Paul Saltzman is a two-time Emmy Award winning film and television producer-director with over 300 productions to his credit. The documentary features Prom Night in Mississippi and The Last White Knight—Is Reconciliation Possible? are his most recent movies and feature Morgan Freeman. Paul is also a renowned author and photographer.
In 1968, he learned meditation at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India. There, he spent time with and photographed the Beatles. His photos have been judged “some of the best intimate shots” ever taken of John, Paul, George and Ringo, and have been seen in galleries worldwide.
In 2000, Paul released a book of his photographs, The Beatles in Rishikesh, with Penguin-Putnam; in 2006, he self-published the acclaimed Deluxe Limited Edition box set, The Beatles in India. In 2018, Insight Editions will release a hardcover edition of the Beatles In India with a 50th anniversary foreword by Pattie Boyd.
An Intimate Overview of India
India is a cornucopia of remarkable people and places, of music and soul. It is many, many cultures -- an amazing fusion of modern and ancient, of adventures and discoveries.
On this upcoming journey, we will be a small, intimate group, experiencing the great fusion of east and west that is India. The destinations you'll visit are as varied as the country -- the lush jungles of Kerala, modern Mumbai, the regal forts of the Rajasthani desert, the awe inspiring peaks of the high Himalayas. And, of course, the extraordinary Taj Mahal. Your tour promises to be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
50th Anniversary of the Beatles in India
It was in 1968 that the Beatles spent less than 7 weeks at the ashram in Rishikesh, India, and in that time wrote a remarkable 48 songs. It was also a turning point in the cultural contact between east and west. On our tour, we spend 3 nights in the peacefulness of Rishikesh, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Paul Saltzman was with the Beatles for a time at the Ashram.
|Tour Duration||:||17 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||16 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||24 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Sept 15, 2018: Arrive Trivandrum
Namaste! We are welcomed the traditional Indian way with palms held together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are met and driven to Kovalam. After checking into our hotel, and before dinner, Paul Saltzman will welcome you on this unique journey at the Neera Bar outdoor patio. As an added treat, one lucky person will win a draw for Paul’s Limited Edition The Beatles in India (value $325).
Overnight: Vivanta By Taj Kovalam (2 Nights) (D)
1. Welcome drink with Paul and book draw.
Day 02: Sept 16, 2018: Kovalam
Morning Yoga session, if you wish to join us. The day is free to relax on the beach, explore the local shops and surroundings, or visit nearby Trivandrum, Kerala’s capital. Those who want to go for Ayurveda can book this at the Taj Spa, which is one of the best spas in the south. Evening we join Paul for his slide show and talk, ‘Fusion of Music & Soul: Why the Beatles Came to India’, followed by conversation. (B)
1. Morning Yoga session (optional)
2. ‘Fusion of Music & Soul: Why the Beatles Came to India.’ Slide show and talk
Day 03: Sept 17, 2018: Trivandrum/Alleppey (Drive)
Scenic coastal drive to Alleppey, where we board traditional rice boats—Ketuvallam—converted to house boats, and begin our magical journey through Kerala’s picturesque inland waterways, relaxing in the tranquility of the backwaters and lakes, experiencing the way of life and activity of the locals. A special treat is the authentic and exquisite Kerala cuisine cooked on board. Boats have one or two bedrooms.
Overnight: House Boat (1 night) (B, L, D)
1. Night House Boat on Full Board Basis.
Day 04: Sept 18, 2018: Alleppey/Cochin (Drive) Cochin/Mumbai (Flight)
After breakfast, we disembark from our house boats and drive to Cochin Airport for our flight to the magical city of Mumbai, where we are transferred to our hotel. Evening we enjoy a scrumptious dinner in a private dining room at our hotel, prepared for us by the executive chef.
