Jewish Heritage Tour of India


The Jewish heritage tour takes place over 17 days and covers the West, South, and North of India. The tour starts in Mumbai and continues to all the major centers of Judaism in India, including all the Jewish leaders and Synagogues of India. Tourists get to observe the unique traditions and historic sites important to Judaism. India is one of the very few countries where there have never been any anti-Semitic sentiments among the local communities. The Jews have continued to live and prosper in India, with a population of only 6000.

There were four distinct Jewish groups in India:

The Bene Israel,

The Sephardic Jews,

The Cochin Jews and

The Baghdadis from Iraq

It is claimed that the Bene Israel (“Sons of Israel”) are the descendants of Galilee oil-pressers, shipwrecked 2000 years ago off the Bombay Coast. The survivors of this shipwreck settled there. They took up farming and became coconut-oil pressers.

Since the middle of the 18th century, the Baghdadi Jews were trading between the Persian Gulf and Surat. In the 19th century, they began to settle in Bombay and Poona. The Bene Israelis were discovered by the Baghdadi Jews in the 18th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries, teachers from Baghdad and Cochin taught mainstream Judaism.

It is known that Jewish merchants from Europe traveled to India for the purpose of trading in the medieval period.

Sephardic Jews arrived in India from western European nations like Holland and Spain. There is very little information available about the origin of the Cochin Jews or Black Jews.

Trip Highlights
  • Visit the important synagogues of Mumbai like Gate of Mercy Synagogue and the famous Juni Masjid.
  • Take a trip of the important heritage sites in the historical city of Pune.
  • Visit the Knesset Eliyahoo Synagogue in Ahmedabad along with other important heritage sites of the city.
  • Explore the wonders of Delhi, the capital of India.
  • Marvel at the beauty of Mughal architecture at Agra.
  • Visit the Neveh Shalome Synagogue and Magen David Synagogue of Kolkata along with numerous other smaller synagogues.
  • Take a tour of the beautiful city of Chennai.
  • Enjoy the famous houseboat ride at Cochin, and the Mattancherry Fishing nets. Visit the city’s famous synagogues.

Day 1

Arrival at Mumbai

Once you reach the airport, you will be received by a Lush Trails representative who shall transport you to the hotel.

Stay overnight at the luxurious Taj Mahal & Towers in Mumbai.

Day 2


Spend the morning at leisure. In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Mumbai.

The Jewish Heritage tour starts in the evening. Visit the Gate of Mercy Synagogue or Juni Masjid in the evening. It was established in 1796 by Samaji Hasaji Divekar, a Bene Israeli, and the street on which the synagogue stands was named Samaji-Street in His honor. At present, it is known as Samuel Street. The Jewish Heritage tour also takes you through Marine Drive, High Court, Oval Maidan, Flora Fountain, Bombay University, Horniman Circle, Asiatic Library, Regal Circle, and the like. Visit other important places like Mani Bhavan and Gandhi’s home in Mumbai.

Stay overnight at Mumbai.

Day 3

Mumbai-Pune (by road in 3 hrs)

In the morning, drive from Mumbai to Pune. Upon reaching, take an afternoon tour of Pune. Pune was once the capital of the Maratha and Peshwa Empires and is now an important commercial city. The important places to visit in Pune include Iskcon Temple, Swaminarayan Temple, Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwarwada Palace, Dagdusheth Ganpati Temples, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Temple, Saras Baug, Parvati Hills, and Katraj Zoo.

Stay overnight at Pune.

inside of keneseth eliyahoo synagogue in mumbai, maharashtra

Day 4


The two most important synagogues to be visited as a part of the Jewish Heritage Tour are Ohel David Synagogue and Succath Shelomo Synagogue. The construction of the Ohel David Synagogue was started in 1863 by David Sassoon and was completed in 1867 by his successors. In the late afternoon, drive back to Mumbai.

Stay overnight at Mumbai.

Day 5

Mumbai to Ahmedabad (by air)

In the morning, visit the Knesset Eliyahoo Synagogue in Mumbai. Also known as Fort Jewish Synagogue, it was established by Mr. Jacob Sasson in memory of his father in 1884. It is a must-visit synagogue in the Jewish Heritage Tour.

In the evening, take a flight to Ahmedabad. Stay overnight at Ahmedabad.

Day 6


In the morning, enjoy a city tour of Ahmedabad. The city was founded by Ahmed Shah in 1411 and by 1600 AD, it was considered the finest city in India until Delhi arose.

Some of the most important places to visit are Teen Darwaza, Jami Masjid, Saiddi Saiyad’s Mosque, Tomb of Ahmed Shah, Ahmed Shah’s mosque, Dada Harir Vav, and the like. The Calico Museum, Sabarmati Ashram, Adlaj Van, Bhadra Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) Rani ni Vav, and Gandhinagar are important places to visit in New Ahmedabad.

