India Travel Tips

A detailed guide to travel in India 2011

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India Travel Tips

Some useful information to share after a 6 month trip to India.

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India Travel Tips

My wife and I traveled around India for 6 months, from October 2010 to April 2011. We traveled on a budget spending less than $5000 for the two of us in a 6 month period (including everything except our flights in and out of the country). Please read the following tips with this in mind.

Smile, smile and smile - everywhere you go in India smile, because that smile will open the hearts of the Indian people which in turn will open your heart.


Make sure you apply for your visa at least two months before you travel. Applying from the US click on this link (this is the only way to do it): In most cases the longest period you can stay is 6 months, some countries are as low as 2 or 3 months. If you get a 6 month visa and plan to travel to another destination outside of India, you have to stay out of India for 2 months before you re-enter. In some cases you can avoid this my letting them know your travel itinerary when applying for your visa. The US offers a 10 year multiple 6 month visa, but the 2 month rule applies if you leave the country.
Sikkim Visa - There is a Government of Sikkim Tourist Office in Darjeeling where you can obtain a 2 week Sikkim visa free of charge in 10 minutes. Bring a photocopy of your passport and a couple of passport photos and you are set.

What to pack?

Some suggestions (keeping in mind I spent 6 months in India, some of it in snowy regions):

Without any judgment attached (I looked a state at times in India), Indian people look at how you are dressed. By cultural nature they are a very neat and tidy people, usually with excellent posture - they exude a sense of dignity. Just something to keep in mind.

Good backpack, with repair supplies.
3 long sleeve shirts
3 short sleeve shirts
3 pants (One heavy duty , one light zip-off legs, one light cotton)
5 socks and underwear
1 thermal pants
One light pair of shoes and one pair of hiking boots (used my hiking boots when I had my backpack on)
Two/three layer waterproof jacket
Pull-over fleece
Hat (warm and sun hat) and gloves
Swimming trunks
Small good camera with a small tripod
Kindle or ipad would be fantastic, especially for travel guides (this could save 5/6 lbs alone) and also for photo editing and viewing
Light weight sleeping bag - 3 lb
iPod, great for the trains
Blow up pillow
Flip-flops for the shower
Sports compact towel
Needle and thread
Small LED flash lights
India power plug adaptor (you can find these all over India for 15 rupees)
Mosquito net we only used ours a couple of times.
Surgical masks (you can buy cloth versions all over India), to help with the pollution
Locks Small cable lock for your backpack, bicycle cable lock for locking your backpack to the train and a medium lock for your hotel rooms.

Keep your weight down. If you are not sure if you will use it, leave it at home. I would say to be comfortable, men should be at 35lbs and women 25lbs backpack weight.

Do worry about not packing enough clothes; just about anything you might need can be found in India and cheaper at that. Pack smart - If you are going to a colder area at the end of your trip, wait until then to buy your cold weather clothes. Darjeeling, Manali, and Dharamsala had tons of places to buy warm clothes. If you are staying in a cold area for awhile, considering buying a little heater for your room. We rented one in Darjeeling and Sikkim, but you can buy one for 3 or 4 days rent.

Cleaning clothes: We cleaned about 99% of our clothes in the bathroom of our hotel using a clothes cleaning soap bar you can buy anywhere. We treated ourselves to laundry service a couple of times.


Bring oral rehydration powder packs with you; they can be a life saver. Our first destination in India was Mumbai (which is hot all year around). No matter how much water I drank I could not get hydrated; this is where the rehydration powder came in use. It worked like a charm. Green coconut juice works the same.
We packed filters, UV sanitizer (steripen), water purifying tablets, and we ended up purchasing bottled water most of the time. In a few places we found water stations safe for westerners (these places are increasing in number, so ask fellow travelers if they know of any?). We hated leaving behind a pile of water bottles, but we were assured that the bulk of them would be recycled. We went with bottled water because we thought it was the safest option, health wise; not that a filter and UV light (steripen) is not a safe option. We nearly always purchased the local brand of bottled water as long as it had the BIS License and ISI stamp on it. Bisleri, Kinley, Aquafina, Himalayan are the major national brands. Make sure the seal is not broken and there are no pin holes in it - use your instinct and when in doubt just buy another bottle or ask for an exchange.

Medical stuff

Make sure you get all your shots at least two months before travel (

Make sure you have enough prescription medication for your trip. In case of emergency, pharmacies in India don't require a prescription.

