India with Paul Saltzman – A Fusion of Color, Music & Soul (17 days)

Departure September 15 – October 1, 2023
“Long ago, I realized that if I could only visit one country during the rest of my life it would be—India. It is many, many cultures—an amazing fusion of modern and ancient, of adventures and discoveries. I’ve been there more than 50 times, and each time is a new exploration. It’s the most colorful country of the many I’ve visited. It’s a cornucopia of remarkable people and places, of music and soul. We will be a small intimate group, experiencing the great fusion of east and west that is India. Along with sightseeing; small, private music recitals; wandering and shopping, we’ll occasionally talk about life as we sip a cool drink and watch some of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world. This upcoming journey is very special to me. My first trip to India, in 1968, was life changing. It was truly a healing journey that still beautifully reverberates in my heart—bringing so much joy, creativity and soul into my life. So it is with great respect, and pleasure, that I welcome you to join me on this wonderful and exciting journey.”–Paul Saltzman

Note: This tour is escorted throughout by Paul Saltzman


Paul Saltzman is a two-time Emmy Award-winning film and television producer-director. The two documentary feature films, Prom Night in Mississippi, and The Last White Knight, each featuring Morgan Freeman, are his most recent movies. Early in 1968 he learned meditation at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India. While there, he spent time with and photographed the Beatles. His photos have been judged “some of the best intimate shots” ever taken of John, Paul, George and Ringo, and have been seen in galleries worldwide. In 2000, Paul released a book of his photographs, The Beatles in Rishikesh, with Penguin-Putnam; and in 2006 he self-published the deluxe Limited Edition box set, The Beatles in India.

Day 1 – Arrive Trivandrum/Kovalam
Namaste! We are welcomed the traditional Indian way with palms held together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are met and driven to Kovalam. After checking into our hotel, and before dinner, Paul Saltzman will welcome you on this unique and inaugural journey at the Neera Bar outdoor patio.
Overnight: Taj Green Cove Resort (2 Nights) (D)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Welcome drink and raffle with Paul. As an added treat, one lucky person will win a draw for Paul’s Deluxe Limited Edition box set (value $875).

Day 2 – Kovalam
Morning Yoga session, if you wish to join us. The day is free to relax on the beach, explore the local shops and surroundings, or visit nearby Trivandrum, Kerela’s capital. Those who want to go for Ayurveda can book this at the Taj Spa, one of the best Spa’s in the south. Evening we join Paul for his slide show and talk: ‘Fusion of Music & Soul: Why the Beatles Came to India’ followed by conversation. (B)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Morning Yoga session (optional)
2. ‘Fusion of Music & Soul: Why the Beatles Came to India’ with Paul Saltzman

Day 3 – Trivandrum/Alleppey (Drive 4 hours)
Scenic coastal drive to Alleppey where we board traditional rice boats—Ketuvallam—converted to house boats, and begin our magical journey through Kerela’s picturesque inland waterways, relaxing in the tranquility of the backwaters and lakes, experiencing the way of life and activity of the locals. A special treat is the authentic and exquisite Kerala cuisine cooked on-board. Boats have one or two bedrooms. Overnight: House Boat (1 night) (B, L, D)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Night Houseboat on Full Board Basis.

Day 4 – Alleppey/Cochin (Drive) Cochin/Mumbai (Flight 14:00/15:50 hours)
After breakfast, we disembark from our houseboats and drive to Cochin Airport for our flight to the magical city of Mumbai, where we are transferred to our hotel Taj Lands End. Evening we enjoy a scrumptious dinner at our hotel. Overnight: Taj Lands End (2 Nights) (B, D)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Visit Historical Sites of Mumbai
2. Evening Dinner at Taj Lands End. (Pre Set Menu Dinner).

Day 5 – Mumbai
Arrangements are in the works for a meeting with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, considered the foremost bansuri flute player of his generation. He may give us an informal recital. Pandit Chaurasia recorded and toured with George Harrison, on ‘The Inner Light’ and his ‘Dark Horse Tour’. Also we visit the Prince of Wales Museum & Victoria Terminus, recently added to the World Heritage Sites. After lunch we go for a guided city tour of Mumbai. Return to the hotel late afternoon. Evening, subject to availability, we meet Suresh Bhojwani. Suresh played with George Harrison in 1986 in Goa. (B)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Meeting with Pandit Hariprasad (subject to availability).
2. Guided city tour
3. Meeting with Suresh Bhojwani (subject to availability)

Day 6 – Mumbai/Udaipur (Flight 14:00/15:30 hours)
A short flight takes us into Rajasthan, to the city of Udaipur, named as the world’s 7th best city in 2007. We travel by bus and boat to the Lake Palace Hotel—Paul Saltzman’s “favourite hotel in the world.” Later in the evening we enjoy dinner on the Royal Barge. ‘Gangaur’ is an antique royal barge of the House of Mewar. Its regal décor and vibrant splendour were featured in the James Bond film Octopussy and guests continue to enjoy its magnificence. Eight rowers in traditional attire steer guests around the mystical Lake Pichola while we unwind with cocktails and enjoy barbequed snacks and hors d’oeuvres served by our own personal butlers. The highlight of the evening is a floating buffet that attaches to our barge. Our chefs have created for you the finest Indian feast. Gentle, live music is on board.) Overnight: Hotel Taj Lake Palace (2 Nights) (B, D)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Dinner on the Royal Barge.

