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The Best of India: Treasures of the North and South

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Road Scholar
Program #18716RJ

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21 Days | 20 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Anne from Durham, NH Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/13/16 - 02/02/16
India, north and south, was a stunning success. I am now better equipped to understand global warming and international relations for the future.

Charles from Camp Hill, PA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 12/01/15 - 12/21/15
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree." Go for the Taj but more importantly you will experience much that goes against the Western grain and challenges your own biases. Overall a great experience that I will recommend to my friends. Well done!

David from Riverside, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/19/15 - 11/08/15
The trip was excellent; our group was fun and cooperative; and our guide, Shagzil Khan, was extraordinary. All expectations were realized; nobody got sick (to our knowledge); the food was more than one could eat (and also excellent); the hotels were generally higher quality than was expected. Highly recommended for first-timers to India who want a good sampling of the North and South.

Renate from Minneapolis, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/19/15 - 11/08/15
Trip of a life time, colorful India up close did not disappoint. Our guide, Shagzil Khan was well educated and informative about the many religions and customs of India and its diverse population in a most charming way. I highly recommend this trip because of it's diverse exposure to the North and South of the country'. Go, it is fabulous!

Cecelia from Washington, DC Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/13/15 - 11/02/15
This trip was an up-close and personal brush with humanity in the best way possible.

Elizabeth from Grinnell, IA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/19/15 - 11/08/15
If you're thinking about travelling to India, go on the North-South program! I just returned from its Oct. 19-Nov. 8 version. My sense of India's long and fascinating history and of its current color, vibrancy, and complexity has grown immensely. The program is really well-designed; it's packed with visits to the important historical sites and also unique encounters with families and school children. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Mazel from Potomac, MD Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/19/15 - 11/08/15
Loved, loved, loved this program. The knowledgeable and passionate guides, interesting lectures, tasty food, local festivals, and much more provided ample opportunity to learn about the history and culture of India. Shagzil Khan, our Group Leader, was simply outstanding.

Vinod from Orchard Park, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/18/15 - 10/08/15
This is a very comprehensive program which includes history, culture and religions in both the Northern and Southern India. It was excellent and exceeded my expectations. The subject matter was presented by experts in the field in easy to understand language. Excellent hotel accommodations and meals. During long bus rides, the group leader made sure we had appropriate number of stops on the way.

Patricia from Redlands, CA Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 03/15/15 - 04/04/15
I wrote a long review but some how it got lost now I'm out of time

Marie from San Diego, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/15/15 - 04/04/15
If you are looking for a trip that is bigger than life in every direction then this trip is for you. Each day you will discover a culture that is filled with diversity and fascinating contrasts. To name a few highlights but not in any order: delicious food, gracious people, impressive architecture, exciting elephant festival, temples, live cobra, markets, etc.... The tour is extremely well organized. The hospitality and knowledge of our guide, Anurag, is excellent. Too, you will find the Indian people welcoming and generous. This is one of the best vacations we have ever taken. Like all the amazing places, India is amazing. Marie Lewin

Scott from Brookfield, WI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/15/15 - 04/04/15
It's rare to find a program that encompasses some of northern and southern India in just three weeks and this is a great one from beginning to end. Our guide, Anurag, is top notch. Food, lodging, transportation, sights and activites were excellent. The Hindu festival is only one of many unforgettable experiences. We recommend this trip to travellers who want to be very busy, learning and doing. Patty and Scott Gerner

Diana from Grand Rapids, MI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/20/15 - 03/12/15
I enjoyed this trip much more than I even expected - every day was an interesting, fun, educational adventure - different from the day before. It was very well organized - from the daily schedules to the mix of city and country, north and south. And great fellow travelers as well.

Hella from Oak Ridge, TN Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 02/20/15 - 03/12/15
The trip would be on the top of my list to repeat. We have enjoyed more than 10 Roadscholar trips in the past.

Douglas from Houston, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/05/15 - 02/25/15
Excellent program! Well organized, covered many interesting subjects and exceeded my expectations!

Barbara from Afton, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/20/15 - 03/12/15
The North and South India trip was excellent. Guide and guest lecturerers were very knowledgeable. Accommodations were 4-5 star. Too much food - but that's a matter of self-discipline. Food was very good. I'd recommend this trip if you have any interest in the Indian sub-continent.