Overnight: Trident Hotel, Mumbai (2 Nights) (B, D)
1. Evening Dinner. (Pre Set Menu Dinner)
Day 05: Sept 19, 2018: Mumbai
Arrangements are in the works for a meeting with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, considered to be the foremost bansuri flute player of his generation. He may give us an informal recital. Pandit Chaurasia toured and recorded with George Harrison on ‘The Inner Light’ and George’s ‘Dark Horse Tour’. This will be followed by a guided city tour of Mumbai, including the famous Chor Bazaar (Thieves Market) and the Victoria Terminus, recently declared a World Heritage Site, and a pass by the EMI Studio where, in 1968, George Harrison recorded ‘The Inner Light’. Then we have a high tea in the heritage wing of the Taj Mahal Hotel followed by a private tour of the wing. (B, HT, D)
1. Meeting with Pandit Hariprasad (subject to availability).
2. Guided City Tour including visits to Chor Bazaar & Victoria Terminus (World Heritage Site)
3. High Tea at the heritage wing of the Taj Mahal hotel.
3. Private tour of the heritage wing (Subject to permission from hotel).
Day 06: Sept 20, 2018: Mumbai/Udaipur (Flight)
A short flight takes us into Rajasthan, to the city of Udaipur, named as the world’s 7th best city in 2007. We travel by bus and boat to the Lake Palace Hotel—Paul Saltzman’s “favourite hotel in the world.” Later in the evening, we enjoy dinner on the Royal Barge. ‘Gangaur’ is an antique royal barge of the House of Mewar. Its regal décor and vibrant splendor were featured in the James Bond film Octopussy and guests continue to enjoy its magnificence. Six rowers in traditional attire steer us around the mystical Lake Pichola while we unwind with cocktails and enjoy barbequed snacks and hors d’oeuvres served by our own personal butlers. The highlight of the evening is a floating buffet that attaches to our barge. Our chefs have created for you the finest Indian feast. Gentle, live music is on board.
Overnight: Hotel Taj Lake Palace (2 Nights) (B, D)
1. Dinner on the Royal Barge.
Day 07: Sept 21, 2018: Udaipur
Today we tour Udaipur, visiting the City Palace followed by a visit to the world-famous Crystal Gallery in the Fateh Prakash Palace. It has been hailed as the single largest private collection of crystal anywhere in the world. It was in 1877 that the Maharaja Sajjan Singh custom ordered this collection from the F&C Osler Co. in Birmingham. It includes a bewildering number of objects d'art, dinner sets, perfume bottles, decanters, glasses, washing bowls and even furniture, including the only crystal bed in the world. In the afternoon, we visit Sajjangarh Fort, the ‘Monsoon Palace’, high above Udaipur, affording a marvelous, panoramic view of the area. En route to our hotel, we can visit an excellent gallery/fine crafts emporium. (B)
1. City Tour of Udaipur visiting City Palace, Crystal Gallery, Saheliyon Ki Bari.
2. Visit Sajjangarh (Monsoon Palace).
3. Gallery/Fine Crafts Emporium.
Day 08: Sept 22, 2018: Udaipur/Jaipur (Flight)
After breakfast, we take a short flight to Jaipur, capital of India’s most romantic state, Rajasthan. As we drive from Jaipur airport to the city, we’ll view a 23-minute video on a Jaipur family of Master Meenakari craftspeople who create exquisite gold and silver enamel jewelry, chess sets and more. The film, made by Paul Saltzman in 1975, follows Gopal Deen Dayal, age 11, as the craft is passed to him and his brothers by their father. We’ll visit them the next day in their home/workshop. Upon arrival at Jaipur we check in at the hotel.
Overnight: Jai Mahal Palace (2 Nights) (B)
Day 09: Sept 23, 2018: Jaipur
This morning, we are treated like the royalty of yesteryear with an elephant ride to Amber Fort, situated on top of a hill rendering a majestic panoramic view of the city. Amber was the capital of Rajasthan before Jaipur. The Palace is laid out on different levels on the hillside and surrounded by a fortress. A shopper’s paradise, Jaipur is noted for its gems, puppets and artisans, skilled in brass inlay, enamel, lacquer work and pottery. Most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone and one of the most beautiful is the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, from where the ladies of the royal harem would watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. In the afternoon, we’ll visit Gopal’s home and workshop in the old bazaar area of Jaipur. Evening is dinner at the Diggi Palace, where we are entertained with a Rajasthani puppet show. Shopping at the bazaar is an option. (B, D)
1. Guided tour of Amber Fort.
2. City Palace.
3. Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds).
