Day 1: Mumbai Namaste and Welcome to India! Arrive in Mumbai and transfer to hotel. Dinner on your own.
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 and prepare for Shabbat.
Enjoy Shabbat services and a sumptuous kosher Indian-Baghdadi dinner with the community at the Knesseth Eliyahu synagogue. Walk back to hotel.
Day 3: Mumbai Walk to the Knesseth Eliyahu Synagogue for Shabbat services and a gourmet kosher Baghdadi feast. After lunch, optional heritage walk featuring the David Sassoon Library and Prince of Wales Museum with its huge collections of art, archaeology, and natural history. Dinner on your own.
Day 4: Mumbai - Cochin 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.
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. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Cochin Visit the dramatic Chinese fishing nets and the Saint Francis Church, the burial place of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who discovered India. Walk along Jew Street to the exquisite 450-year-old Paradesi Synagogue in Mattancherry; explore the area’s antique shops and spice markets. Lunch at local restaurant. Dinner on your own and overnight at hotel.
Day 6: 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 on your own and overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Cochin-Jaipur Visit the amazing synagogue in Ernakulam, part of Cochin (it's hidden behind an aquarium and garden shop) before flying to Jaipur, the "Pink City of India." The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is nestled in India's mountains. Dinner on your own and overnight at hotel.
Day 8: 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. Take time to shop in this beautiful city, known for textiles, jewelry and carpets. Lunch on your own. Home hospitality dinner, and overnight at hotel.
Day 9: 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 at the hotel.
Day 10: 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 and dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: 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. Dinner on your own and overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Agra-Delhi Return by road to Delhi. En route, stop at Agra’s Red Fort and Kohinoor, a private museum with an amazing tapestry collection. Packed lunch included. Transfer to International Airport for flights home or post-tours. Namaste!