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
Sunday 12 January – Friday 24 January 2020
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.
London • Delhi • Meerut • Cawnpore • Calcutta • Serampore • Calcutta • London
(Meals: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
Sunday 12, January
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.
Monday, 13 January
Kashmir Gate and Skinner’s Church
Arrive Delhi 09:05, meet and transfer to The Shangri La's Eros 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)
Tuesday, 14 January
Heritage Walk in Old Delhi
Morning: Visit Nicholson’s Cemetery, Flagstaff House, the Ridge and Mutiny Memorial with a local guide (INTACH representative for the Delhi Chapter).
Afternoon: Imperial Delhi – Planned by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker when the British capital was moved here from Calcutta 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)
Wednesday, 15 January
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.
We will have lunch at a local resturant in Meerut and then retun to delhi. Evening dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
Thursday, 16 January
By train to Lucknow . 4 nights at the LeBua Hotel
Early morning transfer to New Delhi railway station to board Shatabdi 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)
Friday, 17 January
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: 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)
Saturday, 18 January
Day excursion to Cawnpore
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.
Return to Lucknow hotel for dinner. (B,D)
Sunday, 19 January
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)
Monday, 20 January
Fly Lucknow to Calcutta
Fly Lucknow to Calcutta 6E 857 dep 1150 arr 1315 - 4 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 Calcutta 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.
Dinner at the Exclusive Bengal Club. (B,D)
Tuesday, 21 January
Calcutta Heritage walk
Morning: 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 Calcutta cemetery are the tombs of Job Charnock, founder of British Calcutta 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 Calcutta visiting the Subhas Chandra Bose Museum and Jorosanko, the home of Rabindranath Tagore, Bengal’s famous poet and artist. (B,D)
Wednesday, 22 January
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 Calcutta.
Afternoon: Scottish Cemetery and Lower Circular Road Cemetery, followed by optional visit to the Bengal Crafts Council shop. (B,D)
Thursday, 23 January
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. We will have lunch at Danish Tavern in Serampore and then return to Calcutta by coach. (B,D)
Friday, 24 January
International departure by Emirate airlines EK571 at 08:55 vai Dubai. Arrival London Heathrow at 18:20.
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.
BACSA ( 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.
- How to Book this Tour
- Travel Insurance
We will make a contribution of £25 to BACSA and £10 to Heath Robinson Museum on every booking.
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 to BACSA and £10 to Heath Robinson Museum per person will be made.
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
- 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. 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.
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.
- 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