India

 

Destination – India

With No Barriers Youth

No Barriers Youth offers a wider variety of activities and options in India than any of our competitors Study Tibetan Buddhism in Dharamsala and possibly meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama or:

  • Learn what modern-day followers of Gandhi are doing to promote peace and non-violence
  • Support an all-girls school with educational outreach and job-skills opportunities
  • Work with a grassroots, rural development non-profit in Rajasthan
  • Spend a night in an eco-tourism guesthouse in a traditional Himalayan village
  • Travel to Agra and tour the world famous Taj Mahal
  • Visit an academy that utilizes the visual and performing arts to address critical issues in India
  • Study world religions in a land where people of different faiths and cultures live and worship in harmony

Summary

India is a country of incredible contrasts and extremes. From the snowcapped Himalayas in the north to sun-drenched beaches of the south; from its decrepit colonial buildings to its high fashion designer boutiques; from peaceful yoga ashrams and Buddhist monasteries to the glamour and glitz of Bollywood; from ramshackle rural villages to high-tech global call centers – India has it all; making it one of the most popular student travel destinations at No Barriers Youth.

Gallery

Culture & Religion in India

16 Days | All Inclusive | Sample Itinerary | Inquire for quote

Day 1: Depart for India

Evening: Depart in the evening for your international flight to New Delhi.

Evening Location:

Overnight flight

Day 2: Arrive / Good night’s rest

Evening: Arrive in New Delhi and meet your No Barriers Youth Expedition Leader at the airport. Transfer to your hotel for a good night’s rest!

Evening Location:

New Delhi

Day 3: Salaam Balaak street walk / Hindu Temple / Jama Masjid / Rickshaw ride

Morning: After breakfast, head out for the 10:00 am Salaam Balaak street walk tour. This organization of street children takes you on a tour through various parts of Delhi, starting at the New Delhi Railway Station.

Afternoon: Visit to the Lakshminarayan Hindu temple to ask for blessings on your trip, and then head into Old Delhi to explore some of the sights in the old city. Stop briefly at the Red Fort and then on to the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in all of India. Explore Old Delhi on a rickshaw ride through the gullies of Chandni Chowk.

Evening:
Free time to rest or explore night markets of Delhi.

Evening Location:

New Delhi

Day 4: Train to Agra / Taj Mahal / Fatehpur Sikri

Morning and Afternoon: Embark on a day trip to Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Leave on the express train arriving in Agra at 8:00 am. Visit Fatehpur Sikri in the morning and in the afternoon visit the Taj Mahal and then go on a guided, 2.5 hour informative walk through old Agra, which includes a rickshaw ride, the spice market, and a visit to several old Hindu temples.

Evening:
Take the early evening train from Agra to Delhi and arrive back in Delhi around 10pm. Note that no meals are served on this train.

Evening Location:

New Delhi

Day 5: Train to Amritsar / Night visit to the Golden Temple

Morning and Afternoon: Depart early for Amritsar arriving at 1:45 pm. Check into your hotel upon your arrival and enjoy a little down-time to rest, explore or journal prior to heading out for dinner.

Early Evening: Enjoy a Dhaba dinner and a night visit to the Golden Temple with a Sikh Guide who will speak to you about Sikhism.

Evening Location:

Amritsar

Day 6: Jallianwala Bagh / Langar lunch / Depart for Dharamsala

Morning: Visit Jallianwala Bagh, and then return to the Golden Temple for a langar (community) lunch and further visit to this Sikh holy center with explanation of important rituals.

Early Afternoon/Evening: Drive to Dharamsala by bus. Upon arrival enjoy dinner and relax after the journey.

Evening Location:

Dharamsala

Day 7: Norbulingka Institute / Student interaction and service activity

Morning and Afternoon: Spend the day at the Norbulingka Institute for an introduction to this important cultural center. End the day with an immersion activity at the Nishtha Rural Health Education and Environment Center (a children’s after-school program for arts and sports.) Play with the children, share stories of your life, and engage them in creative and/or sports activities that you prepare as a group before arriving at the school.

Evening: Enjoy a movie about the Tibetan community and discuss key themes.

Evening Location:

Dharamsala

Day 8: Intro to Tibetan Buddhism / Meditation / Transfer to McLeod Ganj

Morning: Begin your full-day immersion into Tibetan Buddhism at the Dolma Ling Nunnery by joining the nuns in the prayer hall for the 6 a.m. prayer ritual. Have breakfast afterwards. While the nuns go to class, have an introduction session to Tibetan Buddhism to gain an historical and philosophical point-of-view before participating in a “mind-training” meditation session. Before lunch, take a tour of the nunnery, visiting the various sections and classrooms.

Afternoon: After lunch, visit the nearby Gyuto Monastery to meet His Holiness Karmapa for a Q&A and discussion session. A visit to an alternative monastery to meet the monks could also be arranged if he is not available. Return to Dolma Ling for a late afternoon reflection/debate session followed by an informal interaction with the nuns.