4. Gopal and family home/workshop.
5. Dinner at Diggi Palace.
Day 10: Sept 24, 2018: Jaipur/Fatehpur Sikri/Agra (Drive)
After an early breakfast, we head out for a lovely countryside drive to Agra. En-route we visit Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful capital built in 1640 by the Mughal King, Akbar the Great. A superb example of Mughal architecture, it stands perfectly preserved in the desert. We tour the Palace-Fort and also visit the artistically designed mausoleum of Salim Chisty before continuing to Agra. On arrival in Agra, we check in to our hotel. Later we visit the Agra Fort, where Shah Jehan, in the later years of his life, was imprisoned by his son. We end our tour with a visit to several local shops and witness the complex art of inlaying precious and semiprecious stones in the world-famous marbles from the mines of Makrana. Later in the evening we have a gala dinner at the Peshwari Restaurant.
Overnight: ITC Mughal (1 Night) (B, D)
1. Guided tour of Fatehpur Sikri – World Heritage Site.
2. Guided tour of Agra Fort - World Heritage Site.
3. Gala Dinner at Peshwari Restaurant at the ITC Mughal Hotel
Day 11: Sept 25, 2018: Agra/New Delhi (Drive)
We begin our day with a sunrise visit to the most well-known of the ‘Seven Modern Wonders of the World’, the Taj Mahal. It is a unique and exquisite experience to stand in front of the huge wooden Mughal doors as they are swung open and be the first to view the Taj Mahal in the soft morning light, with the grounds empty. Built by Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, visiting the Taj is beyond any photographs or film one can view. While there, Paul will share a few of his favourite stories of the Taj and of ancient India. After breakfast, we drive to New Delhi. On arrival, we visit the famous Akshardham Temple complex, an amazing world of Indian Hindu culture, ornate with 20,000 statues, floral motifs, arches and exquisitely carved pillars. Built on the banks of the River Yamuna over a sprawling 100 acres of lush manicured lawns adorned with water fountains and carved pavilions, it cost $2 billion and took 5 years to construct. In the evening, we join Paul for his slide show and talk, ‘The Inner Journey. Fusion of East and West’, followed by conversation.
Overnight: The Taj Mahal Hotel (2 Nights) (B)
1. Guided sunrise visit to Taj Mahal—World Heritage Site.
2. Drive to Delhi.
3. Guided tour of Akshardham Complex.
4. ‘The Inner Journey. Fusion of East and West.’ Slide show and talk.
Day 12: Sept 26, 2018: Delhi
Today, we explore wonderful sights and experiences of New Delhi and Old Delhi. The British Raj built New Delhi as their capital, while Old Delhi is a reflection of both its Mughal past and the 7 city kingdoms of earlier times. We could easily spend a month exploring exotic corners of both cities and some of the highlights for today include:
Jama Masjid, in Old Delhi, is the second largest mosque in Asia and the most important in India. A center of Muslim importance, it was built in 1656 by Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal. The best views of Old Delhi are to be seen by climbing the narrow steps to the top observation level of one of its two towering minarets.
We take bicycle rickshaws through the gullies, or narrow pathways, of Old Delhi, which hold the most wonderful specialty markets: spices, gold and silver, wedding saris, antiques and much more. Then we will drop in at the Rikhi Ram Music Store in Connaught Place where the Beatles shopped for their musical instruments. This is followed by our visit to Birla House, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi, where he spent his later months and where he was assassinated on January 30, 1948. It’s a museum and memorial to the man Nelson Mandela credits as his inspiration for non-violence.
