring with me?
Please read carefully the description of the journey program that you have chosen. It contains the advise about the things you need to pack in your luggage. It will depend upon on the region (location) and the weather. It would be best not to have a heavy luggage.
You may take vaccinations in your country if it makes you feel safer. Simple contact your local physician and tell him that you are going to India or refer to Indian Embassy website that will give you information about which vaccination you need for India. Many foreigners prefer to take vaccinations in India as the very same international vaccinations are available here and are much cheaper. In any case it is your decision. For your kind information India and your journey is safe as your chances of catching some serious disease or illness even without vaccinations are almost next to zero.
Is it safe to drink water in India?
It is always advisable to buy mineral water in sealed bottles, since it is cheap and better. In any case we will provide you one bottle of mineral water per day for each person. Drinking mineral water or filtered purified water will be the best for you.
What to expect from my journey?
The best therapy for you; forget all expectations and take India as it comes!. Let India enlighten you and ignite a positive change inside you. India is known as the land of instant karma. It has the divine potential to change your thinking and joyfully liberate you from your preconditioned mindset. Anandam India journeys are real time human stories of infinite freedom, dramatic cultural discoveries and soul stirring moments. You can expect to be a part of an extraordinary journey that nourishes your mind and soul through meditation and yoga. You can expect to live in an amazing world that reaches into your spirit and elates it to awaken you to feel the ecstasy of life. Our effort is to closely share with you a different 'way of life' and immerse you in the flow of primitive human dynamics which can help you to see the cosmic energy and radiance trapped deep inside your living being.
Come. Let us enjoy these meaningful journeys together!.