Loading Events

« All Events

The Himalayan International Writers Retreat – Spring 2023

March 21, 2023 March 31, 2023

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.”

Benjamin Disraeli

Travel—whether tourism, migration, or expatriation—has shaped much of the modern world. It has become both transformative as well as divisive in our interconnected world. We all come from somewhere, but when the perspective is of an outsider looking in, the lens makes for interesting fiction.

In this retreat led by author Dipika Mukherjee (Ode to Broken Things; Shambala Junction, Rules of Desire), we will journey to India. Halfway around the world, a long way from everything familiar we will learn in a new context. Our discussions will center on themes and craft, with a special focus on developing strong beginnings, writing effective dialogue, and making the setting come alive. Important literary examples will guide our learning.

This ten-day retreat will be held in March 2023. For the October 2023 retreat led by Erika Krouse in the Himalayas, click here.

In the shadow of the Himalayas, we will examine writing about memory and family ties, how setting can conjure the sinister or the quotidian, and how dialogues can be polished to brilliance. This will be a generative workshop, and sharing of daily writing will be encouraged, but not compulsory.  

Partnership

StoryStudio Chicago and the Himalayan Writing Retreat have collaborated to develop this Retreat. StoryStudio is one of the leading writing centers in America and has been running workshops, courses, and programs for adult learners in Chicago since 2003. The Himalayan Writing Retreat is a much-loved writing destination amongst writers from around the world. It also offers a wide range of programs, courses and charitable programs to support writers. The Himalayan team brings a deep understanding of writing and India to this partnership.

Author and teacher Dipika Mukherjee is a lead faculty member at StoryStudio Chicago. In 2021, she received the Instructor of the Year Award from Stories Matter Foundation, which runs StoryStudio. Dipika also teaches at the Graham School of the University of Chicago. She has dug into her deep understanding of South-Asian literature and of teaching. The result is this retreat – which brings deep learning and insight to each session at this retreat. Dipika’s detailed profile is shared below.

Chetan Mahajan – a memoir author and writing coach – will support her. A graduate of Northwestern University, he is a Penguin-published author and an award-winning blogger. Chetan co-founded the Himalayan Writing Retreat in 2016.

This team has designed the retreat to ensure the experience is enriching, inspiring, and safe. The retreat begins with a warm welcome for each participant at Delhi International airport. We ensure the visit to the Taj Mahal is smooth.  We’ve personally curated the Himalayan excursions and the city experiences like the walking tour of Old Delhi city. We’ve sampled the food everywhere, and have designed the menu to ensure a great mix of taste and local cuisine. In past retreats, nobody has fallen sick – a big deal for tourists in India. The retreat team has kicked every proverbial tire.

You start in the cities of Delhi and Agra. Then you travel to the Himalayas. All stays and transfers are pre-arranged. The serenity of the rural Himalayas is a stark contrast to the touristy India of the first two days. In the mountains, you continue to discover a sliver of India every day, but at a relaxed, unhurried pace. Up here, you write in the halo of Himalayan peaks that dwarf Denali (a.k.a Mt. McKinley).

Retreat Participants meeting an Indian Mystic at a Himalayan Shiva Temple

Covid and Travel Update.

Both the US and India have high levels of vaccination. India requires a Covid negative test report on arrival but besides that, all travel is back to normal. There are no restrictions at this point.

Writers from the world over have been visiting the Himalayan Writing Retreat. We have had writers visit us from the UK, US, Nigeria, and the Middle East in 2022. 

Given this, we expect the International Writers Retreat’s in the Spring of 2023 to proceed on schedule. In case of any Covid-related travel shutdowns or lockdowns, we will offer a full refund.

As always, we continue to take full Covid precautions. We do request all participants to share their vaccination certificate ahead of travel.

Cost

USD 3,300 per participant on a double occupancy basis. All domestic transfers, meals, stays, and taxes are included. It covers your pickup from Delhi International airport, but not the international airfare. Alcohol and tips are also extra.

