Travel

AACI India   

10 December 2018 - 25 December 2018
Locations: Cochin, Delhi, Mumbai, Rajastan
taj mahal4

 

Few countries in the world creates such a deep, lasting impression as India does. Sitting upon layers of history, there is perhaps no other country on earth that is home to such marked contrasts. From the skyscrapers of Mumbai to the villages of Rajasthan, India loads the senses with its sounds, colors and contradictions. No AACI trip would be complete without delving into local Jewish history, we will visit synagogues and communities every place we go.  Enjoy all this plus fresh catered meals from Chabad, for breakfast and dinner. Our tour will have a full time staff member who will insure that all our kosher needs are met. Join us on this unforgettable adventure! 

Sunday, December 9, 2018
Meet at Ben Gurion at 20:00 for our overnight flight to Mumbai. Bon Voyage!

Monday, December 10, 2018 – Mumbai-Udaipurudaipur
Traditional welcome on arrival at Mumbai’s International airport followed by domestic 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.

Upon arrival at Udaipur we enjoy a welcome boat ride on Lake Pichola whose main attractions are 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 previously 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 stay in Udaipur.

Tuerajasthani dancesday, December 11, 2018 – Udaipur
After breakfast proceed for a full day guided city tour visiting 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. Drive around Fatehsagar Lake to view: the Jagdish Temple, the largest and most venerated temple of Udaipur built by Maharana Fateh Singh in 1754 CE;  and Sahelion-Ki-Bari, consisting of an ornamental pool with delicately carved cenotaphs of black and white marble and soft stone.

Overnight stay in Udaipur.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 – Udaipur–Ranakpur–Jodhpur
We bid farewell to Udaipur and drive to Jodhpur, en route visiting the famous Jain Houses at Ranakpur.  Ranakpur is a village located in the lush green valley of Aravalli mountain ranges in Pali district of Rajasthan, in western India. It is home to one of the largest and most important Jain temple complexes of India, covering an area of nearly 48,000 square feet, and has 29 halls, 80 domes and is supported by 1444 marble pillars, each of them intricately and artistically carved, yet no two of them are alike. 

On arrival in Jodhpur, check in to hotel.

Overnight stay in Jodhpur.

mehrangarth fortThursday, December 13 , 2018 – Jodhpur
In the morning enjoy 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 such as several palaces, galleries, and a museum. We shall see Jaswant Thada which lies nearby the Mehrangarh fort complex. It is a royal cenotaph made of white marble. It was built to commemorate Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Some rare portraits of the former rulers of Jodhpur are also displayed here.

In the afternoon we shall also enjoy a visit to a Bishnoi Village, an ancient and special tribal village of Jodhpur where we will learn about the Bishnoi people. Bishnoi village minorities work as weavers and potters. This tribal village still preserves a unique and authentic lifestyle and its people love nature with zeal and dedicate their lives to preserve it.

Overnight stay in Jodhpur.

pushkar2Friday, December 14 , 2018 – Jodhpur–Pushkar
Bid farewell to Jodphur and drive to Pushkar via the Rajastani desert. Upon arrival check in to hotel. We begin with a short orientation tour of the town.  Pushkar – is a “must see” site for many young Israelis. At the height of the tourist season, there are likely to be more than 500 Israelis in Pushkar. On the market’s main street you will find signs in Hebrew, inviting Israelis to eat falafel and to surf the Internet. Towards evening we shall return to our hotel and have time to prepare for Shabbat.

Saturday, December 15, 2018 – (Shabbat) Pushkar
On Shabbat we will be guests at the Chabad House Pushkar, where we will eat Shabbat meals and experience the unique atmosphere. About 200 Israelis usually gather at the Chabad House and together intone “Yedid Nefesh” and “Lecha Dodi” and then they pushkarall sit down to Shabbat dinner.

In the afternoon, after Shabbat lunch, enjoy a walking tour of Pushkar.

 In the evening after Shabbat, enjoy a Rajasthani dance performance (Kalbelia Dance)

Overnight stay in Pushkar.

Sunday, December 16, 2018 – Pushkar–Jaipur (by surface: 130 km/ 03 hr)
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 desert surrounding Pushkar. We will go through the desert reaching remote villages and experiencing ancient life as it was centuries ago.

In the afternoon we continue with a drive to Jaipur, also known as the ‘PINK CITY’ as the buildings in its old, walled city are all constructed from pink-colored sandstone. Start with a visit to Galtaji temple, popularly known as the Monkey Temple, due to the large tribe of monkeys who live here.jaipur

Overnight stay in Jaipur.

Monday, December 17, 2018 – Jaipur
In the morning, 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 a decorated elephant back. We then proceed to visit the milk market in Jaipur.

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.

In the evening we will enjoy a Bollywood movie show at Raj Mandir, an impressive movie theater.

Overnight stay in Jaipur.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 – Jaipur–Agrataj mahal2
We shall drive to Agra en route visiting Step Well. After sightseeing we will continue our drive to Agra. On reaching Agra we visit the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most admired architectural masterpieces. This majestic marble-domed mausoleum was 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.

Overnight stay in Agra.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018  – Agra–Delhi
In the morning we visit the massive Agra Fort, with splendid remains of sandstone and marble palaces. Agra Fort is located delhi2.5 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.

