A SUITABLE BOY TOUR
December 6 - 15, 2020 (10 days)

Journeys with Shantum Seth

We have extensions to visit the Taj Mahal and the Golden Triangle

Building Love - Agra, the Taj Mahal & Agra Fort (2 days): December 15-16, 2020

The Golden Triangle – Jaipur and Delhi (4 days): December 17-20, 2020

For futher information & registration please contact us at info@buddhapath.com

Buddhapath (Eleven Directions) is 3rd in this august global list (including Plum village and Spirit Rock) of inner journeys in outer spaces. Rating has been done by CNN. Read more...
ahimsa trust

A Suitable Boy Journey

A Suitable Boy Journey: Shantum’s brother, Vikram Seth, is a well-known author who among many books also wrote his magnum opus ‘A Suitable Boy’ (compared to Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’). This book has recently been made into a six-part series by the BBC and directed by Mira Nair. The filming took place between August and December 2019 in various interesting locations. Shantum even has a small part in it! The series is to be released on BBC 1 in the UK in June 2020
Meanwhile, ‘A Suitable Boy ‘tour is being organised by Buddhapath and led by Shantum. We will get to visit the places where the film was shot, meet the author (hopefully his muse will not displace us) and re-live this amazing story in some parts of north India which inspired this book: Delhi, Lucknow/Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna and Kolkata. Those of you who have read the book will know it is a book about India and gives you a wonderful sense of the culture, history and politics of that time. Vikram is currently writing a book ‘A Suitable Girl’ covering the period from 1999 onwards in India.
The tour covers the cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi, Lucknow and everything in between! These are some of the places, both real (and some fictitious) on which the book is based,
We will try and recreate the city of Brahmpur, through our travels - Mahesh Kapoor's home at 'Prem Niwas', Misri Mandi where Bhaskar lived and which was partly inspired by the old city of Delhi and of Varanasi, the University where Lata met Kabir, the Legislative Assembly where Mahesh Kapoor argued the famous Zamindari Act,
Experience a train journey and visit the railway station which was the heart of Indian transport in the 1950s, visit the sangam of the Ganges and Yamuna and imagine the Kumbh scenes, visit Kolkata where Amit Chatterjee and family, Arun and Meenakshi lived, where the box-wallahs of the 50s worked and clubbed, the HIgh Court where Justice Chatterjee presided, the anticlockwise race course which fascinated Varun, the tanneries and Prahapur where Haresh worked, maybe attend a cricket match like the one in which Kabir played, see the village where Maan may have lived, experience the music concerts of the time. We will also visit the sites where the film was shot and maybe meet the Director and some of the actors.
We will also meet the people who lived during that period or have studied it. Chance upon a Rupa Mehra or Lata of today.
The cherry on the cake will be an Indian wedding on the last day - and if any of the participants of this tour want to get married (or remarried!), we can organise that too.... with henna, white mare and hullabaloo!

