Road Scholar : Home
A Spiritual and Cultural Journey: India’s Golden Triangle and Holy Ganges River

Program Number: 21644RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/10/2014 - 10/1/2014; 1/6/2015 - 1/27/2015; 2/17/2015 - 3/10/2015; 9/6/2015 - 9/27/2015; 10/5/2015 - 10/26/2015; 11/2/2015 - 11/23/2015; 1/25/2016 - 2/15/2016; 2/22/2016 - 3/14/2016;
Duration: 21 nights
Location: India
Price starting at: $3,795.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats; History & Culture
Meals: 56; 19 Breakfasts, 19 Lunches, 18 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Experience the treasures of India’s “Golden Triangle” — Delhi, Agra and Jaipur — with outstanding local experts. Then board a modern riverboat to discover the Ganges River. To Hindus, the Ganges is more than a waterway — it is a goddess, the physical manifestation of the sacred. Delve into the spiritual meaning of this river on a voyage to its holiest places plus experience its vital importance in day-to-day life.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; uneven walkways and stairs.



Some dates sail on the riverboat "Rajmahal" while others sail on the "Sukapha". Please see the day-by-day itinerary for details.

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Delhi, 2 nights; Agra, 1 night; Jaipur, 2 nights; Delhi, 1 night; Varanasi, 3 nights; Bodh Gaya, 1 night; aboard vessel, 6 nights; Kolkata, 3 nights; departure.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-3: Arrival Delhi (India):

Take a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi, the walled section of the city that was established in 1639. Continue to New Delhi to visit Gandhi Smriti, the home where Gandhi spent the last days of his life, which has today been transformed into a museum. Lodging: Five-star New Delhi hotel.



Day 4: Coach to Agra:

View the sun set over the Taj Mahal then, early the next morning, return to the Taj for a closer look, exploring the exquisite grounds and entering the highly decorated inside chamber. Discover another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the lavish Agra Fort. Lodging: Four-star hotel surrounded by gardens.



Examine the fascinating astronomical devices of Jantar Mantar, built at the behest of an 18th-century maharaja. Interact with students at a local secondary school supported by Road Scholar. Lodging: Four-star hotel overlooking Man Sagar Lake.



Days 7-10: Coach to Delhi / flight to Varanasi:

Experience Varanasi, the oldest city in India and the holiest in Hinduism. During boat excursions on the Ganges, observe people carrying out rituals at the ghats — 84 stepped embankments, each with its own significance. Lodging: Four-star hotels.



Days 11-12: Coach to Bodh Gaya / coach to Patna to embark Rajmahal:.

Journey to Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha obtained Enlightenment after three days and nights of meditating under the Bodhi Tree. Lodging: Comfortable hotel



Day 13: Patna:

Explore this city including its magnificent Gurdwara, one of the holiest places of worship for Sikhs. As you set sail, pass the East India Company’s old opium warehouses.



Day 14: Barh:

Go ashore for an excursion to Nalanda. This great center of learning, active from the 5th through 12th centuries, attracted scholars from as far away as China and Greece.



Day 15: Monghyr:

Discover Monghyr Fort, a majestic riverside fortress occupied by several different empires. Sail to the village of Sultanganj, an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site.



Day 16: Bhagalpur:

In this town renowned for its fine silk, visit a weaving village and the mansion of an East India Company magistrate. See the idyllic riverside temples of Bateshwar.



Day 17: Rajmahal:

Venture into the emerald hills of Rajmahal to find the ruins of ancient palaces, fortresses and mosques partially hidden by vegetation.



Days 18-22: Farakka / disembark / train to Kolkata / departure on overnight flight to the U.S.A.:

Leave the Ganges behind as you board a train to Kolkata (or Calcutta). Discover the Belur Math temple, which fuses Hindu, Christian and Islamic architectural styles. Visit Mother Teresa’s mission and learn about her work. Lodging: Historic five-star hotel.



Rajmahal

This brand new riverboat, purpose-built to navigate the shallow waters of the Ganges River, will sail its first voyages in 2014. At 167 feet long, it can accommodate up to 40 passengers in its spacious staterooms, all of which feature French balconies. Public areas include a dining room, bar, spa and large sundeck. Meals onboard combine delicious Indian and European-style cuisine.


