A Taste of India
Type: Culinary Tour
Duration: 15 Days
Best Time to Travel: October – March
Places you'll discover
Speak to our friendly Travel Experts
Quick Enquiry: A Taste of India
A Taste of India - Itinerary
Spoil yourself with some of north India’s very best cuisine on this sumptuous culinary tour. In Delhi you are the guests of a family as they help you create some local dishes. Journey north to Amritsar and the fabulous Golden Temple and see the ‘Change of Guard’ ceremony on the India-Pakistan border. In Agra visit a sweet meat ‘petha’ factory. Petha dates back to the time of the Taj Mahal. In the pink city of Jaipur enjoy a lesson from one of the chefs of the Taj Group of hotels at his family home. Other highlights include the stunning Jain temple at Ranakpur, Mumbai’s dazzling markets and dinner at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace.
Arrival in Delhi, meet our representative and transfer to the hotel. Delhi, the vibrant capital city of India lying along the River Yamuna, is a teaming metropolis of 14 million people and nowhere in India is the contrast between old and new more obvious.
Enjoy your first dinner at Veda Restaurant. Veda is a Pan-Indian experience showcasing the flavours and tastes of the Indian Subcontinent. At Veda a ‘dinner out’ is transformed into an exclusive ‘dining experience’.
We begin by exploring Old Delhi, visiting the Jama Masjid, the royal mosque built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in 1656. We then enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, the spine of Old Delhi. Jahanara Begum, the daughter of Shah Jahan designed this commercial area in 1648. Drive past Red Fort, a UNESCO World heritage site.
Walk through the by-lanes of the wedding street and the jeweller’s lane to savour a 350 years old culture up-close. Culminate the tour at the Spice Market also known as Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. Witness the whole process of loading and unloading of huge sacks of items from manual trolleys, shopkeepers busy dealing with the customers, customers selecting large quantities of items and weary labourers resting and chatting aloud. The overall appearance seems to be chaotic but in reality it is very well managed! Sample some exciting street food at Paratha Wali Galli, Dahi Bala, Dariba Jalebi wala and other hidden gems. Later we take you to one of Delhi’s most famous restaurants – Karims for lunch.
After lunch we go to an amazing shopping experience at Dilli Haat. Dilli Haat has products ranging from handlooms, handicrafts, woodcarvings, camel hide footwear, drapes, fabric made clothing, gems and bead ornaments. The food plaza includes dishes from North and South India.
We visit New Delhi driving along Rajpath, a two mile long avenue originally the focal point of British India and now used for parades. Drive past India Gate, built to commemorate the Indian and British soldiers who died in World War 1, Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhavan. Standing at the crest of Raisina Hill, Edward Lutyen’s 20th Century architectural masterpiece was built for the viceroy during British rule and is now the President’s residence.
Continue on to Qutub Minar, a World Heritage monument and one of the most instantly recognizable monuments in Delhi. This 234 foot high fluted minaret was built in 1193. The adjacent Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque is an early example of the fusion of Hindu panels and Islamic domes and arches reflecting the mingling of the two cultures.
After lunch we embark on an interactive cooking class in an area called Hauz Khas. An Authentic Culinary Experience starts from understanding basic ingredients needed for creating the perfect dish, applying simple nuances to it and finally indulging the taste buds! Get a feel of how an Indian would purchase the ingredients to make delicious dishes. We visit an Indian home and learn to prepare the choicest of dishes, including Indian breads and scented rice. We are rewarded with some fine food cooked by us with some help from the family.
Delhi – Amritsar
This morning transfer to Delhi airport to catch your flight for Amritsar, the second largest town in the Punjab and the cultural and spiritual heart for the Sikh religion. On arrival we transfer to the hotel.
Proceed to Wagah Border separating India and Pakistan. Here we can witness the ceremonial changing of guard and the march-past followed by the singing of national anthem and other patriotic songs.
Enjoy dinner at a typical Punjabi restaurant at Surjeet – said to be a favourite with Bollywood stars. Overnight in Amritsar
Early morning visit to the Golden Temple to witness the opening prayer ceremony and view the community kitchen where food is served free all day and night to thousands of devotees. Here we get hands on and help prepare and serve a meal for people from all walks of life. We also have breakfast at the Golden Temple. Continue to Jallianwalah Bagh, a an important historical monument commemorating the massacre of women and children in 1919.