Dan from Lewes, DE Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/05/15 - 02/25/15
Our Feb. trip to India was amazing. Our group leader, Shagzil Khan has to be one of the best that is available in all of India. He is very well organized and knowledgeable. He made our trip to India not just a tour but an experience! India is a land of contrasts. It is a country of "organized chaos" but yet peace and tranquility. It is colorful, diverse and compassionate. It's animals roam randomly and are embraced and respected by it's people. The food and accommodations on this trip are excellent and the majestic sites are bound to create a lifetime of memories. But the one thing that stood out the most to me on this trip was the friendliness of the Indian people. Everyone was sincere and smiled & waved and made us all feel welcomed. Forget what you think you know about this land and experience it for yourself. I'm sure that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Theodore from Milwaukee, WI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/09/15 - 01/29/15
Our Best of India trip exceeded my expectations. Our Group Leader, Ashok Jain, shared his great knowledge of India's culture,history, religion, government and much more, speaking clearly and articulately. He also worked very hard to ensure that we all were having enjoyable and interesting experiences. Ashok is outstanding. We toured temples, mosques, forts and the Taj Mahal and experienced Hindu rituals and festivals with elephants. Twice we had dinner in an Indian family's home. We strolled through busy and noisy market streets. We were driven in pedal-powered rickshaws through streets of Old Delhi; we felt like we were on a movie set. We visited a small village, where we road on camels. We relaxed on houseboats, stopping at sites along the way. Our trip was stimulating, educational and lots of fun.

Janice from St Louis Park, MN Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/05/15 - 02/25/15
The variety of places and experiences on this trip was beyond anything I could have imagined. Our guide Shagzil was terrific. His knowledge and understanding of history, culture, agriculture and economics is amazing, and he took such good care of all of us with seeming ease. This was a trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget.

Chung Kyun from Chicago, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/05/15 - 02/25/15
1) RS recommended GenVisa.com site to apply for a visa to India. As a Mac user I found this site impossible to use, so I used TraVisa.com. 2) It would be helpful if RS warns people that the weight limit per person for domestic flight within India is 13kg. We flew from Delhi to Bangalore during our tour.

Dan from Santa Rosa, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/09/15 - 01/29/15
A great first visit to India, with a terrific Tour Leader, Ashok Jain. Painless, easy, and very interesting.Good sense of the diversity sand complexity of India.

Cynthia from Ft Worth, TX Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 01/09/15 - 01/29/15
So much to see and so little time. There is such a difference with the North and South that this trip gives an excellent overview. Our group leader, Ashok Jain, was just wonderful. He tried to make sure we saw it all and he took excellent care of us. I cannot say enough positive things about this trip.

Diane from Stella, ON Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/19/14 - 11/08/14
The Best of India, Treasures of the North and South, is a trip that lives on in my heart and my memory two months after returning home.The dramatically contrasting sights (and sites) of India were fascinating and often disturbing but the people we met, and our co-travellers, were warm and wonderful. As much as I wanted to go to India before, I now want to go more than ever.

Maria from Nine Mile Falls, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/19/14 - 11/08/14
Our tour of India helped me fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing the Taj Mahal and it did not disappoint! I would wholeheartedly recommend this program to others as long as Shagzil Khan is group leader!

Jay from New York, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/19/14 - 11/08/14
Great programming. like fireworks going off all day long. Crammed full of the unexpected as well as the expected. Beautiful buses and hotels. The survey of north and south India led by a cheerful happy guide very knowledgeable who was thrilled to show us India and introduce us to local guides just as special and enthusiastic.

Conice from Helena, MT Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/19/14 - 11/08/14
First, I want to say that Shagzil Khan, our tour guide, was exceptional. He is very intelligent, very funny and took exceptional care of us. India is covered in garbage. Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world. We stayed in mostly gated hotels. The tap water is not safe to drink or even brush your teeth. Have toilet paper and hand sanitizers at the ready while traveling in the country. Most toilets are disgusting. You will spend a great amount of time on the bus. Those are facts. India is profound and thought-provoking and mind-bending. I'm so glad I went, as I see life with entirely different eyes. To have the opportunity to spend time in a different culture is an experience not to be missed.

Cheryl from Pacific City, OR Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 04/10/14 - 04/30/14
This trip is fabulous! I didn't know much about India before coming, and now all I want to do is return and travel more. And I can't praise the food enough. Wow! Indian restaurants in America do not begin to do it justice. Before this trip I was a bit intimidated by India's size, and now I am fascinated by the history and diversity and eager to learn more. Before the trip I was concerned about the poverty I would see; now I am impressed by the changes taking place in India, and the spirit of the people and place as they enter the 21st century as the world's largest democracy. I strongly encourage others to give India a chance.

