India is a country of big contrasts. There are people who claim that everyone should travel to India at least once in our life. We strongly agree because its ancestral culture will never let the traveller indifferent.
Do you want to change the world? Be part of that change, and realize what is happening around you. Once this change begins to sprout within you, you will never forget it.
India is a place where multiple realities converge. According to the World Bank, this country is in the 4th position in our global economy; however, it also masses the highest poverty rate in the world. Nonetheless, is also a place full of life, people everywhere, strangely decorated vehicles, sacred animals; a mix of smells, feelings and the splendour of a culture that is awe-inspiring. Unravelling it becomes an experience that few forget.
Hindi and English are the main and most spoken languages. But there are also hundreds of tongues and dialects like the telugu, marati, urdu, tamil, punjabic, among many others
There are lots of religions here in India. Close to an 80% of Indian people are Hindu, followed by Muslims (14%), Christians (2.4%), Sijs (2%), Buddhists (0.7%) and so on.
The local hour is UTC +5:30, +4 hours if we compare it with Spain (UTC +1:00).
The currency in India is the rupee. €1 roughly translates to 72.60 Rupees.
How much it costs…?
Almost everything in India is cheaper after changing currencies:
A bottle of water: 15 rupees (€0.21)
A 0.5L soda: 25 rupees (€0.35)
Breakfast: 60 rupees (€0.85)
Lunch; dhal (lentils) with rice and vegetables: 200 rupees (€2.70)
Chai tea (with milk): 5 to 10 rupees (€0.07~€0.14)
Train ticket: from Agra to Delhi (12-hour trip) including bunk and air conditioning would cost around 1,200 rupees, about €20.
India characterises for having hierarchies and strong values. Long ago, a caste system was imposed which still applies nowadays, mostly in rural areas. The main reference for people in India is both their family and caste. These are inherited, and it establishes the position, the marriage, the social relationships and even the individual’s future profession.
There are four essential castes, in order of “purity” in their society:
- Brahmans, which are like monks or priests.
- Khastriyas, mostly consists of warriors and managers.
- Vaishyas, normally merchants.
- Shudras, working people who are usually handcrafters.
Lastly, the lowest social stratum is the Dalits or untouchable. They are excluded from society, yet representing about 16% of India (about 190 million people).
1. Which is the recommended age? What happens if I wish to travel on my own?
We organize the trips thinking of people of all ages, provided they are legal adults. In case of children, they need to be along their parents or tutors. We have had people of many different ages, ranging from 25 to 68 years so, in fact, age is not important at all.
About travelling alone, it doesn’t matter. Many people have decided to come to our trips alone before. However, because of the reduced size of our groups, people end up getting along well, and sharing a common goal on the trip.
It’s not important whether you come alone or what age you are; what matters is your attitude during the trip to India.
2. Do I need to apply for a visa?
To enter India you need a multiple entrance, 6-month current tourist visa. The visa is a must to enter the country and you must ask in your Indian Embassy in your country or our travel agency partners can transacted it for you.
3. Do I need vaccinations for anything?
There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter India, however there are recommended ones like against hepatitis A, B, polio, anti-tetanus, etc.
About vaccinating against malaria, there is no way to be immune, but there is a recommended prophylaxis and there isn’t a big risk of malaria in the cities we will be visiting. However, this is a decision you will need to take. In the International Vaccination Centre they will explain the secondary effects and they will prescript any needed pills.
Useful information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A month before flying to India, we will be sending you a dossier plenty of advice for clothing, luggage, airport links, medical kits… anything you need for the trip and even suggestions on recommended books and films about India.
1. Can I travel with you if I don’t want to donate or give support?
These kinds of trips are for conscious people interested in making a special trip. However, you will only donate to our collaborating ONG if you want to. There’s no obligation to do it. Besides, just for accompanying us you’re already supporting a more responsible tourism and help improving the situation in India.
- 2. Do I need travel insurance? Is it included in the package?
Travel insurance is mandatory and in some trips it isn’t included in the total price. Look in the terms and conditions for the “does include/does not include” section. If you still have any doubts, you can always contact us.
In case you need to contract travel assurance insurance, we will recommend you one that can be transacted with our collaborating travel agency. These insurances include travel and cancellation assurance. However, if you already have of travel insurance, you must send us a copy of the policy before we leave out.
3. Can my trip be cancelled?
Once the reserve and the 1st payment are done, there may be related charges if you decide to cancel your trip (sometimes these charges equal to 100% of the trip price) either for penalty or management costs. These costs are dependant of the data of the cancellation and the full amount of the trip.
Because of this, we advise you to contract a cancellation insurance that may cover you of any unexpected incidents. If you decide to contract any of the insurance services we offered you, those have cancellation services included already.
You need to keep in mind that cancellation insurances are only effective from the 2nd payment until the moment the trip starts. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us anytime you need.
Behaviour of a responsible traveller
Each of us can be a good traveller.
How can you do it?
Just paying attention to the world and to the people inhabiting it. You would also need to follow a very simple set of rules of good behaviour before, during and after the trip.
Before travelling, make a quick search for information (City guides, websites…) about the country you are going to visit, its culture, nature, customs, religion, etc. It’s important to respect the country’s rules; especially in those where we have very distinct beliefs.
During the travel, remember you have the opportunity to know new cultures and to fit in; try to adapt yourself to their customs without imposing your own habits or lifestyle. It’s important to be respectful of the cultural norms; it’s not about getting privileges for being a tourist. It’s more about being a guest instead of a customer of a country.
Establish friendly relationships with local people, leaving the stereotypes and prejudices at home. Respect will be your best presentation card, so again be respectful to other villages, their religions and beliefs. Open your mind to accept “other truths”, and benefit from living these vastly different experiences.
After travelling, take your time to reflect on everything you’ve seen and discovered. Keep any promises you have made with local people and continue with us; you can keep being sustainable and responsible with your environment in our workshops.