The program will begin with 3 days of orientation in the cosmopolitan city of Delhi, a vibrant city with a rich history. In Delhi, we will enjoy staying at the centrally located YMCA, in Connaught Place (aka Rajiv Chowk), which is a central shopping and business district in New Delhi, a series of bewildering concentric circles clearly a remnant of the British Raj. We will be met by Passang Tsering, program coordinator from Sarah College, and we will engage in a cultural tour of the city as well as a study of the history of the Indian Independence Movement. Among the highlights of the orientation will be visits to a Hindu Temple, a Sikh Gurudwara, a Jain Mandir, a major mosque, and the Islamist Sufi center of Nizammudin, plus the Gandhi memorial.
We will then leave Delhi and travel by train to Amritsar in the state of Punjab. Amritsar is the site of the Harmandir Sahib, “The Golden Temple” a central Sikh Gurudwara. It is also very close to the border with Pakistan, near the famous Wagah / Wahga Border Park. After two nights in Amritsar, we will travel by car about 5 hours toward Himachel Pradesh and our home destination of Sarah College (http://www.ibdindia.org/) for our 6-week residence. Sarah is located near a small Hindi town, below a tea plantation in the foothills of the Himalaya, a short distance from Lower Dharamsala and Mc Leod Ganj.
The program concludes in McLeod Ganj, now world-famous as the location of the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Students will stay with Tibetan families for three weeks and study at the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics, which is part of the Tibetan complex associated with the Dalai Lama. After 8 days of Independent Travel, students will re-convene at a guesthouse in McLeod Ganj when they will complete their research.
We will make short trips to cultural and historical sites as appropriate for meeting the program’s educational goals.