Pilgrimage to India Policies

Pilgrimage Policies

Please read through this policy packet carefully and be sure to indicate on your on-line registration that you have read and agree to these policies.



Minimum of three retreats with Lama Tsultrim Allione or one of her Authorized Teachers or special permission from Lama Tsultrim. If you are requesting special permission, please email debra@taramandala.org before registering.


Travel in India can be unpredictable and amazing. You need to be comfortable with last minute changes and be prepared and open to the unexpected. You should be in good health with the immunizations recommended for India. You only need an Indian visa for the areas we will visit. Preparation for pilgrimage begins when you decide to go. Watch your dreams and deepen your practice. It is an inner as well as an outer journey.

The P’howa retreat will take place at 10,000 feet above sea level in the Himalayan kingdom of Lahoul at a very sacred monastery. It will be chilly (around 43 about degrees Farenheit) and could freeze at night. You will need a subzero sleeping bag and hat to sleep in. There will be no showers available. Sey Rinpoche insisted on these conditions because the place has many blessings and he said people should be willing to renounce comforts if they are true practitioners.

Insurance & Emergencies

All participants must have travel insurance for tour cancellation & medical rescue, including helicopter rescue if necessary. It is better to get insurance from your own country rather than getting it in India.

Lonely Planet and National Geographic Adventures recommend www.worldnomads.com

You can also view a list of travel insurance companies from the US State Department Website.


Mandatory Forms

Medical Clearance, Emergency Contact Information and Pilgrimage Waiver

This is primarily a practice pilgrimage rather than a hiking tour. Although we will often be at high altitudes (between 6,000 and 13,000 feet), we will not be doing extensive walking. However, it is each participant’s responsibility to make sure that they are in good physical condition for this journey.  We require that you have a complete physical examination within six months of the start of the pilgrimage.  Your registration is not complete until these forms are received:  Please download, print out, and complete the Physician’s Release Form, Emergency Contact Information and the Pilgrimage Waiver and send them to:

Debra Travis, Program Director

PO Box 3040

Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Pilgrimage to India Itinerary Download



Total cost:   $4,665

The first payment of 50% ($2332.50) is due at registration.  $500 dollars of this is non refundable, (please see our cancellation policy on this page for more information about cancellations.)

The final payment of $2332.50 is due on or before June 15, 2012.


This price does not include:

—  International flights to and from Dehli

—  Domestic Indian flight from Dehli to Kullu on Oct 2nd, or

—  Domestic Indian flight from Dharamsala to Dehli on Oct 30th

The domestic Indian flights will be on a first come first serve basis, the sooner you pay for the flights the sooner your place is secured on these flights. You should book your domestic Indian flights (Delhito Kullu on Oct 2, 2012 and Dharamsala toDelhion Oct 30, 2012) early, in order to do this, please contact Jane Miknius with Druk Expeditions: they are able to get reduced rates:


Tel # inIndia(Manali): 91-1902-252166

Tel # inIndia(Delhi) :   91-9650118629

Tel # inAustralia: 61-402-368172


Limited scholarship funds are available for this pilgrimage (between $200 and $500). Deferred payment is not an option. To apply for a scholarship download the financial assistance form and send your completed form with a $25.00 non-refundable processing fee by March 30th to:

Tara Mandala Registrar

P.O. Box 3040

Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

All applications will be considered at once and awards will be given by April 5th.


Cost Includes:

1. All Hotel and camping accommodation on twin share basis.

2. Tent camps in Lahoul and Tso Pema  (the best available) that include separate private toilets, wash rooms for a bucket bath with hot water provided, and a chargeable laundry service. Bottled mineral water will be supplied at the camp in Lahoul and in Tso Pema.

3. All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) unless otherwise specified. (There are a few meal times in Delhi, which for arrival and departure time reasons, have been excluded in this tour.  Please see the exclusion clause no.3 for which specific meals at beginning and end of this tour are not included.)

4. All transport as per itinerary. On long trips, Toyota Innova vehicles will be provided. Vans/mini buses may be supplied for certain transfers or small trips.

5. Senior guide/staff of 1 senior staff person and two juniors.

6. Basic tips to hotel staff are included; however, should the group choose to offer additional tips, then this is at their discretion and should be done as a group, via the Druk Expeditions senior staff person, at the end of any stay at that hotel/camp.

7. A basic medical is kit carried by senior guide at all times. High altitude tours carry a minimum of one oxygen kit for emergency use.


 Cost Exclusions:

1. All international and domestic airfares.

2. Hotels not included:

Arrival – scheduled for September 30th. People can check into their hotels only after 12 noon. Should people require a room before that time additional fees will need to be charged.

Departure – No hotel is supplied for the day of October 30th in Delhi as flight will leave in the late evening – we can supply a few basic rooms so people can shower on a rotating basis before departure in the early/late evening. Should people request a hotel room this can be supplied at an additional charge.

3. Meals not included –

Arrival – breakfast, lunch and dinner of September 30th are a personal responsibility. This is because people arrive at all different times and like to do different things, especially rest. October 1st Breakfast is included at the hotel and the lunch is a personal responsibility. It is planned that the first group meal will be provided on the evening of October 1st.

Dharamsala – the days of the wang and teaching (27th-29th October) are still in the planning stage.

Delhi departure – as people will be doing different things on this day, the meals are an individual responsibility.

4. Any sightseeing or excursion not mentioned in the itinerary.

5. Personal items such as laundry, telephone, bottled water, gifts, spas, massages, etc.

6. Any unforeseen circumstances such as medical illness, natural disaster, road blockages not due to the fault of the tour company, etc.

7. Insurance is the personal responsibility of tour members.

8. Tips to drivers – this is at your group’s discretion and should be done as a group, via Druk Expeditions senior staff person, at the end of tour. The same applies to tips for Druk Expeditions own guides/staff.

9. Dana for Lama Tsultrim Allione.


Cancellation Policy

Most travel insurance policies will offer cancellation protection. Be sure to check with the insurance company you use.

1. If you cancel before May 15th, you will be refunded all payments made with the exception of your initial $513.15 deposit.

2. If you cancel between May 15th and August 1st, the cancellation fee is 30% of the total cost of the pilgrimage ($1400).

3. If you cancel anytime after August 1st, no refund will be given.


 General Conditions

The itinerary and prices are given to the best of our knowledge as of today. Changes may occur due to unforeseeable conditions (road conditions, flight cancellations, weather, political situations, etc.). Prices may increase on domestic flights which are subject to changes without prior notice. Itineraries and prices will be finalized one month before the departure & we will keep you informed about any changes.

It is not possible to for us to know for certain that there will be no changes in the Karmapa’s schedule. Please be aware that if, for reasons out of his or our control, he is unable to provide the empowerment and teachings scheduled, our group will still go to Dharamsala



General questions, organizational questions and all inquiries should be directed to Debra Travis, Program Director via email: debra@taramandala.org.



No vaccine is required for India; however, the Centers for Disease Control recommends a number of vaccines, including Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, and typhoid. The CDC website has a complete listing of vaccines recommended for India.


Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider (preferable one with knowledge about international travel) to determine which vaccines you will need. Please see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect.