Basically, you would need a tourist visa as your visit is about cultural exchange. The visa is issued at your local Indian consulate and is valid for 6 months and can be reviewed. You must get your visa in advance. For detailed information, you can log onto the site of Indian ministries for external affairs, www.mah.nic.in or you can just Google- guide to Indian type visa.
It’s very important to get yourself vaccinated or immunized as per traveling advisories. The most common recommended immunization for the Indian(Garhwal) Himalayas is Hepatitis A, typhoid, Polio, and Tetanus. Usually, in the Himalayas diseases relating to mosquito bites are not a problem but you can google the topic for detailed information if you wish.
It’s advisable to bring appropriate clothes, a towel, toiletries, toilet papers, photos of your family and home, sun cream, camera, mosquito repellent, medication for minor issues such as 'Delhi belly', daily use vitamins and others. However this is just a precaution as the water is a natural source water, the food is hygienically cooked and the air is pure. Do not bring weapons of any kind, satellite phone, or any illegal substances as it could lead to trouble for everyone.
Usually, the people in the Himalayas are very respectful and welcoming and all of our previous female volunteers had a wonderful time, without encountering any safety-related issue. But you need to be sensible as far as involvement with men is concerned. Avoid talking to a drunken man and don't except invitation from people you don't know. Wear clothes which cover your body. You will be invited to other local villages and this is absolutely fine as long as you know the people.
Dehradun, the capital of Uttrakhand is the starting point for your journey. You can get there by bus, train or airplane from Delhi, the capital of India. Once you reach Dehradun you will find regular bus services to Barkot. Barkot is your project site. We will be coordination with you on a regular basis to reach us hassle free. You can also get private cabs on booking. If you want us to book your travel to the project site it could be done on an additional charges. To get closely communicated you can also whats app our coordinator on +91-7055460851
On an average 4-5 hours of volunteering work is expected from the volunteers from Monday to Saturday. You are free on weekends to explore the local villages or places of interest nearby or do a trek, hike.
There are many things which could be written down but with common sense and an open mind, you will instinctively know how to behave in this new culture. Please understand the sensibility of the local people, custom, belief, their way of doing things and living life in general. Try not to come with pre-conceived notions or prejudices. Your clothes should cover your body. You can buy suitable clothes cheaply in Barkot.
The coordinator of all these programs is Mr. Naveen Godiyal. To assist him there are other project site coordinators/teachers/staff, who have in-depth knowledge of the local community and the project. The coordinators are based at the project site only and available 24*7, in person or by phone.
Mid-march to June is high season for adventure and spiritual tourism, Mid July and August is Monsoon season with moderate to high rainfall. September and October are the autumn season with the very pleasant weather. Starts getting cold in November and December with warm days, January and February are comparatively colder months, however, there is a good amount of sunlight in the afternoon time.
Since we don’t have high program fees like other organizations so you will need to pay it in cash within a week time once situated into your project. There are many ATMs where you can take out the cash.
Included- orientation on arrival, 3 meals a day, your accommodation for the entire period. Not Included- Air tickets/airfare or transportation to reach to our place, Mineral water bottle, toilet rolls, local dress, meals at any outer eateries/restaurants, any medical expenses incurred for any minor or major ailment/treatment, alcohol, beverages of any kind, snacks purchased from outside, cookies or any other eatables like fruits, Any personal buying gadgets, sim cards, pen, pencil, notebook, diary, books, guides, maps and others, Drugs in any form, intoxicants of any nature.
There are private clinics and government hospital nearby local project sites, for minor issues but for any major/critical issue, Rishikesh/Dehradun has modern facilities. We do not provide any medical cover/assistance for the program. Please make sure that you come with travel/health insurance.
You can access the internet at our project sites using an Indian sim card. There is 3G coverage and 4G is on the way.
If you are a vegan or allergic to something please inform us in advance so that we can make arrangements accordingly.
On arrival, you will be required to complete a form asking your basic information, which we will provide for you. We also request that you sign a general code of conduct and agree to abide the rules and regulations.
Experience Garhwali cuisine which is not found in other parts of India. It is simple yet different. The food is prepared with various hard to find ingredients and is healthy and delicious. You have added bonus of pure mountain water to drink. The accommodation is simple, neat and clean but do not expect it as luxurious as per western standards. Toilets are Indian squat and get ready for bucket shower.
If you have any question which are not answered above please don't hesitate to ask our volunter coordinator on email@example.com We want you to have a happy, satisfying and meaningful visit. For a closer communication you can also contact Mr. Naveen via WhatsApp on +91-7055460851 or Skype using naveen.godyal3.