Yoga & Volunteer Adventure In The Himalayas

  • Program Location Program Location
    Dharamsala - Palampur
  • Program Duration Program Duration
    2 Weeks
  • Starting Program Cost Starting Program Cost
    $1000 (2Weeks)

The Himalayas are ever enchanting, and this program will be held in the beautiful town of Palampur, which is located in the foothills of Himalayan mountains and surrounded by tea gardens and pine forests. Palampur is known as the Tea Capital Of North India.

The program is highly recommended for student groups and it includes volunteer work, trekking adventure activity, yoga and meditation classes. The volunteers would also have an optional Paragliding activity. The volunteers have to spend quality time at the childcare centers as a part of their work.

With the perfect amalgamation of adventure, peace, and philanthropy, this program is absolutely perfect for you, if you are looking for a gap year retreat.
 

Living

Volunteers are provided accommodation in volunteer house accommodations. You can get a clear view of the Himalayas from the place where you’ll be staying.

Rooms are allotted on ‘same gender sharing’ basis and there are attached toilets with the rooms.

The accommodations are neat and clean and provide a safe living environment. Both our houses provide dongle internet facility, hot water and heaters during winters, modern toilets and comfortable beds to sleep on.

Volunteers are provided with all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the accommodation.

Meals are freshly prepared by the cook in the house. Local market is not far away and in the evening you can also head out for pleasant walk in the vicinity.

Meals

We have cooks at the home who prepare meals for the volunteers. A sample of the meals you can expect are below:

Breakfast - Paratha, Bread, Tea (chai), Jam, Butter, Porridge etc.

Lunch/ Dinner - Dal (lentils), vegetable, rice, roti (Indian bread), pickle, yogurt may be provided along with some sort of curry.

Orientation

An orientation session will be organized for the volunteers on the first day before the program begins. Volunteers will be explained about the program and work schedule, about the place in general and things to do in Palampur etc.

Our in-country coordinator will be glad to clear all your doubts at the orientation session, as well as later, whenever required.

 

Itinerary

Day1 (Saturday)
Arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Our coordinators will take you to the volunteer house, and you can take rest after your long flight.

Day 2 (Sunday)
From IGI Airport, take a short flight to Dharamsala (nearly 1 hour). You will be received at the airport and taken to Palampur accommodation. There you can rest, and later you’ll have an orientation session which will help you know about the upcoming days’ schedule.
In the evening, you can go for a walk in the nearby market.

Meals - Breakfast, lunch, and Dinner will be provided by us.

Day 3 (Monday)
You’ll start your Project Work on Monday. Group members would work on light renovation and painting work at daycare centers which cater to the children of the age group of 2-4 yrs. The daycare centers are in a poor condition and volunteers pitch in by doing light renovation and repair work. 
In the evening, there will be the Yoga and Meditation Class for the volunteers, which you’ll get to enjoy in the lap of Mother Nature. The class is for an hour.

We assure that this would completely refresh your mind and make you feel good from within.

Meals -  Breakfast, lunch, and Dinner will be provided by us.

Day 4 (Tuesday)
Project Work continues. 
In the afternoon/evening, you’ll go for a visit to Tea Plantations and the factory. Palampur is famous for its tea plantations and the students would get an opportunity to visit the tea factory and see how tea is produced.
You’ll also get to take a tour of the famous sights in and around Palampur such as Lord Shiva Temple, Tashi Jong Monastery.
Meals -  Breakfast, lunch, and Dinner will be provided by us.

Day 5 - 7 (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday)
You’ll continue with your project work at the daycare center. You’ll have the yoga and meditation classes in the evenings.

On Friday, you will have a briefing session about the weekend trek.

Meals -  Breakfast, lunch, and Dinner will be provided by us.

Day 8 (Saturday)
After breakfast, you’ll set out for Bir, a small hill town (nearly 1 hour from Palampur). Bir is famous for its huge number of Tibetan refugees, apart from its serene beauty.

