Imperial India: Find your ancestors!

A 14-day tour in India which traces the history of the British Raj from its last capital in Delhi to its original capital in Kolkata. On the way between these two major cities we will visit Meerut, with its large army cantonment: Lucknow and Cawnpore with memories of the Mutiny of 1857; and a short river trip to see the old Danish settlement at Serampore and the one-time French colony at Chandernagore with its little graveyard.

Imperial India: Find your ancestors!

A tour for family historians with relatives buried in northern India and for everyone interested in spectacular old cemeteries.
A BACSA Group Tour
Led by Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones MBE
Wednesday 17 October – Tuesday 30 October 2018

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones

You will be accompanied by Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, an experienced tour leader and an authority on colonial India with a special interest in Lucknow. As a member of both BACSA and FIBIS, Rosie is well attuned to what people really want to see when they visit India. There will be lively evening lectures to prepare visitors for sightseeing the following day.

We know that people on the tour may have specific requests and family graves to visit. We encourage you to let us know about these in advance, so we can research and incorporate them into our visits.

Itinerary
London Delhi Lucknow  Cawnpore & Bithur  Kolkata Serampore & Chandernagore • Kolkata London

(Meals: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)

Day 1
Departure from London Heathrow by Emirates Airlines EK30 at 16:55 vai Dubai. Flights from other regional UK airports i.e Gatwick, Manchester, New Castle, Glasgow are available on request.

Day 2
Afternoon Talk and Welcome Dinner. 3 nights at Maidens Hotel

Arrive Delhi 09:05, meet and transfer to Maidens Hotel in the old city.

Afternoon: visit Kashmiri Gate, where the recapture of Delhi by the British began in September 1857. Nearby is St James’s Church (Skinner’s Church) built by Colonel James Skinner (known as Sikander Sahib) in fulfilment of a vow when he was wounded in battle. Son of a Scots Colonel and a Rajput princess, he founded the celebrated Skinner’s Horse. The Skinner family graveyard is here as well as the tomb of William Fraser, British agent at the Delhi Court and one of the five Fraser brothers who came to India to seek their fortunes. Only one brother, James, was to return home to Scotland.

Evening: Welcome dinner at the hotel. (D)

Day 3
1.1

Heritage Walk in Old Delhi

Morning: Visit Nicholson’s Cemetery, Flagstaff House, the Ridge and Mutiny Memorial with Dr Swapna Liddle (INTACH representative for the Delhi Chapter).

Afternoon: Imperial Delhi – Planned by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker when the British capital was moved here from Kolkata in 1911. Visit India Gate, which commemorates soldiers who died in the First World War, and the pleasant Prithvi Raj Road Cemetery. Optional shopping at Khan Market/Cottage Industries Emporium in Janpath.

Evening: Dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 4

Full Day Tour to Meerut

After breakfast leave for Meerut where the Indian Mutiny – or Uprising as it called today – began. Explore St. John’s Church, the cemetery and the Parade ground in the Cantonment where some of the British Army officers’ bungalows still exist. Drive past the residence of Lt. Col. Carmichael Smyth. He is considered by many to be responsible for the mutiny of 10 May 1857 by forcing his troopers into accepting the controversial cartridges. Their refusal led to the court martial of 85 sepoys which subsequently triggered the Mutiny.

Return to Delhi, via Badli-ki-Serai, the dilapidated monument to the decisive battle that took place here on 8 June 1857 and marked the start of the siege of Delhi. (B,L,D)

Day 5

By train to Lucknow . 3 nights at the LeBua Hotel

Early morning transfer to New Delhi railway station to board Shatabadi Express Train in 1st class A/C compartment. Breakfast on board train. Transfer to LeBua boutique hotel.

Afternoon: visit the British Residency, scene of the eighteen-week siege endured by Britons, Anglo-Indians and Indian sympathisers in 1857. The survivors were only rescued in November of that year, by the concerted efforts of Generals Havelock, Campbell and Outram. Walk to the newly refurbished Lal Barahdari, the throne-room of the Nawabs of Awadh.

Dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 6
Morning: Visit the Bara Imambara, a place of worship for the Shi’a community, and the adjoining Rumi Darwaza, both built by the wealthy Nawab Asaf-ud-daula, who moved his capital here in 1775. Followed by a visit to the Hussainabad Picture Gallery and the Nishatganj Cemetery, where Walter Burley Griffin, the American architect who designed Canberra, is buried.

Lunch: on the upper terrace of the Golf Club, with its peaceful view of the course and the grave of Augustus Mayne at the 18th hole.