Day 7 – Udaipur
Today we tour Udaipur, visiting the City Palace followed by a visit to the world famous Crystal Gallery in the Fateh Prakash Palace. It has been hailed as the single largest private collection of crystal anywhere in the world. It was in 1877 that the Maharaja Sajjan Singh custom ordered this collection from the F&C Osler Co. in Birmingham. It includes a bewildering number of objects d’art, dinner sets, perfume bottles, decanters, glasses, washing bowls and even furniture, including the only crystal bed in the world. Later we visit Saheliyon Ki Bari, or the Garden of Maids; and the folklore museum where we can see a presentation of the string puppet shows traditional to this area. In the afternoon we visit Sajjangarh Fort, the ‘Monsoon Palace’, high above Udaipur, affording a marvelous, panoramic view of the area.

Evening we join in the Holi Festivities (Holi Ka Dahan). Holi, the Indian festival of spring and the new season, is ushered in with prayers and rituals. The Maharaja of Udaipur, Shriji Arvind Singhji Mewar, leads a royal procession to the prestigious Manek Chowk, City Palace. There, rituals are performed followed by the lighting of the Holika, representing the triumph of good over evil as folk songs and dances of tribals bring alive the rich heritage of Rajasthan. (B, Snack) Click to Watch Holi Ka Dahan
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. City Tour of Udaipur visiting City palace, Crystal Gallery, Saheliyon Ki Bari.
2. Visit Sajjangarh (Monsoon Palace) in afternoon
3. Holi ceremony at the city Palace with Hi tea and snacks

Day 8 – Udaipur/Jaipur (Drive) (Holi Festival)
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy the colors of Holi in the morning. We drive to Jaipur. Upon arrival at Jaipur we check in at hotel. Overnight: Jai Mahal Palace (2 Nights) (B)

Day 9 – Jaipur
This morning we are treated like the royalty of yesteryear with an elephant ride to Amber Fort, situated on top of a hill rendering a majestic panoramic view of the city. Amber was the capital of Rajasthan before Jaipur. The Palace is laid out on different levels on the hillside and surrounded by a fortress. A shopper’s paradise, Jaipur is noted for its gems, puppets and craftsmen and women, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and pottery. Most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone and one of the most beautiful is the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, from where the ladies of the royal harem would watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. Dinner at the Spice Court, where we are entertained with a Rajasthani puppet show. Shopping at the bazaar is an option. Overnight: Taj Gateway Hotel (1 Night) (B, D)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Guided tour of Amber Fort.
2. City Palace.
3. Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds).
4. Dinner at Spice Court Restaurant.

Day 10 – Agra/New Delhi (Drive 4 hours)
After an early breakfast we head out for a lovely countryside drive to Agra. Enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful capital built in 1640 by the Mughal King, Akbar the Great. A superb example of Mughal architecture, it stands perfectly preserved in the desert. We tour the Palace-Fort and also visit the artistically designed mausoleum of Salim Chisty before continuing to Agra. On arrival in Agra, we check in our hotel. Later we visit the Agra Fort, where Shah Jehan, in the later years of his life, was imprisoned by his son. We end our tour with a visit to several local shops and witness the complex art of inlaying precious and semiprecious stones in the world famous marbles from the mines of Makrana. Later in the evening we have a gala dinner at the Taj Bano. Overnight: Taj Gateway Hotel (1 Night) (B, D)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Guided tour of Fatehpur Sikri – World Heritage Site.
2. Guided tour of Agra Fort – World Heritage Site.
3. Gala Dinner at Taj Bano at the ITC Mughal Hotel

Day 11 – Agra/New Delhi (Drive 4 hours)
We begin our day with a sunrise visit to the most well known of the ‘Seven Modern Wonders of the World’, the Taj Mahal. It is a unique and exquisite experience to stand in front of the huge wooden Mughal doors as they are swung open and be the first to view the Taj Mahal in the soft morning light, with the grounds empty. Built by Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, visiting the Taj is beyond any photographs or film one can view. While there, Paul will share a few of his favourite stories of the Taj and ancient India. After breakfast, we drive to New Delhi. On arrival, we visit the famous Akshardham Temple complex, an amazing world of Indian Hindu culture, ornate with 20,000 statues, floral motifs, arches and exquisitely carved pillars. Built on the banks of the River Yamuna, over a sprawling 100 acres of lush manicured lawns adorned with water fountains and carved pavilions, it cost 2 billion dollars and took 5 years to construct. In the evening we join Paul for his slide show and talk: ‘The Inner Journey: Fusion of East and West’ followed by conversation. (B)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Guided sunrise visit to Taj Mahal – World Heritage Site.
2. Drive to Delhi.
3. Guided tour of Akshardham Complex.
4. ‘The Inner Journey: Fusion of East and West’ with Paul Saltzman.