A Suitable Boy Tour (10 days):
December 6-15, 2020 – US$ 3650 (GBP 2950)
Journey with Shantum Seth
We have extensions to visit the Taj Mahal at Agra and the rest of the Golden Triangle (Jaipur and Delhi)
The Golden Triangle – Jaipur and Delhi (4 days):
December 17-20, 2020 – US$ 1950/ GBP 1565
Building Love - Agra, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort (2 days): December 15-16, 2020 – US$ 475/ GBP 380
(you can take only this extension if you do not want to do the entire Golden Triangle tour)
Agra was the capital of the great Mughals. Emperor Akbar, was the main architect of the Agra Fort. His grandson Shah Jahan built the beautiful monument to love, the Taj Mahal, as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Both these monuments are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Fatehpur Sikri, built during the second half of the 16th century CE by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. Fatehpur Sikri bears exceptional testimony to the Mughal civilization at the end of the 16th century. It offers a unique example of architectural ensembles of very high quality constructed between 1571 and 1585 CE. Its form and layout strongly influenced the evolution of Indian town planning, notably Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi).
Jaipur or The City of Victory was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 17207 CE. It is the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the Universe through nine rectangular sectors sub-dividing it. The architect who formalized the city’s plans on the Shilpa Shastra, the epic Hindu treatise on architecture, mixed it with the sublimity of the Mughal and Jain influences of the time. The city was painted pink in 1853 CE in honour of the visit of Prince Albert.
Amber Fort, set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 CE and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh the fort was made in red sandstone and white marble. The rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture. The interior wall of the palace has expressive painted scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. Holding a history of seven centuries, this place is vibrant with its legendary past. Enjoy an elephant ride to the top of the Fort.
Visit the City Palace, a beautiful palace complex full of treasures now housed in the museum area. The City Palace is a delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum. Also visit Jantar Mantar or the Royal Astronomical Observatory. This observatory is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 CE and 1734 CE. Each instrument has a specific purpose and gives an accurate reading. New Delhi, the capital of India
Delhi is a bustling metropolis and a city of almost 17 million inhabitants. Delhi is a near perfect blend of the ancient and the modern and is seamlessly divided into two parts - Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi is part of the city that was designed by the Mughals and New Delhi was designed majorly during British rule and is also known as “Lyutens’ Delhi”. Sir Edwin Landseer Lyutens designed several monuments in New Delhi including India Gate and the Viceroy's Residence now known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Residence).
Visit Gandhi Smriti, where the father of the nation was martyred. Later drive along the Rajpath, drive past Government buildings (Ministry offices), Rashtrapathi Bhawan, Parliament House and India Gate. Visit Humayun’s Tomb.
Pre-Trip: The Exquisite Caves – Ajanta & Ellora (beginning in Aurangabad and ending in Delhi) December 4-6, 2021 – US$780
Ajanta
Ajanta is situated near Aurangabad. Beginning in the 2nd century BCE and continuing for 900 years, twenty-six caves were chipped out of a horseshoe shaped cliff. The early followers of the Buddha created an isolated haven, shrouded in the darkness of the caves where they could meditate in peace. The exquisite Buddhist paintings and sculptures created by using simple tools in the glow of lamps rank among the world's most important cultural treasures and the area has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Although the Jataka Tales form the main theme of the paintings, also depicted are scenes from contemporary courtly life all demonstrating a startling degree of sophistication. In the Ajanta paintings we see the brilliant union between sacred and secular art.
Ellora Ellora Caves: Nearby is Maharashtra state's most phenomenal ancient monument, the Ellora caves which carried on the legacy of Ajanta from the 7th century AD and was subjected to Buddhist, Jain and Hindu influences. The sculptures at Ellora are massive in form and the entire spectrum of carvings pulsates with life and energy. The phenomenal rock cut Hindu temple of Kailash which is carved out of a hillside is the world's largest monolith and the site's principal attraction. Ellora too, is a World Heritage site declared by UNESCO.

TEACHER BIOGRAPHY


Shantum is an ordained teacher (Dharmacharya) in the Zen Buddhist lineage (of the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh) and has been leading pilgrimages ' In the Footsteps of the Buddha' and other transformative journeys since 1988. He will offer meditations, talks and facilitate discussions along the way. He is also well connected with people in Vietnam, so shall facilitate meetings and discussions with interesting people.


Thich Nhat Hanh officiating at the wedding of Shantum & Gitu

He has co-authored books such as Walking with the Buddha and been a consultant for films like BBC-Discovery’s Life of the Buddha and BBC-PBS’s The Story of India. He is a Senior Advisor to the World Bank/Govt. of India to help promote Buddhist pilgrimage tourism in India and South Asia.

Shantum is actively involved in village development and cultural programmes including bringing mindfulness into Indian education, being pioneered by the non-profit Ahimsa www.ahimsatrust.org He is working on setting up a Meditation centre in the foothills of the Himalayas, where he lives.

ITINERARY

No.