Afternoon: Visit the grave of General Havelock at Alambagh, followed by tea at La Martinière Boys College, by kind permission of the Principal, and a tour of the grounds, including the tomb of Brigadier Hodson, founder of Hodson’s Horse. La Martinière is one of six schools funded by Major General Claude Martin, a Frenchman who joined the English East India Company and who was the richest European in India at the time of his death in 1800. We visit his basement tomb and marvel at this extraordinary palace that he created. (B,L,D)

Day 7
Grave imageDay excursion to Cawnpore and Bithur

Morning: drive to All Soul’s Church, erected to the memory of Britons killed during 1857. Walk round Wheeler’s Entrenchment, where the British held out during the scorching month of June. Visit Sati Chaura Ghat – the Massacre Ghat on the banks of the Ganges, little altered from the dark days of the Mutiny and ponder at the now hidden Bibighar Well site in Nana Rao Sahib park.

Afternoon: drive to nearby Bithur, a deserted town where 130 Britons who had fled down river from Fatehgarh were massacred by Nana Sahib’s men.

Return to Lucknow hotel for dinner. (B,D)

Day 8

Day at leisure (optional trip to Musa Bagh, now in ruins, the ‘last stand’ of Begam Hazrat Mahal during the Mutiny) and/or walk round Hazratganj and Qaisarbagh, the palace of the last king of Awadh.

An evening of Nawabi entertainment. (B,D)

Day 9
Fly Lucknow to Kolkata 6E 857 dep 1150 arr 1315 – 5 nights at the Oberoi Grand, Chowringhee

Afternoon: South Park Street Cemetery. The grandest cemetery in South Asia, South Park Street predates Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris by half a century. Opened in 1767 on what was then the outskirts of the city, it was already full by the early 19th century. The great and the good of old Kolkata are here – Sir William Jones, the Hon. George Monson and his wife Lady Anne, Rose Aylmer, the muse of Walter Savage Landor, Henry de Rozario, the celebrated Anglo-Indian poet, and many more.

Followed by Afternoon Tea at Fleury’s on Park Street

Dinner at the Exclusive Bengal Club. (B,D)

Day 10
Victoria Memorial KolkataMorning: Visit the High Court and walk past Government House (now Raj Bhawan) built by Lord Wellesley, who said in justification of its enormous cost ‘India should be governed from a Palace, not a counting house.’ Visit St John’s Church (built 1784) with its painting of The Last Supper by Johann Zoffany and its beautiful marble memorials. Outside, in the first Kolkata cemetery, are the tombs of Job Charnock, the founder of British Kolkata, and Begum Johnson, who outlived four husbands. Also here is the Black Hole memorial, erected by Lord Curzon. Walk past the Lal Dighi (the Great Tank), the General Post Office (on the site of the first Fort William), Writers’ Buildings and St Andrew’s Kirk.

Afternoon: coach tour to north Kolkata visiting the Marble Palace, (if its open), the Subhas Chandra Bose Museum and Jorosanko, the home of Rabindranath Tagore, Bengal’s famous poet and artist. (B,D)

Day 11

Morning: Visit the Victoria Memorial Hall, Britain’s answer to the Taj Mahal. Two ground floor galleries contain a large collection of ‘Company’ paintings and the story of the birth of Kolkata.

Afternoon: Scottish Cemetery and Lower Circular Road Cemetery, followed by optional visit to the Bengal Crafts Council shop. (B,D)

Day 12
Day at leisure with the option of attending morning service at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral. (B,D)

Day 13
Morning: boat trip to Serampore, the former Danish settlement and home to William Carey the missionary. Visit the small museum in the College grounds (if its open) and the little Serampore cemetery where he and his family members are buried.

Afternoon: Chandernagore, a French enclave until 1950. Visit the Dupleix Museum, the Church of the Sacred Heart and the old French cemetery. Return by boat to Kolkata. (B,D)

Day 14
International departure by Emirate airlines EK571 at 09:50 vai Dubai. Arrival London Heathrow at 18:40.

Extension Tours:  If you wish  to visit any part of the country before or after the group tour please contact us and we will be pleased to help.

Disclaimer
BACSA logoBACSA ( British Association of Cemeteries in South East Asia) is endorsing the tour for its members. All arrangements for transport, accommodations and services are made on the basis of booking conditions of Indus Tours & Travel Ltd – the tour operator. Your contract is with them. BACSA shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential or incidental damage, injury, loss, accident, delay or irregularity of any kind occasioned by reason of any act or omission arising from this tour.


We will make a contribution of £25.00 per person to BACSA.

Cost Includes:

  • International air fare inclusive all taxes on Emirate Airlines flights in economy class.
  • Internal flights inclusive all taxes in economy class.
  • Train reservation Delhi-Lucknow on Shatabadi Express Train 1st Executive class.
  • Accommodation with private facilities as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Meal Plan: Daily breakfast and dinner.  Lunch in Meerut, Lunch at Golf Club Lucknow and High Tea at Martinière Boys College. A traditional Nawabi entertainment and dinner in Lucknow. Tea at Flurry’s Kolkata. Dinner at Palladian Lounge Kolkata.
  • A transfers and sightseeing arrangements by an air-conditioned chauffer driven private coach.
  • Entrance fee to all monuments and places of interest.
  • Services of a local English speaking guide.
  • Lecture on the history of Delhi and heritage walk with Dr Swapna Liddle (INTACH representative for the Delhi Chapter).
  • Services of Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones MBE as trip scholar.
  • Complimentary mineral water while driving and on sightseeing.
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.
  • A contribution of £25 per person will be made to BACSA.

