Overview

Join A&S Dean Ian Baucom on this exploration of mystical and spiritual, chaotic and confounding, overflowing with riches India. Staying at excellent hotels, our small group travels the classic Golden Triangle:  bustling Delhi; Agra, home of the sublime Taj Mahal; and Jaipur, great city of the Rajput. The 17-day exploration begins with Old and New Delhi’s important sights. Discovery of the “pink city” of Jaipur includes the stunning Hawa Mahal palace, Amber Fort, and a home-hosted dinner with a Rajasthan family. Search for the elusive Bengal tiger on game drives in Ranthambore National Park, then meet Meena tribespeople in pastoral Kalakho. In ancient Agra, marvel at the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, and take an Indian cuisine cooking lesson. Experience life along the sacred Ganges in Hinduism’s holiest city, Varanasi, and visit nearby Sarnath, one of Buddhism’s holiest sites. Absorb the beauty of the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal on an optional 5-day/4-night post-tour extension that includes extensive sightseeing.

Program Highlights

  • Tours of Old and New Delhi
  • Home-hosted dinner with Jaipur family
  • Magnificent Taj Mahal
  • Two-night stay at Ranthambore Tiger Preserve
  • Kalakho tribal home visit
  • “Pink City” of Jaipur
  • Holy city of Varanasi
  • Pilgrimage site of Sarnath temple and museum

Faculty

Ian Baucom, Buckner W. Clay Dean, UVA College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Ian Baucom came to the University of Virginia after serving 17 years in Duke University’s Department of English as a professor and as the director of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. Since arriving at UVA in the summer of 2014, Dean Baucom has led a series of initiatives within the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

He is overseeing an ambitious hiring campaign that, in the midst of a generational turnover of esteemed faculty, aims to bring upwards of 200 new tenured and tenure-track faculty to the College. Baucom is emphasizing the importance of recruiting at the highest level of excellence and enhancing the faculty’s diversity to build on the College’s historical strengths and to ensure its future for generations of students to come.

Baucom is also guiding the College’s efforts to revise its undergraduate curriculum for the first time in four decades, starting with the New College Curriculum pilot which launched during the 2017-18 academic year. In addition, he is working with the College’s leadership team to develop creative initiatives in global, digital and cross-disciplinary studies. At the same time, Baucom is working to advance the research mission and to further strengthen graduate programs, coordinating an examination of the Graduate School’s current state and future ambitions.

He earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Wake Forest University and holds a master’s degree in African studies and a doctorate in English, both from Yale University.

Baucom is the author of Out of Place: Englishness, Empire and the Locations of Identity, and Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History. He is the co-editor of Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Thursday, October 15, 2020

Depart U.S. for Delhi, India

Day 2 - Friday, October 16

Arrive Delhi

We arrive in India’s hyperactive capital late evening and transfer to our hotel.
Taj Palace, New Delhi

Day 3 - Saturday, October 17

Delhi

After a morning at leisure followed by a briefing about the journey ahead, we set out to discover Old Delhi. Our first stop is Qutb Minar, the 379-step tower dating to 1192. We continue on to Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to the Indian icon; and pass by India Gate, the majestic arch honoring the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting alongside the British in World War I. Late this afternoon we return to our hotel, where tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner together. Taj Palace, New Delhi
Breakfast and Dinner. (B,D)

Day 4 - Sunday, October 18

Delhi

We encounter more of this pulsating city today, beginning at Raj Ghat, the simple black marble slab honoring Mahatma Gandhi. After stopping for photos at Lal Qila, the Red Fort complex of palaces, we visit a Sikh temple followed by lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon’s sights include the red sandstone and marble Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque; and the colorful Chandni Chowk market, where we ride rickshaws. Then the remainder of the day is free for further exploration and dinner on our own.
Taj Palace, New Delhi
Breakfast and Lunch. B,L

Day 5 - Monday, October 19

Delhi/Jaipur

Today we travel by coach to the “pink city” of Jaipur, one of the great cities of the Rajput, with historic forts, palaces, and gardens. We reach our hotel late afternoon.
Jai Mahal Palace
B,L,D

Day 6 - Tuesday, October 20

Jaipur

Our first stop is the stunning Hawa Mahal, the elaborately carved pink sandstone “Palace of the Winds.” We continue on to Amber Fort, built by the Kachhawah Rajputs as their capital from 1037 to 1728; Jantar Mantar, the open-air observatory; and City Palace Museum, housing the magnificent art collections of the Maharajahs of Jaipur.
Jai Mahal Palace
B,L

Day 7 - Wednesday, October 21

Jaipur/Sanganer

This morning we visit the village of Sanganer to watch villagers engage in traditional block printing and handmade paper industries. Later we see local life up close as we explore an outdoor market. Tonight we are dinner guests in the home of a multi-generational Rajasthan family.
Jai Mahal Palace
B,D

Day 8 - Thursday, October 22

Jaipur/Ranthambore

We travel today to Ranthambore National Park, the former hunting ground of the Maharajah of Jaipur and now a 512-square-mile natural preserve that is home to hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, mammals, and of course, Bengal tigers. This afternoon we take our first game drive through the park.
Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge
B,L,D

Day 9 - Friday, October 23

Ranthambore

We take both morning and afternoon game drives today to see not only game (though tiger and leopard sightings are not guaranteed), but also picturesque ruins of forts and palaces.
Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge
B,L,D

Day 10 - Saturday, October 24

Ranthambore/Kalakho

We depart early for Kalakho, where we set out on a village walk to meet local Meena tribespeople in their homes. Tonight we enjoy a traditional folk dance performance.
The Clement Village Retreat
B,L,D