If accepted, a non-refundable deposit of USD 700 is required as the registration amount to hold your space. Full balance payment is due on 20 December 2022.

“Drink Heavily with locals whenever possible”

Anthony Bourdain

Food and Drink

We’ll take the above advice with a pinch of salt (and lemon, if doing shots).

Okay seriously. The retreat fee includes all food and snacks. All eating out in Delhi will also include any alcohol we consume. However, the Himalayan Writing Retreat – a physical location – does not have a liquor license. You’re welcome to BYOB. Duty-free is an option, as are some local stores we will stop at en route.

Summary Schedule.

The retreat will start with a zoom session about a month before travel. In that session we will share the prep-work, suggested readings and understand expectations. We’ll also go over any logistical questions. The closing zoom session will be a great time to update the group on your progress, and get closing inputs from the faculty.

DateBreakfastMorning sessionLunchAfternoon / eveningDinner
Februarykick-off zoom session (Exact date will be announced)
21 March  (Day 1) Received at the airport and brought to the Delhi Hotel. At Tree of life, our Delhi Hotel. (for those arriving early)Received at the airport and brought to the Delhi Hotel. Ice-breaker &
Dinner at one of Delhi’s nicest restaurants: Olive Bar and Kitchen.
22 March (Day 2)6.30-7 AMNone (7 AM leave for Taj Mahal Agra. This is a four-hour drive.)After seeing the Taj, at one of Agra’s finest restaurants.Drive back from Agra to DelhiAt the hotel
23 March   (Day 3)Leave the hotel and board the train at 6.20 AM. Breakfast on the trainOn the train. Cars meet you at Kathgodam train station and drive you to the retreat.iHeart café, Bhimtal (Run by a couple from Montana)Reach retreat by 4 PM. Session 1:  5pm-6pm: Intentions & First ImpressionsWelcome dinner at the Retreat.
24 March    (Day 4)Morning yoga. Breakfast at the RetreatSession 2: 10-12: Starting StrongAt the retreatVisit to Chirag School / optional yogaAt the retreat
25 March (Day 5)Morning yoga. Breakfast at the RetreatSession 3: 10-12: The first 10 pagesAt the retreatOptional yoga / Bollywood nightAt the retreat
26 March (Day 6)Morning yoga. Breakfast at the RetreatSession 4: 10-12: Making Dialogues SingAt the retreatExcursion to Kalipeshwar/ optional yogaAt the retreat
27 March (Day 7)Morning yoga. Breakfast at the RetreatSession 5: 10-12: Writing tension into dialoguesAt the retreatHike into the IVRI Forest reserveAt the retreat
28 March (Day 8)Morning yoga. Breakfast at the RetreatSession 6: 10-12: Setting the StageAt café bird-cageVisit to Shiva Temple in Mukteshwar/ optional yogaLiterary Salon, post-dinner
29 March (Day 9)Morning yoga. Breakfast at the RetreatSession 7: 10-12: Place as CharacterAt the retreatExcursion / optional yogaLiterary Salon, post-dinner
30 March (Day 10)Morning yoga. Breakfast at the RetreatLeave retreat by 10.30 AM to take the train backLunch at Belpatra, BhimtalTrain departs 3.10 PM.On the train, then head to the tree of life.
31 March (Day 11)Breakfast 7 AM. Keep bags packed for checkout before you leave.Walking tour of the old city. Then head to CIE for shopping.Farewell lunch at Café Lota – rave-reviewed fusion cuisineContinue shopping/drop to the airport.Drop to the airport. Can eat at the hotel on a paid basis.
AprilClosing zoom session (Exact date will be announced)
Detailed Schedule shared below.

