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Sri Lanka

Among the world's first Buddhist kingdoms, the island of Sri Lanka offers wonders far exceeding its small size. As we visit this mystical place, we will have a glimpse of life under kings who created sophisticated irrigation systems, built magnificent temples and huge dagobas, carved 40-foot-tall Buddhas and one who chose to build his royal residence, gardens and pools on the top of a 600-foot rock outcropping. Our journey will take us to six World Heritage Sites, as well as wildlife sanctuaries, tea plantations, hill stations and monasteries. Colorful rituals and festivals occuring during our visit will add to our understanding of Sri Lankan culture and history.

Nov. 9 - 25,

Led by Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne
University of Peradeniya

Gujarat India

Our tour to India's westernmost state visits some of its most beautiful and least-visited monuments. We will be introduced to the ancient Indus Valley civilization at Lothal and Dholavira and the modern city of Ahmedabad, renowned for its textiles, museums and gorgeous traditional step-wells. We will climb to the 863 magnificent marble Jain temples at Palitana and visit one of the four most holy Hindu shrines at Dwarka, as well as the Mughal palaces and pavilions scattered throughout the region. There will be evenings of traditional music and dance, and a relaxing break at the Sasan-Gir Lion Sanctuary, where we might see one of the nearly extinct Asiatic lions. The tour ends in Kutch, the most remote and charming area of Gujarat. Here we will explore the colorful villages of the Ram of Kutch and the narrow alleys, old palaces and exotic bazaars of the walled city of Bhuj.

Jan. 4 - 22,

Led by Prof. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer University of Wisconsin

Southern India
Our tour begins in Mumbai and includes eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among which are the Ellora and Ajanta rock-cut cave temples and Mamallapuram, the famous shore temples outside Madras. We also visit the temples and palaces of Trichy, Madurai, Mysore and Goa. After an evening viewing the wildlife at Periyar Lake, we will travel along the backwaters of Kerala to Cochin on the Malabar Coast. A highlight of the tour will be the extraordinary Vijayanagara ruins at Hampi, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will explore bazaars, sample exotic foods and attend classical dance and musical performances.


Dec. 26, 2014 -

Jan. 17, 2015

Led by Prof. Cathleen Cummings
University of Alabama