Church Tour to West & North India - 15 Nights / 16 Days

Mumbai – Goa - Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Delhi – Departure

Day 01: Arrive Mumbai by flight

Meeting & assistance upon arrival at Mumbai airport, followed by transferring to hotel for check-in.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02: Mumbai

Breakfast at hotel.
Morning proceed for Mumbai Church tour. Mount Mary Church –The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, more commonly known as Mount Mary Church, is a Roman Catholic Basilica located in Bandra, Mumbai. The feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated here in the September, the birthday of the Virgin Mary. The shrine attracts people from all faiths who pray to the Virgin Mary for expressing their gratitude or requesting favors.
St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai, is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Mumbai of the Church of North India. Named in honour of Saint Thomas the Apostle, the Cathedral is located in the historic centre of Mumbai.
The Church of St. John the Evangelist, better known as the Afghan Church is an Anglican Church in Mumbai, built by the British to commemorate the dead of the First Afghan War and the disastrous 1842 retreat from Kabul. Memorials and laid up regimental colors displayed at the rear of the nave also record casualties from the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The church is located in Navy Nagar in the Colaba area of South Mumbai (Bombay). Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 03: Mumbai

Breakfast at hotel.
Morning enjoy cruise across the harbor (9 Kms) to see Elephanta caves noted for huge rock cuts. (Elephanta Caves remains closed on every Monday.)
Later proceed for half day sightseeing tour of Mumbai the commercial capital of India includes Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill offering a panoramic view of Marine drive, Chowpatty Beach, Prince of Wales Museum (Closed on Monday), Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat, Gateway of India & drive through the Crawford Market, Marine Drive & Flora Fountain. Overnight stay at hotel.

Gateway of India

Day 04: Mumbai – Goa by flight 9W-475, 11:20 – 12:40 hours

Breakfast at hotel.
Morning checkout and departure transfer to Mumbai airport to board flight for Goa. Meet & assist upon arrival at Goa airport and transfer to hotel for check-in.
Rest of the day relax at the hotel or beach side.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 05: Goa

Breakfast at hotel.
Morning proceed to visit Churches of Old Goa: Known as the Rome of the East, Old Goa, till today is still regarded as one of Asia’s historical cities dating back to 1510 when the Portuguese built and occupied the city till its abandonment altogether in 1835 after a plague. The Churches in Goa which are set in Baroque style are now under the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Among the significant Churches are the Se Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Goa), the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of St. Cajetan, and notably, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the relics of Saint Francis Xavier.

Also proceed to visit Miramar Beach, Miramar beach situated at the confluence of the Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea, is one of the most visited beaches of Goa, Dona Paula was formerly a village, and now a tourist destination, in the suburbs of Panaji, Goa. This idyllic rocky tourist attraction lies at the spot where the Mandovi and the Zuari rivers meet the Arabian Sea. It is easily one of the most popular spots on the itinerary of tourists visiting Goa. Initially the village was called Odavell but was later renamed Dona Paula.

Fort Aguada is a well preserved 17th century Portuguese fort in Goa on the Sinquerim Beach, overlooking the Arabian Sea. The fort was constructed in 1613 to guard the territory against a possible Dutch or Maratha invasion. It was a transit point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. Overnight stay at hotel.

Miramar Beach

In the evening, proceed to visit Meenakshi Temple-one of the oldest and most important temples in India. The temple has a great mythological and historical significance. Renowned for its astonishing architecture, Meenakshi Temple was nominated as one of the wonders of the world, but couldn’t make it into the list of ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. However, the temple is definitely one of the ‘Wonders of India’. It is also one of the main attractions of South India with thousands of devotees thronging it every day. Despite many people visiting it every day, the temple is well-maintained and was named the ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’ (cleanest iconic place) in India. (Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple where main deities are placed). Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 06: Goa

Breakfast at hotel.
Full day at leisure for independent activities.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 07: Goa – Delhi by flight AI-882, 14:10 – 16:45 hours

Breakfast at hotel.
Afternoon on time departure transfer to Delhi airport to board flight for Delhi. Meet & assist upon arrival at Delhi airport and transfer to hotel for check-in.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 08: Delhi

After breakfast at hotel, proceed to half day sightseeing tour of Old Delhi.
Proceed to the Red Fort named for its red-sandstone walls (Red Fort remains closed on every Monday) and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort complex was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan as to be the residence In front of the Red Fort, there is the imperial avenue known as Chandni Chowk.

