Architectural Tour of India Planned for March 2020. Pre-Registration is Open!

June 1, 2019

Greetings AIA New Jersey Travelers!  

The itinerary is set for a March 2020 architectural tour of India, from Mumbai to Delhi with an optional excursion at the end of the trip to Chandigarh prepared for AIA New Jersey members. If you are interested in attending, please contact at your earliest convenience or before the end of June 2019.  Details are provided here…

The architectural records of the Indian subcontinent are astonishing. The religious structures alone include ancient Buddhist stupas and cave monasteries, Hindu temples in a myriad of regional styles, highly ornamented mosques and Islamic tombs, gilded Sikh prayer halls, marble Jain temples, European-style churches, and jewel box synagogues. Added into the mix are imposing royal forts and palaces, merchant-class mansions carved from stone, rambling urban bazaars, and brightly painted tribal homes. Beginning in the 16th century, regional settlements of French, Dutch, Portuguese and English added their own imprint on the built environment. In the 19th century, the British presence, in particular, resulted in a proliferation of public and government buildings designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, a blend of Neo-Classical, Gothic Revivalist and Indian Islamic styles. This European influence continued into the 20th century with Sir Edwin Lutyens’ and
Herbert Baker’s grand design for India’s new capital in Delhi.
In the 1920s and 1930s, European movements such as the Bauhaus and the International Style of architecture slowly began to take hold, followed shortly thereafter by a wave of magnificent Art
Deco construction. Le Corbusier’s postindependence (1947) design for the city of Chandigarh galvanized the practice of Modern building design in the region. It was soon thereafter that a number of local architects, many of whom were educated abroad, began to develop their own architectural style that blended Modernism with ancient design principles, nationalist identities and the realities of life on the Indian subcontinent, creating a truly Modern Indian architecture.
At A Classic Tour, our itineraries feature projects by Charles Correa, B.V. Doshi, Muzharul Islam, V. Ganapati Sthapati, Raj Rewal, Bimal Patel, Hafeez Contractor, Habib Rahman, Louis Kahn, Anant Raje, S. K. Das and Laurie Baker, among others. Architecture itineraries showcase the great variety of styles found on the Indian subcontinent – stone, wood, bricks and mortar that truly span the millennia.

Day 1: Mar. 4, WED -DEPART NEWARK/ NEW YORK Board flight this evening departing for Mumbai, India

Day 2:Mar. 5, THU- ARRIVE MUMBAI Arrive Mumbai, meeting assistance on arrival by A Classic Tours Collection representative and transfer to HOTEL. Mumbai, a cluster of seven islands derives its name from Mumbadevi, the patron goddess of Koli fisher folk, the oldest inhabitants. Rest of the day is at leisure to adjust with time difference etc. TRIDENT NARIMAN POINT HOTEL.

Day 3: Mar. 6, FRI- MUMBAI- ARCHITECTURE AND CITY TOUR Breakfast at your hotel. Morning tour of historic Mumbai. Highlights include the Gateway of India (George Wittet), Victoria Terminus (Frederick William Stevens), the General Post Office (John Begg), Crawford Market (William Emerson), Mumbai Town Hall (Col. Thomas Cowper), the Kala Ghoda neighborhood, The Prince of Wales Museum (Wittet) and the Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg neighborhood. Architectural styles to be viewed include Neo-Classical, Edwardian, Venetian and Victorian Gothic, Indo-Saracenic, Moorish, Gujarati and Art Deco.  This afternoon embark on a walking tour of the ‘native’ bazaar areas of Bhuleshwar. You’ll be fascinated by the vibrant street markets, the colorful people, the multi-cultural mix of mosques, temples and derasars, the different cuisines, and the sheer throbbing energy of the place. The tour covers Crawford Market, Jama Masjid (meet India’s oldest Muslim community, who came here in the 6th Century), Mirchi Galli (spices market), Mangaldas Cloth Market, Zaveri Bazaar (where everyone’s crazy about gold), Phool Galli (Flower Street), Mumbadevi Temple (where the city gets its name from), and the quaint Madhav Baug. You’ll also get an inside look at the Jain community, visit a Panjra Pole (animal shelter) – and you’ll finally figure out what this ‘sacred cow’ thing is all about!. TRIDENT NARIMAN POINT HOTEL – BL OR NAVI MUMBAI TOUR
Full day tour of Navi Mumbai, the largest planned city in the world. Originally conceived in 1964 by Charles Correa, Shirish Patel and Pravina Desai, this region was designed to alleviate the population congestion of Mumbai in a thoughtful manner to minimize proactively urban sprawl. Highlights include innovative housing projects by Correa, Raj Rewal, Hafeez Contractor and S. K. Das. On our drive to Navi Mumbai we will view several highlights of modern Mumbai, such as Thapar House (Hafeez), High Street Phoenix (Callison/505design), Kanchanjunga Apartments (Correa) and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Mumbai.