Cost does not include:

  • Visa fee for India. We will send relevant information how obtain an electronic E-Toursit visa.
  • Travel Insurance. You can obtain a comprehensive travel insurance from Travel & General click here
  • Any expense of a personal nature
  • Tips and Gratuities

How to book
To book this tour, please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £500.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.

If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.

Click here to download the booking form.

Read our Booking Terms and Conditions

Travel Insurance

It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.

Please ensure:
  • It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
  • It provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
  • It covers you for all activities.
  • Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
  • If you are making multiple trips we recommend that you take a yearly travel insurance policy.
If you have any question  about your cover,  please check with your insurer.
For a comprehensive travel insurance quote –  please click here

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Lakes and Mountains of Kashmir and Ladakh

A small group tour Led by Joan Pollock

03 September 2016- 14 September 2016

Dramatic snow-capped mountain peaks, their splendour dominating the lush green pastures of the valley,embrace the beautiful vale of Kashmir. Spend time relaxing on a traditional Houseboat, wander the Alpinepastures of Gulmarg and explore the beautiful gardens created by the Mughul Emperors. Then, climbing tohigh altitudes, visit the enigmatic state of Ladakh, the seat of ancient Buddhist culture. It’s wild and barren,yet, a gentle charismatic land. See magnificent Monasteries and spiralling mountain passes.

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Itinerary

London • Delhi • Leh • Srinagar • Gulmarg • Delhi • London

Day 1 Saturday – 03 September 16 – To Delhi

Depart Heathrow on direct Jet Airways flight to Delhi.

Day 2 Sunday – 04 September 16 – Delhi

Morning arrival in Delhi. Rest and relax at the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing of Old Delhi includes an enchanting cycle rickshaw ride to Jamma Masjid through bustling streets of Chandani Chowk once the centre of Mughal City –Shah Jehanabad.

Day 3 Monday – 05 September 16 – To Leh

Fly from Delhi to Leh in the morning. Transfer to Hotel Grand Dragon. Morning at leisure to rest and relax at the hotel. Afternoon walk to the Leh bazaar followed by a visit to the Shankar Gompa which housing countless statues of pure gold and a number of interesting paintings.

Day 4 Tuesday – 06 September 16 – Leh

Morning visit the Stok Royal Palace, once the official residence of the Royal family of Ladakh. The museum has an intriguing collection of Buddhist art, weapons, jewellery and artefacts. Afternoon wander round the town of Leh.

Day 5 Wednesday – 07 September 16 – Leh

Morning excursion to the 15th century beautiful Tiksey Monastery situated on a high craggy hill 18km from the town of Leh. A huge seated Maitreya Buddha statue dominates the main prayer hall. Eighty monks are still in residence.

Day 6 Thursday – 08 September 16 – Leh

Then pay a visit to SECMOL school to see the fantastic development project founded by a group of local Ladakhi volunteers with an aim to reform the educational system. Afternoon free

Day 7 Friday – 09 September 16 – To Srinagar

Morning transfer to Leh airport for your flight to Srinagar via Jammu. Transfer to Deluxe Houseboats on Nagin Lake for four nights. Afternoon Shikara ride on the lake.

Day 8 Saturday – 10 September 16 – Srinagar

Drive down to the city of Sriangar visiting Shah Hamadan Mosque- a masterpiece of wood and brick architecture then take a heritage walk through the old city of Srinagar to the fascinating local bazaar at Jamma Masjid. Return to the houseboat for lunch. Afternoon free.

Day 9 Sunday – 11 September 16 – Srinagar

Morning visit the Shankaracharya Temple, standing upon a hill with magnificent views over Srinagar and the Dal Lake. The site dates back to 2500 BC Delightful afternoon sightseeing aboard a ‘Shikara’ – the traditional Lake boat to visit Shalimar Bagh built for Nur Jehan by her husband Jehangir in 1616. Then visit Nishat Bagh and enjoy the beautiful sun-set at Pari Mahal Garden before returning to Houseboats.

Day 10 Monday – 12 September 16 – Srinagar

Morning drive to Gulmarg – “The Meadow of Flowers”. Travel through charming villages with a back drop of Himalayan mountians. Take a ride on the highest cable car in the world to view the stunning mountain scenery. Lunch at Highlands Park Return to houseboat for overnight stay. .

Day 11 Tuesday – 13 September – To Delhi

Fly from Srinagar to Delhi. Overnight stay at The Lalit Grand Hotel.

Day 12 Wednesday – 14 September – To London

Transfer to International airport for direct flight to Heathrow by direct Jet Airways flight.

