TH, be sure to visit The 17th Karmapa for His Darshan while you are at Mcleod, He lives just below D'sala at Sidhbari;
I understand that one needs to 'let go' in order to experience India. However, I must say that this has been difficult for me as India appears to be so daunting, so overwhelming that I've needed to 'book' things in order to feel secure..
I'm not sure why you got such a response,without knowing what you said in your initial email it's hard to comment. I stayed in Thiruvannamalai in Feb for MahaShivratri & every room in the town was taken so we were advised to ask at the Ashram, where we were told that anyone can stay for free but you need to write to them a month in advance to reserve a room. I just noticed on the Ramana website that you can only stay 3 days anyway.:) KK