A Culinary Journey Through India
13 Days / 12 Nights
Delhi -Jaipur - Agra - Lucknow - Hyderabad
Visit famous landmarks and off-the-beaten-trek spots en-route in Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Lucknow and Hyderabad while focusing on eateries well known for their authentic food, sample local delicacies and take part in a cooking class with a local family at their home in Delhi.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience India with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Delhi (-/-/-)
Meeting and assistance on arrival at Delhi airport.
Our representative will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Delhi is so modern, on the other hand so ancient, as you can only wish: The Delhi of today is cosmopolitan, modern & also shows the epic of heritage. With its art, festivals and theater performances, concerts for the musically interested and a cuisine that leaves nothing to be desired, Delhi is a place with bustling streets and some narrow lanes that has something to offer to everyone.
Day 2. Delhi (B/-/-)
Breakfast in the hotel
Depart for guided tour of Old Delhi. Delhi, the capital of India comprises of conspicuously contrasting Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries and one can find mosques, monuments and forts related to Muslim history.
The Red Fort was built by the Mughal emperor famous for its architectural wonders one of which is Taj Mahal - Shah Jahan. Red Fort is famous for its delicately carved inlays and Royal chambers.
Stop at Jama Masjid - the Great Mughal Mosque. It is the largest mosque in India. Located in Old Delhi, the mosque has the capacity to accommodate 25000 devotees. Jama Masjid was completed in 1656 AD and again the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan is behind this architectural masterpiece. Close to some 5000 craftsmen were occupied in the construction of the mosque.
Enjoy the cycle rickshaw ride at Chandi Chowk and visit the Spice market. Also visit the Gali Paranthe Wali - (literally "the bylane of fried bread") it is the name of a narrow street in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi, noted for its series of shops selling paratha, a fried Indian bread, and now a popular culinary destination.
Have Lunch at Chor Bizzare (own expense) - known for its authentic food Chor Bizzare which translates as thieves market. After lunch continue your tour and drive through the Lutyens Delhi, stop for a photo at India Gate (the war memorial) and drive past President's Palace & Parliament House.
Dinner at Bukhara restaurant (own expense).
Day 3. Delhi (B/-/-)
Enjoy a cooking class along with a sumptuous meal with local family at their home in Delhi. A delicious home cooked meal prepared by you and our chef together during the class. Chat with her and get a glimpse of contemporary India in urban cities. Afternoon is free to relax.
Dinner is planned at the Indian Accent (own expense). Savor the contemporary menu created by Chef Manish Mehrotra. He is innovative and creates a unique amalgamation using the freshest local produce. Mehrotra combines home style nostalgic tastes with unusual ingredients from across the world.
Day 4. Delhi - Jaipur (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to Jaipur. Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and is the first well planned city of India, located in the desert land of India. The city which once had been the capital of the royalty now is the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal families. Today, Jaipur is a major business centre for the natives of Rajasthan with all requisites of a metropolitan city.
In the evening enjoy authentic Rajasthani food. One of the more famous dishes of Jaipur is Kota Kachori which is served with mint sauce. Another famous snack is the Khasta Urad Dal Kachori. Eating the Kachori accompanied with a glass of hot tea (chai) will give you an exact idea about the taste of Jaipur street food.
Dinner at Spice Court - a multi cuisine restaurant (own expense)
Day 5. Jaipur (B/-/-)
After breakfast depart for the Amber fort - situated atop the Aravali hills, it is the ancient capital of Jaipur and a magnificent example of Rajput architecture. We ascend to the fort by jeep or on foot.
We do not book and strongly oppose riding up to the fort on the back of an Elephant.
Return on foot or by shared jeep.
Lunch is at Anokhi Café - a cafe that offers healthy and tasty fresh food with an international flavour. Food here is made from fresh seasonal organic produce grown locally at the Anokhi farm.
Later, sightseeing of Jaipur city with a photo stop at Hawa Mahal- Palace of Winds. This five storied building which looks out over the main street of the old city is one of Jaipur's major landmarks. This is a stunning example of the Rajput artistry with its pink, semi-octagonal and delicately honey-combed shape and stone windows. Originally Hawa Mahal was built to enable the ladies of the royal families to watch the daily life and processions of the city.
Jantar Mantar - The Observatory, built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. It is an excellent example of the marvelous precision wherein each construction has a specific purpose to measure the position of stars, altitudes and azimuths or calculating eclipses. The most striking instruments is the Sun Dial which is 90 feet high.
City Palace Museum - City Palace is a delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture. A part of the palace is still the house of the former Maharaja of Jaipur. Visit the various galleries displaying the armory, clothes and paintings of the Rajput clan.
