Visa & Other Advice
Indian Visa rules and application procedures vary by the applicant’s country of citizenship and the country in which the application is made. For general information about obtaining an Indian Visa see: Ministry of Tourism.
Visas can be applied for in person or by post at the Indian Embassy/High Commission/Consulate based in the country from where you intend to depart for India. For a list of these offices in your country see: Ministry of External Affairs.
Please note that Indian Visas are valid from the date on which they are issued, so it is advised to not apply too far in advance of your trip. For example, a 6-month visa issued on 1 June will only be valid until 1 December, regardless of what date you arrive in India.
For tourist information specifically about Karnataka State see: Karnataka Department of Tourism.
In order to honor the monastic way of life while you are at Sera, please avoid wearing clothing which is too revealing (short pants, short skirts and sleeveless shirts); appropriate clothing includes long or short-sleeve shirts/t-shirts, trousers and long skirts. It will also be inappropriate to express public displays of intimacy with other visitors, as this would cause unnecessary discomfort to the monastic community.
During teaching days, morning bread/tea, a simple lunch, and afternoon tea will be distributed to all attendees inside the teaching venue. If you wish to have this food and tea, please bring your own bowl, spoon and tea cup to the teachings. In order to avoid waste and environmental pollution, disposable cups/plates/utensils will not be distributed.
For all other meals, there are simple Tibetan-style restaurants and local vendors within the grounds of the monastery, as well as a wider variety of restaurants in Kushalnagar.
Foreign exchange agencies, which convert a variety of currencies, are widely available in India these days, as are ATM’s for your international debit and credit cards. Some ATM’s charge a small fee, and most have a daily withdrawal limit.
As of April 2013 there are only two ATM’s and one bank inside of Bylakuppe settlement; there are more ATM’s in Kushalnagar. During the time of His Holiness’ teachings these may be very busy and sometimes run out of money, so it may be more convenient for you to obtain/change most of your money in larger cities, such as Mysore and Bangalore, before travelling to Sera.
Bylakkuppe is located at an altitude of 790m (2600ft) above sea level. Typical December temperatures are 16°C – 30°C (60°F – 85°F), with very little rain fall.
For the latest information on travel health advice for India, including recommended travel vaccinations, visit the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Should you require medical care during the teachings, there are several allopathic clinics in Bylakuppe and Kushalnagar.