Around noon we leave to enjoy street cuisine near the Temple. The walled city around the Golden Temple is a haven for food lovers! Later, visit a local farm for a cooking session where Lassi , the yogurt based drink is recreated with Punjabi cuisine. Meet and dine with a local Punjabi family.
Amritsar – Agra
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for the flight to Delhi. Arrive in Delhi and drive to Agra where we check into the Hotel. Agra was the capital of the Mughal court during the 16th and 17th centuries and its sublime monuments date from that era.
Enjoy dinner at ITC Mughal along with the Chef for a discussion on Indian cuisine. In an ambience reminiscent of the rustic charm of dining in the warmth of tents under a starry sky in the cold desert terrain of the North West Frontier, Peshwari brings to Agra an award winning menu of delicacies cooked in the clay tandoor.
Sunrise visit to the incomparable Taj Mahal, the world’s greatest monument to love and devotion. Built by the emperor Shah Jehan for his favourite wife Mumtaz, its perfect proportions and exquisite craftsmanship took 20,000 workers almost 22 years to complete in 1653. It is undoubtedly a building as close to perfection as is humanly possible and its appearance changes with the light at different times of the day. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
Afterwards, visit Agra Fort, the imposing red stone fort started in 1565 by Akbar. The fort encompasses a vast complex of courtly buildings reflecting the varied styles of the Emperors. Wander through the lavishly decorated halls, courtyards and galleries discovering hidden pavilions and alcoves glimpsing the Taj Mahal in the distance. We visit a factory famous for the sweet meat “Petha”. Pethas origins date back more than 350 years to the time of Shah Jahan. More than 700 units in the Noori Gate area manufacture this delicacy.
Agra – Jaipur
Depart for Jaipur (260Km) stopping at Fatehpur Sikri en route, the 16th century capital of the Mughal rulers abandoned due to water scarcity. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar had a dream to build a beautiful capital city that the world would remember. The result was Fatehpur Sikri, built entirely of red sandstone. It was Akbar’s capital for 15 years, abandoned after his death in 1585.
Arrive Jaipur and check in to the hotel. Jaipur is the capital and largest city of Rajasthan and was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, after whom the city is named. Jaipur is known as the Pink City due to the coloured facades of many houses in the old city. Late afternoon we explore a local bazaar.
In the evening we take you to the family home of one of the Chefs of Taj Group of Hotels for another interactive cooking class.
This morning visit magnificent Amber Fort. Ascend the fort by jeep. The fort is known for its unique artistic style, blending both Hindu and Muslim (Mughal) elements. Tour the chambers and hallways of the palace, famous for the excellence of its design and decoration.
Within the complex is Ganesh Pol, an imposing gateway painted with the images of the elephant-headed god, Ganesh. Pierced screen windows offer views from different vantage points, and shimmering mirrors encrust the walls of Sheesh Mahal. From here we leave for another interactive cooking session, followed by lunch at a nearby village Mundota. Mundota , a small village nestled in hills of Aravali ranges has the distinction of possessing a fort and a palace.
Start with a photo stop at Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds). This beautiful façade is probably the most-photographed structure in Jaipur, with its ornately carved windows designed so the ladies of the palace could look out onto the streets unobserved.
Continue to the City Palace Museum, which has a priceless collection of antiques, costumes and armoury of the Mughals and Rajputs. It also has an art gallery which displays a collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit.
Spend an afternoon with the elephants including photographing them being bathed, fed and painted or even do so yourself. Visitors are able to touch, feed, paint, wash, and get to know these animals.
Jaipur – Udaipur
This morning leave for Udaipur (404Km). Udaipur stands in a valley, amidst green hills on the banks of the wide, steel blue Lake Pichola. Possibly no city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur and is replete with fantastic hill top fortresses, exotic fairy tale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism. On arrival, check in at hotel.
Embark on a boat cruise on Lake Pichola with breath-taking views of the city by sunset. The lake is surrounded by hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Two island palaces, Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) on the lake are magnificent. We visit Jag Mandir Island. This evening we enjoy dinner at Restaurant 1559 AD near Lake Pichola.
Wisit the City Palace – a conglomeration of buildings added by various Maharanas, the palace manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design. The entrance is through Hathi Pol (elephant gate) along the main street of the old city, past the Jagdish Temple. The paintings, mosaics, intricately carved ‘chhatris’ and of course the architecturally brilliant facade all contribute in making a visit to the City Palace a truly memorable experience.
We take another cooking class as we drive to Ranakpur with its amazing Jain temples. The class will be conducted by qualified chefs and also some local villagers who will bring in the local flavour and cooking techniques.