India

As a consequence of its size, the history of India is an amalgamation of its individual territories. The natural wealth of India’s territories lured a succession of traders and foreign influences to it, each leaving their imprint on the nation, however faint or localized. Thus, Chinese fishing nets in Kerala are a throwback to that country's ancient maritime trade, while in the north, ancient terracotta figurines bear distinctly Grecian traces.



Accommodations
Air conditioned double or single cabin on upper deck with ensuite bathroom and shower facilities. Cabins are approximately 185-227 sq. ft in size, with picture window. Cabins include a hair dryer and in-room safe.
Meals and Lodgings
   Suryaa New Delhi
  Delhi, India 2 nights
   Trident Hotel Agra
  Agra, India 1 night
   Trident Hotel Jaipur
  Jaipur, India 2 nights
   The Oberoi Grand
  Kolkata, India 4 nights
   ABN Rajamahal
  Aboard the Rajamahal, India 7 nights
   The Royal Residency
  Bodhgaya, India 1 night
   Radisson Hotel Varanasi
  Varanasi, India 2 nights
 Suryaa New Delhi
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Suryaa New Delhi is a 5 Star Deluxe Hotel located in the heart of New Delhi, a mere 35 minute drive from the International Airport & adjacent to Delhi's business districts - Nehru Place, Pragati Maidan-International Trade Fair venue, Okhla & Noida Export Promotion Zone.
  Contact info: New Friends Colony
New Delhi,  110 025 India
phone: +911126835070
web: www.thesuryaanewdelhi.com/
  Room amenities: Satellite TV, CD Player, DVD Player, In-Room Movies, Coffee Maker, Mini-Refrigerator, Mini Bar, Wi-Fi Internet, Phone with Voicemail, Bathrobe, Hairdryer, Bathtub, In-Room Safe, Air Conditioning & Iron/Ironing Board
  Facility amenities: Laundry/Dry Cleaning, Multi-lingual Staff, Administrative Services, Concierge Services, Barber/Hair Stylist, Business Center, Currency Exchange, Fax, Gift Shop, Room Service, Health Club, Indoor Pool, Health Spa/Massage, Outdoor Pool, Hot Tub, ATM & Safe Deposit Box
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: n/a Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for more information.