The tour of Jaipur is not complete without shopping. Jaipur is known as a shopper’s paradise famous for jewellery, handicraft, carpet, blue pottery and textiles.
The evening is reserved for a special cooking demo/dinner with Thakur Durga Singh, the current
custodian of Dera Mandawa who is a keen observer of history, culture, religion, and current affairs. Try hands on cooking experience with the lady of the house. Learn to make Indian breads, Rajasthani barbeques and eggplant or potato dishes. The inquisitive tour members can have endless conversations with Thakur Durga Singh on a number of his pet projects like rainwater harvesting, biogas plants, solar heating and, even, healthy cooking. He would be more than delighted to share his experiences with you.
Day 6. Jaipur - Abhaneri - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra (B/-/-)
Depart for Agra, en route visiting Abhaneri & Fatehpur Sikri.
Abhaneri is a small village which is situated in the Dausa district in Rajasthan, 95km from Jaipur. This village is known for the Harshat Mata temple dating to the 9th century. Only some portions of the ancient Harshat Mata temple remain, such as the sanctuary walls, fore chamber and the terrace.
The walls of the ancient shrine are carved with the images of the deities. The worn out images of the deities indicate that the shrine was originally dedicated to the creator of the Hindu trinity, Lord Vishnu. The columns and walls of the temple are adorned with various scenes of music, sport, dance and also love. A few of the panels of the temple have been shifted to the archaeological museum of Jaipur.
Near to the Harshat Mata shrine is the stepwell Chand Baoli, which is dated to the 11th century AD. This stepwell is considered to be one of the most beautiful, one amongst the deepest and largest stepwells of India. Chand Baoli is a unique invention of Abhaneri. These Baolis are not ordinary structures, they were wonders of architecture. The Chand Baoli has panels that are beautifully carved and inserted in to the sides.
The stone carved pillars were very strong in the past and were once used to support the pulleys for the purpose of drawing water. In the surroundings of this beautifully carved stepwell are several storeyed verandahs.
Continue to Fatehpur Sikri. The Mughal Emperor Akbar built Fatehpur Sikri about 35km from Agra, and moved his capital there. Later abandoned, the site displays a number of buildings of significant historical importance. A World Heritage Site, it is visited by most tourists. The name of the place came about after the Mughal Emperor Babar defeated Rana Sanga in a battle at a place called Sikri. Akbar wanted to shift his headquarters to Fatehpur Sikri so he built a majestic fort. However, due to lack of water the city had to be abandoned and the headquarters returned to Agra.
Continue your drive to Agra and check in to your hotel.
Agra is famous as being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the world - The Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the Moslems, the fort and the palaces are a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal empire, of which Agra was the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries. While its significance as a political center ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has secured its place on the international map.
Rest of the day is free to relax.
Day 7. Agra (B/-/-)
Depart for a half day tour of Agra visiting Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love, this sublime Mughal mausoleum is India’s most appreciated icon. The Taj was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. Construction of the Taj began in the same year and was not completed until 1653. Not long after it was finished, Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb and imprisoned in the Agra Fort where, for the rest of his days, he could only gaze out at his creation through a window. Following his death in 1666, Shah Jahan was buried here alongside Mumtaz. Visit the Agra Fort, commissioned by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, and is another of Agra's World Heritage Sites. A stone tablet at the gate of the Fort states that it had been built before 1000 AD but was later renovated by Akbar. The red sandstone fort was converted into a palace during Shah Jahan’s time, and reworked extensively with marble & Pietra dura inlays. Notable buildings in the fort include the Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-eam and Diwan-e-Khas (halls of public and private audience), Jahangir Palace, Khas Mahal and Sheesh Mahal (mirrored palace).
Also visit a local market and a marble factory where you can actually see the inlay work on marble as it was done for the construction of the Taj.
Late afternoon you will be taken for an Agra food trail journey, not just of taste, but of knowledge, as passionate people tell you about how this food has ended up on your plate. This tour takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. Foodie exploration of the City of Agra meant for those who think from the stomach. In the tour, we take you to the
oldest and most popular food joints for tasting of a variety of Indian cuisine and chaat and show you a wholly different side of Agra, which you may not see being on any other tours.
Dinner at a Peshawari restaurant (own expense). Experience the wonder of this cuisine in Agra only at Peshawri, with a lavish spread of delicious kebabs - vegetarian and non-vegetarian that are cooked in myriads of ways, a range of Indian breads - from the decadently indulgent to light and fluffy breads and of course, the inimitable Dal Bukhara - all of which is paired with an exclusive collection of wines and other beverages.
Day 8. Agra - Lucknow (B/-/-)
Early morning transfer to Agra train station in time to board your train to Lucknow (Travel in AC Car).
Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to hotel.
Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, was also the capital city of the Nawabs of Awadh. The city was a favorite of the Nawabs and many magnificient buildings and monuments have been built by them. Situated on the banks of the river Gomti, the city of Nawabs is famous all over the world for its etiquettes and Tehzeeb or the graceful and polite behavior. Famous for its lovely monuments, architecture, dance and handicrafts, Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, is today one of the growing metropolitan cities of India. Known for its Urdu poetry or Shayari, the city offers its travelers a perfect blend of its glorious past and modern present.
Lucknow can very well be termed as a city that has carved a niche by attracting gastronomers discovering and re-discovering the Awadhi Cuisine. To date Lucknowites spend the most of their earnings and time on their kitchens. Lucknow is one place that has a colony of chefs called 'Bawarchi Tola' and then there is a full street where one can find the best from Lucknow's very own kitchens.
We take you for an evening walk and allow you to hop-in, hop-out of the traditional roadside eateries so that you can try the best of what's on the menu. This is a guided tour with our own set of cutlery and basic dining gadgets that allow you to experience the best of the best in the restaurants without having to worry about how to eat without a fork or to wipe your hands clean after you are done.
*This walk is essentially for meat eaters and is conducted everyday except Thursdays and Sundays at 1845 hrs. It starts from Akbari Gate and ends at Akbari Gate. The total duration is about 1.5 hours. This walk also remains suspended during festivals such as on 10th Mohorram and 6 days after Eid.
Day 9. Lucknow (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel, then we visit the architectural marvel, La Martiniere School which was designed by the Frenchman Major-General Claude Martin as a palatial home. Even to this day, Claude Martin is a revered personality in the city of Lucknow. Drive past Sadat Ali Tomb, and ‘Chatar Manzil’ (as this palace has restricted entry we can only see it from outside, from within the car). Visit 'Asifi Imambara' , a monument which was built as a relief measure for a devastating famine, in order to provide employment to the subjects of the state by Nawab Asif-ud-Daula'. This is the world’s biggest hall that is devoid of any pillar support, wood, iron beams or concrete walls. Salute the “Nawab” (Prince) lying in peace inside and proceed to see his noble work. Also see the 'Rumi Darwaza' or the Turkish Gate and the Asfi Mosque.
Visit the Husainabad Complex - the clock tower is the highest in Asia and in some ways superior to its counterpart, 'Big Ben'. Today the clock stands motionless but has witnessed all times, the good, the bad and the ugly. Now enter the Babylon of the East, the Husainabad Imambara - known for its beauty and pieces of decor. This was built in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah and is still considered to be a sacred address by the natives. The beautiful chandeliers, silver seats, sandalwood decor and calligraphy on the walls all are so creative. Admire each one and bow down to the Nawab and his mother sleeping inside.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant, the Royal Cafe where you can try the fusion cuisine that once served the American and the British soldiers during the world war. Today this restaurant is extremely popular with the locals and tourists alike.
Continue to Lucknow Residency, a place where speechless walls are known to speak the gruesome tale of the 1857 mutiny. The sprawling British campus witnessed nothing less than 3000 deaths to keep the Union Jack flying. Yet the British could not defend their domain and the buildings were lost to the high spirited and enthusiastic Indians who fought till their last breath. The trees, bullet sprinkled walls, unusable canons, worn out firearms all cry aloud with the burden of deaths that were witnessed here. We also visit the graveyard to pay our homage to named and unnamed soldiers who gave up their lives in the defense of The Residency.
Also visit the Dhobi Ghat to admire the freshly embroidered Chikan Garments that come for a wash before they deck up the glitzy showrooms and emporia. The riverfront looks like a colourful canvas with a display of ‘flying colours’, when the washed clothes are hung in the sun to dry before they enter the last lap of their journey into the showrooms. Optionally visit a Chikan Showroom if at all you have to shop for these hand-embroidered garments.
Dinner will be a lavish spread where you will learn about authentic Awadhi Cuisine, especially the
preparation with exotic spices and garnishing with dry fruits. This cuisine was introduced to India by the deputies of the Mughal Emperor, namely, the Nawabs of Awadh, who were originally inhabitants of Persia (modern day Iran). They enjoyed a particular diet of grains, fruits, dry fruits and vegetables that were available in their country. So the Mughal style of cooking was further refined in Lucknow by the Nawabs by adding exotic flavours of saffron and dry fruits.
We will visit Coquina - an 'artisanal' kitchen that offers a combination of traditional and modern cooking by knowledgeable individuals, who are cooks by passion and not by profession. You will learn about this Passion Cuisine, cook for yourselves under supervision and then enjoy the meal.
