Departure date        Return date              
04/03/2018                20/03/2018            

Highlights:

Activities:

Jewish Heritage and the Golden Triangle

Sunday:  departure with Elal at 21:00
Day 01: (Monday): Tel Aviv – Mumbai (LY 071: 0825 hrs)
                                                                              
Upon arrival in Mumbai, we will receive a traditional welcome by our local agent and be transferred to the domestic airport to board the short flight to Udaipur.
Udaipur is a city that is still ruled by a much respected Maharaja whose magnificent City Palace forms the heart of the city. Udaipur is one of the most impressive cities in Rajasthan. Set at the southern end of the Aravalli Hills, Udaipur overlooks Lake Pichola with the world-famous Lake Palace appearing to float on the water. Over 400 years, successive Maharajas have created an architectural gem in the City Palace, adding to the original structure countless courtyards, balconies and halls. The city has plenty to offer and is a great place to practice bargaining, with crafts, textiles and miniature paintings particularly good buys in Udaipur's stalls and shops.

Upon arrival at the Udaipur airport, we will be welcomed by one of our staff members and then be transferred to our hotel.

Overnight at hotel in Udaipur


Day 02: (Tuesday) Udaipur

In the morning we embark on a sightseeing tour of Udaipur, visiting the City Palace built in 1725.  The grand City Palace is actually a conglomerate of eleven palaces overlooking the sprawling Lake Pichola. One of the largest, most beautiful palaces in the state of Rajasthan, it is now a museum, royal residence and a luxury hotel. This intricately designed monument is an architectural wonder in granite and marble.

We also will enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola with its main attractions being the two palaces on the islands in the lake, Jagniwas and Jagmandir. Lake Pichola is about 4 km in length and 3 km. wide. Jagniwas was earlier the summer retreat of the prince of Mewar and is now a five-star hotel. The city palace extends along the eastern shore of the lake.

Overnight at hotel in Udaipur


   


Day 03: (Wednesday) Udaipur – Ranakpur – Jodhpur

We shall drive to Jodhpur en route visiting the famous Jain Houses at Ranakpur. After sightseeing we continue driving to Jodhpur. We shall also enjoy a visit to a Bishnoi Village an ancient and special tribal village of Jodhpur. There we will learn about the Bishnoi people. Bishnoi village minorities work as weavers and potters. This tribal village still preserves an unique and authentic lifestyle and its people love nature with zeal and dedicate their lives to preserve it.

After the visit, we shall check-in to the hotel. Jodhpur, A beautiful city, is also known as "BLUE CITY" because many of its houses are painted blue. Downtown, on a steep rocky hill 125 meters high, is the towering fortress Mehrangarh - "The Royal Fortress," which provides a wonderful lookout point of the city. Below the fort is the market of Jodhpur, Sadar, which is one of the most colorful variegated markets of Rajasthan. In market stalls can be found leather goods, spices, colored fabrics, sarees and traditional clothing, jewelery, incense and more.

Overnight at hotel in Jodhpur


Day 04:(Thursday) Jodhpur 
In the morning we shall have a guided tour of the massive Mehrangarh Fort - the most magnificent fort in Jodhpur.  Rao Jodha, the then chief of Rathore clan, constructed it in 1459. There are a number of attractions within the fort like several palaces, galleries, a museum, and so on. We shall see Jaswant Thada.  Jaswant Thada lies nearby  the Mehrangarh fort complex. It is a royal cenotaph made up of white marble. It was built to commemorate Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Some rare portraits of the former rulers of Jodhpur are also displayed here.

Overnight at hotel in Jodhpur


  


Day 05: (Friday)    Jodhpur – Pushkar

In the morning after breakfast, we shall drive to Pushkar. Upon arrival check-in at hotel.

