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I have heard repeated reports that getting an Indian E-Visa can be extremely difficult. There are cases where the website won’t accept payment and even where it won’t work on a Mac computer only on Windows!

A friend of mine who just went through the process shared the below tips:

  1. Leave plenty of time before your planned travel to fill out your application form online. 
  2. 
Carefully read the requirements on the indianvisaonline.gov.in website. Make sure your passport PDF and photo JPEG comply with their specifications. 
  3. 
PC’s seem to work better than mac’s to fill out the form. 
  4. 
Try and complete the application in one sitting, carefully recording your application ID #. 
  5. 
When choosing to pay, only use the SBI e-pay button and preferably pay by PayPal. 
  6. 
If, for some reason, your payment does not appear to go through or you get a message that the payment failed, don’t panic. Do not fill out a new application. Visit the “Visa Enquiry” button at the top of the e-visa page at least 4 hours or the next day after you made your submission. Also check with your bank to see if the payment went through. 
  7. 
If the Visa enquiry says the payment is not done then go to the Pay/Verify Payment button and try again. Payment can be made several days after your application has been submitted. 
  8. 
If your payment appears in your bank details but not on the indian e-Visa website, then it seems very difficult to contact anyone either by email or phone call to follow up the matter. It maybe easier to just pay the amount again. 
  9. 
Many people seem to have some sort of difficulty with the online application. Suggestions are regularly posted on the internet to help with different matters. A solution to any problem you may be experiencing sometimes is found there. 
  10. 
Be Patient and good luck!

Sorry it can be so crazy but that’s Indian bureaucracy for you.

If you have your own tips, please share in the comments below! 🙂

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Info on power adapter plugs for India & how to avoid frying your electronics!

asher-kumbha-melaAfter traveling to India 7 times over the past 7 years (that’s me pictured) I’ve learned the hard way how to deal with your electronics and power adapters in India.

Here’s the thing:

No matter what, it is going to be unpredictable (especially outside of the big cities). And it is always possible to fry your devices.

Read on to learn what you need for a trip to India.

1) Indian Outlets and Power Adapters

indian-outlet-in-a-hotelThe plug shape used in India is quite different to the one we use here in the US and to most other countries as well. Your electronics will not work there unless you have a power adapter which is compatible with the Indian outlets (pictured).

The India power adapter is known as a “Type D” and works in all of the following countries: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan. Read More

How to send a gift to India, stress-free

indian-wedding-couple-giftI’ve traveled to India 7 times and stayed with countless amazing Indian friends. I’ve been to weddings, birthdays, Vedic ceremonies and seen a little bit of everything.

Below I detail my step-by-step guide for sending the perfect present to your friend or loved one in India even if you live in the US, UK or other international countries.

I list items that are appropriate for each type of person and the occasion as well as how to send it to India with affordable International shipping.

Read on to discover that perfect gift for an Indian and how to send it from the USA. Read More

Will I get allergies when visiting India?

hospital-in-indiaToday I want to introduce to you Andrea (pictured). Andrea has kindly shared her experience of getting allergies in India and what it was like to go to an emergency room at a hospital in Hyderabad on her recent business trip.

Below is Andrea’s firsthand account in her own words:

I’m a fairly seasoned international traveler; so when I headed to India for 9 weeks armed with travel tips generously provided by Asher, I felt confident I was prepared. You know when you think that, you’re in for something special! Read More

A friend of mine once told me:

“If you can’t afford travel insurance then you can’t afford to travel…”

I didn’t really understand her at first, but then I did the math and realized if something went wrong on my trip I’d be f#@*ed… When I considered paying the relatively tiny fee to get full coverage compared to the total trip cost, her statement totally made sense.

A quick “worst case” story:

trekking-in-the-himalayasAnother friend of mine was trekking in the Himalayas staying at tiny little inns with very breathtaking views of the majestic mountains.

Everything was perfect.

But… at the next stop when the bags were being taken from the bus to the hotel lobby, somehow, his didn’t make it! All he had were the clothes on his back and a small bag. Read More

Kerala is one of my favorite states in India…

It’s warm, lush, visceral, luxurious and the people are so sweet! 🙂 I’ve been to Trivandrum, Kovalam and Kochi but would love to explore more of this beautiful part of South India.

sunu philipSo I contacted my friend Sunu Philip (pictured) from Paradise Holidays, Kochi to share what she thinks are the top 11 places to see and things to do in Kerala. Read More

Escape the winter, travel to India for a journey of a lifetime!

Rohini GraceWhen the snow is blowing and the temps drop below freezing, it’s time to start looking for a tropical getaway.

What better country to visit this winter than beautiful India: warm, affordable, visceral, and full of adventures and treasures that you’re sure to never forget.

Although: Traveling to such an exotic destination as India can sometimes be a little nerve-racking.

Why not get a custom tour organized by my friend Rohini Grace (pictured above) who founded Goddess Travels (specialized India tour company based in Boulder, Colorado). She’ll do all the planning for you: from the sites, to the restaurants, to where you lay your head at night, to finding a bathroom in a busy market place. Read More

10 Steps to Surviving Indian Airports

The Indian airports range from new, luxury, state-of-the-art airports (in places like, New Delhi and Mumbai), to rural, ex-military bases converted into “airport sheds” (in places like Jabalpur & Tirupati). Below I explain all the nuisances to watch out for because they’re quite different from any Western airport I’ve ever been.

I hope these tips will take some of the stress out of your airport experience because otherwise things can quickly get quite insane! Read More

Swarg Ashram on the far side of the river is my first choice for peace and quiet and nice places to eat and sleep and shop and walk and swim and meditate. There is a nice beach below Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s old ashram (made famous by The Beatles). Other great beaches near Hanuman Rock, halfway to Lakshman Jhula. Fun, nightly Aarti performances at Paramarth Niketan. A nice walk to Tat Wala Baba’s ashram. And easy taxi connections to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. You can even hike there, but it’s a full day. Read More

Interview about Amsterdam with an American Living in Holland

I recently interviewed my friend Tegan, an American citizen who married a Dutchman, and has been living in Holland for the past 1.5 – 2 years. I also lived in The Netherlands from 2008 to 2010 and visited Amsterdam many times. It’s a great place to spend a few days or a week and gives a glimpse into the Dutch culture. Read More

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