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Highlights of India: Discover Delhi, Agra, Jaipur & Varanasi

Program No. 22519RJ
Watch the sun rise over the Taj Mahal, experience the Ganges River and its spiritual meaning and much more on this immersion into the history and culture of India.
12 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
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DATES & starting prices
Oct 11 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
Nov 1 - Nov 12, 2023
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Jan 17 - Jan 28, 2024
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Mar 6 - Mar 17, 2024
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Oct 9 - Oct 20, 2024
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DATES & starting prices
Oct 11 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
Nov 1 - Nov 12, 2023
Starting at
Jan 17 - Jan 28, 2024
Starting at
Mar 6 - Mar 17, 2024
Starting at
Oct 9 - Oct 20, 2024
Starting at

At a Glance

Learn about Sikh culture in a local temple. Watch the sun rise over the Taj Mahal. Visit Varanasi, one of the holiest places along the Ganges River. India's most fascinating treasures are yours to discover on this learning adventure that begins in Delhi and makes its way through Agra, Jaipur and ending in Varanasi. Along the way, share meals with local families, learn how incredible mausoleums and forts were built generations ago and admire architectural relics that are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Extend Your Adventure

This program offers an optional program extension.

Extension: The Splendor of Nepal

Continue your learning adventure with a 6-day extension into Nepal. Explore grand temples, discover ancient palaces, and learn about Hinduism and Buddhism from local experts.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking over varied terrain and cobblestones; extensive driving; hot and humid conditions.
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…

  • Learn about Sikh culture as you observe prayer at a local temple and volunteer in their soup kitchen.
  • Watch the sun rise and set over the Taj Mahal in Agra, and explore the gardens of Mehtab Bagh.
  • Observe and learn about the daily rituals that people perform at ghats along the Ganges River in Varanasi, the holiest city in Hinduism.

General Notes

Want to extend your adventure? Join us on "Extension: The Splendor of Nepal" (#22521).
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.
Culture Smart! India
by Becky Stephen
A concise, well-illustrated guide to both social and business customs in India.
by Stanley Wolpert
Wolpert's reflections on India -- its religion and philosophy, its art, culture and politics -- make for a literate, succinct primer.
Darsan, Seeing the Divine Image in India
by Diana L. Eck
Tremendously useful for the traveler, this rigorous guide explains the significance and meaning of Hindu temples, festivals and ritual. Darsan, which translates as "seeing," reveals religious expression in India.
The Buddha, The Story of Siddhartha
by PBS Documentary Film
The Buddha is a 2010 PBS documentary directed by David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere. The film follows the story of the Gautama Buddha's life and discusses the history and teachings of Buddhism. A simple and rich documentary explaining the Buddha's birth, live, death and his teachings.
India Northwest Adventure Map
by National Geographic Maps
A double-sided, full-color map of Northwest India at a scale of 1:1,400,000 with good shaded relief, topographic detail, roads, waterways and basic travel information. Printed on waterproof, tear-resistant paper.
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
by William Dalrymple
Dalrymple infectiously interweaves his own experiences over a year in Delhi with its art, architecture, history and literature.
Around India in 80 Trains
by Monisha Rajesh
A terrific account of Rajesh’s epic four-month, 25,000-mile journey to the India of her youth. She begins in her hometown of Chennai, chugs up the Konkan Coast, watches for tigers in Ranthambore and survives Mumbai’s chaotic local lines.
Incarnations, A History of India in Fifty Lives
by Sunil Khilnani
This sophisticated and entertaining collection of bite-sized biographies move well beyond Mahatma Gandhi to the warriors and film stars, entrepreneurs and corporate titans who have made India extraordinary.
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.
Mughal India, Splendours of the Peacock Throne
by Valerie Berinstain, Paul Bahn (Translator)
This illustrated pocket guide presents the history, culture and splendor of the Mughal court and its celebrated architecture in hundreds of archival photographs and drawings.
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.
Eyewitness Guide Delhi, Agra and Jaipur
by Eyewitness Guides
With chapters on the Taj Mahal, Amber Fort Palace, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the 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.
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.
Capital, The Eruption of Delhi
by Rana Dasgupta
A fascinating look at sweeping economic changes in Delhi. Dasgupta examines how the influx of wealth into the city has spawned excess and gangsterism.
India Birds
by James Kavanagh
A folding wildlife guide designed for quick reference in the field. With full-color images and text, it features more than 100 birds often seen in India.
Kaleidoscope City, A Year in Varanasi
by Piers Moore Ede
Whether he is attending Ramalila -- the city's annual performance of the Ramayana, talking to members of the caste who man the cremation ghats along the Ganges or simply searching for the best mithai, or sweet, in town, Ede presents a vibrant, kaleidoscopic portrait of contemporary Varanasi.
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.
Lonely Planet India Phrasebook
by Omkar Koul
A handy, palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
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.
India, Land of Tigers and Temples
by Axel Gomille
In his book of photographs, acclaimed wildlife photographer Axel Gomille brings readers up-close and personal with the exotic world of the Indian subcontinent. His simple, yet intriguing, collection includes tigers, sloth bears and elephants as well as holy sites and scenes of everyday life around the subcontinent.
Gandhi, 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.
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."

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.