Evening: Transfer to McLeod Ganj to settle into your guest house and have dinner.

Evening Location:

McLeod Ganj

Day 9: Tibet Museum / Kalachakra Temple / Dalai Lama residence

Morning and Afternoon: Visit the Tsuglagkhang Complex: The Tibet Museum, The main temple and the Kalachakra Temple, and Namgyal monastery which also contains the residence of the Dalai Lama. Have some time to explore the area and shop for gifts and souvenirs.

Evening: Dinner, rest, and reflection time.

Evening Location:

McLeod Ganj

Day 10: Hike to Triund / Tibetan Children’s Village / Depart for Rishikesh

Morning/Afternoon: Hike up to Triund (if there isn’t deep snow). This moderate hike offers panoramic views Bhagsu village, Mcleodganj, Dharamsala Valley and distant views of Shivalik Hills and plains of the Kangra Valley. Return from your hike via a visit to the Tibetan Children’s Village school. Spend time with the children either playing football in the courtyard, or playing simple games with the very young children. Return to your hotel to freshen up before departing for Rishikesh.

Evening: Depart for the Pathankot Cantt train station (stopping along the way for dinner) to board the express overnight train to Haridwar/Rishikesh.

Evening Location:

train

Day 11: Shivananda Ashram / Suspension bridge / Ceremony of lights

Morning: Arrive in Haridwar and transfer by bus to Rishikesh. Have a little down time to rest up and clean up from the train ride, then go out to explore local sights and shop for trinkets and henna.

Afternoon: Temple tour of Rishikesh, a place of many temples and ashrams where solace seekers come to spend their time in serenity. Visit the Shivananda Ashram where discourses in English on Hindu religious texts can be heard. Also visit the Lakshman Jhoola, a suspension bridge spanning the Ganga. Time permitting, participate in a prayer meeting and watch a yoga demonstration.

Evening: Watch the spectacular “aarti” (ceremony of lights) along the Ganges River in Rishikesh and have dinner.

Evening Location:

Rishikesh

Day 12: Intro to Hinduism / Yoga classes / Meditation

Morning: Begin your full-day immersion into Hinduism. Walk to the Yoga Vedanta Trust Maharshi Meini Dhayanyog Ashrama to meet with Gopal and take a yoga class followed by a Q&A session. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Later, return to the ashram for an interactive lecture on Hinduism – come prepared with questions for a discussion!

Afternoon: Have a vegetarian lunch at the ashram. Afterwards, participate in a mediation session followed by a Q&A and discussion. Later, meet with Swami-ji of the ashram. Take a final yoga class at 5:00 pm before returning to the hotel.

Evening: Have dinner and take some time to reflect on the day’s activities.

Evening Location:

Rishikesh

Day 13: Adventure Camp / Rafting / Hiking / Hike to Shivpuri

Morning: Transfer to the Adventure Camp up river from Rishikesh for the day. Here you have the following activity options: rafting, hikes to waterfalls and temples, campfires and outdoor cooking programs, night musical programs, and rock climbing. Change clothes and drive up the river for your rafting adventure on the Ganges River.

Afternoon: After enjoying the rapids, have a late lunch. Then hike along the river to a small village in Shivpuri.

Evening: Return to the retreat center for a camp fire and outdoor traditional dinner. Return to the Great Ganga Hotel.

Location:

Rishikesh

Day 14: Walking tour of Haridwar / Explore markets / Train to Delhi

Morning and Afternoon: Late morning departure for Haridwar. Take a walking tour around Haridwar, visit some of the temples and have some free time to rest and explore the market and Har-Ki-Pauri ghats.

Evening: Have an early dinner at Big Ben restaurant and then catch the evening express train back to Delhi.

Evening Location:

New Delhi

Day 15: Gandhi Smriti museum / Closing activity / Departing flight

Morning: Closing activities and a half-day visit to Nizamuddin Sufi Dargah and the Gandhi Smriti museum (time permitting) before going to the U.S. Embassy for a briefing by embassy officials.

Afternoon: Closing Lunch at Parikrama followed by shopping on Janpath Road.

Evening: Return to the hotel rooms for rest and time to pack before departure for the airport. Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Evening Location:

Overnight flight

Day 16: Welcome home

Morning: Arrive home inspired by your time in India and get some well deserved rest!

Location:

Home

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student

I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.

Amanda W., Trip Leader

“Every journey starts with a single step.”

– Confucius

Facts & Figures

India
Capital: New Delhi
Currency: Rupee
Population: 1,236,344,631
Avg Annual High Temp(F): Jan – 69° July – 104.5°
Special Note: Only 46.9% of Indian households have toilets in the home while 63.2% own a mobile phone
Languages:

English - official

41%
41% of the population speaks Hindi and there are 14 other official languages including Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu
Religions:

Hindu

80%

Muslim

13.4%

Christian

2.3%

Sikh

1.9%

Literacy Rate

Unemployment Rate

Below Poverty Line

Life Expectancy

HIV/Aids

Carbon Emissions (%)