Do some background reading before traveling to India and also about our region, North Kannada district, Karnataka, India. It is a fascinating region and your visit would become a great experience. There is no denying that travelling in India can be a major culture shock, especially on your first visit. Even for an Indian, travelling to different parts of the country can be an exhilarating experience. It is a huge country, with many different religions and cultures, where cities roar with traffic and bustle with non-stop
activity. Indians are hospitable and friendly people, if they stare at you, do not consider it rude, it is only a matter of curiosity. If you’re lost in India, most people are more than willing to go out of their way to guide you to your destination.
- Please check Custom regulations in India
- Currency: Indian Rupee (1 Rupee = 100 paisa)
- System of measurement: Metric (kilometers for distance, kilograms for weight, centigrade for temperature)
- Driving: Right hand
- Time: GMT +5 hrs 30 minutes
- Languages: English widely spoken. Hindi is widely spoken or understood in the north and many other parts of India. Other major languages are Punjabi, Kashmiri, Ladakhi (north) Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam (south), Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati (west), Oriya, Bengali, Assamese (east). In addition to these, there are number of other unsubscripted languages and hundreds of dialects.
- Dialing code: +91 (country code) + city code
- Female Protection Hotline: 1090
- Police: 100 / Fire: 101 / Ambulance : 102/108 / Emergency No: 112
- A Suggestion: When asking for your way while travelling, confirm 2-3 times from different people.
To grasp the soul of the country, try and attend a folk or classical music, dance or theatre/drama programme.
Do visit rural India; that’s where India’s heart lives.
Indians are hospitable and friendly people, if they stare at you, do not consider it rude, it is only a matter of curiosity. A tourist is ‘never’ lost in India; most people are more than willing to go out of their way to guide you to find your way or even invite you to their homes or ceremonies.
If you wish to know Indian people closely, visit an Indian home, be part the ceremony. If you so wish, we can arrange a visit.
Witnessing the color and gaiety of Indian fairs and festivals is a great experience, try not to miss it.
Do not forget to remove your footwear when visiting a place of worship or mausoleum. Also, some temples do not permit leather articles within their premises. Certain temples or areas of temples are not open to non- Hindus, so please do not take an offence and take it as an experience of traditional view of India.
Talk to local people. No one is much bothered about “intrusion of privacy”, a concept that is somewhat alien to the local culture. Be prepared in turn for being asked personal questions.
India is a blend of traditional & modern values. Kindly be sensitive to the local culture and etiquette. If in doubt, kindly ask your guide/escort or an authorised person.
For most of the year light, comfortable cottons are recommended. Light woollens may be needed during the evenings/nights in December and January. To roam in and around OmBodhi or beach, we highly recommend a pair of slippers as part of your personal effects.
For the sightseeing sessions, it is best to wear light, comfortable cottons with a pair of good ventilated walking shoes or open-toed sandals, and cotton socks. You may find a good pair of sunglasses and a sunhat handy, not to forget water-bottle.
At some monuments/temples/mosques, it is advisable to avoid sleeveless tops and short skirts. You may also be asked to remove your shoes; in such cases socks are useful. In wildlife parks neutral (not bright) clothes are recommended.
Health & Hygiene
At OmBodhi Retreat we offer water from our own own filtration system, which is safe to drink. One can also get bottled water, aerated drinks, tea, coffee, canned/bottled juice and of course fresh juice.
Indian food is one of the most delicious of world cuisines. Moderation in very spicy food is recommended initially. Ask for less to mild spices and chillies. Allow your system to get used to the changes. Yoghurt (locally called “curd”) is advisable for weak constitutions or after a hot curry.
In addition to the medication you’re already taking, we recommend you to carry a small supply of basic health care medication such as travel sickness tablets, anti-diarrhoea tablets, insect repellent, sun creams and a general purpose antibiotic. You may not find the security of same brand names in India, but there are
very good chemists/druggists and doctors everywhere, and they can advise on substitutes. If the necessity arises, ask us to recommend a doctor.
You may not find the same brand names in India. There are very good chemists/druggists and doctors everywhere, and they can advise on substitutes. If the necessity arises, ask us to recommend a doctor.
