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The Best of India: Treasures of the North and South

Dive into the vibrant culture of India, discovering its grand cities, sacred monuments and exquisite gardens on this unique academic adventure.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 18716RJ
21 days
Starts at
Flights start at

The Best of India: Treasures of the North and South

Dive into the vibrant culture of India, discovering its grand cities, sacred monuments and exquisite gardens on this unique academic adventure.
21 days
Starts at
Flights start at
Program No. 18716 RJ
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DATES & starting prices
Sep 15 - Oct 5, 2022
Starting at
Oct 13 - Nov 2, 2022
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Dec 1 - Dec 21, 2022
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
Sep 15 - Oct 5, 2022
Starting at
Oct 13 - Nov 2, 2022
Starting at
Dec 1 - Dec 21, 2022
Starting at

At a Glance

Traverse India on a comprehensive journey that takes you from the Golden Triangle capitals of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur in the north to the frescoed fortress of the “Tiger of Mysore” and the bayou-like Kerala backwaters in the south, learning customs and traditions from locals and absorbing India’s history from experts who know it best.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking up to two miles a day over sidewalks and roads that are often broken and uneven; some stairs are unavoidable. A few bus rides up to 5 hours long with sightseeing and rest stops along the way.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Enjoy home hosted dinners with local Indian families.
  • Watch as the sun rises and sets over the marble domes of the Taj Mahal.
  • Explore and enjoy the tranquility of the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Eyewitness Guide India
by Eyewitness Guides
A handsome, beautifully illustrated guide to India. It features color photographs, history and plenty of background information.
Birds of India
by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp
Thoroughly revised, with 73 new plates and many others updated or repainted, the second edition of the masterful Birds of India now features all maps and text opposite the plates for quicker and easier reference.
Nine Lives, In Search of the Sacred in Modern India
by William Dalrymple
From Sufi dervish and Buddhist monk to outcast and temple worshiper: nine people, nine lives, all captured by Dalrymple as he journeys throughout India in search of remarkable individuals transformed by religion. At turns bemusing, dazzling and heart-wrenching, this is his first travel book in 15 years.
Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God
by Jonah Blank
Blank's entertaining portrait of contemporary India and Sri Lanka mixes reporting, anecdote and myth as he travels, sometimes in the footsteps of India's great hero Rama.
An Autobiography, Or the Story of My Experiments with Truth
by Mohandas K. Gandhi
There is no substitute for reading Gandhi in his own simple, direct prose. A highly recommended glimpse into the personality and life of this remarkable figure.
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
by William Dalrymple
Dalrymple infectiously interweaves his own experiences over a year in Delhi with the art, architecture, history and literature of the city.
India Becoming
by Akash Kapur
Kapur returns to the country of his birth for this reveals the rich tapestry of contemporary India as told through the lives of ordinary people.
India, A Sacred Geography
by Diana L. Eck
Professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard, Diana Eck turns her interest in temples and places of pilgrimage into a celebration of the diversity of popular religious traditions in India in this richly rewarding travelogue.
Slumdog Millionare
by Danny Boyle
FILM Slumdog millionaire is the story of an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai who, with the whole nation watching, is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who wants to be a Millionaire?"
Ladies First
by Uraaz Bahl
FILM Ladies First tells the story of Deepika Kumari who, born on the roadside to abject poverty in rural India, went in search of food, stumbled upon archery, and within 4 years became the number one archer in the world. Deepika's tumultuous path is documented to the Rio 2016 Olympics. This short documentary is a available on-line.
Midnight's Children
by Salman Rushdie
Crowned Best of the Booker in 2008, Rushdie's greatest novel is a madcap, comic take on the birth of modern India in all its splendid and unexpected manifestations.
Eyewitness Guide Delhi, Agra and Jaipur
by Anuradha Chaturvedi (Editor)
With chapters on Taj Mahal, Amber Fort Palace, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Red Fort and dozens of other highlights for the traveler, this compact, gorgeously illustrated guide to Delhi and its environs features 900 color photographs, maps and site plans.
Handmade in India
by M.P. Ranjan (Editor), Aditi Ranjan (Editor)
Featuring 3500 color photos and organized by region, this sumptuous album covers the diverse crafts of India with style and authority.
In Spite of the Gods, The Strange Rise of Modern India
by Edward Luce
Luce tackles the challenges and reality of the world's largest democracy with insight and balance in this portrait of a nation in transition.
Travelers' Tales India
by James O'Reilly, Larry Habegger
A collection of 45 descriptive and thought-provoking short excerpts on Indian life and culture, including contributions from Rushdie, Naipaul and Dalrymple, plus some valuable excerpts from books long out of print.
Hindu Art and Architecture
by George Michell
An excellent survey of Hindu art and architecture, explaining the meaning and construction of principal images and buildings, as well as the development of Hinduism and the corpus of myths that have influenced its artistic tradition.
The White Tiger, A Novel
by Aravind Adiga
Mordant, funny, angry, horrifying, this Booker Prize-winning tale of a village pauper turned success (and murderer) skewers the ambition, inequity and corruption of 21st-century India.
by Richard Attenborough
FILM This film is based on the life and trials of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
by Stanley Wolpert
Reflections on India - its religion and philosophy, its art, culture and politics - by the dean of the country’s American historians: beautifully written and provocative as well as evocative.
A Fine Balance
by Rohinton Mistry
Set in 1975 in an unnamed Indian "city by the sea," this tender novel follows the intermingled fortunes of a Parsi widow, her boarder and two tailors. A Booker Prize finalist.
Curry, A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors
by Lizzie Collingham
This cultural history with recipes is appetizingly organized as a menu (biryani, vindaloo, chai, etc.). Curry explores the origins and spread of Indian food and the interplay between Muslim, Hindu, Portuguese and British traditions on the Subcontinent.
India Adventure Map
by National Geographic Society
The most detailed shaded relief map (at a scale of 1:2,100,000) of India available.
May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons, A Journey Among the Women of India
by Elisabeth Bumiller
A wonderfully written and fascinating portrayal of Indian women from Bollywood stars to Indira Gandhi to prostitutes. It's an insightful portrait of the country as seen through the eyes of its women.
The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy
This luminous, Booker-prize winning novel is part mystery, part family saga -- a tale of lost innocence set in Kerala during the tumult of the 1960s.
by Garth Davis
FILM An Indian man who was separated from his mother at age 5 and adopted by an Australian couple returns home, determined to find his birth family
Taj Mahal
by Giles Tillotson, Mary Beard (Editor)
An enlightening pocket guide to the myth, meaning and legends of the celebrated tomb, "the queen of architecture."
India, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Chandrahas Choudhury (Editor)
Each of these 14 stories evokes place and landscape, providing an excellent introduction both to contemporary writers and to India's diverse cultures and history.
The Lunchbox
by Ritesh Batra
FILM A young housewife and a lonely widower begin an unlikely correspondence when Mumbai's eerily reliable lunchbox delivery service makes a mistake.
by Sturla Gunnarsson
Monsoon is more than a weather system in India, it is a way of life — “the soul of India.” This visual masterpiece takes you beyond the rains, into the stories of local people whose lives are deeply affected by the annual onslaught. From meteorologists to fisherman, gamblers to Bollywood film stars, their stories provide a poignant reflection on the economic, cultural, and spiritual power of monsoon.
Malgudi Days
by R. K. Narayan
Wonderful tales from one of India's foremost writers about a fictional South Indian town, populated by quirky characters whose unique approaches to tradition and modernity are the stuff of great short stories.

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