 Trident Hotel Agra
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Trident, Agra, set amidst beautiful gardens, fountains, landscaped central courtyards, is built of red stone reminiscent of the Mughal era. The Hotel is literally, a stone's throw away from one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal.
  Contact info: Fatehabad Rd.
Agra,  282 001 India
phone: +91 562 223 5000
web: www.tridenthotels.com/agra/index.asp
  Room amenities: Central A/C, Internet Access, Direct Dial Telephone, Tea & Coffee Maker, 24 hr. Room Service, Satellite TV, Electronic Safe, Hairdryer, Voltage 110-220
  Facility amenities: Bar, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Fitness Center, Swimming Pool, Jogging Track, Business Center, Currency Exchange, Laundry Service
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Trident Hotel Jaipur
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Situated near the renowned Amber Fort and overlooking the Mansagar Lake. The rose coloured facade of the hotel is reminiscent of traditional Rajasthani architecture.
  Contact info: Amber Fort Road
Opposite Jal Mahal
Jaipur,  302 002 India
phone: +91 141 267 0101
web: www.tridenthotels.com/jaipur/index.asp
  Room amenities: Central A/C, Internet Access, Dual Line Telephones, Tea & Coffee Maker, 24 Hr. Room Service, Electronic Safe, Hairdryer, Voltage 110-220
  Facility amenities: Bar, Restaurant, Fitness Center, Swimming Pool, Business Center, Currency Exchange, Laundry Service
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 The Oberoi Grand
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Oberoi Grand, fondly referred as the 'Grande Dame of Chowringhee' offers the ultimate classical residence in the City of Joy. This heritage hotel’s neo-classical facade and grand pillared entrance mark a successful fusion of classical Victorian and traditional Indian style and reflect the city’s colonial history. Standing stately for over 125 years, The Oberoi Grand combines classic architecture and charm with state of the art amenities and facilities, offering guests an oasis of tranquility amidst the bustling city. The hotel is located in the main business and shopping district of Kolkata (Park Street, BBD Bag, and Chowringhee) and is in walking distance from most corporate and government offices. It is also conveniently located close to major convention centers, legislative offices, banks, Consulates, Deputy High Commissions, Chambers of Commerce and clubs. This ideal location makes the hotel a perfect base for the business and the leisure traveler.
  Contact info: 15, Jawaharlal Nehru Road
Kolkata,  700013 India
phone: +91 .33.2249.2323
web: www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_kolkata/index.asp
  Room amenities: 32" LCD TV, DVD Player, Satellite television, Wired & wireless broadband internet access, Electronic safe, Dual line telephones with voice mail, Personal bar, A well appointed bathroom with a basket of Ayurvedic toiletries.
  Facility amenities: Wireless Internet access in all rooms and public areas, State of the art 24-hour Business Centre, Full service Oberoi Spa, Fitness Centre, 24 hours in room dining, 24 hours personal butler service, 24 hours Concierge, 24 hours doctor on call, Meetings and Conference facilities, Shopping options, Outdoor swimming pool, Beauty parlour, 24 Hours laundry service, Currency exchange, Electronic safe deposit box in all rooms
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 ABN Rajamahal
Type: Riverboat
  Description: This brand new riverboat, purpose-built to navigate the shallow waters of the Ganges River, will sail its first voyages in 2014. At 167 feet long, it can accommodate up to 40 passengers in its spacious staterooms, all of which feature French balconies. Public areas include a dining room, bar, spa and large sundeck. Meals onboard combine delicious Indian and European-style cuisine.
  Ship Information: Built in 2013 with a shallow draft, it is 167 feet long, has 22 staterooms that can accommodate 40 passengers. It has a crew of 30 people. It has a total of three decks.
  Contact info: 3rd Floor, Dirang Arcade, GNB Road, Chandmari,
Guwahati,  781003 India
phone: +xxx
web: www.assambengalnavigation.com/
  Room amenities: Beds, bathrooms, sitting area and a wardrobe with a full length sliding door and a French Balcony.
  Facility amenities: Bar/Saloon dinner Hall Gift Shop Spa Sundeck Staircases connecting all three decks
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Bathroom has toilet, sink and a shower only.

 The Royal Residency
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A symbolic project elegantly erected on 3 acres of land in the best environment with 62 centrally air-conditioned Twin bed rooms and 5 Suites, caters to the diversified needs of tourists. The hotel has all modern facilities. All rooms are with attached bath rooms in it with shower, bath tubs, running hot and cold water, individual room temperature control, direct dial telephone facilities both domestic and international.
  Ship Information: NA
  Contact info: Domuhan Road, Bodhgaya,
Bihar,  824231 India
phone: +91 ) (0) 631-220-1156
web: www.theroyalresidency.net/bodhgaya/
  Room amenities: AC and attached bathroom
  Facility amenities: One Bar Money Exchange Shopping Arcade Room Service 24-hours room serviceLaundry / dry cleaning Doctor -on-call Meeting room facilities Japanese community bath separately for ladies and gents Multi-cuisine centrally air-conditioned restaurant 'Amarapali' & Bar Travel assistance Car hire service
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Radisson Hotel Varanasi
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Radisson has 116 hotel rooms in Varanasi, including 2 elegantly designed suites, 14 Business Class Rooms and 100 Superior Rooms. All of our guest rooms offer turndown service and a wide range of amenities.
  Contact info: The Mall Cantonment, Varanasi
U.P. 221002
221 002,   India
phone: +91 54 2250 1515
web: www.radisson.com/varanasi-u-p--hotel-in-221002/indvaran/rooms
  Room amenities: Newspaper delivered to the room - daily Digital safe in each room Broadband Internet access Mini-bar and tea/coffee maker Telephone with voicemail and direct dial Satellite television Hair dryer
  Facility amenities: Includes complimentary broadband Internet access, television with 48 channels and a bottle of mineral water provided daily. Relax in the oasis of comfort provided by our spacious rooms with the option of interconnecting, city view or pool view. Complimentary buffet breakfast and use of Health Club (gym, steam room, whirlpool).
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Day 2 in Delhi in the evening at the program hotel. You will be staying at Suryaa New Delhi that night.
  End of Program:
Day 21 after lunch in Varanasi at the program hotel. You will be staying at Radisson Hotel Varanasi the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. None.
  Parking availability:
Driving in India is not recommended.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Delhi
  Transportation to site: If independent flights do not coincide with the designated group transfer, it will be the responsibility of the participants to make arrangements to get to the program site. Taxis are readily available at the airport, but you can also arrange a private transfer with Road Scholar Travel Services.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Varanasi
  Transportation from site: Program Only Participants are welcome to take the group transfers if their flights coincide with the group flights. There is one designated group transfer available to independent travelers at no additional cost. The designated group transfer time will be after 5:00 PM (subject to change until approximately 5 weeks prior to departure).
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart for India
(Wednesday, September 10)
   
