This year’s trip to India will be Christchurch’s most impactful trip to the subcontinent to date. Each year, our relationships with and understanding of the places we visit in India deepen. This year, we’ll be investigating Uttarakhand through three focal lenses – the economy, the environment, and the relationship(s) between the government and its people. We’ll use Agora as our familiar reference point but also explore Mussoorie, one of India’s most iconic hill-stations; Rishikesh, the Yoga Capital of the World made famous by the Beatles and frequented by hippies and devotees alike; Rajaji National Park, a critical habitat for wild animals on the edge of the plains; Tehri Lake, a massive lake in the mountains created by India’s largest dam to date; and many places in between.
The details will come out through the blog during the trip, but the basics are:
February 28th – the main group is flying on Emirates from IAD to DEL (EK232 + EK516)
February 29th – we will begin our time on the subcontinent with a half-day of adjusting and acclimating, highlighted by our first delicious feast and time in Karol Bagh, the neighborhood around Hotel Grand Park Inn
March 1st & 2nd – we will spend two days exploring New Delhi, India’s dynamic capital city
March 3rd – the group will take the train from New Delhi to Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand. The train is a great way to see wild, unspoiled, unmanicured India. After lunch in Dehradun, the group will drive up to Mussoorie, the hill station perched above the capital.
March 4th – we will spend a full day exploring Mussoorie
March 5th – the entire group will travel into the Himalayas to Uttarkashi, the capital of the district where Agora is. We’ll eat lunch in Mussoorie and then split up to investigate the natural and social worlds of the region.
March 6th to 10th – the group will spend 5 days in Agora
March 11th – we will travel to Van Tarang, our comfortable base near Rishikesh and Rajaji. The drive is incredible, following the Baghirathi towards its confluence with the Alakananda, where the Ganges proper begins. We will get views of the snowcovered Himalayas and villages scattered throughout the mountains. That afternoon/evening, we’ll get acquainted with the area and enjoy delicious food.
March 12th & 13th – we will explore Rajaji in comfortable safari vehicles and Rishikesh on foot. In addition, we will bathe in the Ganges and witness thousands of Hindus gathering to bathe in the holy water.
March 14th – the main group will travel to Delhi for some last-minute shopping and rest before the journey back to the US
March 15th – the main group flies back to the US, arriving in the morning on March 16th