Traveling to Bodhgaya

A Brief Introduction to India

The Republic of India is located on the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. It is bounded by the Himalayas in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Indian Ocean in the south, and the Arabian Sea in the west. To the north it borders Bhutan, Nepal and parts of Tibet, to the west Pakistan, and to the northeast both Bangladesh and Myanmar. It covers an area of approximately 3,287,782 km2, measuring 3,214 km from north to south and 2,933 km from east to west. This geographic area makes it the seventh largest country in the world. The country is divided into 27 provinces now called states and seven federally governed union territories. New Delhi is the capital

The climate comprises a wide range of weather conditions and microclimates due to the enormous geographic scale and varied topography. Although the whole country is considered tropical, its higher elevations have more temperate weather including fog. The progress of the southwest monsoon wind drives the movement of seasons. While traditional Indian culture divides the calendar into six seasons, modern climatic studies generally divide it into three to four predominant ones: winter stretching from December through February with temperatures night and day ranging between 5-25ºC; summer from March through June with temperatures from 35-48ºC; autumn in October and November with temperatures between 18-35 ºC. July through September, referred to as the monsoon or rainy season, usually brings relief from the stupendous summer heat.

Nearly 18% of the world’s population lives in India and its dependent territories. India’s population in 2012 was estimated at 1.22 billion people. Hindi is the official language, but English is used extensively in business and government. It is also taught in many schools. In addition to 14 semi-official languages, the over 1,600 dialects are spoken.

Travelers to India usually arrive by air. There are international flights to Delhi, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Chennai (formerly Madras) or Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Amritsar. During the height of the tourist season there are also direct flights from Bangkok to Gaya. It is also possible to enter the country by car or bus from Bhutan or Nepal.

A visa is mandatory for all non-resident, non-citizens of India other than citizens of Bhutan and Nepal. They are available by application in person or by post from Indian Embassies and High Commissions or through specialist visa agencies.

Your passport must have a minimum validity of six months from the time of application. Your visa must remain valid during your entire stay.

 

Getting Visa

A visa is mandatory for all non-resident, non-citizens of India other than citizens of Bhutan and Nepal.

Two types of visa are available for tourists. If you wish to stay no longer than a month, a special e-visa is now available on-line for most nationalities.

If you wish to stay longer than a month, you will need to apply for a regular visa and follow the application procedure in your country. Usually the initial application has to be made on-line, followed by an application in person at the Indian Embassy, High Commission or designated visa agency. If you cannot attend in person, you can also apply by post or through a private visa agency.

Your passport must have a minimum validity of six months from the time of application. Your visa must remain valid during your entire stay.

 

A Brief Introduction to Bodhgaya

Bodhgaya is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage sites. It is located in Gaya District of Bihar state in India. Prince Siddhartha attained perfect enlightenment under a bodhi tree in Bodygaya some 2,500 years ago. Historically, it was known as the Bodhimanda or ground around the bodhi tree. Some 250 years later, dharma king Ashoka visited this holy site and he is considered the founder of the Mahabodhi Temple. The famous Chinese monk scholar Xuanzang visited this site in 637 CE.

The sacred site of Bodhgaya was “lost” for centuries as Buddhism declined in India. After Burmese Buddhists rediscovered it in the 1880s, the British colonial government began restoration work. In 1891, the Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Anagarika Dharmapala founded the Mahabodhi Society and started a campaign to return control of the temple to Buddhists. In 1949, the Society became part of the 9-member management committee of the temple. In 2002, UNESCO declared Bodhgaya a World Heritage Site.

Today, this holy ground is home to more than a dozen temples and educational institutes representative of Buddhist traditions from various areas, including China, Japan, Korean, Taiwan, Bhutan, Tibet, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Burma. Several historical sites, such as Rajgir and Nalanda University, are in the vicinity.

Insert 2: An area map of Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, and other historical sites.