We shall enjoy a short tour of main bazaar of Pushkar, a great place to buy souvenirs, clothes and handicrafts
Pushkar - is indeed a very small town in terms of India, but it is a "must see" site for many young Israelis. At the height of tourist season in Pushkar there are likely to be 500 of more Israelis. On the market's main street you will find signs in Hebrew, inviting Israelis to eat falafel and to surf the Internet. The average Israeli stays in Pushkar for two weeks!
Towards evening we shall return to hotel and have time to prepare for shabbat.
On Shabbat we'll be guests at the Chabad House Pushkar, where we will eat the Shabbat meals and experience the unique atmosphere of the Sabbath.  About 200 Israelis are gathered at the Chabad House and together intone "Yedid Nefesh" and "Lecha Dodi" and then they all sit down to Shabbes dinner, rich with melodies and singing
Shabbat prayers and shabbat meals at the Chabad House
Overnight at hotel in Pushkar

Alcoholic beverages, meat, chicken and fish products are not allowed in Pushkar.


Day 06: 06 Feb (Saturday)     Pushkar

Shabbat prayers and shabbat meals at the Chabad House
After the shabbat meal we shall enjoy a walking tour of Pushkar.
In the evening we shall enjoy a Rajasthani dance performance (Kalbelia Dance),
Overnight at hotel in Pushkar

  


Day 07: (Sunday)    Pushkar - Jaipur

In the morning we will enjoy an amazing camel ride. This trip is a historical journey back in time. The beginning of the journey will be in the deserts surrounding Pushkar, We will go through the desert reaching remote villages and experiencing ancient life as it was centuries ago. In the villages we'll see local families, and will be exposed to their special way of life

In the afternoon we will drive to Jaipur - the capital of the state of Rajasthan popularly also known as the 'PINK CITY' as the buildings in its old, walled city are all constructed in pink-colored sandstone. Jaipur owes its name, its foundation, and its careful planning to the great warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1699-1744). He laid out the city with its surrounding walls and six rectangular blocks by principles of town planning set out in an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. In 1728 he constructed the remarkable observatory, which is still one of Jaipur central attractions.
In the evening we will enjoy a Bollywood movie show at Raj Mandir, an impressive movie theater.

Overnight at hotel in Jaipur


Day 08:  (Monday) Jaipur

In the morning after breakfast we leave for an excursion to the splendid Amber Fort, an architectural masterpiece of great historical significance. Begun in the 16th century and built of red sandstone and marble, the seemingly rough exterior gives no hint of the warm and opulent ambiance of the interior, as we'll discover this morning. Here we also get an opportunity to ascend to the fort on decorated elephant back. We then proceed to visit milk market in Jaipur. Also we shall visit the old city of Jaipur with its very colorful market and people.

In the afternoon we shall visit the splendid City Palace & Museum which opens a door into the opulent world of the Rajput princes and the treasures with which they surrounded themselves. The City Palace complex is home to several palatial buildings constructed by influential rulers that reflect the blending of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. Maharaja Jai Singh II built Jantar Mantar, the world's biggest stone observatory, between 1727 and 1733 CE. It is impossible not to be amazed by the "tools" he used to study the heavens - and that still provide accurate information today. Later we will visit the Palace of Winds also known as Hawa Mahal, a five storied wonder with a spectacular pyramidal facade and overhanging windows with latticed screens, domes and spires.

We shall visit Galtaji temple popularly known as the Monkey Temple, due to the large tribe of monkeys who live here.

Overnight at hotel in Jaipur
  


Day 09:  (Tuesday) Jaipur - Agra

We shall drive to Agra en route visiting one of the most important places of Mughal era Fatehpur Sikri founded by Akbar in 1569 AD as a ceremonial capital. Unfortunately this magnificent city was abandoned due to scarcity of drinking water and Akbar went back to Agra.

After sightseeing we will continue our drive to Agra. On reaching Agra check in to hotel.

Later, we shall visit the massive Agra Fort, with splendid remains of sandstone and marble palaces. Agra Fort is located 2.5 miles from the Taj Mahal, and is actually a walled royal city. The most important kings of India lived in the fort, and every king immortalized his reign with a building which was characterized by the spirit of the period. Visiting the fort is a fascinating architectural historic journey.

