Mystical and spiritual, India is a land of rich contrasts. Explore its multifaceted culture as you travel through the classic Golden Triangle and east to Varanasi, stopping in Kalakho where local Meena tribespeople invite you into their homes.

Starting at: $5,287 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The iconic Taj Mahal  Detail of archway within the Amber Palace, Jaipur  The Amber Palace, overlooking Jaipur  Courtyard in the City Palace Museum of Jaipur  The City Palace Museum, Jaipur  Ancient observatory in Jaipur  The newly restored Palace of the Winds in Jaipur  Women at a temple in northern India. Credit: Linda Currie  Traditional Indian market. Credit: Linda Currie  Father and son in Rajasthan. Credit: Linda Currie  The elusive Bengal tiger, Ranthambore National Park  The Taj Mahal, Agra  Detail of inlaid stone at the Red Fort in Agra  Entrance to Agra's Red Fort, seat of Mughal power for generations  Pavilion inside the Red Fort in Agra  Detail of stonework on the Qutab Minar minaret, Delhi  Qutab Minar, India's tallest minaret, Delhi  Statue of Buddha at Sarnath, one of Buddhism's four holiest sites  The ghats along the Ganges River, Varanasi  Holy man along the Ganges River

Mystical India

The Golden Triangle and Varanasi With an Optional Extension to Nepal

16-17 days from $5,287 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Mystical and spiritual, India is a land of rich contrasts. Explore its multifaceted culture as you travel through the classic Golden Triangle and east to Varanasi, stopping in Kalakho where local Meena tribespeople invite you into their homes.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


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Of all the overseas trips we've taken, this trip ranks right at the top. Smithsonian did an outstanding job of balancing sites and activities with learning. We saw and did so much but we learned even more. We'll always remember India.

- Ron Z.

I have wanted to visit India all my life and, therefore, had very high expectations. This trip far exceeded all those expectations. It was everything I hoped for and more! 

- Brenda S.

India is not only mystical, but it is memorable, and magic. An initial visit only whets one's desire to return to experience the unique physical and spiritual senses over and over again.

- Kenneth N.

I am so happy I saw India with the Smithsonian. It has such a rich and extraordinary history, and Smithsonian was the way to go! 

- Previous Journeys Traveler


See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Feb 19 - Mar 7, 2017 Departure
Daniel White

Daniel White

Dan While is Professor of South Asian Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department.  He regularly teaches: “Introduction to Asian Religions,” “The Religious Art and Architecture of India,”  “Hinduism,”  “Buddhism,” “Sanskrit” (1st 2nd and 3rd Year), “Indian History” as well as other courses on South Asia in the University. 

Dan received his Ph. D. in Indian Religions, Languages and Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. He authored numerous book chapters, articles and other scholarly papers on Indian religions, Indian advertising, Indian medicine, British colonial rule and disease in India, Indo-U.S. relations, HIV/AIDS and Indian culture, chaos and order in ancient and contemporary India, the Sanskrit language, Indian architecture, religion and politics in India, royal pilgrimage, etc.  Most recent projects include the website of over five hundred photographs of the Eklingji Temple Complex, in Rajasthan India associated with the family of the Maharana of Mewar (Udaipur); oral history of the family of the Maharana Mewar; and a book based on field research in India, summer of 2015, on beliefs and practices among gay and bisexual Hindu men in India.

In the past forty-seven years Dan has traveled to India over fifty times for research, lecturing and consultations; living in India for as much as a year on several of those visits with Fulbright lecture or research grants. He served as lecturer for tours in India for the Smithsonian Institution, Archaeological Institute of America, American Museum of Natural History and other institutions, and academic director/scholar for Fulbright-Hays faculty seminars in India.

Dan also serves as advisor and consultant on South Asia to the Department of State, and other governmental and NGO agencies and U. S. multinational corporations, both in India and in the US. He frequently lectures on India, both nationally and internationally, at academic institutions as well as before civic, corporate and other organizations. Professor White is former Executive Director of the Southern Atlantic States Association for Asian and African Studies and recipient of numerous research awards.

Mar 12 - 28, 2017 Departure; Oct 22 - Nov 7, 2017 Departure; Jan 14 - 30, 2018 Departure
Rita Sodha

Rita Sodha

Rita Sodha is a lecturer in the Department of Art History at the University of Baroda’s Faculty of Fine Arts. With a Ph.D. in art history, Rita is an expert on Indian painting and has published several articles on contemporary art in India. With a degree in painting, Rita has conducted workshops on the technique of enameling, tie and dye, patchwork, and quilting, and she designs soft furnishings for customized interiors. She also studied the sitar at the University of Baroda’s Faculty of Performing Arts. Rita looks forward to sharing her love of Indian art, music, history, and culture with Smithsonian travelers.

Nov 26 - Dec 12, 2017 Departure
Sarina Singh

Sarina Singh

Sarina Singh is the senior author of the bestselling Lonely Planet India guidebook. An Australian who lived for five years in India, she has written for 50 Lonely Planet titles, including the acclaimed Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands guidebook, and has been a high-profile monthly columnist for Lonely Planet Magazine. Sarina’s writing and photography have also appeared in numerous other publications, such as Britain’s Sunday Times and the U.K. edition of Condé Nast Traveller, and have aired worldwide on the BBC, ABC, and elsewhere. She is often interviewed for her travel expertise and has been profiled by a variety of publishers including BBC Travel, The Review, the Times of Oman, Progress Leader, and Le Quotidien. Sarina has written and directed an award-nominated documentary film which premiered at the prestigious Melbourne International Film Festival before screening on television in Australia and Europe.

Feb 12 - 27, 2018 Departure
Jonathan GoldbergBelle

Jonathan GoldbergBelle

Dr. Jonathan GoldbergBelle serves as Senior Director of International Programs at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He holds a Ph.D. in South Asian Language and Literature from the University of Wisconsin with a focus on the study of the great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, both in their classical and present day forms.  Dr. GoldbergBelle remains a student of South Asian Literature, particularly contemporary fiction, and of Asian Philosophy and Religion.  

His most recent university courses include “Colonial and Post-Colonial Identity in South Asia”, “The Pacific War: World War II in East Asia”, and “Spaces of Encounter in East Asia”.

Dr. GoldbergBelle has been in the field of International Education for over 30 years.  He has organized and led study programs to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.  Most recently he has taken groups to China, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand and Viet Nam.