From East to West, India's varied cultures offer a many-splendored patchwork. Begin in Kolkata to visit the National Museum, arguably the best in the country, and enjoy an architectural tour of the city. In Bhubaneshwar, see the collection of early Buddhist sculpture at the Orissa State Museum before exploring temples with their soaring towers. At Konark, discover the great 13th-century Sun Temple, justly famous for its stone carved wheels, its gracefully erotic reliefs and a marvelous statue of the sun god, Surya.
Continuing to Hyderabad, once India's richest state, admire the collections of former rulers and view striking Golconda Fort. Stop in Bhopal to see the Great Stupa at Sanchi, an early triumph of Buddhist art, before continuing to Ahmadabad, where textiles and great architecture will be the focus of our visit. Conclude in Delhi for visits to the National Museum, Humayun's Tomb and the vast Jama Masjid, Delhi's Friday Mosque.
Joining us on this remarkable journey will be noted art historian and author Olivier Bernier.
During an optional prelude in Agra, experience the consummate symbol of India, the Taj Mahal.
You may also wish to join an optional postlude in Aurangabad to see the Ellora Caves, Daultabad Fort and the Ajanta Caves, famous for their magnificent tempera wall paintings.