Alumni Travel in India
Indus Discoveries offers alumni of esteemed Universities bespoke and unique travel experiences. On these tours, one gets to discover fascinating destinations and engage in immersive experiences with like-minded travelers. The exclusive tours custom made for alumni are led by expert scholars relevant to the theme of the tour.
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“My journey to India on behalf of the University of Oxford Alumni Travellers programme was arranged flawlessly by Indus Discoveries. Your team’s expertise and attention to detail are unsurpassed…” Click here to read the full testimonial by Oxford University recommending Indus Discoveries’ alumni travel services.
Indus Discoveries is a proud member of the Educational Travel Consortium (ETC). ETC is a membership organization dedicated to promoting lifelong learning through travel and advancing the field of alumni and affinity travel. ETC and its Annual Conference and online Academy offer professional development, mentoring, and networking opportunities for the travel planners at alumni associations, zoos, museums, cultural, and conservation organizations who are responsible for the planning, management and/or marketing of alumni, member, and donor travel programs, as well as the tour operators, travel suppliers and country/regional destinations serving this sector of special-interest and lifelong-learning group travel.
One of the most lasting accomplishments of the Indian civilization is doubtlessly its architecture. Having evolved over centuries, the sheer vastness and diversity of Indian architecture is the result of varied rulers and dynasties that have ruled at her throne. On this tour, we will take you through the evolution of architecture in north and central India – two of the most architecturally rich regions in the country.
We will start in Mumbai, where you will visit the Elephanta caves to study Hindu cave art. You will see Buddhist art and architecture at the Great Stupa at Sanchi and the rock-cut caves at Ajanta and Ellora. The Bundela rulers of central India have left behind their exquisite forts and cenotaphs in Orchha. Finally, you will witness the legacy of the Mughal reign, the Indo-Islamic architectural styles in Agra and Delhi.
Mumbai – Aurangabad – Burhanpur – Indore – Bhopal – Orchha via Jhansi – Gwalior – Agra – Delhi
Day 1. Arrive in Mumbai
Arrival in Mumbai. Meeting, assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel by a private-chauffeur driven air-conditioned car. Check in at hotel for 2 nights.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Elephanta Caves, just off the coast across the harbour. You will board a boat at the Gateway of India for a short ride to the caves. The Elephanta Caves are the oldest rock cut structures in India and are the embodiment of ancient art related to the cult of Lord Shiva. The caves are the epitome of ancient Hindu cave culture. You will also visit the Kanheri Caves, which were excavated in the mid 3rd century B.C. and were in occupation right up to 11th century A.D.
Day 2. To Aurangabad
In the morning, you will visit to Prince of Wales Museum. Constructed during the early 20th century, this museum is considered as a heritage structure in Mumbai because of its unique architecture. It was built in order to commemorate the visit of King George V to India. Transfer to Dadar Central Railway Station to board train for Aurangabad. Meeting, assistance on arrival at Aurangabad Station and transfer to hotel. Check in at hotel for 2 nights.
Day 3. Aurangabad
Full day excursion to Ajanta Caves, where the exquisite 2,000 year old Buddhist paintings will transport you back through the centuries, bringing to life a bygone era of wonder.
Day 4. To Burhanpur
Morning sightseeing of the vibrant, exotic Hindu and Buddhist artwork at Ellora. These caves are full of intricate detailing, particularly the stunning Kailashnath Temple. Visit Pan Chaki and other highlights of Aurangabad. In the afternoon drive to Burhanpur (approximately 5 hrs driving time). Check in at hotel.
Day 5. To Indore
In the morning, you will be driven to Indore (approximately 5 hrs driving time). Check in at hotel.
Day 6. To Bhopal
In the morning, embark on a sightseeing tour of Indore including visits to Kanch Mandir, Lal Bagh Palace and the New Palace. In the afternoon, you will be driven to Bhopal (approximately 5 hrs driving time). Check in at hotel. Split by a pair of lakes, Bhopal offers two starkly contrasting cityscapes. In the north is the Muslim-dominated old city, a fascinating area of mosques and crowded bazaars, while the south is more modern.