Udaipur – Mumbai
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Mumbai. The capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is India’s commercial and financial centre and its busiest port. Colourful and vibrant, the city is a fascinating mix of Indian spiritual traditions, British colonial history, Bollywood glamour and the latest international trends. This bustling city is situated along the western coast of India, on the edge of the Arabian Sea. Arrive Mumbai and transfer to hotel.
Visit the Dhobi Ghats. Even if you are not possessed of an interest in other people’s dirty laundry, you’ll be fascinated with this sight. Each morning washing from all over Mumbai is brought here soaped, soaked, boiled, beaten, and thrashed. The next day, after being aired, pressed, folded and wrapped, the bundles are returned from where they came. The secret that keeps the operation running smoothly is the coded symbol that each dhobi-wallah places on every item. Invisible to the untrained eye, this mark ensures that nothing is lost. This is a fascinating and unique photo stop. Later proceed to experience street food in Mumbai.
As the sun sets at Mohammed Ali road in South Mumbai, food lanes are abuzz with gastronomic activities. The eateries here serve food right the way through the night during the month of fasting.
Visit the Gateway of India, the principal landmark of Mumbai. The gateway was conceived, following the visit of King George V to India in 1911, and was officially opened in 1924. Later take a boat ride to Elephanta Island, famous for its great cave shrine. The cave temple, the pride of Elephanta covers an area of over 5,000 square meters and is reached by means of more than 100 steps.
We embark on a fascinating market tour of Mumbai starting with Crawford Market. Also known as Jyotiba Phule Market, the market was named after Arthur Crawford, the first Municipal Commissioner of Bombay. It is housed in a building that looks like something out of Victorian London, but over-run with a crazy riot of local colour. Next stop will be Zaveri Bazaar; a maze of narrow lanes lined with hundreds of jewellery shops. The tour ends at Chor Bazaar which literally means Thieves Market. Here you can haggle and get a Gucci look-alike at an Indian price.
In evening we go to the iconic Mumbai Taj Mahal Palace and Tower for our farewell dinner. From globally renowned chefs to iconic restaurants, The Taj Mahal Palace focuses on some of the world’s most revered cuisines, treating guests to a treasure trove of culinary styles that span the globe.
Transfer to Mumbai international airport to board the flight for your onwards destination.
- 14 nights’ accommodation on twin/double sharing room basis at listed hotels above or equivalent
- Assistance on arrival/departure by an experienced our office representative
- Buffet breakfast at hotel
- Meals as listed in the program
- Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi (two persons in one rickshaw)
- Interactive cooking sessions in Delhi , Jaipur & Ranakpur
- Visit & breakfast at Community Kitchen – Amritsar (subject to prior permission)
- Visit local farms in Amritsar with cooking demonstration.
- Cooking Demonstrations at Mundota & Mumbai
- Experience street cuisine in Amritsar & Mumbai
- Sunrise tour of Taj Mahal
- Visit to Petha factory at Agra
- Amber Fort by Jeeps
- Feeding, painting and bathing with Elephants in Jaipur
- Common Boat ride at Lake Pichola, Udaipur
- Enjoy street cuisine in Amritsar & Mumbai
- Return tickets for motor boat ride at Elephanta Caves at Mumbai
- Transportation using the services of an air-conditioned vehicle for all transfers, sightseeing and excursions as per itinerary.
- Qualified English speaking guide at sightseeing spots.
- Sightseeing as mentioned above in the program
- Entrance fee to the monuments as mentioned in the itinerary (01 visit)
- 1 bottle of mineral water will be provided daily to each guests (500 ml)
- Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, Interstate taxes
- All current applicable taxes
What's Not Included?
- Any special meal other than those specified in the itinerary
- Any “OPTIONAL”
- Any alcoholic/non alcoholic drinks including Mineral Water/Soft drinks including meals too
- Camera fees, Porte rage, Tips, Gratuities etc
- Things of personal nature like laundry, telephone, spa, drinks, room service etc.
- Any kind of Insurance
- Any Domestic/International flight charges
- Any other supplement or item which is not listed in above inclusions
- Any welcome/farewell gift
|City||4 Star Hotels||5 Star Hotels||No of Nights|
|Delhi||Oberoi Maidens||The Claridges||3|
|Amritsar||Ranjit Svaasa||Ranjit Svaasa||2|
|Jaipur||Alsisar Haveli||ITC Rajputana||3|
|Mumbai||Gordon House||Trident Nariman||2|