Day 12 – Delhi
Today, we explore wonderful sights and experiences of New Delhi and Old Delhi. The British Raj built New Delhi as their capital, while Old Delhi is a reflection of both its Mughal past and the 7 city kingdoms of earlier times. We could easily spend a month exploring exotic corners of both cities and some of the highlights for today include:

Jama Masjid, in Old Delhi, is the second largest mosque in Asia and the most important in India. A center of Muslim importance, it was built in 1656 by Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal. The best over-views of Old Delhi are to be seen by climbing the narrow steps to the top observation level of one of its two towering minarets.

The gulleys, or narrow pathways of Old Delhi hold the most wonderful specialty markets: spices, gold and silver, wedding saris, antiques and much more. Later we stop for Lunch. After lunch we visit Birla House, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi, where he spent his later years and where he was assassinated on January 30, 1948. It’s a museum and memorial to the man Nelson Mandela credits as his inspiration to non-violence.

Next we’ll go with Paul to his favorite place to buy arts, crafts and antiques that he calls “Sharma’s Antique Farm.” Just south of New Delhi, it’s on a farm with acres of indoor and outdoor items of beauty, and is a well frequented wholesale supplier to upscale western shops. (B)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Jama Masjid Mosque.
2. Old Delhi bazaars.
3. Birla House — Residence of Mahatma Gandhi.
4. Sharma’s Antique Farm.

Day 13 – Delhi/Haridwar (Express Train: 06:50–11:25AM) Haridwar/Rishikesh (Road)
India has the world’s largest train network and it is said that on any given day there are some 25 million people on the trains of India. Any train journey adds a lot to the flavour to our Indian adventure. We take the deluxe, early-morning Shatabdi Express ride to the foothills of the Himalayas, to Haridwar, on the banks of River Ganges. Haridwar is a jumping-off point for the short drive up to Rishikesh, one of the four holiest sites of Hinduism and a center for meditation, yoga and spiritual studies. It was the site, in 1968, of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram where the Beatles spent a number of weeks and Paul Saltzman spent a week with John, Paul, George and Ringo. Overnight: Vasundhara Palace Hotel (3 Nights) (B)

Day 14 -Rishikesh
After our morning yoga (optional) we cross the Ganges to visit the site of what used to be Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram at Raja Ji National Park. Here, we’ll sit by the edge of the cliff overlooking the Ganges, far below, where the Beatles sat for many hours. Their time at the ashram was their single most creative capsule of time – they wrote 48 songs in a few short weeks. Overlooking the Ganges, Paul will lead a short meditation and share stories of his time with the Beatles at the Ashram. The rest of the day is free to indulge in the rejuvenation Spa facilities offered in Rishikesh (Treatments optional. On Direct payment) (B)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Morning Yoga Session (optional).
2. Visit to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram (Subject to permission).
3. Optional Spa treatments.

Day 15 – Rishikesh
Morning yoga session (optional). Balance of the day is free to enjoy activities such as white water rafting on the Ganges, or simply exploring the area. In the afternoon Paul will lead a workshop appropriate for our imminent return to the hustle and bustle of our daily lives: ‘Overcoming Life’s Anxieties’ affords a magical way to overcome anxiety. In the evening, we’ll join a candlelight Aarti ceremony on the Ghats of Ganges at Parmath Ashram. At our culminating goodbye dinner celebration, tour certificates will be presented to all participants. (B, D)
Activities/Sites Visited:
1. Morning Yoga Session (optional).
2. ‘Overcoming Life’s Anxieties’ with Paul Saltzman.
3. White water rafting (Not included in cost).
4. Aarti Ceremony at Parmarth Ashram.
5. Tour Certificate Presentation Dinner.

Day 16 – Rishikesh/Delhi (Shatabdi Train Dep. 18.13/Arr. 22.45)
A comfortable Train Journey to Delhi. Dinner is served on Board. Overnight: Taj Mahal/Taj Palace, New Delhi (1 Night) (B, D)

Day 17 – Delhi/Home
Today we are transferred to Delhi airport for our flight homebound or extend your trip with a Himalaya Trek. (B)

NOTE: All daily events are optional for you to participate. At any time you are welcome to just put your feet up or wander the markets and shops. All meetings/recitals are subject to availability.

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EXTENSION Nepal Himalaya Trek (October 3 -October 7, 2020)

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Space is Limited

Main Tour: Tour Price Includes
– Airfares within India on coach class
– 16 nights hotel accommodation as mentioned or similar category
– 26 Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, S=Snack, D=Dinner)
– All transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary
– Services of local English speaking guides/drivers
– Entrance fees to museums & sites included in the itinerary
– Honorariums for Yoga, lectures, and folk dances

Not Included:
– International airfares
– Insurance/visas
– Tips/gratuities

– Any other service other than specified