Day 7. Bhopal
Morning excursion to Sanchi and Udaigiri Caves. Sanchi has the distinction of housing remarkable specimen of Buddhist art and architecture right from the early Mauryan period (c. third century BC to twelfth century AD). Sanchi, a UNESCO Heritage Site is famous for stupas, monolithic Ashokan pillar, temples, monasteries and sculptural wealth. Udaygiri Caves are known for their rock-cuts and are the best example of classical Gupta architecture. Around 20 distinctive caves are numbered in the same series in which they were excavated.
Day 8. To Orchha via Jhansi
Morning at leisure. In the afternoon, transfer to the railway station to board the train to Jhansi. Meeting and assistance on arrival at Jhansi Railway Station, and then be driven to Orchha. Check in at hotel for 1 night. Orchha is an ancient walled city set on the banks of the River Betwa. Founded in the 16th century, it is dotted with evocative palaces, temples and cenotaphs. The town is built around the Orchha Fort, which is full of murals, arches, domes, cenotaphs and spires.
Day 9.To Agra via Gwalior
In the morning, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Orchha. Visits will include the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, Raj Mahal and Laxminarayan Temple – look out for the glorious world famed murals from the Bundela School of painting. Later, drive to Agra, visiting Gwalior en-route. In Gwalior, you will visit Man Mandir, Gujari Mahal (today an archaeological museum), Gwalior Fort, temple of Sas Bahu, Teli Ka Mandir, Tomb of Gaus Mohammad, and the Mausoleum of Tansen. Continue your drive to Agra and check in at hotel.
Day 10. Agra
In the early morning, enjoy a breath-taking sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal to watch the sun slowly caress the white marble, awakening the day and distant memories. The 17th century Taj Mahal is a marble mausoleum built by Shah Jehan for his Empress Mumtaz Mahal. The construction is believed to have taken 22 years to complete with over 20,000 craftsmen working round the clock. However many images you may have seen of the Taj Mahal, the reality is still breathtaking, its scale stupendous and its surface ever changing with the light.
After breakfast, proceed for the Agra sightseeing tour. You will visit Agra Fort and study the many varied architectural styles of the complex, built by successive Moghul rulers. You will also visit the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula, situated opposite the Taj Mahal.
Day 11. Agra
Morning excursion to Fatehpur Sikri. About 40kms from Agra, this deserted town was once the capital city of the Emperor Akbar. The city is rectangular in shape with nine huge gates. The whole complex is made of red sandstone and is an architectural masterpiece. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 12. To Delhi
Drive to Delhi in the morning, visiting Sikandra Fort en-route, which is the resting place of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Akbar’s tomb reflects the completeness of his personality. The vast, beautifully carved, red-ochre sandstone tomb with deer, rabbits and monkeys is set amidst a lush garden. On arrival in Delhi, check in to your hotel. Very few cities in the world offer such diversity in architectural styles as Delhi. The Old city of Delhi today stands as an epitome of the whole history of Indo-Islamic architecture.
Day 13. Delhi
Afternoon group meeting with talk by local Historian on Old and New Delhi. This will be followed by sightseeing of dynamic New Delhi including the impressive Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and the India Gate. Drive past the Parliament Houses. Visit Laxmi Narayan Temple and Bangla Sahib Gurudwara.
Day 14. Delhi
Enjoy morning sightseeing of Old Delhi including the Raj Ghat – Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site. An exhilarating cycle rickshaw ride to the Jama Masjid through the bustling Chandni Chowk, Red Fort and its back roads, which were the centre of the city Shah Jehanabad in the Mughal times. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 15. Flight back home
In time transfer to Delhi International airport to board flight back home.
Best time to visit: The best time for this tour of north and central India is between October and March.
Duration: 15 days
Themes: Art and Architecture, Culture, Heritage, Caves.
Regions you will discover:
Maharashtra (Mumbai and Aurangabad)
Madhya Pradesh (Burhanpur, Indore, Bhopal, Orchha, and Gwalior)
Transport within India:
Private air-conditioned chauffeur-driven car
First class category passenger train
Price: Available on request for relevant travel month
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