First aid kit with Band-Aids, alcohol pads, antibiotic cream etc
Hand sanitizer
Anti-malaria pills. We used one a day: Doxycycline because of the lowest side effects and ability to take for 7 months (take with food and dont lay down for 30 minutes).
Anti-diarrhea (In case of long bus travel, etc.)
Anti-histamine (pollution)
Neti pot (helps a lot with the pollution)
Sleeping tablets (might help on overnight trains etc.)
Ciprofloxacin for Delhi Belly (water/food sickness)
Oral rehydration powder packs to help get hydrated when it is really hot.
Anything else you might need you can pick up at a chemist, no prescription needed.

Doctors and medical attention in India is very inexpensive. We talked to a lady who said that her treatment, hospital stay and medication, cost less than her travel insurance deductable. So when in doubt see a doctor or go to the hospital. The travel guides usually give you recommended locations for medical care. If you get bit by an animal get medical attention asap. If you are sick on a train let one of the officials know and they can organize a doctor getting on the train at the next stop, usually for about $10. Most guest houses and hotels have a doctor on call.

Mosquito Defense

We used Odomos for a mosquito repellant cream. It felt good on your skin, did not smell bad and was available everywhere. For room defense two plug-in mosquito repellents with liquid ($2 each) work well (you can find these at supermarkets or at a chemist). Use one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom. They are a lot better than a travel net and coils can really stink up the room. Remember there are daytime mosquitoes in India. Most of the mosquito borne illness that we heard of was Dengue fever from day time mosquitoes in big cities.

Cell Phones

I suggest that you bring a cell phone that you can use in India and buy a prepaid SIM card when you get there or purchase a phone and SIM card in India. You should be able to find a cell phone for $15 to $20. I always topped-up with 399 rupees, this lasted a month or more. Cell phones are excellent for booking hotels in advance, checking train ticket status, calling back home (vodafone was as low as 7 rupees per minute to the US), calling for information or an emergency.


You will be happy to know that internet cafe's can be found all over India. If there is nothing else in a town, there will be an internet cafe. Rates vary from 10 to 40 rupees an hour. Bring a pen drive for uploading photos and keeping important digital docs. Wifi on the other hand is not readily available and when it is, it tends to be expensive on a comparative level.

Dangers and Annoyances

Disease is a real problem, so make sure you check with the CDC ( and see a travel doctor or nurse before you leave and get all the necessary shots etc.

  • Wash your hands often. Bring hand sanitizer with you (hard to find in India). Clean cuts with a alcohol pad and use antibiotic ointment.
  • Drink safe and clean water. We found that most of the local packaged water was fine. They are heavily regulated by the government after they received negative international media coverage. There are water stations that are designed for westerns popping up all over India. Ask fellow travelers about locations. Some hotels offer filtered water.
  • Food - Eat in busy places. We eat street food or in hole-in-the-walls everywhere. Once we saw lots of locals eating there we were set to go. We went with our instinct and a couple of times we got up and left (too much water on the plates etc.). We also stayed away from meat for our whole trip, except for a mutton (goat) dinner made for us by our landlord in Bodhgaya and fresh seafood (red snapper, tuna, tiger prawns, you name it) while we were along the coast in the south. We heard of several people getting sick from meat. Tea and coffee was fine everywhere (trains etc. were all good). Make sure your Lassi (excellent curd drink) does not have ice. We also bought tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, bread, butter, and other items like these for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner.
  • Take anti-malaria drugs. We used one a day doxycycline, which have low side effects and is safe to take on longer trips. Take with food and do not lay down after taking for 30 minutes.
  • Stay away from wild animals. Especially dogs and monkeys. We heard of several dog bites. Anti-rabies drugs are readily available in India. Picking up or pretending to pick up a stone worked well for me. I even threw a few stones. Dogs for the most part were fine and did not want much to do with you. With monkeys you need to have a stick or a folded umbrella worked well. I had one come up behind me in Darjeeling and bite the back of my leg. Luckily it was cold and I was wearing several layers so the monkey did not break the skin.
  • Beggars - I guess you have to follow your own heart when it comes to giving to the poor or beggers. For the first few weeks I gave as much change as I had in my pocket. You can give food or a soda/soft drink away just as easy as cash. We talked to a lot of locals and fellow travelers about this and we came up with: Giving to people who can't work is a good idea and giving to people that can work is not a good idea. The logic behind this is no matter where a person lives in India they can always earn between 150 and 250 rupees a day. Beggars on average earn 500 rupees and up a day. Then there are beggar rackets, a lot of the time adults controlling gangs of children (even 2 or 3 years of age). The kids can have horrible things done to them in order earn more money begging. Mothers can miss treat their children or babies in order to make more donations. The locals said that mothers and babies are a big no no, when it comes to giving to beggars. I think you will be able to tell the genuine from the business. Watch out for scams usually involving children, like money for a soccer ball or cricket bat. Being brought to a school to speak to the kids and then being asked for money by the teacher. There is a different one in every town, just use your intuition and know when a situation feels forced. Giving to the poor around Holy places is customary and considered to bring good. Also giving to practicing monks is very auspicious.
  • Theft is a real possibility anywhere in the world especially densely populated areas and with over 1.2 billion people in India, theft can be a problem. I was surprised to notice that the men in Mumbai carried their wallets in their back pocket. That would be un-heard of in my hometown of Dublin, Ireland. So comparatively speaking India is a very safe country. Good rules of thumb will keep your possessions safe. A money belt is one of the best ways to keep your money and passport safe. Make sure you pin your money belt to your clothes. Keep a good eye on your possessions at train and bus stations and while on a train or bus. If you don't feel a hotel is safe, find another place. Watch out for young kids. Don't be flashy with any of your possessions. If a theft occurs it will most likely be a crime of opportunity and not a violent crime.


