JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR TO INDIA
Day 1- Wednesday Home - Mumbai
Depart from home by International flight to Mumbai, the largest city in India and one of the most populous in the world.
Day 2- Thursday Mumbai
We’ll meet our guide in New Delhi. After arrival we start this morning by visiting the Shaar Harachamim Synagogue from the Benee Israel Community built in 1796. From there we continue to the Maghen David Synagogue, built for the Baghdadi Community in 1863 by David Sassoon. Next to the Synagogue the former Jewish high school built in 1903 by Sir Jacob Sassoon. We will also pay a visit to the David Sassoon Library from 1847. We will pass by other famous buildings all built during the rule of the British Empire like Victoria Terminus, the Flora Fountain, Gateway of India and more. In the early evening we will check in at our hotel.
Day 3- Friday Mumbai
This morning we will have an early start to the Elephanta caves. We will be picked up from the hotel and taken to the Gateway of India where we board a motor launch for an hour ride to Elephanta Island and caves. Mumbai's natural harbour is studded with beautiful little islands among which Elephanta stands supreme. The island hills are thickly wooded with mango and tamarind trees. It is full of caves, with Hindi sculptures second only to those at Ajanta in their excellence and beauty. The highlight is the famous Trimurti cave. On returning to the mainland we continue to tour Jewish Mumbai. Our visit will bring us to the Knesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue near Kala Ghoda built in the 1883 by David Sassoon. Then back to our hotel for preparations for Shabbat.
Day 4- Shabbat - Mumbai I
As our hotel will be in the area close to the Habbad centre and also close to the Knesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, we will be there for Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning prayers. In the afternoon there will be a walking tour in the vicinity of the Hotel.
Day 5- Sunday Cochin
In the morning we will visit some more sites of this City, before we will leave for the airport. Our flight will take us to Cochin in the State of Kerala in the South/West of India. After arrival transfer to the hotel.
Day 6- Monday Cochin
Today we drive to Alleppey there we board a Kettuvallam (houseboat) The Kettuvallamis a modern adaptation from the traditional Kettuvallams of Kerala, this is a real experience in itself. Outfitted with large and comfortable sundeck where you can laze on wicker chairs as you watch the world go by as well as other amenities. We cruise the enchanting backwaters of Kerala through the coconut groves and quiet lagoons. Our boat carries you slowly into the countryside offering a close look into an engaging rustic life.
After sunset we return to our hotel in Cochin.
Day 7- Tuesday Cochin
Today we visit the old city of Cochin/ Mattancherry, In Jew Town we visit the Paradesi Synagogue, India‘s oldest. It was built in 1567, destroyed by the Portuguese during the days of the Inquisition when Kerala was colonized by that nation, but rebuilt in 1664 after Kochi (Cochin) was taken over by Holland.
In the afternoon we visit Mattancheery Dutch palace and Fort Cochin area. In Ernakulam we visit two other old Synagogues: the Kadavumbhagham from 1839 and the Thekkumbhagham from 1580 both in need for restoration.
In the evening we will enjoy a Kathakali dance performance.
Day 8- Wednesday Cochin
Today we leave the City of Cochin again as we continue by coach to visit the Jewish museum in the restored Synagogue at Chennamangalam from 1614 and two more Synagogues at Parur (1616) and Mala (1597) which are due to be restored as well. All of them isolated spots in the tropical forests of the State of Kerala. We will hear about these Jewish populated outposts in the middle of the jungle, were Jews lived as traders and merchants of Kerala’s famous spice trade. At sunset we enjoy a cruise of Cochin harbor and see tiny fishing hamlets, Chinese fish nets and the fisher folk.
Day 9- Thursday Cochin - Kolkata
We take to the airport as we depart for our flight to Kolkata (former called Calcutta) on the East coast of India. After landing we start touring the City. We make a photo stop at the Victoria Memorial 1921, drive by the Maidan, pass by the Writers building from 1777, the General Post Office 1860 and the Raj Bhavan, today the residence of the State Governor, all remains from British Colonial rule. In the late afternoon we check in at our hotel.
