India Tour With A Chef: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Jodhpur. 8 Days.

This tour with emphasis on Indian food and Indian cooking is specially designed for tourists who want more than just general sightseeing in Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur plus Jodhpur.  It covers the best of north and western Indian cuisines without compromising on the must see sights in any way. The culinary activities like food tours, cooking classes, kitchen tours, restaurant visits etc. are led by a qualified chef for maximum attention to detail. You can customise  or extend each tour by the extension days mentioned at the end.

DAY 1: Delhi Delights

First day in Delhi will begin with a visit to  iconic Delhi landmarks, Lotus Temple, a beautiful Baha’i houseFood tour in  Delhi of worship built in 1986 and Qutub Minar, a 72 m tall tower built in 1193 and still standing tall. Noon will be the time to begin the food tour of Delhi from Old Delhi. This tour will serve as a great introduction to Indian food and culture and will help set the tone for rest of your trip to India. There will be approximately 16-18 different Indian food dishes from different Indian cuisines and you’ll visit  up to 10 different food joints in Old Delhi, Central and South Delhi. All of the food joints that you’ll visit have been in business for generations and are famous for their quality of food. The oldest place in the list is in business for 110 years and youngest for 40. You’ll sample delicacies like samosa, lassi, butter chicken, kulfi (Indian ice creams), melt in m0uth kebabs and much more. The Old Delhi part of the tour will take you through the old, narrow streets of medieval Delhi marked by old mansions, centuries old market and thousands of people milling about in their daily routine. Each lane in this area is a market for different commodity like invitation cards, spices, bicycles, cameras, utensils, vegetables, clothes , shoes, books and much more. The food tour will also include a visit to Spice Market of Delhi and a temple with a charitable kitchen which feeds more than 10000 people every day.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 2: Cooking Magic

It’s time to cook some of the things that you sampled the day before in a half day cooking class led by a chef and his family.  The class will begin with making of masala chai (Indian tea) along with some fried Indian snacks, pakodas which are best enjoyed hot. Enjoy your piping hot chai with pakodas as the chef gives you an introduction about Indian food and he things to expect during the cooking class. Then it’ll be the time to don the aprons and start cooking. You’ll learn to cook proper Indian meals consisting of pulao, daaal (lentils), egg plant,raita, rotis (flat Indian breads), stuffed paranthas (stuffed and fried rotis), vegtables and more. Dessert will be in form of halwa. Non-vegetarian food can also be covered in form of butter chicken, chicken tikka, mutton curry etc. The cooking class will end with a meal of all the things cooked by you. All the participants will also receive a small gift hamper of some of the basic Indian spices used in a typical north-Indian kitchen. After the cooking class, you can visit India Gate, Rajpath and President’s House. This area is the favourite family picnic spot for residents of New Delhi and is quite picturesque, specially after dark.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 3: Taj Mahal Taj Mahal, Agra Delhi, Jaipur tour

Wake up early and get in to your vehicle for a 3 hours drive to Agra. Leave your luggage at the hotel and reach Taj Mahal, one of the 7 wonders of the world. According to most people, it looks much better in real life than in photos. Enjoy your time there, soaking in all the sights and thousands of small but mind blowing details that most people miss without someone to tell them. Take a walk in the gardens and enjoy the play of water in fountains which increase it’s beauty many times over. Sit on the marble bench and get your photos clicked in the same place where countless celebrities like Diana have posed for pictures. Walk out and reach Agra Fort made of red sandstone for an interesting history lesson. As you walk through various parts of the fort, notice the breathtaking views of Taj Mahal as well as the Agra town which will come up.

MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 4: Elephants of the Pink City

Another early wakeup and we’ll drive towards Jaipur, the famous pink city of India. After check in at hotel, it’s time for a visit to the famous Hawa Mahal (Palace of wind). It’s 5 stories tall and built of red and pink sandstone. Front of Hawa Mahal consists of 953 small windows (jharokhas) which are decorated with intricate lattice work. After this, we leave to enjoy some play time with elephants, the gentle giants. But first, it’s time for a traditional Rajasthani lunch served in thaali (platter). Once meal is finished, play time will begin. You’ll have the chance to ride, feed and play with the highly trained and friendly elephants for hours. Ride an elephant of your choice in to jungle and sit under the open night sky around a bonfire. A demonstration of folk dance and handicrafts is also possible.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

OPTIONAL DAY 4: Jaipur Sights

Another early wakeup and we’ll drive towards Jaipur, the famous pink city of India. After check in at hotel, itJaipur tour‘s time for a visit to the famous Hawa Mahal (Palace of wind). It’s 5 stories tall and built of red and pink sandstone. Front of Hawa Mahal consists of 953 small windows (jharokhas) which are decorated with intricate lattice work. You’ll then visit Jantar Mantar, an incredible astronomical observatory built in early 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh. After observatory, we visit Jaipur City Palace which is still partly a royal residence in addition to housing a museum. Then it’s time to visit the famous Jal Mahal, a palace constructed on an island in Man Sagar Lake.

MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY5: Food tour of Jaipur

Get to know Jaipur better via a day long food tour as you explore it’s sights, smells and flavours at once. After a light breakfast, gather in the walled city for a drink of salty lassi. You’ll  alk through the streets and pink markets enjoying the sights of this easy going city and sample all the delicious food it has to offer. During the food tour you’ll sample different types of delicious kachouris, chai prepared over charcoal fire, some justly famous Rajasthani sweets, around half  a dozen different snacks and a big traditional Rajasthani dinner at the end.  During the food tour, we’ll cover sights such as Galta jee Temple (with it’s resident population of monkeys and langoors), Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort and a few more depending upon available time.  Explore the local markets with their mind boggling varieties of colours, fragrances and people selling and buying almost everything under the sun like clothes, jewelery, bangles, shoes, utensils, spices and much more. The visitors will be introduced to some of the ingredients used in traditional Rajasthani cooking.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 6: Jaipur to Osian Spices in India

Another early morning wake up call and we drive towards Osian near Jodhpur . On the way, we’ll stop at Sambahar lake, India’s largest inland salt water lake. It’s area varies between 190 to 230 sq km and is the source of nearly 9% of India’s salt production. A large number of migratory birds call make this lake their winter home every year. We can visit some salt making workshops and observe the process from up close. Later, we get in to our vehicle and reach Osian camp site by evening. After a bit of rest, we will take a walk in the desert and prepare to enjoy the sunset and activities planned. The dinner, a traditional Rajasthani village meal from the region will be served around a campfire to be enjoyed under open night skies away from city.  To make the night more lively, some dancers and artisans from nearby villages will put up an entertaining performance.

MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 7: Desert Adventure

Day 7 will begin with a morning camel safari of the Thar desert. You’ll enjoy the ride, views of ever shifting sand dunes, spot some elusive wildlife as well as  visit nearby tribal villages where you observe their way of life from up close. If interested, you can dress up like them, eat in their kitchens, spend some time with domesticated animals and so on. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the way of life of simple Indian villagers.  A jeep safari can also be arranged if desired. We’ll then drive to Jodhpur city and visit the impressive Mehrangarh fort which is situated 122 m above the city.  The impressive fort includes attractions such as Sheesha Mahal, Moti Mahal, Fool Mahal and Takh Vilas, each one of which is a major attraction by itself. Evening will be dedicated to an interactive cooking demo in which you’ll learn the secrets of some traditional Indian including Rajasthani dishes and sweets. Dinner will include the dishes cooked during the demo.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 8:  End of Journey 

This being the last day of our visit, we’ll drive to  tranquil Kaylana Lake and share our experiences of the journey over hot cup of tea or coffee. After the tea party, we’ll leave for Delhi via air or road.

MEALS: Breakfast

EXTENSIONS:

The tour can be extended according to wishes of the guests and new activities and places added. Some options:

Optional Day 8: Treasures of Jodhpur Sack of chillies in spice market tour

Day 8 will begin with a visit to Rao Jodha Desert Rock park which is a great example on reclaiming waste lands. Till 2006, the area was overrun by an invasive plant specie baavlia (Prosopis juliflora)  from Central America. But after years of hard work, the land has been reclaimed and is home again to nearly  100 species of native flora. Next, we’ll visit Jaswant Thada, an architectural marvel built of carved sheets of marble. The stone is highly polished and so thin that it glows in sunshine. Then it’s time to visit Mandore, ancient capital of Parihar Rajput dynasty. You’ll see Mandore fort, Mandore Gardens and an ancient temple built between 13th and 15th century. The architectural grandeur of the place even after centuries of disuse in remarkable.

MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

Optional Day 8 or Day 9 : To Udaipur via Ranakpur

Another early morning wake up call and we drive towards Udaipur with a rest and sightseeing stop at the famous Jain Temples of Ranakpur. These temples were constructed between 14th to 15th century and the architectural style is completely unique to what you’ll find elsewhere in India. One temple contains 1444 marble pillars, each one carved in exquisite detail. Later, we’ll proceed on our way to Udaipur and reach there by evening. After check in at hotel, it’ll be time for exploring the streets of charming Udaipur and relaxing by beautiful lake Pichola.

MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

Optional Day 8 or Day 9 : To Udaipur via Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh

Another early morning wake up call and we drive towards Udaipur with a rest and sightseeing stop at the famous Jain Temples of Ranakpur. These temples were constructed between 14th to 15th century and the architectural style is completely unique to what you’ll find elsewhere in India. One temple contains 1444 marble pillars, each one carved in exquisite detail. After the temples, we’ll drive to Kumbhalgarh where we’ll see the awe inspiring Kumbhalgarh fort with its 15 feet thick walls which extend for 38 km. The walls are second largest in Asia and have withstood the ravages of time quite well.   There are around 360 temples inside the whole complex. After this, we’ll drive to Udaipur and reach our hotel by night.

MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

Optional DAY 9 or 10: Udaipur Sightseeing

We’ll start the day with a visit to City Palace museum and admire it’s vast collection of medieval and ancient artifacts housed in a beautiful building. The palace was built over a period of 400 years and is a mix of various architectural styles. Next, we’ll visit Jagdish Temple and observe the superb craftsmanship that makes this temple one of a kind. This white temple was built in 1651 and attracts a large number of devotees and tourists from distant places. Then we’ll visit Fateh Sagar lake, an artificial lake built in 1651. it’s situated in a picturesque setting with Aravali hills at 3 sides. We’ll take a boat ride and enjoy the sunset from one of the islands in between. Drive back to hotel for sleep.

MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

Last Day: Flight or train to Delhi

Last day will be free pending the flight, train or road trip back to Delhi.   The cooking classes and food tours will be led by Rajeev Goyal, a chef and restaurant owner. Trained and qualified guides will be provided at each monument during sightseeing tours.

MEALS: Breakfast

Services Provided

  • TRANSPORT : In private or shared car with driver, air or train.
  • ACCOMMODATION: Hotels, guest houses, heritage properties, campsites .
  • ENDURANCE LEVEL: Anyone to Expert. Depends upon destinations and activities chosen.
  • ACTIVITIES:  Food tours, cooking classes, market tours, kitchen tours,  Bird watching,  Cultural activities, Meditation, Yoga,  sightseeing, Volunteer activities
  • DURATION: Variable
  • MEALS: By choice
  • COST: From INR 90000 onwards ( US $ 1500). Depending upon group size and itinerary.