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Excursions & Travel

Apply what you’re learning in class to sights and experiences outside of the classroom. Your class excursions, including both day and overnight trips, will give you a full taste of the art, history, architecture, and culture of India.

See how historic structures have influenced Indian art and culture over time

In the past, students have visited the Ajanta and Ellora caves in the state of Maharashtra, some of the most famous rock-cut caves in the world. Both structures date back thousands of years and stand as testaments to religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. See for yourself how these historic structures have influenced Indian art and culture over time.

India also offers a variety of natural wonders to explore. Students enjoying taking in the sights and textures of vibrant evergreen forests at Mahableshwar, a town situated high in the Western Ghats mountains near Pune. Another popular excursion is to the Sinhagad Fort, which served as the site for several well-known Indian battles, most notably the Battle of Sinhagad in the 17th century.

“The ACM India program also organized and endorsed an incredible amount of traveling, and I feel that I genuinely understand India—especially the state of Maharashtra—as a result. Not only can I now make sense of the diversity and chaos of India, my experience abroad also taught me to understand and appreciate my native country, as well.”

Danika Hill, Knox, environmental studies and chemistry major

While in India, Marika Straw had a rare opportunity to join a pathak, one of the drumming groups that made daily processions through the crowded streets of Pune during the ten-day Ganapati Festival in late September. Read more »

Join an extracurricular activity

Having access to so many universities and colleges in Pune gives you many ways to fill your free time by getting involved in the community or developing a personal hobby.

The ACM staff in Pune will help connect you to extracurricular activities and private lessons in areas such as yoga, classical Indian music, instrumental music, Bollywood dance, batik and weaving, and Hindi language. Many students combine their extracurricular activities with their formal independent research projects.

Along with extracurricular activities, students attend music and dance recitals, religious festivals, and a variety of other cultural events, often with members of their host families. You may have the chance to participate in one of the several Hindu pilgrimages that travel through Pandharpur each year, and festivals at a Hindu temple in Jejuri.

Personal Travel

The streets of India are constantly bustling with activity at every turn, with busy road traffic ranging from cars to scooters to camel-drawn carts. How will you choose to explore everything this complex culture has to offer?

Whether you walk, take a rickshaw, or hop on a bus, you can access a variety of destinations in India. Pune is just a three-hour train ride from the beaches, colonial architecture, and Bollywood center of Mumbai, India's largest city and chief commercial hub. Many students also enjoy taking a weekend bicycle trip along the coastline of Goa, a former Portuguese colony on the Arabian Sea and a popular beach destination.

Diwali program break

Whether you walk, take a rickshaw, or hop on a bus, you can access a variety of destinations in India.

Every fall, India observes the widely-celebrated Diwali festival, and ACM students often travel throughout India during the week-long Diwali program break. Explore India’s Golden Triangle by traveling throughout Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, where you can see famous structures like the Taj Mahal and the architecturally stunning Lotus Temple; explore shops the sell beautiful Indian art, pottery, and jewelry; and sample delicious cuisines throughout India.

Many adventurous students think outside the box as they make travel plans during Diwali. Consider taking a tour of Southern India’s lush landscape by renting a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala, a tropical tourist destination. Or, you can hike with a group along the foothills of the Himalayas, right along the Nepalese border. Everywhere you go in India, you’ll witness incredible sights and encounter fascinating traditions.