Imperial India: Find your ancestors!
12 March 2022 Special Interest


Imperial India: Find your ancestors! Special Interest

A 13-day tour in India which traces the history of the British Raj from its last capital in Delhi to its original capital in Calcutta. On the way between these two major cities we will visit Meerut, with its large army cantonment: Lucknow and Cawnpore with memories of the Mutiny of 1857; and a river trip to see the old Danish settlement at Serampore with its little graveyard.

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 belively 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.

13 days from £3,885.00 per person
London - Delhi - Meerut - Lucknow - Cawnpore - Calcutta - Serampore - Calcutta - London
Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones

Advisor & Trip Scholar - Family History Tours

Rosie's Picture

Itinerary View Map
Soaring above the clouds a view from the airplane window

Day 1: To Delhi

Saturday 12 March

Departure from London Heathrow by Emirates Airlines Via Dubai. Flights from other regional UK airports i.e Gatwick, Manchester, New Castle, Glasgow are available at a supplement upon request.

Day 2: Delhi: Kashmir Gate and Skinner’s Church

Sunday 13 March

Arrive Delhi, 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. D

Accommodation: Shangri-La’s Eros

Day 3: Delhi: Heritage Walk in Old Delhi

Monday 14 March

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

Day 4: Delhi: Full Day Tour to Meerut

Tuesday 15 March

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

Imambara building in Lucknow

Day 5: To Lucknow: By train to Lucknow.

Wednesday 16 March

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

Day 6: Lucknow

Thursday 17 March

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

Day 7: To Cawnpore: Day excursion to Cawnpore

Friday 18 March

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

Day 8: Lucknow

Saturday 19 March

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

Day 9: Fly Lucknow to Calcutta

Sunday 20 March

Fly Lucknow to Calcutta.

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

Day 10: Calcutta Heritage walk

Monday 21 March

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

Day 11: Calcutta

Tuesday 22 March

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

Day 12: To Serampore

Wednesday 23 March

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 packed lunch from the hotel and high tea at Danish Tavern in Serampore and then return to Calcutta by coach. B, L, D

Day 13: To London

Thursday 24 March

International departure by Emirates airlines via Dubai to London Heathrow.
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. B

Itinerary map

Dates & Prices

Dates Price per person (Double/Twin share) Single room supplement
12-24 Mar 2022 £3,885.00 £1,195.00
Cost includes:
  • 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 , High Tea at Martinière Boys College. A traditional Nawabi entertainment and dinner in Lucknow. Tea at Flurry’s Kolkata. Dinner at Palladian Lounge Kolkata. Packed lunch on day trip to Serampore and High Tea at Danish Tavern Serampore.
  • 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.
  • Services of Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones MBE as trip scholar.
  • Lecture on the history of Delhi and heritage walk with Dr Swapna Liddle (INTACH representative for the Delhi Chapter).
  • Complimentary mineral water while driving and on sightseeing.
  • A contribution of £25 to BACSA and £10 to Heath Robinson Museum per person will be made.  
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.
Cost does not include:
  • Visa fee for India. We will send relevant information how obtain an electronic E-Toursit visa.
  • Any expense of a personal nature.
  • Tips and Gratuities.
  • Travel Insurance*

* Travel Insurance
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.
• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
• Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
• Make sure 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 have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer. Please note Covid-19 cover is now available.
For a competitive quotation please visit

020 8901 7320