Culture And Cuisine Of India

Highlights Of Tour

Detail Itinerary

Day 1 Delhi-Arrival (by flight: TBA)
Welcome to India!! Upon arrival at Delhi Airport, please clear immigration formalities and proceed to exit gate where you will be greeted by Our representative with a placard. Transfer to hotel where you will receive a warm welcome followed by the check-in process. Stay for three nights in Delhi.
Day 2 Delhi
Optional: Early morning meet your Yoga Instructor and proceed for an hour of yoga session This morning after breakfast meet your tour manager who will be introducing the group to your escort accompanying the tour throughout. During this session, you will be given minute details and some tips on Do’s and Don’ts which will help you enjoy the tour. Further, proceed for sightseeing of New Delhi exploring the diplomatic area and drive past President House and Indian Parliament. Stop for a short while at India Gate which is a tribute to our brave soldiers who scarified their lives for the nation. Your first monument visit will be at Humayun Tomb. This splendid mausoleum was built in the memory of Emperor Humayun, the second Mughal ruler. The tomb is the starting point of introduction of Mughal architecture in India which is an amalgamation of the Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural influences.

Recommend lunch at – Laziz Affaire, where you can enjoy the warmth of traditional Indian hospitality with all the modern world class comfort. In Lazeez affaire you will find an air of timeless elegance and beauty incorporating all the necessary aspect of a superb dinning and wining experience. The menu is varied with an emphasis on barbeque dishes; Kakori Kabab, Dahi Kabab, Handi Meat and Paneer Korma are recommended.

Further, visit Dilli Haat, which is a treasure house of Indian culture, handicrafts and ethnic cuisine. It provides the ambience of a traditional Rural Haat or village market, but one suited for more contemporary needs. Here, one sees a synthesis of crafts, food, and cultural activity. In the evening, enjoy a cooking session followed by dinner. During the session, learn about a few famous dishes of North India that is a blend of different cultures.
Day 3 Delhi
Optional: Early morning Yoga
This morning, proceed for Heritage Walk of Delhi. Experience the old Delhi traditional surroundings while you walk on the buzzed roads of Old Delhi. Enjoy the heritage charm of Shahjahanabad reminding you of the Mughal and explore the delicious food stalls while on your old Delhi Food Trail. You will be transferred to Chawri Bazar where we start our walking tour. It was the first wholesale market of Delhi that specializes in brass, copper and paper products. Walk through the buzzing CB road to reach Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India and a magnificent façade of Mughal architecture. You will then board rickshaw to reach Khari Baoli-one of the biggest spice markets selling all kinds of spices, nuts, herbs and food products like rice and tea. After exploring this buzzing, aromatic and amazing market, you will be transferred to Paranthe-wali-Gali by rickshaw which introduces you to North Indian breads and Mughali food. The aroma of Mughali foods and Kababs fills your smelling veins. You will witness live cooking of many dishes as you walk through the shops.