Andrew from Los Gatos, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 04/10/14 - 04/30/14
This trip is highly under marketed! There were too many surprising and wonderful things we saw and did to list! A bonus is the guide we had, Gopal, is an excellent teacher and organized lecturer. India herself is a blooming flower not to be missed. The food alone has me aching to go back! Fun and educational trip, highly recommended.

Bruce from Markdale, ON Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 03/19/14 - 04/08/14
While we have visited India on a number of occasions since 1966, this trip provided excellent coverage of a variety of dimensions of Indian history & culture. The trip provided a good introduction to the Mogul& Rajput architecture of the North, the temple architecture of the southwest as well as the differences in the culture between the two regions. The home visits, accommodation in both big city hotels & smaller more remote resorts, visits to unusual sites such as the step well in Rajastan, a village school, a temple festival in the south & the Jewish area of Kochin provided a well rounded experience. A superb tour leader, Gopal Singh Naruka, contributed immensely to the success of the trip. His lectures were excellent & usually very amusing and certainly broadened our appreciation of Indian history, society, religion and mythology. The material progress in India over the past 45 years is quite profound, although many distributional issues still exist .

Gale from El Cerrito, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/19/14 - 04/08/14
The best part of the trip was getting to experience both northern and southern India. The southern state of Kerala was a real eye-opener: prosperous and politically left-leaning with 100% literacy and a preponderance of women. It's very unlike the north, and no one who travels to India should miss it. Our marvelous, forthright guides dispensed fascinating, useful information and insights about their culture, and Gopal, our main guide, generously went out of his way to provide us with fascinating additional experiences beyond our planned agenda. My only criticism is that most of our hotels were located outside the main areas of interest, and at especially first I felt cocooned in excessive luxury and isolated from the India I'd come so far to see. But fortunately, I soon hooked up with several like-minded friends and the extensive explorations we made on our own helped turn a good travel experience into a truly great one.

James from Hayward, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/19/14 - 04/08/14
Wife and I went on the 3/19 to 4/9 dates. While the first 2 weeks weather was very good, the last week is too hot, in 90s. First two weeks were find visiting the historic sites, and last week in 3 resort was a little too slow. Overall, we saw a lot of India and very amazed at the resiliency of the people in a developing, but still very poor country with many problems. Still recommend this trip to see both north and south of India. Educational material was just right and excellent tour leader. Jim & Gingee Huen, San Francisco Bay Area

Wendy from Shaker Heights, OH Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 03/19/14 - 04/08/14
I learned a great deal about India on this program. The activities were diverse and interesting and the leader was superb.

Rhoda from Mill Valley, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/12/14 - 03/04/14
The "Best of India: Treasures of the North and South" truly lives up to its name! Experience amazing contrasts, from the exquisite Taj Mahal to the "controlled chaos" of a Delhi street corner. You'll learn fascinating history as you visit temples, mosques and palaces. Share the streets with bicycle rickshaws, camels, water buffalo, elephants and monkeys. Then unwind at a spa and a healing center. Finally, enjoy a relaxing cruise on a houseboat before returning home with your luggage stuffed with souvenirs and your head packed with unforgettable images.

Mark from Potsdam, NY Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 01/30/14 - 02/19/14
A marvelous introduction to the variety of sights and experiences of India. The itinerary is judiciously chosen to assure that we saw the major monuments as well as sampling village life and meeting gracious local hosts for revealing conversation. The accommodations were all good, ranging from the luxurious to the merely comfortable (which gave us access to experiences that we valued). The food was plentiful and interesting and the inevitable long bus rides provided a good sense of much of the varied Indian countryside; you can see a lot of life along the roads. We owe much to our wonderful guide Anurag Srivastava, who was informative, articulate, resourceful, efficient and sensitive to our wishes. He was generous in sharing his life experiences to give us an enhanced understanding of the lives of ordinary Indians. He wove our rather diverse group into a "family". We would love to see Anurag again.

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"Pink Fort" Uploaded By: Marie
"Pink Fort" Uploaded By: Marie

"Local market" Uploaded By: Marie

"Elephant transportation(?)" Uploaded By: Marie

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"Amber Fort Wall" Uploaded By: Cherie

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at no additional cost on this date ...
18 nights of accommodations
48 meals: 17 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 16 dinners
14 Expert-led lectures
14 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances
1 Flights during the program


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