Early booking offer

If you book your place on this tour before the 10th of August 2019 you will receive free registration for the IAPC Conference, Guwahati (14th - 16th February 2020). Please quote 'Early Booking Conference Offer' on your registration form.

The Tour

This tour is planned to follow on from the IAPC Conference taking place in Guwahati, Assam from 14th - 16th February 2020. It begins in Kolkata from where you will enjoy the holiday of a lifetime; packed with history, culture, colour and adventure and the opportunity to experience and learn first hand from inspirational Indian colleagues about the palliative care services offered in hospices, hospitals and community settings of a resource-poor but culture-rich country. The Serendipity Palliative Care Study Tour enables you to make a difference by giving your time and your expertise to teaching palliative care in India (optional) as well as being inspired to share and implement what you learn from Indian colleagues, in your workplace.

Who is Gilly Burn?

Tour facilitator Gilly Burn, Founder Director, Cancer Relief India, has over 30 years' experience of teaching palliative care in India since 1989 when she was invited to undertake a Palliative Care Needs Assessment by the WHO. Inspired, she returned in 1990, had a dream on a train, and set up Cancer Relief India, a UK registered charity which provides palliative care education for health professionals working in India. CRI provides pain and symptom relief by paying the salaries of staff to work in palliative care. Gilly is considered to be part of the Indian palliative care 'family', having been one of the pioneers of palliative care service development and has been awarded two lifetime achievement awards for her contributions. She has written extensively about her work in India.


Day 1 (Monday 17 February): Kolkata
Meet at the hotel in Kolkata (own travel arrangements). This evening we will have a group meeting and dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation: The Astor Hotel (or similar). Meals: dinner

Days 2-3 (Tuesday 18 - Wednesday 19 February): Kolkata
For the next two days we will enjoy a variety of professional opportunities with palliative care colleagues, and take a visit to Mother Teresa's Motherhouse and Ramakrishna Mission Swami Vivekananda's Ancestral House and Cultural Centre. Accommodation: The Astor Hotel (or similar). Meals: breakfast, dinner.

Day 4 (Thursday 20 February): Kolkata - Varanasi
Early this morning we transfer to the airport for the short domestic flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival we transfer to the hotel then later pay a visit to the weavers' village and silk factory. Accommodation: The Amaya (or similar). Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 (Friday 21 February): Varanasi
Enjoy a day of sightseeing around Varanasi, including an early morning and evening boat ride. You will enjoy an authentic vegetarian lunch at Shree Shivay Restaurant and take a visit to Benares Hindu University Hospital and Palliative Care Centre. Accommodation: The Amaya (or similar). Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 (Saturday 22 February): Varanasi - Tundla
Today is free to relax and explore further until departure to Mughal Sarai station (approx. 1 hour drive) where you will take the overnight train to Tundla departing after 10pm. Accommodation: Overnight train (A/C 3-tier sleeper class). Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 7 (Sunday 23 February): Tundla - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Bharatpur
On arrival in Tundla at 6:30am we drive approx. 1 hour to a hotel in Agra where we can freshen up and have breakfast. After breakfast we visit the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, before departing for an afternoon visit to Fatepur Sikri. This afternoon we drive to Bharatpur for our overnight stay. Accommodation: Mahal Khas Palace (or similar). Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 8 (Monday 24 February): Bharatpur - Vrindavan
Waking early, we enjoy a sunrise rickshaw tour to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the area and look out for migratory birds, before returning to the hotel for breakfast. Later this morning depart by bus for Vrindavan, where we will visit the hospice. Accommodation: MVT Guesthouse. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Days 9-11 (Tuesday 25 - Thursday 27 February): Vrindavan - Jaipur
This morning we will transfer to the Pink City of Jaipur and spend the next three days for professional visits, relaxation, sightseeing and perhaps some shopping. On Wednesday we visit the Samode Palace for lunch. Accommodation: Ikaki Niwas. Meals: breakfast each day, lunch Wednesday 26 only, dinner Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 only.

Day 12 (Friday 28 February): Jaipur - Mumbai
This morning we fly from Jaipur to Mumbai and visit the first hospice in India, built in 1986. You will stay for one night on the outskirts of Mumbai, near the hospice. Accommodation: Hotel Executive Enclave (or similar). Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 13-14 (Saturday 29 February - Sunday 01 March): Mumbai
Departing the hotel this morning, we spend the next two days undertaking a range of professional visits and sightseeing activities, including a visit to Bhaktivedanta Hospital. Accommodation: Elphinstone Hotel (or similar). Meals: breakfast, dinner.

Day 15 (Monday 02 March): Mumbai
Today we will continue our sightseeing, and take a visit to Elephanta Caves. After our visit we will transfer to the Oriental Aster Airport Hotel for your final night. Accommodation: Oriental Aster Airport Hotel (or similar). Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 16 (Tuesday 03 March): Mumbai
The group will disperse today for onward travel arrangements. Meals: breakfast

N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.

What is included
  • Local transfers and transport
  • Domestic flight from Kolkata to Varanasi
  • Domestic flight from Jaipur to Mumbai
  • Hotel accommodation
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Accompanied by Gilly Burn, tour facilitator
  • Accompanied by English-speaking local guides
  • Entrance to sightseeing locations as specified
  • A donation to local palliative care centres
What is not included
  • Indian visa
  • International flights
  • Flights from Guwahati to Kolkata
  • IAPC Conference arrangements
  • Vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis
  • Drinks, laundry and personal expenses
  • Some meals
  • Spending money and tips
  • Travel insurance
Trip Dates

17th February - 3rd March 2020

Tour Price

(inc £195 deposit)

Trip Difficulty

Holiday tour

This trip is graded as an educational study tour.

Photos and Videos

Gilly Burn Agra Fort Elephanta Caves Varanasi Taj Mahal Gateway of India Jal Mahal Jaipir Kolkata Mumbai harbour GB optional extras