When pass through alleyways, it seems getting narrower and we end up at the Jama Masjid which is the largest Muslim mosque in India. You can also enjoy the Rickshaw ride crossing the streets in Old Delhi.

Later visit St. Stephen Church – Delhi: St. Stephen’s Church is bestowed with grace and refinement. This Church was built in the year 1862 and is located on the Church Mission Road. Placed opposite the Chandni Chowk and Old Railway Station, the church’s design is that of Italian Gothic style with bits of Romanesque style of architecture. The entrance of the Church has a big circular Rose window or Catherine window; these frames are mostly used for Gothic architecture designs. St. Stephen was one the first to receive the martyr’s crown.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 09: Delhi

After breakfast at hotel, proceed for visit Church in Delhi and half day sightseeing tour of New Delhi.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Church: Sacred Heart Cathedral Church is one of the most famous Roman Catholic Churches in New Delhi. Located near Connaught Place this Godly place was built in the year 1930. It is one of the oldest and largest Churches in New Delhi and it residence St. Columba’s School and the Convent of Jesus and Mary school. The Church inspiring architecture was based on Italian architecture. Sacred Heart Cathedral is beautifully designed with white pillars that support the canopy and circular arcade turrets. The interior has a towering curved roof with polished stone floors.

The Cathedral Church of Redemption: The Cathedral Church of Redemption is one of the most beautiful churches in India and dates back to the 1900’s. The construction of this church was completed in 1935, though it had already opened to public worship in 1931.The building of the cathedral is shaped like a birthday cake with a candle placed on top.

The cathedral was also visited by the British Viceroy during the days of the Raj. The architect of the church was Henry Medd who built the church in such a manner that the interiors of the building would remain cool even in the harshest of summers. The interiors of the church comprise of high arches and ornate domes. The Cathedral Church of Redemption is under the Delhi diocese of the Church of North India.

Carry on our tour to visit to India Gate, a 42 meters archway built for memorial of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War. Watch the famous War Memorial Arch and see the contrast between old and New Delhi and drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan. It was initially constructed as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy in the early 20th century. Nowadays, it becomes the current residence of the President of India and Parliament House. This unique circular architecture was built with huge colonnades which house the Upper and Lower House of Parliament. Finally, proceed to the Government secretariat buildings at Connaught Place which is the heart of New Delhi as well as the busy shopping centre.
Also visit to Qutab Minar and Hunmanyun’s Tomb. Overnight stay at hotel.

Qutub Minar

Day 10: Delhi – Agra

After breakfast at hotel, travel to Agra by drive (Approx. 205 Kms/4 hrs). Transfer to hotel for check- in.
Afternoon proceed to visit Church Agra:
St. Mary Church - St. Mary’s Church came into existence in April 1923 as a gift from the well known John family of Agra, in memory of Mrs. Mary John. They also donated the adjoining compound with a large bungalow in it for the maintenance of the Church and the chaplain. The foundation stone of this Church was laid in April 1920 and on its completion, was blessed by Archbishop Raphael Bernachioni on April 5th, 1923. The Church was dedicated to Mary, Mother of Good Council. Thus, The church came to fulfill the long felt need of the residents of the locality as they found the cathedral and St. Patrick's parish too far from there spiritual needs. The religious of Jesus & Mary, seeing the need of the Catholics, established St. Anthony’s school in the vicinity of the Church.

