India - A Transcendental Tapestry: Tour of Sanchi, Khajuraho, Amritsar & Dharamsala

Date :
23-10-2009 to 21-10-2009

We will visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites on this tour: Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka & the Khajuraho Group of Temples.

Sanchi is famous for outstanding specimens of Buddhist art and architecture belonging to the period between the 3rd century BC and the 12th century AD. The most notable of all the Sanchi monuments is the Great Stupa which was commissioned by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC.

Khajuraho boasts the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples famous for their bold, sensuous and erotic sculpture. Made of sandstone, the temple complex was built by the Chandela Rajputs over a span of 200 years from 950 to 1150. Today, they serve as fine examples of artistic Indian architectural styles that have gained popularity due to their depiction of sexual life during medieval times.

Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple, is an important seat of Sikh history and culture. The architecture of the Golden Temple represents a unique harmony between the construction styles of the Muslims and the Hindus and has created an independent Sikh school of architecture in India. The shining gold facade is accentuated not only by hundreds of lights but by the faith and devotion of its followers, many of whom are not even of the Sikh faith.

Dharamsala literally means “Holy Refuge” and many monasteries have been established here by Tibetan immigrants in the past. In 635, Hsuan Tsang recorded 50 monasteries with around 2,000 monks in this region. Dharamsala pulsates with the characteristic sights and sounds of old Tibet and has become an important destination for scholars and pilgrims worldwide.

Andre Alexander will be the Resource Person of this tour. Since 1996, he is the Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Tibet Heritage Fund. Andre is responsible for managing conservation and development projects in Tibetan areas in India and China, including architectural conservation and urban rehabilitation, traditional construction skills as well as sustainable planning and design programs. These projects won several awards. Andre will share with us his knowledge of Tibetan culture and heritage and Buddhist architecture.

Optional Extension to Delhi, Agra & Jaipur (31 October – 6 November 2009)
We offer an optional five-night extension in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The highlights include six UNESCO World Heritage sites: Humayun Tomb, Qutub Minar and Red Fort in Delhi and Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and the Taj Mahal in the State of Uttar Pradesh.