Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama

Love, Serve, Remember

Important Information for Travel in India

Rishikesh

Rishikesh is situated along the holy river Ganges, about 200 kilometers northeast of Delhi sitting at an elevation of 330 meters (1000 ft.) It is considered the doorway to the Himalayas.  Located in the lap of the lower Himalayas and surrounded by scenic beauty of the Shivalik hills on three sides with Holy Ganges flowing through it. The Rishikesh area is considered to be sacred as it is believed that meditation at this place leads to the attainment of salvation. There are many temples, some ancient, some new in the Rishikesh area.

Nearby Important Cities

Haridwar, at a distance of 24 kilometers from Rishikesh, is another major holy city along the Ganges with a very rich spiritual history. Haridwar is considered to be one of the seven holiest places in India and is one of the host cities for the largest spiritual festival in world, the Khumba Mela. 

Dehradun, at a distance of 42 kilometers, is the capital city of the state of Uttarkhand with very nice shopping areas.

Airport & Railway Station & Taxi

Dehradun airport is approximately 35-40 minutes by road. It serves those wishing to make the journey from/to Delhi to the Rishikesh area by flight. 

Haridwar railway station is approximately 45-60 minutes by road. It serves those wishing to make the journey from/to Delhi by train and those who want to travel by train to other major cities.

Taxis booking for transport from airport or railway station can be done at the same time that you make your reservations, with the SRSG Hospitality team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. During your stay, taxis can be booked with assistance of the reception office. Prices range according to size and type of vehicle. There has been a steady rise in taxi rates due to increases in petrol prices and general inflation in India. Guests pay the drivers directly. Booking amount does not include any gratuities to the driver.

Note: Guests are free to make their own arrangements as well. If guests want to use transporters recommended by SRSG, they are kindly requested to inform the reception office. The transporters are required to only meet guests at the reception office, so you are kindly requested not to invite them to your cottage.

Documents

  • Passport with at least six months left from date of return.
  • Multiple entry visa good for six months is ideal, single entry visa will do for most trips.
  • Two extra visa photos if you have them on hand, handy in case you have to go outside India on short notice. Also good for use in extending India visa, if needed.
  • Airline tickets
  • Health immunization record, if available.
  • Medical insurance card: In case emergency treatment is needed alert spouse or family to notify medical carrier as soon as possible. This will minimize hassles while processing insurance claims.

Make copies of tickets, credit cards, passport and traveler checks and carry them with you on a separate place. It is advisable to make scans also and take those with you on a memory stick.

Carry a long distance phone card for calls back home, AT&T or MCI work best.

Money

  • Carry a Visa or MasterCard; credit cards are not easy to use for purchases in India, except for hotels and in the big cities. Call your Card Company to let them know you are traveling in India. Sometimes they will put a hold on your card if they see a charge in a foreign country.
  • In case you carry more than one credit card keep your cards separate in case one is lost or stolen.
  • AMX traveler’s checks are difficult to exchange in Rishikesh.
  • ATMs are available at many places also in Rishikesh.
  • Carry at least US $100 cash for immediate conversion at airport for cab fare and porter tips in India.
  • Carry one or two money belts on your body for hiding cash and passport as needed. It is handy to have small notes in rupees for use as tips in washrooms.

Available in the Cottages

The ashram provides bed linens, blankets and towels, sheets, and pillow case.

Ashram Dress Code

An ashram is a place to train the mind and senses, to redirect the habit of external attention and draw that energy inwards for greater mental, emotional and spiritual strength. Pratyahara - withdrawal of the senses - is considered one of the foundation limbs of the eight limbs of yoga. This is why traditional ashram clothing is intended to be modest, preferably of white or light color and does not overly draw attention to the body.

Ladies are kindly requested to use at least a thigh length kurta to cover leggings and cover the shoulders in the meditation hall if wearing short sleeves.

Gents should refrain from wearing above knee length shorts in the meditation hall.

Clothing & Shoes

  • Long lightweight cotton slacks, long lightweight shirts with long and short sleeves.
  • Hatha clothes.
  • Nightshirt or pajamas cozy warm for the cooler nights. Underwear, fast drying kind is optimal.
  • Thin and warm socks as the floors can be cold in the rooms.
  • If hot weather, light jack for wind and rain.
  • If cold weather, heavier jack with hood. Cap and gloves.
  • Shawls are plentiful in India and come in a huge variety of fabrics and weight for a price between Rps 150 and Rps 5000.
  • If you take jeans remember those are very cumbersome to dry.
  • Good walking shoes. Hiking shoes if you know you are going to hike. Slippers or sandals to go from your room to meditation hall and dining hall are convenient, because traditionally we leave our shoes at the door.  