About the tour leader Joan Pollock

Joan Pollock image

I am a botanist by training, with a PhD in plant physiology and a broader interest in plant ecology. In recent years my focus has been on teaching rather than research and I have taught interdisciplinary science with the UK’s Open University, as well as whole organism biology at Durham University. Teaching at both universities has included running field trips on which students learned about assessing biodiversity, the impact of environmental factors on plant growth and processes such as succession. I am really keen to encourage people to look at how organisms interact with their environment, particularly at a time when we can see that environment changing. I would like to do this in Kasmir and Ladakh by looking at how the vegetation changes with factors such as altitude and rainfall and also at how primary succession allows the colonisation of bare ground. The Himalayas, with their natural beauty and the fact that so many British garden plants have their origins here, make an ideal location for this.

THE COST FROM

  • Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis £2,650.00
  • Single room supplement £570.00

Cost Includes:

  • International & internal flights in economy class.
  • Accommodation in Leh and on Houseboat with all meals. Breakfast only in Delhi.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a Toyota Innova Cars and Coach.
  • Entry fee to monuments and places of interest.
  • Entry fee and services of a local English speaking guide.
  • Services of Joan Pollock as Tour Leader
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.

Cost does not include:

  • Visa Fess for India- British passport holders can now obtain an E-Tourist Visa online.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, beverages, gratuities etc
  • Travel Insurance.

Travel Insurance

It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.

Please ensure:

  • It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
  • It provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
  • It covers you for all activities.
  • Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
  • If you are making multiple trips we recommend that you take a yearly travel insurance policy.
  • If you have any question about your cover, please check with your insurer.

For a comprehensive travel insurance quote – please click here

How to book this tour

If you wish to book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £400.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.

Click here to download the booking form.

Read our Booking Terms and Conditions

Rocks, Routes and Shoots

Itinerary

London • Delhi • Srinagar • Sonamarg • Kargil • Leh • London

Day 1 – Sat 30 July 2016

Depart London Heathrow by direct British Airways* for Delhi.

*Departures from Manchester and upgrade to world Traveller plus and club class are available on request.

P6250017Day 2 – Sun 31 July 2016

Arrive Delhi , connect flight to Srinagar (altitude 1730 m). Lunch on the houseboat and afternoon enjoying the ambience of life on a houseboat. Late afternoon Shikara ride on Nagin Lake. Stay on houseboats in Nagin Lake.

Day 3 – Mon 1 August 2016

Srinagar. Visit Pari Mahal and Shalimar Mughul gardens and enjoy lunch in at Cheshma Shahi Gardens. Introduction to the main themes of the tour late afternoon (on the houseboat).

Day 4 – Tue 2 August 2016

Srinagar. Day trip to Khunamuh (Guryul Ravine) to look at sedimentary rocks of the Permian /Triassic boundary and the basic volcanic rocks of the Panjal Traps. Introduction to the factors which affect plant growth – altitude, nutrients, grazing etc. and to survey techniques.

Day 5 – Wed 3 August 2016

Srinagar to Sonamarg. Morning in Dachigam National Park and bear sanctuary to see a mix of familiar and more exotic plants and animals. Picnic lunch by the Sindh river then drive to Sonamarg (altitude 2800 m) after lunch, noting the changing geology (Quaternary sediments, Panjal Traps, Triassic limestone etc.) and ecology. Stay at Sindh Resorts Sonamarg.

P6290168Day 6 – Thur 4 August 2016

Sonamarg. Walk to Thajiwas glacier, observing typical glacial features. Look at lichens as a link between geology and ecology. Compare the ecology here with that seen in Srinagar, particularly amongst the rocks above the snow pocket. A first look at plant pollination.

Day 7 – Fri 5 August 2016

Sonamarg to Kargil (altitude 2676 m). Drive across the spectacular Zoji La pass (3528 m), looking at diverse geology en route – includes highly deformed Triassic limestone, metamorphic rocks of the Zanskar Crystalline, basic volcanic rocks of Panjal and Drass, granitic rocks of Kargil igneous complex and Indus Molasse. Survey the vegetation in the meadow at Matayin to compare it with that at Guryul. Stay at Highlands Mountain and Spa Resort.

Day 8 – Sat 6 August 2016

Kargil to Nurla. Drive to Nurla via Shergol valley and monastery and the Buddha at Mulbek. Cross the Namika La (3718 m) and Fatu La (4108m) passes, taking in the rocks of the Indus Suture Zone (ISZ). Visit Lamayuru monastery, with panoramic views of the sediments of the now-empty paleolake (‘Moonland’). Descend to Nurla (altitude 3040 m) for overnight stay in Apricot Tree Hotel.

Day 9 – Sun 7 August 2016

Nurla to Leh. Time to relax at Nurla before visiting the rock-cut Tibetan Buddhist temples at Saspol with their 13-15th Century wall paintings. Look at geology en route to Leh (altitude 3524 m), including the confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers. Possible free time in Leh late afternoon. Stay at Caravan Centre Hotel

Day 10 – Mon 8 August 2016

Leh. Visit Thiksey monastery and Shey palace, getting close up and bird’s eye views of the rocks of the Ladakh Batholith on which they sit. Free time in Leh in afternoon.