Day 4: Mar. 7, SAT- MUMBAI/AURANGABAD This morning fly to Aurangabad, your base to visit the incredible rock cut caves and world heritage sites- Ajanta & Ellora. Meeting assistance and transfer to Hotel. After settling in your room and brief rest, proceed to visit the three hundred and fifty years old Ellora caves. One of the finest sculpture sites in the country with 34 amazing caves. Kailasnath Temple, actually sculpted out of a mountain, was created as the residence of Lord Shiva. It is perhaps the largest monolith ever created and bears testimony to the excellence of Dravidian art. RAMA INTNL HOTEL- BD

Day 5: Mar. 8, SUN- AURANGABAD – Ajanta caves. After breakfast embark on a visit to incredible rock-cut monuments of Ajanta Caves, housing significant examples of early Buddhist paintings. It was here Buddhist art attained the peak of its development, in frescoes and wall paintings revealing a fascinating lifestyle. Also visit Aurangabad caves Just outside the city, are located the 6th century caves displaying the influence of Tantric cult in the iconography and architectural designs of the caves. A major chunk of the caves are viharas, of which Caves 3 and 7 are most fascinating. Situated about 5 kms from the Aurangabad city is Bibi Ka Maqbara, the burial place of Aurangzeb’s 1st wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani. It is an imitation of the Taj at Agra, termed as the poor man’s Taj Mahal. RAMA INTNL HOTEL – BL

ACTC Tours representative will assist you to airport to board flight to Udaipur via Mumbai. Udaipur, which is also referred to as the Venice of the East, this lake city is perhaps the most romantic of all the Indian centers. A fairytale collection of exotic gardens, mirror-calm lakes and fantasy island palaces. Meeting assistance and transfer to Hotel. Morning visit to the City Palace, the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. The various buildings in the palace were built by 22 different maharanas between the 16th and 20th centuries. The palace’s Dilkhushal Mahal contains two small chambers, the Kanch Burj and the Krishna Niwas, which are covered completely with red and silver glass and Mewar miniature paintings, respectively. This will be followed by a visit to the Jagdish Temple, built in 1651 in the Indo-Aryan style. Afternoon visit to Saheliyon ki Bari, Garden of the Maids, an eclectic, 18th century garden built for an Udaipur queen and the 48 maids that were part of her dowry. LAKE PALACE HOTEL- BL + EVENIG FOOD RECEPTION DURING FESTIVAL AT CITY PALACE
HOLI FESTIVAL: One of the most celebrated Hindu Festivals in the world; the Holi Festival is an annual event which has become popular to non-Hindus as well. It is a celebration of love, color and gaiety, and one of the best places to enjoy the Holi Festival is in Udaipur, India The Festival is celebrated during the full moon of March and in Udaipur, the royal family hosts a grandiose function at the City Palace. The celebration starts with a lot of dancing, singing, and people gathering around a Holika bonfire. The next day, the free-for-all carnival of colors begins. Be prepared to be bathed in dry colored powder or colored water as you are being chased by both locals and tourists. Groups carrying drums and musical instruments go around to encourage people to sing and dance with the beat. When the sun sets, the locals dress up in their best clothes, and visit their friends or family. The festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, and a thanksgiving for a fruitful harvest. Join the festivities at royal Palace and with royal family this evening.