Note: From late November to mid-March when selecting clothes to bring think layers as temperature can vary a lot from morning till evening.

Things to Bring

  • Toiletries, washcloth, alarm clock, flash-light.
  • Hat for sun, collapsible umbrellas for rain or sun.
  • Mosquito repellent, before and after bite.
  • Reusable drinking water bottle, water purifying tablets for use outside of the ashram, clean filtered drinking water is provided inside the ashram.
  • If you use medication bring a sufficient amount. Medication for constipation and diarrhea, although most of the time these are available at the dispensary.
  • Binoculars, small calculator, memory stick to take lectures.
  • Journal, pens, pencils, small pad for taking notes, post-its.
  • Listening device for listening to Swami Veda’s recordings, earphones.
  • You may bring your laptop with appropriate plugs and a converter as the electricity in India is 220 volts, like in Europe, but with high fluctuations.
    • More Suggestions:
    • A Gift card for Swami Veda and/or your teachers.
    • Dakshina (Donation) from your heart is very welcome and appreciated.

Heating & Air Conditioning

Indoor heating will depend on the cottage you choose. Some have AC and heat and other cottages only have floor heaters and fans.

Laundry

Most people do their laundry by hand in a bucket and hang it out to dry. Laundry soap is for sale directly outside the ashram. The cottages have buckets and a drying rack.

Also a laundry man (dhobi) is available at extra cost (per piece).

Medical Concerns

Doctor’s appointments are available with the doctors at the Himalayan Institute Hospital and in Rishikesh. The ashram has a Dispensary for daily medicine and little accidents.

Electricity

The electricity is 220 volts and often drops causing dimming of lights. The power goes off at times as well because there is a severe energy shortage in India.

Telephones

There are public telephones available where one can go and make metered calls, local and international. Some of them have fax. You pay the attendant the amount displayed on the meter. Collect calls and telephone credit cards may also be made. These phones you will find at a short walk from the ashram. Cell phone SIM cards for India are available through various companies in Rishikesh.

Note: In case of emergency you can be contacted at the reception office phone.

Weather

Weather can change quickly since Rishikesh is at the meeting point of the Himalayas and the plains.  

To help you plan temperatures and monthly rainfall amounts:

Rainfall by Month for Rishikesh Area

Below is a table of observed temperatures and climate in the Rishikesh area. You can also check 'accuweather.com' for past or present weather.

January

Temp

Low 3-9c/37-48f

High 15-20c/59-68f

Rain

2-6cm/1-2.5"

Cold & damp; afternoons pleasant

February

Temp

Low 5-10c/41-50f

High 18-25c/64-77f

Rain

2-6cm/1-2.5"

Like January, but warmer

March

Temp

Low 10-15c/50-59f

High 24-29c/75-84f

Rain

2-4cm/1-2"

Very pleasant

April

Temp

Low 15-20c/59-68f

High 28-33c/82-91f

Rain

Less than 2cm/1"

Very pleasant

May

Temp

Low 24-29c/75-84f

High 35-45c/95-115f

Rain

Less than 2cm/1"

Very hot

June

Temp

Low 25-30c/77-86f

High 35-45c/95-115f

Rain

7-12cm/3-5"

Very hot

July

Temp

Low 24-29c/75-84f

High 32-37c/90-99f

Rain

25-37cm/10-15"

Monsoons

August

Temp

Low 22-27c/72-81f

High 30-35c/86-95f

Rain

18-30cm/7-12"

Monsoons

September

Temp

Low 20-25c/68-77f

High 28-33c/82-91f

Rain

12-18cm/5-7"

Monsoons ending

October

Temp

Low 15-20c/59-68f

High 27-32c/81-90f

Rain

2-4cm/1-2"

Very pleasant

November

Temp

Low 10-15c/50-59f

High 23-28c/73-82f

Rain

0-lcm/0-.5"

Very pleasant

December

Temp

Low 4-10c/39-50f

High 17-22c/63-72f

Rain

0-lcm/0-.5"

Cold evenings, pleasant days

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