P7030475Day 11 – Tue 9 August 2016

Leh. Visit Hemis monastery, sitting on the Indus Molasse, in the morning. Stop to look at contact between the Indus Molasse and Ladakh Batholith (Karu) en route. Look at lichens growing on the rocks below the monastery and take a walk after lunch to look at the high altitude vegetation and spectacular rock formations of the peaks in Hemis National Park.

Day 12 – Wed 10 August 2016

Leh to Tso Moriri. Leave after an early breakfast for Tso Moriri high altitude lake (4500 m), via the hot springs at Chumathang and Puga. Observe changing geology and how vegetation changes with altitude and other factors. Stay in tented camps.

Day 13 – Thur Fri 11 August 2016

Day at leisure in Tso Moriri

Day 14 – Fri 12 August 2016

Tso Moriri to Leh. Drive back to Leh via Tso Kar salt lake and the Taglang La pass (5303 m). Stay at Caravan Centre Hotel.

Day 15 – Sat 13 August 2016

Fly from Leh to Delhi. Day free in Delhi. Overnight stay in Hotel Royal Plaza.

Day 16 – Sun 14 August 2016

Fly back to London Heathrow by direct British Airways flight.

About the tour leaders Heather & John

Image of Heather KellyHeather Kelly

I am a botanist by training, with a PhD in plant physiology and a broader interest in plant ecology. In recent years my focus has been on teaching rather than research and I have taught interdisciplinary science with the UK’s Open University, as well as whole organism biology at Durham University. Teaching at both universities has included running field trips on which students learned about assessing biodiversity, the impact of environmental factors on plant growth and processes such as succession. I am really keen to encourage people to look at how organisms interact with their environment, particularly at a time when we can see that environment changing. I would like to do this in Kasmir and Ladakh by looking at how the vegetation changes with factors such as altitude and rainfall and also at how primary succession allows the colonisation of bare ground. The Himalayas, with their natural beauty and the fact that so many British garden plants have their origins here, make an ideal location for this.

Read my blog

Image of John MacGillivray John Macgillivray

Currently I am a part time science tutor at the Open University with over 20 years experience of teaching undergraduate, general science modules. This has including a senior tutor role at OU Residential Schools, leading geology/ecology field trips and similar independently led field trips. I have previously worked in the UK Meteorological Office and National Engineering Laboratory (UK). I hold a first class honours degree in Earth science and a degree equivalent in Physics. Recently I have carried out published research work with Professor Ray MacDonald (Lancaster University/ University of Warsaw) and Professor B. Bagiński (University of Warsaw) on the Tertiary dyke systems of Southern Scotland and NE England, adding to previous jointly published research work I have carried out.

The Cost From

Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis £2,590.00

Single room supplement £490.00

Cost Includes:

  • International air fare in economy class on British Airways.
  • Internal flights from Delhi to Srinagar and Leh-Delhi in economy class.
  • Accommodation with private facilities on twin, double sharing and single room basis as per the itinerary.
  • Meal Plan- All meals in Kashmir and Ladakh, Daily breakfast and dinner in Delhi.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by an air-conditioned coach in Delhi and Toyota Innova cars in Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • Sightseeing arrangements with our local experts as mentioned in the itinerary and local English speaking guides at other places.
  • Entry fee at monuments and places of interest.
  • Services of Heather Kelly (Ecologist) and John Macgillivray (Geologist).
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.
  • Complimentary mineral water while on board for Coach Travel.

Cost does not include:

  • Visa fee for India. E-Tourist visa fee currently is £40.00 approx.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any expense of a personal nature

How to book this tour

If you wish to book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £400.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.

Click here to download the booking form

Read our Booking Terms and Conditions

Following Sir Aurel Stein’s Footsteps in Kashmir

Group Tour 10 to 21 August 2016

Following the trail of footsteps of the far-famed and highly acclaimed Hungarian born British explorer Sir Aurel Stein, Indus Experiences is organising a very special tour to Kashmir. The itinerary includes a trek to the alpine meadow of Mohand Marg in the Sindh Valley where Stein spent many summers and where we intend to erect a new memorial stone to the legend inscribed in English, Urdu and Sanskrit. Guest lecturers will be Susan Whitfield, John Falconer, both Curators at the British Library & Stein Researcher S.N. Pandita. Prior to departure, all guests will be invited to join Susan and John at the British Library for an orientation day, which will include the opportunity to view rare manuscripts collected by Stein, as well as his other personal documents.

London • Delhi • Srinagar • Manigam • Mohand Marg • Chittergul • Srinagar • Delhi • London

Day 1. Wednesday  – On board flight to Delhi

Departure from London Heathrow to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi by direct British Airways flight BA 257 at 1925 hrs. Flights from regional UK airports are available on request. If you wish to join this tour from any other country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only costs of the tour.

