So you are going to do Panchakarma in India?

Here is a list of considerations and things to take. I don’t know how much you have been to India so am assuming not much.

And if you are a TM meditator, don’t leave without checking out this destination near Jabalpur, where very special things are happening in the silent centre of India.

I’m certain you will find the clinicvery comfortable.  We found ours pretty much spotless, they mop the floors of public areas almost every day. But big cities can be dusty. So you will see I suggested taking a duster with you. They clean your room every day and its all very pleasant—you can just supervise to meet your own standards.

Your hosts will probably send a taxi for you and you can settle at reception when you arrive, or even later. There really is no stress, and you won’t be ripped off. You’ll get a feeling for rates very quickly. I seem to remember about Rs600 or 800 for the trip. Not even $10, so its not something one worries about.

They are a great team, everyone mucks in.

The staff are very, very friendly and will respond beautifully to your radiant outgoing nature. They are all  TM meditators if you are in a clinic run by the movement, and it makes the atmosphere soft. I love them and Indians in general so much that I have started to learn Hindi.

You will find Google translate an utterly amazing resource in terms of preparing yourself with little phrases like “how are you? (Āpa kaisē haiṁ) What is your name? (Tumhārā nāma kyā hai) My name is Tracy (Mērā nāma Tracy hai)”. They respond very well to your attempts to converse in Hindi. I can now count from 1 to 30 forwards and backwards in Hindi!

Getting cash is not a problem because the ATMs work well.

Your transit portal, Delhi airport is smashing, perhaps one of the top five in the world at the moment.

Check temperatures on the Internet the day you leave , but it should be reasonable. It gets quite cold in December and January. We go in February and the nights can be nippy.

The drive from the airport is about 35 minutes and don’t let the chaos, roadworks, dust, filth, half clothed children and general Third World component upset you. There will be a park nearby for little walks. You won’t feel like much more than an half or three quarters of an hour walk at a time. And it’s perfectly safe.

Shopping? Other guests (they come from all over the world and are savvy-many being frequent visitors) will tell you where to find bargains. I ordered a tailor-made suit at 5 pm one day and had it delivered by 9 am the next day! OK I did have to make some alterations when I got home but it was literally 1/5th of the price I’d have paid in Johannesburg and 1/10th of that in Perth. We took old cotton tracksuits and vests to wear at the clinic-they get pretty sodden with oil by the end- and left them in India to make room in our cases for herbs, shawls, clothes and gifts. Find out what your country’s quarantine attitude is to the herbs you will want to bring back.

We hope you find some of these comments useful in managing your expectations. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the gentle, tender, loving care that you will experience particularly from the technicians. Yes, you will get lady technicians, and mostly lady doctors (Vaidyas). Ladies treat ladies.

A word about the medicines you will be prescribed at the end of the treatment.  Maharishi Ayurveda is squeaky clean with ISO 9000, Det Norske Veritas, and all the relevant certification to the highest international standards. That is why they cost a bit more than other medicines one can get in India. Our suggestion is that you favour Maharishi Ayurveda.

You will meet living saints.

Have a wonderful time.

Your checklist:

  • Photocopies of Visa and passport packed in different bags
  • A couple of caps and scarves–washable, maybe made of towelling (your hair will be oily and you need to keep your head warm)
  • hairdryer
  • warm pyjamas and jacket dep on temperatures where you are. Keep warm during PK.
  • Cash for herbs
  • small gifts bought in Australia including thank you cards. Gifts, mostly for doctors, and money for technicians
  • old, throw-away-able clothes – they get oily
  •  rags/dishcloths
  • books to read and DVDs to watch
  • laptop computer-there is good internet wifi access via paid card in India.
  • laundry is super cheap and same-day —no worries
  • 2 packets of sani pads (they have, but they tended to ration them)

If planning travel in India after the clinic:

  • broad spectrum antibiotic (e.g. Ciprobay 500 mg)/rehydrate oral electrolytes/diarrhoea help
  • waterless hand wash
  • toilet paper
  • mosquito repellent

Tons of happiness. Learn TM when you get back home.

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