Explore the kaleidoscopic diversity!

At times both awe-inspiring and overwhelming, mesmerizing and maddening, a trip to India is an extraordinary, eye-opening, knee-weakening journey. Together we’ll go beyond yoga and chai, exploring four independently multifaceted cities of India—a nation host to a sixth of the world’s population, and larger and more diverse than the entire continent of Europe.

Join our expert guides as we marvel at the architectural wonders of the Mughal Empire in Delhi and Agra before jetting to the bustling financial capital of Mumbai, a city that rivals New York for vibrancy. In Mumbai, the historic seat of Judaism in India, we’ll connect with the small but thriving community for Shabbat. Then we’ll float down the picturesque backwaters of Kerala in a traditional vessel and explore the backstreets of Kochi.

Travel to the ever-changing India and enliven the senses during the trip of a lifetime. We will explore the crossroads of cultures, entrepreneurship, and community building at home and abroad.

All you need to secure your space is $199 and you’ll enjoy this trip for a total of just $2,999. Hurry and book your spot, as this trip will sell out!


 

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Joining you will be:

 

Shalom Klein is a sought-after business consultant, well-regarded community activist and entrepreneur. Shalom hosts the popular “Get Down to Business with Shalom Klein” radio show in Chicago. Shalom has worked with businesses and community organizations around the country in developing strategies for external affairs and marketing success. 

 

 

 

Becky Adelberg is the Founder of Community Connect Consulting and a frequent lecturer on various topics ranging from community building and outreach to entrepreneurship and vision to strategic partnerships. Becky also serves as the Chicago coordinator for Reboot, a Jewish think tank, is a mentor at 1871 Chicago and a voice over artist. Throughout her professional career she has conceptualized and overseen various educational and social programming, travel abroad and entrepreneurship programs. She has a track record for being a community connector.

This exciting journey is in partnership with the Skokie Chamber of Commerce and Steppin’ Out Adventures.


As well as a strong cohort of intrepid travelers!


Itinerary

Day One—October 15, 2018—दल्ली में आपका स्वागत है (Welcome to Delhi)

  • After an overnight flight, arrive in at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Meet our guide—one of the best in Rajasthan—and your hosts before transferring to your elegant hotel in the middle of the city.

Accommodations: The Park Hotel New Delhi

Day Two—October 16, 2018—Rickshaws and Roti

  • After a hearty breakfast of chole bhature, Punjabi chickpeas and fried bread, perhaps with a mango lassi, we’ll explore the capital of the Mughal Empire, Old Delhi.
  • Ramble through the Red Fort, the emperor’s residence for over 200 years. Then wander Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1650. Together, these creations are generally regarded as the zenith of Mughal creativity.
  • Board your cycle rickshaw for a tour of the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk (Moonlight Square) and glimpse an old-world lifestyle in one of India’s oldest and busiest markets.
  • We will expand our spice repertoire in a local restaurant, where you can enjoy the savory street food chaat.
  • Next, we’ll cruise through New Delhi, passing India Gate, the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace, the parliament building, and other ornate government complexes completed just before India gained independence.
  • We’ll continue to the Lotus Temple, the Bahá’í House of Worship. Notable for its flowerlike shape, it is a marvel of modern architecture.
  • End the day with a visit to Humayun’s Tomb, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. A fine example of Mughal architecture and gender parity, this was constructed by Hamida Banu Begum for her husband, rather than by a husband for his wife.
  • Over a welcome dinner, get to know your fellow travelers while sopping up spiced curry with roti and rice.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodations: The Park Hotel New Delhi

Day Three—October 17, 2018—Monument to Love

  • All aboard! Start early this morning on your way to Agra. Grab your prepared breakfast from the hotel and head to the station to board the Gatimaan Express, India’s fastest train. The Mughals, in their 300-year rule of India, were great builders, and some of their best architectural wonders are preserved in Agra.
  • Admire India as it wakes up, teaming with early morning life around the countryside from your air-conditioned executive class carriage.
  • Witness the grandeur of the famed monument to love, the Taj Mahal. Said to be one of the most elegant and harmonious buildings in the world, the white marble mausoleum was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630 to enshrine the remains of his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal. Considered the premier architectural achievement of Indo-Islamic architecture, the Taj Mahal exemplifies the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in architecture and garden design, painting, and calligraphy.
  • After an awe-inspiring morning, we will head to a local restaurant for a hearty lunch of briyani and naan with gorgeous views of the sites.
  • In the afternoon, tucked in a bend of the Yamuna River, walk in the steps of emperors at the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enter through two imposing gates of red sandstone and sense the bygone power of the Mughal Empire. Encircled by a moat, this dramatic city within a city was the palace of three emperors, each of whom made significant contributions to the wonderful architecture of the inner buildings— a combination of Persian and Hindu styles.
  • After the tour, relax on the drive back to Delhi and spend the evening comparing photos and resting up for our continued adventure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodations: The Park Hotel New Delhi

