The vibrant colours of the Old Delhi spice markets; the awe-inspiring symmetry and grandeur of the Taj Mahal; the natural majesty of the Himalayan foothills… how challenging can it really be to sell a school trip to India?
Long-haul educational trips to destinations such as India provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for young people with a desire to see the world. Teachers and parents alike love the fact that these experiences take students out of their social and cultural comfort zone. Some of the key aspects of these trips that we recommend highlighting are the less tangible lessons that students can learn on their travels.
Our itineraries are full of important historical monuments and must-see attractions, but key to the experience is immersing each student in a society and culture that is completely foreign to them. We have found that the bustling and vibrant Indian destinations in our collection not only introduce students to alternative ways of living, but also encourage them to think about the strengths and weaknesses of their own society at home.
India is well known as the birthplace of many of the world’s religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism all developed within its realms. Modern society in India is founded on tenets of religious diversity and tolerance – its cities are melting pots that demonstrate to students how people with different backgrounds and beliefs can peacefully co-exist. All of our tours give the opportunity for pupils to visit important religious sites; some, such as Spiritual India, even include the chance to take part in sacred services.
Ceremony of Aarti
At the holy city of Rishikesh, students are always excited to join in the Hindu ritual of Ganga Aarti. This ceremony involves making an offering of fire – in the form of a small floating diya candle – that is sent off down the River Ganges. The ritual is performed every evening at dusk, no matter the weather, and is accompanied by devotional songs (bhajans) and prayers. This unique atmosphere always proves to be a magical experience.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Many of our Indian itineraries include a visit to the community kitchen at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the most famous Sikh temple in Delhi. Regardless of race or religion, any visitor may eat at the kitchen. The food is prepared by volunteers which, for one morning, will include your students. It’s a humbling experience to take part in this kind of charity work that benefits any person in need of help.
Father Ravi’s Shelter
A number of our tours include a moving visit to Father Ravi’s Shelter for homeless children in Delhi. Here pupils can understand the threat that homelessness poses for children on the streets of the city, and witness the excellent work that the shelter does for them.
Local Traditions and Culture
Of course, a huge part of a country’s identity is formed by its historic traditions and culture. Our trips aim to introduce students to both the innovations of modern India and the age-old traditions that underpin it.
Dilli Haat Craft Market
The permanent craft bazaar of Dilli Haat is a wonderful example of the variety of traditional craftsmanship and expertise that still exists all over India. The market sells a dizzying array of wares, from silk saris to sandalwood carvings, at 62 stalls that are allocated to sellers according to their state of birth for 15 days at a time. This means that crafts from all corners of this vast country are sure to be represented when you visit with your school party.
Aravali Eco Village
A popular excursion on our Golden Triangle tour is a visit to the Aravali Eco Village. An overnight stay here provides an immersive experience in Indian life for your students, who will get to spend time in both the village and the school, learning local songs, dances, crafts and traditions.
With many years of experience in taking school groups to India, The School Travel Company is perfectly placed to organise a tour that will suit your specific educational objectives. If you are interested in one of our itineraries or would like any more advice, feel free to get in touch with our excellent sales team.