Day 1: Delhi
Arrive at Delhi international airport. Our representative will meet you at the arrival zone of the airport and introduce you to your driver.
Transfer to the hotel. Remaining day at leisure.
Day 2: Delhi | Culinary Highlight – Street Food of India
Begin with retracing the steps of the Sultans, Afghans and Mughals with a visit to Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb. Later, head into the heart of the city and drive past India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan for photo-opportunities. Mid-morning, head to the charming Old Delhi and begin with a visit to Jama Masjid, the most revered mosque in India.
Leaving Jama Masjid, dive deep into the narrow bustling lanes that make up Chandni Chowk. There is no better place to get a glimpse of the famous street food delicacies of India. Our first stop is a small humble sweet shop called Jalebiwala. Established in 1884, this shop is the go to place for Delhiites to assuage their sweet cravings. You’ll get to observe the art of making jalebis and shaping stuffed samosas. From here head into the narrow lanes called Dariba Kalan – famous for silver and bronze smiths and Kinari Bazaar – famous for bridal shopping. Weaving around traffic, you will arrive at Paranthe Wali Gali. Rows and rows of shops here sell stuffed flat-bred. The flat-bread stuffing gets creative as you explore – potatoes, cottage cheese, egg, chicken, onion, chocolate etc. From here hop on cycle rickshaw and make way towards Khari Boali – the biggest wholesale spice market in Delhi. Explore the spicy gems here, which made India highlight of the ancient spice route. This market also stocks high-quality nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts etc.
This evening, take the opportunity to try the famous street of Delhi with a private cooking class with a local hostess. You will recreate some of the high calorie endorphin releasing delicacies under the guidance of the home-cook.
Day 3: Delhi - Amritsar
Take an early morning train from New Delhi to Amritsar. On arrival, our representative will assist with your transfer to the hotel of your choice. Have the remaining day at leisure.
This evening, experience the Palki Sahib ceremony at Golden Temple. The ceremony is about taking the Holy book of Sikhs from the temple to a protected room. The is done with much fanfare is a unique experience. On the way to the village you’ll be stopping to observe the early morning fish auction. The fishermen go into deep sea during the early hours and get back with the haul as day breaks. The natives eagerly await the fresh haul and the fish is sold via an auction. The process is very unique and interesting to watch; the price of fish rises dramatically in just a few short minutes.
Day 4 : Amritsar | Culinary Highlight – Open Kitchen at the Temple & Amritsari Tandoor
Early this morning, visit the Golden Temple again. The morning visit will offer you a dazzling view of the holy monument in the soft daylight. The main highlight for today is the Open Kitchen at the temple compounds which ensures a 24/7 round- the – clock kitchen service. The place has a capacity to feed over 30,000 people in a single day. Explore the kitchen and observe the masses of volunteers who dedicate hours to community service. The simple and humble meal served here is one of the best examples of Indian cooking one can find. Kerala is cushioned on one side by the great Arabian Sea and on the other side by peaceful backwater channels. Kerala backwaters are a unique trail of lakes, lagoons, rivers and canals. These water bodies both connect and divide the villages and farmland situated here.
From here, the food trail heads to the city favorites. Have masala chai at an 80-year-old tea shop or treat yourself to a glass of famous lassi. Explore the rows of dhabas offering stuffed breads, Amritsari Kulchas and masala potatoes and chick peas. The tour ends with lunch at a local established that dates back 60 years. Have these two days at your leisure. You can choose to hire bicycles to explore the local countryside, indulgence in an aromatic Ayurveda massage, spend these days meditating at undisturbed waterfronts or engage in an enriching yoga session with a local master.
Late afternoon, set outside the limits towards Wagah Border. For a long time, Wagah was the only road link between India and Pakistan. At sunset, the border between the two countries is closed amid much posturing and fanfare with a 'Beating Retreat' ceremony. As the large iron gates are shut, soldiers from each side parade as the respective nations flags are simultaneously lowered in a ceremony described as ‘carefully choreographed contempt’.
Day 5: Amritsar – Delhi – Agra
Today is a long day of travel. Take an early morning flight from Amritsar to Delhi and on arrival drive down to Agra for an overnight stay.
Day 6: Agra – Jaipur
Nothing compares to a sunrise visit to Taj Mahal. Enjoy the vision of this wonder of the world, as the sunlight plays tricks on the marble façade. Take your time enjoying the mega-structure from each possible angle from the vast Mughal gardens before entering the inner chamber to be impressed by the gorgeous in-lay work which is a winning Mughal design.
Return to the hotel for breakfast, before driving towards Fatehpur Sikri – the erstwhile capital of Mughal Empire. Spend a couple of hours exploring the planned city layout, which is recognized a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After the visit, start your journey towards Jaipur popularly known as the pink city.