We strongly recommend that all travellers are properly insured for their holiday. If you have taken your own travel insurance, please check that it includes repatriation costs.
It is our recommendation that you and travellers accompanying you may like to take a suitable insurance for the full period of your holiday covering the costs related to cancellation of holiday, any assistance you may need, any damage, accident, illness, evacuation, repatriation, etc).
It is safe to travel in India, as you will find out for yourself. Even if you read of some trouble in any town or region, do not be discouraged. Since India a large country, trouble in one region has no effect in other regions, hence most of India is safe at all times. Like travelling in any other part of the world, it is advised to
be careful, especially at night or at a lonely place.
One can visit the local markets in and around Kumta to explore and purchase locally.
In addition to day to day products, one can purchase good quality wooden products including sandalwood, soapstone carvings, statues, antique products, etc.
India provides splendid opportunities for the shopper especially for silks and cotton, jewelery & gemstones, carpets, bed linen, hand embroidered hand block printed fabric, handicrafts of all types, miniature paintings and much more.
If you are not interested, and if someone is particularly insistent, do not hesitate to refuse. Please note, we are not responsible for any shopping related issue..
We do not charge extra for services at OmBodhi Retreat.
Tipping is common in India, particularly if you are happy with the service. A tip of 10% is customary but not necessary. Some indicative amounts for tipping are:
- Representatives who receives you and helps with transfers: Rs 200.
- Driver who transfers you to your accommodation from the airport: Rs. 300.
- Bell boys who carry your baggage to your room: Rs. 50-100 depending on the luggage.
- Guide for half day / full day sightseeing trips: Rs 200 / 400.
- Driver for sightseeing/long trips: Rs 300-400 per day.
- Waiters in restaurants 10% of billed amount (if service charge not included)
- Room service tipping is common. We would suggest you keep some notes of smaller denominations (Rupees 50) handy.
- Tipping of local auto/taxi drivers is not customary.
In India there is 50 Cycle / 220 Volt electricity system and have wall sockets for round pins. An international plug adapter is highly recommended. We advice our guests to bring a suitable adapter for their electric / electronic gadgets.
Travel with a camera and film rolls/memory cards, charger etc. India is a land of sunshine and color, asking to be photographed. Most memory cards are available in cities.
For amateur photography of national monuments, there are no restrictions on taking photographs with a still camera. It is prohibited to photograph places of major infrastructure like thermal plants or military importance, i.e. airports, bridges, sensitive border regions. Certain palaces and museums may prohibit
interior or exterior photography.
Owning to religious sentiments, some temples may not allow foreign nationals to enter inside or into the sanctum sanctorum. Photography also may be prohibited in all or parts of the temple complex. Kindly do not feel offended.
Please also avoid photography at places where women are bathing, death ceremony, etc. If in doubt kindly ask your guide/escort or an authorised person.
Charges may be levied to photograph some monuments, forts or temples. Inside museums, or when photographing art works, flash cameras are prohibited. If tripods or other outside aids such as props or floodlights are used, or for professional and commercial photograph, special permission must be obtained from the concerned authority. Similar, permission must be obtained for movie cameras other than 8mm and for video cameras.
- 1st AC Sleeper – 2 Tier (4 berths) Air-conditioned compartment with metal sliding door with bolt for extra privacy and security. Berths for night and seats for day. Both berths and seats are considered identical with respect to fare and accommodations.
- 2nd AC Sleeper – 2 Tier (4 berths) Air-conditioned compartment with curtains for extra privacy. Berths for night and seats for day. Both berths and seats are considered identical with respect to fare and accommodations.
- 3rd AC Sleeper – 3 Tier (6 berths) Air-conditioned compartment. Berths for night and seats for day. Both berths and seats are considered identical with respect to fare and accommodations.
- AC Chair car (Seats only) – Both, Air-conditioned and non Air-conditioned.
Beggars are found in most places in India especially cities and specifically tourist areas. In many cases it can be a pathetic sight and can shake ones conscience. Many cities have night shelters/homes for beggars to stay and to teach them a trade, but professional beggars find begging more lucrative. Giving or not giving
alms is a personal choice and one has to deal with it. Some NGO’s are working to rehabilitate beggars.