Women traveling alone

My wife and I meet several women traveling alone or in a pair. Nearly all of them had a story to tell about some kind of sexual harassment. In most cases they were young guys trying to grab a feel. Indian guys are still for the most part sexual repressed by their cultures. This makes them more daring than western teenagers. Making a scene or even a slap should take care of these situations. Again dont be afraid to ask for help, if needed - the locals will not tolerate this kind of behavior. Most travel wise women that we meet were able to fend off any threatening teenagers before it became a problem. The worst thing that happened to my wife (and of course it upset her) was an older man in orange robes was trying to feel her bum with his toes on a train. Don't let this behavior slide make a scene if it happens!


The rupee is not an internationally traded currency, so you can't exchange for any before you arrive in India. A good rule of thumb is to always have some dollars for back up, otherwise use an ATM (best exchange rate, fees vary by bank) to get the rupees you need. Let your financial institute know you are going to be traveling. ATM's are all over India. Keep some dollars on hand for the rare occasion that you can't find one. When arriving at the airport look for an ATM if you can't find one use an exchange service. Don't exchange too much money at the airport exchange service, because their rates are bad and they are the only place in the country that charge an exchange fee. If you need to exchange dollars on the street, banks give the actual exchange rate and don't charge a fee. They can also be useful to get smaller bills (which are hard to come by), but they can be slow with long lines. Exchange vendors usually offer good rates and don't charge a fee. You can also negotiate for a better rate, especially if you know the current bank rate. I figured one rupee less than the bank rate was a fare exchange rate. Any chances you get keep your smaller notes/coins do so - change is hard to come by. When in doubt ask if they have change before you take it for granted that they will.


I suggest that if you are traveling mostly by train that you book your first few trains before leaving home. Be careful not to overdo it though. I booked 20 trains for our first 45 days and we ended up canceling a bunch of trains and hanging out in a really cool town (Khajuraho) when we recognized that we needed to take a break rather than see more stuff. Please note that at the time of our trip (ending April 2011) you were unable to book trains through the government website with a foreign credit/debit card. The website worked well for us (you can book and cancel tickets online, even tatkal tickets, which are special quota tickets available at 8am the day before travel for about a 20% premium). By American standards their fees are insignificant. Tourist tickets are only available from a local train station or local travel agent. You can book tickets 3 months in advance and some tickets get sold out at this time (e.g. first class). If you find yourself stuck in a town when you are ready to move on go to a local travel agent and ask them can they book tourist quota, most can't and will tell you they can. They just us the internet the same as you or I can. Someone who can access tourist tickets has someone that can pick them up at the train station and deliver them. You have to wait for the tickets to be delivered so they charge you a deposit and you come back and pick up the tickets. They also have access to a website that shows how many tickets are available. They usually charge about 100 rupees above the ticket price. Just by asking a few questions (Do you have someone to pick-up these tickets from the train station?)or watching what they are doing will be enough to if they can purchase tourist quota tickets. You can also pick these tickets from a local major train station. They are available from 8am the day before you travel. If you find yourself doing this and there are long lines ask a security person (police/army/train station official) where is the tourist quota line and they should be able to direct you. Not one of our more pleasant experiences, but you never know.