Later in the day, visit the Magen Abraham Synagogue. Located in Khamasa of old Ahmedabad, the synagogue was established in 1933 by Dr. Solomon using donations from members of the Bene Israel Jewish community of the State. It is an integral part of the Jewish Heritage Tour of India.

Stay overnight at Ahmedabad.

neveh shalome synagogue in kolkata, west bengal

Day 7

Ahmedabad-Delhi (by air)

Take a flight for Delhi in the morning. Upon arrival, our representatives shall transfer you to the hotel.

Relax for a while and after lunch, proceed for a visit to New Delhi. Visit the famous monuments of Delhi like the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, the ceremonious pathway known as Rajpath, the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, and the President’s Residence along with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave.

In the evening, visit the magnificent Akshardham Temples.

Stay overnight in Delhi.

Day 8


The Jewish Heritage Tour of Delhi starts with a visit to the Judah Hyam Hall. It was established in 1956 in response to the small Jewish community in Delhi who used to hold prayers in their own homes.

Later in the day, proceed for sightseeing of Old Delhi. Visit RajGhat - the eternal symbol of Mahatma Gandhi’s sacrifices for non-violence and Satyagraha, the famous Jama Masjid, and the Red Fort.

Day 9

Delhi-excursion to Agra by express train

Go on a day excursion to Agra to marvel at the beautiful monuments. This architectural masterpiece was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beautiful wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The beautiful monuments took 22 years to complete under the guidance of Persian architect Isa Khan.

Return to Delhi in the evening.

Stay overnight in Delhi.

inside of paradesi synagogue in kochi, kerala

Day 10

Delhi to Kolkata (by air)

In the morning, take a flight from Delhi to Kolkata. In the afternoon, visit the Neveh Shalome Synagogue. This is the first synagogue in India and was established in 1825 and was rebuilt in 1911. Also, visit the Magen David Synagogue. Other important places to visit are the Magen Aboth Synagogue in China Bazar and the Shaare Rasoon. For entering any synagogue in Kolkata, one needs permission from the Jewish Girls School, Kolkata.

Stay overnight at Kolkata.

Day 11

Kolkata-Chennai (by air)

Enjoy a morning sightseeing of Kolkata Eden Gardens, New Secretariat, Jain Temple. Chowringhee Museum, Bow Barracks, Indian Museum, Kumartuli, Birla Planetarium, High Court, Race Course, New Market, Victoria Memorial, and Mother Teresa’s Convent.

In the evening, take a flight to Chennai.

Stay overnight at Chennai.

Day 12


Spend the day touring the city of Chennai. With a rich culture and history, Chennai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. The city boasts of great architectural extravagance. Visit the Fort St. George and St. Mary’s Church, built by the British East India Company in 1653. In 1680, a church within the fort was consecrated. Other important tourist attractions include Madras war cemetery, Guindy National Park, ISKCON temple, Pulicat temple, Marina beach, and Kovalam beach.

Stay overnight at Chennai.

chinese fishing nets at kochi, kerala

Day 13

Chennai-Cochin (by air)

Late in the morning, take a flight to Cochin from Chennai. Reach and visit the Jew town and Paradesi Synagogue. Built by Samuel Castiel, David Belila, Ephrahim Sala, and Joseph Levi, this synagogue stands on the grounds of the Maharaja of Cochin’s residence. The important places to visit as a part of the Jewish Heritage Tour in Cochin are Chendamangalam Synagogue, Paravur Synagogue, Kadvum begum synagogue, and Jewish Cemetery.

Stay overnight at Cochin.

Day 14

Cochin-Houseboat Cruise

In the morning, drive to Alleppey to enjoy the houseboat cruise. Explore the beautiful backwaters of Kerala and a delicious lunch on board. It is a refreshing experience that allows tourists to marvel at the lush green paddy fields and farmers, small thatched-roof houses, and canoes. In the evening, return to Cochin and enjoy an exotic Kathakali dance presentation. It is one of the chief attractions of a visit to Cochin. Kelikottu is the first act in the performance that calls for attention from the audience. This is followed by Todayam and Purapaddu. After this, the musicians take the stage to perform Melappada.

All the other characters perform in the Tiranokku section during this time. It is one of the most attractive features of a trip to Cochin.

Stay overnight at Cochin.

Day 15


In the morning, visit the Cochin Harbor and Mattancherry Fishing Nets. After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing of Cochin.

rds, they were set up in this region between 1350-1450 AD.

Stay overnight at Mumbai.

inside of maghen david synagogue in kolkata, west bengal

Day 16

Mumbai-Back Home

Today, according to your flight timings, the representatives shall transfer you to the airport.

Take a flight back home with the experience of a lifetime.