Insert 3: A Street Map of Bodhgaya showing the location of Kagyu Monlam Chenmo/Mahabodhi Temple, Tergar Monastery, hotels, and main attractions.

 

Getting There

Delhi – Bodhgaya ................. 1,008 km
Gaya – Bodhgaya ................. 16 km
Patna –Bodhgaya ................. 135 km
Varanasi – Bodhgaya ............ 252 km

 

By Air

Gaya Airport is 7 km from the town of Bodhgaya. Between October and February, a few international and domestic airlines offer flights to Gaya:

Thai Airways International (from Bangkok)
Thai Smile Air (from Bangkok)
Air India (from Delhi, Kolkata ( Mondays and Fridays only ), or Varanasi)
Drukair Royal Bhutanese Airlines (from Kathmandu, Bangkok, or Paro)
Myanmar Airways International (from Mandalay, Yangon)
SriLankan Airlines (from Colombo)

Patna Airport is about 115 km north of Bodhgaya. Many domestic airlines offer regular flights to Patna from New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Varanasi.

Air India (from Delhi )
GoAir (from Delhi, Mumbai)
IndiGo (from Bangalore,Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai)
Jet Airways (from Delhi)
SpiceJet (from Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai)

Varanasi (Benares) Airport is further away at 240 km.

Air India (from Kathmandu, Delhi)
Buddha Air (from Kathmandu)
Jet Airway, IndiGo, SpiceJet (from Delhi)
Thai Smile Air (from Bangkok)
Thai Airways International (from Bangkok)

Long distance bus is also an option for travel from the airport in Patna or Varanasi to Bodhgaya. Travel agencies can arrange for a car or jeep, a tour bus or a minibus to meet you or your group at the airport and then drive you to Bodhgaya. Tourist taxis are easily available around the airport as well, although the former may be safer.

 

By Train

Travel by train is inexpensive and offers a unique opportunity to see the country and meet the people. However, travelers are advised to exercise caution for a safe journey. Arriving in Bodhgaya during daylight hours is recommended for your safety.

Gaya Train Station is approximately 16 km north of Bodhgaya. Several train lines connected to New Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi (formerly Benares) and Patna stop at Gaya. Tourist taxis are easily available around the station.
From Delhi: Grand Chord line of the Delhi-Kolkata section of Eastern Railway, Rajdhani Express, Purushottam Express, Howrah-Kolkata Mail
From Kolkata: Howrah Express, Kolkata-Howrah Mail, Rajdhani Express
From Patna: Palamau Express, Hatia Patna Express.
From Varanasi: Doon Express, AC Express, Poorva Express.

More information is available online from the official website of Indian
Railways (http://www.indianrail.gov.in) and various travel agencies.

 

By Car or Jeep

Bodhgaya is connected by road to many cities and towns. Reputable travel agencies can arrange for a reliable car or jeep with a dependable driver.

Nalanda (101 km)
Rajgir (78 km)
Patna (135km)
Varanasi (252 km)
Calcutta (495km).

 

Tips for Travel by Train

1. Train tickets for most lines are sold typically in several different categories: A/C First Class, A/C Sleeper in two- or three-tier, A/C Chair Car, 2nd Class (non A/C) in two- or three-tier. Because these categories can be confusing, it is best to consult a travel agent or tourist service center before purchasing one.

2. Timetables (Trains at a Glance) can be hard to read or understand. It’s therefore easier to buy a train ticket through a travel agent or tourist service center.

3. Safety around train stations. Areas surrounding railway stations, and crowded areas in general, are notoriously high risk areas full of pickpockets and thieves. Plan ahead to avoid both pushing or being pushed through a crowded area and searching through your bags for tickets or visas or cash. Never open a bag of any kind in public. Keep whatever you need handy, like a small amount of cash and your ticket, in a secure inside pocket.