You’ll start your trek from Bir, and it’s about 7-8 hours walk. The chilling breeze will definitely soothe your senses, and the majestic Himalayas will keep accompanying you all the way!

Meals -  Breakfast, lunch, and Dinner will be provided by us.

Day 9 (Sunday)
You shall head back towards Palampur, and on the way, you’ll get to see the Buddhist monasteries. 

Meals -  Breakfast and Dinner will be provided by us.

Day 10 - 13 (Monday to Thursday)
Volunteers will continue with the repair and renovation work, and also engage themselves in teaching and playing with the little ones at the daycare center.

The regular yoga and meditation classes will be held in the evenings.

On the 13th day, you can say ‘Goodbye’ to your new friends in the center.

Meals -  Breakfast, lunch, and Dinner will be provided by us.

Day 14 (Friday)
You can take rest or do some shopping, before returning back to Delhi.
You can explore on your own if you wish to.

Enjoy a farewell dinner with all your fellow mates.

Meals -  Breakfast, lunch, and Dinner will be provided by us.

Day 15 (Saturday)
You will be picked up and dropped at the airport for your flight to Delhi, and later you can board your homeward bound flight, on the same day.
 

Cost / Start Date

Program Cost
Program Duration Program Fee Registration Fee Total Fee
2 Weeks $775 $225 $1000

Note: You will be required to pay USD 225 / GBP 185 / AUD 320 / EUR 220 as an Application Deposit which is part of the program fees mentioned above, at the time of application to confirm your spot.

A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment

Included

  • Pre-Departure Guidebook
  • Airport pickup and drop from Dharamshala airport
  • Accommodation at volunteer house
  • Orientation
  • Three meals a day
  • Local Market Tour
  • Visit to tea gardens and tea factory
  • Tour of the nearby places, within a radius of 20km
  • Yoga and meditation class, once every week
  • 24/7 assistance by in-country coordinator

Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Visa Costs
  • Vaccinations
  • Local transportation
  • Any sort of personal expenses

Program Start Date Available Fast Filling Not Available
Months 2018
January 0721
February 1024
March 1024
April 1428
May 0519
June 0923
July 1428
August 1125
September 0822
October 0620
November 1024
December 08

FAQs

People from which countries can join the volunteer programs offered by Volunteering India?

We welcome people from any part of the world to join our programs irrespective of which part of the world volunteers belong from outside India. Majority of our volunteers are from USA, UK, Europe and Australia.

Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Palampur volunteer programs?

Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the India volunteer projects :

  • Volunteers must be 17 year or older at the time of joining the project. Medical Program volunteers must be at least 18 at the time of joining.  
  • 16 year old volunteers can participate in Childcare projects with a Letter of Consent from their parents.
  • Need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. India is a country of different cultures and traditions, though it is modernized, the cultural sensitivities need to be kept in mind before volunteering in India. The volunteers should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
  • Must be in good health.

 

When do I need to arrive in Palampur for my program? What will happen once I reach Palampur?

All volunteers need to arrive in Palampur on the starting date of the program. Volunteers will be picked up from the Gaggal Airport in Dharamsala by a driver assigned by the local coordinators. Dharamsala is connected to Delhi by daily direct flights. Volunteers who have opted for the Orientation Week in Delhi, will travel to Palampur post the completion via bus or flight, depending on their choice.

 

After you arrive at Dharamsala airport, you will be picked up by our local coordinator and transported to Palampur. On the way, you can enjoy the scenic view of the Himalayan mountains and lush green landscapes.

On the next day, you will be given a short orientation and told about the program, daily schedule, safety guidelines, market tour and weekend trip options.

Flights and Visa

Does Volunteering India helps with Visa?

All enrolled participants are provided information on the appropriate Visa requirements for India in the pre-departure manual. You can also contact your pre-departure point of contact to know more about the visa requirements.


