Unity in Diversity- Religious Harmony in India (3 nights)

KOC 413-201
Highlights
  • Explore the religious complexities within India
  • Hear about “Religions of India” by a prominent local expert
  • Enjoy 2 nights in Varanasi – A hub of the Hindu religion
  • Visit Sarnath on the outskirts of Varanasi – an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists
  • Visit the famed Taj Mahal.
Program Overview
Country: India
Depart: 03/02/2017 0500
Return: 03/05/2017 0100
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Moderate
Capacity: Min 20 / Max 34
Program Fee
$1481 (early booking: $1419)

Field Class Conflicts
  • MGT 340 Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship
  • HDFS 101 Individual and Family Development

This program illustrates how different religions harmoniously co-exist in India through a meaningful visit to Varanasi. Varanasi is not only the hub for Hindu religion but also the birthplace of Buddhism where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon in Sarnath. This program also explores religions in Delhi through a visit to the Lotus Temple of Bhai faith, a Gurudwara (place of worship of the Sikhs) and a Mosque. And because no visit to North India would be complete without it, this program also features a trip to the Taj Mahal.

Day 1 (March 2): Early this morning you will be transferred from the Ship to Kochi airport for a flight to Varanasi (through Mumbai) where you will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: (March 3): Early this morning you will enjoy a boat ride on the Ganges at sunrise and witness pilgrims taking a dip in the holy river and performing Hindu rituals. some may practice yoga and meditation. You will return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast you will proceed on a tour Varanasi Sarnath where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Here you will also have an exclusive meeting with a Buddhist Monk with a small prayer ceremony. In the afternoon you will be given a small lecture on Religions of India with a focus on Hinduism. In the evening you will proceed on another boat ride on the river Ganges to witness the evening prayer ceremony. Every evening, a very special aarti or ‘prayer to Mother Ganga’ is performed by specially-chosen priests. This is a passionate and divine journey as the music and the oil lamps create a trance-like experience. Here, you can float your own lighted lamp down the river.

Day 3 (March 4): This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Agra. Upon arrival in Agra, you will transferred to your hotel. In the evening you will visit the magnificent Taj Mahal for a sunset tour and witness its kaleidoscope of colors and moods. A tribute from a great emperor to the memory of his beloved wife, the Taj Mahal was 22 years in the making (1631-1653). Widely regarded as the earthly replica of paradise, the Taj Mahal is likened to “a vision, a dream, a poem and a wonder”.

Day 4 (March 5): On your last day, you will visit Agra Fort after breakfast. Later you will be driven to Delhi, about four hours in transit. In Delhi you will visit the Jama Masjid which is the largest mosque in Asia. You will also be taken to a Gurudwara, which is a Sikh place of worship, and The Lotus Temple, which is place of worship of the Bhai Faith. Later in the evening you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Kochi.

*Please note! The Taj Mahal is currently undergoing cleaning and will likely have scaffolding surrounding parts of the famous monument while you are there. Though it won’t affect your itinerary, it will affect your photos and we don’t want you to be surprised by this.  See this article for additional details. 

Itinerary

Day 1

March 2:
– Morning flight from Kochi to Varanasi (transfer in Mumbai)
– Arrive Varanasi and transfer to the hotel.
– Dinner and overnight at hotel

 

Day 2

March 3:
– Early morning boat ride on the River Ganges and return to the hotel for breakfast
– Morning city tour of Varanasi
– Meeting with a Buddhist monk and exclusive prayer ceremony
– Lecture on Religions of India with a focus on Hinduism
– Evening boat ride on the River Ganges to witness the evening Aarti
– Dinner and overnight at hotel

 

Day 3

March 4:
– Flight from Varanasi to Agra
– Taj Mahal sunset tour
– Dinner and overnight at hotel

 

Day 4

March 5: (this is a long day!)
– Morning visit Agra Fort
– Drive from Agra to Delhi (~ 4 hours)
– Visit Mosque, Gurudwara and Lotus Temple in Delhi
– Late evening flight from Delhi to Kochi
– Arrive Kochi and transfer Ship (around midnight or later)

Meals Included

Includes all meals

Special Note

Removal of shoes is necessary when visiting places of Worship in India.

The boat ride on the river Ganges begins early in the morning.