St. George’s Church - St. George’s Church is situated in the cantonment area of Agra city. The church was designed in 1826 by Colonel J. T. Boileau. It is a magnificently beautiful building of ochre stucco of yellow color with white dressings. As the church is constructed in conventional style, it has a very small gateway for entrance. The interior is divided into a central core point and side corridor by six classical columns, carrying a slightly concave or domed roof. Later on, the cathedral in the eastern end has been gothicized with a carved white sandstone screen and the church table was prepared with what Agra is famous for i.e., the marble inlay work. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 11: Agra

Early morning visit Taj Mahal at sunrise. Agra, the home of the immortal Taj Mahal, the inimitable poem in white marble is the first expression of love of an Emperor Shahjehan to his queen Mumtaz Mahal. This great monument was completed in 1653 AD. (Taj Mahal remains closed on every Friday.)
Return to hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, proceed for visiting Agra Fort. Agra Fort, on the banks of the river Yamuna, is the imposing structure replete with priceless examples of craftsmanship in the Mughal period and including the beautiful pearl Mosque which was designed and built by Emperor Akbar in 1565 AD.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 12: Agra – Jaipur

Breakfast at hotel.
After the relaxing breakfast at hotel, proceed to Jaipur (approx. 232 Kms / 6 hrs). Upon arrival in Jaipur, transfer to Hotel for check-in.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Evening, disembark from Houseboat at Alleppey and transfer to hotel in Cochin. Overnight stay at hotel.

Amber Fort

Day 13: Jaipur

Morning excursion to Amber Fort set in a picturesque location. Amber is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Built in the 16th century by Raja Mansingh in red sandstone and white marble, the palace complex has some very interesting apartments. Jai Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Ganesh Pol and Temple of Kali are some of the prominent areas of interest. Elephants are provided to ascend the fort to visit the complex (between 0730 am – 1130 am, subject to availability).

Afternoon 1400 hrs, proceed to visit Jaipur City. This city was built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the notable astronomer 260 years ago. Visit the Maharaja’s City Palace, the home of the erstwhile royal family & the Observatory. Drive past Hawa Mahal or the Palace of winds built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh & the old part of Jaipur. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 14: Jaipur

After breakfast at hotel, proceed for visit Church tour in Jaipur. The Sacred Heart Church: The Sacred Heart Church Jaipur is the oldest and the first Catholic Church in the whole of Rajasthan and its beginning goes back to 1871. The Church was built by the French Capuchins on the land donated by the Maharaja of Jaipur with the help of the state p w d. The first marriage recorded in Jaipur was that of Miss Anna Brathpur and Mr. Francis Xavier s/o Peter D’Silva celebrated on 23rd Feb. 1783 and the first baptism recorded here is the baptism of Miss Theresa aged 2 years and 5 days, the daughter of Francis Xavier and Anna D’Silva. She was baptized on 5th Jan. 1790. The first resident Priest of Jaipur was Fr. Conrad OFM. Cap.

St. Xavier’s church: In 1945 the Jesuits started the St. Xavier’s school and the first principal was Rev. Fr. Robert Ludwig S. J. and the first Jesuit community was guided by Rev. Fr. Hussey William S. J., the first superior. Later in the year 1979 a new parish was created and named after St. Xavier, and the Jesuits fathers are entrusted with the care of this parish by the bishop. In the year 1981 the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity started a Destitute Home for the deprived and the destitute, close to the school campus and it is serving hundreds and thousands of poor people in and around Jaipur and thus bears a great Christian witness of love in the city.

St. Andrew’s Church: In 1866, Dr. Collin S. Valentine established the Scottish Mission in the State. Having rendered medical aid to the royal family, Valentine was offered to shift from Beawar to Jaipur to provide his services to the state. He accepted the Maharaja's invitation and was appointed as his personal doctor, in addition of becoming the State's Education Minister. This is how the Scotland Mission reached Jaipur.In 1868, Dr. Valentine was given a Quarter near Hathroi Fort, by the state government. In 1871, Maharaja gifted a Piece of Land to Dr. Valentine, which is now known presently as Mission Compound at Ajmer Road. In 1872, Rev. John Trail was sent to assist Dr. Valentine and together they gathered people to form a clergy. Following this in June, 1872 First Church in Jaipur which was On Roll was started, with 10 Communicant Members.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 15: Jaipur - Delhi

After breakfast, drive back to Delhi (Approx. 260 Kms / 6 Hrs), Upon arrival in Delhi, transfer to hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 16: Delhi - Departure

Breakfast at hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Later on time transfer to Delhi International airport to board flight for onward destination.

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