A Virtual Tour of India
The boundaries of modern India, fixed more than 75 years ago, are merely the latest in a 4,000-year sequence of redefinitions that have produced one of the most heterogeneous societies in the world. We’ll explore India in a voyage of discovery, visiting her diverse regions from north to south and west to east, as well as the Himalayas and the northeast. You will gain a deeper understanding of the country’s subtleties, especially valuable if you’re a potential traveller to India.
A $50 discount will be applied automatically for adults 55+.
Currently not available for registration.
- Week 1: Introduction and the North
General overview of India, including aspects about the geography, climate, biodiversity, population, history and religions. Explore Old Delhi and India’s capital New Delhi; visit the holy city of Haridwar and Rishikesh by the Ganges River in Uttarakhand; discover the planned city of Chandigarh, and the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest shrine in the city of Amritsar in Punjab.
- Week 2: Northern India and the Western Himalayas
Discover Agra, a city of Mughal architectural masterpieces such as the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri, and travel to historic Gwalior, Orchha and Khajuraho. Visit the holy Hindu city of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges and discover Lucknow, city of the Nawabs. Explore Shimla, Dharamsala, the Great Himalayan National Par, remote Lahaul and Spiti, and embark on a journey from Leh in Ladakh to the Vale of Kashmir in the Western Himalayas.
- Week 3: Eastern India and the Northeast
Discover India’s Buddhist Circuit, visiting Bodhgaya, Vaishali and Rajgir, holy places of Buddhism, in addition to Patna, Bihar’s capital. Explore Odisha to see the temples at Bhubaneswar, Puri and the magnificent Konark Sun Temple. Visit Kolkata and Darjeeling in West Bengal, famous tea plantations and national parks in Assam and Guwahati. Enjoy the living heritage of Nagaland and Meghalaya. Visit the former Kingdom of Sikkim and ancient Tibetan monasteries Arunachal Pradesh in the Eastern Himalayas.
- Week 4: Rajasthan and Central India
Visit Jaipur and enjoy the eclectic architecture of Rajasthan’s magnificent forts and cities, including Amber, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer. Marvel at the painted havelis of the Shekhawati region and enjoy the intensity of the annual camel fair in Pushkar. Explore Bhopal, the abandoned city of Mandu, the ancient Buddhist sanctuary in Sanchi and remarkable rock paintings dating from the Mesolithic Period to the Middle Ages at the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters in Madhya Pradesh.
- Week 5: Western India
In Gujarat, explore Ahmedabad, Modhera, the Jain temples of Palitana, stepwells designed as inverted temples and Champaner, a complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city. In Maharashtra, experience Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, and the magnificent rock-cut temples of Elephanta, Ajanta and Ellora.
- Week 6: Southern India
Marvel at Goa’s Portuguese Baroque colonial churches and visit Hyderabad, Golkonda and the ancient Buddhist site of Nagarjunkonda in Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka, visit the monuments of Hampi, Pattadakal, Belur and Halebid, and the city of Mysore. Discover the city of Kochi and explore Kerala’s backwaters; Chennai, the temples of Kanchipuram, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. Visit Pondicherry, the experimental township of Auroville and the Andaman Islands.
What you will learn
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
- Reflect on India’s vast natural and cultural diversity
- Understand the syncretic nature of India’s religions, given South Asia’s lengthy history
- Appreciate the art and architecture of India, a legacy of various civilizations, resulting in the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Asia
How you will learn
- Participation in Zoom seminars
- Participation in written discussions with other students
- Reflective essay (applicable only to certificate students)
No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.
For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.
To get the most out of this online course, you should be comfortable with:
- Using everyday software such as browsers, email and social media
- Navigating a website by clicking on links and finding pages in a menu
- Downloading and opening PDF documents
- Posting, replying and uploading images to a discussion board
- Participating in Zoom Meetings
New to Zoom Meetings? A few days before the course starts, we’ll host a virtual drop-in time on Zoom so you can check your Zoom access and test your computer’s camera, microphone and speakers.