For a group of 10 or more, dinner is planned at Lucknow's Khajurgaon Palace. Khajurgaon is owned by the former royal family of Raja Amresh Kumar Singh. The palace is one of the few remaining Lucknow vintage properties from the British era that is still well preserved and known for its quintessential Awadhi architecture. The huge durbar hall with beautiful paintings and murals in natural colours and its Belgian chandeliers create a beautiful backdrop to the evening. The dinner, which is hosted by the family, is traditional Lakhnavi, together with a narration of Lucknow's royal history by one of the family members. Enjoy cocktails, followed by a home cooked Awadhi meal, that brings alive the city's famed culinary traditions.
Day 10. Lucknow - Hyderabad (B/-/-)
Morning is free to relax.
In the late afternoon transfer to Lucknow airport in time to catch your flight to Hyderabad.
Hyderabad has a population of over 4 million. It is known as the City of Pearls and the City of Nizams and the place which is very much known for its customs and tradition.
Day 11. Hyderabad (B/-/-)
Hyderabad, one of the stunning cities in India, has successfully retained its past glories and grandeurs. Be it the ‘Shahi’ charm of the old city, the delicious cuisine, everything offers a unique and unmatchable identity to this state. This morning's tour offers a splendid way to witness and experience the old world charm and authenticity of Hyderabad.
Embark on this tantalizing tour of Hyderabad with a cup of Irani Chai and Osmania Biscuits. Known as two of the best and most delicious specialities of the city, one cannot afford to miss either of them on a Hyderabad trip. You can savour upon other delicacies and confectionaries like puffs, pastries, stuffed bread like dil-pasand and dil-khush.
Walking towards Patherghatti, sample some of the best varieties of dosas and head towards a local spice market which is known for its exotic and flavoursome spices. Experience the variants in Hyderabadi spices and know the secret of its delicious cuisines!
Post this, visit a nearby market and delight on delicacies like Nahari Kulcha, roti kheema and bhaja curry. After 11:30am, you can also sample the most authentic Hyderabadi Biryani in this market and get your taste buds greedier. In addition to this, you can also sample naan and marrg (soup), lukhmi (patty) with mincemeat, kebabs and pattherkaghosht.
After a scrumptious day of sampling and savouring different cuisines of Hyderabad, conclude this food tour by relishing desserts like double kameetha, khubanikameetha, malai and several others.
Rest of the day is free to relax.
Day 12. Hyderabad (B/-/-)
Depart for a half day tour of Hyderabad, visiting Charminar, built by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, the Charminar is a magnificent square edifice of granite, built upon four grand arches facing north, south, east and west with 56 meters high slender minarets and spiral staircases. These arches support two floors of rooms and a gallery of archways. It is these four (char) minarets (minar) that give the building, its name 'Charminar'. Each minar stand on a lotus-leaf base that is a recurrent motif in Qutub Shahi buildings.
Salar Jung Museum has the largest one-man collection of antiques in the world, exhibiting over 35,000 objects of art such as Chinese porcelain, Aurangazeb's Sword, daggers, sculptures, indian paintings and Persian carpets - belonging to Queen Noor Jehan, Emperor Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The most notable of these are the Veiled Rebecca, Bezzoni's translucent white marble statue, the Arms section, the Jade section and the Oriental Section.
Afternoon you will be taken to visit Golconda Fort.
This Fort, originally built by the Kakatiyas, the rulers of the neighboring state, was made with mud. Later, the Shahis converted it into a marvelous piece of architecture using advanced acoustics wherein sound signals could pass from the entrance of the fort to the top without the use of any electric gadgets. There is a sound and light show in the evening which is quite popular. The grand fortress is protected by three formidable lines of defense. The first, an outer fortification made up of granite blocks. The middle wall surrounds the base of the hill and the innermost one follows the contours of the highest ridge. The Fort was famous for its great hoard of diamonds, mined nearby. The Kohinoor diamond was a celebrated jewel of the Fort, now a part of the British Crown Jewels.
Dinner at Bawarchi restaurant (own expense)
Day 13. Departure (B/-/-)
Transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule for your flight back to the UK.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
PRICES AND INCLUSIONS
13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS FROM £1,975 per person
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Domestic flights and train tickets according to the itinerary.
Medium range hotel accommodation on a twin-shared basis with breakfast.
Quality private air-con vehicles & experienced drivers for all transfers and sightseeing.
Experienced English-speaking local guides throughout the tour.
Entrance fees for all listed attractions.
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to India
Anything not specifically mentioned above
Visa fee for India
Tips to the guide and driver
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
High season package price from £2,140 per person
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