Project Description


Historical archaeology studies material culture with the aid of historical records. Written records contextualize materiality but may or may not corroborate archaeological evidence. Kullu valley lies in the heart of the Himalayas in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh and is rich in archaeological sites and historical records relating to the sites. The valley is a focal point for many ancient myths in the Himalayas. As texts were frequently revised and chronologically problematic, an assessment of myths and their reality cannot be done on the basis of textual sources alone. There is an absence of early historic excavated sites in the valley, therefore, a historical archaeology and applied anthropological approach is useful for the study of religious art, architecture, oral traditions within the context of the landscape. Such an approach aids in evaluating the manifestation of myths and their reality in the Kullu valley.

The research goals aim at understanding the role of myths in the Kullu valley and how they influence architecture, rituals and use of space. The project will also help understand the interaction of contemporary people with sacred sites in the Himalayas where such myths are depicted and form a part of their daily life.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: July 15-August 15, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,410
  • Course Type: Cultural Anthropology, Ethnography
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. Sonali Gupta-agarwal, Dr. Parth Chauhan
  • Online Orientation: June 3, 2018, 10:00 AM PST
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The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Sonali Gupta-Agarwal
Dr. Sonali Gupta-Agarwal Director
Dr. Sonali Gupta-Agarwal is Deans Lecturer and Director of Programs at the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.
Dr. Parth Chauhan
Dr. Parth Chauhan Director
Dr. Parth Chauhan is an Assistant Professor of Humanities & Social Science at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research at Mohali, India


This is a new IFR field school. There are no student testimonials available at this time.

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credits
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation
  • Health Insurance

Student Fees

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program.  This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).

Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

  • A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
  • A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
  • Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.


The housing facilities are comfortable and scenic. The location is nestled on a sprawling green hill filled with Himalayan pine, fir and fruit trees. The students will be housed in cottages where each room can accommodate two individuals who will share a bathroom. Each cottage has internet connectivity, television, a common kitchen with refrigerators, hot solar powered water 24×7 and beautiful views. Bedding will be provided. Students are free to stroll within the perimeter of the property. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in the common dining area at designated hours. The cooks are equipped to cook a variety of food options both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, local and International cuisine and can easily accommodate vegans or lactose intolerant meals. The cooks would need to know dietary restrictions and preferences beforehand to accommodate diets. Beef is the only item which will not be provided.

Travel Info

Please arrive to the Kullu-Manali airport (KUU) on July 15. You will be picked by project staff members at the airport and be driven to the housing facilities located at Jong Village, Katrain, approximately a 45- minute drive.

Note: If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email project director immediately. A local emergency cell phone number will be provided to all enrolled students.


U.S. citizens need a valid passport for at least six months past the last day of the field school and entry visa to India. Students should enter India on a tourist visa. U.S. citizens seeking to enter India solely for tourist purposes, and who plan to stay no longer than 60 days, may apply for an electronic travel authorization at least four days prior to their arrival in lieu of applying for a tourist visa at an Indian embassy or consulate. Visit the Indian government’s website for electronic travel authorization for additional information and online application (

U.S. citizens of Pakistani descent are subject to administrative processing and should expect additional delays when applying for Indian visas.

When applying for an entry visa, please list the following address of the field school location: Rajiv Upadhyaya Cottages, Jong Village, P.O – Katrain, Kullu District, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh 175129, India. Phone number: +91 98106027318.

Citizens of other countries are asked to check the Embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirement.

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.

All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.

Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.