Featuring Dharamsala, the Indian town with a Tibetan heart
plus touring Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Neemrana
This tour has been designed for volunteers who are young at heart and ready for their next adventure! Volunteers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a developing country, experience another culture and contribute to the development of education in the local communities (both Tibetan and Indian) in Dharamsala India. The culture of this town, which is home to the world’s most famous refugee, His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, is enriched with the Tibetan way of life. Scattered about the Himalayan hilltops are monasteries, nunneries and sacred retreats which all contribute to raising the energy of this special place.
We run this program in collaboration with LHA Charitable Trust which was created to form a cultural and social service bridge between the Tibetan Refugees in Northern India and the people elsewhere that have so much to learn from their wisdom. LHA has been working with the Tibetan Refugees in India since 1997 and is delighted to expand its reach by welcoming you.
What is really special about this program is that you are paired up with your learning partner via email one month before the program starts. This affords you the opportunity to start building your global friendship and helps your partner practice their English in advance of your arrival. After your stay in Dharamsala, there will be a tour highlighting the best of India’s most scenic and historical places.
- Airfare to India
- Inter-India Flights
- Other tour-related transportation in India
- Roundtrip airport/hotel transfers, including luggage handling
- Accommodations in First Class hotels in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Neemrana
- Standard Accommodations with private bath in Dharamsala
- Hotel service charges and taxes
- Daily breakfast
- Other meals as per itinerary
- All site entrance fees
- Pre-paid Gratuities
- Locally guided
Special Added Features:
- Welcome Dinner
- Tour of The Dalai Lama’s Temple and Gardens surrounding his home.
- Lecture from Ama Adhe, author of “The Voice That Remembers”
- Tour of the sites of the Tibetan Children’s Village
- Lecture on Buddhism from a local Tibetan Rinpoche or Monk
- Tour of Norbulingka – The Institute to preserve Traditional Tibetan Handcrafts and Art
- Overnight at the authentic Neemrana Fort Hotel will be a most memorable experience.
- Farewell Dinner
Volunteer Projects Include
- Every day between 9 am and 1 pm you will spend time on a one to one basis with your learning partner. The first half of the morning is spent with you either teaching conversational English. As our relationships grow, there may be other areas that become evident in which our group can assist. During this time your Tibetan friend will also take you out to experience the local sights through their eyes, even taking you into their own typically Tibetan homes. Then after an extended lunch break we meet up again as a group at 3 pm. The rest of the afternoon is spent doing special activities such as visiting the Dalai Lama’s temple, attending lectures by local refugees and having a guided tour around the local school, the colorful Tibetan Children’s Village. Evening opportunities include such things as Tibetan Massage, Yoga, Tibetan Cooking classes, Tibetan language classes and/or just a quiet sunset stroll overlooking the snow covered Himalayan Peaks. In other words on this tour you not only get to help where it is much needed but you also get an authentic Tibetan experience that is well off the beaten track!
- The “Dream Project” pairs you with a local student and together discusses the student’s dreams for this art project. We have found it to be a valuable opportunity in teaching children the value of dreaming: how important it is to have dreams, to wish for things, to have goals in life…..and how visualizing ones dreams in this way and keeping them near you while you sleep helps your dreams come true.
Day 1: To Delhi
Depart for Delhi on your overnight flight
Day 2: To Dharamsala (D)
Arrival in Delhi where you connect to Dharamsala. Late morning arrival. After acclimatizing yourself to the sights, sounds and culture, you will enjoy an afternoon tour of The Dalai Lama’s Temple and Gardens surrounding his home. Since fleeing Tibet and setting up sacred home in Dharamsala the Dalai Lama now has thousands of visitors from all over the world to His home in exile which is situated on a Himalayan hilltop with incredible views. Afterwards your local Host will talk to you on what to expect over the next few days. Overnight Dharamsala.
Day 3: In Dharamsala (B/L/D)
Today we will hear a special lecture from Ama Adhe, an incredible Tibetan Elder woman who spent 27 years in a Chinese Torture camp. The stories of refugees are incredibly humbling yet sure to ignite your desire to help even more. To get the most you can from this experience we suggest you read her book “The Voice That Remembers” prior to coming on the tour. Overnight Dharamsala.
Day 4: In Dharamsala (B/L/D)
Tour of LHA Charitable Trust and lecture on Social Service Practice with the Tibetan Refugee Community from Prof. Neil Guidry of Tulane University who co-founded the organization in 1997. LHA has been a great source of not only inspiration but an educational foundation for the Tibetan people. LHA’s mission is twofold; offering free social services and education to Tibetans, while raising global awareness of the Tibetan struggle and bringing to light what this incredible culture has to offer to world peace. Overnight Dharamsala.