What are the recommended modes of transport to arrive in Palampur?

Volunteers first need to arrive in Delhi. The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is connected with all major airports across the globe and flights are easily available. Some of the major flight carriers operating direct flights to Delhi are :

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air India, Jet Airways, Etihad Airways, United Airlines, Swiss Air, KLM Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian, Air France, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Finnair.

From Delhi, you can take a connecting flight to Dharamsala Airport (Airport Code: DHM). Air India and Spicejet have daily flights between the two cities. Pickup by our local project coordinator is provided from Dharamsala Airport. Volunteers can also choose the option to take the direct overnight bus from Delhi to Palampur. Overnight air conditioned bus service operates between the two cities. You will be picked up from Palampur bus station and transferred to the accommodation.

Health & Safety

How safe is India and Palampur in general?

India is a country of diverse cultures and practices. Like in any new foreign country, participants are advised to follow the guidelines specified by the project coordinator to enjoy their Indian experience fully. The program coordinators are always ready to help and give helpful safety tips. During the first day of the orientation, you will be given safety guidelines and will be informed about do's and dont's.

What immunizations/vaccinations will I need ?

All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to India. To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to India, click here.

 

Accommodation and Living

How do I get to the program location?

Your program coordinator in Palampur will take you to your placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc. You will be told about the directions to the project from your accommodation and the mode of transport which you can use. Most preferred mode of transport within the town is the public bus, and the coordinator will be more than happy to guide you regarding that.

I want to know more about accommodation and food arrangements?

Volunteers are provided accommodation in volunteer house accommodations. Participants of same gender share rooms together and there are attached toilets with the rooms. Volunteers are provided with all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the accommodation. Meals are freshly prepared by the cook in the house. Local market is not far away and in the evening you can also head out for pleasant walk in the vicinity.

What if I have my own accommodation. Can i still volunteer for the project?

Unfortunately the entire volunteering experience is as much about volunteering on your project, as it is about cross-cultural exchange and community building. A lot of that happens through the housing that we have set up, by being with like minded people. Additionally, for safety reasons all volunteers must live in the allotted accommodation.

Can vegetarians be accommodated?

Yes, that is not a problem at all. In fact, volunteers are served vegetarian meals at the accommodations in India.

Would I have free time during my program? Can I do sightseeing during my program?

Depending on your project placement, you may get  evenings and weekends free to travel and explore the place.

Palampur is a great location for volunteering since you also have ample options for quick weekend getaways. Hill stations like Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala and Manali are nearby which can be visited over the weekend.

Adventure activities like trekking and paragliding can be taken up during weekends. Billing, which is a few kilometers away from Palampur, is a world famous site for paragliding.

Volunteers can also go to Amritsar and visit the famous Golden temple and Jallianwala Bagh.

Are there more expenses once I arrive in Palampur?

Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses. You will need to provide for yourself your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $40-$50 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you choose to go on weekend trips out of town.

For how many hours will I volunteer every day?

Depending on the project, volunteers will work during the week from Monday- Friday, 4 - 5 hours daily. You will have the weekends to travel and explore. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.

What if I do not speak the local language? Would that interfere with my volunteering experience?

Do not worry, all the coordinators can speak and converse in English. Most of our participants are non-Hindi speakers and they’ve never had any problems while communicating. Like we say, love is expressed better through actions than the language.

To add to the project experience while you can also join the Language and Orientation Week in Delhi before beginning the program in Palampur. It's an optional week, besides that we recommend participants to brush up their Hindi skills (learn basic terms and phrases, greetings) before traveling.


Where can I change my money in Palampur? Are there ATMs in the city?

ATMs of major banks like HDFC, ICICI and SBI are available in Palampur and money can be easily withdrawn. Currency Exchange Counters are also available in some of the banks in the city.

To know about the necessary items that you should pack before setting out for India, Click Here.


To know more about the things to do in Palampur while volunteering, Click Here.

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