Dipika Mukherjee

Dipika Mukherjee is the author of the novels Shambala Junction and Ode to Broken Things, and the story collection, Rules of Desire. Her work is included in The Best Small Fictions 2019 and appears in World Literature Today, Asia Literary Review, Del Sol Review, and Chicago Quarterly Review, Newsweek, Los Angeles Review of Books, Hemispheres, Orion, Scroll, The Edge, and more. Her third poetry collection, Dialect of Distant Harbors, is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press in October 2022 and a collection of travel essays, Writers Postcards, has been accepted for publication by Penguin Random House (SEA) for 2023. She is a Contributing Editor for Jaggery Lit and teaches at StoryStudio Chicago and at the Graham School at the University of Chicago. She holds a Ph.D. in English (Sociolinguistics) from Texas A&M University.

Mukherjee has been mentoring Southeast Asian writing for over two decades; in 2015, she founded the D.K Dutt Award for Literary Excellence in Malaysia. She has edited five anthologies of Southeast Asian fiction and has taught creative writing in Chicago, Amsterdam, New Delhi, and Kuala Lumpur. In 2021, she received the Instructor of the Year Award from Stories Matter Foundation, which runs StoryStudio. She is the recipient of a 2022 Esteemed Artist Award (DCASE) from the City of Chicago.

To learn more about Dipika, please visit https://dipikamukherjee.com/.

Chetan Mahajan

Hindi Writing

Chetan Mahajan is the co-founder of the Himalayan Writing Retreat. A Penguin-published author, he quit the corporate world and moved to a village in the Himalayas to be a full-time author, blogger, and teacher almost a decade ago. He is also a writing coach with the London based “the writing coach”.

Chetan blogs about life in a Himalayan village at www.uncity.blog. This blog won the Indiblogger award for Humor in 2017.

He is currently working on his first novel “Tara and Vishnu” and also co-authoring a non-fiction book. Chetan often writes columns for Readers Digest, Mint, Outlook Magazine, Hindu Business Line, and the Hindustan Times (Brunch).

To learn more about Chetan, please visit www.chetanmahajan.com.

Detailed Program

Each day has been meticulously planned. We use the stupor of jet lag to travel and visit the Taj Mahal. We start sessions and serious writing on arrival at the Himalayan Writing Retreat on Day 3. We’ll close the last two days at the retreat with post-dinner Literary Salons.

Day 1, Tuesday, March 21

Welcome! Arrive at Delhi Airport anytime after 12 noon IST. A car and a friendly face will meet you at the airport and bring you straight to your hotel. Your stay is arranged at the Tree of Life, one of Delhi’s best B&Bs (TripAdvisor reviews at https://bit.ly/1Ofm5BI ). In addition to being highly rated, the Tree of life is small so we block the whole place for us. It is also close to historic monuments and malls. Both are great to understand different facets of India’s crazy diversity.

No class on this day.

Today, we’ll get settled. For those who get in on time, we’ll head out to the Olive Bar restaurant for a welcome dinner. The restaurant has the historic Qutub Minar as the backdrop. The 800-year-old Qutub Minar (which means Victory Tower) is a historic landmark of Delhi.

Note: Some international flights land in Delhi at unearthly hours. Irrespective of the time of arrival, we will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. You are also free to arrive before the 21st or stay after the 31st. Any extended stay will be chargeable separately. We will ask that you confirm your travel itinerary to us at the earliest to help us book train tickets and extra room nights if any.

Day 2, Wednesday, March 22

This love story inspired a wonder of the world.

We start the day early and drive to Agra in a private coach to see the Taj Mahal. The four-hour drive from our hotel will allow you to rest or sleep off some of your jet lag.

We leave early to beat the traffic and should be back by 6 PM. The round trip will take a full day.

Lunch will be at one of the highly rated restaurants in Agra. We will have dinner and stay the night at our Delhi base.

Note: No electronics or bags are allowed inside the Taj, so please ensure you do not carry anything inessential.

Day 3, Thursday, March 23

Off to the Mountains!

We head out early to the New Delhi Railway Station to head towards the Himalayas. We board the Kathgodam Shatabdi Express train and travel First Class to the foothill town of Kathgodam (5 hours and 40 minutes). We transfer to taxis for the last three hours of our travel. Halfway home, we stop for lunch at the iHeart café owned and run by a couple from the US. Tim is from Montana and Liz is from Oklahoma. They specialize in awesome coffee. We arrive at The Himalayan Writing Retreat in Satkhol Village – our home for the next seven days.