Post lunch, walk through crowded roads reaching Kinnari Bazzar, which is the prime attraction as it’s a wholesale retail market(the largest in Asia) where you can get everything for any special ceremony, festivals, parties Indian Bridal dresses. Conclude your day with a short rickshaw ride driving past Red Fort & reaching the parking area where your coach awaits to transfer you back to hotel. Stay overnight at hotel.
Day 4 Delhi to Varanasi
This morning, get transferred to the airport to board flight to Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities on earth and the abode of lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Ghats of Varanasi are natural supplement to the concept of divinity and are known as the city that liberates soul from human body to ultimate peace. The city is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts and education. Upon arrival at Varanasi airport, meet assistance and transfer to hotel. After brief rest, proceed to explore the retail markets followed by witnessing of Grand Aarti at Dashashumedh Ghat. The picturesque Ganga Aarti is the central event of the evening. Huge lamps are lit up and priests hold forth these burning lamps as the multitude chants the hymns. The ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of twinkling lamps (diyas) floating away on River Ganga. The sparkling and floating lights give the occasion a dazzlingly spiritual aura. Breathing this incense-filled air and witnessing the glimmer of dancing lights is truly a one-of-its- kind experience. Transfer back to hotel for two nights’ stay. (B)
Day 5 Varanasi
Early morning (before sun rise) proceed for Heritage Walk with boat ride exploring the ghats and witnessing the morning activities along the ghats of Varanasi reflecting the true culture of this ancient city. The river will be thronged with early morning bathers, raising their faces to the rising sun and reciting the sacred mantra. One can see the perpetual movement of the pilgrims on the steps, the vivid colours of their clothes glistening against the pale gold water, the triangular flags fluttering atop the temple spires. Varanasi is associated with promotion of spiritualism, mysticism and Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi language. Return to hotel for breakfast. Further proceed to visit Varanasi Weavers where we meet the local weavers and their handloom. Witness the brocading and weaving of silk fabrics. Interact with the craftsmen and learn some techniques. Thereafter, visit a few emporiums (NO SHOPPING) to see the final products for end user client. You will then proceed for excursion to Bhadohi where you visit one of the workshops to explore the making and designing of hand-knotted carpets. Return to Varanasi city and explore the local markets to experience the Indian snacks and sweets which Varanasi serves the best. (B)
Day 6 Varanasi – Agra
Optional: Early morning Yoga session
This morning, get transferred in time to airport to board flight to Agra. Upon arrival, travel to Agra, which is home to Taj Mahal and liberal sprinkling of fascinating tombs and mausoleums, Arrive and check in at hotel for two nights’ stay.
Day 7 Agra
Early morning, visit Taj Mahal (with sunrise view) - the epitome of love, that stands on the banks of the river Yamuna built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. The white marble building changes its hue with the variations in the daylight. Made entirely of white marble and decorated with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work, different types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work done on the interiors. Return to hotel for breakfast. There after visit the Agra Fort-a UNISCO World Heritage Site; and an imposing structure on the banks of the river Yamuna, is replete with priceless examples of craftsmanship in the Mughal period. It blends the Hindu and central Asian architectural styles with very beautifully. Further visit Itmad-ud-Daula Tomb; also nick named as Baby Taj, which was the first Mughal structure built completely from marble, the first to make extensive use of pietra dura and the first tomb to be built on the banks of the Yamuna, which until then had been a sequence of beautiful pleasure gardens. Then, you will be taken into Old Agra lanes where you visit a workshop to witness the Zardozi craftsmen. Interact with the master and learn about this art which came to India from Persia. The Zardozi embroider clothes have been the favorite of some of the royal families & worldwise celebrtities.

This evening, proceed for cooking demonstration at a local family house. The host is food lover and has good hands on Mughalai Food. You will learn some exciting Indian kitchen and spice secrets that make our food delicious and flavored. Get hands on experience marinating and cooking the main course.

Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 8 Agra – Jaipur (by road: 06 hrs drives)
This morning, travel to Jaipur (06 hrs drives approx), also known as the Pink City because of the colour of the stone used exclusively in the walled city. It is steeped in history and culture. Here, the past comes alive in magnificent forts and palaces, blushed pink, where once the maharajas lived. En-route visit Fatehpur Sikri, which was a short-lived capital of Mughal Empire and was a masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture. Thereafter, enjoy lunch at Laxmi Villas Palace, Bharatpur (own cost). Arrive and check into hotel. After a brief rest, proceed for cooking session at a local family home with highlights being the Rajasthani food. Cuisine of Rajasthan is influenced by the Rajputs who were predominantly non vegetarians. Their diet consisted of game meat and gave birth to dishes like laal Maas, Safed Maas, Khad Khargosh and Jungli Maas. Return to the hotel for two nights’ stay. (B, D)
Day 9 Jaipur
This morning, after an early breakfast, proceed for a guided visit of Amber Fort, en-route photo stop at Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace); built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh at a time when women of the royal family had to observe strict purdah. Continue your morning with Amber Fort excursion, the ancient capital of Rajasthan and the majestic palace complex to witness a unique system of air- conditioning of 17 th century. The most enthralling experience of Amber Fort is the gaily elephant ride. A beautiful complex of Palaces, halls, pavilions, garden and temples, it still stands in magnificent state. The red sandstone and white Marble palace has some very interesting apartments- Diwan-I-Am, Ganesh Pol, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Jai Mandir, Man Singh Palace and Shila Devi Temple. This afternoon, proceed to visit City Palace and Royal Observatory. This evening, enjoy exploring the old markets which showcases the colorful lifestyle of Jaipur people.