Day 11 - Sunday, October 25

Kalakho/Agra

En route to Agra, we stop in the ancient village of Abhaneri to see the fortified Chand Baori step well (c. 800 CE), whose 3,500 steps descend some 13 stories into the ground. Continuing on, we reach the ancient Mughal stronghold of Agra, where this afternoon we visit Itimad-ud-Daulah, the two-story marble “Baby Taj” that inspired the Taj Mahal.
Courtyard Marriott Agra
B,D

Day 12 - Monday, October 26

Agra

This morning we visit the Taj Mahal, the magnificent tomb built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. Then we take an Indian cuisine cooking lesson and enjoy the results for lunch. Later: imposing Agra Fort.
Courtyard Marriott Agra
B,L

Day 13 - Tuesday, October 27

Agra/Delhi/Varanasi

We depart by coach this morning for Delhi, where we board a late afternoon flight to Varanasi, Hinduism’s holiest city.
Taj Ganges, Varanasi
B,L,D

Day 14 - Wednesday, October 28

Varanasi/Sarnath

Before breakfast today, those who wish can join in a private yoga session. Then we visit nearby Sarnath, where the Buddha first taught after achieving enlightenment. One of Buddhism’s four holiest sites, Sarnath draws pilgrims from the world over. We see some of the temples and stupas then tour Sarnath Museum, housing a superb collection of Buddhist artifacts from excavations here. Late afternoon we attend a traditional aarti ceremony: as we cruise along the Ganges, we watch as devout Hindus offer their lit lamps to the deities.
Taj Ganges, Varanasi
B,D

Day 15 - Thursday, October 29

Varanasi

Early this morning we return to the Ganges where Hindu pilgrims perform their rituals along the ghats (steps) leading to the river. We visit several ghats by boat as we experience for ourselves the spiritual aura of the hallowed Ganges waters. Then we return to our hotel with time to rest before this afternoon’s walking tour and private performance of classical sitar. Tonight we celebrate our journey at a farewell dinner at our hotel.
Taj Ganges, Varanasi
B,D

Day 16 - Friday, October 30

Varanasi/Delhi

We fly this afternoon to Delhi, where the evening is at leisure.
Hotel Pullman New Delhi Aerocity
B

Day 17 - Saturday, October 31

Return to U.S.

Very early this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S.

Nepal, October 31-November 5, 2020

5 days/4 nights for $1,295 total price (Single supplement: $245)

Included in Extension Price: Air transportation Delhi/Kathmandu; 4 nights’ accommodations: 2 nights in Kathmandu at Crowne Plaza Soaltee (Superior First Class); 2 nights in Nagarkot at Club Himalaya Nagarkot (Superior First Class); 8 meals: 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners; Extensive included sightseeing: Pashupatinath shrine (UNESCO site), Boudhanath monument, colorful Bhaktapur, “City of Devotees,” Swayambhunath Temple, royal city of Patan, and Kathmandu and environs; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Private motorcoach transportation; Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Accommodations

  • Delhi – Taj Palace, New Delhi
  • Jaipur – Jai Mahal Palace
  • Ranthambore – Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge
  • Kalakho – The Clement Village Retreat
  • Agra – Courtyard Marriott Agra
  • Varanasi – Taj Ganges, Varanasi
  • Delhi – Hotel Pullman New Delhi Aerocity

Meals

• 32 meals: 14 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners

Program Fees

At this time, dates, prices, and itinerary details for this tour are subject to change. We will finalize the details in January 2020.

$4,695 approximately per person, double occupancy, land only.

$4,895 approximately per person, double occupancy with economy class round-trip airfare from Boston, New York, plus $892 airline taxes and fees, which are subject to change until final payment is made.  

$5,095 approximately per person, double occupancy with economy class round-trip airfare from Washington, DC, plus $892 airline taxes and fees.

$5,295 approximately per person, double occupancy with economy class round-trip airfare from Charlottesville, VA, plus $892 airline taxes and fees.

A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of approximately $1,495 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

 Business Class upgrade on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $5,495 approximately per person

How to Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646, or e-mail cavaliertravels@virginia.edu with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately 110 days prior to departure. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure.

Deposits can be made by personal check or credit card.  Our tour operator, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., reserves the right to cancel any reservation that are not paid in full at any time after final payment is due. If you make your reservation after the final payment date, payment in full will be required upon reservation.

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

General Terms & Conditions

Please read this information carefully, as payment of a $500 deposit per person represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $500 per person confirms your reservation. The balance of your invoice is due 95 days (July 12, 2020) before departure.

Included in Tour Price: Round-trip air transportation from specific cities; all flights within India; 15 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, First Class, and unrated hotels; extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip, including shore excursions; luggage handling for one bag per person; gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.

Not Included in Tour Price: Airfare and airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; airfare from your hometown to your departure city; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per traveler, per day); and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.

Cancellation, Refunds, and Changes: If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon the University of Virginia’s receipt of your notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges: cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge; cancel 94-65 days before departure: 25% of tour price; cancel 64-45 days before departure: 50% of tour price; cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price; cancel 29-0 days before departure: no refund. If you make any changes to your reservation from 94 to 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure.

Upon reservation, you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport, as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Responsibility: The liability of the University of Virginia, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, and restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent, or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, or of their employees, agents, servants, or representatives. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including, without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts, and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise lines, and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.

Health and Medical Issues: We request that you be in good health to participate in this University of Virginia tour. There is a considerable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches and boats on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that many of our itineraries, for reasons beyond our control, cannot accommodate wheelchairs. Please call or e-mail us to inquire and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. and the University of Virginia assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

Air Transportation – Important Information: Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities, and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignment on your international flight is usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.