Discover Jewish Heritage Tour

Discover Jewish Heritage Tour

Mar - 2021

Duration: 10 night/11 days

Tour Highlights
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Day 1: Mumbai

Namaste and Welcome to India!

Arrive Mumbai and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Mumbai.

Day 2: Mumbai

Depart by ferry to visit the villages along the coast of Bombay where, according to Bene Israel tradition, seven couples were shipwrecked over 2,000 years ago. Ride in a tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) to visit the original landing site and monument at Navgaon, as well as the Magen Aboth Synagogue. Pick out the Jewish stars on some of the homes on Israel Street. After lunch board a ferry back to Mumbai. Overnight in Mumbai.

Day 3: Mumbai

Breakfast at hotel. Visit synagogues that reflect the thriving presence of the Bene Israel and Baghdadi Jews: Magen David and Tipheret Israel. Tour the city of Mumbai: Marvel at the Dhobi Ghat, an immense, colorful outdoor laundry. Learn about India’s multifaceted religious heritage at a Hindu temple and Parsi Towers of Silence. After lunch, walk through the village surrounding the Banganga Tank, a sacred pool hidden in the luxurious locality of Malabar Hill. Overnight in Mumbai.

Day 4: Mumbai – Cochin

Fly to Cochin, on the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. Cochin was once home to another flourishing Jewish community. Today only 26 Jews remain.

Visit the dramatic Chinese fishing nets and the Saint Francis Church, the burial place of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who discovered India. Lunch at a local restaurant. Walk along Jew Street to the exquisite 450-year-old Paradesi Synagogue in Mattancherry; explore the area’s antique shops and spice markets. Visit the amazing synagogue in Ernakulam, part of Cochin (it’s hidden behind an aquarium and garden shop). Overnight in Cochin.

Day 5: Cochin

Visit the 17th-century Chennamangalam Synagogue and museum. Its close proximity to a Hindu temple, church and mosque highlights India’s religious tolerance. Stop at the Parur Synagogue, an architectural gem dating from 1616. After a late lunch overlooking the beach, all aboard for a lush backwater tour along Kerala’s local canals. Then enjoy a Kathakali dance drama. Dinner and overnight in Cochin.

Day 6: Cochin – Delhi

Leave for Delhi, the second most populous city in the world, and the seat of the Indian government. City tour of Old Delhi features Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi; rickshaw ride; and drive past Red Fort. Tour of New Delhi includes India Gate; Parliament and President’s Houses. Check in at hotel and walk to Shabbat services at Judah Hyam Hall. Prepaid dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Delhi.

Day 7: Delhi

Morning relaxation or optional visit to Humayun’s Tomb, said to have inspired the architectural style of the Taj Mahal, and visit to Sikh Temple. Prepaid lunch included. Free time for optional shopping in hotel vicinity. Overnight in Delhi.

Day 8: Delhi – Agra

Leave by road to Agra (4 hours). After lunch, visit the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built by the emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. Enjoy shopping for Agra’s exquisite marble crafts. Overnight in Agra.

Day 9: Agra – Jaipur

Marvel at Agra fort. Leave by road to Jaipur (5 hours). Stop at Fatehpur Sikri on the way. 

Overnight in Jaipur.

Day 10: Jaipur

Prepare to be awed by the Amber Fort, the ancient citadel of Jaipur’s rulers, and ride an elephant! Stop at the city palace and the Jantar Mantar observatory. Lunch at a local restaurant. Take time to shop in this beautiful city, known for textiles, jewelry and carpets. Dinner and overnight in Jaipur.

Day 11: Jaipur – Delhi

Return by road to Delhi. Transfer to International Airport for flights home or post-tours.

Extension: Varanasi - A Holy City

Varanasi, one of the holiest cities of Hindus, has a fascinating array of shrines, temples and palaces rising in several tiers from the water’s edge. It is also a city of fairs and festivals, celebrating about 400 of them during the year. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the oldest living cities in the World

Tour Highlights
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Day 11: Jaipur – Varanasi

Transfer to airport for flight to Varanasi. Arrival assistance and transfer to the hotel.

Evening tour of Ganges ghats to witness the Aarti ceremony. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12:  Varanasi

Early morning boat excursion on the holy river Ganges to see the bathing ghats and cremation site. Watch people bathing and worshipping at the Ghats—one of the most extraordinary experiences of a visit to India. After breakfast at the hotel, half-day sightseeing tour of the city including the Bharat Mata Temple with a marble relief map of India; Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, Banaras Hindu University and art gallery. Afternoon excursion to Sarnath, the buried Buddhist city where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from the 6th century BCE to the 12th century. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13:  Varanasi – Delhi

Fly to Delhi. Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.