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Mutiny 1857 India Tour
The Mughal Emperors of India bestowed upon themselves seemingly appropriate grand and pompous titles such as `Kings of the World’ & Shadows of God’. Attracted by the Mughal wealth and splendor, European traders and entrepreneurs found their way to the fascinating Indian sub-continent. India was till then believed to be the richest country in the world.
By the mid 18th century (1757) the British East India Company slowly and gradually gained commercial and military control of the Mughal Empire, while subdued Mughal Emperors continued to live powerless but luxurious lives in magnificent palaces. There was much discontent among Indian rulers over annexation of their territories and the divide and rule policies of the British and many parts of North India were rife with rumours and suspicions. However, the lack of the feeling of Indianness, among the masses who were ruled by various princely states prevented the formation of a united opposition to British rule.
The undercurrents of rebellion by the Indian Sepoys ( sipahi in Hindi meaning soldier) festered over a period of time owing to various harsh steps taken by the British and in 1857 when some measures hurt religious sentiments it took the shape of a full rebellion against British India control.
On this tightly packed tour you will be visiting significant palaces, forts, monuments and cities of the Mughal period which was witness to The Mutiny -the uprising against British control. It was a crude and brutal war, with both sides resorting to what will now be described as war crimes. In the end, however, in terms of sheer numbers, the casualties were significantly higher on the Indian side. There are many tales of cruelty, cowardice, heroism and self-sacrifice on either side. Much has been debated ever since Mangal Pandey sparked the revolt or The Rising as to whether this was a war of independence or just a revolt firmly crushed by the British but the truth is that the British continued to rule for another ninety years only to be subdued by a non violent struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi.
This journey takes you down that period in history when Delhi was not yetthe capital of India but the seat of the fading Mughal Empire , when the British East India Company was to hand over the controls directly to the Queen, Meerut where the rebellion started, Lucknow which was then the most splendid city of India, Kanpur the scene of many bloddy battles and Agra an important historical city with the crowning glory of Mughal architecture the Taj Mahal a poem in white marble, mesmerising you with a story of an undying love.
The Great Indian Mutiny Tour Package begins with an arrival in Delhi.
Today we take an excursion tour of Meerut, this is where the uprising of 1857 broke out, when the British unwisely deposed the last nawab of Lucknow. Here we visit the first church built in Northern India by the British -St. Johns Church Established in 1819 in Meerut Cantonment this church was completed in 1822. Set up by Chaplin Rev. Henry Fish on behalf of the East India Company; this Church was dedicated to the people by Bishop Wilson. The church has a seating capacity of 15,000 people.
During the 1857 uprising this church was the scene of heavy fighting between the rebels and the British forces. We also visit the cemetery near St. John’s church, which also has the grave of General Ocheterlony, whose monument dominates the maiden in Kolkata, and other graves of personalities who died during the Mutiny. Drive through the Indian and British Cantonments passing the Parade Ground in Lehka Nagar where the court-martial of 85 gallant sepoys was to trigger the Mutiny, Residence of Col. Carmichel Smyth the Commandant of the 3rd Light Cavalry Regiment, the Rae Course the site of Col. John Finnis’s death, he was the first British to be killed. Lines of the native infantry regiment and Kali Paltan Temple and other important sites of the Mutiny. Later we return back to Delhi. Overnight: Hotel Delhi
Full day tour of Old Delhi, New Delhi was built as the imperial capital of India by the British while Old Delhi was the capital of the Muslim India between the 17th and the 19th centuries – there is a rich legacy of mosques, and monuments and forts that testifies to this. Visit Red Fort, the Telegraph Office, Kashmir Gate, Willoughby’s plaque, Skinner’s Church built as early as 1836 by James Skinner and Nicholson’s Tomb. Later we visit the northern ridge, passing Mutiny Memorial The memorial consists of a tapering tower of indifferent gothic design raised on a high base of local hard stone paved with red sand stone. Continue to Hindoo Rao’s House and Flag Staff Tower. Drive further north to Civil Lines, Kingsway Camp and the Coronation Park. Overnight: Hotel Delhi.
After and early breakfast, drive to Agra en route photo stop at Sikandra the sandstone and marble tomb of Akbar -the greatest of the Mughal emperors. The tomb lies in the center of a peaceful garden. Continue drive to Agra. Upon arrival in Agra, visit Agra Fort the scene of panic in 1857, the self inflected incarceration of 6000 British residents and the battle of Agra. The Agra Fort contains the Pearl Mosque, the Halls of Public and Private Audience will be the main focus of interest. At sun set visit the world famous glorious Taj Mahal built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Overnight on board the train to Lucknow. Later in the evening we are transferred to the Railway Station in time to board our train to Lucknow. Overnight: On board Train to Lucknow
Early morning arrive Lucknow and transfer to the Hotel. Lucknow – The capital of Uttar Pradesh rose to prominence as the center of the nawabs of Avadh. who controlled a region of north-central India for about a century after the decline of Mughal Empire. The capital of Avadh was moved from Faizabad to Lucknow during the reign of Asaf-ud-Daula (1775-97). After Sa’adat Ali Khan (1798 – 1814), the rest of the Avadh nawabs were uniformly hopeless at running affairs of the state. Wajid Ali Sha (1847 – 56) was so extravagant and in 1856 the British annexed Avadh, exiling the incompetent Wajid Ali Shah to a Palace in Kolkata with an annual pension of UK POUND 1,20,000. The annexation was one of the sparks that ignited the Indian Uprising of 1857.
After breakfast a tour of the 18thC capital of the Kings of Avadh. A full day in Mutiny Lucknow, the center stage being the Residency built in 1800 for the British Resident, this group of buildings became the stage for the most dramatic events of the Uprising of 1857 – the Siege of Lucknow. We also visit the cemetery at the nearby ruined church has the graves of 2000 men, women and children including that of Sir Henry Lawrence, who tried to do his duty according to the famous inscription on his weathered gravestone. We will visit the Sikander Bagh and the extraordinary edifice of the La Martiniere School.. Overnight: Hotel Lucknow
Morning drive to Kanpur (2 hours).
Pausing on the outskirts of Lucknow to visit Havelock’s Tomb.
Today, Kanpur is a sprawling industrial town with a military camp almost exactly as the British left it. Today we visit to the site of Wheeler’s Entrenchment inside the Cantonment and the adjacent All Souls Church with brass memorials to some of the central victims and survivors of the massacres as well as a series of marble panels engraved with more than a thousand victims’ names. Afterwards we will drive a short distance towards the Ganges before walking down the ravine to the Satichaura Ghat. Visit the Memorial Park and the Hanging tree, and the well near the Bibighar. Return to Lucknow to the Hotel. Overnight:Hotel Lucknow
Morning at leisure for independent activities. Afternoon transfer to Lucknow railway station for Shatabdi Express to Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi railway station you are transferred to the Hotel . Overnight:Hotel Delhi
After breakfast, a tour of New Delhi to see the British built 8th city of Delhi and Qutab Minar the landmark of Delhi. Return to the hotel and check out. (Rooms only available till 12:00 noon). You are free till your departure to the International airport.