Tips and recommendations for organizing your trip to India

Thinking about coming to the Arhanta Yoga Ashram in India to do your yoga teacher training course?

Traveling and organizing your journey to India might seem like a big step to take. Some people think that it is very costly to travel to India, that visa procedures are difficult and long and that the journey itself can be challenging. Below you will find information that show you the best way to plan your travel, what information you need for a visa and how to travel safely.

Planning your journey

The easiest way to get to the Arhanta Yoga Ashram in Khajuraho, is to fly to New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. From there you can either take a domestic flight or a train to Khajuraho. For adventurous travelers there is also a bus. We advise to look at the international and domestic flights separately, as that will give you more options in timings and prices.

How to book your international flight to Khajuraho?
For booking international flights to and from Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi you may check www.kayak.com

How to book your domestic flight to Khajuraho?
For domestic flights (flights in India) we recommend www.yatra.com

For example: Traveling from Berlin to Khajuraho
Check www.kayak.com for flights from Berlin to New Delhi and check www.yatra.com for flights from New Delhi to Khajuraho. Keep in mind, that you need to change gates in New Delhi and go through passport control. So keep at least 2 hours between arrival and departure.

How to travel to Khajuraho by train?
It is also possible to travel to Khajuraho by train. There are daily trains to Khajuraho from New Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Jhansi and many other major cities. The train tickets can be booked online at: https://www.irctc.co.in/ or http://www.cleartrip.com.

Note: To buy a train ticket an Indian SIM cart is needed. If you do not possess an Indian phone number or do not know anyone who does, you can get in touch with our local travel agent Mr. Khusi (javid_khusi@yahoo.co.in)

How to travel to Khajuraho by bus?
The nearest bus station to the Arhanta Yoga Ashram is the Khajuraho bus station. There are daily buses to Khajuraho from all major cities including New Delhi, Mumbai and  Varanasi, Agra, Jhansi, Gwalior etc.

Transfer to the Arhanta Yoga Ashram from Khajuraho airport, train or bus station
Once you arrived in Khajuraho – on either the airport or the train or bus station – it is possible to take a taxi or an auto rikshaw to the ashram.
Note: We provide complementary pick up on the first day of the course and drop-off on the last day.

Is there someone who can help me with my travel arrangements in India?
Yes, we have a travel agent in India in case you need any assistance. You can get in touch with our local travel agent Mr. Khusi (javid_khusi@yahoo.co.in).

Would you recommend traveling together?
A lot of people, especially those who travel to India for the first time, feel more confident and secure when they travel with someone else instead of traveling alone. Our Facebook page is a great way to get in touch with people attending the same training as you are. Some people share the entire journey with someone coming from the same country, but just as many people meet up in New Delhi and travel together from there to Khajuraho. To exchange information, post ideas and requirements or to make travel plans together with other future students, visit our Facebook event page.

How much does the journey cost?
It really depends of course where you are traveling from. When we are booking flights for our teachers, we have seen that we end up spending between 500 and 650 euros for going and coming back (for example, from Amsterdam to Khajuraho and back).

Preparing your papers – Visa & Insurance

You will need a visa for traveling to India. There are different options to choose from. If you come to India to follow the teacher training course, please note that you should travel on a tourist visa. You can choose from different kind of visas, we recommend:
Tourist visa on arrival (E-Visa):
This is the easiest option. The E-visa is valid for exactly one month, so it is ideal to use if you are only traveling to India to participate in the course. This visa allows you to arrange everything online, so you don’t have to go to the Indian embassy or send in your passport.
Important: E-visa has to be applied minimum 4 days in advance to arrival date!

Nationalities which are eligible for the E-Visa are:
Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hong Kong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam.

An E-visa is recommended if you are only coming for the course and do not plan on any travelling before or afterwards. For more information about an E-Visa visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

Regular tourist visa:
Regular tourist visas are usually valid for either three or six months, so a regular tourist visa is ideal if you want to stay in India before or after the course. In the application form of the tourist visa the purpose of visiting India is asked, here you can mention “traveling” or “stay at ashram” as purpose. Please do not mention the words “study” or “course” in your visa application as that might trigger the embassy to reject your tourist visa application and ask you to apply for a student visa.

For more information about a tourist visa visit: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/

Why not student visa?
Do not apply for a student visa to follow our teacher training course! Only students  going to study at an official university / school are eligible for a student visa. Yoga ashrams are not considered official schools and we will not be able to provide you with the necessary documents for a student visa application. If your student visa gets rejected, not only will your visa application get rejected, you might not even be allowed to apply for a tourist visa after that.

Which reference address can I use for the visa application form?
It is required to give an address in the visa application form. You can give following address:


Arhanta Yatri Niwas
Village Bansarae near Khajuraho
P.O. Ontwa Purva, District Chhatarpur
Madhya Pradesh, India

Contact person: Mr. Pramod Jain / Contact number: + 91 812 0121002


We also recommend to keep this information with you (address and phone number), sometimes it is asked at passport control upon entering India.

What about insurance?
Please carry sufficient medical insurance, which has coverage in India. Optionally you can also purchase a travel insurance, in case you miss your flight or you need to cancel your journey due to medical or personal emergencies.

Safety

Is it safe to travel to India on my own?
Yes, it is safe to travel on your own to our ashram in India, if you plan your journey well and you follow basic safety rules. Of course you will always have to keep in mind that you are in a different country with a different culture and different standards. We recommend to start your trip prepared, meaning to keep important information (address and phone number) with you. For females traveling alone we recommend to book an international chain hotel in advance and with airport pick up and drop off provided by the hotel.

Vaccinations
Please check with your physician, what he or she recommends for vaccinations. The region where the Arhanta Yoga Ashram is located however is not a Malaria prone region. Also the Arhanta teacher training courses are giving during the winter months, which in general are not the season for malaria mosquitoes.

About the course

What is all included in the course fees?
The course fees include accommodation, food – three meals a day – and herbal tea every night during the whole month. The course fees also cover all tuition and study material. Costs that aren’t included in the price of the course are the traveling costs. There is a shop in the ashram where you can buy toiletries, a yoga mat, a yoga cushion, a writing block, a pen, toilet paper, etc.

Sightseeing

How about sightseeing in Khajuraho?
Khajuraho is a great place for sightseeing. The temples in Khajuraho are recognized as one of UNESCO’s world heritages. For more information about Khajuraho, see the page sightseeing in Khajuraho.