First Time Israel:Visa And Things You Should Know2:10 PM
Is when the ray said to come from heaven(as in picture) touches the candles filled with water,
it spontaneously lights the candles
as if the water was oil!
@Church of the Holy Sepulchre.Jerusalem
Now Israel is one place which I would say I had never anticipated going because it was never in my wish list as I never knew much about the place before.After asking people about the process of visa and more so my apprehensions on if my
Getting Israel Visa Was A Simple Process
Previous Posts On Israel Here
"My parents and in-laws were not sure about my decision on saying yes to this one.Luckily,my experience in Israel was far more safer than I had thought of,with me travelling alone,taking buses,walking,meeting people for last 3 days in Tel Aviv(TLV). I felt Jerusalem was a little different than TLV,I felt it was quieter but even there I never felt unsafe even when walking down streets.People too weren't skeptical as I had thought them to be,I found them rather helpful and nice"
Celebrating Bollywood and Being Indian in Tel Aviv
Up until then ,I didn't know that many Software biggies from India are located in Israel,including TCS and it isn't as offbeat destination as It sounded to me first.Luckily on one of my last days in Tel Aviv,I met an Indian who was searching for an Indian Restaurant and we found one,which was delicious.
In fact of all the experiences I have had of Indian food abroad,this counted as one of the authentic ones.I unfortunately am not in touch with him anymore because we forgot to exchange contacts,but finding someone of same age group and place was a pleasant surprise!
"The fact that I may have to touch base with religion a bit and write about it in a public forum such as blog gives me goosebumps.Because many of the wars in the world these days are on religion.You'll be delighted to know that Israel is significant not only to Christians and Jews but many many other religions as well.Bless me,so I write it in detail and all in good jolly spirit. "
You can apply for visa at The Embassy of Israel in Delhi and Consular General in Mumbai and Bangalore.The process with Documents and Application Form and Checklist is given here.I applied through Consular General in Bangalore,and the time to process the visa depends on consulate but I got it in 4 days.It costs around Rs 1600,and its pretty simple.
Entering In Israel:The formalities
Israel is a popular destination worldwide
As it offers almost everything
From religious sites to the dead sea to the wild sea to dip in or Scuba dive
There ain't many places in the world where you are told to keep your checked-in bags sans locks.Israel is one of them.
Just as I entered the Bengaluru International Airport,before the counter of my flight were panels of people who stopped each one of us for general inquiry on our purpose,the documentations we have,the places we are going to stay further,who is the touch point in Israel,did we have any circumstance where we had kept our luggage separate than with us,if we are in touch with anyone from any Muslim country and who are they.I have had traveled to Dubai and Malaysia,and have stayed with friends and on invitation with Tourism Board.
Once they are sure that you are not a threat and rather friends of their country,they are welcoming.
It's a kind of a different experience than what I usually go through for any other country.Ditto happens when you are back from Ben Gurion International Airport(TLV).It takes around 8 hours from Mumbai to Tel Aviv.
Getting The Visa:No Stamping on Passport
As said,I was a little paranoid on the visa being stamped on my passport,if at all.The visa remains intact on my passport but the stamping is done in separate sheet which you have to keep it till the end of stay.
"I found keeping the separate sheet a little uneasy but yet a great relief"
I mean,I usually have a tendency to write on back or throw small pieces of paper.But this had to be kept come what may,so every time I would dig my hand in my purse,I would re insure I have that little piece of paper that let me in or else,you know what I mean :)
How to reach Israel
There are many carriers including Turkish Airlines.Qatar,Air France etc.
Mumbai to Tel Aviv would set you back by around 44k roundtrip.