Day Four—October 18, 2018—Bustling Bollywood

  • Arise early for breakfast and check out of our Delhi hotel, before transferring to the airport for your flight to Mumbai.
  • After a two-hour flight, arrive at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Also known as Bombay from its British colonial past life, this city is young and lively. The confluence of varied cultural currents and 22 million people have given Mumbai a unique position as the most multi-ethnic city of India.
  • We will head into Bandra—a suburb known for having the city’s most vibrant street art and being home to the Bollywood rich and famous—for East Indian flavors in our delicious lunch.
  • After lunch, we shimmy our way into Bollywood. Your guide will regale you with facts, stories and insider gossip about the movie capital of the world. If we’re lucky, we may get asked to be extras in a nearby shoot.
  • We will head to a classic single-screen cinema near our hotel, where you will experience the whole extravaganza! The guffaws, the sighs, the singing! You’ll be right in the heart.
  • After a long day of exploration, we’ll head to our funky four-star hotel and check-in, enjoying the rest of the evening at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodations: The Gordon House Hotel Mumbai

Day Five—October 19, 2018—Connect with Mumbai’s Jewish Community

  • Enjoy a breakfast of pani puri and ragda patties, Mumbai breakfast treats, before experiencing a guided Jewish heritage tour.
  • First, we’ll admire the architecturally-stunning Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, with its beautiful blue interiors.
  • Then wander down the street to the David Sassoon Library. Built by the famous Baghdadi Jewish philanthropist, the heritage structure holds in trust a collection of the world’s rarest books.
  • Next, visit the oldest synagogue in Mumbai, the Shaar Harahamim, or Gate of Mercy Synagogue. The synagogue was built in 1796 by Samaji Hasaji Divekar, a Bene Israeli—the historic community of Jews in India that became influential in the early days of Bollywood.
  • Towering over the buildings in the area, with a uniquely Gothic feel, we’ll tour the Magen David Synagogue, known for its beautiful hekhal ark and tebah, marking the center of the Sefardic synagogue. We will speak with the members of the community here about their weekly worship services.
  • Continue towards the stunning Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum (formerly the Victoria and Albert Museum)—the oldest museum in Mumbai. Enjoy a curatorial tour of the museum, now a treasure trove of the decorative and industrial arts and replete with a formidable contemporary collection.
  • Drive along the palm tree-lined Marine Drive, the seafront boulevard that earned the nickname “Queen’s Necklace” for its resemblance to fine jewelry when the streetlights brighten the skyscraper-studded promenade.
  • Visit Mani Bhavan, a memorial dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi, who focused his political activities against British rule at the mansion here between 1917 and 1934.
  • In the evening, attend Shabbat services at the famous Chabad House and enjoy Shabbat dinner along with the local Jewish community.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodations: The Gordon House Hotel Mumbai

Day Six—October 20, 2018—A Day in the Life in the Business Capital

  • For those early risers, explore Mumbai at dawn, offering a fascinating glimpse on what makes this city tick—from hundreds of vendors sorting the newspapers in 7 different languages, to the bustle of 20 tons of fish being auctioned. Once you’ve seen the milkmen drive past with canisters, the mélange of colors at the flower markets, and the chaos of 100 tons of vegetables, fruits and meat arriving at market, you’ll have witnessed the mercurial character of a raw Mumbai.
  • Return to the hotel for a hearty brunch. When we walk the same lanes later, you’ll see no evidence of our morning’s hustle and bustle.
  • With a Six Sigma rating, the Dabbawalas that deliver Mumbai’s office workers homemade lunches in pails have redefined logistics. At the Churchgate railway station, we’ll see these logistical supermen of Mumbai at work. Like, Richard Branson and Prince Charles, who are ardent fans of their work, we will stand in wonder as they organize the lunchbox delivery with a speed and precision that on-demand delivery services in the U.S. strive for.
  • Next, visit the Dhobi Ghat, the 140-year-old British-era site of the world’s largest open-air laundry. Watch as workers beat, wring, hang, iron and code millions of pieces of laundry daily.
  • Savor the seafood creations of this coastal city at one of the best restaurants for the fresh catch in town.