 Depart From: Depart for overnight flight to India.

Day 2: Arrival Delhi / Light Dinner
(Thursday, September 11)

Note: Group flight arrival is usally in the late afternoon. But the time you go through immigration and transfer to your program hotel, it could be between 6-7pm at the earliest.



   
 Arrive To: Group arrives to Delhi in the evening. Transfer to hotel for check in.
 Dinner: Light dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Suryaa New Delhi
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Old Delhi / Rickshaw ride / New Delhi / Gandhi Smitri
(Friday, September 12)

Note: Rickshaw ride is through an extremely crowded market. Jama Mosque has a lot of steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Begin with a program orienation. then conintue to Discover Old Delhi. Drive by the Red fort and then take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk that ends in Jama Masjid with a visit to the Mosque.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, discover New Delhi. Drive past India Gate and Government buildings. Continue to Gandhi Smriti and learn about Gandhi and his philosophy.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Suryaa New Delhi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Delhi / Coach to Agra / Sunset with a view of the Taj Mahal
(Saturday, September 13)

Note: This is a 4-5 hour drive with stops along the way.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore Qutub Minar, a great masterpiece of Mughal architecture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has survived the ravages of time impressively. Then, check-out of hotel and depart for Agra. En-route, engage in a presentation on “Mugul History” by your group leader.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Continue to hotel for check in. Then in the late afternoon, view the Taj Mahal from Metab Bagh.
 Dinner: Dinner Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Trident Hotel Agra
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Taj Mahal / Agra Fort / Coach to Jaipur
(Sunday, September 14)

Note: Both the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort involves a lot of walking and some uneven steps. The drive from Agra to Jaipur is approximately a 5-6 hours drive with stops.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Before breakfast, set out in the early morning to explore the Taj Mahal. Take some time to explore the exquisite grounds and view the highly decorated inside chamber. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Then continue to Agra Fort. Originally planned as an impregnable military structure by Akbar, the Agra Fort, over a period of time, acquired all the elegance, lavishness and majesty of an imperial palace. Then head off to Jaipur.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to Jaipur. En route, participate in a presentation on the caste system, given by your Study Leader. Upon arrival check into your hotel and relax until dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Trident Hotel Jaipur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Jaipur / Amber Fort / Janta Manar
(Monday, September 15)

Note: Amber Fort will require walking on uneven stones and some steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, drive past Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). This five storied wonder has a spectacular pyramidal facade and overhanging windows with latticed screens, domes and spires. Continue on to Amber Fort, a example of Rajput architecture with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. The interiors of the fort have various royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirror and glass work complemented by exquisite wall paintings.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Jaipur with City Place and Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory. Then continue to the city Bazaar and take in the hussle and busy of Jaipur city.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Trident Hotel Jaipur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: School visit / Transfer to Delhi / Fly to Kolkata / late night arrival
(Tuesday, September 16)

Note: Driving time from Jaipur to Delhi is approximately 5-6 hours depending on traffic.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore a local village of Jaipur and visit a secondary school supported by Road Scholar with opportunities to interact with the students there.
 Lunch: Early Family hosted lunch near the school.
 Afternoon: Transfer back to Delhi and fly to Kolkata.
 Dinner: Dinner included.
 Evening: Board flight to Kolkata. It will be a night arrival into Kolkata.
   
