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Although slow, the hotel is offering WIFI now. However, we strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to “unplug.” If this is not possible, here are some alternatives we can suggest in case you need a backup:

Several local telephone/internet carriers are located in the international arrivals area of Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Inquire about options and cost at Airtel, Vodafone or Idea upon arrival in India. You may also want to do some research in advance to know what your options are and what you may want to get, if any.

  1. You can get a 3G WI-FI DONGLE with a DATA card to use into any USB port and create your own wi-fi zone. Check the different internet/phone providers mentioned above and their packages, and see which one suits you best. You can also get a dongle with more than one data card to expand your connectivity possibilities.
  2. You can agree with your roommate and get one dongle and data card to share. With a dongle you are creating a wi-fi hotspot that may support up to 5 devices. Please check the different provider websites to learn more.
  3. You can get a SIM card with DATA to use with your mobile (if unlocked).

NOTE: for each dongle, data or sim card you purchase, you need to provide a copy of your passport, visa and a passport photo to the retail shop where you are buying it. This will be sent to the internet provider company. It is a way the country has to keep a record of the tourists.


Phone connections and service in Kainchi is unreliable.

Several local telephone carriers are located in the international arrivals area of Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport. If you do need to get a sim card for your phone, inquire about options and cost at Airtel, Idea or Vodafone upon arrival in India. A sim card will give the option to have “talk-time” to call within or outside the country. You can also add “data” to your India sim card, so that you can have internet connection on your mobile. It sounds easy, but we’ve experienced that the Internet Service in North India is not reliable at all times.

To acquire a phone or a sim card in India you need to provide a copy of your passport and visa and a passport photo to the retail shop where you are buying it from. Sim cards for foreigners are valid for a 3-month period only.

If you plan to use a local SIM card in your GSM mobile phone, have your local service provider unlock the phone before your departure for India. CDMA phones may require additional attention to avoid roaming charges with a local SIM card. Check details with your service provider.


Change currency into Indian rupees before exiting the Customs area at the Delhi airport. Traveler’s checks are no longer widely accepted, therefore, plan to bring cash for exchange. State Bank of India, near the baggage claim area (across from carousel 14) and before the Customs exit, is recommended for currency exchange. NOTE: Count your rupees before leaving the window and be sure you are given an encashment certificate for your transaction. Retain this encashment certificate to use for exchanging any excess rupees at the end of your travel.

ATM machines are also available in the baggage claim area and before you exit the airport, as well as in Bhowali (about 20 minutes from Kainchi). If you do have a SCHWAB account and debit card, you will not be charged fees when withdrawing from an ATM machine. This is the only institution, we’ve found, to provide that service for international travelers. However, do not rely on this only as your way of obtaining local currency. Many times this ATM’s are out-of-order and their availability may vary.

NOTE: The only currency you’ll be able to use while in India is Indian Rupees (Rs.) and most commercial establishments do not yet accept international credit cards. So be aware of this and change your currency at the airport.


Indian culture varies through the country. While the south feels a bit more relaxed and laid back, the north feels a little more conservative. The country people are more traditional while the people in the big cities have an urge to take in the Western culture in their way to dressing.

Conservative, clean, loose-fitting modest attire is appropriate for your stay in India and in Kainchi. Specially when visiting the ashram and other sacred places, they suggest to dress conservatively:

For women: the salwar kameez has become the most popular dress for females, also known as “Punjabi” style, which is most common in the northwestern part of India. It consists of loose trousers or pants (the salwar) narrow at the ankles, topped by a tunic top or “kurta” (the kameez), and a dupatta or odani (a veil or shawl) to cover the head and shoulders. You can also wear loose-fitting long skirts with a kurta as the top. The color combinations are endless. Indian women aren’t shy when it comes to colors! Please do not wear black when visiting the ashram. Due to cultural customs in India, the ashram ask women to refrain from wearing shorts of any length, capris shorter than ankle length, tops with spaghetti straps, halter tops, tank tops, plunging necklines or backs, sleeveless tops; form-fitting clothing; and short skirts or miniskirts.

For men: the “expectations” tend to relax a little bit with men’s dress code. Western men in India usually wear loose fitting pants and “kurta.” Short and long sleeve Western shirts are also ok. Men cannot wear shorts and muscle shirts.

Outside shoes are to be removed before entering the ashram and other sacred places. You may go barefoot or wear socks while in these places. It might be a good idea not to wear your most expensive pair of sandals or shoes when going to ashrams or temples in India. You may not find them on you way out, although this is rare. Simple is best.


A preparations letter will be sent after complete registration with a list of recommended items. Here is an overview only: Sturdy walking shoes, clothing for layering including a sweater or light jacket for chilly nights and mornings, a pair of shoes or slippers dedicated for indoor use. A yoga mat will be provided, however, you are welcome to bring your own and yoga or meditation props if you need them. Also plan to bring a small seating cushion. Here is an example.

A small daypack or roomy shoulder bag for daily use and for the pilgrimage trips we will do to nearby places.

Bring soap, shampoo, and personal toiletries for bathing. Laundry service, for a fee, will be available, or you may choose the gentler approach and personally wash your laundry by hand.

If you are taking prescription medication, bring an adequate amount with you. Although some medicines are available in India, their supply and quality are not reliable.

A “microbiological UV water purifier, such as the All Clear by Camelbak or the SteriPEN portable UV water purifier.

Toilet paper can be found in India but isn’t always available. Even if found, the quality is likely to be different than what we are used to. The hotel provides toilet paper. We recommend for you to keep a roll in your daily backpack and/or wipes.

Things to leave at home:

  • hair dryer, curling iron, hair straightener, iron, hot water pot, heating coil, and similar electrical items
  • too much clothing
  • incense and candles
  • non-essential electronics (this is the perfect time to “unplug”).


A meditation on the Heart

Freedom from stress, pain and suffering

How Love Heals

"People and situations do not cause you pain.
Your thoughts and emotions about them do.
You can change those reactions.
This is the key to freedom."
- Ram Giri