Day 2. Thursday – Delhi

Arriving in Delhi at 0820 hrs, you will be met at the Delhi airport and transferred to Hotel Lalit Grand for a nap and a quiet afternoon by the pool. We will meet again in the evening for a talk on Aurel Stein in Kashmir by Stein Researcher S.N. Pandita that will be followed with the welcome dinner.
Overnight at Hotel Lalit Grand Dinner included

Day 3. Friday  – To Srinagar

Photo 392 33 6We will take an early morning flight from Delhi to Srinagar on board Spice Jet at 10:20 hrs and arrive in Srinagar at 11:40 and then transfer to our Houseboat on tranquil Nagin Lake for lunch and an afternoon shikara (Kashmiri gondola) ride across the water to see the lotus flowers and floating gardens. In the evening Susan and John will give a talk,on Aurel Stein in Kashmir. We are inviting Minister of Tourism and Director Tourism Kashmir to join us this evening (subject to confirmation) Overnight on Houseboat Lunch and Dinner included

Day 4. Saturday  – Srinagar

We will visit Steins old Haunts in the city of Srinagar, explore the Old Town on foot with a heritage walk. After a brief stop at the Tyndale Biscoe School (named after Stein’s close friend, the British missionary Cecil Tyndale Biscoe), we will enjoy lunch at Almond Villa, and then take a tour of the famous Mughal Gardens . After the dinner on our houseboat, we hope to have a film show of a Bollywood blockbuster set and filmed in Kashmir.
Overnight on Houseboat Breakfast, lunch & Dinner included

Day 5. Sunday – To Yarmuqam

Today we depart, at first by road to Manigam and then on foot for an hour or so to Yarmuqam a picturesque village. We will camp here overnight and visit the village.
Overnight at Manigam Tented Camp Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

Day 6. Monday – To Mohand Marg

Our trek continues on Tuesday to Mohand Marg, the glorious alpine meadow first discovered by Sir Aurel Stein in the summer of 1895. For next 45 years whenever he was in Kashmir, in and out from or to Central Asia, Europe and America, Stein always camped in the summers on this beloved Marg that he called as ‘ my own paradise resort’. Here Stein would walk amongst the mountains, picnic in groves of pine trees, pick flowers and write to his friends. Mohand Marg was his preferred retreat after the trials of his explorations and excavations. Nearly four years after Sir Aurel Stein’s death in Kabul in 1943, a memorial stone was erected at Mohand Marg on 15 August, 1947, the same day India and Pakistan were born as independent nation states marking the end of the British colonial rule in the sub-continent. As the Stein’s memorial stone has been badly damaged in the intervening years, we intend to erect a replacement and to suitably mark the occasion with all the members of the group as witness to the event perpetuating Sir Stein;s Kashmir legacy . We will spend the night in the great outdoors at Mohandmargs comfortable tented camp.
Overnight at Mohand Marg Tented Camp Breakfast, lunch & Dinner included

Day 7. Tuesday – Mohand Marg

stein-2
We will enjoy a full day at Mohand Marg, soaking up the peace of the Himalayas and walking. Sophie will offer a photography workshop for those who wish to participate.
Overnight at Mohand Marg Tented Camp Breakfast, lunch & Dinner included

Day 8. Wednesday – Srinagar

Today we will descend on foot from Mohand Marg to Kangan , then continue by cars to Srinagar. We will relax on the terrace of The Lalit Grand Palace Hotel, with its extraordinary views across Dal Lake and spend the night in the luxurious warmth of the hotel

Day 9. Thursday – Srinagar

Photo392 23 12A day return trip to Bandipora via Huskara ( a village where there is the site of an Buddhist stupa/monastery visited by Stein and where Chinese pilgrims stayed).
Overnight stay at The Lalit Grand Palace.

Day 10. Friday  – Delhi

We will return to Delhi by Spice Jet flight . An afternoon tour of the city’s Mughal highlights (the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid and the Chandni Chowk Bazaar) will be provided. We will stay overnight at the ITC Welcome Dwarka Hotel close to the International airport.

Day 11. Saturday – To London

Early breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi for your return flight to Heathrow, London by the British Airways flight BA 256 leaving Delhi at 10:20 and arriving London same day at 15:20. Flights to other regional UK airports are available on request.

The Cost

Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis                      £2,345.00

Single room supplement                                                  £435.00

World traveler plus & Business class supplement on British airways is available on request.

Cost Includes:

  • International flights with scheduled British airways in economy class inclusive all taxes.
  • Internal flights in economy class inclusive all taxes.
  • Accommodation in Delhi inclusive of breakfast and dinner.
  • Accommodation at houseboats and at tented camps in Manigam and Mohand Marg with all meals.
  • Accommodation at The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar with breakfast and dinner.
  • Lunch at Almond Villa – Srinagar
  • All transfers and sightseeing arrangements with a local English speaking guide.
  • Special lecture on Aurel Stein in Kashmir by S.N.Pandita in Delhi and by Susan Whitfield and John Falconer in Srinagar.
  • Entry fee for all monuments and places of interest.
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.

