Gateway to India Travel has partnered with the Marshall Direct Fund (MDF) to provide an experience that speaks both to the rich cultural history of Northern India and the work being done by locals to improve their communities. This philanthropic tour is more than a sight-seeing trip; participants will meet and dine with erstwhile royalty in Lucknow and Bhopal, visit the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), and speak with scholars and activists who have worked tirelessly for the empowerment of women and youth. The 11-day, 10-night tour will be hosted by Jodi Fischer, the Executive Director of MDF.
The tour is designed to give insight into Muslim communities in India and Pakistan. Mrs. Sonia Rashid, an artist married to an Indian Muslim prince, will host the group at the Jehan Numa Palace and Retreat in Bhopal, and will speak to her own experience as a Pakastani Muslim. During a visit to Lucknow, participants will drive out to smaller towns and villages like Mehmoodabad and Kotdwara. The group will dine with community leaders and learn about the Muslim populations living in these rural areas.
The group will have meetings with organizations like Muskaan—which works with vulnerable slum communities on issues of education, identity, violence, health, and nutrition, and Magic Bus—which provides learning opportunities to underserved youth. These opportunities to connect with NGOs will be punctuated with exploration of the rich and iconic cultural sites of Northern India.
Among the many UNESCO World Heritage sites of New Delhi that we will visit are Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. During a visit to Old Delhi, the capital city of the Mughals and symbolic heart of modern Delhi, the group will enjoy kebabs, tandoori, and naan at Karim’s Restaurant, the city’s most famous culinary destination. Before leaving New Delhi, the group will visit Agra and take in the glories of the iconic Taj Mahal.
Other highlights involve taking a train to Lucknow, a multicultural city and artistic hub, a visit to the British Residency, and the Bara and Chhota Imambaras. In Bhopal, one of the greenest cities in India, the group will stay at the Jehan Numa Retreat. This spa and resort sits at the edge of Van Vihar National Park. The group can explore wildlife sanctuaries, mosques, and places of pilgrimage. To learn more click here.