Date

Day

Travel

Night’s Stay

1

04-Dec-20

Friday

Begin at 9am in Aurangabad. Visit Ajanta

Aurangabad

2

05-Dec-20

Saturday

Visit Ajanta. Fly Aurangabad-Delhi in the evening

Delhi

1

06-Dec-20

Sunday

Journey Begins at 12pm (noon) with Orientation

Delhi

2

07-Dec-20

Monday

Visit ASB sites. After lunch, fly Delhi-Kolkata in the evening

Kolkata

3

08-Dec-20

Tuesday

Visit the ASB sites in Kolkata

Kolkata

4

09-Dec-20

Wednesday

Visit the ASB sites in Kolkata

Kolkata

5

10-Dec-20

Thursday

Explore more ASB sites in Kolkata. In the evening, fly Kolkata-Varanasi

Varanasi

6

11-Dec-20

Friday

Visit cultural and historical sites mentioned in ASB

Varanasi

7

12-Dec-20

Saturday

Early morning fly Varanasi-Allahabad. ASB sites in Allahabad. After lunch take the 3.40pm train to Lucknow (Prayaghat- Lucknow Intercity express)

Lucknow

8

13-Dec-20

Sunday

Visit ASB sites, meet interesting people connected with the book and the film. Visit the filming sites

Lucknow  

9

14-Dec-20

Monday

Explore ASB's Lucknow further

Lucknow  

10 / 1

15-Dec-20

Tuesday

Closing Circle. In the afternoon, fly Lucknow-Delhi/ Drive to Agra for Taj Mahal extension

Departure / Agra

2

16-Dec-20

Wednesday

Visit Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Drive to Delhi in the evening/Stay in Agra for the Jaipur-Delhi Extension.

Departure / Agra

1

17-Dec-20

Thursday

Drive Agra-Jaipur. Visit Fatehpur Sikhri en route

Jaipur

2

18-Dec-20

Friday

Jaipur sightseeing.

Jaipur

3

19-Dec-20

Saturday

Drive Jaipur-Delhi. Delhi sightseeing.

Delhi

4

19-Dec-20

Sunday

Delhi sightseeing. Departure

Departure.

*there could be minor changes in the itinerary

JOURNEY REGISTRATION INFORMATION & TRAVEL FACTS (all journeys begin and end in Delhi)

A Suitable Boy Tour (10 days): Visit Delhi, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kolkata: December 6-15, 2020 – US$ 3650 (GBP 2950)

Building Love - Agra, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort (2 days): December 15-16, 2020 – US$ 475 (GBP 380)

The Golden Triangle Extension – Agra, Jaipur and Delhi ((6 days): December 15-20, 2020 – US$ 1950 (GBP 1565)

Pre-Trip: The Exquisite Caves – Ajanta & Ellora (beginning in Aurangabad and ending in Delhi) December 4-6, 2021 – US$780

Please note that the cost does not cover: International airfare to and from New Delhi, visas and other international arrangements, any extra days spent in India beyond the dates of the journey, excess baggage fees on the flights, phone calls and faxes during the journey, laundry during the journey or medical and other insurance coverage such as travel insurance.

TO REGISTER
A non-refundable deposit of US$500 (GBP 400) per person is required at the time of booking.  The remainder of the cost of the pilgrimage is due by October 1, 2020 

CANCELLATION
For cancellations received up to eight weeks before the commencement of the journey only the deposit will be forfeited.  Cancellations received less than eight weeks will be 100% of the total cost.

Travel Insurance: We encourage people to take travel insurance. The range of coverage can vary significantly from policy to policy, and travelers are encouraged to speak with a travel agency to identify a policy that suits their needs. Things to consider are travel delays, trip cancellation or interruption, medical coverage, and baggage loss or delay. Before purchasing insurance, you may wish to check with your health insurance carrier to see if your policy includes medical care overseas. Please note that many insurance carriers require that insurance be purchased at the time a deposit or final payment is made; check with your carrier for details.