Time permitting, we visit Humayun’s tomb, the first Mughal garden tomb built by the Moghuls in 1570 which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B)
1. Birla House—Residence of Mahatma Gandhi.
2. Old Delhi bazaars.
3. Jama Masjid Mosque.
4. Rikhi Ram Music Store.
5. Humayun’s tomb (time permitting).
Day 13: Sept 27, 2018: Delhi/Haridwar (Train) Haridwar/Rishikesh (Drive)
India has the world’s largest train network and it is said that on any given day there are some 25 million people on the trains of India. Any train journey adds a lot to the flavour of our Indian adventure. We take the deluxe, early-morning Shatabdi Express ride to the foothills of the Himalayas, to Haridwar, on the banks of River Ganges. Haridwar is a jumping off point for the short drive up to Rishikesh, one of the four holiest sites of Hinduism and a center for meditation, yoga and spiritual studies. It was the site, in 1968, of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram where the Beatles spent a number of weeks and Paul Saltzman spent a week with John, Paul, George and Ringo. In the evening, we’ll cross the Ganges by boat and join a candlelight Aarti ceremony on the Ghats of the Ganges at Parmath Ashram.
Overnight: Vasundhara Palace Hotel (3 Nights) (B)
1. Train from Delhi to Haridwar.
2. Aarti Ceremony at Parmarth Ashram.
Day 14: Sept 28, 2018: Rishikesh
After our morning yoga (optional) we cross the Ganges to visit the site of what used to be Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram at Raja Ji National Park. Here, we’ll sit by the edge of the cliff overlooking the Ganges, far below, where the Beatles sat for many hours. Their time at the ashram was their single most creative capsule of time—they wrote 48 songs in just a few short weeks. Overlooking the Ganges, Paul will lead a short meditation and share stories of his time with the Beatles at the Ashram. Afterwards we will stop at a typical Himalayan chai and fruit salad shop. ‘The Office’ is said to have the best chai in the whole of India. Rest of the day is free to indulge in the rejuvenation spa facilities offered at Rishikesh (treatments optional, by direct payment). (B)
1. Morning Yoga Session (optional).
2. Visit to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram – The Beatles Ashram.
3. Chai and fruit salad at ‘The Office’.
4. Spa treatments (optional).
Day 15: Sept 29, 2018: Rishikesh
Morning yoga session (optional). Balance of the day is free to enjoy activities such as white water rafting on the Ganges, or simply exploring the area. In the evening, we’ll join Paul for a slide show and talk appropriate for our imminent return to the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. ‘Overcoming Life’s Anxieties’ affords a magical way to overcome anxiety. At our culminating ‘goodbye’ dinner celebration, Tour Certificates will be presented to all participants. (B, D)
1. Morning Yoga Session (optional).
2. White water rafting (optional, cost not included).
3. ‘Overcoming Life’s Anxieties.’ Slide show and talk.
4. Farewell dinner with Tour Certificate.
Day 16: Sept 30, 2018: Rishikesh/Delhi (Train)
For those ending the tour here, after breakfast we’ll be transferred to the railway station for your scenic and deluxe train ride to Delhi, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Dinner is served on board.
Overnight: Taj Mahal, New Delhi (1 Night) (B, D)
Day 17: Oct 01, 2018: Delhi/Home
Today we are transferred to Delhi airport for our flight to onward destinations. (B)
Note: all events are optional for you to participate. At any time, you are welcome to just put your feet up or wander the markets and shops. All meetings/recitals are subject to availability.
Optional Himalayan Trek in Nepal (Sept 30 - Oct 05, 2018)
Nepal is the trekking heaven of the world. Tranquility at the foot of the majestic Himalayas and meeting local mountain folks makes this an even more interesting trek. This is a moderate trek and with nights spent in lodges. No trekking equipment is required. Sports-wear/running shoes with proper ankle support is recommended. While daytime temperatures can be moderate, evenings and early mornings can be chilly and cold, so it is advised that you bring wind breakers, layered wear, full sleeve shirts and warm clothing for nights. Thick cotton socks, light gloves, toilet kit, small rucksack/day-pack and personal medicines are recommended as well. Lodges don’t have heating system and they provide hot water bottles and blankets.