As far as ticket class is concerned we traveled general sleeper class 90% of the time. Most of the time we enjoyed our experience in the sleeper class. It was a great opportunity to mingle with the locals and we had a lot of precious moments on the train. I did not get much sleep on the train though (one eye open and one eye closed if you know what I mean?). Book top bunks, especially if you are traveling during the day. If it gets crowded you can hit your bunk and take a nap or do a little reading to allow yourself some space. As a treat every now and again we would book a/c class. Beware that a/c class can also get crowded and there is no real utopia on the train. Please note that a long distance a/c 2 ticket will be close to a plane ticket price. Sometimes taking a flight might be the better choice.

Remember a lock for your bag and a cable lock to attach your bag to the train. I found a small retractable lock worked great for our backpacks. You also need one of these if you are going to use the cloakroom (luggage storage) at the train station. The cloakroom is an excellent choice if you are just spending a night in a town. Just take what you need out of your backpack and check it in at the cloakroom. You will need an exit train ticket to use the cloakroom.

We found that worked best for long distance bus tickets. They had excellent prices for long distance luxury Volvo buses. Allow yourself plenty of time to find the bus station. In Delhi we spent half a day the day before traveling locating the bus station. Delhi to Manali was 700 rupees and I have to admit it was a pleasant experience on the Volvo.

Local Transport

I'm going to start this section off by saying when in doubt ask for help. Ask the police, the army or anyone you can find that understands you. If you ask someone in India to help you they will go out of their way to do so. You'll be surprised how many people understand English.

Auto Rickshaws/tuk tuk

Have a rough idea of the distance you need to travel. You can find this out in your travel guide. I always figured between 10 and 20 rupees per kilometer tourist price, so 5 km would be between 50 and 100 rupees. Use pre-paid rickshaws whenever possible. Most train stations and city centers have them. Unless the rickshaw is metered and the driver is willing to use a meter, fix a price before you get in. If you are having a problem with the rickshaw driver, take down his license number (it should be painted on the rickshaw) and threaten to call the police. This worked very well when we needed to use it. One of the biggest problems with rickshaw drivers at a train station is that they want to take you to a hotel that pays them a commission. A couple of times we went with the suggested hotel and it turned out to be ok, but if you booked a hotel or want to go to a recommended hotel and the driver is taking you to other hotels it can be an unpleasant experience. The suggestion of calling the police in this situation works well. The other trick is that they want to take you to commissioned based shops. I really let these guys get under my skin at the start of our trip, but after a while I learned to work with them.

Local Buses

Local buses are a very in-expensive way of travel in India. They are subject to over-crowding, but most of our trips were fine. Board at the first stop and you'll have a better chance finding a seat. The one problem we found with local buses was our backpacks, so I suggest as soon as you can approach the driver or conductor and ask him where you can store your luggage. You might have to pay someone to put your pack on the roof. There was no to situations the same. We got kicked off one bus because we had luggage on the seats. Some areas don't have any English on the buses, so you will have to ask someone where the right bus is (we were never and I say never led astray). Let the conductor, driver or fellow passenger know know which stop you plan to get off at and ask them to let you know when you are there. A little smile and personal interaction will go a long way.

Jeep travel in Sikkim

In a lot of cases you are better off booking your jeep the day before. It looked like all the towns we visited in Sikkim had jeep ticket stands. If you are waiting for a jeep to fill you can buy the remaining tickets. We did this from Gantok to Rumtek Monastery, because there did not seen to be any other tourists around wanting to make the trip. If you book early you can ask for particular seats. Avoid the very back, especially on long trips.

Hotels/Guest Houses

Again keep in mind we were traveling on a budget. The average we spent on a room for a night was: 400 to 500 rupees. Extremes were 200 rupees a night for a very nice air conditioned room and a free jeep ride from the train station (the guy approached us on the train) in Jaisalmer and a 1000 rupees a night for poor room in Puri around the New Year. We found for our likes if we spent a little more on a room it was well worth it. For example in Mamallapurm you can spend 400 rupees for a nice room in town or 700 rupees for a nice room on the beach. If you are on a real budget you can nearly always find: 100 to 150 rupees a night for a dorm rooms (as low as 50 rupees) all over India.

