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Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

Kochi (Cochin...
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Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

I hold an Indian passport and plan to visit Israel (and especially Jerusalem) later this year. The dates are flexible as of now. I have been going over the forums, and also doing some other questions, but I have a few specific questions

1. How easy (or difficult) is it to get INSIDE the Dome of the Rock / Al Aqsa. I am a Muslim, but do they just allow all Muslims inside, or are there any restrictions? I have heard rumors of people below 40 years not being allowed inside, but cannot find anything on it.

2. I prefer back-packing, crossing over from Jordan via the Allenby bridge. (I am traveling solo). This is, however, my first trip to the country, and I have no known contacts there. I know Westerners backpacking in Israel is commonplace, but Indians? Would attaching myself to a travel group be of any significant benefit ?

3. Are there any instance of people actually being denied entry at Allenby bridge, at the discretion of the officer on duty I plan to get my visa from India before setting out. Also, if possible, I would like to exit to Egypt and return to India from Cairo.

4. As of now, I plan 3 full days in Jerusalem, and another 4 full days for the rest of Israel. Would that be enough, and also some priorities for the rest of Israel.

Any other useful tips or information would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Jerusalem, Israel
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1. Re: Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

1. If you are a Muslim, you should have no problem getting into the Dome of the Rock, but you might be asked by the Waqf to prove yourself as such (quote from the Quran etc.)

2. You shouldn't have any problem backpacking solo. Taking a guided travel group should prove useful in terms of guiding - you'll get a lot of background when touring sites, that you might not know when travelling alone. A guided travel group is also limiting - you have to stick to the group and you lose 'independence' in some sort. It's up to you.

3. I don't really understand your question. First, as an Indian you must arrange a visa from an Israeli consulate in India, and you should have no problem in. Just answer honestly all the questions you would be asked by the immigration officer at the border, and you should have no problem in.

If you want to get to Cairo from Israel, you can fly. If you want to go by land, you would have to arrange an Egyptian visa, since Egypt does not stamp visas valid for Cairo at the land border between Israel and Egypt (at Cairo). The visas there are valid only for Sinai travel.

4.We can give you some priorities, but you should also specify what are your interests in seeing. I can already tell you not to miss visiting (and floating in) the Dead Sea & Masada, and Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem
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2. Re: Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

Great advice from Amos.

I just wanted to add re. the Dome of the Rock that the age restriction you've heard about is sometimes imposed on Muslims from the West Bank who want to enter the Temple Mount area. As a tourist you wouldn't be affected by this.

You can definitely backpack and the fact that you're Indian won't make any difference. As you may know, tens of thousands of young Israelis go backpacking in India every year, so it's nice to hear of traffic in the opposite direction :)

Kochi (Cochin...
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3. Re: Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

thanks for the replies. I will plan further and keep posting.

Indianapolis...
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4. Re: Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

Nice sharing...

5. Re: Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

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Haifa, Israel
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6. Re: Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

Hi,

My company has offices in India, thus have a lot of experience with the visa process. The Israeli visa can be obtained in Mumbai in the Israeli consulate. Allow at least a week for the process. You can go from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and Masada and end the Israeli short visit in Tel-Aviv

Giora

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7. Re: Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

Greetings,

I can advise you on a couple of points: As a non-Muslim I found it not only difficult but IMPOSSIBLE to even get NEAR the mosque - I tried from every angle. Each time I was confronted by armed guards who ask if I were Muslim. They told me only Muslims were allowed to get near even though prayers were not being held at the time. I was told to come back at 7:00 Sunday morning for entry (right.). Four days may be cutting it close to see Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a big city but most of the interesting sites are around the Old City. I found the light rail system (there's a stop at Damascus Gate) offered an excellent way to see the rest of the city. I rode the train into the neighborhoods until I felt like I wanted to get off and explore the area. If you like to hike, are you aware of the sunrise trek up the Snake Path at Masada? From Jerusalem you will find the rental of a car to be most convenient (my rental was about 20 USD) for this overnight trip since it is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. The only place to stay is the Masada Guest House which provides basic, bare-bones overnight accommodations which can be booked through booking.com. Along the route you can stop at Mineral Beach (entry costs 50 NIS) to bathe in the Dead Sea - you must experience this! All the best.

8. Re: Indian Planning a Visit to Jerusalem

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