Overnight at hotel in Agra
  


Day 10: 10 Feb (Wednesday) Agra - Delhi

In the morning we will enjoy the experience of a lifetime!  We will visit the Taj Mahal, one of the world's most admired architectural masterpieces. We will see this majestic marble-domed mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Parsee who died giving birth to their 14th child, to symbolize his unending love for her. The construction of the Taj began in 1630. Twenty thousand laborers worked for 23 years until the job was completed, thousands of elephants carried the red sandstone, and the building blocks were brought in from neighboring countries.

Later we shall drive to Delhi. Afternoon we shall continue on to Delhi and on arrival, enjoy a rickshaw ride on a busy central street of Old Delhi, the Chawri Bazar Road and the Chandni Chowk.

We shall make a poignant visit to Rajghat, the site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation and a memorial to this humble man who so changed the world.
Also visit the synagogue "Judah Chaim." Jews have lived in India since ancient times, and their communities are even mentioned in the Talmud

Overnight at hotel in Delhi
  


Day 11: (Thursday)   Delhi – Cochin 

In the morning we will drive pass India's bustling capital city the New Delhi visiting the Vijay Chowk, "Victory Square", the Presidential Palace with its intriguing combination of classical and Indian design elements and the India Gate memorializing Indian soldiers who died in World War I.

Delhi, this bustling capital, on the surface it is very much a symbol of developing, modern India but scattered throughout the city are testaments to Delhi's intriguing past. The vast Red Fort and the Jama Masjid Mosque, one of the largest in India, remain central to the old city's structure and are a wonderful introduction to the architectural splendors of northern India. Between the two run the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, where spice traders continue to ply their pungent wares in a scene unchanged for centuries

The designation of New Delhi as the British capital in 1911 heralded the construction of wide tree- lined streets and colonial architecture designed by Lutyens. Open parkland and imposing colonial buildings are connected by a series of vast boulevards that contrast markedly with the winding alleys of Old Delhi.

Later transfer to the airport to board the flight to Cochin. Arrive Cochin and transfer to hotel.

Overnight in Cochin


Day 12:  (Friday Cochin

Morning proceed to visit Chendamangalam situated in the Paravur taluk of the Ernakulam District.   It was for centuries the home to a Jewish community and a synagogue, yet by the close of the twentieth century not a single Jew resided in Chendamangalam. The Chendamangalam Synagogue sits near the center of the quiet village. The narrow lane, paved only in recent years, leading to the synagogue seems to dead end into the white-washed building, but then it splits and continues along both sides of the walled compound. The immediate area of the synagogue is a neighborhood of modest homes, some once Jewish owned, and a collection of small shops selling a variety of goods.  The Synagogue at Chendamangalam, constructed around the 17th century is of a traditional style, with a separate entrance for women. The land for it was provided by the family of Paliam, the traditional ministers of Kochi, who owned the village of  Chendamangalam at that time. The Department of Archaeology has recentlly conserved the synagogue using traditional materials, which was in a dilapidated state. A tomb inscription believed to belong to one of the early members of the synagogue is found in front of it. Many other tomb inscriptions have also been collected from the same site. On the east side of the synagogue, there is a cemetery about 400 meters long belonging to this synagogue. There is a display inside the synagogue, which is titled - The Jewish Synagogues in Kerala.
Later we shall tour the famous spice market of Cochin, walk the beach, and see the fishermen maintain the Chinese nets with which they fish.

Evening Shabbat prayer and dinner.
Overnight in Cochin


Day 13:   (Saturday) Cochin 

Shabbat prayer and meals in the hotel

After the shabbat meal we shall enjoy restful afternoon with a special interlude before mincha.

