Urban Village: Community Service & Exchange (4 nights)

KOC 412-201
  • Two half days of service and learning in Bandhwari Village
  • Interact with school children and women in the village
  • Enjoy tours of New and Old Delhi
  • Explore the famed Taj Mahal
Program Overview
Country: India
Depart: 10/26/2017 0930
Return: 10/30/2017 1200
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Moderate
Capacity: Min 20 / Max 30
Category: IMPACT Programs

IMPACT Opportunity

Program Fee
$1529 (early booking: $1453)

Field Class Conflicts
  • PHIL 171: Religions of the West
  • LB 171: World Literatures – The Modern Period
  • ANTH 100: Introductory Cultural Anthropology (Section 1)
  • IE 471: Children and Youth in Global Context
  • PSY 315 Social Psychology

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

Want to see the Taj Mahal but also want to have a more meaningful experience while in India? On this program, take the unique opportunity to work with children and local women in a nearby village while still getting to see the major sites of Delhi and tour the famed Taj Mahal.

After arriving to Delhi on the first day, head to Bandhwari village. Here participants will spend the morning with children at a local school and a women’s self-help group from the village community center. Bandhwari is located about 15km (9m) from Gurgaon village. Here the Incentive Foundation, a socially-responsible initiative “formed with a vision to empower change through education” is currently working on a combined project to promote education and health services.

In the afternoon, embark upon an exciting tour of New Delhi where participants will see Qutub Minar, the famous minaret of Delhi. The soaring conical tower is a Tower of Victory, built in the 12th century by Qutbuddin Aibak. Within its spacious courtyard stands the Iron Pillar, which dates back to the 4th century A.D. and bears a Sanskrit inscription in the Gupta style. This pillar has puzzled scientists, as its iron has yet to rust after these many centuries. Traveling through the streets of New Delhi, pass the architecture of British India – the imposing President’s House, the North and South Blocks, the government offices, Parliament House, and India Gate – the memorial to the Unknown Soldier. End the tour with the stunning Humayun’s Tomb. Built in the 16th century, this tomb is architecturally considered the forerunner of the Taj Mahal. Commissioned by the widow of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor, it was subsequently used as a burial place for members of the royal family.

The next morning, travel once more to Bandhwari village to work on educational projects with the children and speak with the women from the community center.  In the afternoon, head out on a tour of Old Delhi. Explore the living legacy of the Indo-Islamic culture & lifestyle in Old Delhi. Moghul emperor Shah Jahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid the foundations of Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi. Here participants will see the Raj Ghat, cremation ground of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian Independence Movement. Travel past the Red Fort and proceed towards Chandni Chowk market.  There is no better way to explore this bustling part of the city in the afternoon than on a cycle rickshaw. Zoom through the narrow lanes and experience the traditional stalls brimming with food and other goods, observe the daily activities of the merchants, and view the local population going about their day. Stroll through the busy lanes of Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice market, where hundreds of spices and condiments are arranged in neat colorful piles, a real visual treat. Also experience the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), India’s largest mosque (also built by the Taj Mahal creator, Shah Jahan).

Travel to Agra early the next morning to take in the magnificent Taj Mahal, considered to be the finest architectural achievement of the Moghuls, and maybe mankind. Built over a period of 22 years under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630, the Taj enshrines the mortal remains of his beloved wife, Queen Mumtaz Mahal. After getting a glimpse of the many spectacular views of the Taj, pay a visit to Agra Fort. Built by three Mughal emperors beginning with Akbar the Great in 1565 AD, the Agra Fort is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings including the Moti Masjid, Jahangir’s Palace, Khas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Diwane-i-Am, Diwane-i-Khas and Musamman Burj, where the 5th Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan died as a prisoner.

Travel back to Delhi, overnight at a modest hotel near the airport.

This final day will be an early wake-up call with an early morning flight back to Cochin, arriving back to the ship around lunch time.


Day 1

  • Fly to Delhi (lunch on board)
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 2

  • Early breakfast
  • Bandhwari Village school and women self-help group
  • Lunch
  • New Delhi tour
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel

Day 3

  • Early breakfast
  • Bandhwari Village school and women self-help group
  • Lunch
  • Old Delhi tour
  • Dinner and overnight

Day 4

  • Travel to Agra (~4hrs)
  • Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
  • Early lunch
  • Travel back to Delhi (~4hrs)
  • Overnight hotel near airport

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

Day 5

  • Early morning flight from Delhi to Cochin
  • Arrive back to ship around lunch time

Meals Included

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

Special Note

  • The last day will be a long day including a lot of time in transit to and from the Taj Mahal.

**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