Accommodations: The Oberoi Grand
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Kolkata City Discovery
(Wednesday, September 17)

Note: You will need to remove your shoes at the Belur Math Temple. There will be a lot of walking at the Botanical Garden.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Then start the morning discovering Belur Math, a temple notable for its architecture that fuses Hindu, Christian and Islamic motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions. Then continue to explore Kumartuli, a Potters colony where large Hindu Gods are created by the community there. End the morning at the Botanical Garden.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore Kolkata on your own such as a walk through one of the oldest book market in India.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: The Oberoi Grand
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Kolkata / Mother Teresa's Project
(Thursday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Spend the morning learning about Mother Teresa and her mission in India. Visit the Mission of Charity Foundation and gain a deeper understanding of this unique woman and her cause.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Experience the first public transportation in India. Coach drops off at Sova Bazar Metro Station to take the Metro to Esplanade. It was the first such form of transportation in India, opening commercial services in 1984. From the metro station walk down to hotel Oberoi Grand.(10 minutes walk).
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: The Oberoi Grand
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Kolkata / Indian Museum / Victoria Memorial / Free Time
(Friday, September 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, explore the Indian Museum, the earliest and the largest multipurpose Museum not only in the Indian subcontinent but also in the Asia-Pacific region of the world. Continue to Victoria memorial, the St. Paul’s Cathedral and Eden garden the famous cricket ground.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon on your own to explore Kolkata.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: The Oberoi Grand
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Flight to Patna / Embark ship
(Saturday, September 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Check out of your hotel room. Then take a mid-morning flight to Patna.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon explore the town of Patna, visiting the extraordinary 18th century Gola Ghar granary, the great Sikh temple and the rich collections of the State Museum. Embark ship at 4pm.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: ABN Rajamahal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Cruise to Maner / Doriganj / Visit Chirand
(Sunday, September 21)

Note: The cruise portion for this date from Patna to Varanasi is still in the development phase by the cruise company. What is currently being published might change depending on what is physically possible.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your Study Leader on the Spirtuality of India. Then contineu on a field trip to Manir, a chief spiritual center in India and holds two spectacular Moghul tombs, Bari Dargah and Chhoti Dargah. This morning, explore one of these spectacular tombs. Then continue to the city of Arrah, filled with dozens of old temples and hermitages. Explore the “Little House at Arrah,” where a small British officers and Indian soldiers was besieged in an Indian rebellion of 1857. Then re-board the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, cruise past the confluence of the River Sone and the River Ganges, to the busy river port of Doriganj (1000km). At the port of Doriganj, discover the nearby archaeological site at Chirand.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: ABN Rajamahal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Cruise to Ballia / Cruise to Buxar
(Monday, September 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Explore the ancient city of Ballia where once many saints and sages of India had their ashrams. It was once part of the Kosala Kingdom and was under Buddhist influence. Ballia is also known for its significant contribution in India's freedom struggle.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue up to the South bank town of Buxar (1124km), famous for the battle fought here in 1764, which laid the foundations for the British raj and the establishment of the rule of the East India Company in the eastern part of the Indian Subcontinent. The battle ground (Katkauli) is situated at about 6 kilometers from downtown Buxar. Explore the stone memorial, erected by the British at Katkauli which bears testament to the fight even today. Then discover a carpet weaving center at the Central Jail, the sole provider of rope for capital punishment in North and East India.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: ABN Rajamahal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Cruise to Ghazipur
(Tuesday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Sail upstream today past Chausa to Ghazipur (1178km). Ghazipur is well known for its opium factory, established by the British East India Company in 1820 and still is the biggest legal opium factory in the world, producing the drug for the global pharmaceutical industry. Visit the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis, the general responsible for laying the foundation of the British rule. Other sites in the city include several monuments built by Nawab Shaikh Abdulla, or Abdullah Khan, a governor of Ghazipur during the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century, and his son. Ghazipur is also know or hand weaving and Attar of roses.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Ghazipur.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: ABN Rajamahal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Cruise to Zarmania / Cruise to Saidpur
(Wednesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Cruise to Zamania, a town founded in 1566 by Ali Quli Khan, the Governor of Jaunpur, destroyed by Fazil Ali Khan in 1757 and rebuilt by Chaudhari Mohammad Azmal. Explore the Lathia Pillar, a monolith made of polished sandstone with a diameter of 50 cm and a height of 6 meters. The pillar does not have any inscriptions but architecture of the column resembles the Gupta period.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue to Saidpur and discover the sites around this area.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: ABN Rajamahal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Cruise towards Varanasi / Explore Sarnath
(Thursday, September 25)

