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You are here: Home Our Work Study visits coming up in 2017 - 2018 An Indian Adventure July 2018

An Indian Adventure July 2018

A study visit to India to learn about Indian culture and local geography, with some birding and wildlife activities!

July 30th - August 10th 2018

This is a unique professional development opportunity for teachers, TA’s and teaching students. These visits are a fun and safe way to explore and learn about India, with some calm quiet time for your own personal development alongside guided experiences which will enable you to feel confident to teach about India.teacher.jpg

I would recommend this visit to all schools wishing to develop their understanding of a different culture. What a life-changing experience it was! We all came back inspired and with a much greater understanding of the issues which affect the lives of the people in the rural and urban communities in southern India. The staff were extremely knowledgeable and were able to answer any questions put to them. The whole experience can be used in so many ways within the school curriculum.” Headteacher, Wells Cathedral Junior School.

It was the best trip of my life. I know we all feel privileged to have experienced Indian life and culture with such depth and in so short a space of time. The hospitality was second to none.” Teacher of RE, St Dunstan’s Secondary School, Glastonbury.

We have all come away re-energised and determined to change our priorities. The opportunity has been the most useful professional development in my 30 years of teaching”. Head teacher, Buckland St Mary Primary School.

The theme of this sort of professional development visit hopes to enable participants to develop ideas about the use of experience, images, artefacts, and information about India, including ideas for developing resources which use creative enquiry as methodologies for teaching about a distant place, through practical activities, case studies, excursions, and dialogue. The main objectives are:

  • To increase authentic experience of a different country and culture by spending ten days in a rural home stay and study centre alongside a village community.
  • To explore Indian culture and life through visits to markets, temples, sacred mountains, and to hear about their context in Karnataka and through history.
  • To develop ideas about how to teach about India and development issues through enquiry and the use of comparative rural and urban case studies.
  • To gather resources, artefacts and information to enhance and enrich the delivery of many curriculum subjects.
  • To learn about Indian creative traditional rituals and cultural art forms.
  • To reflect on creative and participatory teaching practice through activities and discussion.
  • To strengthen Global Citizenship, intercultural learning and Internationalism in your school/organisation.
  • To have a restful holiday and travel experience whilst learning at the same time.

The visit is organised by an education organisation called Sangam who have 15 years of professional experience organising and facilitating curated travel experiences in Karnataka and South India.

Sangam’s base is in the village of Silvepura 20 miles north of Bangalore in South India. The centre runs many different education projects with students and teachers from India and the UK. They work closely with local schools, runs study visits for visiting teachers, and facilitate study journeys around South India.“Sangam” means “meeting point” or “confluence”, ie between people of different cultures.  Imogen and Kiran Sahi run Sangam. Imo is British Council validated teacher trainer from the UK. Alongside her work at Sangam she works as a consultant education advisor and master trainer on Internationalism and Global Citizenship. Kiran is a designer from India, trained at the National Institute of Design and teaches art and design. Kiran is skilled at interpreting and explaining Indian culture and the ways in which it is changing and developing, so that visitors to Sangam both experience India, and are enabled to understand what they are seeing. Together Imo and Kiran have developed Sangam into a place for enabling learning.

This visit is a supported and safe journey of learning. As a group you will be accompanied throughout the programme by your facilitators from Sangam who understand the context and culture of the area extremely well, who will interpret, explain and facilitate the process, and. They will enable the process by advising you on health and safety issues and responsible travel, visas and kit before hand and will lead and guide you during the visit and facilitate the process of the visit, the activities, accommodation, transport, and helping to interpret what we encounter.

The programme includes a day of orientation after arrival in India, then a series of outings/ excursions (eg. to Bangalore, rural villages and local farms, to Mysore and the river Cauvery in order to explore markets, temples, mountains, and a bird sanctuary.) Alongside these excursions will be a series of activities at Sangam to reflect on what has been experienced, to set what has been seen in context, and to share ideas about teaching and learning. Many of the activities and excursions are planned in order to be curriculum linked, developing ideas for teaching Geography, History/Knowledge and Understanding of the World; Art/Creativity; RE/PSED and cross curricular topics relating to India. You will be provided with a rich resource bank of ideas for teaching and learning about India, including case studies for developing contrasting locality studies: an enquiry based exploration of our rural settlements, an informal social study and transect of contrasting areas of the rapidly developing city of Bangalore, and discussions about sustainable development issues in geography.

