The Himalayan Sacred River Tour

June 2 to June 20, 2018

An eighteen-day intensive study tour of India that introduces students to Hindu culture and traditions in the Northwest Himalayas. This trekking tour follows along the sacred river Ganga from pilgrimage towns on the plains up to its glacial source in the Great Himalayas and back.  Students will walk ancient pilgrimage routes with Hindus from all parts of India. They will visit temples, dance to ritual drums in a remote Himalayan village, practice yoga and meditation in meadows surrounded by massive snow-capped peaks, interact with wandering world-renouncers, stay in a summer palace on the banks of the sacred river, receive a private performance of classical Indian music, learn ancient Vedic chant, participate in the fire rituals and massive gatherings in devotion to the river goddess, shop for Indian clothing in the bazaars, raft the whitewaters of Rishikesh, and partake of Ayurvedic massage.


o deepen your knowledge of India (and by extension the world) and its great cultural diversity

To expand your awareness of religious world views, practices, architecture, art, literatures and lifestyles.

To have an unforgettable, fun, challenging, eye-opening, and life-changing experience amidst some of the most spectacular mountain peaks on the planet.

Tour Leaders:

Daniel Meckel is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at St. Mary's. He specializes in the religions of India and does ethnographic research in the Indian Himalayas.

Scott Sater is a teacher and Director of Bands in Shakopee, Minnesota. His passion an avid trekker with extensive eperience of the Indian Himalayas.

Susan Wilkinson is a seasoned and certified yoga instructor who teaches at St. Mary's.





The Himalayan Village of Anidasu
After trekking to this remote location, we stay overnight in tents.
In the evening, villagers come to hang out with us by the temple grounds.
We build a bonfire. Bajgi drummers play. Younger villagers sing Garhwali songs
and teach students the traditional dances.







Gangotri is a pilgrimage town at eleven-thousand feet, nestled into peaks in the Upper Himalaya on the banks of the Bhagirathi Ganga.





The capital city of India and our point of entry and final departure. Before departing, students will have the opportunity to . . .





Projected cost of the tour is $3525 plus tuition.
This covers airfare, lodgings, ground transportation, expedition services, travel insurance, and most meals. It does not cover immunizations, visa, personal expenses, or medications. The overall cost could be reduced by up to $175 based on enrollment. Students will need to bring an additonal $300 for meals and $50 for tips. Payment will be made in four installments: an initial $500 is due at the time of application to reserve a space on the tour; a second payment of $2006 is due to the business office by February 1; a third payment of $1019 for airfare is due to Student Universe by March 1st. Tuition for four credits is due when you register for the course. Please see our refund policy and payment schedule.

Students will register for the study tour as a summer course, worth four upper-level credit hours. We will meet for two weekend workshops prior to departure. Students will keep journals throughout the adventure and write a ten-page paper after returning.

For more information, contact Daniel Meckel Tel: 301-240-4464

To apply for the tour, download the application form below. Once accepted onto the tour, the initial $500 deposit is non-refundable, unless the tour is cancelled.

Application form

Tour Members Only

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