“We are now in the mountains, and they are in us.”

John Muir

The Himalayan Writing Retreat is custom-built for Writers – for inspiration and serenity. This niche property has six double-occupancy guest rooms and a full staff to cater to your needs with love and the highest standards of hygiene. The food is tasty, fresh, and includes a lot of local cuisines. And while we have pasta on the menu, it may have an Indian tinge. We grow many of our own herbs as well.

We reach the Retreat around 4 PM. We’ll have a short session at 5 PM.

Topic of the Day: Intentions and First Impressions

Two days in a new country and culture can be a lot to process. In this first session, we’ll understand what this experience has meant to each of you. We’ll discuss the plan for the next few days – how things will work, and how the retreat and the sessions will benefit you. If there is a specific story you’re working on, we’ll explore how you may further it over the next few days.

Please note: We use the term ‘story’ throughout. It applies to both fiction and creative non-fiction.

Yoga in the sun, with a snow-capped view.

Day 4, Friday, March 24

  • Early Morning: Yoga session (evening session available, based on demand)
  • Morning: Craft class at the Himalayan Writing Retreat.
  • Afternoon: an optional trip to the local NGO-run Chirag School and a social enterprise (http://b2r.in/ ). For those interested we can walk back – it is a 2-mile walk through the forest.
  • Evening: Open Mic Bonfire after sundown.

Topics of the Day: Starting Strong

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” 

Opening of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.

A strong opening can mean the difference between holding your reader’s attention and losing the reader to a distraction. In this session, we will delve into how to make sure your story has a strong opening. We’ll look at various ways we can make an opening strong. You then have the tools and insights to work on the opening of your own story. You’ll have the option to share your new material on the last two days in the Himalayas (28th and 29th of March).

Day 5, Saturday, March 25

  • Early Morning: Yoga session (evening session available, based on demand)
  • Morning: Craft class at the Himalayan Writing Retreat.
  • Afternoon – open time for your writing. We’ll do an optional hike to explore the local area.
  • Evening: Bollywood movie night. It’s kitschy, yes. But it is part of the India-experience. So we watch a Bollywood movie with English subtitles. And popcorn.

Topics of the Day: The first 10 pages

The first ten pages of your story are sort of like the “100-day plan” of a new president. In the world of cinema, the first ten pages of any screenplay are roughly the first ten minutes of the film. A viewer decides in those ten minutes if the remaining 110 minutes will be well spent on this film.

In this session, we will learn how to craft these ten pages to elevate your narrative. We’ll study examples from various texts, some by Indian authors, and understand how they did it.

Day 6, Sunday March 26th

“Great things never came from comfort zones.”

Anonymous
  • Early Morning: Yoga session (evening sessions also available, based on demand on all days)
  • Morning: In our craft session we learn to write better dialogue.
  • Afternoon: We’ll head out for an excursion to a 1000-year-old temple, which we will mostly drive to, and then we’ll walk the last bit.

Topic of the Day: Making Dialogues sing

We’ve all heard of the “Show don’t tell” dictum. Dialogues are a great way to show instead of telling. They are an efficient tool to build characters and heighten conflict. But writing them is a learnable skill – a critical one for your story. We’ll analyze good dialogue in both fiction and nonfiction, and then use exercises to write our own.

Day 7, Monday, March 27

  • Early Morning: Yoga session ((evening session available, based on demand)
  • Morning: Craft class at the Himalayan Writing Retreat.
  • Afternoon: a hike in the IVRI Forest reserve

Topics of the Day: Writing tension into dialogue

At the heart of a good story is conflict, and there is no better way to convey conflict than dialogue. Convincing dialogue laden with tension is a surefire way to tell an engaging story. In this session, we’ll understand how to write exactly that kind of dialogue.