Day 7 : Mar. 10- TUE – UDAIPUR – City tour & Ranakpur
Join the Holi festivities this morning at a local family Home. Indian dress for festival, colors to play and vegetarian meal provided.. This afternoon you will be driven to Ranakpur for sightseeing of the fabulous 500 -year old Jain Temples. The temples are superbly preserved in near perfect condition. The most distinctive feature are the 29 halls of the main temple, some octagonal and many more than one story high, are dissected by 1444 pillars, each sculpted with unique designs which no two are exactly alike. The carving on the walls, while musicians and dancers have been
modeled out of brackets between the pillars and the ceiling. LAKE PALACE HOTEL- BL

Day 8: Mar. 11, WED- UDAIPUR / JAIPUR
Travel by air to Jaipur, owing its name, foundations and careful planning to the great warrior, astronomer, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The capital of India’s majestic Rajasthan region, Jaipur is a
chaotic mix of old and new, abundant with historical gems and arresting visual beauty. From centuries-old fortresses to dusty pink palaces oozing fairy-tale grandeur, Jaipur evokes a whimsical, old-world charm. This evening enjoy a traditional dinner with presentation of Rajasthan Music & dances. SHAHPURA HOUSE HOTEL BD

Day 9: Mar. 12, THU- JAIPUR- City tour & Amber fort
The Hawa Mahal (also known as ‘Palace of winds’) was built in 1799 as an extension to the Royal City Palace of Jaipur. It allowed the royal ladies who at the time strictly observed ‘pardah’, to be able to watch any processions and activities on the street without being seen by the public. Its five stories of red and pink sandstone loom over the city in a dazzling display of ancient Indian architecture. The top offers stunning views over Jantar Mantar and the City Palace in one direction and over Sireh Deori Bazaar in the other. There’s a small museum with miniature paintings and some rich relics, such as ceremonial armour, which help evoke the royal past. Visit the ancient capital of Amber, ascending the Palace Fortress on the back of a gaily caparisoned elephant. Tour the intricate chambers and hallways of the palace. Visit the city Palace this afternoon , built by Jai Singh II during his reign, the ruler of the of the kingdom of Amber (later called Jaipur), the City Palace is a large complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens, the greatest part of it still being a royal residence. Dating back to the early 20th Century, it is a striking blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture located in the centre of the Old City, which has been enlarged and adapted over the centuries.
Continue to Jantar Mantar, the largest of Jai Singh’s remarkable observatories. Its complex instruments, whose setting and shapes are scientifically designed, represent the high points of
medieval Indian astronomy. SHAHPURA HOUSE HOTEL – BL

After breakfast, you will travel overland to Agra. Stop enroute at Abhaneri, an ancient village in Rajasthan, famous for its post Gupta or early medieval monuments, intricately carved sculptures and temples. The Harshat Mata temple reflects the fine 8th century example of architectural excellence. Visit the water tank or step wells an ancient way of storing rain water. The tank’s staircase is a stunning design that a coin once dropped is impossible to retrieve. Next stop at Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted capital city, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned 15 years later
due to severe water shortage. Within the city, you will tour the Diwan-I-Aam or Hall of Public Audiences. Diwan-I-Khaas or the Hall of Private Audience is a two storied building. Panch
Mahal or Five Storey Palace is a five storied building and the architecture is Persian in style like a Buddhist monastery. Palace of Jodha Bai is named after Jehangir’s wife Jodha Bai. This
palace is a fine blend of Hindu columns and Muslim Cupolas. Palace of the Winds where the walls are entirely made of stone lattice work. Birbal Palace, Miriam’s House. Ankh Michauli is where
the emperor played hide and seek with the ladies of the harem and was probably used for storing records. Sheikh Salim Chisti Dargah is the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, originally built of red sandstone but was later rebuilt in white marble by Jehangir. Continue to Agra and check in at your Hotel. This evening we will then watch the sunset over the Taj Mahal from the Mehtab Bagh, or Moonlight Garden. From any angle, this structure is aweinspiring. CRYSTAL SAROVAR HOTEL- BL

