Spirit of India
Spirit Journeys Worldwide welcomes you to join our a Taste of India culinary tour.
On this wonderful tour you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself into the culture, food and everyday life of India. Walk around streets of Old Delhi and taste street food in its original setting. Have a dinner with a local family where you can find out all the secrets of preparing Hyderabadi cuisine. Enjoy the walk in the old town of Armistar. In Agra see the Taj Show, a musical extravaganza depicting the saga of the love story of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his most beloved wife Mumtaz, the inspiration for its building. Explore Rajasthani Cuisine by participating in an interactive cooking session with a noble family of the Jaipur state which will end with a meal with them. In Jaipur Explore on richskaw and see the famous doodh-mandi (milk market) and at the evening visit dinner trail, a street food extravaganza teeming with a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from vendors and restaurants that have been a part of the city’s rich history for generations.
India is a melting pot of different cultures, languages and religions, all of which coexist happily together. On our tour, you will meet and explore all religions, see their places of worship and have a crash course in the idiosyncrasies of each one. Enjoy sightseeing most famous Indian fortress and old cites.
- Sreet food tour in Delhi.
- Meal with an Indian Family in Delhi (Hyderabadi Cuisine)
- Interactive Cooking Session followed by meal with an Indian family in Jaipur (Rajasthani Cuisine)
- Dinner Trail in Jaipur (Sampling local street food in Jaipur)
- Farewell Dinner at Khyber Restaurant – Mumbai (North Indian Frontier Cuisine)
- Multiple departures
- 13 days/12 nights,
- Price from /double occupancy
- Open to all levels
HOW TO BOOK or Further information
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Flights available on request – please contact us for a quote including flights|
|INCLUDED|| Accommodations as mentioned above|
Services of an English speaking local guide
Entrance Fees at monuments
Assistance of our representative during arrival & departure transfers at airport & railway station.
Road taxes, parking fees, fuel charges, interstate taxes, porterage at railway station
All applicable taxes including Government Service Tax
All Meals (Breakfast, lunch & dinner) as per itinerary
Still camera fees
Government Services Tax of 5%
|NOT INCLUDE|| Items of personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, still/video camera fees at monuments or any items not specified above|
Any other services not mentioned in the itinerary
VISA fees / any international air fares
Any Laundry and Alcoholic Beverages, Insurance and Gratuities
Video and professional still camera fees
All activities mentioned as ‘options’ in the itinerary.
|Additional Information||Single Rooms at a supplement on request|
Day 1: Arrive – Delhi (-/-/-)
Day 2: Delhi (B/-/-)
After breakfast in the hotel, we leave for sightseeing of Delhi.
Private gardens are few and far between in Delhi but, as per the Indian adage, health is wealth so people gather in the early morning to walk, gossip and do exercise outside where they can. It’s an early start today but a trip to the beautiful and historic Lodhi Gardens provides a lovely insight into Indian culture as you stroll around, see people doing yoga and if the opportunity arises, join a laughter yoga group! Afterward relaxing back at the hotel for breakfast, visit Humayun’s Tomb and as a complete contrast, browse along the most expensive retail street in India and pick up some wonderful Indian-themed clothes and books. There are also fun restaurants and cafes here which make a good choice for lunch if you’d like. You can try Khan Chacha, their legendary chicken tikka and mutton kakori kebabs are to die for. During the sightseeing you will drive past India Gate, Presidential Palace and Parliament House.
Early evening, we leave for a food tour of Old Delhi. Street food is best enjoyed in its original setting, in the noisy labyrinthine by-lanes of Chawri Bazaar and Chandni Chowk, where golden Gurudwaras share space with historic mosques. The dishes one can savor in Old Delhi Food Walk are large, thick and juicy jalebis, glistening with ghee; Aloo chaat crisp fried potato cutlets dunked in a melange of chutneys and smattered with onions and spices; In non-vegetarian, one can taste tender and flavorful Kebabs, fried Chicken and Butter Chicken, all of which are best tasted when taken with Roomali Roti and Biryani. For Desserts, try out the creamy, delicious phirni (rice pudding) which is served in earthen pots and end your walk with a Kulfi (Indian gelato) which is offered in blackberry, pomegranate, mango, litchee, and guava flavors. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 3: Delhi (B/-/-)
India is a melting pot of different cultures, languages and religions, all of which coexist happily together. The whole country celebrates each religion’s festivals and they can even intermingle, particularly in the south. It is not uncommon for Christians to stop and offer a puja at a Hindu temple or for Hindus to join their friends at a church festival. Hinduism has many Gods, while Sufism and the Sikhs don’t have any idols. It can be confusing but, on this tour, we will introduce you briefly to each religion, take you to the places of worship and give you a crash course in the idiosyncrasies of each one. Stop by the Sacred Heart Cathedral built in 1929, visit the Birla Temple and be blessed by a priest and visit the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, where they feed thousands of devotees every day. You even have the opportunity to work alongside the kitchen volunteers. We return to our hotel after the visit with the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
In the evening, we set out to meet an Indian family and have Dinner with them. You will be feasting upon Hyderabadi cuisine. Hyderabad has had a long list of Muslim rulers, and all of them were big-time foodies! You will experience an authentic Hyderabadi Dawat (feast), around 10 different flavors. If you’re looking to make some unforgettable memories with plates full of biryani, Galouti kebabs, fun conversations and much more, then this is the feast for you. All I can say is that it will be a unique mix of cultures and a memorable experience.
Day 4: Delhi – Amritsar (By Flight) (B/-/-)
Today we take a morning flight to Amritsar. Upon arrival at Amritsar you are escorted to the hotel. Check-in at the hotel and you have the option to rest for a bit before you leave for a cuisine walk in the old town of Amritsar. We will begin today’s sightseeing by visiting Golden Temple where we’ll visit World’s largest free eatery called Langar. Anyone can eat for free here and on an average 100,000 people are fed daily. On weekends and special occasions double the numbers of people visit the langar. The langar never stops and on an average 7,000 kg of wheat flour, 1,200 kg of rice, 1,300 kg of lentils, 500 kg of ghee (clarified butter) is used in preparing the meal every day.
Five minutes’ walk from the Golden temple is Jallianwalla Bagh also known as the site of the Amritsar Massacre of 1919, one of the defining events of India’s struggle for freedom from British rule. Powerfully depicted in the movie Gandhi, it was here on April 13, 1919, that British Indian Army soldiers under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. Official sources place the casualties at 379, but private sources put the number at over 1000 with more than 1200 wounded, and Civil Surgeon Dr Smith indicated that they were over 1800.
We will also walk through the Katra’s – wholesale bazaars where we will eat Indian Fast Food in the most frequented places within the Walled City and the best part is that they are all walking distance from each other. Walk from one shop to another and keep samplings and tasting while your expert Host a food journalist and enthusiast carves the path and shares with you the insights into each place.
Return to Hotel and rest. Enjoy Hi-Tea in Hotel – Amritsar specialties.
Do a Punjabi Cooking Class using concepts and ingredients of what we saw in the City today followed by dinner at various places hopping in car to enjoy specialty dishes like fish, mutton, paneer, roti. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 5: Amritsar (B/-/-)
Today your breakfast is at Lawrence road for typical Amritsari breakfast followed by a walk around Lawrence road to see ingredients of Punjabi cuisine like wadian and papad and its various varieties and sweets of various types. Lunch is Amritsari stuffed kulchas (Indian bread) made in the Tandoor (clay oven) and served with typical white chick peas and onion chutney.
Late afternoon we leave for the excursion to Wagha Border to witness the change of Guards Ceremony. Our trip to the border post to watch the formal flag ceremony is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip. Every evening hundreds of people gather to watch the famous goose-stepping parade and the ceremonial lowering of their national flags by the Indian and Pakistani army at sunset. For dinner you have two options; either you enjoy home cooked dinner in Punjabi style with local Punjabi folk coming to Ranjit’s Svaasa or you can eat dinner by going out to a local restaurant.
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 6: Amritsar – Delhi (By Flight) – Agra (204 Kms / 03 hrs) (B/-/-)
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Amritsar Airport and board your flight to Delhi. From Delhi Airport we will drive to Agra. En route we will stop for lunch. Check-in at hotel upon arrival.
While staying in Agra, you cannot afford to miss “Mohabbat The Taj Show” which is a musical extravaganza depicting the saga of one its kind love story of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his most beloved wife Mumtaz. The show comes alive every evening at the Kalakriti Auditorium and enthralls the audience with its heart rendering dialogues and dance performances which transport you to the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan who immortalized his love by building Taj Mahal in the fond memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. This exceptionally inviting event brings alive the historical legacy of India and gives you the opportunity to truly admire and experience its diverse cultural heritage.
Day 7: Agra – Jaipur (260 Kms / 06 hrs) (B/-/-)
After breakfast we visit the world famous Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday) built by Shah Jahan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this ‘Love Poem in Marble’.
After the visit we leave for Jaipur; en route visit Fatehpur Sikri, built in 1571, one of the world’s most perfect ghost cities and a marvel of design and construction. It is a synthesis of the flourishing styles of the Persian courts and the prevailing Hindu-Islamic trends. Fatehpur (town of victory) Sikri was built by Akbar, the third and greatest of the Great Moguls. It is over 400 years old and today its pristine red sandstone buildings are as perfect as when they were first chiselled.
As you reach Jaipur, check-in at the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 8: Jaipur (B/-/-)
Head to Jaigarh Fort today, 12 kilometres outside Jaipur. The view from here is your introduction to the city of Amber (pronounced Amer), once the ancient capital of the Rajput Empire. Gaze down on the famous Amber Fort from your vantage point, its interesting mixture of Hindu and Mughal architecture set against a backdrop of rugged hills and its fairy tale terraces and ramparts reflected in Maota Lake below. Approaching this beautiful Rajput monument from the alternative direction of Jaigarh Fort (either a 20 minute walk or by golf cart) gives you a wonderful sense of its setting. Admire Amber Fort’s striking red sandstone and marble exterior before venturing inside to explore the intricate carvings, colourful murals, precious stones and mirrors that decorate the interior before exiting down to a lovely hidden stepwell.
In the evening we will learn more about through your host for the evening. Rajasthani Cuisine was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Scarcity of water and fresh green vegetables had its effect on the cooking.
Introduction to any style of cooking begins with lessons on the ingredients. One must know what is the meaning and the source of the ingredients. Once you understand the flavour, smell and taste of an ingredient, you will understand the reason as to why a particular ingredient is required in a particular recipe. No doubt that the spicy Indian food will ever come to terms with people outside India but to help you understand the palate you have to satiate, we will take you around the local bazaar to familiarize you with the Indian flavours.
We let you explore the roots of Rajasthani cooking, beginning from visiting the vegetables and spice markets which lie untouched by modern ‘departmentalism’, to buying the ingredients yourself. Indulge in an interactive cooking session with a noble family of the erstwhile Jaipur state and ends with a meal with them.
Over dinner you get an opportunity to listen the tales by your host, the noble family, of the people and lifestyle of the bygone era. A perfect end to the tour which will help you get under the skin of the city and give you a unique insight into Jaipur.
Day 9: Jaipur (B/-/-)
Early in the morning, venture out in an E-Richskaw to the bustling doodh-mandi, (Doodh = milk and Mandi = market) where milk arrives in cans usually on the back of motorbikes, rickshaws or even camel carts! It is quickly snapped up by neighbourhood doodhwallas (milkmen) and confectionery shops and taken away for further distribution. There are other fascinating markets to visit this morning too as the Pink City wakes up; watch the sellers setting up their flower and vegetable stalls as you wander around, sip chai and offer puja at a local temple.
In the evening we go on a dinner trail. We cover a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from vendors and restaurants that have been a part of the city’s rich heritage for a long time. On a typical tour, one can savour tangy kachoris, creamy lassis, spicy chicken tikkas, melt-in-mouth kebabs and rumaali rotis. A few dishes that mark the highlight of the tour are the royal Junglee maas and Laal maas, the sweet and creamy ghevar and rabri. To end the day, a variety of faloodas and shakes are the best choice and a definite part of the trail. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 10: Jaipur – Udaipur (395 Kms / 07 Hrs) (B/-/-)
After breakfast in the hotel, we leave for Udaipur. On the way you visit the quaint town of Pushkar. It’s a prominent Hindu pilgrimage town that curls around a holy lake, said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower.
You walk near the Pushkar Lake and nearby temples. Ghats lead down to the water to enable pilgrims to bath. There are 52 ghats around the lake & dozens of other temples, most of which are closed on 1200 to 1600. The Brahma Temple, at the far end of the lake, is a holy shrine & draws pilgrims throughout the year. After the visit of Pushkar, continue drive to Udaipur. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 11: Udaipur (B/-/-)
Udaipur with its lakes and palaces, cradled in the hills of the Aravalli range makes it a very romantic city. And one of the most interesting aspects of Udaipur are its markets, which have escaped becoming the tourist trap one frequently comes across in other cities. Here, you’ll really get a feel of what an authentic Indian bazaar looks like. Begin with the vegetable market, whose vibrant colours are created not only by the produce on sale but also by the deeply traditional clothes worn by the women. Walk through streets lined with shops selling a myriad of everyday household items before continuing to the spice market and the textile street.
Wherever you are, the colours assault you: from the heaps of red chillies and the yellow turmeric powder to the flowing fabrics in every hue imaginable. Another street awaits, this time of very small silver shops displaying traditional styles of anklets, rings and necklaces, and then finally you’ll come to a more modern market quarter, selling international designer brands. This is a fun, leisurely walk that gives you a chance to see two faces of the same coin: modern India with its roots steeped in tradition.
Later we visit City Palace – the focal point of the city and has several areas of interest like the Suraj Gokhada, Badi Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Mor Chowk (the peacock courtyard), and the Zenana Mahal.
Next we visit the Jagdish Temple, located close to the Palace with its imposing sculpted figures and heavily ornamented interiors. Late afternoon, we take a romantic boat ride at Lake Pichola, 4-Km long and 3-Km broad, surrounded by splendid hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Visit the island palace, Jag Mandir that is beautifully set in the lake.
After boating return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 12: Udaipur – Mumbai (By Flight) (B/-/-)
Today we board an early morning flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival at Mumbai airport you will be received by a Vasco representative and escorted to the hotel for check-in.
Afternoon is at leisure.
In the evening dine in Mumbai’s most renowned Khyber Restaurant. Frequently patronized by local & international celebrities, distinguished personalities and even royalty, they have had the pleasure of serving the Prince of Luxemborough, Kuwait Royal Family, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Paul McCartney, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Wendell Rodricks, Goldie Hawn, Demi Moore, Richard Gere and many more. Return to the hotel for overnight stay
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 13: Mumbai – Journey Home(B/-/-)
After having breakfast we leave the hotel to see what really makes Mumbai tick. In the company of your guide and using local buses and trains as well as your feet to get about, embark on a fascinating journey from the beautiful Afghan Church at the southern tip, past the impressive architectural sights of the city centre and up to the elegant district of Malabar Hill, most famous for its tranquil Hanging Gardens. Two stops en route are sure to be of particular interest: one to see the Dabbawallas (lunch couriers) set off to distribute their meals and a second to witness the vast open-air laundry that is the Dhobi Ghat.
In the afternoon we will see why Dharavi is the heart of small scale industry in Mumbai. Many people know Dharavi as the ‘largest slum in Asia’, but there is much more to this historic area of Mumbai than poverty. Dharavi’s industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million. Through our tour visitors experience a wide range of these activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadum-making and many more. Most of these things are created in innovative ways and in very small spaces! When passing through the residential spaces, you will undoubtedly feel the sense of community and spirit that exists in the area. People from all over India live in Dharavi and this diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques and churches that stand side by side. A tour through Dharavi’s narrow alleys is quite an adventure, and you will leave with an enlightened sense of the purpose and determination that exists in the area.
Later in the evening you will be escorted to the airport for your onward flight back home.
- We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance
- Contact Numbers
- Email ID
- Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
- If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the moment of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar services (s) in order to avoid changes to the program.
- Copy of passport
- Prices are subject to change in case of any amendment in the routing or other hikes such as fuel, taxes etc
- As the train runs on the tracks of the Indian Railways, the itineraries & timings are subject to change incase of any changes in the routing etc.
- Prices are subject to change in case of any amendment in the routing or other hikes such as fuel, taxes etc