Day 5: In Dharamsala (B/L/D)
Tour of the sites of the Tibetan Children’s Village (Established by the Dalai Lama’s Sister and now educates some 30,000 Tibetan Refugee Children throughout India and Nepal), so that the Tibetan culture is kept alive. Overnight Dharamsala.
Day 6: In Dharamsala (B/L/D)
This morning’s lecture on Buddhism from a local Tibetan Rinpoche or Monk. Participants will be given a brief mantra empowerment and guidance on mantra meditation practice focused on developing a compassionate heart. We have a great deal to learn from Buddhism as its number one message of compassion for others can be understood in any language, culture or creed. Overnight Dharamsala.
Day 7: In Dharamsala (B/L/D)
Today we will have a tour of Norbulingka – The Institute to preserve Traditional Tibetan Handcrafts and Art (a great opportunity to buy gifts that will support the community). While strolling through beautiful Japanese style gardens our group will witness young Tibetans being trained in the Tibetan arts as they have been for hundreds of years. Overnight Dharamsala.
Day 8: To Delhi & Neemrana (B/L/D)
An early morning flight to Delhi and on arrival, we start our tour of India by departing to Neenrana. This lotus shaped structure is considered one of the “Modern Wonders of the World” and the Bahai are perhaps the oldest “New Thought” religions of the planet Continue to the Neemrana Fort Palace, India’s oldest heritage resort that was built in 1464. Overnight at the authentic Neemrana Fort Hotel will be a most memorable experience.
Day 9: To Jaipur (B/D)
After breakfast, we depart for Jaipur, the “Pink City” and to your reserved accommodations. Jaipur is considered one of the most well planned cities of the world and the capital of Rajasthan. Afternoon free to relax and so some shopping and independent exploring. Dinner this evening at our hotel. Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 10: In Jaipur (B)
After breakfast, depart for our tour to the Amber Fort and the deserted city of Amber, once the capital of ancient city of the Rajput empire. Here we will have a lecture on Ayurvedic and Alternate Medicine. Highlight of the journey will be our transportation to the fort on Elephants (or a jeep) , the same way ancient Rajpuds made their royal trips. Return to our hotel for lunch on your own. In the afternoon, it’s a sightseeing tour of the “Pink City”. Visit the City Palace, which houses a museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings and an armory. Then to the oldest and largest outdoor Astronomical Laboratory & Observatory (built by Maharaja Jai Singh, a famous astronomer in 1721), that features a 90 foot tall sun-dial. There we will have a lecture by our astronomy and astrology expert. This is followed by a drive past the Palace of the Winds, made of pink sandstone and the landmark of Jaipur. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 11: To Fatehpur Sikhri and Agra (B/L/D)
Early departure for Agra. Along the way,we will have a boxed lunch and tour of the National Bird Sanctuary. Continue to the deserted of Fatehpur Sikhri. This is India’s Pompei and built to Akbar the Great. This site is considered India’s “sleeping beauty”, with its glorious courtyards and palaces and conjures up dreams of the mysterious past Buland Darwaza. It has changed little since its heyday as the capital of the Moghul Empire. Here you will see the tomb of Shaik Salim Chisti, who predicted the birth of Akbar’s son, as well as a strange building which resembles a Buddhist Temple. Onto Agra for our overnight & dinner. Overnight in Agra.
Day 12: In Agra (B)
Early this morning to the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world and learn more about this “Dream of Marble” built as the world’s most exquisite monument of love. After this vision of beauty, almost everything else may seem anticlimactic. But there is more to Agra, as we continue to Agra Fort. The fort is as rugged as the Taj is ethereal. It is a perfectly proportioned Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque). In the evening, you are on your own to try some of the excellent local restaurants. Overnight in Agra.
Day 13 To Delhi (B)
Transfer to the airport for our morning flight to Delhi. Afternoon city tour highlighting Old Delh. Old Delhi that was an ancient walled city. Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1650 switched the Mughal capital from Agra to Delhi. Shah Jehan possessing an exquisite talent, especially in architecture, created the seventh city and in the process brought about Delhi’s glorious renaissance. Start the day with a cycle rickshaw ride through Old Delhi. Here you will see Red Fort, the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire. The fort is Shah Jehan’s symbol of power and elegance, built behind red sandstone walls. Its main gate (Lahore Gate) faces Chandni Chowk, the perpetually congested avenue, filled with twisting lanes, small streets and crowded bazaars. Also visit Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; and Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 14, To Delhi (B/D)
Morning and afternoon free for relaxing, independent activities and shopping. Evening farewell dinner followed by our transfer to the airport for your flight home.
NOTE: This is a sample itinerary for group tour leaders.
It is a suggestion to assist teachers, religious leaders, organization heads, authors, speakers and other leaders who are planning a travel program for their group.
Your organization could go on a tour like this.
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