Day 7: Jaipur | Culinary Highlight – Rajasthani Thali
Begin your royal adventure. Start with an early visit to Amer Fort to avoid the crowds. You can walk up the fort, take a jeep ride up or hop on for an elephant ride. Get your fill of the stories of the royal Rajputs and their ways of life as you explore the well planned residential layout within the fort walls.
After the visit, head to the city center. First, visit a local temple to take in the blessing from a local priest, religion plays a big role in everyday life of Indians. Next, wander through the local bazaars which house artisans and tradesmen like metal smiths, handicraft makers and gold smiths. Weaving in and out of the lanes, end your day with a visit to Hawa Mahal, the City Palace and Jantar Mantar.
For lunch today, head to a local establishment to try the famous Rajasthani Thali. The concept behind this is meal is small portions of many dishes which all tie together with rice and chapatis.
Day 8: Jaipur | Culinary Highlight – Cooking Class Rajasthani Style
Begin your day today with a visit to an elephant camp to spend some time with these gentle beasts. You can take part in the bathing routine of the elephants, feed them and have a gentle ride through a country side village that is adjoining the elephant camp.
This afternoon, meet your local hostess who will help you create your very own Rajasthani meal. Head to the vegetable market to select your produce for tonight’s dinner. Your hostess will take you through the staples of required for a traditional Rajasthani meal.
Then get to the work station to learn about the intricacies of the flavors and cooking process. The hostess will also include a lesson about a simple dish that you can wow your friends back home with upon return. After all the hard work, break bread with the local family and share stories of your travels through India so far.
Day 9: Jaipur – Ahmedabad | Culinary Highlight – Gujarati Thali
Fly to Ahmedabad via an early morning flight. On arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Later in the day, head out for an interesting heritage walk taking in the highlights of the old historic part of the city. Visit Sidi Saiyad Masjid, Bhadra Fort, Chinubhai Baronet Statue, Teen Darwaja, Jumma Masjid, Ahmedshah Badshah’s Tomb, Manek Chowk, Rani No Hajiro, Old Stock Exchange Building, Sankdi Seri and Mangaldas Ni Haveli.
Later, in the evening spend time at the Sabarmati River Front, where you can hop on bicycles and work an appetite for traditional meal coming up.
This evening you dine at one of the most famous traditional dining spots in Ahmedabad. Located within a heritage property, this restaurant enjoys patronage from local to world leaders alike. Gujarati cuisine is the most varied vegetarian cuisine in the India. The Thali menu here changes daily, and is a superb example of true Gujarati cooking.
Day 10: Ahmedabad – Mumbai | Culinary Highlights – Pub Crawl at South Mumbai
Fly to Mumbai. Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is a sprawling metropolis aptly christened as the ‘Maximum City’. The history and popular culture of Mumbai, all speak at a high decibel range.
On arrival, connect with our representative and driver and transfer to the hotel of your choice.
In the evening, we recommend a pub crawl starting from Café Leopold, moving to Café Mondegar and ending at a contemporary lounge/bar of your choice in the trendy Fort district of south Mumbai.
Day 11: Mumbai
Mumbai is a stunning mix of diversity. A true melting pot of contemporary India, this is one fast paced city which never sleeps. South Mumbai is a well-preserved catalogue of colonial era architecture, posh neighborhoods, iconic pubs & eateries accompanied by the gentle breeze of the ocean. Central Mumbai takes a page out of Darwin’s theory – a true test of survival of the fittest. One of the best ways to explore Mumbai is by following the path the natives take during their routine.
Start with an early morning visit to Sassoon Dock in south Mumbai. The fishermen auction their haul to the highest bidder in a loud contest.
Next, visit to Victoria Terminus – a major railway junction where Mumbai’s local train network bring millions to work on time. The outside façade of Victoria Terminus leans heavily onto gothic architecture and is one of the most finely preserved heritage buildings of Mumbai.
We’ll head to central Mumbai and begin a 2-3-hour long walking tour inside Dharavi Slum. Within the narrow lanes of the slum lie over thousand small scale industries which take home a collective revenue if over 20 million US dollars. Your local guide will take your through the well organised chaos of Dharavi.
For a unique photo opportunity, head to Dhobi Ghat which is an open-air laundry yard near Mahalaxmi Station. You will see thousands of clothes hanged to dry, divided by color, fabric type. Each section is divided based on the address/locality where the clothes will be delivered after cleaning.
After lunch, roam through the maze of Chor Bazaar & Crawford Market.
Day 12: Mumbai - Onwards
Transfer to the airport to connect to your international departure.