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Once again, my wanderlust was answered when Agustin Sierra Gonzalez from IPA Valles Occidental Barcelona sent the global invitation for their inclusive Super Tour in India February 12-19, 2024 with a secondary trip extension in Thailand afterwards. Agustin and I shared vivid memories of our fantastic IPA Friendship trip to Barcelona and Morocco in 2019 and assured me this trip would be on par, which excited me to see my old friend after five years.

My pre-IPA excursion began in Mumbai aka Bombay where I met with my colleagues from the World Association of Detectives. For those who are not familiar, the W.A.D. is the association that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the IPA since 2019 for networking and training, as well as cross organizational membership. This MOU was approved by then W.A.D. President and IPA member from Romania, Dan Rusu, and former IPA-IEC president Pierre Martin-Moulin.

WAD in India.

I stayed at the famous Bollywood Sun n Sand Hotel in Juhu Beach and traveled around sightseeing the area, including the Gateway of India in Colaba and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel which was the site of the 2008 terrorist attack. During my stay in Mumbai, with connections from my W.A.D. colleagues Sujeet Menezes, Mukesh Bajaj, Nitul Shah and Suhail Buddha, I had the pleasure of meeting with the former Police Commissioner from 2009, D.Sivanandhan at his downtown office. We exchanged patches, pins, cards and coins and had a terrific chat regarding law enforcement policies, similarities and differences between India and the USA, particularly my New York Police Department where I was a Detective within Organized Crime Bureau and Chief of Detectives Office before retirement in 2017.

WAD and IPA in India
WAD and IPA in India with business cards
WAD in India.

I was sad to leave my W.A.D. colleagues but the time had come for me to depart for Delhi, two days before the IPA trip was scheduled to begin. Upon arriving at the WelcomHotel by ITC in Dwarka, a quiet suburb of New Delhi, I reunited with my friend Agustin and met up with some old friends, Carmen Alvelo and Karin Azadian from IPA USA Region 2 and met some new IPA members from around the world. Some of the group members and I enjoyed a day excursion with a Delhi Temple tour which included the Birla Temple (Laxmi Narayan), Agrasen ki baoli protected site under the Archaeological Survey of India, and the Lodi Gardens with the god Hanuman Mandir Temple.

WAD and IPA in India visiting temple
WAD and IPA in India visiting temple outside

Our journey finally commenced the next day and we were off on our adventure in three thankfully air conditioned coach buses to safely guide our group of almost sixty members from all over the world throughout different destinations around India. Our trip would take us to numerous sacred temples and historical sites along the way eventually to Jaipur and eventually to Agra.

While in Delhi, we visited Jama Mosque, Parliament, the Rashtrapati Bhawan or fomer Viceroy Residence and now the President’s house, and Qutub Minar, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Raj Ghat or Symbolic Tomb of Gandhi was another place on our pre-planned tour. Some of our tours we rode in rickshaws, two wheeled door-less carts powered by human peddling energy. We learned that during the late medieval period, Delhi was ruled by Ottoman Turks, Afghans, Sultans and Mughal dynasties. Along the way, we met with local police who, even though are not IPA members, wholeheartedly supported our organization. I surprisingly reconnected with an old friend from IPA Czech Republic, Vladimir Macek, a retired police officer from Prague whom I met when the W.A.D. had our conference there in April 2023 (documented in a previous article I wrote).

WAD and IPA in India with police
WAD and IPA in India meeting

After three days in Delhi, our caravan of coach buses headed southwest to Jaipur, where we visited Samode Palace, Amer Fort, City Palace (Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds), and the Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory and stayed at the mediocre Ramada by Wyndham. Jaipur, the city of Jai, and also the Pink City, was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the Kachhwaha Rajput ruler of Amer, after whom the city is named. My fellow IPA members joked with me since the pronunciation of Jai Singh is Jasin, close to my name Jason, which made me feel like royalty for three days while we were there.

After departing from Jaipur, we made our way east towards the famous city of Agra, where we would stay at the lovely Grand Mercure Hotel. While en route, we stopped in Chand Baori (deep wells) and the Harshat Mata Temple dedicated to the god Vishnu. Fatehpur Sikri was another city we passed on the way where we gazed upon more temples and palaces.

Once in Agra, I crossed off a major bucket list destination with our visit to one of the Modern Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal, also known as the Crown of the Palace. Built in 1631 out of white marble by the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife, Mumtaz (and also housed himself), this 42 acre complex on the banks of the Yamuna river consists of a large mosque and an equally sized guest house.  We also toured the Red Fort next door to the complex, the baby Taj Mahal, the Itimad-ud-Daulah Mausoleum, and the Mehtab Bagh Gardens.

On the return to Delhi for one more night, we stopped along the way in Mathura to visit the god Krishna Temple and old town.

The IPA tour continued in Thailand, but I was not a part of that as I ventured off with another IPA USA and W.A.D. member Juan Leonbravo who met me in Bangkok. I tried diligently meeting up with the group who traveled to Bangkok but time and other factors made it difficult. Unfortunately, India was our final farewell to the IPA tour.

Not only did I connect on a deeper level with my fellow W.A.D. and IPA members, but this trip provided an insight into the ancient ways and fascinating customs of the Indian culture. I look forward to future trips with my newfound friends in both associations, exploring further reaches of the world together.

Until my next adventure in Colombia and Panama City at the W.A.D. Midterm Conference in April 2024, stay safe and as we say in the police and military, watch your six.

WAD and IPA in India meeting with flags.
WAD and IPA group in India.

Fraternally yours,

Jason Cohen
NYPD Detective (Ret)., Licensed Private Investigator
Owner of Allegiance Investigative Solutions LLC
IPA-USA New York City Region 2 
W.A.D. Board Director, Chairman of New Business Committee


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