What we looked for in a room. Keeping in mind that you might have to adjust your standards coming from the west; this also applies to more expensive rooms. We look for light, clean bathroom (make sure you pack flip-flops for the shower), clean bedroom and clean and soft bed. We brought a 3lb sleeping bags with us that we used most of our trip, both in rooms and on the trains.

Rooms listed in the travel guides are going to be twice as expensive as a comparable room close by. We stayed in several travel guide rooms and there is usually good reason that they made the guide. Some travel guide rooms were really run down though. A good hint in room hunting is that you can negotiate a good rate at some of the nice resort hotels in the off season. The off season will vary a lot as you travel around India.
Calling ahead and booking a travel guide hotel/guest house, we found to be a very good idea. It gave us peace of mind and sometimes we were even offered a train station pick-up for a low rate. We did not always stay at the hotel we booked, but we found it allowed us some space to look around. One example of this was a hotel in Manali. We meet a taxi driver who told us that the hotel we booked did not have any views of the mountains, that hotels had built up all around it and he knew of a cheaper hotel with much nicer views. He then took us to the hotel that we booked and showed us that he was telling the truth and then on to a much nicer place in the upper end of town, that he ended up owning. In India it is best to keep an open mind.

Top hotel/guest house picks and places to visit:

Diu, A small Island off the coast of Gujarat
This is a very sleepy town during the week and can get a little rowdy on the weekends (,_India). To us it felt like a slice of heaven. Beautiful beaches, safe and inexpensive to rent a scooter for the day, we stayed at Sanmaan Palace (big and spotless rooms) which was an excellent spot in the tourist quarter of town.
This place does not resemble much of the rest of India. For one it is quite and sleepy, so if you are looking to rest up for a while, Diu will do!

Udaipur, Rajasthan
This is the town with the floating palace featured in the bond movie: Octopussy (
We got a room here for 400 rupees a night with a lake view and cool travelers vibe: Hotel Gangaur Palace, 339, Ashoka haveli, Gangaur Ghat Marg, Udaipur,  +91 294 2422303

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Desert Town famous for its Fort and Camel Safaris ( We were really impressed with this town. We found a guest house overlooking the Fort (they suggest not staying in the Fort because of long term damage caused by over use of its limited water infrastructure) and usually spent part of the day walking around the fort. We went on a short camel ride organized by the government tourist office, I think that was good enough for us, but there are plenty of options to choose from - shop around.

Kahajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
An excellent town to hang out in for a few days and rent a bicycle to tour the countryside ( We loved it here!
Hotel Yogi Lodge - Very clean rooms and nice restaurant. Opposite to the Western group of Temples Tel: (+91)- (07686)-274 158, 244 158 Email:

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
This is a crazy place ( Full of the energy of life and death side by side. The part of town around the ghats if full of narrow and winding streets, only open to foot traffic. We called the Alka (below) and they had someone meet us at the train station and with rickshaw and 15 minute walk at the end they only charged us 100 rupees - well worth it if you are not in the mood to wander around the streets. We also stayed in an excellent room overlooking the Ghats for only 550 rupees a night. Book this place well in advance to get a room.
Sarnath - Deer Park (where Gautama Buddha gave his first teaching or set the wheel of dharma in motion). The first teaching the Buddha gave is called - The Four Noble Truths: The truth of suffering. The origin of suffering. The cessation of suffering and the path of truth. Sarnath is just a day trip out of Varanasi. A 100 rupee rickshaw ride will get you there. It's a very nice change of pace from Varanasi.

Bodhgaya, Bihar
This is where the Buddha attained enlightenment and is a very special place to visit. High Lama's such as the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa give free teachings here, sometimes to very large audiences. The town is full of Monasteries built by different countries and Buddhist traditions.
Recommend place to stay; Kundan Bazar Guest House - a home away from home. Offers free filtered water to its guests. Has a great hang out area on the ground floor and the roof. The owner is a great guy and has excellent customer service skills.
On a day trip form Bodhgaya you can visit Nalanda (the ruins of a massive Buddhist educational complex) and Vulture Peak (this is the place where the Buddha gave his second major teaching, which was on emptiness). Ask around about organized tours.