Day 8, Tuesday, March 28

  • Early Morning: Yoga session
  • Morning: Craft session at the Himalayan Writing Retreat.
  • Afternoon: We’ll have lunch at the cafe birdcage, and head over to the hill-town of Mukteshwar. We visit the ancient temple of Mukteshwar (https://bit.ly/2ujZUbJ ) and visit a local tourist hotspot.
  • After dinner, we’ll host a literary salon. We can all share what we’ve written with each other during this time, and get constructive feedback.

Topic of the Day: Setting the stage

Stories need settings. They have to happen somewhere. A vivid setting gives the readers the information they need to conjure this new world. A good setting can be spare or rich. It can use multiple senses to transport the reader to a new world. Setting also makes for a great “Show”. We’ll follow up the session on setting by visiting a few interesting settings ourselves.

Day 9, Wednesday, March 29

  • Early Morning: Yoga session (evening session also an option based on demand)
  • Morning: craft class at the Himalayan Writing Retreat.
  • Afternoon: Free writing time. You’re welcome to wander, of course.
  • After dinner, we’ll host a literary salon. We can all share what we’ve written with each other during this time, and get constructive feedback.

Topics of the Day: Place as character

Stories differ in how important a place or setting is. In Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Lowland” her lead character Gauri moved to Rhode Island. There she visits the library and says, “There was nothing about Calcutta. What had consumed the city, what had altered the course of her life and shattered it, was not reported here.” The novel then proceeds to tell a story set in Calcutta (now called Kolkata) but also tells the story of Calcutta itself. Cheryl Strayed does something similar in Wild, where the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) is almost a character.

We’ll examine many such stories to get deeper into a narrative and see how a place itself can be a character.

Day 10, Thursday, March 30

  • Early Morning: Yoga session
  • Morning: We pack up and head back to Delhi by taxi and train. Our stay in Delhi that night is again at the Tree of Life.

Day 11, Friday, March 31

Morning: After breakfast, we check out of the hotel and head out for a guided tour of the old city. We start with the spice market – where all your senses will be on overdrive. We’ll then step back for a rooftop view of the old city. A short rickshaw ride and we find ourselves outside the red fort, one of India’s historic icons. We go through some more of old Delhi and end our tour with a visit to the Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, a Sikh temple, where you will get a deeper insight into Indian culture and values. This tour is conducted by highly rated operators.

We’ll have a farewell lunch at the Lota, which is in the Crafts Museum. The rave-reviewed restaurant serves eclectic fusion cuisine.

In the second half, we will have some free time and those interested in shopping will be driven to the Cottage Industries Exposition. This huge store of Indian Handicrafts is a little slow and stodgy, but the artifacts are all authentic, and prices are fixed – there is no bargaining. Airport drops are arranged for everyone based on your flight schedule. Those wishing to keep the room for an extra night can stay on at a pre-negotiated rate.

Our stay in Delhi is at the Tree of life. We choose it because it is small, cozy and personal. We take up the entire place and are able to do our sessions and plan our arrival and departures to our convenience. No curious strangers looking over any shoulders. The host at the Tree of Life is Ashwani -an ever-smiling and helpful presence, who is happy to customize things for dietary restrictions and much else.

From Delhi we will be traveling to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal by road. Our ride will be a chartered luxury mini-coach. We’ll leave early to avoid rush hour, and have lunch at one of the top restaurants of Agra favoured by international tourists.

The time in the mountains is spent at the Himalayan Writing Retreat. The retreat was built from the ground up for writing and learning, and is rated 5-star on google and facebook.

Here too, you will be sharing a room with a fellow participant. All essentials like food, hot water, towels etc. are provided.

Book lounge snow winter
The Book Lounge at the retreat on a Snowy day.

Since there is no heating, having some warm layers is helpful. Satkhol is not on the weather map, but the climate chart of Mukteshwar (7 miles from the retreat) is here. A pair of sturdy walking shoes, some rain protection and an extra layer or two are always a good idea.

Our rooms are built to let nature in and inspire you. To see pictures of the rooms click here . To see pictures of the writing spaces click here

The travel to the Himalayas and back will be by train in First Class – another way to experience India.

