India, the land of yoga, meditation, and spirituality, has long held a deep fascination for Westerners. Famous travelers to India have included the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Beatles, Oprah Winfrey, Mick Jagger, Prince Charles, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
In March 1962, Jackie Kennedy and her sister, Lee Radziwell, spent two weeks in India and Pakistan, riding camels and elephants, enjoying a boat ride on the Ganges and posing in front of the Taj Mahal. They were accompanied by John Kenneth Galbraith, the United States ambassador to India, and his wife, Kitty. In India, the sisters were greeted by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira Gandhi. Crowds lavished them with flowers and gifts.
Lee Radziwell gathered 89 photographs from the trip in a blue album embossed with gold letters that read, "Visit of Mrs. John F. Kennedy to India." It includes a photo of Jackie in front of the Taj Mahal in a green dress and white gloves. After Radziwell's death this past year, the album and other memorabilia are up for auction at Christie's. Read more from The New York Times here.
When we travel to India on our tours, crowds of people don't throw flowers at us on the streets, but we are welcomed privately with garlands of flowers, necklaces to ward off the evil eye, tikka dots and more. We stay at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower in Mumbai as Jackie did, and often pose in front of the same bench at the Taj Mahal as she did!
We marvel at India's tolerance, culture and spirituality as well as our own Jewish contribution to India's achievements. There's no place like India!