4. Do not expose any valuables or cash at any time. Whenever possible use the waiting room for First Class and A/C Sleeper passengers. Pay special attention when getting in and out of trains—or any other transport. Bodhgaya is located in Bihar State which is especially infamous for dacoits (bandits) and crime.

5. Security on trains. First Class A/C compartments are the only place that are normally quite safe. None of the others are. Do not leave anything of value close to open train windows, doors and walkways. Never leave anything on your seat if you vacate it even for a moment to use a toilet or stretch your legs. Tightly lock up and chain your luggage to a seat for security if you plan to sleep. Do not accept food or drink from anyone including casual acquaintances on trains. Have your own snacks with you, somewhere easy to reach without exposing your valuables, visa or cash.

 

 

Weather and What to Bring

The Kagyu Monlam Chenmo usually takes place from late December to early January, late winter or early spring, when the weather is pleasantly dry, warm and sunny. During the day, the temperature is usually somewhere between 20-30ºC (68 to 86ºF), but early mornings and evenings it can drop as low as 4 or 5 ºC (40ºF). Bring layers of clothing to wear and a pair of new slippers or thick socks to wear at the Temple or at the Monlam Pavilion.

Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date, especially for Hepatitis. Bring an adequate supply of prescription medicines, over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and nutrient supplements if you use them. Have your doctor recommend a basic travel medical kit.

You should bring sun-screen lotion, moisturizer, and lip balm and a good quality hand sanitizer, Pepto-Bismol tablets, sun hat, and oral rehydration sachets. You will be able to buy purified water for drinking, cleaning your teeth etc. A thermos bottle and small travel kettle or heating coil (with the proper adaptor) can be very handy, especially if you bring packets of instant soup or coffee or tea bags; these will enable you to make your own hot drinks in your hotel room.

Sleeping bags are recommended for those choosing a budget or middle price hotel, or a guest house.

You must have an FM radio with earphones to get a translation of the talks, rituals and other events in your own language. Do not bring a device without earphones as you will disturb everyone around you.

This is a sacred occasion attended by many monks and nuns, so plan to observe a dress code which maintains modesty. Loose fitting clothes work best for comfort and decency.

Bring a pair of shoes/sandals that are easy to slide off because you will be asked to remove your shoes on many occasions.

 

Bodhgaya Hotels and Guest Houses

“Contact information for places to stay in Bodhgaya. Details are posted for convenience; Kagyu Monlam does not endorse any guest houses.”

Anukul Guest House
Tel. 91 631 2201 915
Mobile 91 9934 063 213
New Temple Marg, Bodhgaya, 824231
Email: ankulguesthouse@yahoo.com | raj_bodhgaya@yahoo.com

Aramapali Guest House
Tel. 91 631 2201 936
Mobile 91 9431 279 557
Opp. Park gate, Bodh Gaya, 824231, Bihar

Bodh Gaya Guest House
Tel. 91 631 2200 101
Next to International Meditation Ctr.

Bodhgaya Regency Hotel
near Japanese Temple (Mastipur)
Bodh Gaya 824231, Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel: 0091-631 2200 415
Email info@bodhgayaregency.com

Buddha Bhumi Guest House
Behind Maya Sarowar, Siddhartha Nagar,
Bodhgaya, 824231,
Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Tel +91 631 2200 406
Mob.+91 80844 44131 or 91994 67674
Email: ranjanpawan@gmail.com

Deep Guest House
Tel. 91 631 2200 463
Fax 91 631 2200 463
Near Sujata Bridge & Burmese Vihar

Dhamma Guest House
North Kalachakra Ground, Bodhgaya, 824321
Gaya Bihar, INDIA
Tel: +91 631 220 0082/ +91 93349 49258/ +91 8986534786
Arjun Kumar Saw, Proprietor Mob. +91 93349 49258 or 89865 34786

