Indian Rupees is the local currency. The easiest way of getting money is to withdraw it from an ATM once in country. There is an ATM at the airport and ATMs within walking distance of some parts of the program, so this is easy to do.
In our experience this is the safest and most economical way of getting money, rather than having lots of cash at any one time. If you would like to, you can bring a small amount of money to exchange at the airport - but we would not advise bringing any more than £100/$100/€100.
You will have the chance to do some shopping while in Mysore, and Cochin on the second week, so you may want to carry some extra cash for these excursions if you wish to purchase souvenirs.
Debit/ Credit Card
ATMs in India accept most major credit/debit cards. Remember to let your bank know that you are going abroad, otherwise they may block your card.
Travel Cash Card
An alternative to using your debit or credit card is to purchase a travel cash card. The idea behind them is a simple one, you pre-load the card by transferring money to it from your own account which can be done via the internet, text message or by phone. You can then use the card to withdraw cash or make purchases. There are many options online to browse through but remember to read the terms and conditions!
What to Pack
We recommend bringing a rucksack/backpack, rather than a suitcase for ease and convenience whilst travelling. Have a look below at our recommended packing list.
You can buy most things in India, besides DEET insect repellent and sunscreen, but if you use specific products it’s probably safer to bring them out.
✔️ Sunscreen 30-50 SPF
The sun is very strong.
✔️ Mosquito Repellent
Make sure it has 50% DEET or more. You’ll stink, but you won’t get bitten.
✔️ A bottle of antibacterial hand-wash/hand sanitizer
At times you might be eating with your hands without wash facilities available.
✔️ Shampoo/ shower gel/ moisturiser
You can buy more out there; it just might not be your usual brand.
✔️ Flannel / Loofah
✔️ 1 Small bath towel
These are provided at each location you stay but if you want to bring your own, please do.
If you do take any medication remember to bring enough for the entire week.
✔️ Face wipes/baby wipes
Your face can get quite sweaty and dusty on those bus journeys. Also good to use as emergency loo roll.
✔️ Sanitary Products
Towels are available, but if you prefer tampons or any other products, please bring enough for the duration of your week. You could also consider a moon cup or keeper, as sanitary products can be awkward to dispose of.
✔️ Small Backpack
For when you are out and about.
✔️ Rain jacket
Great for short, but vicious downpours.
You are likely to encounter some rain while in India, so it's good to be prepped!
For your bag whilst you are in your accommodation. SLV.Global cannot be held responsible for loss of personal property. Please do not travel with valuables or large amounts of cash. If you do insist on travelling with valuables, please ensure you keep them locked in your suitcase for safekeeping.
✔️ Water bottle
It's important to staty hydrated!
✔️ First aid kit
Plasters/Band-Aids, painkillers (ibuprofen, paracetamol), antihistamines.
Essential for power cuts and reading in bed!
✔️ Photocopy of important docs
We recommend bringing a copy of your visa, your return air ticket printed, the bio page of your passport (To clear the administration to NIMHANS hospital) and travel insurance policy and keeping it in your carry-on case. You'll need a copy of your visa to board the plane for your outbound flight. You'll also need a copy of your return air ticket to enter the airport when you leave India, so please have this to hand.
✔️ Bum bag / Money belt
It can be useful to keep your valuables close to you while travelling.
Team members will be sharing rooms so light-sleepers will find these invaluable.
✔️ Rehydration Salts
Hydration for the nation!
✔️ Diarrhoea Tablets and Senokot
Just to be on the safe side! Most people don’t expect they’ll need the latter, but trust us, you might.
✔️ Plug adaptors
You can always buy these cheap and easily at the airport when you arrive.
✔️ Mosquito nets
These aren’t provided at the School of Ancient Wisdom, so if you already have one of these it might be worth bringing it!
✔️ Phone data
Setting up a data package on your phone, so you can make calls in India or getting it unlocked so you can borrow one of our sims.
✔️ Waterproof trekking shoes
These will be useful in Week 2 when trekking in wet conditions.
You may have the opportunity to go swimming!
You don't need to bring
❌ Yoga mats
We already have these for you at the School of Ancient Wisdom.
There is no need to bring any resources other than a notepad and pen, so you can make some handy notes from the seminars.