The group will stay at “The Land”, Imo and Kiran’s home stay accommodation where Sangam is based, which has space for up to 20 people. The Land is a spacious leafy garden on the edge of the rural village of Silvepura. The facilities are simple but well developed as a comfortable place for visiting groups from the UK to make themselves at home. During the excursion you will stay at a comfortable guest houses and hotels.  Information about Sangam’s accommodation can be found at

The weather will be warm and wet. The UK summer holidays are in the Indian monsoon. Temperatures tend to be in the late 20’s and early 30’s. The rains are wonderful when they come, in the late afternoon and it dries and clears by the morning.

Once you have joined the group you will be sent a comprehensive preparation pack which will detail the information about flight booking, travel advice, kit lists, visa guidelines, payment information, insurance advice, and health and safety guidance. If you have any questions about the visit before or after receiving this pack please do email us or call using the contact details below.

You will be invited to a preparation meeting before you travel when you will meet with Sarah, hear more about Sangam and the programme, and go through the preparation pack. The meeting will also be a chance for you to ask questions and meet the rest of the group.

How to apply:

Please mail Imo or Kiran using the email addresses below and she will send you through an application form. Please can you register your interest and send your application form through as soon as you are able, and by the end of summer term 2017.

How to find out more:

Please email us and we will send you the further infoamtion about this visit. Please also look through the rest of our website where you can find out more about our place in India, and the work that we do.

If there are queries which have not been covered above, or if you would like to talk over details of the visit prior to booking, please contact:


Sangam facilitators: Imogen and Kiran Sahi  Email address:

UK Telephone number: 01761232709.

Mobile: 07398646359/440



A draft Itinerary. The itinerary below will give a structure to the time in India, however we may make changes to the programme as the time goes on, and some of the final details may differ from the below. If the majority of the group forming are keen on a train journey northwards we can work to adjust the programme. This is just a sample of what could occur. There is much time for making changes. 


Activities and focus areas

Day 1


Take a flight from London Heathrow. If you can book a flight which arrives in the morning or early afternoon the next day that would be very good.

Day 2


Transfer from airport/ train station depending on requirements.

Arrive at Sangam’s facility – “The Land” .

Orientation to “The Land”, Silvepura village, near Bangalore and introductions.

A walk to explore the area of our local villages.

Time for reflecting on aims and objectives of the visit.

A welcoming Rangoli patterning activity and lamp lighting.


Day 3




A day for exploring the rural locality, learning about development and land use change in the area.  We will begin the day with an early morning cycle ride to Hessaraghatta, time for looking at the reservoir and for those interested to spot some grassland birds.


We will then undertake an enquiry based rural settlement study of Hessaraghatta lake and farmlands, along with a rural case study.  We will then have an informal discussion for understanding the issues relating to water, agricultural change and development in the region and for asking questions relating to this case study.


Day 4



This is a day for learning about development and change in an urban context, looking at the history and modern context of this fascinating changing developing city.


We will undertake an informal urban transect into Bangalore, based around the geographical enquiry process, and you will be provided with a case study. The day will include walks through the old city, visits to huge vibrant flower and fruit market areas, rides on the new light railway, and time to experience the very new and thriving modern commercial district.

Day 5


Quiet day for reflecting on the process so far.

Creative rangoli patterning activity and dance options. Possible block printing activity.

Time for walks, journaling, sketching and cycling.


Day 6


This is a day for looking at the fertile Cauvery Basin and the resources of the river. There will be an early morning visit to silk worm farmers market, then a journey through the rice paddy and sugar cane farming area, looking at farming traditions, and the silk growing sericulture industry.

You can visit the Mysore palace and the mysore market in the afternoon and possibly even the Mysore silk factory. There are many options for this day which will be discussed on arrival in Mysore.

A night in a hotel in Mysore.

Day 7


Early morning visit to bird sanctuary which includes a boat ride.

Visit the palace of Tippu Sultan and painted murals at Srirangapatnam near Mysore. A look at the history of the area

Day 8



Drive south in the early morning through the Nagarhole forest reserve to the forest and the mountains of the western ghats. Arrive by lunch time.

An afternoon drive to the peaks and a sunset trek along the ridge.

Spend a night in the coffee plantations.

Day 9


Drive back via Bylacuppe, Sravanabelagola Jain monolithic temple- learn about Buddism and Jainism in South India. Return back to the land and arrive back just after dinner.

Day 10


A quiet morning for looking at South Indian cookery and food traditions.