Mamallapurm, Tamil Nadu
Take a walk along the beach and find a place to stay (we paid 700 rupees a night). Excellent seafood. Very relaxed atmosphere. Stone carving haven and plenty of local cultural attractions. Also a great place to rent a motorbike and tour the surrounding countryside.

Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu
Clean town with a coffee shop buzz. No horns allowed, so it's nice and quiet. Stay on the seafront if you can.
Park Guest House on the seafront is a great place to stay.
Auroville is close by and an interesting place to visit. It is an experimental community of about 5,000 people, mostly westerners. To find out more click here:

Mysore, Karnataka
Great place to shop for local products: cedar, incense and oils. Great buzz, busy but peaceful at the same time. Beautiful palace that lights up at night (

Bandipur National Park ( was a great day trip out of Mysore.

Another daytrip is to Namdroling Monastery ( This area has the largest Tibetan population in southern India and is a protected area. We had no problem going to the Monastery without a permit, though this can change anytime.

Hampi, Karnataka
Excellent place to do a whole lot of nothing. Stay across the river - lots of cheap nice places, but look out for mosquitoes by the paddy fields. A bit of a hippie feel to this place - floor cushion restaurants with a movie of the day. Absolutely beautiful area with amazing ruins. Renting a motorbike here is a must. There is nothing like the monkey temple at sunset.

Varkala Beach, Kerela
Beautiful beach front area ( Your pick of restaurants selling fresh seafood. We were here in March and found it very cheap - 300 rupees for a sea front room. You have to take a swim here...... Rickshaw rides are a rip-off, but there is not much you can do about that around here, they have some kind of co-op in place.

Alleppey, Kerela
Great base for a backwater canoe government run daytrip. You can also take a government run boat from Alleppey to Kochi stopping off half way to stay at Amma's Ashram ( for a couple of days and if you are lucky you might get a hug!

Kochi, Kerela
Feels a little like a European fishing town ( Well worth a stop off for a few days. We had a community kitchen in our guest house, so we were able to buy fresh seafood and cooked it up.

We spent a week here when it was starting to get a little on the warm side. Early morning beach walks were the best. Very commercial.

Kolkata, West Bengal
Nice people and a great place to shop ( Not much tourist pressure.

Darjeeling, West Bengal
We absolutely loved this place. Breath-taking views, no tourist pressure, possibility of seeing Everest, lovely little Tibetan shops and all the tea you can pack. Get your Sikkim permit here in 10 minutes. We recommended Andy's Guest house (

Became a part of India in 1976 ( This part of our trip resembled amazing travels. Traveling by jeep was real interesting. Sikkim is an amazing place full of Tibetan history from a world mostly passed. We visited Gantok (Rumtek and other monasteries), Rabong and Pelling. Pelling is the most beautiful area, but it all was a part of the experience.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh
360 degree mountain views ( Cheap lodging and cheap food. Excellent place for long walks. It's a lot cheaper to go on overnight hiking trips out of Manali than is is in Sikkim and you can expect similar beauty. You can find white water rafting close by. For fellow Shambhalians, Manali is a good place to base out of in order to visit The Shambhala School of Art to view the Shambhala Lineage Thangka in the Kulu valley, 2 hours south of Manali.

Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
Home of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Government in Exile and the 17th Karmapa close by ( ). Excellent spot for trekking, visiting Monasteries and taking a meditation, yoga or Dharma class. Top spot for Tibetan crafts and clothes. You can also travel to Kashmir from here.

Rewalsar, Himachal Pradesh
Beautiful and very peaceful mountain town built on a lake ( ). Home to a massive Statue of Padmasambhava (who the Tibetans call the second Buddha). We found this place quite by accident and we are so happy we did. Stayed at a Nyingma Monastery and it was a wonderful experience.

Amritsar, Punjab

Home of the Golden Temple ( There was a big festival going on when we arrived and the openness of the people blew me away. They were so warm and inviting, it was wonderful. While here you have to make a trip to the Pakistani Border to watch the lowering of the flags. Excellent energy and fun.

This is the place to do all your shopping before you leave, you name it you can find it here and at prices lower than anywhere else in India. We stayed and shopped in the Paharganj area (close to the subway and close to long distance buses). If you are traveling through Delhi make sure you give yourself a lot of time. There are 20 million people in this city (

Any questions? Feel free to conatct me:




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