Day 10- Friday Kolkata
Once there were five Synagogues in this City, now only two remain open for a population of about 60 Jews. The Neveh Shalom Synagogue established in 1825 was the first Synagogue in Calcutta and rebuilt in 1911 but is closed today.
The Maghen David Synagogue, built by Mr. Elias David Joseph Ezra to perpetuate the memory of his father, Mr. David Joseph Ezra who died in 1884, has beautifully been renovated over the last years. This is the largest, and without any doubt, the most splendid Synagogue in the East. It is magnificent in its architecture and design.
The Beth El Synagogue, built in 1856 is under present renovation. Both Synagogues are considered National Monuments and are therefore State protected.
If time allows we will visit the premises of the Elias Meyer School and Talmud Thora established in 1925. Today a regular school as there are no Jewish students any more.
Day 11- Shabbat Kolkata
Shabbat in Kolkata, if our hotel will be close by then we will pray at one of the two active Synagogues. The local Jewish community uses both Synagogues alternatively.
In the afternoon we will have a walking tour in the hotel area.
Day 12- Sunday Kolkata
Today we will continue to tour Kolkata, visit the Howra Bridge over the Hoogly River, the flower market close to the River, the Indian Museum and the Botanical gardens. Om the way we will all the time experience the Cities Victorian heritage In the afternoon some free time for private exploration and/or shopping in the Cities colorful markets, where all prices are fixed no bargaining!
Day 13- Monday Kolkata
In the morning we visit the Mother House were Mother Teresa founded her Mission of Charity in 1950, we might hear from one of the sisters the story of Mother Teresa who did so much for the poorest of the poor in this City. We then continue for a visit at the Jain Temple. This Temple complex is a wonderful combination of different styles and dazzling colors. In the afternoon we return to our hotel.
Day 14- Tuesday - Kolkata - Mumbai- Home
Today we will continue to tour Calcutta: the Howra Bridge over the Hoogly River, the flower market close to the River, the Cities Victorian heritage the Indian Museum and the Botanical gardens. In the afternoon some free time for private exploration and/or shopping in the cities colorful markets, where all prices are fixed.
Day 15 + 16- Monday/Tuesday: Kolkata – New Delhi - Home
In the morning we leave this very busy City, as we drive to the airport from were we take a return flight to Mumbai. Here we change terminals and planes as we return to our homes across the ocean. Arrival home on Day 16.
- Domestic Flights
- Registration fee airport and security taxes fuel
- Surcharges as of 01.01.09 Kosher half-board + supplies for preparing sandwiches for lunch
- First and/or good Tourist Class hotels Comfortable
- Air-conditioned touring coach Tours and entrance fees according to the tour plan guide from the staff of Shai Bar Ilan
- International Flights
- Tips for local service providers ($150) to be paid abroad
- Personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Shows and nights out not included in the tour plan
- Tip for Israeli guide (Recommended: $3 per person per day)
Important TO Know
There may be changes to the schedule and hotel reservations dependent upon international and domestic flights. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary. In any event of fault relating to flights, cruises, sailings or other mode of transportation, the responsibility lies with the service provider alone.
Day of departure and arrival are included in the total days of the tour. Insurance is required for 14 days. We urge all passengers to purchase travel and cancellation insurance immediately upon registration for the tour. This ensures a refund of expenses in case of cancellation due to illness or bereavement.
Date And Prices
Terms. Cancellation for any reason more than 30 working days prior to departure: $47 per passenger registration fee only
. Cancellation for any reason 14-29 working days prior to departure: $500 + $47 per passenger registration fee
. Cancellation for any reason 7-13 working days prior to departure: $1,000 + $47 per passenger registration fee
. Cancellation for any reason less than 6 working days prior to departure: The entire cost of the tour + all expenses per passenger
. Fridays, Shabbat and Holidays (including Chol Hamoed in Israel), and Sundays and Public Holidays abroad are not considered working days. If flight tickets have already been issued and/or any other services have already been purchased (visas, etc.) their costs will be added to the cancellation penalties mentioned above.
Disclaimer: Cruise Kosher suggests the top Kosher Cruise Agents and is not responsible for bookings made with those companies.