The walking tour of the old city on the last day is again conducted by a very highly-rated tour company. You’ll be visiting the old spice market. The tour also includes a visit to a Temple, a mosque and a Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) – giving you a first-hand taste of India’s smorgasbord culture.

To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

You’re probably traveling to India for the first time and have many questions you want answers to. We’ve tried to answer some of those here. We’ll also answer specific questions during online info sessions we have with all participants before your travel.

Q.  Do I need a Visa?

A . Citizens from some countries need visas in advance. Travelers from Maldives and Japan can get a visa on arrival. To get more details, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_India#Visa-free_entry. Citizens of most countries (including the UK, USA, and Singapore) can obtain an e-visa for their travel. The latest updated information is at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html.

Q. Okay, so I need a visa. How do I get it?

A. It’s actually pretty simple, as now you can get an e-visa. That means you don’t have to go anywhere in person or stand in a queue. You can apply online, and the visa will come to you in an email. Simply carry a printout of it with you. You can apply for the e-visa here. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

Q. When is the best time to buy my ticket?

A. The sooner you buy your ticket, the better the price you get. If you decide to buy a non-refundable ticket, do so once you have your visa in hand. Sometimes visa processing can take longer than anticipated. And you wouldn’t want potential visa-related delays messing up your travel budget. So to get the best fare, apply for the visa at the earliest.

Q. Are there any non-stop flights? Should I fly non-stop or take a stopover?

A. A non-stop flight can mean 15 hours on a plane. It’s a very personal call. We’ve always enjoyed a layover in a city like Frankfurt or Istanbul.  Amsterdam is a personal favourite for the amazing cheese they sell. But that’s us. 

United, Air India, and American offer non-stop flights from big cities like Chicago/New York. They’re usually more expensive.

Q. Do I need travel insurance?

A. Yes, you need travel insurance. It is simplest to buy online. You can also use a trusted agent.

Q. What about food and water? Will I get sick?

A. You should only drink bottled water. Never drink tap water, or even brush your teeth with it. We provide safe bottled water for all your travels. The food you eat should be freshly cooked and from the safest sources. Avoid anything raw or from the street. Avoid uncooked foods like cut fruit or salads. Travelers diarrhea can happen to tourists anywhere and the best way to avoid it is to eat and drink from safe places. In addition, maintain the highest standards of hygiene by frequently washing your hands and so on.

All the places where you will stay or eat with us are very sensitive to the needs of international tourists, and maintain the highest levels of hygiene.

Q. Do I need shots?

A. Yes, but of the medical kind. Visit your local doctor before your trip and get a round of shots. More detailed information is available here

Q. What sort of weather should I expect?

A.  India is a warm country. Your stay in the plains will be in Delhi. During spring and fall days Delhi is warm and sunny, sometimes hot. Evenings may be comfortable. You can see the climate chart for Delhi here.

The bulk of your time will be spent in the Himalayas in Satkhol village. Satkhol is not on the weather map but you can see weather forecasts for Mukteshwar which is six miles away (and 1000 feet higher). The climate chart for Mukteshwar is here.

The temperature in the Himalayas varies during these seasons. It can go from warm, sunny days to cool evenings and cold nights – colder if it rains. Although fall and spring are not the rainy seasons, showers can happen so it’s best to pack layers. Buildings here do not have heating so you’ll wear warm layers indoors as well. 

Q. How should I plan to dress for India?

A.  Except for big cities like Delhi, Indians tend to dress conservatively. While men can wear whatever is comfortable for them, women face some challenges.

– Shorts, tank tops, and tops that show cleavage – though comfortable for Delhi – are not appropriate for public places or religious monuments

– Short sleeve tops are fine everywhere (bare shoulders/sleeveless tops are okay for Delhi)

– Any lower that is mid-calf or longer – tights worn with long tops, capris, trousers, skinny jeans, skirts, dresses – are fine for everywhere

– Most people find keeping a scarf or thin cotton shirt to wear over a top (if it’s sheer or figure-hugging) and trousers or long dresses handy when travelling around.