Day 11: Mar. 14, SAT- AGRA TOURING
Visit the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1631-52, as a tomb and memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel of the Palace). This is a tomb garden of flawless proportions and striking symmetry, covered inside and out with inlaid marble work inspired by the Islamic garden of paradise. Stop at the Taj Museum for a close look at the original pieces of drawings of this wonderful marble monument. A look at the drawings reveals the level of accuracy and precision that has gone in planning the structure of the Taj Mahal. The architect had also guessed that the construction would be done in 22 years. Drawings of the interiors show the position of the graves in such precision that the foot of the graves faces the viewer from any angle. Many more such breathtaking collections include royal ornaments, wonderful paintings, portraits of Mughal emperors etc. Continue to Agra Fort built by three of the greatest Mughal emperors. CRYSTAL SAROVAR HOTEL- BD
OPTIONAL- Mohabatein `The Taj Show’
Spend your evening enjoying the amazing Mohabatein The Taj show that depicts the romantic love story of Emperor Shahjahan and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal in the famous theater Kalakriti
Cultural and Convention Center. You will be blown away by the creative dance and dramatic lighting with the 12’ x 12’ Taj Mahal replica as well as the lavish lifestyle of the Mughal Empire. The live show is in both Hindi and Urdu languages and interpretation is available in English, French and German through headphones

Day 12: Mar. 15, SUN – AGRA / KHAJURAHO
Rise early this morning to see & photograph Taj by sunrise. Best time to see Taj when it is less crowded. Return to Hotel for Breakfast and the rest of the morning is free to explore the city on your
own. Later, travel to Khajuraho, India’s unique gift to the world. Upon arrival check in at Hotel. After settling in at Hotel, visit the eastern group of temples comprising of the Brahamin and Jain shrines close to the present Khajuraho village. RADISSON HOTEL- BD

Tour Khajuraho, a city of living temples, of the Indo-Aryan type and generally classified as ” Nagara ” or North Indian. These temples were built during the Chandela period, a dynasty that survived for five centuries before falling to the onslaught of Islam. These Hindu temples with erotic carvings were built 1000 years ago with art and architecture merged to perfection. The temples are in three groups in an area of about 8 square miles. Visit the western group in the morning, largest and most important of the temples situated at the axis of the Lalguan-rajnagar road, including Kandariya Mahadev, representing Chandela art at its best.
The most elaborate temple, Kandariya Mahadev, is an inspiring composition that resembles a mountain range ascending to the sky. It is saturated with sculptures of gods and goddesses,
animals, warriors, dancers, musicians, as well as the erotic scenes for which Khajuraho temples are known.
This evening you will enjoy the Son-et-Lumière show at the Western Temple complex. RADISSON HOTEL- BL

Day 14: Mar. 17. TUE- KHAJURAHO/ DELHI
Breakfast and time free to explore city on own. Later this afternoon fly to Delhi. Evening walk through Connaught Place (Robert Tor Russell), which was built in 1931 as an upscale shopping
complex for the British. The area is now full of interesting high rises, such as the Jeevan Bharati (Charles Correa) and the Statesman House. Dinner at the Imperial Hotel, designed by D.J. Bromfield, an associate of Sir Edwin Lutyens. LE MERIDIAN OR METROPOLITAN HOTEL- BD 

Day 15: Mar. 18, WED- DELHI
Our first stop today will be Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret, built to mark the site of the first Muslim kingdom in North India. We will next visit Humayun’s tomb, the first Persian tomb garden in India. Our next stop is St. Martin’s Garrison Church (Arthur G. Shoesmith), followed by lunch in the India Islamic Cultural Centre (S. K. Das), from which we can view the India Habitat Centre (Joseph Allen Stein). Afternoon visit to Andrews Ganj (Das) and the lotus-shaped Baha’i Temple (Fariborz Sahba). Evening enjoy farewell dinner with a presentation of Indian music and dances. LE MERIDIAN OR METROPOLITAN HOTEL- BD

Day 16: Mar. 19, THU- DEPART DELHI
Breakfast at Hotel and our day is free to explore the city on own, shop for souvenirs or relax until transfer to airport for your return flight homewards. B POST TOUR CHANDIGARH

Day 16: Mar. 19, THU- DELHI / CHANDIGARH
Breakfast at Hotel. Transfer to airport for flight to Chandigarh. (or it can be done by 4hr comfortable train) a beautiful city with its architectural marvels designed by the famous French architect Le Corbusier. Transfer to Hotel and rest of the evening is at leisure. This afternoon visit Nek Chand’s Rock Garden and Rose Garden. Enjoy a boat ride on Sukhana Lake. LALIT HOTEL- B

