Important: The items below are a summary, and should not be considered as comprehensive. You should thoroughly read the Travel section of Along the Path in order to ensure that you are adequately prepared for your upcoming pilgrimage.
What to expect
Food: All the food served during the pilgrimage will be vegetarian, and consist mainly of Indian food. At some locations eggs may be available for breakfast. Please note: We cannot accommodate personal food preferences. So you are requested to make do with the simple vegetarian meals provided. We are unable cater to Vegan or special diets. So if your diet is very restrictive, you may have to manage with plain white rice and Dhal (lentil soup) or boiled vegetables.
Climate: The temperatures during
- Oct/Nov noon time will be (31°C / 88°F) and (12°C / 54°F) in the mornings and evenings.
- Jan/Feb noon time will be (23°C / 73°F) and (5°C / 41°F) in the mornings and evenings.
- Feb/March noon time will be (31°C / 88°F) and (12°C / 54°F) in the mornings and evenings.
***Please review the packing list below for recommendations.
Air quality: Expect dusty, smoky, and moist air in many locations. Dust masks are helpful and suggested below in the packing list.
Transportation: Exclusive use of a private comfortable air conditioned bus for the entire trip. At times short excursions may require the use taxis. While traveling long distances you will usually need to attend to calls to nature outdoors due to lack of public facilities.
Accommodations: Consist of Vipassana centers and monasteries. These vary in comfort level and the rooms vary between dormitory style accommodations with shared bathrooms, double rooms with attached bathrooms, and private rooms with attached bathroom. Couples will not be able to stay together at all Vipassana centers and at some monasteries. Hot water is not always available, and power outages are common.
Laundry: At about 3 locations we have laundry service and rest of places where we stay do not offer laundry (dhobi) services. So it is good to to carry your own detergent, clothes pins and plan to wash your clothes in buckets
Wi-Fi: Do not expect to have wi-fi internet access. Internet cafes will be available at various locations along the route, but accessing the internet with your own computer / device may not be possible. Internet data sticks and SIM cards are available in India, but you will need to plan ahead in order to obtain one.
Resources supplied by Pariyatti
- Along the Path: eBook and print versions. Once your booking is confirmed you will receive a coupon code to obtain these books for free. You will need to cover shipping costs for the print version.
- An inspirational photo essay from a participant on our inaugural 2013 pilgrimage. Download here.
- Digital audio & video materials:
Items Pariyatti will bring on the bus
- First aid kit
- Flashlights (for emergency use only - not enough for everyone)
- Powered electrolyte mix
- Drinking water
Suggested list of items for pilgrims to bring
(please refer to pp. 6-7 of Along the Path)
To bring from home
- Personal medications: Please bring enough for the entire pilgrimage as it will be difficult to acquire them locally. We also encourage you to bring your preferred brands of motion sickness pills, cough drops, and pain medication since the ones we have in our first-aid kit may not meet your preferences.
- Dust masks to help manage the low air quality in many locations (i.e. dirt, dust, smoke). We highly recommend you purchase a couple of 3M respirator 9211 N95 masks. These may be available in pharmacies, hardware stores, and office supply stores.
- Antibacterial hand sanitizer
- Sleeping bag
- For Oct/Nov: good summer sleeping bag.
- For Jan/Feb: Warm sleeping bag (rated for 5°C / 41°F). This is essential as only blankets are provided at various accommodations and past pilgrims have found them to be insufficient.
- For Feb/March good summer sleeping bag.
- Ear plugs and eye mask
- Cold weather clothes
- For Oct/Nov:: a fleece or woollen sweater will do for chilly nights.
- For Jan/Feb: Thermal underwear (wool is better than cotton) and warm clothes: long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, down jacket, wool hat, and warm socks. One set is enough. There may not be a need for a down jacket, depending on personal preference. Please note: Northern India and Nepal will be cold in the mornings and evenings (5°C / 41°F) at this time of year.
- For Feb/March a fleece or woollen sweater will do for chilly nights.
- Warm socks for walking on the cold floors of various sites..
- Mosquito net for sleeping. The ones sold in camping stores pack well (e.g. REI's for Americans & MEC's for Canadians). Note: It is not always easy to find a way to hang a mosquito net, so you may want to consider getting a mosquito bed tent that has its own frame instead of a net that needs to be hung.
- Meditation cushion (Various options are listed here. The inflatable ones are the easiest to travel with.)
- Meditation tent for protection from mosquitoes while meditating. Please note the order cut-off date for this item. These will be delivered to you at the start of your pilgrimage. We also have a limited number meditation tents that you may borrow during the pilgrimage, but we cannot guarantee that we will have enough for everyone.
- Durable water bottle
- Shake flashlight/ Flashlight with battery charger
- Pocket knife (pack in your checked luggage or it will get taken away at security!)
- Travel alarm clock
- Small sewing kit
- Travel towel (quick dry ones made for camping / travelling are ideal)
- Hair brush, elastic, barrettes
- Good pens, notebook
- Combination padlock (push buttons are useful especially in low light conditions)
- Secure money belt
- Sun protection: umbrella, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, fan
- Footwear: 2 pairs can be useful
- Good walking shoes
- Flip flops
- Postcards or photographs of home or of Vipassana centers to share with fellow pilgrims or people we meet along the way
- Portable travel power strip for charging your electronic devices. It should accept a power input of 100V- 240V and the plug should be European style.
- Clothes pins for drying hand washed clothing