Time in the early afternoon for thinking through how to teach about India, and for sharing ideas. Focussing on how we can enhance, develop, and enable effective delivery of topics relating to Indian culture, change and development. How can we use problem solving, enquiry and journals during this process? What ideas and resources can we share that have been developed?

Late afternoon excursion to explore the commercial district and have time to buy artefacts. You will visit an urban market area and possibly focus around the gathering of a “Raji’s bag” school bag resource based on problem solving and enquiry. Last meal in Bangalore.

Prepare for onward journeys and goodbyes.

Day 11



Flight back to the UK- Normally if you get a flight early morning it will arrive the same day at about lunch time, so you can get home in time for Easter Sunday evening.

The process in India:

Travelling responsibly, health and safety and preparation: Sangam will work with you to carefully cover your needs and questions in terms of health and safety guidance, how to travel responsibly in India and how to stay safe. This will be through your preparation pack and guidance before travel, but also through a written resource pack written specifically for your visit which you will be given on your arrival in India.

A resource pack: You will all be provided with a resource booklet which will include cultural information and travel guidance, ideas for teaching and learning activities using creative enquiry, case study information, references and maps to guide you with what you see and do. It includes suggestions of activities to enable you to engage with the places that you visit. We are very keen that you take time before each new location to formally or informally take a look at the next location/ journey so that you feel prepared and enabled to understand the places better, and have a base of information from which to ask questions.

CPD: “Developing ideas for teaching about India”: The theme of the programme is woven around these topics. We will be spending time thinking about this theme throughout the journeys that we go on, and as part of activities to help to understand the places you are visiting. It would be very helpful if you come prepared for sharing your own ideas about learning about a distant place, and bring along a few ideas for how to teach about a country such as India, and any reflections on how to make it successful, what challenges you may face as you try to teach using these ideas, so that you feel prepared to share, talk and reflect during the visit.

Mental oreparation for the journey in India: Some days will involve very early mornings, and some days will involve a lot of travelling from one location to another. Its very important to us that you understand that the process of some days will involve the journey at the heart of the activities, as opposed to simply a means to getting somewhere. You will be able to see so much if you look out of the window, ask questions, keep notes and journal as part of the process of the journey. On days when you are driving you will regularly make stops, sometimes unplanned ones, when you see things of interest, and this is where the most fun may lie. You will be able to ask questions at each stop, and there will be opportunities for your unanswered questions to be cleared at the end of each journey. Questioning, enquiry, exploring, observing are all very much part of the process, which is of course up to each of you.  As much effort and interest you show in the things you see, we can respond with equal input.

Journaling as part of the process: This visit is very much a personal journey, and we strongly encourage that each of you keep a journal which can be partly a diary of what you do, a sketch book of the things you see, recording patterns, colours, shapes, and landscapes. And partly a scrap book as a record of what you have done and where you have gone. It will provide you with a memory and a reflection space for recording what you see and do and how you are feeling on the journey. As you do this we hope that you might develop thoughts about how to use journaling as a teaching tool on your return.

Artefacts and photos: Finding ways of “bringing India back” is an important part of the process. Many people will want to find ways to effectively equip yourselves for teaching about India and using the experience in your professional life on your return. Part of this will be covered by the resource pack that we will provide you with, some of it will be covered by the questions that you ask and the dialogue that you have with the people that you meet during the visit, and part of it will be covered by the journal that you make to reflect on all that you see. However gathering the physical resources of artefacts and photos will be a large part of this. It may be that you decide to create a project for yourselves- finding particular images which can create a learning resource, looking for particular artefacts which you can use immediately on your return. We will provide you with many ideas, and suggestions for how you can do this once you are here in India.

Cost information:

The in-country costs for the above draft itinerary are between £800 and £900 per person. This quoted price depends heavily on the value of the pound against the rupee and in country costs when booking, so it may go up a little and we will keep you informed as this occurs. As the itinery changes the price will also change, so we will develop this as the group of individuals coming on this journey forms and we develop a journey to suit them. 

