Saraswati Publications, LLC

India Awaits You

Ashta Vinayaka Temples
Map of 8 Ganesha Temples
Namadeva at Ganesha Temple
Namadeva at Ganesha Temple
Panduranga & Rukmini at Pandarpur
Panduranga & Rukmini at Pandarpur Temple
Sri Sri Shankara Jayendra Saraswati Mahaswamigal
Sri Sri Shankaracharya Jayendra Mahaswamigal
Sri Sri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswati Mahaswamigal
Sri Sri Shankaracharya Vijayendra Mahaswamigal

Vijaya Vittala at Vishwa Shanti Ashram
Vishwa Rupa Vishnu at Vishwa Shanti
Universal Form of Vishnu
at Vishwa Shanti Ashram

Saraswati Publications, LLC
Travel Tips for India
Dear India Traveler,

Here is information on our May India Pilgrimage Trip.  We are really looking forward to traveling with you!

Namadeva Acharya & Satyabhama
Travel Tip #1 - Packing

In the hot areas you will want to have light clothing, about as thin as bedsheets.  No shorts for women at temples.  In the Himalayas, you will want to have jackets and warm pants and sox and sturdy shoes for climbing.  Laundry service is available at the city hotels, so don't bring too much.  You will want to have some bag/backpack with you on the bus for personal items during the day trips.  Save some space in your luggage to take home gifts and murtis and saris.

Do bring an inflatable pillow or the like for the long flights.  Bring your vitamins, herbal remedies, aspirin or other pain relievers, prescriptions, bandaids, lotions, etc. You will need a flash light at Auli.  Also bring your camera with extra cards, battery charger etc.
Travel Tip #2 - Baggage Allowance

2 pieces of checked baggage, 50 lbs each max
1 piece of hand baggage, 7 kg (15 lbs) max

It is better to take only one checked bag, as carrying a lot of luggage is a real hassle while traveling.  One large bag for all your clothing and liquids that cannot be carried on the airline plus hand baggage is best.  The hand baggage actually includes one personal item, like a purse, in addition to the luggage to stow in the overhead bin.

Travel Tip #3 - Weather

Weather will vary from 85 F (32-33 C) in Bangalore to 105 F (41 or 42 C) in Chennai/Kanchi and Pune.  In the Himalayas it will be cooler, 80s in the day and 40s (15 C) at night. 
Travel Tip #4 - Safety and Health

Food at the hotels will be safe.  It is safe at the restaurants, too, so long as you do not eat the chutney and pickles (not cooked) nor fruits you have not peeled yourself.  DO NOT EAT ANYTHING FROM STREET VENDORS!!!

The US Center for Disease Control ( recommends that you get a Hepatitis A shot. See below.  It requires a shot plus a booster 6 months later (which we got after our return from our first trip.)
We did not get other vaccinations.

Also, in May you will not need malaria medication. We will not be going to areas where it is a problem. We took
Malarone on our first trip, but since then have taken a combination of wormwood and black walnut, which is reputed to get rid of parasites.  None of the places on our 2009 trip have malaria outbreaks.

If you want to take precautions anyway, the newer malaria med is Malarone.  It is advised to be taken the day before the trip, then daily in India, preferably with the evening meal. CDC recommends taking it after your return.  If you should get malaria, the cure is to take Malarone until it is gone.

Our accommodations will be in excellent hotels, where food-related diseases are not a problem.  Nobody got any illness on our 2005 trip, except a cold.  In 2007, nobody got any intestinal illness who avoided street food and no colds either.

Don't forget to bring insect repellant and sunscreen!
Travel Tip #5 - Flight from SFO
The United Flight from SFO leaves at 8 am.  There is no way to fly in to SFO on time that morning. Please book a room in the airport area for April 30th, so you don't miss our flight.  As we are booked on an international flight, United will have to abide by the international baggage rules, above.
Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the tips. I can be reached at

Margalo Ashley-Farrand
Saraswati Publications, LLC