Hafiz Naseem House
Mobile 91 9934 058 930

Hotel Bodhgaya Gautam
Domuhan Road, Baijhu Bigha,
Bodhgaya, 824231,
Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Sr. Mgr, Jitendra Kumar
Mob. +91 094312 90098 or 96311 11148
Email: jitu_bgaya@rediffmail.com
Website: www.hotelbodhgayagautam.com

Hotel Embassy
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2200799
Mobile 91 9431 225 041
Fax 91-631-2200711
Email: embassyhotelbodhgaya@yahoo.com

Hotel Galaxy
Nyingma Temple Road,
Bodhgaya, Gaya, Bihar, 824231
Tel: 0631 2200006, +91-9801666263
Fax 0631 2200066
Email: hotel_galaxy@yahoo.com
Website: www.hotelgalaxyintercontinental.com

Hotel Heritage
Email: hotelheritagebg@gmail.com / info@hotelheritagebodhgaya.com
Tel: (91) 631 2200 202
Mobile: (91) 93342 11627

Hotel Kanako International
Katorwa Road, behind 80 foot Buddha Statue,
Bodhgaya, 824231,
Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Tel +91 631 2201 698
Email: info@hotelkanako.com
Website: www.hotelkanako.com
D.K. Sinha, Manager Mob. +91 99394 91433 or 93863 332256

Hotel Mahayana
PO Box 4
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2200756, 2200675
Fax 91-631-2200676
Email: mahayanagh@yahoo.com

Hotel Niranjana
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2200475
Fax 91-631-2200873

Hotel Om International
near Kalachakra Ground,
Bodhgaya 824231,
Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Tel: +91 631 2200185
Fax: +91 631 2200195
Email: info@hotelominternational.net
Website: www.hotelominternational.net

Hotel R K Palace
Main Temple Road,
Bodhgaya - 824232 Gaya, Bihar INDIA
Tel: +91- 631 - 2200205 / 2200004
Email: rkpalace.13@gmail.com
Website: www.hotelrkpalace.co.in
S. T. Ahmad. Manager Mob +91- 810 291 9871

Hotel Shashi International
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2200459, 2200316
Fax 91-631-2200483
Email: hotelshashi@gmail.com / info@hotelshashi.com
Website: www.hotelshashi.com
Umesh Upadhyay, manager Mob +91 94302 01308 / 88096 18633

Hotel Smart Palace
Before Tergar Monastery on Sujata Bypass Road,
Bodhgaya, Gaya, 824231 Bihar, India
Email: deonathkumar73@gmail.com
(91) 9504781777
(91) 9631844118

Hotel Tathagat
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2200106, 2201991
Fax 91-631-2200107
Email: swagat@hoteltathagatbodhgaya.net

Hotel Thai International
Opposite Japanese Temple, Mastipur,
Bodhgaya, 824231,
Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Tel +91 631 2200 786/ 2200 186
Fax +91 631 2201 140
P.K. Srivastava, GM Mob. +91 99319 79369 or 97983 91482
Email: gmhotelthaiinternational@rediffmail.com

Hotel Tokyo Vihar
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2201141, 2200820
Mobile 91 9431 453 672
Fax 91-631-2201140
Email: hoteltokyovihar@rediffmail.com

Hotel Vaishal International
Bodhgaya, 824231, Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Tel & Fax +91 631 2200 633
Mob. +91 98529 20046
Email: htlvishal@gmail.com
Website: www.hotelvishalinternational.com

Hotel Vaishali Residency
Near 80 foot Buddha Statue,
Bodhgaya, 824231, Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Tel +91 631 2200 251
Mob +91 72771 23251
Email: htlvaishali@gmail.com
Website: www.hotelvaishaliresidency.com

Hotel Vipassana
Near Chinese Temple, Bodhgaya 824231,
Tel & Fax +91 621 2200 628
Sunil Kumar Goyal mob +91 99342 90625 / 9835607698
Email: hotelvipassana@gmail.com
Website: www.hotelvipassana.com

