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Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 5:03 am
by Chi
Hi Everyone,

After a recent retreat, I was reminded how essential Dhamma and Sangha are to being a happy human being.

I'm flying into Kathmandu, Nepal on the 27th of May. Have loose plans to get an Indian visa, spend some time visiting monasteries and temples in the area.

In India, I'd like to live near Dharamsala and in Ladakh to be near monks and monasteries. I'd like to explore Tibetan Buddhism and culture.

Maybe I should spend some time in Nepal, instead of seeing it as just a short stop? I haven't bought tickets to India yet. What do you think?

Anybody who has traveled to these areas have any recommendations for places/areas to stay, monastaries/meditation centers to live in, teachers to visit, etc?

All your thoughts are welcome :anjali:

Re: Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:38 am
by JamesTheGiant
Ooh what an exciting time! You Americans can get 10 year visas to India? I would move there immediately if I had that kind of visa, but unfortunately I can only get a 6 month visa and have to leave the country every 90 days. Enjoy!
Nepal is friendlier than India, and there are a lot of fascinating mountain monasteries dotted in the Himalaya.
Enjoy, whatever your decision.

Re: Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:13 am
by R1111
If you walk in the forest or at night where there are snakes around, be noisy as in tramping ie.

Re: Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 10:35 am
by pilgrim
Both India and Nepal are large countries with a vast number of Buddhist temples so it is difficult to know where to start. But since you mentioned Ladakh, in addition to the must-see Tibetan temples on the tourist maps, I suggest you visit MIMC.

https://www.facebook.com/MIMCladakh/?hc ... S_TIMELINE

Re: Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 11:17 am
by Chi
Bhante Lucky wrote:Ooh what an exciting time! You Americans can get 10 year visas to India? I would move there immediately if I had that kind of visa, but unfortunately I can only get a 6 month visa and have to leave the country every 90 days. Enjoy!
Nepal is friendlier than India, and there are a lot of fascinating mountain monasteries dotted in the Himalaya.
Enjoy, whatever your decision.
Yes, I am very happy and grateful to have this time of leisure and Dhamma immersion in my life.

Nepal is friendlier than india...why is this, you think?

Really happy to visit and hopefully stay at monasteries. Oh, there is so much joy just thinking about it :)

Re: Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 11:17 am
by Chi
R1111 wrote:If you walk in the forest or at night where there are snakes around, be noisy as in tramping ie.
Thanks for the tip. Would have never thought of this.

Re: Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 11:21 am
by Chi
pilgrim wrote:Both India and Nepal are large countries with a vast number of Buddhist temples so it is difficult to know where to start. But since you mentioned Ladakh, in addition to the must-see Tibetan temples on the tourist maps, I suggest you visit MIMC.

https://www.facebook.com/MIMCladakh/?hc ... S_TIMELINE
Thank you for the recommendation. Will visit mahabodhi when I'm in Ladakh.

Re: Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:53 pm
by JamesTheGiant
Just a few things that come to mind for India and Nepal:
You WILL get scammed and cheated. Don't worry about it, accept that it will happen, and just hope you didn't lose too much. We were almost constantly hustled and cheated while in India, It's really easy to get cynical with scamming locals, dishonest drivers, relentless lying touts, and fake "friends", but try to stay fresh and open, and don't withdraw into negativity.

Take lots and lots of passport photos. Like, at least 20. You'll need them for lots of strange government things.

In Nepal you can get sim cards anywhere, it's easy, you just go in with money and buy one. In India, the best place for getting sim cards for your phone is at the airport. It's difficult elsewhere due to the maze of paperwork and ID required. Google it, and make a list of all the ID stuff you need to give them to get a sim card. And tell them you need it to work in all of India, or the specific states you are going to. Otherwise it won't work when you cross into another state.
My iphone was SOooo useful there, looking up stuff and good hotels and what the taxi price should actually be, and booking trains, etc.

Travel as light as possible. Take almost nothing. Try to get your luggage below 10kg. (apart from what you are wearing.). Do not take a laptop. You can buy everything there. Everything! It will all be fake, but it will be almost as good as the real thing.

The latest edition Lonely Planet guidebooks are really good, both the Nepal one and the India one. That'll be a big chunk of your 10kg weight though! I had both the e-version and my brother had the real paper copy, and we used the real book much more. It's worth going into a bookstore and getting before you leave. Might be a bit late for Amazon unless they do fast shipping.

Have a cool time.

Re: Traveling to Nepal/india: seeking recommendations, tips, tricks

Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:46 pm
by DNS
Chi wrote: Will visit mahabodhi when I'm in Ladakh.
:thumbsup:

It will be hot! But it will still be worth it and it may not bother you too much, knowing the historical and spiritual significance of the place.

:buddha2: