A view of the sunset in Delhi during a culinary tour in India
Overview

An In-Depth Culinary Journey in North India

This trip is eligible for our Worry-Free Booking promotion.

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary tour of North India! India is a large and vibrant country, home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring and recognizable architecture and art, bustling cities, gorgeous landscapes, and amazing cuisine. Start in Dehli, with its bazaars, monuments, and bustling streets, and then travel on to Lucknow, where you will tour palaces and street fairs and see the remnants of British colonial rule. The next stop on your cooking holiday is Agra, home to one of the Modern Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal, as well as the Red Fort of Agra. Then it is on to Jaipur, where you will visit the Amber (Amer) Fort and witness traditional village life in the surrounding areas. Your visit to Lake Chhatra Sagar will include a stay at an amazing luxury tent hotel perched on the pristine wetlands, as well as an exploration of traditional Rajasthani life at a local farm and village. Then it is on to the famed fort and monuments of Jodhpur, followed by Udaipur with a wonderful culinary tour of the local street markets and restaurants, before ending with one last night in Delhi before your return home.

During the course of this amazing, 17-night itinerary you will be accompanied by your English-speaking guides, who will give you insight into this diverse, multi-ethnic, and deeply spiritual land. You will taste the curries and chaat, the breads and rice, the meats and the vegetarian dishes that make up the heart of Indian cuisine, all while seeing some of the world’s most amazing cultural sites.


Trip Details

You will experience Indian cuisine through 5 different cooking courses, each imparting a depth of local culture and cuisine that you cannot find on other tours to India.

  • The first cooking class, in Delhi, will be with one of India’s most well-known chefs, Manish Mehrontra, who will lead you in a demonstration class. Chef Mehrontra has won numerous awards and is considered one of India’s most innovative chefs.
  • Your second class will feature native home cooking in Lucknow with a local Awadhi chef who will teach you about the cuisine of this part of India, which you will then enjoy together.
  • In Agra, your class will be with an Indian woman who learned to cook as a child from her mother, and who married into a family of restauranteurs. She now teaches the simple and tasty recipes she prepares to family, friends, and special guests.
  • Your next class is at the Naila Bagh Palace in Jaipur, in which Trivikram Singh Naila himself will educate you on the customs and cuisine of the area.
  • Your final cooking course will be in Jodhpur with a professional chef who will teach you the best ingredients and spices to make a perfect Indian meal.
    Your cooking vacation in India will surely be one of the most rewarding — and delicious — journeys of your life.

Itinerary

Day One

Itinerary subject to some modification according to specific dates booked. Please inquire with specific dates for details.

  • Arrival in Delhi, where you will be met and accompanied to your hotel. Check in and time to rest.
  • Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Overnight in Delhi.

Day Two

  • After breakfast, head to Old Delhi for a Heritage & Bazaar walk, where you will experience a rickshaw cycle ride in the bustling Chadni Chowk area, and where you will visit the silver, wedding, and spice markets. The more adventurous might also decide to taste some of the local street food.
  • Lunch in a local restaurant.
  • Later, visit local homes to get a taste of modern day India, and end with dinner in a Haveli (an old private mansion occupied by the same family for many generations) along with some English-speaking friends.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight in Delhi.

Day Three

  • After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of New Delhi. You will visit Humayun’s Tomb, the India Gate, the Presidential Palace, the Parliament House, and the Lotus Temple.
  • Next, your first cooking class, in which famed Indian Chef Manish Mehrontra will lead you in a cooking demonstration of four dishes for a three-course lunch, which you will enjoy together.
  • After lunch, back to the hotel to rest, and in the evening proceed to the Kingdom of Dreams, the sprawling entertainment destination, for a magical night. There are many places to eat dinner on your own at the Kingdom of Dreams.
  • Return to the hotel. Overnight in Delhi.

Day Four

  • Breakfast, then depart for your 10:50am flight to Lucknow.
  • Arrival in Lucknow around noon, where you will be met by your guide and accompanied to your hotel. Check in and time for lunch on your own at the hotel.
  • Time to rest before your Royal Dinner. You will be transferred to the Khajoorgaon City Palace of the erstwhile Khajoorgaon Royal family, where you will be greeted and treated to a short introduction and customary wishes. Enjoy drinks and starters, followed by a home-cooked dinner in the palace.
  • Transfer back to the hotel, overnight in Lucknow.

Day Five

  • Depart early for a walking tour of the Qaiser Bagh residential palace complex, and stop for tea and breakfast at the Kotwara House. The local expert who will be your guide will lead you through the lanes with detailed explanations and stories, stopping to point our landmarks and relating anecdotes of the unbelievable lives of the Lucknow nobility. Some of the key monuments you will see are the Baradari buidling, Sadat Ali Khan’s tomb, and Pari Mahal.
  • Stop for lunch out during your tour (not included, but your guide will make some suggestions).
  • Next, visit the architectural marvel, La Martiniere School, which was designed by the French Major-General Claude Martin as a residential palace. To this day, Martin is a revered personality in Lucknow. Visit the Lucknow Residency, where “speechless walls” are said to hold the gruesome tale of the siege of the British compound during the Indian rebellion of 1857. The large British campus witnessed some 3000 deaths to maintain British hold, and yet the British ultimately had to abandon their domain to the spirited Indians. The trees, bullet-pocked walls, defunct cannons, and antique firearms seem to cry aloud at the burden of death they witnessed. You will also visit the graveyard to pay homage to the named and unnamed soldiers who died defending the Residency.
  • Next, visit the Dhobi Ghat district to admire the freshly embroidered Chikan garments, which come here for a wash before heading to the glitzy emporia and showrooms. The riverfront resembles a colorful canvas of flying colors when the washed garments are hung in the sun to dry. Or, if you prefer, visit a Chikan showroom to shop for some of these hand-embroidered garments.
  • Stop for dinner during your tour (not included, but your guide will make some suggestions).
  • Return to the hotel and overnight in Lucknow.

Day Six

  • After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a tour of Lucknow, driving past the Sadat Ali Tomb and the Chatar Manzil palace (part of this palace, which has restricted entry and can therefore only be viewed from the outside and from within the car, was designed by French architect Claude Martin). Next, see some of the world’s most unique architecture, the Asifi Imamabara, a monument built under the rule of Nawah Asif-ud-Daula during a devastating late eighteenth-century famine to provide employment. It includes the world’s largest hall devoid of pillar support, wood, iron beams, or concrete walls. Salute the “Nawah” (Prince), who lies in peace inside and then proceed to see his noble work. Visit the Rumi Darwaza (Turkish Gate) and the Asfi Mosque.
  • Later, visit the Husainabad Complex, which includes the tallest clock tower in Asia, in some ways superior to its Western counterpart, Big Ben. From there see the Busainabad Imambara, known for its beautiful decor. Built in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah, it is considered a sacred place by the natives. The beautiful chandeliers, calligraphy, silver seat, and sandalwood decor are creative and breathtaking.
  • Break for lunch at a local restaurant, or return to the hotel to try out the fusion cuisine at the hotel’s very popular restaurant (lunch not included). Time for a rest after lunch.
  • In the afternoon, enter a bygone era on your visit to the “Chowk,” the oldest market place of Lucknow, to shop for the crafts of this amazing Nawabi city. Walk in the Gol Darwaza, formerly a district that housed Kotbas (small dance halls that featured the local “nautch girls”), now a well-known market place that includes some of the best handicrafts. Visit also a Zari workshop, where you will learn about the intricate metal thread embroidery.
  • Around 6PM, transfer to Coquina for another cooking session, where a Awadhi chef will teach you to about their native cuisine, which you will enjoy right inside the kitchen. The cooking class will include an introduction with drinks and starters, and then a demonstration class focusing on at least two dishes. After, enjoy your authentic Awadhi home cooked meal.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight in Lucknow.

Day Seven

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out. Today is a travel day, but you will have some time on your own in the morning.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Depart for the train station for the 3:35 pm train to Tundla, where you will arrive at 7:18 and transfer by car to your hotel in Agra (it is about a 40 minute drive).
  • Check in to your hotel. Dinner on your own at the hotel, and overnight in Agra.

Day Eight

  • Enjoy an early morning sunrise visit (around 7:00 am) to one of the most famous sites in the world, the Taj Mahal, a spectacular sight not to be missed (please note that Fridays it is closed).
  • Return to the hotel for breakfast around 9:30 am. Free time to rest or explore, with lunch on your own.
  • In the afternoon, visit the Agra Fort, the famed UNESCO world heritage site. This semi-circular walled city is called the “Red Fort of Agra” for its bright color, and boasts walls that are seventy feet high as well as the monumental Delhi gate and the whimsical “Elephant Gate.”
  • Next, visit the Kinari Bazar in Agra, where you might wish to sample some of the local street food such as Aloo Tikki, Paani Puri, Papri Chat, Kachori, Namkeen, or Dal Moth, and see how the famed sweet of Agra known as Petha is made.
  • This evening, a cooking class and dinner with Ms. Mona Bhatia. She and her husband head up his family’s restaurant, which was founded in 1960. Ms. Bhatia’s passion is cooking, which she learned from her mother at a young age. She began teaching her recipes, which are simple, tasty, and easy to make, to family and friends, and gradually the word spread. The result is that our travelers are now able to experience this fun and authentic experience during a cooking class and dinner.
  • Return to hotel and overnight in Agra.

Day Nine

  • After breakfast at the hotel, start the approximately 6-hour drive to Jaipur. You will stop for lunch on route (not included).
  • Arrival in Jaipur and check in to your hotel.
  • This evening, proceed to a cooking class and dinner with the Royal Family of Naila Bagh Palace. The cooking class will be fun, informal, and hands-on. It is usually led by Trivikram Singh Naila himself, who will meet the guests and start the class, showing the utensils, spices, and ingredients required. He will also educate you on Jaipur and the Naila family during the class. Dinner to follow.
  • Transfer back to the hotel and overnight in Jaipur.

Day Ten

  • After breakfast, proceed to Amber Fort via a Jeep ride and visit the beautiful hilltop palace with its ramparts and cobbled paths.
  • Later, proceed to Samode, where you will arrive around 11 am. Enjoy a traditional welcome with Arati lamps, “tike” (the traditional vermillion bindi dot on the forehead), and garlanding, along with a non-alcoholic drink and a palace tour. Next, board a Jeep for a village safari visiting local villages and ending at a farm house that is maintained by a local farmer and his family. Enjoy a meal of homemade vegetarian cuisine including lentils, rotis, vegetables, pickles, chutney, and rice kheer. The meal will be prepared for you on a wood-burning sigri (stove), served in traditional metal thalis and katoris (platters and bowls). Relax on charpoys (a type of cot) and muddas (seating poufs), or enjoy a tour of the farm with the farmer, who will explain the local crops.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight in Jaipur.

Day Eleven

  • Breakfast, then depart on the 5-hour drive to Chhatra Sagar. Lake Chhatra Sagar is a man-made reservoir created in the late Nineteenth Century by a local nobleman who dammed a seasonal stream to help with water conservation in this historically dry area. The result today is a lush oasis. Building around the reservoir has been kept to a minimum, resulting in a beautiful luxury camp hotel offering breathtaking views as well as modern comforts (yes, there are private en suite bathrooms!).
  • Check in to your unique luxury tent hotel in time for lunch in the dining tent or on the terrace (included).
  • This afternoon, proceed to your bird watching tour in the pristine wetlands, scrub forests, and grasslands that have made Chhatra Sagar a veritable bird haven. You can see over 200 species of birds and enjoy up-close looks from almost every part of the camp.
  • Dinner and overnight in your luxury tent in Chhatra Sagar.

Day Twelve

  • After breakfast, enjoy a unique tour that will give you a taste of the traditional rural Rajasthani lifestyle, based on harmony, conservation, and full utilization of the area’s natural resources. Your tour of the farm and village will be with members of the settlement who will introduce you to their way of life and will last approximately 3 hours.
  • Return to the tent hotel. Lunch on your own, and this afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to relax or explore.
  • Dinner on your own, and overnight in Chhatra Sagar.

Day Thirteen

  • After breakfast, depart on the approximately 2-hour drive to Jodhpur.
  • Check in and time to relax, with lunch on your own.
  • This afternoon, a guided tour of the city, visiting such amazing sites as the Mehrangarh Fort, a 15th-century fort with imposing thick walls, and the Jaswant Thada monument, built of polished, intricately carved marble slabs that seem to glow in the afternoon sun.
  • Evening at leisure and dinner on your own.
  • Overnight in Jodhpur.

Day Fourteen

  • After breakfast at the hotel, make your way to the cooking demonstration with a professional chef who will teach you how to use the best spices and ingredients to make a delectable Indian meal. Lunch to follow.
  • This afternoon and evening, time to explore on your own.
  • Overnight in Jodhpur.

Day Fifteen

  • After breakfast, depart for Udaipur (approximately 5 hours away). Stop on the way to see the Ranakpur Jain Temple, which is one of the premier examples of Indian art and architecture, including a number of delicately carved sculptures which defy comparison. The temple bears eloquent testimony to India’s rich cultural heritage, unique architecture, and genius of her past artists.
  • After the temple visit, stop for lunch (not included).
  • Arrival in Udaipur around 3:00 or 4:00 pm, and check in to your hotel.
  • Evening at leisure and dinner on your own, perhaps in one of the many good restaurants near the hotel.
  • Overnight in Udaipur.

Day Sixteen

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Today, enjoy a special walking and driving Udaipur food tour, which is the best way of exploring the royal city and its wonderful cuisine. You will see the most popular food available in Udaipur as well as the most hidden sights of the city, which people usually miss. The tour can begin in the morning around 9:00 am or the afternoon around 1:00 pm, you can decide with your guide. Part of the tour will be to walk in the old traditional markets of Udaipur, where you can experience such staples as Daal Baati Churma (hard wheat rolls with lentils), and then go by car to some traditional “food joints” that are farther away. You will have a chance to experience varied dishes with origins in the Mewar region of Rajasthan and its neighboring state Gujarat, each one sourced from the most famed eateries that have been operating for decades (and in some cases for multiple generations). While meat is a staple of Rajasthani cuisine, epitomized in the Laal Maans mutton curry, Mewari cuisine is known for its vegetarian dishes, such as kachauris, Mirchi Vada, and Samosas. Tastings included as part of the tour.
  • Evening and lunch/dinner on your own (if you’re still hungry).
  • Overnight in Udaipur.

Day Seventeen

  • After breakfast, depart for your 12:55 pm fight to Delhi. (You can catch a quick lunch at the Udaipur airport).
  • Upon arrival (2:30 pm), transfer to the hotel and check in.
  • The rest of the day on your own to relax.
  • Dinner tonight at the hotel, or if you prefer, we can transfer you to a nearby local restaurant (cost of dinner not included).
  • Overnight.

Day Eighteen

  • After breakfast, group transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Trip Details

Included in the 17-Night Trip

Accommodations

17 nights accommodation

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 6 lunches
  • 7 dinners

Classes & Instructors

You will experience Indian cuisine through 5 different cooking courses, each imparting a depth of local culture and cuisine that you cannot find on other tours to India.

  • The first cooking class, in Delhi, will be with one of India’s most well-known chefs, Manish Mehrontra, who will lead you in a demonstration class. Chef Mehrontra has won numerous awards and is considered one of India’s most innovative chefs.
  • Your second class will feature native home cooking in Lucknow with a local Awadhi chef who will teach you about the cuisine of this part of India, which you will then enjoy together.
  • In Agra, your class will be with an Indian woman who learned to cook as a child from her mother, and who married into a family of restauranteurs. She now teaches the simple and tasty recipes she prepares to family, friends, and special guests.
  • Your next class is at the Naila Bagh Palace in Jaipur, in which Trivikram Singh Naila himself will educate you on the customs and cuisine of the area.
  • Your final cooking course will be in Jodhpur with a professional chef who will teach you the best ingredients and spices to make a perfect Indian meal.
    Your cooking vacation in India will surely be one of the most rewarding — and delicious — journeys of your life.

Excursions

  • Old Delhi heritage and bazaar tour, including rickshaw ride
  • New Delhi tour
  • Evening at the Kingdom of Dreams
  • Two full-day tours of Lucknow on days 5 and 6
  • Sunrise Taj Mahal visit
  • Visit of Agra Fort and Kinari Bazar
  • Visit of Amber Fort
  • Visit of Samode including village safari
  • Birdwatching tour in Chhatra Sagar
  • Rajasthani farm and village excursion
  • Guided tour of Jodhpur
  • Visit of Ranakpur Jain Temple
  • Walking and driving food tour in Udaipur

Transfer Details

  • Arrival and departure transfers from/to Delhi airport
  • Additional transfers as per itinerary

Miscellaneous

  • English-speaking guide
  • Transfers in air conditioned vehicle
  • Transfer from Lucknow airport to hotel
  • Train tickets from Lucknow to Tundla
  • Transfer from Tundla to Agra (around 40 minutes)
  • Transfer from Agra to Jaipur (6 hours)
  • Transfer from Jaipur to Chhatra Sagar (5 hours)
  • Transfer from Chhatra Sagar to Jodhpur (2 hours)
  • Transfer from Jodhpur to Udaipur (5 hours)
  • Transfer to Udaipur aiport

Not Included

  • Please note that the cost of the internal air flights (Delhi-Lucknow and Udaipur-Delhi) is not included in the program cost and will be charged at time of confirmation. The cost of the flights varies according to dates confirmed, and will generally be between US$50-US$150 per person, per flight.
  • Beveragers with the meals
  • Trip insurance
  • Personal expenses

Accommodation Information

The Manor hotel in Delhi is a small, boutique luxury hotel of just 14 rooms. Its understated elegance is paired with impeccable service, and rooms feature queen or king-sized beds (or two twins), luxurious linens, WiFi, hair dryers, minibar, TV, in-room safes, air conditioning, and tea/coffee makers. The hotel also boasts one of India’s most renowned restaurants, Indian Accent, as well as an exercise room and spa.

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The Vivanta by Taj Gomti Nagar hotel in Lucknow is a mix of chic sophistication and old-world comfort. Its superior and deluxe rooms feature king (or double twin) beds, TV, telephones, hair dryer, room safe, WiFi, air conditioning, and coffee/tea makers. There is also a pool, spa, and fitness center, as well as a popular restaurant that focuses on the local Awadhi and North Indian cuisine.
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Your stay in Agra will be at the 5* Jaypee Palace Resort, with beautiful decor, landscaped gardens, spa, large outdoor pool, putting green, nightclub, and seven dining options. There is even a mall with shopping and a bowling alley! The rooms feature queen or king (or double twin) bedded rooms, telephone, TV, in-room safe, air conditioning, desk, hair dryer, tea/coffee maker, and minibar.
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Centrally located in Jaipur, the Hotel Narain Niwas Palace is a beautiful hotel designed in the Anglo-Indian style popular in the Victorian Era. The palace was previously a country resort for local royalty, and now is a gorgeous hotel of 37 rooms and suites, each of which features air conditioning, telephones, TV, in-room safe, and authentic art deco furniture. There is also a restaurant, a spa, and a beautiful outdoor pool.
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In the late nineteenth century a local noble in the desert kingdom of Marwar dammed a seasonal stream to create a water reservoir that would alieviate the area’s problems with water scarcity. Today the reservoir is called Chhatra Sagar in his honor, and the area surrounding it has turned into a lush oasis full of open spaces, enchanting views, and over 200 species of birds. Building around it has been kept purposely to a minimum, resulting in the construction of a unique luxury tent ‘camp’ hotel. The 13 tent rooms face east looking over the lake and feature hand-stitched interiors, comfortable furniture, and private en suite baths. There is also a dining tent and outdoor terrace where meals are enjoyed surrounded by the breathtaking views.
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The upscale 5* heritage hotel Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur offers chic rooms and impeccable service. Rooms include sitting areas WiFi, and flatscreen TVs, as well as luxurious en suite bathrooms. The hotel has 2 restaurants, a cafe, an outdoor pool, a gym, spa, and garden.
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Close to the city center and just steps from the Fateh Sagar Lake, the Radisson Blu Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa boasts comfort and luxury in an urban setting. It has a 2-level swimming pool with waterfall, extensive gardens, a tennis court, spa, and two restaurants. The rooms feature air conditioning, TV, minibar, hair dryer, and room service.
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Your last night in India will be at the Lemon Tree Premier Delhi Airport Hotel, just minutes from the airport. The hotel offers a spa, swimming pool, fitness center, business center, two restaurants, and bar. The rooms are offer upscale accommodations with orthopedic mattresses, sound insulation, blackout curtains, WiFi, TV, in-room safe, hair dryer, tea/coffee maker, and minibar.
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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

17-night Program
US$8900 per person based on double occupancy

    30% deposit due to confirm booking.

    This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

    *See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.

    Single occupancy: please inquire.


    Tour Dates

    Available any dates for a minimum of 4 people.

    Reviews

    There are no reviews at this time.


    We Can Help Plan It All

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    We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

    Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly!

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