International Meditation Center
Tel: (91) 0631 2200 707
Mobile: (91) 99558 19226

Jyoti Guest House
Mobile 91 9931 604 177 / 91 9934 687 266
Opp. Jai Prakash Park, Bodhgaya 824231 (Gaya, Bihar, India)

Kaushalya Guest House
(near Tergar Monastery, Bypass road, Pachatti)
Bodhgaya, 824231, Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Email: kaushalyaguesthouse@gmail.com
Website: www.kaushalyaguesthouse.com
Uma Shankar Patel +91 800 2233 404 mobile +91 94312 14177

Kirti Guest House
P.O Box No.21, Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2200744
Mobile 91 9431 223 016
Email: kirtihouse744@yahoo.com

Laxmi Guest House
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2200110
Mobile 91 9431 453 084
Siddhartha Nagar, Bodh Gaya (Bihar) India
Email: rajnish_deepu@yahoo.co.in or laxmi_house@yahoo.co.jp

Lotus Nikko Hotel
Email: lotus_bodhgaya@sify.com
Tel: (91) 631 2200 700/789
Mobile: (91) 09801 863216

Mahabodhi Hotel/ Resort/ Convention Centre
Via Tekuna Farm, BMP Camp 3, Hariharpur, Bodhgaya, Dist. Gaya, Bihar, India 824231
Email: marketing@mahabodhihotel.com / mahabodhihotelbodhgaya@gmail.com
mobile # (91) 7546988903/ 00/ 01 phone # (91)0631 2900801/ 802
please note : Mahabodhi Hotel/ Resort is closer to the Gaya Airport, not in Bodhgaya

OM Guest House
Mobile 91 9934 057 498 or 91 9939 995 094
Near Main Temple

Rahul Guest House
near Kalachakra Ground
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91 631 2200 709
Mobile 91 9934 463 849

Ram's Guest House
Tel. 91 631 2200 644 / 2201 909
Siddhartha Nagar, Bodh Gaya 824231 (Bihar) India
Email: ramshouse2002@yahoo.com.in

Ravi's Guest House
Bodh Gaya 824231
Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91 631 2200 949
Mobile 91 9939 602 341

Royal Residency
Domuhan Road, Bodhgaya, 824231, Bihar, India
Tel: +91 631 2200 368
Fax: +91 631 2200 124 or 367
EMail: rrbodhgaya@gmail.com
Website: http://www.theroyalresidency.net/bodhgaya/contact_bodhgaya.htm

Sanghmitra Guest House
near International Meditation Centre
Bodhgaya, 824231, Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Mobile: +91 800 2583174 / 94312 96613 / 93345 19432

New Sanghmitra Guest House
near Chakma Temple, behind Maya Sarovar
Bodhgaya, 824231, Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Tel: +91 947211 5854 / +91 9472115855 / +91 947211 58 57 / +91 9482841500
Email: singharchana122@gmail.com

Sang Priya Guest House
Behind International Meditation Centre, Bodh Gaya, 824231
Mobile #s: (0091) 093349 86495 / 0875716 7004 / 096617 5866
Tel +91 00631 2200 800 / +91 631 320 1661
Mobile +91 09661758663
Arun Kumar, manager Mobile +91 9334986495 +91 8757167004

Sangh Shree Guest House
Siddhartha Nagar (Miya Bigha),
Bodhgaya, 824231, Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Tel +91 631 2050 804
Email: manishsharma_gopal@yahoo.in or mkgopal287@gmail.com
Manish Kumar Mob. +91 99349 87287

Shechen Monastery Guest House
near State Bank of India, Bodhgaya, 824231, Bihar, India
Email: ngawang@hotmail.com
Tel: +91 9939 188 777

Sujata Hotel
Bodh Gaya 824231, Gaya, Bihar, India
Tel. 91-631-2200481
Fax 91-631-2200515

