Feedback on India: Yoga, meditation and spirituality, spices, but poverty, overpopulation, scams and pollution

Paperwork

  • E-Visa (Tourism) : 60 days validity, 2 entries (FYI, with an e-Visa, you can only get in and out of the country through an airport or boat)
  • Currency : Indian Roupie (INR) ; 1€ ~ 75 INR (2018)
  • Local bank fees : 200 INR (2,56€) per withdrawal of 10.000 INR (130€) in most indian banks (SBI banks do not charge you any fee, but you may not get your money (it happenend to us and we got a refund only 3 months later)
  • Languages : Hindi and 900 dialects, English, …

 

Our itinerary

 

Our stay

24/12/2017 – 05/02/2018 ; 44 days

 

 

Nos meilleures photos

New Delhi (6)
Isa Khan’s tomb (Humayun’s tomb), New Delhi
New Delhi (9)
Humayun’s tomb, New Delhi
New Delhi (11)
Trafic jam and walkers, New Delhi
New Delhi (17)
Lotus Temple, New Delhi
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Kriya Yoga Ashram, Rishikesh
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Ganga River, Rishikesh
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Ashrams and Ganga river, Rishikesh
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Buland Darwaza, Fathepur Sikkri (Agra)
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Sculpture made of green marble, Fathepur Sikkri (Agra)
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Counsil chamber where Ministers used to meet with the Mogol Emperor Akbar (Diwan-i-Khaas), Fathepur Sikkri
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Taj Mahal, Agra
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Engravings and precious stons, Taj Mahal, Agra
Mausolée (10)
Jaswant Thada Mausoleum, Jodhpur
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Mehranghar Fort, Jodhpur
Cour (5)
Moti Mahal, Mehranghar Fort, Jodhpur
Cour (4)
Mehranghar Fort, Jodhpur
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Jodhpur old city and its blue houses, Jodhpur

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Lalbagh Botanic Garden (9)
Picture with Ryan at Lalbagh Park, Bengaluru
Nanday Hill (7)
Sunrise at Nanday hill, Bengaluru
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Street in a residential area, Mysuru
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Wood carving factory, Mysuru
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Incense factory, Mysuru
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Kukkarahalli lake, Mysuru
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Mysuru Palace, Mysuru
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Picture with Melissa, in front  of a temple in Mysuru Palace, Mysuru
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Spices market, Mysuru
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Viewpoint on the valley, Ooty
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Pics of tea plantations, Coonoor

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Essential oils factory, Coonoor

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Global and average daily expenses for two people

  • Admission (visa, attractions, ashrams meditation lessons, gardens and parks) : 480€ (including 56€/pp for an e-Visa)
  • Transport (Bus, train, plane, …) : 363€ (including 100€/pp for the plane ticket)
  • Food : 499€ (1-1,5€/pp for a dish)
  • Hotel : 251€ (5-7€/night ; Our stay in ashrams are included in « Admission », because we paid a package including both food, accomodation and meditation lessons)
  • Tips (tips and bank fees): 25€
  • Others (laundry, shopping and miscellaneous) : 186€

 

Global expenses: 1804€

 Average cost per day for the both of us: 35€ (excluding visa and plane tickets costs)

 

Feelings and feedback about our trip

  • New Delhi: Literally Hell on Earth. This city was by far the worst place we have ever been to and we sincerely hope we will never have to go back there!
    • – – :
      • Prices asked to foreigners are ten times the real one meanwhile they generally double the prices everywhere else in Asia
      • Constant harassment by scammers and fake travel agencies to book tours
      • Liars, liars everywhere! People tried to make us believe every road to our Guesthouses was closed, that our hostels did not exist anymore, buses were leaving from another bus station, that they would take us to the other place. We have so much to tell we could write a book about it!
      • Sometimes, hostels or guesthouses on Bookings.com will require you to prepay when you book a room, but it’s all scam!
      • Transport management is a real mess, every single time, like in Nepal
      • Night buses are a nightmare: no comfort, rude people and cray drivers
      • Tuk-tuk drivers agree to a price at first then change their mind once you get to your destination and get angry when you refuse to pay extra for whatever reason they imagined
      • Tuk-tuk drivers sometimes try to charge you extra because you have a big backpack!
  • North:
    • + + :
      • We learned a lot about meditation, yoga and Qiqong
      • We have met incredible people (John Deva, Ryan Locke, other backpackers, people in Agra at the GH we slept)
      • Places and temples (Ashrams, Taj Mahal, Fathepur Sikkri, Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada Mausoleum) are real marvels
      • All the other countries look like clean, calm and unpolluted now
      • We smell scams a mile away and the worst scammers look like child’s play now
      • Soft mattresses… Well, let’s say that’s a luxury in Asia :p
      • Private gas/electric boilers… Compared to Nepal with their solar boilers (pretending to have 24 hours hot shower, but you get it hot only from 3PM to 4PM :D)
    • – – :
      • We spent our first New Year Eve in an alcohol-free zone for the first time in years
      • Everything is dirty, polluted and noisy as hell
      • Some people behave like animals towards women and we strongly advise girls to be careful if they are on their own (it may seem hard, but it is based on our personal experience and feelings)
      • Stray dogs everywhere. They sleep during the day and bark all nights long. Sometimes they can be aggressive towards you for being in their street (literally)
      • Entire hobo families, living under bridges
      • Poor population
      • Cow poop everywhere
      • Spices smell in everything. After a while, even you sweat smells spices!
  • South
    • + + :
      • Our stay with Ryan Locke’s family was wonderful and we felt at home. We spent time with his wonderful family and it kind of broke our hearts a bit when we had to leave.
      • A lot more influenced by western culture with a lot of technology
      • Tropical weather
      • Tea plantations
    • – – :
      • A bit too hot for us (37°C, even at night in Kochi)

 

Conclusions about our trip

At first, we did not plan on going to India, but decided to get there to spend time with our friend Ryan Locke we had met in China (Yangshuo), back in October 2017. We have met incredible people and manage to see Ryan again, with whom we spent a fe days at his place in Bengaluru. Ryan welcomed us as if we were his own family and we felt like at home.

Food is quite different from Asia in general (less salted, spices are abundant, like curry, cinnamon, etc). In opposition with what we thought at first, it is easy to find non-spicy food. You just need to be careful because most f the time, when you ask it is is spicy they will say it is not because they think that it means “contains spices”, like salt or pepper. Moreover, it is never hot to them :p

India is a beautiful country, generally speaking, with a profound history and religion, but also dirty, polluted and you cannot trust people (mainly in New Delhi, but also in some other places). Buildings are often wonderful and we certainly do not regret we saw the cities we went to. India’s southern part is a lot cleaner and nicer than the North, but there are lots of cities and places to see there that it would be a shame to miss out (even though you may not feel comfortable with pollution, dirtiness and scams).

Travelling is quite easy, either by bus or train and you can dowload apps on your phone to book them (Ixigo, etc). However, we strongly advise you to get a VISA Card or American Express with you! MasterCard is widely accepted n the country to withdraw money at ATM’s, but they will be useless online (blocked for security reasons). Paypal does not work either in India, but they have Paytm instead. What we did was subscribe to Paytm and provide it with money, from an American Express card from another country than India.

And you? What do you think about India? Ever want to get there? We would be happy to here it ! Share your feeling and thoughts with us! 😀
How about you? Share your opinions about India with us!

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