Day 16: Sep 30, 2018: Rishikesh/Dehradun (Drive) Dehradun/Delhi/Kathmandu (Flight)
We take a short, scenic drive to Dehradun for our flight to Kathmandu via Delhi. Upon arrival at the Nepali capital, we are cordially welcomed and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Yak & Yeti/Radisson (1 Night)
Day 17: Oct 01, 2018: Kathamandu/Pokhara (Flight) Pokhara/Lumle (Drive) Lumle/Majgoun (1400m) (Trek 2-3 hours)
After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport for our 30-minute flight to Pokhara. Here we are met by our trekking team and we drive to Lumle to start with a short. 3-hour easy trek to the village of Majgoun.
Overnight: Ker & Downey Gurung Lodge in Majgoun (1 Night) (B, L, D)
Day 18: Oct 02, 2018: Majgoun/Dhampus (Trek)
Another interesting day meeting mountain folks as we trek to the village of Dhampus, which is at a height of 1525 meters. This is a 4-hour trek and the afternoon is free for us to enjoy the majestic scenery and meeting local folks.
Overnight: Ker & Downey Basanta Lodge in Dhampus (1 Night) (B, L, D)
Day 19: Oct 03, 2018: Dhampus/Pokhara (Trek & Drive)
Another scenic activity day as we trek for about 2 hours to the village of Phedi. We get time to enjoy the village before taking the half hour drive to Pokhara. Balance of the day is free in Pokhara for optional activities.
Overnight: Temple Tree Resort & Spa (1 Night) (B)
Day 20: Oct 04, 2018: Pokhara/Kathmandu (Flight)
Relaxed morning. Late morning, we are transferred for our flight to Kathmandu. Afternoon we take a guided tour of the Kathmandu Durbar Square followed by the Swoyambhunath stupa.
Overnight:Yak & Yeti/ Radisson (1 Night) (B)
Day 21: Oct 05, 2018: Kathmandu/Departure (Flight)
After breakfast, we visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Departure transfer to airport for flight to onward destination. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner, HT=High Tea
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
Tour PriceWe accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here
|Departure(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|September 15, 2018||US$ 6990 (based on group size minimum 16 persons)||US$ 1995|
|(Tour Deposit Amount is US$ 1500 per person)|
All daily events are optional for you to participate. At any time you are welcome to just put your feet up or wander the markets and shops. All meetings/recitals are subject to availability.
|Optional Himalayan Trek In Nepal (Sept 30 - Oct 05, 2018)|
|Departures||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|Sept 30 - Oct 05, 2018||US$ 1455 (based on group size minimum 4 persons)||US$ 360|
Includes (Optional Himalayan Trek in Nepal)
Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 24 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.
"We’ve done many tours and this is the best tour we've ever been on, and Paul was the best tour guide ever. The most wonderful thing about this "experience", is the memories that pop up at the least expected time. I have never had this happen to me before and find it quite exquisite!"
-- Cheryl & Joe of BC, Canada
"Your tour of India was so incredible!! I cannot thank you enough, Paul. From the very special fellow tour members to the unique experiences of music and culture, you created a set of experiences which have changed me and will be forever memorable."
-- Cathy of TX, USA
"The trip was everything we expected and more. We enjoyed each and every day from the south to the north and all the days in between. We have been on a number of organized tours and the India tour will stand out as one of the highlights of our travel experiences."
-- Linda & Ken of ON, Canada
"It was a mind and heart-expanding experience, Paul. I experienced India in a more personal and meaningful way because of your meditation experience and love for the culture."
-- Anne of ON, Canada
"So many fine folks to share this fine adventure with. This magical excursion to India was transformative in so many ways. Like the gift that keeps giving."
-- Charles of TX, USA
"I feel extremely lucky to have made this amazing journey. I personally had the most glorious time on this trip and am so thankful to Paul and to Bestway for creating it."
-- Laura of IN, USA