Superiya Guest House
North of Kalachakra Ground,
Bodhgaya 824231,
Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Mob. +91 99552 81655 or 85810 19322

Taiwan Temple Guest House
Tel: (91)631 2200 503 / 631 2200 673
Mobile: 00 886 93737 4088

Vien Giac Institute
Tel. 91 631 2200 237 / 2200 252
near Kalachakra Ground

Vidya Shree Residency
Saxena Road, Near Root Institute,
Bodhgaya, 824231, Gaya, Bihar, INDIA
Email: vidyasriresidency@gmail.com
Mob. +91 94312 25771 or 80026 94039

Welcome Guest House
Tel. 91 631 2200 377
Mobile 91 9934 221 943
Opp. Jai Prakash Park, Bodhgaya 824231 (Gaya, Bihar, India)
Email: welcomeguest_house@yahoo.co.in or brajeshbodhgaya@rediffmail.com

 

 

Getting Around in Bodhgaya

Auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, and tourist taxis are the best way to get around Bodhgaya. It is necessary to negotiate and agree on a price and all trip details before setting out. Try to keep small change in rupees for the payments.

Because India is the home of the sacred cow doctrine, cows are likely to be roaming at large in the streets. It is considered a serious crime to hit a cow with a car or rickshaw so please have drivers be very cautious. Charging foreigners high penalties for hitting or hurting a cow is not uncommon.

 

Indian Food

Food and diet vary greatly in India, a land of such varied ethnicity, religion, geography and climate. Approximately 80% of the population is Hindu, 15% Muslim. Hindus do not eat beef, and these days most Indian states ban the slaughter of cows and consumption of beef. Chicken is widely available but many Indians are dedicated vegetarians and this may be the safest option.

Indian cooking is famous for its wide variety of flavors, usually achieved by a creative use of spices. The most common are chili pepper, cinnamon, turmeric cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, fenugeek and mustard seed. Curry is a combination of them and does not necessarily mean hot. The spiciness varies. Dhal (lentils, split peas and beans), rice and Indian breads such as naan, chapati, puri, roti, paratha are ubiquitous staples. Indians use a lot of potatoes, known as aloo, and make pancakes and breads from lentils. Lassi, a yogurt like drink, helps digestion and provides extra protein but you must be careful that it does not contain water. Chai, Indian milk tea, and masala or spiced tea (spiced with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom) are among favorite drinks, served virtually everywhere.

Do not eat anything raw. It’s best not to eat fruit unless it can be peeled like a banana or orange.

Exercise extreme caution at all times especially concerning water. Be very certain that any plate, glass or utensil you use has been thoroughly dried so there are no drops of water left on it to contaminate it. Do not drink any water that does not come from a sealed bottle or has not been boiled. When you buy mineral water, check the bottle seal to make sure it hasn’t been opened. Avoid any food that might contain unboiled water and ice cubes.

 

Currency Exchange

The Indian currency is the rupee, available in 2,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, rupee notes, and 10, 5, and 1 rupee coins. The exchange rate is currently around 67 rupees to 1 $US

It may be best to exchange money on arrival at the airport banks or licensed money changers such as Thomas Cook. You will need a passport and visa to do this. Please be advised that torn or very worn currency notes will often be rejected by local merchants, so check the notes you are given before leaving any exchange counter. A good supply of small denomination notes always comes in handy for butter lamps, rickshaw fares, small meals or needy people.

 

Local Customs

1. Namaste” is an all-purpose greeting. It can be used in place of “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” “Good evening,” “Welcome,” “How are you?” and so on.

2. When responding to a question, Indians tend to shake their heads from side to side. This can mean “OK,” “No problem,” or “Yes.”

3. In most areas, an Indian house doesn’t have a street address, or a sign. When giving directions, locals rely on landmarks such as bridges, temples, and markets. It’s a good way to navigate the landscape.

