The Arc of the Sacred Symposium

Religion, Art, and Culture Across Southern Asia
Featuring Eminent Scholars Dr. Helen Ibbitson Jessup, Dr. Todd Lewis, Dr. Vasudha Narayanan, Dr. Damian Evans, and John Sanday, OBE
A Symposium at Angkor Wat with Journeys from Nepal to Indonesia

The Arc of the Sacred Symposium route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 4 days
Arrive: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Depart: Varies depending on tour
Lodging: 3 nights at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort, additional lodging depends on tour
Meals: All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 4, meals on tours vary
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Cultural exploration and walking tours
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Highlights

  • Four-day symposium at the spectacular World Heritage Site of Angkor
  • Five of the world’s top experts on Asian religion, art, and Khmer culture sharing their expertise throughout the symposium
  • In-depth excursions to the most signficant temples of Angkor, including Angkor Wat, Ta Promh, Preah Khan, Angkor Thom, and Banteay Srei
  • Choice of six special tours across southern Asia, from the birthplace of the Buddha in Nepal to the verdant rice fields of Bali

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

January 2015

We are thrilled to present our newest Special Event—an extraordinary four-day symposium in Siem Reap, Cambodia, that explores the remarkable spiritual synchronicity that exists across Asia. The religions and cultures of southern Asia are vibrant and distinctive, yet the region’s art, architecture, and traditions share much in common due to the extraordinary influence of sacred beliefs as they spread across the arc of Asia. These influences are still visible today, from the Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal to the vast array of temples at Bagan, Burma, to the living artistry of Balinese Hindu culture.

Our symposium, based at the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort, a short distance from the breathtaking Angkor Wat temple complex, features distinguished guest scholars, including Dr. Damian Evans, whose recent work has been lauded by Archaeology Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Discoveries of 2013.” Our speakers will offer us an insider’s perspective on the fascinating interplay of religion and culture across southern Asia, including the Khmer and the ultimate expression of their civilization, the World Heritage Site of Angkor. The speaker’s presentations are complemented by in-depth excursions to the most inspiring shrines of Angkor, including the Bayon, Angkor Wat, and the Buddhist monastic complex of Preah Khan, where Guest Speaker John Sanday was instrumental in the site’s restoration. 

In conjunction with the symposium, we have created six special tours focusing on the sacred monuments and living traditions of a wide range of destinations, from the Himalayan foothills to the verdant rice fields of Bali. These tours will be led by a combination of our Guest Speakers and most beloved Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders. If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the mysteries of Asia or wish to return to this fascinating continent, this unique event offers a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience. We hope you’ll join us. But call soon—space is limited!

Guest Speakers

Dr. Helen Ibbitson Jessup is a scholar and curator specializing in the art and architecture of Southeast Asia. She is the founder and President of Friends of Khmer Culture, and author of several books, including Temples of Cambodia:The Heart of Angkor.

Dr. Vasudha Narayanan is Distinguished Professor, Department of Religion, at the University of Florida, and a past President of the American Academy of Religion. Her fields of interest include the visual expression of Hindu traditions in India, Cambodia, and America.

Dr. Damian Evans, a faculty member of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney, Australia, uses advanced remote sensing technologies to understand human-environmental interactions at the temple complexes of Cambodia. His recent work has been hailed by Archaeology Magazine as one of the "Top Ten Discoveries of 2013."

Dr. Todd Lewis, faculty member at College of the Holy Cross and Research Associate at Harvard University, has focused on Buddhism of the Kathmandu Valley for more than 30 years. A past recipient of a presitigous Guggenheim Fellowship, he has authored numerous scholarly books and articles on world religions.

John Sanday, OBE, a leading architectural conservator in Asia, is a Director at the Global Heritage Fund. He was instrumental in the restoration of the Preah Khan complex at Angkor Wat, and his current restoration and training project is at the vast temple complex of Banteay Chhmar, near the Cambodian border.


The trip costs include donations to three important organizations affiliated with our guest speakers: the Greater Angkor Project, the Global Heritage Fund, and Friends of Khmer Culture.
 

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary


Symposium Tours

Temples & Treasures of Cambodia with John Sanday
January 25–February 5, 2015

Ancient Cities & Monuments of the Deccan Plateau with Dr. Vasudha Narayanan
January 25­–February 7, 2015

Buddhist & Hindu Kingdoms with Dr. Todd Lewis
January 25–February 8, 2015

Sacred Sites of Java & Bali with Dr. Helen Ibbitson Jessup
January 25–February 8, 2015

Indochine with Mathew Smith 
January 25–February 6, 2015

Burma: The Golden Land with David Henley
January 15–28, 2015

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

The Arc of the Sacred Brochure

Download The Arc of the Sacred brochure, featuring a symposium at Angkor Wat with journeys from Nepal to Indonesia. Or request a print copy to be sent by mail.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Dr. Damian Evans

Departure Dates: January 25-28, 2015

Dr. Damian Evans, faculty member of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney, Australia, uses advanced remote sensing technologies to understand human-environmental interactions at the temple complexes of Cambodia. His innovative work with airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) has ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Dr. Helen Ibbitson Jessup

Departure Dates: January 25-28, 2015

Dr. Helen Ibbitson Jessup is a scholar and curator specializing in the art and architecture of Southeast Asia. She holds a PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London University, and is currently an Associate Fellow of Saybrook College, Yale University. Dr. Jessup co-curated Sculpture of ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Dr. Vasudha Narayanan

Departure Dates: January 25-28, 2015

Dr. Vasudha Narayanan is Distinguished Professor, Department of Religion, at the University of Florida, and a past President of the American Academy of Religion (2001-2002). She was educated at the Universities of Madras and Bombay in India, and at Harvard University. Her fields of interest ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Dr. Todd Lewis

Departure Dates: January 25-28, 2015

Dr. Todd Lewis, one of the world’s leading authorities on the religions of the mid-montane Himalayan region and the social history of Buddhism, is a member of the faculty of the College of the Holy Cross, with a dual appointment as Research Associate in the Department of Sanskrit and Indian ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

John Sanday

Departure Dates: January 25-28, 2015

John Sanday, OBE, FSA, is a leading architectural conservator with more than three decades of field experience in Nepal, Cambodia, India, Bhutan, and China. He is the Regional Director for Asia and Pacific programs for Global Heritage Fund, a leading heritage conservation foundation. In ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips