Cultural & Culinary Delight Tour
15 Nights/ 16 Days 
Kolkata - Lucknow - Delhi - Agra - Sikri - Jaipur - Nimaj - Rohet - Jodhpur - Narlai - Deviga - Udaipur - Devigarh - Mumbai
Detailed Tour Itinerary

Day 01:

Arrive Kolkata

You will arrive at Kolkata’s International Airport.

Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you EXIT the ARRIVALS TERMINAL building after which you would be transferred to your hotel.  


Depending on your arrival time, remainder of the day may be spent in leisure or free to explore on your own. Those interested may undertake walking tour of old colonial buildings ending with arrival at the restaurant for dinner to join the others. 
Dinner tonight will be at Aaheli Restaurant for a taste of authentic Bengali cuisine in a traditional ambience. 
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 02:

Kolkata

Breakfast at your hotel 
In the morning you will be taken for brief drive past tour of Calcutta including Victoria Memorial (Closed on Monday), and Howrah bridge. 
Lunch on your own.

After lunch, enjoy a nice cuppa at the Indian Coffee House. The Coffee House which has made absolutely no attempt to mask its age with designer tables and petite chairs, fancy lighting and noiseless fans-still continues to be very special. The prestige of the Coffee House increased with regular visitors such as stalwarts like Satyajit Ray, Manna Dey, Amartya Sen, Mrinal Sen and Aparna Sen. 
In the evening, you will be taken for a cooking demonstration and dinner to a traditional Bengali home. 
The traditional society of Bengal has always been heavily agrarian; hunting, except by some local tribals, was uncommon. The rearing of animals was also not popular. This is reflected in the cuisine, which relies on staples like rice and đal, with little place for game or meat. Fish is the dominant kind of meat, cultivated in ponds and fished with nets in the fresh-water rivers of the Ganges delta. More than forty types of mostly freshwater fish are common, including carp varieties. Salt water fish is very popular among Bengalis. Almost every part of the fish (except fins and innards) is eaten; the head and other parts are usually used to flavor curries. Khashi (referred to as mutton in Indian English, the meat of sterilized goats) is the most popular red meat.               
Macher Jhol is one of the most preferred dishes of people living in West Bengal. Macher Jhol or Machchi Jhol is usuallyy eaten with rice. Macher Jhol is quite easy to prepare as you will find while trying your hands at cooking machcher Jhol. Sweets occupy an important place in the diet of Bengalis and at their social ceremonies. It is an ancient custom among Hindus to distribute sweets during festivities. The sweets of Bengal are generally made of sweetened cottage cheese (chhena), khoa (reduced solidified milk), or flours of different cereals and pulses. 
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 03:

Kolkata - Lucknow

After buffet breakfast, our representative will transfer you to Kolkatta domestic airport to board flight for Lucknow.

Departure: Kolkatta  At:  11:05hrs  By: 9W2461 Arrival:     Kolkata  At:  12:40 hrs   
Upon arrival you in Lucknow you will be met by a SITA representative who will transfer you to hotel. 
Lunch will be at your Own. 
In the afternoon, proceed for a sightseeing tour visiting the great Imambara – built in the 18th century.  The absence of beams and pillars in the huge main hall is an architectural achievement.   
For dinner you will be taken to a Nawab’s Haveli where you will be served the famous local cuisine, Awadhi. You would be particularly delighted to know that some of these dishes could have been invented by the forefathers of the Nawab’s family.  
The rich Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow region was made popular by the Nawab of Awadh who, to deal with food shortage, ordered his men to cook food in huge handis (vessel) to feed the hungry people. This eventually led to a style of cooking called dum, i.e., the art of sealing ingredients in large handi and cooking over a slow fire. 
Utensils are made either of silver or copper. Kababs are cooked in a Mahi Tava (large, round shallow pan), using a Kafgir which is a flat, long handled ladle for turning Kababs and Paranthas. Bone China plates and dishes were also used in Lucknow since the times of the Nawabs. Water was normally sipped from copper or silver tumblers and not glasses. The seating arrangement, while eating, was always on the floor where beautifully embroidered Dastarkhwans were spread on mats or carpets or even Chandnis (white linen). Sometimes this arrangement was made on low-raised wooden tables called Takahts. 
Overnight at the hotel.  

Day 04:

Lucknow - Delhi

After buffet breakfast, proceed to visit Lucknow residency where the British resident lived, picture gallery exhibiting excellent full-sized portraits of the Nawabs of Awadh.  
In the afternoon, you will be taken to a local restaurant, to sample local cuisine under expert guidance of Prateek Hira (Avadhi Cuisine Expert, by virtue of his education, knowledge and experience). 
Later our representative will transfer you to Lucknow railway station to board flight for Delhi 
Departure: Lucknow   At:  15:35hrs  By: Shatabdi Express Arrival:     Delhi   At:  22:05 hrs   
Dinner will be served onboard train. 
Upon arrival in Delhi railway station you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to hotel.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 05:

Delhi

After buffet breakfast at hotel, you will proceed for sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi.  
The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid or Friday Mosque, walk down the narrow streets of Chandi Chawk to reach mosque. It is the largest mosque in India, accommodating up to 25,000 worshippers at one time. Designed by Shah Jahan, this grand red sandstone and white marble mosque was said to have been built by 5,000 artisans from 1644 to 1656. 
You will also visit the markets of Old Delhi. Sacks of spices and nuts, edible sheets of silver, and local pickles make for an aromatic day out. In the lanes of Khari Baoli you will be introduced to saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, by one of the oldest and largest distributors of this exotic spice in the world.You will also visit the markets of Old Delhi. This experience takes you back to the markets of Old Delhi. Sacks of spices and nuts, edible sheets of silver, and local pickles make for an aromatic day out. In the lanes of Khari Baoli you will be introduced to saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, by one of the oldest and largest distributors of this exotic spice in the world.

After sightseeing you will be taken to Sagar Ratna restaurant for South Indian vegetarian meal for lunch. The restaurant offers rare pleasures of authentic regional specialities of South India such as dosas, vadas, appams, parathas, chutneys, sambar, rasam and other south Indian dishes. Add to it the freshness, purity, hygiene, taste, variety, homely service. This is cooked with coconut oil and coconut is major ingredient of almost all cuisines. 
After lunch, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. Designed and built by the British architect Edwin Lutyens and his friend Sir Herbert Baker, the new capital was formally inaugurated in 1931. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards. 
The tour to Imperial Delhi will include a visit to the Qutub Minar, The five-storied tower with a 14.4 metre base that tapers up to two and a half metres at the top is visible for a long distance around. Pulling down 27 Hindu and Jain temples and using their columns erected the attached Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque also built by him. Then visit Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, it is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President’s residence. 
Your dinner tonight is at Punjabi by Nature for a north Indian Punjabi fare in a contemporary setting, Unique and authentic, the culinary selection at Punjabi By Nature is reminiscent of the food from the Northern terrains and its royal inflections. Gourmet food of the Mughal era with its intricate masalas and elaborate preparations is a discerning diner’s delight. 
Punjabi people are robust people with robust appetites and their food is like the Punjabis themselves, simple, sizeable and hearty with no unnecessary frills or exotic accompaniments. The Punjabi tandoori cooking is celebrated as one of the most popular cuisines throughout the world. Huge earthen ovens are half buried in the ground and heated with a coal fire lit below it. Marinated meat, chicken, fish, paneer, rotis and naans of many types are cooked in this novel oven and the results are absolutely scrumptious! Punjab has imbibed some aspects of its cuisine from external influences. Connoisseurs of the cuisine say that the gravy component of Punjabi cuisine came from the Mughals. The most popular example is the murg makhani. It served the state well to combine this influence in its cooking since it had a lot of pure ghee and butter. Murg makhani also provided a balance to tandoori chicken, which was dry because it was charcoal cooked. Nans and parathas, rotis made of maize flour are typical Punjabi breads. Of course, over the years the roti has been modified to add more variety, so there is the rumali roti, the naan and the laccha parathas, all cooked in the tandoor.            
Winter, in Punjab, brings in the season of the famous makki ki roti(maize flour bread) and sarson ka saag(mustard leaf gravy). No meal is complete without a serving of lassi( sweet or salted drink made with curd) or fresh curd and white butter which is consumed in large quantities. The other popular dishes, which belong exclusively to Punjab, are ma ki dal, rajma (kidney beans) and stuffed parathas. 
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 06:

Delhi - Agra

Early in the morning you will be driven to the railway station for your train to Agra (0600/0810 hrs). Arrive Agra, met and transfer to the hotel. After freshen up you will proceed for brief sightseeing of Agra including the incomparable Taj Mahal. 
 That magnificent monument to love – Taj Mahal, built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631, and is believed to have taken 18 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock. The design and construction is said to be that of the legendary architect, Ustad Ahamad Lahori. Legend has it that once construction was completed, Shah Jehan had Lahori’s hands cut off, and blinded, so he would never be able to duplicate the structure. What makes the Taj Mahal unique is its perfect proportions, distinct femininity, medium of construction and ornamentation.  Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day. It is impossible to visualize the Taj Mahal in any surrounding others than its paradoxical garden. Paradise, in Islam, is visualized as lush garden where running streams flow . When the Moguls brought this concept to India they elevated it to the heights of incomparable.  (TAJ MAHAL REMAINS CLOSED ON FRIDAYS) 
Return to hotel for Breakfast after after the sightseeing tour.  
Lunch at your own. 
In the evening, you will be taken to Peshwari restaurant for dinner.  
In an ambience reminiscent of the rustic charm of dining in the warmth of tents under a starry sky in the cold desert terrain of the North West Frontier, Peshawri brings to Agra an award winning menu of delicacies cooked in the clay tandoor. Experience the wonder of this cuisine with a lavish spread of delicious kebabs – vegetarian and non-vegetarian that are cooked in myriad 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. 
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 07:

Agra - Sikri - Jaipur

This morning you will be driven to Jaipur ( hillie 5.5 hours) – en route visiting Fatehpur Sikri. Lunch will be served at Laxmi Vilas Palace near Bharatpur.  The Laxmi Vilas Palace lies in the beautiful location enhanced by the sumptuous lunch preparation. 
Upon arrival at Jaipur, proceed to check-in at your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. 
Your dinner tonight will be at the ethnic village, Chokhi Dhani, for a Rajasthani fare

Rajasthani cuisine is perhaps the most sensitive among Indian cuisines. Rajasthan cooking in general has its own unique  hilli where the simplest and the most basic of ingredients go into the preparation of most dishes. Perhaps due to general scarcity of water, cooking is done with minimum use of water, instead milk, buttermilk and clarified butter is used.  
Non-availability of vegetables like tomatoes has led to the usage of dried mango powder while  hillies  is used instead of onion and garlic. Gram flour is a major ingredient and is used to make some of the delicacies like khatta,  hil ki sabzi, pakodi; powdered lentils are used for mangodi, papad; bajra and corn is used all over the state for preparations of rabdi, khichdi and rotis. Various chutneys are made from locally available spices like turmeric, coriander, mint and garlic. 
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08:

Jaipur

Enjoy tour of Jaipur city. 
Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II and is a marvelous synthesis of architectural influences – Hindu and Mughal. The bazaars teem with people, camels, horses and a multitude of vehicles, while around them loom magnificent palaces and buildings. In the morning you will drive past the Hawa Mahal, otherwise known as the palace of Winds, and continue to Amber Fort.  
Hawa Mahal is just an elaborate facade behind which the ladies of the court used to sit and observe life in the streets below. Amber, the ancient capital of the region, still recalls its heydays in the majestic ramparts rising steeply along the contoured hillsides. Here, elephant still carry visitors in stately splendor to the main Palace, through unusually high gateways, obviously designed to accommodate this archaic mode of transport. It is an extremely well preserved building and very delightful to explore. Visit the Jagmandir or the Hall of Victory glittering with mirrors, Jai Mahal and Temple of Kali.

You lunch is arranged at Samode Haveli – The exquisite former dining hall that serves as a restaurant is bedecked with colourful hand-painted murals. There’s a choice between the traditional Rajasthani cuisine and international flavours within these frescoed interiors.  
Later, you will be drive to Dera Amer to enjoy elephant safari followed by dinner: 
The elephant Safari is conducted in the natural and serene area surrounding the camp of Dera Amer. At dusk upon arrival the guests are welcomed by the elephants, after feeding the elephants, welcome drink and face towels and the guests are seated on the cushioned seat (2 adults on each elephant) and sent on a picturesque track following a local tribal guide passing through a private jungle area surrounding the camp, as the sun sets over the hills passing by village hutments, fields, a medieval fortress lit up by flame torches – mashaals (at night) and monument finally arriving at the camp situated in the middle of the forest to a grand welcome. The elephant ride culminates at the camp or the exclusive jungle spots. 
The guests arrive at these surprise locations lit by Mashals and Diyas, local traditional instrument playing from the distance, exclusive seating and dining with a luxurious candle lit layout and live barbecue. 
Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 09:

Jaipur - Nimaj

Early morning 45 minutes meditation session at the hotel 
Breakfast at your hotel 
After breakfast, you will be driven to Nimaj (220 Kms / 04 Hrs).  On arrival, check-in at Chhatra Sagar Camps. 
Situated on the Jaipur-Jodhpur highway, Chhatra Sagar was built as a hunting lodge of the Nimaj Estate. Surrounded by lush green fields of wheat, mustard, cotton and  hillies and vast grazing pastures, this hundred year old reservoir, with a periphery of about 10 kilometers, is an ideal destination for nature lovers and a perfect getaway from the chaotic city life. 
Lunch is at the hotel. 
Later in the evening enjoy a ride on the jeep safari to Chattarsagar reservoir, home to ducks and waterfowls. This place is perfect for bird watching and viewing the spectacular sunset. 
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10:

Nimaj

This day will be leisure to explore the region with the family and you have the options of jeep safari in the villages or bird watching. 
In the afternoon there will be a cooking demonstration organized in the kitchen where you can interact with the family and know the secrets of Nimaj style of cooking of Mewar food. The Nimaj Family at Chhatrasagar is known not only for their faultless hospitality but also for their wonderful food. 
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 11:

Nimaj - Rohet

In the morning you will be driven to Rohet (170 Kms / 06 hours) and check in the heritage hotel.  
Rohet – the fortified desert home of the descendants of the 16th century Rathore of the Champawat clan, Thakur Dalpat Singh I. Generations of valiant noble-men have built this heritage home where, notwithstanding the inroads of modernity, aristocratic values are respected. The visitor of today experiences the famed warmth of courteous Rajput hospitality. 
In the evening a cooking workshop on traditional cuisines will be organized, including a visit to the spice market and cooking demonstrations by selected local chefs and the hostess followed by dinner. As per Rohetgarh, guests have called a meal at Rohet Garh their best in India. Late Thakurani Sahiba Jayendra Kumari authoring a small cookbook on our cuisine. Under her expert guidance, they began the culinary workshops. Today her legacy is carried forward by her daughter in-law, ashmi Singh. Their workshops promote traditional Indian cuisine and are extremely comprehensive and popular. The guests are not only given demonstrations but also practical training. And then they get to sample their own efforts! 
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 12:

Rohet - Jodhpur - Rohet

Early morning you will be taken for an excursion to Jodhpur (approx 1 hour of drive) and have breakfast near the clock tower like the mirchibada, mawa-ki-kachodi (sweet kachodi) & famous Mishri Lal ki lassi.    
Rao Jodha, chief of the Rathores, a Rajput clan, founded Jodhpur in 1459. Until recent times, Jodhpur was known as the ancient kingdom of Marwar, the largest kingdom in Rajputana. Standing at the edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is the largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. The city is dominated by the huge Mehrangarh Fort that sits atop a sheer rocky ridge right in the centre of the town. 
Your tour of Jodhpur city will include a visit to the majestic Mehrangarh Fort and the beautiful Jaswant Thada. After the visit you will be taken for lunch at Karni Bhawan and taste the royal cuisine of the House of Sodawas. The Sodawas cuisine has a serendipitous quality to it, as it was discovered by Vikramaditya Singh in an old diary, written by his late grandfather about big game hunting in Africa during the late 1930s and the recipes he had experimented with using traditional Rajasthani spices. 
Like traditional Indian cuisine, especially south of the Vindhya’s, the Sodawas food tastes better with chutneys. The Papad Re Chutney in particular is a stand out. The Dahi Re Chutney also goes rather well with snacks like Maasri Tikka. 
Drive back to Rohet and in the evening you will safari in the Bishnoi Villages. Rohetgarh has pioneered this unique tour, which introduces the guests to local cultures and traditions. You are taken into homes and received with warmth and affection, an experience which often eludes the ordinary tourist. You can interact with various communities living in the area and share and understand their worlds, the Bhishnois, protectors of nature for five centuries and arguably the world’s first ecologists, responsible for the survival of species such as the black-buck antelope: the semi nomadic Raika shepherds of Marwar whose brilliant crimson and marigold costumes are excellent.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 13:

Rohet - Narlai

After breakfast, drive to Narlai (131 Kms / 03 Hrs). On arrival in Narlai, check-in to your hotel. 
Narlai: Rawla Narlai is situated Midway between Udaipur and Jodhpur and Offers a peek into the rural Rajasthan. Rawlas are basically heritage homes of the Village chieftan. Maharaj and Rani Swaroop Singh, and their sons oversaw the careful restoration of this hunting lodge, with aesthetics, comfort, and atmosphere that will embrace your senses. It is surrounded by Aravalli hills, It is situated in an ancient dwelling, at the foot of a hill, dotted with    caves and temples. 
In the evening you will be taken for a fantastic dinner at the stepwell. The step up is very different and you will like the local cuisine. 
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 14:

Narlai - Deviga

You will be driven to Devigarh (approx 5 hours) Clinging to the rocky hill like a fairy tale fortress, Devigarh casts an enchanting spell with its innumerable bay windows, canopies, terraces, and balconies. This all-suite hideaway showcases an incredible array of modern Indian art and artifacts. The palace hotel will appeal to those who love the contemporary, eclectic look, for although it is an 18th Century Fort Palace, its interiors are white wonders of minimalism. 
The food at Devigarh is an integral part of the entire experience… Awadhi, South Indian, Bengali, Kashmiri, Hyderabadi, Rajasthani & Marwari. This evening dinner will be a Kashmiri Cuisine affair. 
Kashmiri cuisine is essentially meat based. Lamb, goat’s meat and chicken form the basis of many a famous dish. It is flavoured delicately with saffron and Kashmiri chillies which are not too spicy, but give a rich red colour to the food. The abundance of dry fruit like walnuts, dried dates, and apricots also inspire the Kashmiri to use them abundantly in puddings, curries and snacks. 
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 15:

Deviga - Udaipur - Deviga

Breakfast at your hotel

Later you will be driven to Udaipur Sightseeing tour.  
Your sightseeing includes a visit to the City Palace, an enormous edifice, stands on a hill on the banks of Lake Pichola, surrounded by crenulated walls. Built in 1567, it is composed of 4 major palaces and several minor palaces that form a single façade. It is here that Udai Singh met an ascetic who suggested this site for Udaipur. The centrally located 17th century Mor Chowk (Peacock Courtyard) gets its name from inlaid glass mosaics of peacocks on its walls. Other exotic rooms include the Krishna Vilas dedicated to the memory of a 16 year old princess’s tragic suicide, the Zenana Mahal (Palace of the Queens) and the Chini Chitrasala, which has exquisite mosaics and blue and white ceramics. To the west of main gate lies Khush Mahal (Palace of Happiness) and to its south lies Shambhu Niwas, built in the 19th century. The third palace is Shiv Niwas, which is now a hotel. The Crystal Gallery in Fateh Prakash Hotel overlooks the grand Durbar Hall. It has a rare collection of Osler’s crystal ordered from England by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1877. It includes crystal chandeliers and crystal furniture like chairs, dressing tables and a bed.                
You will enjoy a boat ride on the placid waters of Lake Pichola (subject to water level permitting) up to Jag Mandir Palace, built by Maharana Karan Singh in 1622 AD as a pleasure palace for royal parties and functions. This magnificent monument with its domes, marble pillars and fountains has a special approach of a row of marble elephants that seem to be guarding the island. 
In the evening, you will be taken for dinner with the Bedla Family. The present scion of the Bedla clan, Vijay Singh was persuaded to share the rich culinary heritage of Mewar.  Bedla, in a way, is only carrying forward a bloodline that traces not only prime ministers and royal advisers but also exemplary hosts. Bedla Palace near Udaipur became known as much for its punditry as its pan craft. Lovers of the palace cuisine have included Jawaharlal Nehru, Queen Elizabeth II and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Bedla cuisine makes generous use of corn and milk products, and includes the super secret, 38ingredient Bedla sauce that requires eight months to make. Tomatoes, a late entrant in Rajasthani food culture, don’t figure among the ingredients and curd takes their place. An iconic dish is Banjara Mans, a meat dish cooked with some spices and salt in the crude fashion favoured by a nomadic tribe. The dish is stirred in one direction so as not to break any ingredient. The Bedlas say they have recipes of over 20,000 exclusive dishes. 
Drive back to your htel 
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 16:

Udaipur - Mumbai

Early morning yoga session for 45 minutes at the hotel. 
Breakfast will be at your hotel.   
Later, you will be transferred to airport on time to board flight to Mumbai 
Upon arrival in Mumbai you will be met and transferred to famous Café Leopold’s for Lunch one of the oldest Cafés in Mumbai. The café is a great hangout place and is known for its relaxed ambiance, great food and reasonably priced drinks. The café was attacked by the terrorists during Bombay seize in Nov 2008…was quickly re-opened as a mark of total defiance of the terrorists. 
After Lunch proceed for sightseeing tour of Mumbai. The tour includes a visit to the Gateway of Indiaerected to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911; the collection of Indian painting and sculpture at the Prince of Wales Museum, Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach, the Meticulously Hanging Gardens of Malabar Hill, the Tower of Silence – a circular raised structure used by Zorastrians for exposure of their dead and the Crawford Market.Later in the evening you will be taken to Trishna Restaurant for dinner. A seafood speciality restaurant serving coastal cuisine, Trishna is particularly famous for its crab preparations. It also serves up hyderabadi dal (spicy lentils), prawns koliwada (batter-fried prawns) and pomfret hyderabadi-style (a local fish barbecued with a coating of freshly ground pepper). There’s plenty there for vegetarians too.  
In time transfer to International airport to board flight for onward destination .

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