4. The pace of life in India is relatively slow. Allow extra time and practice patience.

5. Do not touch the heads of children, because it is considered the sacred part of a person.

6. Indian etiquette dictates that one uses the right hand to eat, the left is used to handle unclean matter and is thus perceived as unclean. Therefore, avoid touching others with your left hand or giving things to others with your left hand.

7. Typical business hours are 9:00 - 13:00, 14:00 -17:30, Monday through Friday. Government agencies and many large-sized business organizations are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

8. Cows are considered sacred and let free to roam in India. Hurting cows in any way is a serious offense.

9. Before entering a religious place, remove your shoes. Put them on shelves or in the designated area if available. Otherwise, carry them with you in a plastic bag or your backpack.

 

General Safety Tips for Travel in India

1. In tourist areas, thieves and pickpockets mix in with the crowd. Keep your bags close to your body at all times. Avoid crowds where possible or be extra careful when in the midst of crowds.

2. When taking a taxi or rickshaw, negotiate and agree on a price, location of drop-off and pick-up, etc., before setting off to avoid conflicts later on. Be sure that the driver knows where you want to go.

3. Bargaining is a fact of life when shopping in India. If you have no intention to buy, do NOT enter into a serious bargaining for fun especially in Bodhgaya.

4. Food poisoning can ruin your entire trip. So, pay close attention to food safety, eat freshly cooked food, refrain from eating salads, raw food, and cold dishes unless you know for sure they are properly prepared, and avoid ice cubes unless you can be sure they were made from boiled water.. These days most bottled water is safe but not always. Check the seal to make sure that the bottle has not been tampered with. In restaurants insist that the bottle has not been opened by the waiter. Open it yourself.

5. Diarrhea saps energy and you can become quite ill very quickly, so don’t ignore it. Rehydrate your body after such incidents with electrolyte drinks (available in tablets and as powder).

6. If you get a cold or flu, treat it with remedies that work for you. Try not to pass it on to others by wearing a mask and/or avoiding close contact. Flu bugs can go around easily and quickly in a big gathering.

7. Clean your hands frequently with hand sanitizer or wipes.

8. Air pollution is common in most Indian towns and cities. Use masks in congested areas.

9. Take measures against theft. Do not assume hotel rooms are safe. Inquire if the hotel can keep your passport, travellers’ checks and valuables safely and if it guarantees secure storage. Make copies of your passport and Indian visa and a list of travelers’ check numbers, Leave one set with friends or keep it separate from the originals. Lock your hotel room securely whenever you leave, put on the extra security chain before you go to sleep.

 

Other Useful Tips:

1. India has only one time zone and does not adopt daylight saving time (DST). It is 13 hours and 30 minutes ahead of the west coast of North America during non-DST period, or 12 hours 30 minutes during DST period. It is 2 hours and 30 minutes behind Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.

2. Electricity is 220-240 volts AC, and unstable in most areas. India uses 2- or 3-round-pin plugs but socket sizes vary and may not be always available at hotels. You may want to bring a universal adaptor and/or transformers.

3. Reception of cell/mobile phones is not stable, but there are many STD/ISD phone booths to make international calls at low rates.

34th Kagyu Monlam Schedule

Tibetan / English / ChineseKoreanFrench • German • Polish • RussianSpanishIndonesianVietnamese

Potowa’s Long Soliloquy Text Downloads

ChineseEnglishFrenchIndonesianPolish • RussianSpanishVietnamese

Dharma Teachings

Teachings on Potowa’s Long Soliloquy
Recorded during the 34th Kagyu Monlam, Bodhgaya, India. February 13-16, 2017.


Teachings on The Torch of True Meaning
Recorded during the 34th Kagyu Monlam, Bodhgaya, India. February 9-10, 2017.


Teachings on Potowa’s Long Soliloquy
Recorded during the 33rd Kagyu Monlam, Bodhgaya, India. February 16-18, 2016.


 

More Videos...