It is also best to bring a wide-brimmed hat, shades, and lots of sunscreens. These will come in handy when dealing with the Delhi sun/heat as well as the bright sunshine of the mountains.

Q. How much money should I carry?

A. Your stay and transfers are all taken care of by us. Credit cards work in urban areas but not in Dilli Haat (where you may go shopping). In the rural Himalayas – where the retreat is – there won’t be too much to buy.  Avoid carrying too much cash on you.

Q. What about electrical devices? Will my laptop/phone charger work?

A. The power supply in India is the same as in the UK and the Middle-east, although the plug points are different. India’s power supply differs from the US.  Indian power is 220 volts while the US is 110 volts. Avoid bringing high wattage things like hair dryers, etc. We’ve actually seen stuff like that go “poof” in a cloud of smoke.  

Electronic devices such as laptops and phone chargers mostly work with 220 volts. Please read the voltage range given on the devices you plan to carry. If the “input” reads 110-240 volts you’re good. But if the input says “110 volts” only then you may need to buy an adapter or charger for India.

Q. Will there be Wi-fi?

A. The Delhi hotel “Tree of life” has internet connectivity in all rooms. The Himalayan Writing Retreat also has fairly decent broadband, but not in all rooms. We have broadband in most common areas. Our Wi-fi is a 100 Mbps fiber-optic line with an uptime of 95%+.

However, because of our remote location, the occasional outage can happen. A local Jio SIM/ Dongle is a good backup. That can also come in handy in case of the rare event of a power failure for more than 3-4 hours (our two inverters last that long).

Q. Can I get a local mobile phone connection? Will I need one?

A. Your phone company probably offers an international roaming package. They can be expensive but maybe the simplest choice. There are also some other services such as https://www.trabug.com/ but we don’t have any first-hand reports on these yet.

Will you really need one? Since you will mostly be in a group with people you know it is not essential, but it does help if you have one. It can be helpful for coordinating things, and certainly if you like to go exploring on your own.

Q. What should I do when I land in Delhi?

Some flights reach Delhi at a rather unearthly hour. Clearing immigration, customs, and getting your bags can take upward of an hour. When you exit the airport, someone will be waiting there holding a placard with your name on it, and also one with the Himalayan Writing Retreat Logo which looks like this.

After you link up with the person picking you up, give us a call from the phone of the person receiving you. We will share the contact names and phone numbers of our India team with you in advance. If by any chance you cannot spot your name on the placards, call the contact number we give you.

Q. Do I need to carry any medicines?

If you take specific medicines on an occasional or regular basis, please carry enough to last your entire trip. Medicines are available in Delhi but the brands, salts, and dosage might be different from what you are used to. The Himalayan Writing Retreat is located in a rural area. We have doctors at hand but we are 2  1/2 hours away from the nearest emergency room and well-stocked medical store. So, it may be wise to carry a basic medical kit (the kind you would carry on a hike). You could include medicines for an upset tummy, travel/motion sickness (if you suffer from it), jet lag (optional), fever, common cold, allergies, aches, and pains. 

* Please also let us know if you suffer from any food-related allergies, or have specific dietary requirements.

Have more questions? Feel free to write to us at info@himalayanwritingretreat.com .

Event Summary

Details

Start:
March 21, 2023
End:
March 31, 2023
Cost:
$3300
Event Category:

Our Cancellation Policy:

Full refund (except the non-refundable registration amount) on cancellation 60
days or more before event start date.

50% refund if cancellation is between 30-60 days before start date.

0% refund if cancellation is less than 30 days before start date.

If a participant test positive for Covid-19 before travel (RTPCR Report Required), full credit will be held for the next retreat within the next 12 months (subject to availability).

International Writers Retreat 2019 – Video

International Writers Retreat 2022 – Pics

Village Satkhol
District Nainital, Uttarakhand 263138 India
+ Google Map
+91 73035 16665