Cost does not include:

  • Visa fee for India
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any expense of a personal nature

How to book

  • To book this tour, please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £400.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.
  • If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.

Click here to download the booking form.

Read our Booking Terms and Conditions

Romancing The Himalayas

A Painting Holiday of India Led By Johanna Spinks

10- 25 September 2016Johanna-Spinks--painting

A holiday in India is not just a holiday – it mesmerizes the senses with sights and sounds that become treasured memories for life; sunset at the Taj Mahal as the setting sun turns the Poem to Love a dusky pink; steaming bowls of curry for breakfast on the station of Kalka waiting for the Toy Train to Shimla; and dawn on the Ganges as the mists swirl and the sonorous chants of Priests echo across the waters. India is also a painters dream. You will paint in this workshop in a way perhaps you have never done before. This once in a lifetime workshop will focus on quick sketches ‘out and about’ of the local sights and people and even some interiors of the wonderfully historical places we will be staying. You will return home with a perfect record/journal of your trip from which you can them make larger paintings at home.

http://www.johannaspinksfineart.com

The Itinerary

Delhi • 

Day 1. Saturday 10 September – Departure USA
Departure for Delhi

Day 2. Sunday 11 September – Delhi Sightseeing
Arrival Delhi. Transfer to Hotel Shangrila Eros. Afternoon sightseeing of important monuments of Old and New Delhi. Lunch at Lodhi Gardens.

Day 3. Monday 12 September – To Amritsargolden-temple
Travel from Delhi to Amritsar, city of Golden Temple. Stay at Hyatt Hotel. Sightseeing tour of Amritsar city. Evening visit of Golden Temple.

A ceremony is held at Amritsar around midnight- it is called Sukh Aasan- when the holy book is taken for overnight rest. It is a moving spiritual experience – some of the group members may like to witness this. Again next morning – the Holy book is brought back – around 3am to its throne for the day – peace, calm and spiritually enriching ( I watched this 2 years back).

Then there is a free kitchen which feeds about 25000 people for lunch and dinner every day of the year. The kitchen is run voluntarily by the community and everyone is welcome to help. If some members want to spend an hour serving the community – then they can just be passing on bread or helping etc. It could a spiritually fulfilling experience.

Day 4. Tuesday 13 September – Amritsar
Full day painting at Amritsar Golden Temple.

Day 5. Wednesday 14 September – To Dharamshala
Drive to Dharamshala – Stay at Grace Cottage.

Day 6. Thursday 15 September – Dharamshala
Visit of Dharamhala Town/ HH Dalai Lamas teaching / Painting / sightseeing.

Day 7. Friday 16 September – Dharamshala
Painting days – visit of village.

Day 8. Saturday 17 September – Dharamshala
Painting days – village visits.

Day 9. Sunday 18 September – To ParagpurJohanna-Spinks--painting1
Drive to Paragpur. Stay at Judges Court.
Paragpur is very special – a medieval village offering a host of opportunities such as typical village walk, silversmiths and weavers at work or visiting the local school etc.

Day 10. Monday 19 September – Paragpur
Painting days & sightseeing.

Day 11. Tuesday 20 September – Paragpur
Painting days & sightseeing.

Day 12. Wednesday 21 September – To Shimla
Transfer to the famous hill station of Shimla. Stay at Oberoi Cecil.

Day 13. Thursday 22 September – Shimla
Sighseeing & painting.

Day 14. Friday 23 September – To Delhi
Travel by Toy train and Shatabadi Express Train to Delhi- Stay at Shangrila Eros.

Day 15. Saturday 24 September – Delhi
Morning at leisure. Late afternoon visit to the Sanskriti Kendra – Anandgram to see the Museum of Everyday Art in India, Museum of Indian Terracota and Museum of Indian Textiles. These Museums represent the Kendra to preserve and nurture the creative vitality of Indian Art and Culture. The visit will be followed by a talk and farewell dinner. http://www.sanskritifoundation.org

Day 16. Sunday 25 September – Departure
International departure from Delhi.

About Johanna Spinks

Johanna-SpinksAny person familiar with the work of Johanna Spinks will tell you the British born artist is as much a storyteller as she is a classically trained portrait artist. Whether she is bringing the vibrancy of a local community to life through her Face of Ventura and Face of Malibu portrait projects or expertly rendering a model in an imagined Parisian interior, Johanna’s work possesses a whimsical romantic quality that is the signature attribute of her award-winning style. The artist’s life story serves as a good explanation for this.

She started out telling stories as a young journalist who emigrated from the UK to New York at just 22 years old and later became a top Hollywood makeup artist, using her brushes to bring magazine pages, as well as TV and film, to life.

