Classic Jaipur & Taj Mahal (A) (3 nights)

KOC 406-202
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites- Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
  • Amber Fort, City Palace, and Royal Observatory in Jaipur
  • Rajasthani folk dances
  • Old and New Delhi
  • NGO visit to Suman Santhan
Program Overview
Country: India
Depart: 10/26/2017 1300
Return: 10/29/2017 2200
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Easy
Capacity: Min 25 / Max 35
Category: ILLUMINATE: History / Culture
Program Fee
$989 (early booking: $969)

Field Class Conflicts
  • PHIL 171 Religions of the West
  • LB 171 World Literatures – Modern Period
  • ANTH 100 Intro to Cultural Anthropology (Sect 1)
  • IE 471 Children and Youth in Global Context

Registration for overnight programs in India has closed. We are no longer accepting registration for this program.

Embark on an enlightening journey through North India covering the must see monuments, historic bazaars, bustling cities, and tranquil temples. Get a glimpse of the architecture of various rulers of India – Mughals, Rajputs, and the British, on this 4-day program.

First stop – Jaipur! Jaipur is known as the ‘Pink City’, due to its abundance of pink plastered stone used to build its massive forts, magnificent palaces, and exquisite temples. The city was built in 1727 A.D. by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II following a grid system, which made it the only planned city of its time. A young Bengali architect, Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, designed the city in accordance with Shilp Shastra – an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. There is far more to the city than just its famous monuments; uncover the mysteries of the bazaars and visit silversmiths, turban sellers, and traditional markets.

Outside of Jaipur, participants will explore the Amber Fort. This stunning landmark was built in white marble and red sandstone and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber before the capital was shifted to present day Jaipur. Amber Fort is known for its unique artistic style, blending both Hindu and Muslim (Mughal) elements, and its ornate and breathtaking artistic mastery. There may be an opportunity for an optional elephant ride ascending the fort and for participants to engage in a critical discussion regarding the ethics of elephant riding and the livelihood it offers to people in nearby villages.

In the afternoon, visit a local NGO, Suman Sansthan, a home for orphaned youth. Suman Santhan was started by a fashion designer turned childrens’ advocate, Manan Chaturvedi, who was appointed to be the chairperson of the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in 2016. After learning about this unique organization, head to a local market before enjoying dinner in the evening with Rajasthani folk dances.

The following morning, take an early train to Agra. Once a small village on the banks of the Yamuna River, Agra was transformed by two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and his grandson Shah Jehan, into the second capital of the Mughal Empire – Dar-ul-Khilafat, or ‘seat of the Emperor’ in the 16th & 17th century.  A world of contrasting edifices of sandstone and marble, narrow galleys, bustling streets, and small buggies, Agra retains the irresistible charm that made this the favorite city of the Mughals.

Here participants will start off with a visit to Agra Fort. This was the seat of Mughal rule and administration. The present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected its walls and gates and first buildings on the eastern banks of the Yamuna. Shah Jehan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. Participants will tour its Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions.

After lunch, explore the extraordinary Taj Mahal!  Said to be one of the most elegant and a harmonious building in the world, Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1630 AD to enshrine the mortal remains of his beloved Queen, Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal manifests the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in architecture and garden design, painting, and calligraphy. The 144ft (44m) double dome of the Taj is capped with a finial and the four minarets each 131 ft (40m) high and crowned by an open octagonal pavilion highlight the perfect symmetry of the tomb. In the evening, take the train to Delhi.

Perhaps there is no other capital city in the world so steeped in history and legend as the Indian capital of Delhi. It was the magnet, which drew the Mongols, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Mughals, and the British, all of whom contributed to its glorious but turbulent past. The fascination with Delhi was such that even though it was abandoned many times, its rulers returned again and again, rebuilding it at least seven times. Today, the twin cities of Old and New Delhi still intrigue travelers alike as the cultural and political capital of the largest democracy in the world.

Here in Delhi take a rickshaw ride through the busy Chandni Chowk market. Then check out Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the most prominent Sikh house of worship in Delhi, the resplendent “Mosque of Friday” and largest mosque in India – Jama Masjid, and a view a Jain temple from the outside. In the afternoon, travel past the India Gate, designed by Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, and take in a UNESCO world heritage site – Humayun’s Tomb. Enjoy one last lunch with the group before heading to the airport for the flight back to Cochin.

“This program gives you the opportunity to see India’s Golden Triangle and provides travelers with a good spectrum of the country’s different landscapes and culture.” — Krysten G., Spring ’17 Student Voyager


Day 1

  • Fly to Jaipur (via Mumbia) (~5hrs)
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Travel to Amber Fort (~3hrs)
  • City Palace and Jantar Mantar
  • Lunch
  • NGO visit: Suman Sansthan
  • Local market
  • Dinner with Rajasthani folk dance
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 3

  • Train to Agra (~3.5hrs)
  • Agra Fort
  • Lunch 
  • Taj Mahal
  • Train to Delhi (~2hrs)
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 4

  • Breakfast
  • Rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk market
  • Temple visits (Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Jama Masjid, & Jain Temple)
  • Lunch
  • India Gate & Humayun’s Tomb
  • Fly to Kochi (~3.5hrs) (dinner onboard)

*Please note: times and activities are tentative and subject to change.

Meals Included

Day 1:
Day 2: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: breakfast, lunch
Day 4: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Special Note

**The Taj Mahal has been undergoing restoration and will likely have scaffolding surrounding parts of the famous monument during the program. Though it won’t affect the itinerary, it may affect participants’ photos.**

  • Southern Facade, Southeast Minaret & Southwest minaret – expected completion AUG 2017
  • Northern Facade – expected completion OCT 2017
  • Western Facade – expected completion DEC 2017
  • Wall of Periphery, Sheesh Mahal – expected completion JAN 2018
  • Four Chhatris on the roof of the main mausoleum – expected completion APR 2018
  • Pinnacle and dome – expected completion NOV 2018