Note: Varanasi is a very intense place. Please be prepared for lots of crowds, smokes from cremations along the Ganges River and narrow winding streets in the old part of town.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Cruise towards Varanasi. Participate in a presentation on Varanasi, a Cradle of Culture given by your Study Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon's field trip takes you to Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first Sermon after he obtained enlightenment. Discover the Sarnath Museum and Deer Park, the location where he gave his sermon.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: ABN Rajamahal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Varanasi / Morning Boat Ride / Old City Discovery / Ramnagar Fort
(Friday, September 26)

Note: This day requires getting in and out of small boats, walking along cobblestones on narrow streets.



   
 Breakfast: Before breakfast begin with an early morning boat ride on the Ganges river to see the early morning rituals on the ngats along the Ganges. Return to the boat for breakfast.
 Morning: After breakfast, continue for a discovery of the old part of Varanasi on a guided walk through the narrow streets.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Cruise to Ramnagar Fort this afternoon and overnight there.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
 Evening: Reminder: Pack for tomorrow's trip.
   
Accommodations: ABN Rajamahal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Disembark Ship/Coach Transfer to Bodhagaya
(Saturday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark from boat, then begin the journey by coach to Bodhagaya.
 Lunch: Lunch en-route to Bodhagaya.
 Afternoon: In the late afternoon, arrive in Bodhgaya; check into your hotel with some time to relax. Then attend presentation on "Life of the Buddha" before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: The Royal Residency
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Bodhgaya Discovery / Transfer to Varanasi
(Sunday, September 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the Mahabodhi Temple, constructed with the main intention of making it a monument and not a receptacle for the relics of Buddha. Inside the temple there is a colossal image of the Buddha in the "touching the ground pose", bhumisparsha mudra. This image is said to be 1700 years old and is facing east exactly at the place where the Buddha in meditation with his back to the Bodhi tree was enlightened. Continue to the Bodhi Tree, the place where Gautama obtained enlightenment. Since 1953, Bodh Gaya has been developed as an international place of pilgrimage. Buddhists from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Tibet, Bhutan and Japan have established monasteries and temples within easy walking distance of the Mahabodhi compound. The site of the enlightenment now attracts Buddhists and visitors from all over the world.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Check out of hotel. Transfer by coach to Varanasi.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Hotel Varanasi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Visit Varanasi University / Aarti Ceremony
(Monday, September 29)

Note: This day requires getting in and out of small boats, walking along cobblestones on narrow streets, and walking about .5 miles (one way) to get to the Gnats for the Aarti Ceremony in busy crowded streets. You will be taking a rickshaw ride part of the way. It will be about a 30 minute ride.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Varanasi University, the largest Hindu University in India. Participate in a presentation on "Revival of Buddhism in India Today," by a local expert. Then explore the Archeological Museum at the University and engage with the university students there.
 Lunch: Have lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Time in the afternoon for you to relax. Then in the late afternoon, witness an "Aarti" ceremony while enjoying the boat cruise of Ganges. Aarti is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a part of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. Aartis also refer to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when lamps are being offered.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Hotel Varanasi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Varanasi / Free morning / Departure
(Tuesday, September 30)

Note: For those on the group flight, the flight will go via Delhi with a layover in Delhi. There is a 7-8 hour layover in Delhi, but this really isn't enough time to give a room since there are no adjacent airport hotels.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Free morning to explore Varanasi on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Right after lunch, transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 22: Arrival Home
(Wednesday, October 1)
   
 Arrive To: Arrival home.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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