Meals: Brunch, Dinner

Accommodations: The Gordon House Hotel Mumbai

Day Seven—October 21, 2018—Queen of the Arabian Sea

  • Transfer this morning to the airport and fly to the Cochin International Airport in Kochi. We’ll transfer to our heritage hotel and settle in before lunch.
  • Kochi—or as the British termed it, Cochin—is spread across islands in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Kerala Backwaters. The city was founded in 1341 when a flood created a natural safe port, which became the principal harbor for Malabar Coast’s spice trade, giving it the nickname ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea.’ The rulers invited people of various religions to settle here.
  • In the evening, we will visit a local theatre to experience Kathakali. Literally meaning “story dance,” it is the pantomimic dance drama, where expressive dance and acting are blended together with elaborate makeup, masks, and costumes.
  • Enjoy dinner in the afterglow of the kaleidoscopic performance at a local post-theatre favorite.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodations: The Waterfront Granary

Day Eight—October 22, 2018—Floating Along Kerala

  • After a leisurely morning and breakfast, we will drive to Alleppey to board a Kettuvallam, a traditional houseboat, and spend hours drifting through the backwaters of Kerala. The Kettuvallam, or ‘boat with knots,’ are made of planks of wood joined together with just with coir knots, and with proper maintenance, can last for generations. Voyage through a network of palm-fringed canals, lakes, lagoons and estuaries stretching over almost 1000 square miles in one of these marvelous traditional vessels.
  • As we float along, lunch will be served aboard as we enjoy the picturesque hamlets and paddy fields that line the banks, the 19th-century Alappuzha Lighthouse, migratory birds in abundance, water lilies and coconut groves.
  • Once we’re through with our day of languid exploration, we will disembark the boat and drive back to our four-star heritage hotel in Kochi for an evening at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodations: The Waterfront Granary

Day Nine—October 23, 2018—From Backwaters to Backstreets to Back Home

  • This morning, you can have at your leisure as you Ready your luggage and check-out of the hotel.
  • We’ll bid adieu to this array of Indian delights at a farewell lunch, where we’ll marvel over our shared indelible memories.
  • Once we’ve had our last sips of chai and bites of naan.  We have a guided walking tour through the bustling harbor area and quaint backstreets to discover Kochi’s rich and multifaceted past.
  • Visit the 400-year-old Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. Stepping inside is an uplifting experience, offered in part by the 18th-century blue Cantonese ceramic tile flooring, each unique and hand painted. To this day, it remains one of the most beautiful Jewish sites in India.
  • Walk through Jew Town, which abounds with antique shops and wares. As a somewhat strange tourism ploy, Jew Town—once a thriving community—now consists of kitsch signage and is maintained by a group of six Paradesi Jews continuing the traditions.
  • We’ll next stroll to the Mattancherry Palace, a gift from the Dutch once home to kings, and today a fine museum with an exceptional collection of Hindu temple art.
  • In the evening, transfer to the airport to board your homeward flight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Program Inclusions

The Program Includes

    • All activities, sightseeing, and entry fees listed in the itinerary.
    • All meals listed in the itinerary.
    • Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach, as well as transfers for the group as appropriate.
    • Bottled water during all excursions.
    • The services of an exceptional bilingual tour guide as described in the itinerary.
    • Comprehensive cultural information and reading materials.
    • All gratuities for participants and staff to cover porterage, drivers, wait staff at group meals, guides, and tour directors.

The Program Does Not Include

    • Flights to and from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).
    • Indian visa application fees.
    • Expenses of a purely personal nature (including cab fares, laundry and other personal items, room service charges, passport application fees, etc.).
    • Transportation of luggage in excess of weight allowance.
    • Travel insurance.
    • Food and beverage other than that specified in the itinerary.
    • Costs associated with trip interruption or modification due to weather, travel conditions, political/civil disputes, medical emergencies or other causes beyond our control.

Payment

A $199 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot as we have a very limited capacity, and we expect the trip to fill extremely quickly. The trip will cost $2,999—the $199 deposit plus $2,800 final payment—and will cover all fixed costs including internal transportation, accommodations in India, and activities as listed in the itinerary. Rates based on double occupancy. If you are a solo traveler who would prefer a room of their own there is a single supplement payment of $699.

Incredible India Trip Deposit

Secure your spot on this 9-day unbelievable networking event with a $199 nonrefundable deposit. We will follow up with a final invoice and full registration information via email.

Please contact Insider staff at india@insiderexpeditions.com or +1 (929) 399-4975 with any questions about the itinerary, logistics, and payment.

$199.00
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Payments    
Deposit $199 Charged immediately
Final Payment $2,800
Total Trip Cost $2,999


The Fine Print

Itineraries and pricing are subject to change. This particular tour has been designed with specific events and lectures in mind, and schedules and availabilities may change in coming months. If any activity or person that is advertised is missed or not available, it will be replaced with an activity or person of equal interest and value.

A final itinerary and briefing packet will be ready in the weeks prior to the trip. All reservations are final and subject to our cancellation policy. By submitting your payment, you agree to the Terms & Conditions.

Please contact Insider staff at india@insiderexpeditions.com or +1 (929) 399-4975 with any questions about the itinerary, logistics, and payment.