This cost covers all:

  • Accommodation for the nine day process in India in our simple but comfortable homestay accommodation at the Land, and in Hotels and guest houses. (You can opt for twin sharing or single rooms depending on your preference, and the size of the group. The cost is the same.) Details of our accommodation and facilities can be found on our website and in our preparation material.
  • Three meals a day for most of the days including unlimited tea, coffee and snacks. This is mainly vegetarian home cooked South Indian food, which is prepared in our community kitchen by our catering staff. You will have many opportunities to watch, join in, and be involved in the preparation of these meals. Breakfasts are self service. Some meals will be bought individually and we will give details of this.
  • In-country transport during Sangam activities and excursions including a day exploring a rural context, an urban study, and an overnight excursion to the Cauvery basin area near Mysore.
  • A night in a hotel in Mysore.
  • A night in a guest house in the forested western Ghats.
  • Study resources: a study guide for the time in India including maps, information and case studies
  • Cultural workshops to learn more about India depending on your interests.
  • Guidance/ curation/ facilitation.
  • Laundry services- towels are provided and clothes can be washed at any time.
  • Wifi- This is unlimited but can vary in its quality due to the rural context of our facility. You can certainly send emails but downloading is slow.
  • Use of facilities, studios, art equipment and cycle hire. We have 17 cycles which are available for use and will provide maps and details of interesting places to explore in your free time.
  • Preparation and admin costs.


What is not covered:

  • It does not cover the flight to India. You will also need to budget any costs of vaccinations, travel insurance, and a visa for entry to India. The flight usually costs between £400 and £600 pounds, depending which carrier you choose. Insurance and a visa are usually bought within £200.
  • A snack budget: The food that we provide includes simple, healthy, vegetarian food.  However if during the time in India you wish to buy yourself snacks along the way, you are of course free to do so and please do factor in a small budget for this.
  • Some Lunches and dinners: We have not included some lunches; in Bangalore during the urban day, and in Mysore during the two day outing- During the Mysore days you will also need to buy your own dinners- people inevitably want to do different things and find their own meal and it is complicated to arrange, so you will need to budget for the cost of meals. This should not cost more than about 20 pounds maximum, and will most likely cost only about 3 pounds per meal. You may also wish to buy yourself extra snacks etc in cafes sometimes, so please do factor a small budget in for that.
  • Cultural activities: Entrance to sanctuaries/ cultural activities are not included in the Sangam in-country budget, nor are any donations that you may wish to give. Please ensure that you have a little spending money for this. 10-20 pounds will probably be sufficient.
  • Artefacts!: You may also wish to bring along a small budget for Artefacts and resources which you wish to buy. We will be providing you with a resource pack as outlined above, but teachers often wish to purchase artefacts.


The costs for the whole visit including all of the above should be within £1800 in total.


The process of the visit:



  • Booking and securing a place on the visit: In order to secure your place on the visit we will ask you to complete and return in a booking form which gives us a little more information about you, and then transfer £100 which will secure your place on the visit- transfer details are on the booking form. The earlier this happens the better as we then have more time for preparation. It is helpful if the group has been confirmed about 6 months before the visit. So for this visit if you can let us know as soon as you are able and before the end of term 2017 it would help.


  • A preparation pack: Once you have returned the booking form and sent the deposit we will send you a comprehensive preparation pack which will detail the information about how to go about your flight booking with ATOL protection, travel advice, kit lists, visa guidelines, payment information, insurance advice, and health and safety guidance. If you would like to hear more about all of this in advance please do email or call us at any point. If the group would find it useful one of us can travel to meet you (in the Autumn when we are in the UK) for a meeting to go through the final plan for the visit and to answer any questions.
  • Preparation activities: You will need to book flights, visa, organise insurance and vaccinations. Advice for all of this will have been sent in the preparation pack detailed above.
  • The balance of the cost of the visit is due on or before 8 weeks before you travel. This is so that we can make all the transfers and bookings within India in good time.
  • The trip: You will need to arrive at Sangam’s facility called “The Land” which is north of Bangalore in good time for beginning the programme on the first day. We will arrange to meet you at the airport early that morning if your flight arrives the same day, or train station/hotel if you have already arrived in India some days before. We will arrange transport to your onward journey after the programme with Sangam.  Please be in touch with us well in advance about your arrival and onward travel requirements so we can arrange to meet you and drop you off correctly.
  • An optional debrief meeting back in the UK. Previous groups of visiting teaching professionals have enjoyed meeting up informally after the visit to reflect on the process, the learning, the journey, the opportunities and to share ideas about how to roll out/share/ develop the experience professionally. Please let us know if you would like us to help you with this and we can be part of this.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Sangam facilitators: Imogen and Kiran Sahi  Email address:


UK Telephone number: 01761232709.

Mobile: 07398646359/440


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