Delhi is the traditional and present day capital of India and is the third largest city of the world. It is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities of India, and has neighborhoods in Old
Delhi which date back to the 1600’s.
This bustling capital, is very much a symbol of developing, modern India, but scattered throughout the city are testaments to Delhi’s intriguing past. The imposing relics of the city’s Mughal past remain central to the old and new city’s structures and are a wonderful introduction to the architectural splendors of northern India. The designation of New Delhi as the British capital in 1911 heralded the construction of wide tree-lined streets and colonial architecture designed by Lutyens. Open parkland and imposing colonial buildings are connected by a series of vast boulevards that contrast markedly with the winding alleys of Old Delhi.
Jews have lived in India since ancient times, and their communities are even mentioned in the Talmud. Traces of the first Jewish arrivals in India are still visible in the country’s southern state of Kerala and economic hub of Mumbai. Jews in India are officially regarded as a religious minority, with only around 5000 members, of which the majority live in Mumbai.
The capital city of Delhi today is home to a small community of about 10 Jewish families and most of its Jewish population is floating. In addition, about 100-150 diplomats from Israel, US and UK visit the synagogue regularly and every Friday, about 20-25 people attend the Sabbath service.
Delhi’s Religious Diversity tour
8 hour driving tour
After being picked up at the port, you will begin your tour in Old Delhi, also known as Shahjahanabad, built in 1639 as the capital of the Mughal Empire. Your guide will lead you through the myriad of back-lanes by rickshaw, while you take in the wonderful scents of the local spice market and discover this ancient part of the city.
Take a look at the grand Jama Masjid with its imposing minaret and huge courtyard which can hold 25000 worshippers, while enjoying the oasis of quiet in the middle of the bustling mega city. From here you will journey onwards past Delhi’s infamous Red Fort to visit the local Gurudwara Sikh Temple, while learning a bit about the two religions along the way.
After lunch, continue your exploration of Delhi’s multi-faceted religious world. You will visit the city’s only synagogue Judah Hyam of the city, located in the heart of the New Delhi center. The relatively modern synagogue is home to the small local community, which meets for regular Shabbat services and holidays. The Capital’s only Jewish cemetery is walking distance from the synagogue is a serene corner of Delhi, and 42 Jews rest here in peace.
You will get a look at Rashtrapati Bhawan, home to India’s president and seat of the government, before driving down Delhi’s own Champs Elyssee – Rajpath Marg – to see the imposing India Gate, commemorating the Indian soldiers killed in the First World War.
From India Gate head east to visit Humayun’s Tomb – the opulent red-sandstone tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in 1572, which served as a template for the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Take a stroll through the beautifully laid out gardens and admire the views of the city from the tomb’s upper terrace.
Complete your discovery of Delhi’s religious diversity with a visit to the Bahai Lotus Temple, built of white marble in the shape of a lotus – the symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam – before being transported back to the port.
Day Trip to Agra tour
8-10 hour driving tour
Your driver will collect you in the morning at the port to travel to Agra, which is approximately a 2 – 3 hour journey, depending on traffic. Along the way, you will pass through various parts of Delhi, before joining the Yamuna Highway which leads you along the river directly to Agra.
In Agra, your guide will meet you and take you to explore one of the world’s most famous buildings – the Taj Mahal. Standing majestically on the banks of River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is synonymous to love and romance. Learn about the love story that lead to the construction of the monument and be amazed by its architectural phenomena, which make it even more impressive.
After lunch continue onwards to explore Agra’s imposing, 16th century Mughal monument the Red Fort, which stands near the gardens of the Taj Mahal. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques.
At the end of the day, your driver will take you back to Delhi and drop you off at the port.
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