Jewish PilgrimageDuration: 11 Nights / 12 Days
Destinations Covered: Mumbai - Cochin (Kochi) and Kolkata
Day 1- Arrival in Mumbai
Arrive Mumbai and meet the representative at the arrival hall and transfer to hotel.
Day 2- In Mumbai
Morning walking tour of Mumbai. Afternoon visit Tifereth Synagogue and arrive for evening service at Magen David Synagogue (1830 hrs)
Day 3- In Mumbai
Optional 06.30 hrs service at Gate of Mercy Synagogue for those who observe Shabbat; independent morning. Full day tour for those who do not observe Shabbat: Visit the Prince of Wales Museum which is Indo Saracenic architecture in keeping with the Gateway, but the dome of glazed tiles gives it a very Persian and Central Asian flavor. The museum also houses an excellent collection or jade and silver jewelry and Indian miniature paintings. On the way to the Hanging Gardens we will pass the Victorian Gothic buildings of the city, stopping at the most remarkable of them all, the Victoria Terminus built in 1878. The Hanging Gardens offer a panoramic view of the harbor and a glimpse of the Towers of Silence, the rather unusual crematorium of the Parsi community. Visit for a picture stop at the Dhobi Ghat a sight unique to Mumbai at the end.
Day 4- In Mumbai
Full day excursion south of Mumbai to the rocky outcrop, where the legend of the Bnei Yisrael started. The story is that 7 men and 7 women survived a shipwreck in the time of Solomon. They became oil pressers and remained in the area. There are a few shuls there and still Jews doing oil pressing today. The area is also considered to be the holiest shrine for the Bene Israelies of Mumbai. This is where it is believed Saint Elijah arrived on his chariot and the mark can be seen on the rock.
Day 5- In Mumbai
Morning visit the Mazgaon School, which we tour and then meet with the school administrators. Later visit the ORT school in Worli.
Day 6- To Cochin
In time transfer to airport to board flight for Cochin. Arrive Cochin and transfer to hotel. Later walking tour of Cochin including the heritage zone, which has preserved the original architecture of the city. Also visit St Francis Church and the Chinese fishing nets, which line the mouth of Cochin harbor. In the evening witness a Kathakali performance.
Day 7- In Cochin
In the morning, visit the Jewish Community and the beautiful Pardesi Synagogue. This Synagogue was built by Samuel Castile, David Bella, Ephraim Salad and stands on the grounds of the Maharaja of Cochins residence. Later walk to the Mattancherry Palace, which was commissioned by the Portuguese for the raja of Kochi in exchange for trading rights. The palace is two storeys high and is built in the traditional Kerala style known as nalukattu (four buildings). Afternoon sunset cruise on the backwaters of Kerala.
Day 8- To Kolkata
In time transfer to airport to board flight for Mumbai. Arrive Mumbai and connect flight for Kolkota. Arrive Kolkata and transfer to hotel.
Day 9- In Kolkata
Morning visit the Neveh Shalome Synagogue, established in 1825, the first Synagogue in Kolkatta. Also visit Magen David Synagogue, built by Mr. Elias David Joseph Esra in memory of his father Mr. David Joseph Esra. It is a charming walk to this synagogue. Visit the Nahoum Bakery, owned by a Jewish family. Evening service at Magen David Synagogue.
Day 10- In Kolkata
Optional morning services at synagogue. Later visit to Indian cultural sights of interest including the Dakshineswar Kali temple built in 1847. Also visit Kumartuli, the home of the kumars or potters who all year round preparing clay images for pujas and festivals, visit the Victoria Memorial, the white marble monument to Queen Victoria designed in Italian Renaissance Mughal style; St Pauls Cathedral is the original metropolitan church of British India completed in 1847; and Sishu Bhavan, one of Mother Theresas many homes for the underprivileged.
Day 11- In Kolkata
Morning visit The Marble Palace. Boasting 99 different varieties of marble, the house has an extraordinary collection of paintings, some of great value. Also visit University of Performing Art, which has a small but charming museum dedicated to the poet laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, Bengals favorite son.
Day 12- Depart Kolkata
Sabbath prayers and walking tour in Calcutta. Dinner at hotel. Transfer to airport for flight to Transfer to international airport.