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Program Itinerary

 

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Isa Khan's Tomb, Delhi

Isa Khan’s Tomb, Delhi

The program begins in New Delhi, India’s capital, with the Program’s in-country orientation and introductory academic sessions. Several days are dedicated to organized visits to points of interest in Old Delhi and New Delhi. In Old Delhi, students visit the Jama Masjid and the Chandni Chowk, as well as UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, and the Red Fort. Time is set aside to explore the National Museum and the Nehru Memorial Museum, and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum.

Mussoorie

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand

After the orientation in Delhi, the group moves on to Mussoorie, a wonderful hill station based 35kms (approx. 20miles) from the capital city of Dehra Dun in Uttarakhand state and is situated approximately 2,000m (or 7,000ft) above the sea level. In Mussoorie, students begin their formal Hindi instructions with faculty of the American Institute of Indian Studies. Other components of the academic program include lectures by Faculty Director and guest speakers, and field trips. Students also begin their independent fieldwork projects under the supervision of the Faculty Director and with the assistance of local experts and advisors.

Jal Mahal, Jaipur

Jal Mahal, Jaipur

From the lush green hills of Mussoorie, the group moves on to Jaipur, capital of the northwestern desert state of Rajasthan. In Jaipur, students continue their formal Hindi instructions and other components of the academic program. Students have ample opportunity to hone their Hindi skills in this beautiful city, with its centuries-old pink sandstone walls and proud tradition. They live approximately five weeks with home-stay families, with whom they take most of their meals and celebrate the major annual festival of Dushehra and Diwali.

Jag Mandir, Udaipur

Jag Mandir, Udaipur

From Jaipur, the group will travel to the city of lakes and a very popular tourist destination in Rajasthan, Udaipur for almost a week at the end of Jaipur chapter. It is known for its history, culture, scenic locations, and Rajput-era palaces. During this period, the group will also visit Ranakpur, a small town based in Pali district of Rajasthan approximately a two-hour drive from Udaipur. Ranakpur is famous for its 15th century Jain temples, which the group will visit during its one-night stay.

Following Jaipur/Udaipur phase of the program, 5-6 days of free time is scheduled during which the students typically work on their independent fieldwork projects or travel independently in small groups.

Tulsidas Ghat, Varanasi

Tulsidas Ghat, Varanasi

The program’s next destination is Varanasi (Banaras) on the banks of the sacred Ganges and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. During their stay, students experience Shiva’s “city of light” on foot and by river. Also included in this segment is a visit to Sarnath, where the Buddha offered his first teachings. The students continue their Hindi instruction and independent fieldwork, as well as a diverse program of speakers and cultural events. Following their time in Varanasi, the students travel to Bodhgaya, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment and world-center of Buddhist pilgrimage.

The program comes to its conclusion in Delhi, with approximately two weeks for final fieldwork, course projects, formal presentation of the students’ independent fieldwork projects, and reflection upon the term’s experiences. During this period, the students will also travel to the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple and important also to the study of India’s struggle for independence.