In the evening (after the end of shabbat) we shall drive  to Synagogue called "Pardesi."  In the synagogue we will observe handmade tiles made in China that were brought to Cochin 250 years ago.
We will get a special personal briefing from the synagogue's caretaker. We will see  the gold Torah crown that was given to the community 206 years ago by the king, and the copper plates - "a charter" given to first Jews who arrived Cochin 1100 years ago.

Overnight at hotel in Cochin

  


Day 14: 14 Feb (Sunday)   Cochin 

After breakfast we shall drive to Alleppey and enjoy a backwater cruise with lunch. We will make our way through the tropical countryside via the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey for which Kerala is very famous. A large part of Kerala's considerable charm lies in the backwaters, a network of canals that lead off Lake Vembanad. It is difficult not to be captivated by the local way of life. Seeing people travelling in narrow canoes, local ladies washing the pots at the side of the canal, and fishermen netting their daily meal in the shallows, one realizes how integral this network is to the life of the region. Villages, temples and churches stand along the banks and the area is also a haven for wildlife with wading birds, kingfishers and fish eagles. While sailing we shall enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget.

Late afternoon disembark at Alleppey and drive back to Cochin. We shall reach hotel toward evening.
In the evening, we shall enjoy a Kathakali dance performance.

Overnight at hotel in Cochin.
  


Day 15:(Monday) Cochin – Mumbai  Depart Mumbai (LY 072 : 2300 hrs)            

 After breakfast we transfer to the airport to board the flight to Mumbai. Arrive Mumbai and then begin our Jewish Heritage Tour including visit to Knesseth Eliahoo Synagogue (also known as Fort Jewish Synagogue), established in 1884 by Mr. Jacob Sassoon in memory of his father.

We then leave to visit the Magen David Synagogue - the huge beautiful building is a famous Jewish heritage point and tourist site.  It is located on the premises of the Jewish school and prayer services are held there every morning, shabbat, and every festival. The synagogue is open from 9 to 9 in evening, Magen David Synagogue was built in 1861 in Byculla, Mumbai by David Sassoon. It is a tall one-story building in the style of Victorian architecture. Its Gothic character with frontal pillars and clock tower is noteworthy. Magen David Synagogue has a beautiful tebah (reader's platform that marks the center of Sefardic synagogues) and hekhal (ark which holds Torahs in cases of hammered silver). Regular worship services are conducted here also. David Sassoon built an elementary school near the synagogue which is now the Sir Jacob Sassoon Free High School. The synagogue runs under the Sir Jacob Sassoon Charity Trust.

We shall visit Tiphereth Israel Synagogue -one of the oldest synagogues in Mumbai. It was started in 1886 in a rented building by the Bene Israel community of Mumbai and is now located at Rosh-Del-Villa in Jacob Circle. Tiphereth Israel Synagogue was formally known as Jacob Circle Prayer Hall. It is also called Kandlekaranchi Mashid. Sabbath worship services are conducted in the community hall, a place where religious studies take place and various other activities are held.
We later visit the ORT and meet Mr Benjamin Isaac.
Later we shall visit Gate of Mercy Synagogue or Juni Masjid established in 1796. The street on which the synagogue stands was named Samaji Street and is at present known as Samuel Street. The Synagogue celebrated its centenary in the year 1896 and then was renamed Shaar-Ha-Rahamim.
We shall also visit the colossal Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai's outdoor hand laundry, and the Gateway of India which is a monument built during the British Raj.

Later we shall drive to the airport to begin our journey home (LY 072: 2300 hrs)

THE  PROGRAM COST INCLUDES: 
Accommodations

Transportation

Activities:

Other Services provided

THE ABOVE PROGRAM COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:

 

VISA TO INDIA 
As of late 2014, India has introduced a 30 day Electronic Tourist Visa on Arrival which does not require a visit to an Indian mission in your home country. The Indian government is constantly adding to the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for the Electronic Tourist Visa, (e-Tourist Visa). This can be done 30- 7 days before landing.
You can find more details here:
https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html