Day 17: Mar. 20, FRI- CHANDIGARH- Architectural tour
Chandigarh is not only the site of Le Corbusier’s largest assembly of work in one place, the theatre of Pierre Jeanneret’s flourishing as an architect, and an important venue of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew’s ‘tropical architecture’, it is also the place where the first generation of Indian modernists architects cut their teeth and produced a superb body of work that is dispersed throughout the city. What enabled such a historic assemblage of work to be produced in one place? Chandigarh is a unique city, besides being one of the newest city of the twentieth century that is characterized by the seal of Le Corbusier, who planned the city and was also the architect of its most emblematic buildings. In Chandigarh, you will also find the work of a large team of architects led by the partner of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret who along with the British Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew conducted the master plan and built public housing and facilities much needed in the city. As a result, Chandigarh is one of the reference cities of the Modern Movement. Also worthy of noting are Indian architects (such as MN Sharma, A. Prakash, BP Mathur and JK Choudhury) who collaborated with Le Corbusier and Jeanneret to turn Chandigarh into a reality. Although unknown to most, they have played an important part of modern and contemporary Indian architecture. The tours explore the main spots of the city, including all Le Corbusier’s buildings, and the main works of Pierre Jeanneret, M. Fry, J. Drew along with the Capitol Complex team. We’ll also visit the Chandigarh Architecture Museum and Le Corbusier Center to have an overview of the city planning, and have a more comprehensive learning about this great Indian adventure of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. The tours combine walking routes in order to understand the city main planning ideas and glimpse the city atmosphere. LALIT HOTEL- B

Breakfast at Hotel and time free to explore Chandigarh on own. Late this afternoon fly to Delhi where you will connect with the international flight. B

Land tour based on 15 to 19 participants – $3,948.00 per person sharing
Single room supplement- $ 1960.00

Land tour includes:
 First class Hotel accommodations as listed or similar – AC rooms with private bath/shower
 Breakfast daily and other meals as listed in the itinerary (including 2 dinners, both with
cultural music and dance presentation, 1 dinner traditional vegetarian Thali (platter)
 Special Holi festival celebration at city Palace Udaipur with the royal family including snacks
 Holi celebrations with a local family in Udaipur
 Sound & Light show in Khajuraho
 Meet & Greet services at airports, assistance at Hotels by A Classic Tours Collection
 All transfers, sightseeing tours and excursions by one luxury AC bus
 Services of local English speaking guide during sightseeing tours
 Entrance fees to monuments, guide fees, driver allowance, parking etc. as of Feb. 19, 2019
 All applicable taxes on Hotels and transport as of Feb. 19, 2019
Land tour – $432.00 per person sharing
Single room Supplement- $ 126.00
 Deluxe Hotel with private bath & shower. Hotel Lalit or similar
 Breakfast daily
 Transfers and tours as per itinerary by AC bus/ car/ van.
 Meet & Greet services at airport, assistance at Hotel
 Services of local English speaking guide during sightseeing tours
 Train fare by AC Chair car
 Entrance fees, guide fees, driver allowance, parking and all applicable taxes on Hotels and
transport as of Feb. 19, 2019
INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE – Economy class from New York- appox $900 to $1000 per person.
INTERNAL INDIA AIRFAREMain tour- appox. $ 560.00 per person in economy class
Travel is the only thing you buy that enriches your life
322 Vista del Mar # B, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Tel: 888 605 TOURS (8687) or
310 373 1001. Fax: 424 206 1055 Email: Website:
Chandigarh Extension- $ 98.00 per person in Economy class (applies if air option is taken instead of
train- train fare reduction will be given)

Terms & Conditions:

Deposit due at time of booking is $500.00 per person. Balance due 60 days prior to departure (01/04/2020). Airfare payments are due at the time of quoting as airlines only allow 24 to 72 hrs to secure ticketing unless all participants are departing from Newark Airport, in which case we can negotiate a special group rate. 

An administrative fee of $200.00 per person is charged if the booking is canceled up to 61 days prior to departure.

Cancellation received between 60 to 46 days prior to departure: 50% of land tour. 

Cancellation received 45 days or less prior to departure: No refunds

Airfare terms and cancellations are as per airlines policy and will be advised as we finalize air travel. Internal India tickets once issued are non-refundable.



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