TRAVEL TO INDIA
If you are interested in travelling to the Madukkakuzhy Ayurveda health centre in Kerala, India, here is some advice:
The Madukkakuzhy Ayurveda Centre in Kerala, South India, is not a wellness hotel and is not located at the beach, but in the middle of the hills near Kottayam at the road to Kanjirappally. In a familiar, warm-hearted atmosphere, it offers highly effective help, healing and a deep regeneration to people with lighter or more serious health issues. The treatment always consists of a profound diagnosis (iris, pulse and tongue), individually changed diet and various massages, decoction baths and the prescription of ayurvedic medication parts of which are produced in our own adjoining pharmacy.
There are three physicians taking care of the guests several times a day and checking their progress of regeneration.
The purely vegetarian meals are freshly prepared every day considering the ayurvedic guidelines. The Madukkakuzhy Ayurveda Centre is happy to address individual needs and wishes like special diets, weight reduction or strict alignment to your Dosha type. It is coordinated there with the physicians.
You stay in beautiful, well-maintained, sometimes two-leveled bungalows embedded in an exotic garden with bananas, pepper, vanilla, coffee, nutmeg and the omnipresent coconut palm trees. Depending on the location of your bungalow, there might be a bit of noise from the street. The 9 double rooms are equipped with shower/WC, a desk and a balcony or porch with comfortable seating. This means there can be a maximum of 18 guests in the centre at a time; however, the bungalows are often used as single rooms. 70% of our guests come from Germany. The price scale is graduated according to how long you stay – up to 14 days, the double room is 110€ per night (for 2), which is 55€ per person, and 80€ for single use without air conditioning – with air condition, it’s up to 120€. Prices always include full board and treatments. The transfer from and to the airport is 45€ one way and is divided by the number of passengers (one taxi can hold a maximum of 3 people with luggage).
You need a passport to enter India (your ID card is not sufficient) which will be valid for at least 6 more months after your return. Your travel agency carries out the application for the visa for you. If you book directly online, you can also apply for your visum there.
The offline application is “outsourced” to several agencies. You can fill it out directly on your computer, print it, add 2 photos (attention! no pass photos, but a different format: 5×5 cm) and sign it. Instead of an expensive photo from a photo studio, you can simply take a frontal portrait with your own digital camera, have copies printed and cut them to the Indian format. Issuing the visa takes approx. 10 work days. Send it to the Indian embassy in Berlin together with your passport – by registered letter, of course!
For the online application, go to https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html and follow the steps there.
You can book your flights directly online with the airlines EMIRATES, ETIHAD or various others or go to a travel agency. The costs are between 650€ and 880€ according to the time of travel and the currency exchange rate. The airport is Cochin or Kochi – the driver of your friendly host family picks up the guests with an air conditioned car. There are no direct flights so you always have a transfer at Dubai or Abu Dhabi which is very comfortable to stretch your legs. Pay attention! Cheap flights usually have long waiting times in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, so have a look at the transfer times! The flight from Frankfurt to Dubai takes 6 hours, then you have about 2 hours of transfer and another 4 hours flight to Cochin. There you are picked up at the airport and have approx. 2 hours drive to the Ayurveda centre. It is very important to let the Madukkakuzhy family know about your flight number, arrival date (one day after the departure) and time and your departure airport via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The arrival date is usually different than the departure date. Consider this to avoid confusions upon the pickup.
Before you arrive in Cochi, you have to fill in a customs declaration which is distributed to you in the plane, there you have to indicate the exact address and telephone number of Dr. Jobin, so you will need this information as a note in your wallet!!!
Your booking is only valid and binding after you transfer about 25% of the whole cost to the following German bank account once you received the booking confirmation
IBAN DE14 7903 2038 0047686019 Bank Schilling
BIC BSHADE71 –
Account owner SANDER SUCCESS – Ayurveda-Center Kerala Indien.
Please transfer the remaining sum directly before you travel to India. Don’t change Indian money here in Germany, the driver is paid by the centre and Dr. Jobin can exchange Indian Rupees at a good rate and without fees.
Hint: In case of an indication, your doctor can issue a private prescription or regulation. You might get refunds on the costs for the treatment and medication from your private or additional health insurance or some public health insurances.
The time difference is 4,5 hours during the German winter time (only 3,5 during our summer time); if it’s noon in Germany during the winter, it’s 4:40 pm (16:30) in Kerala.
The host family is catholic like approx. 20& of the population in Kerala. The apostle Thomas came to India on the ancient spice route in 51 a.C. and founded the first Christian communities there. All Indian people are spiritual, it doesn’t matter whether they are Christians (about 1/3 in Kerala), Muslims (20%) or Hindus. This is why they usually pray before eating; of course it is up to every guest to join. They think that healing always comes along with a spiritual orientation and that feelings like gracefulness do have a healing influence.
The best months of traveling for Europeans are from September to March, the temperature is mildly warm, below 20°C at night up to 35°C during the day, our German summers tend to be hotter. If you wish, the family organizes trips to the backwaters where you can enjoy a boat ride on a woven house boat, to the beach, the Chinese fishing harbor and the synagogue in Fort Cochin or there is a train to Trivandrum and an important Hindu temple closeby (though this would be a 2-day trip).
Traveling to South India doesn’t require any vaccinations and it’s also not a malaria region. If you have questions on preventive measures to protect your health, please consult your physician or health department.
Hint: India is a threshold country with loving, open-minded, hospitable, spiritual, tolerant and colorfully dressed people. Lots of Indians are highly educated, very cultivated and interested in us “foreigners”. Please respect their dress code. No short pants, T-shirts with spaghetti straps or bikinis for women, if possible also not in the centre itself. However, there is poverty, electric outages once in a while and the internet connection does not work reliably (of course, there is no DSL). The telephone always works and there you can always reach a family member. Basic knowledge of English is very helpful … during the European winter, there are always German guests so that communication is not a problem. The hosts have also learned a lot of German even if they don’t speak it often. Not all employees speak English so facial expressions and gestures are often the best ways to communicate. Indian people have a different relation to noises than we do; India is not meditatively quiet, but very loud. People honk in front of every bend and you can hear it from far. However, you get used to it fast and after 3 days, you will stop recognizing it just like the Indians themselves.