Travel Info Kerala India
It is compulsory that all foreign travellers possess a valid visa for visiting India. If the tour involves more than one visit to any country (including transit) we recommend that you obtain a multiple entry visa. For citizens of most countries, a new e-visa system is available now. Citizens of countries not listed in the link above must contact India’s diplomatic embassy in their home country for more information.
Vaccine: For travel in India there is no obligation to vaccinate. Malaria in Kerala is low risk, but increases during the monsoon period and post monsoons. We recommend the use of insect repellent and mosquito nets (which the Centre provides). Always follow the instructions and keep good preventive hygiene. The first tip is to not drink water unless bottled, and avoid consuming raw unpeeled vegetables and fruit on the streets and in restaurants. It is good to carry a small stock of essential medicines.
For up-to-date medical information, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Cash: The local currency in India is the Indian Rupee. Foreign Exchange can be brought in without limit. Large amounts many need to be declared on arrival and a certificate issued against this to facilitate easy reconversion on departure. Tourists are warned that changing money through unauthorized persons is not only illegal but also incurs the risk of receiving counterfeit currency. There are 24-hour exchange facilities available in all big cities and international airports.
Tipping: Visitors are not expected to tip taxi drivers. However hotel, airport and train station porters should be tipped approximately Rs20/bag. If a service charge is not included, tip guides Rs 500 and drivers approximately Rs300 per day or 10 percent where appropriate. In restaurants if the service was good, tip anything between approx 5-10 % of the bill.
Area Code: The area code of India is 0091.
Emergency Numbers: The general emergency number in India is 100.
Wayanad Tour: Immerse yourself in nature to discover the greenest region of the State of Kerala. During the tour we will alternate cultural and naturalistic routes, because one of the deepest values of the Centre is respect for the traditions of tribal peoples, nature and the conservation of places. The aim of the tour is to raise awareness of an ancient culture that mass tourism and globalization are increasingly defacing, causing the decrease in its uses and customs.
Cultural programs: Tribal Dances, performances of Tabla, Indian classical dance such as Mohini Attam and Bharata Natyam. The performances are led by local artists in order to promote culture and the preservation of ancient folk traditions. In this way, the Centre economically supports Vedaguru art projects that would otherwise not receive any funding from local authorities.
Transport: arrival at Calicut Airport (ccj), transport to the Vedaguru Centre of Wayanad (approx. 3 hour trip, including a stopover).
Accommodation: Ayurvedic Village Vedaguru is located in front of the Karapuzha Lake in a village 20 km from Kalpetta (capital of Wayanad). There are dormitory rooms (one reserved for women and one for men) with bathrooms inside or private cottages.
Around Vedaguru Centre: Lush vegetation surrounds the centre and offers numerous opportunities for long walks through the plantations of bananas, coconut palms, various medicinal plants and spices; from Vedaguru are spellbound places along the Lake with lotus flowers; some small villages inhabited by tribes, small temples dedicated to Vishnu and Dravidian and much more.
Meals: Breakfast served after the yoga class follows the local tradition: fresh fruits and masala chai that accompany the main dish; lunch and dinner are served in the terrace restaurant overlooking the lake, based on vegetables accompanied by different types of rice and bread including the paratha and chapati freshly prepared every day.
The Indian food is very flavourful thanks to the use of the many spices available in the area. It makes extensive use of cumin, coriander, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom. One of the main dishes is the ‘daal’ (made with lentils) served with yoghurt. Do not miss the many varieties of fresh fruit: pineapple, watermelon, mango, papaya, banana, coconut and many more depending on the season . All ingredients used inside of the Vedaguru Centre (spices, tea, coffee , milk, vegetables, yogurt) are grown, harvested and consumed on the spot. If you have any allergies or special requests please advise us prior to your arrival at the centre.
CLOTHING: The choice of clothing should in general respond to a criteria of practicality, comfort, climate and the environment. It is therefore advisable to opt for sports clothing and very comfortable footwear.
India and its citizens simply do many things differently from most Westerners. Below are some misunderstood customs you might encounter.
Staring and invasion of personal space: just being different is enough to garner a seemingly endless stare in India. You will find that any time you stop to take a photo, an incredible number of locals suddenly appear to observe your every move. When you open your bag or wallet, you’ll find a local pretty much leafing through the rupees with you. What can you do? The first answer is not much. Personal space is not a concept in Indian culture, so staring and close contact should not be interpreted as rude behaviour.
Unfamiliar body language: Perhaps the most common Indian trait that can be misinterpreted is the ubiquitous “head-bob”. In fact, there are two types of head-bob, and each carries its own meaning. The first is a kind of short side-to-side tilt of the head, and more or less means “yes”. The second is longer, slower, and more undulating, and can be interpreted as “I see”, “maybe”, or even “uh-huh”. Hand gestures also carry various meanings. A quick twist of the wrist from palm-down to palm-up means “what do you want?”, “What are you doing?”, or “move along now”. A downward sweeping motion like somebody trying to fan fire means “stop, I want a ride”, or “I want to talk to you”.