JOURNEY REGISTRATION INFORMATION & TRAVEL FACTS The cost for the 11-Day A Suitable Boy tour (beginning in Delhi and ending in Kolkata): December 6 to December 15, 2020 – US$ 3650 (GBP 2950) based on twin-sharing. Single room supplement is $1450 (GBP 1165)

India Visa Information The Indian Embassy in the US has outsourced its visa applications at http://www.in.ckgs.us/index.shtml The Indian Embassy has a Consulate in New York (Tel: 212 774 0699), Chicago (312 595 0405), Houston (713 626 2148) and San Francisco (415 668 0662). The main embassy is based in Washington DC and their number is (202) 939 7000. Please ensure that the visa covers the travel period for which you are applying. If you need a reference in India, you can give: Mr. Shantum Seth, 309-B, Sector 15A, Noida 201 301, District Gautam Buddha Nagar, India. Telephone: +91-120-2511633.
An Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) as e-Tourist Visa on Arrival (eTVA) is also available for travelers from 164 countries including Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, UK, Singapore, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Japan, Norway, Finland... https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html You can apply for this Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) a minimum of 4 days before your date of travel. This visa is issued for a period of one month to 5 years.
Your visa to India can be either SINGLE ENTRY, DOUBLE ENTRY or MULTIPLE ENTRY
PLEASE CARRY A COPY OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT RETURN TICKET AS YOUR TICKET IS CHECKED BEFORE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO ENTER INDIAN AIRPORTS
IMPORTANT DEADLINES
Each participant must provide the following details in order to reserve train, air and hotels: Name, gender, date of birth, passport number, date of issue of passport, date of expiry of passport, place of issue of passport, and emergency contact information. In addition, registrants must provide the visa number, date of issue, date of expiry and place of issue as soon as the visa for travel to India has been issued.
Please send us the visa details after you have obtained them.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE, ACCEPTANCE OF CREDIT CARDS & TIPPING
As stated above, hotels, food, transportation within India, and guide services are all covered by the tour fees. It is suggested that travelers carry adequate cash for expenses like gifts or souvenirs, as it is difficult to change money at the sites we visit during the journey. Travelers will also need money if they are planning to extend their stay in India before or after the journey Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and in the larger cities we visit. There are ATM machines in most places where one can access cash, but their presence is not universal as it is in the US, UK or other countries. One US dollar approximates 75 Indian Rupees as on April 1, 2020. We recommend that you convert some cash at the airport when you arrive in New Delhi. There is no need to exchange it in your country — it is best to do so in India. There are a couple of banks with a standard exchange rate at the airport both before and after you clear customs. Please keep your bank receipts carefully in case you need to change the money into dollars when you return home.
Travelers often have questions about tipping. In the last few years, we have developed a system where a kitty is collected at the beginning, and the tips are distributed from it (contributing is optional). This covers all the incidental tipping/donations during the journey at hotels/restaurants etc. A tip for the guides and drivers is an optional addition to this kitty. Thus far, this has worked well. It usually works out to $10 to $15 per day, but this figure could vary. It may be a good idea to set aside US$150 (GBP 120) for tips.
US$ 500 (GBP 400) in cash currency is a suggested amount to carry to India.
If you arrive before the start of the journey or stay after it concludes, the general rule is as follows: tipping someone who has carried your luggage is common and we would suggest Rs.100. In restaurants, one normally leaves a tip of between 5% to 10% of the entire bill, unless a service charge has already been levied. It is not necessary to tip taxi drivers; however, if you have hired a car for the day and you are happy with the driver, a tip of between Rs.200 to Rs.500 is fine.
HOTELS/HOUSING
We choose the best available accommodations in the vicinity of the sites based on shared, twin-bedded rooms with a private bath or shower and toilet. The accommodations are clean and comfortable —in some cases rather luxurious and in one place rather simple. If you prefer a single room (where available), there is a price supplement.
SINGLE ACCOMMODATION
Single rooms are available and there is a single supplement of $1450/GBP 1165. Please refer to the registration form on the last page for more details
ELECTRICITY