Primarily a portrait artist but also an avid landscape and still life painter, Johanna considers artists such as John Singer Sargent, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals to be major influencers of her work. Her mentor, seven time presidential painter Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., —who she trained under at The Art Students League of New York and The National Academy of Design New York—says of her work: “Johanna’s paintings are filled with the joy of life, passionate and colourful.” With her unique style, Johanna has been on the teaching faculty at the California Art Institute and The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art and is frequently asked to give public painting demonstrations of her life painting techniques. She also received a certificate of distinction for her three year term as the California State Ambassador for the Portrait Society of America.

Unsurprisingly, Johanna is masterful at capturing the imaginations of her students and collectors worldwide on social media. With her 365 Days of Drawing project in 2010—which was featured in American Artist Magazine—Further evidence of her acclaim is certainly not hard to come by. Her paintings hang internationally in private and public collections including The New York Players Club (where her work hangs alongside her idol John Singer Sargent); The Episcopalian Diocese of Los Angeles; The British Heritage Museum, Canada; The Museum of La Grand Vigne, Dinan, France; and in the private collection of the Forbes Family. More recently, her 2 year-long “Face of Ventura” project in California won her the 2013 Mayor’s Art Award for Artist in The Community. Her juried show acceptances include the Oil Painters of America National Shows, OPA Salon Shows, The Portrait Society of Atlanta, Jack Richeson International 75, and The California Art Club Gold Medal Shows.

THE COST FROM

Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis US ($) 2,998.00 / British (£) 1,998.00

Single room supplement US ($) 958.00 / British (£) 638.00

Day return tour of Agra (Optional) US ($) 170.00 / British (£) 113.00

Cost Includes:

  • Accommodation with private facilities on twin, double sharing and single room basis as per the itinerary.
  • Meal Plan – Daily breakfast and dinner throughout the tour.
  • Train reservations in air-conditioned class
  • All transfers and sightseeing by an air-conditioned coach.
  • Sightseeing arrangements with our local English-speaking guides
  • Entry fee at monuments and places of interest.
  • Painting lessons by Johanna Spinks
  • Complimentary mineral water while onboard for transfers & sightseeing.
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.

Cost does not include:

  • International Airfare
  • Visa fee for India: American passport holders can now apply for visa on arrival in India- please click here for more information.https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
  • British Passport Holders need to apply in person for the visa. We have made arrangements for visa facilitation for our clients with Travcour. They will apply on your behalf and obtain your India visa – Please click here for more information and what to do. www.travcour.com/g_page.php?pageid=34168987&Pagetitle=Indus%20Experiences
  • Camera fees at monuments and other places of interest.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, beverages, gratuities etc
  • Travel Insurance.

How to book this tour
To book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of US$ 600.00 (or £400 if paying in sterling) per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.
If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.

Click here to download the booking form.

Read our Booking Terms and Conditions

Hotels

Shangri La Eros – Delhi
www.shangri-la.com/newdelhi/erosshangrila/

Shangri La Eros DelhiNestled in the heart of New Delhi, Connaught Place, Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi, is one of the city’s most luxurious and eminent five-star hotels. Sprawling lawns, imposing driveways and timeless architecture inspired by the work of Edward Lutyens can be seen here. The hotel’s rooms and suites offer panoramic views of the city’s historic diplomatic district. Well-equipped and luxurious with modern facilities

Hyatt Hotel – Amritsar
www.amritsar.hyatthotels.hyatt.com

Hyatt Hotel AmritsarA gracefully elegant hotel, the Hyatt Amritsar (formerly Ista) entwines a traditional way of life with contemporary clean style. Set amidst beautiful gardens, ponds and lakes at the heart of Amritsar and close to the awe-inspiring Golden Temple, the hotel offers interactive teppanyaki and tempura dining along with wood-fired Roma style pizzas. A lounge bar offers all-day coffees, teas and short breads moving onto cocktails and other beverages in the evening. An outdoor swimming pool allows you to relax after a busy day and there is also a fully equipped fitness centre and an extensive spa.

The Judges Court – Paragpur
www.judgescourt.com/

The Judges Court – Paragpur The Judge’s Court is a well established heritage manor located in the quaint settlement of Pragpur. The ambience of the property is very relaxed, whilst its location allows for easy access to the cobbled streets of Pragpur itself. Whilst this is not a luxury hotel it does have good levels of service and the cool air and wonderful scenery make it an extremely pleasant place to drop anchor for a couple of nights.

The Oberoi Cecil – Shimla
www.oberoihotels.com/hotels-in-shimla-cecil

The Oberoi Cecil – Shimla Built in 1884, the Oberoi Shimla has been extensively renovated whilst retaining its colonial charm. With fabulous views across the valley, it is a perfect base from which to explore the spectacular mountain scenery, cedar forests and ancient monasteries of this world-famous destination. The Cecil is also within walking distance of the famous Vice Regal Lodge, former summer residence of the Viceroy of India. The hotel’s classically elegant interiors of wood panelling, pillars and chandeliers recall the days of the Raj. There is an indoor swimming pool with lovely views and a spa which offers a wide range of treatments.