Later drive to Delhi. On arrival visit Judah Hyam Synagogue.

Overnight stay in Delhi.

Thursday, December 20, 2018 – Delhi–Cochin
Set out for a city tour of Delhi. We will explore and experience Old Delhi, the capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 20th centuries. Enjoy a rickshaw ride in Chawri Bazar Road and Chandni Chowk followed by a visit to Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. Pay tribute at Rajghat, the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation and a memorial to this humble man who so changed the world.

Tour Vijay Chowk, “Victory Square”, stop over at the Presidential Palace with its intriguing combination of elements of classical and Indian design and the India Gate memorializing Indian soldiers who died in World War I.

Late evening transfer to Delhi airport on time to connect with the flight to Cochin.

On arrival at Cochin airport transfer to the hotel.
Overnight stay in Cochin.

Mattancherry_palace_muralsFriday, December 21, 2018 – Cochin
In the morning we visit The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry, renowned for its wall murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana.

Later we will view St. Francis Church, from the outside, the oldest European church in India.

After that we drive to visit Chendamangalam situated in 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 Department of Archaeology has recently conserved the synagogue, which was in a dilapidated state, using traditional materials. A tomb inscription believed to belong to one of the early members of the synagogue is found in front of it. 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.

Return to Fort Cochin for Shabbat.

Evening Shabbat prayer and dinner.

Overnight stay in Cochin.

Saturday, December 22, 2018 – (Shabbat) Cochin
After Shabbat morning prayers and lunch , we will set out on a walking tour of Fort Cochin, the commercial hub of Kerala, a town of great historical importance. It has one of the finest natural harbors and is called the “Queen of the Arabian SeaIn the evening we will attend a”. We will visit the fish market and Jew Town. The Chinese fishing nets are huge cantilevered fishing nets believed to have been brought to Kochi by Chinese traders.

 Kathakali Dance Show.

Overnight stay in Cochin.

Sunday, December 23, 2018 – Cochin–Mumbairickshaw
After check-out, we will have a rickshaw tour of Kumarakom village in the Kerala backwaters. See this picturesque town surrounded by canals. Next, we board a Country Boat (shikara), and make our way over a lake, flanked by green vegetation, to the Manjira Village.

We will stop over near the village Jetty and enter a village house – we will learn how times have changed, and how to climb a coconut tree! At the end of your training session treat yourself to fresh tender coconut. We will also experience Coir–Making – basket and mat weaving. It is an interesting form of livelihood confined to the villages in Kerala. Try your hand at coir-making as our guide explains the basic steps involved. Next try Net Fishing – a skilled fisherman of Manjira, will show you some tried and true fishing tips. Watch in awe as he casts a net and catches a few fish with ease. Toddy Tapping – your next stopover, will see you in high spirits. Toddy, fresh from the pot is considered a specialty in these parts. Watch toddy being tapped from a coconut tree close up.

Straight after the tour we transfer to Cochin airport in time to connect with the flight for Mumbai.

On arrival at Mumbai enjoy dinner, and then check in at the hotel.

Overnight stay in Mumbai.

Afterwards we begin our Jewish Heritage Tour including a 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.

We shall visit Tiphereth Israel Synagogue -one of the oldest synagogues in Mumbai. It was founded 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.

Overnight stay in Mumbai.

Monday, December 24, 2018 – Mumbai
We will go on a guided city tour, visiting the colossal Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai’s outdoor hand laundry, and the Gateway of India which is a monument built during the British Raj.

Afterwards we begin our Jewish Heritage Tour including a 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.

We shall visit Tiphereth Israel Synagogue -one of the oldest synagogues in Mumbai. It was founded 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.

Overnight stay in Mumbai.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018 – Mumbai – Tel Aviv
After breakfast transfer to Mumbai airport to connect with the flight back home.

Flight Schedule
LY71 Dec 9 departure 20:00 from Tel Aviv arrival at 07:25 Mumbai (Dec 10)
LY74 Dec 25 departure 13:00 from Mumbai arrival at 17:40 Tel Aviv (Dec 25)

 

Price: AACI members $5,585 per person in a double room
Non- AACI members add $50 per person in a double room
Single supplement $835

 Price Includes:

  • Round trip flights on EL AL from Israel
  • All domestic flights
  • 15 night’s 5 star deluxe hotel accommodation (aside from Pushkar)
  • Kosher meals: daily breakfasts in hotels + lunch boxes. catered dinners from Chabad
  • Transportation in air-conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including all entrance fees
  • Israeli English-speaking tour leader
  • Porterage at hotels and all tips
  • Water on bus
  • Individual wireless headphones
  • AACI staff escort

Not included:

  • Indian Visa
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in Price includes
  • Travel/Medical insurance

Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary is subject to change.

Payment:
Deposit of $400 per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by October 1, 2018

Cancellation fee:
Cancellation from time of registration until October 1, 2018: $400 per person
Cancellation between October 2-October 20, 2018: $1200 per person
Cancellation from October 20-November 10: 50% of Price
Cancellation from November 11 to day of departure: 100% of Price

India 2018 Registration Form (002)

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