Travel & Visas.
Important information for your trip to India.
You will need a valid Tourist visa to enter India. To obtain this you will need to contact your local Indian High Commission, fill in the application form, which is usually available to download online, and take it to them or send it in along with the required fee. This can take up to 10 days and your visa is activated from the day you get it rather than upon entry into the country. When stating your purpose on your visa form it is best to say Tourism rather than Yoga.
On your visa application you will be asked to give references in India of where you are staying, you can use the following:
- Mr. Santosh, Retreat Manager, Purple Valley Retreat, 142 Bairo Alto, Assagao, Bardez, Goa (Postcode 507403)
Arrival, Departures, & Transfers
You should aim to arrive at Purple Valley Yoga Retreat ideally between 14:00 and 17:00 on Saturday, there is a greeting meeting at 18:00 where you will be given your schedule for the course, dinner will be served at 18.30 and your first class will be the following morning. Check out time is anytime after the Friday morning class up until 10.00 on the final Saturday.
Airport transfers to Purple Valley can be arranged for the cost £10GBP (approx US$19) each way. If you choose to be picked up from the airport we would like to have your arrival details ideally 4 weeks before the start of the course.
If you are arriving into Goa before the Saturday of the course, we will not be able to accommodate you early at the retreat as we will likely be full from the previous group, nor will we be able to provide extra days at the end of the retreat.
We recommed the following hotels for your extra nights and we can organise airport transfers for these hotels only at the same cost as above.
Hotel Astoria, nearby and inexpensive: www.goaastoria.com
Lotus In, 5Km from Purple Valley, moderately priced, pool: www.lotusinngoa.com
Leoney Resort, 7Km from Purple Valley, comfortable, near Vagator beach, pool: www.leoneyresort.com
Please make your bookings directly and organise your airport pick up with the hotel. We will then pick you up from any of these hotels on the Saturday to arrive at Purple Valley at 14.00.
To get to Purple Valley Yoga Retreat you will need to fly into Goa Dabolim airport, which serves international charter and domestic flights.
There are many charter flights that fly direct to Dabolim from European cities.
From the UK try Monarch airlines at www.flymonarch.com
The other option is to fly a scheduled airline to a gateway city such as Mumbai (formerly Bombay), New Delhi, or Bangalore and change to a domestic airline for the journey to Goa Dabolim, which is a 1-hour flight from Mumbai and 2.5 hours from New Delhi and Bangalore. Jet Airways fly from Heathrow and have excellent connections to Goa in India.
There are excellent domestic airlines from the gateway cities which you can book online, try the following, making sure you are paying the fare for a non-resident of India or have your travel agent book the flight for you.
Jet Airways: www.jetairways.com
Air Deccan: www.airdeccan.net
Spice Jet: www.spicejet.com
Already in Goa?
If you are already in Goa and making your own way here by taxi you will need to tell the driver that we are on the small road down from Mapusa at the DMC College, towards Badem. The yoga retreat is on the left hand side between the Rainbow Childrens Home and the Palotti Institute.
As with any holiday travel insurance is always recommended.
It is recommended that you visit your GP, personal physician or a travel health clinic 4 to 8 weeks before your departure to India. Recommended vaccinations often include hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and polio. Goa is not a high-risk area for malaria and the tablets can be considered controversial, we recommend that you do some research and make your own decision on this.
What to bring
Most of these items can be purchased locally in Goa and for cheaper than in the West, but you may want to have them with you if you don't want to spend your first couple of days shopping.
- Yoga mat: We do have loan mats that you can use, however it is always nice to have your own.
- Warm yoga clothes: If you are visiting in December and January it is hot once the sun comes up and you can spend all day on the beach but the mornings can be chilly during practice so its best to have a track suit or something warm
- Money: Cash and travellers cheques can be exchanged to rupees, the Indian currency, within a 5 to 10 minute taxi ride from Purple Valley and there are also some ATMs within a 10 to 15 minute taxi ride. You would want to have some funds on your arrival, which you can purchase at your airport of departure, however rupees are not to be taken out of India on your return. For the up to date exchange rate see www.xe.com
- Electrical adaptors: Goa operates on 220V, the same 2 prong plugs as Europe, which are different from North America.
- Beach towel or sarong: We provide room towels at Purple Valley but ask that you do not bring them to the beach. You can purchase sarongs on your first trip to the beach, which are an excellent alternative to packing a heavy towel.
- Driving licence: If you plan on hiring a car or scooter you will need to have your home country driving licence.
- Torch / flashlight: Power outages are frequent in India and part of the charm but you might want some help seeing in the dark.
- Earplugs: If you are sensitive sleeper, India is noisy, even with the jungle noises at Purple Valley.
- Mosquito repellent: Although an excellent version called Odomos is available widely.
- Sunscreen: You will need to take care against the strong sun, especially when arriving from winter.