India: Himalayan Buddhist Art and Architecture (Summer)


Experience daily life with a Buddhist family in the Ladakh Valley.

Prayer wheel overlooking the Indus River

Students spend four or five days living with Ladakhi Buddhist families whose roots to their particular village extend back many generations.

The short homestay takes place in a series of small farming villages north of the town of Leh, at an elevation of approximately 13,000 feet. SIT often arranges for two or three students to stay with one family in a large ancestral house.

Living with a host family provides students with the chance to intimately observe and participate in the unique Ladakhi Buddhist culture of the Himalayas. Students meet families who still live according to time-honored Buddhist values of the Himalayas.

Homestay activities can include:

  • Participating in daily life by helping with farm chores like herding and milking cows
  • Learning local cooking and gardening practices
  • Attending family Buddhist devotions

Students also typically have the chance to view traditional Himalayan art and architecture preserved and nourished in a continuing pattern of ancient patronage.

The villages of the Himalayas have held on to their traditional architecture, arts, and crafts, unlike many other areas of India. Ladakh is prosperous, and villages throughout the valley have used their relative wealth to embellish village temples and family shrines.

Costs Dates

Credits: 8

Duration: 6 weeks

Program Base: Leh

Prerequisites: None required, but a background in history, Asian studies, religious studies, architecture, or art history is strongly recommended. Read more...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Summer 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Summer 2012 Evaluations (PDF)
Summer 2011 Evaluations (PDF)

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