India uses 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. Plugs/sockets are usually an issue (the electrical sockets in India have round holes, not flat one, so please ensure that the stems of your plug has rounded stems). It’s best to travel with a universal plug adaptor.
WEATHER & CLOTHING NEEDS
Given that there can be a high variation between the daytime and evening temperatures (the general range is from 7 degrees to 20 degrees Celsius, (44 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit) layering is a practical approach. It’s important to be comfortable and modestly dressed. We recommend that you bring one coat or jacket and a light sweater for the evening; perhaps a shawl if you want to meditate in the morning. For the warmer part of the day, cotton shirts, T-shirts and cotton trousers will work well. There is no need to bring formal clothing.
Generally, the weather is dry with a small possibility of light rain or fog in some places. It is handy to have an umbrella that can double as a sunshade if it gets too sunny or even be used as a walking stick. Please bring comfortable sneakers or sandals (which you can wear with socks if it gets cold). We do not go on treks, but one or two of the (optional) walks are long. We also visit a number of temples where you will need to remove your shoes, so it is helpful to bring a pair of socks (the airline slip-ons are very convenient). It is always useful to have a hat or cap to protect you from the sun. We are allowed 15 kilos (33 lbs.) check in baggage and 7kgs (15 lbs) as cabin baggage on Indian airplanes, so we recommend that you travel light. You can carry extra baggage, at an additional cost. Laundry facilities are available at all the places we stay, and laundry is returned within 24 hours.
Please do bring along your meditation cushion (if you are unable to sit, a folding camp stool is fine).
HEALTH CONCERNS
We stay in clean, safe places, and the food in the places we stay will be clean, fresh and prepared to suit a delicate digestive system. You will be provided bottled mineral water for drinking.
If you are coming from Africa or some parts of Latin America, a certificate of yellow fever inoculation is required by the Indian authorities. If you are coming from Kenya, you have to take the OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) before you travel.
There is no other medical restriction upon your entry into India. We recommend a Hepatitis-A inoculation and a Tetanus shot. If you prefer to be more careful, then please speak to your physician. We do carry a first-aid kit with us, but many people prefer to bring their own supply of medicines. We would recommend you get an insect/mosquito repellent and also a stomach medicine for both diarrhea and constipation as one’s stomach has its own way of adjusting to different foods.
If you have any special diet needs or medical needs, please do let us know.
SIM CARD, IPHONE ETC.
It is quite easy and inexpensive to get a local SIM card for your mobile phone at the Delhi airport. You need one photograph and a copy of your Indian visa and passport. If you have an iPhone, you may need to ‘unlock’ it before you come to India. Mobile telephony in India is inexpensive.
ADDITIONAL TRAVEL SERVICES (e.g. shuttle buses, taxis)
We provide airport transfers both ways and all the transport services during the journey, including having you met on arrival in New Delhi. There is no extra charge for meeting you at the airport. For those who want to make your own arrangements, the Delhi Airport has cabs lined up and you can register with them.
DISCLAIMER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY
Seth Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (Buddhapath) and Shantum Seth while undertaking tours, transportation, hotel accommodation and other services only act on the clear understanding that they shall not be in any way responsible or liable for any accident, damage, loss, delay or inconvenience caused in connection with travel and other facilities arranged by the company, their employees or agents. All bookings are accepted and executed with utmost care, yet no responsibility is taken for any change or deviation on account of factors beyond their control.

By making a deposit for the tour, participants acknowledge that they have read and understood this document in its entirety, and have consented to all conditions herein, including the Disclaimer and Release of Liability. For participants under 18 years of age, their parent or legal guardian shall sign on their behalf and the same Disclaimer and Release shall apply.

Each pilgrim must complete this form in full, and send (email is fine) with a non-refundable deposit of $500 per pilgrim to:

REGISTRATION FORM
Each pilgrim must complete this form in full, and send (email is fine) with a non-refundable deposit of $500 per pilgrim to:
Ms Bina Aranha
Buddhapath/Eleven Directions
309-B, Sector 15A
Noida 201 301, India
Tel: +91-120-4334284
Email: info@buddhapath.com ; info@elevendirections.com

 
For futher information & registration please contact us at info@buddhapath.com
 

 

 

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

.

© Buddhapath | Email: info@buddhapath.com | Design Sanjam Singh