Thereafter, proceed to explore the old markets of Jaipur where you can see the Bandhani and other Rajasthani Fabrics. You will also be taken to a shop where you can witness the making of Lac Bangles on gas stove. Market visit is incomplete without getting your hands heena painted which is a tradition of India and most of the Indian ladies apply it on special occasions. Return back to hotel for overnight stay. (B,L)
Day 10 Jaipur – Pushkar (by road: 03 hrs drives)
This morning, check out from hotel and travel to Sanganer, well known for Shrine of Jains, handmade paper industry, and for textile printing Sanganer prints are one of its own types, for the reason that samples in bright colors are always printed in white backgrounds. Further, proceed to explore an ancient art that migrated from Persia to India. You will also visit a few shops of Blue Pottery which is a remarkable traditional craft of Jaipur and got its name from the eye catching blue dye used to color the pottery. It is low-fired and glazed; and some of them are semi-transparent and mostly decorated with animal and bird motifs. Continue your journey to the tranquil town of Pushkar. Arrive and check into hotel. Later climb the Savitri Hill top (by cable car) to get a mesmerizing view of Pushkar Town. Further, proceed to visit Bramha Temple along the Pushkar Lake. Stay overnight at hotel. (B)
Day 11 Pushkar – Jodhpur (by road: 04 hrs drive)
This morning, travel to Jodhpur, former capital of Marwar Estate, Retaining much of the medieval character of its brave kings who fought and ruled from the virtually impregnable fort until their territory covered some 35,000 sq. miles, it the largest Rajput state. Your journey will bring you across many small castles and estates that later became a part of either the Jaipur or Marwar estate. Arrive at Jodhpur and check into hotel. After a brief rest visit to beautifully sculpted Jaswant Thada, a milky white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Further visit the massive Mehrangarh Fort which is pride of Marwar Kingdom. Thereafter, you can opt to walk down the hillside pathways or travel by bus to Sadar Bazar. This walk down is very good and allows them to witness small craftsman's workshops, homes and family activities as the sunsets. Further enjoy your dinner on Roof-Top Restaurant at Pal Haveli having a clear view of Mehrangarh Palace. (B, D)
Day 12 Jodhpur
This morning, enjoy your hotel and the local surroundings. Later proceed for cooking session with introduction to lecture at Spice Paradise. Run by a husband and wife team, this place has become a junction where you get knowledge of spices and its uses in Rajasthani as well as Indian food. During the cooking session you will learn some of the basics of Indian cooking like preparation of chai, lassis, chutneys, dal, chapatis, naan, raita, biryani rice and a paneer curry. You will also get hands on experience to cook some of the popular Indian dishes. This afternoon, explore Sadar Bazar market where you can see the famous Jodhpuri fabrics.

Stay overnight at hotel.(B, L)
Day 13 Jodhpur – Udaipur (by road: 06 hrs drives)
Today, you will travel to Udaipur - one of the most romantic destinations in India. Besides shimmering Lake Pichola, with the ochre and purple ridges of the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction, Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Passing through the Aravali Valley, you will reach Ranakpur, known for the Chaumukha Mandir (Four-Faced Temple), & is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain tirthankar, and was built in the 15th century in milk-white marble.

This magnificent temple is a complicated series of 29 halls, 80 domes and 1444 individually engraved pillars. The interior is completely covered in knotted, lovingly wrought carving, and has a marvelously calming sense of space and harmony. On arrival at Udaipur, check in and enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure. Stay for two nights in Udaipur. (B)
Day 14 Udaipur
After breakfast, proceed for a walking tour of Udaipur market. Afterwards, visit tthe Clock Tower & take a brief rest at Jagdish Temple which is three storied and has finely carved pillars, beautifully decorated ceilings, well-painted walls, and lush halls. Further, continue down the road through Bara Bazar and then to Bapu Bazar. Thereafter, visit City Palace and its complex which was built by Maharaja Udai Sigh II along the banks of Lake Pichola. The building is a unique depiction of the architectural and artistic evolution of Mewar through centuries. The City Palace Museum, Udaipur was set up in 1969 by Maharana Bhagwat Singh ji to safeguard and preserve the cultural heritage and the time honored traditions of the people of Mewar. Conclude your city tour with boat ride (on sharing basis) on Lake Pichola. Further enjoy dinner at Ambrai. (B, D)

Ideally located on the banks of Pichola Lake with panoramic view of Jagdish Temple, Gangaur Ghat, City Palace, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, and Sajjangarh Fort, Ambrai serves excellent multi cuisine delicacies to the guests. Pamper your taste buds with the mouth watering food and experience the five basic elements of body - Earth, Water, Air, Sky and Fire to wholly absorb your body and soul.
Day 15 Udaipur – Delhi/Mumbai(by flight)
Check out and get in time transfer to airport to board flight to Mumbai. On arrival in Mumbai, you will either board connecting flight to Cochin or International flight back home.
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