Destinations : Delhi / Khajuraho / Varanasi / Lucknow / Delhi
Accommodation : Modern / Heritage / Palace hotels
Best Time to Visit : October to March
Price : On request
Experience an exclusive gourmet tour of ancient Varanasi and the city of Nawabs, Lucknow. Learn about India's cultural heritage and indulge into delicious Indian delicacies. Refresh yourself with morning yoga sessions and cooking classes under the guidance of master chefs. Indulge in sumptuous traditional Indian cuisine as well as relax in luxury hotels. If you love luxurious gourmet adventures, this gourmet tour is for you!
DAY 1 and 2 -- Explore the culinary delights of Delhi
Our travel counselors will meet and assist you on arrival at Delhi international airport and with the transfer to your hotel. You can spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Delhi, known for it mouthwatering culinary delights has a lot to offer to the food lover. It offers cuisines for every palate, whether it is street food, Mughlai delicacies or Global food. Each street and lane of Delhi is imbued with a history of gastronomic glory, offering the flavors of heritage, tradition and a passion for food that has been shaped over eras, across borders, and in the hearts of the city's people.
We have the option of attending a morning Yoga session in the hotel garden area the following day before commencing our day of sightseeing. After breakfast we will visit the colourful and bustling city of Delhi, a rich and historic city built on the banks of the River Yamuna. Delhi offers over a thousand monuments, old capital buildings including the present seat of the government, the Lok Sabha, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the British architect, and bustling bazaars. In contrast it has some of India's most luxurious and modern hotels, markets and restaurants.
During the sightseeing tour, we also visit the historic Karim's Restaurant, located in the streets of Old Delhi near the iconic Jama Masjid. Established in 1913, Karim's is known as the city's most famous culinary destination, famous for its mutton kebabs and curries.
Later, we will visit Raj Ghat, a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. Lunch will be arranged at a famous India Restaurant called "Chor Bizarre". Chor Bizarre, India's first theme restaurant captures the spirit of the 'chor bazaar' or thieves market. It serves authentic regional Indian cuisine in a unique atmosphere. India's first ISO-9002 certified restaurant, it was the first Indian outlet to open a branch in Mayfair, London in 1997.
Later the same day we will visit some of the famous and historical monuments of New Delhi - exploring the ancient Qutab Minar, a 12th century Tower of Victory, the Tomb of Humayun, a white marble and red sandstone garden tomb, The India Gate and the Parliament House.
In the evening, we will arrange for a cooking session at one of Delhi's top chef's home or a speciality restaurant. Interested participants can join the group for cooking sessions. Others can opt to explore the markets and colourful streets of Delhi.
DAY 3 -- Visit the ancient temples of Khajuraho known for their exquisite artwork
We leave for the Delhi airport early in the morning for our flight to Khajuraho.
The name Khajuraho is derived from 'khajur', which means 'date palm'. This town is home to the spectacular Khajuraho temples, which are a UNESCO world heritage site. Built between 950 and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty, they are the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples in India. They are famous for their nagara style architectural symbolism and erotic sculptures, and are made of sandstone in different shades of buff, pink and pale yellow.
The Khajuraho temples are categorized into three groups, namely the western group, eastern group and southern group. They represent life in the 11th century, mostly depicting the lifestyle of women in medieval age. After arriving in Khajuraho we will have lunch and relax in our hotel.
Later in the evening we will step out for the the sound and light show at the Western group of Temples Complex, which offers a lyrical introduction to the history and legacy of the Khajuraho temples
DAY 4 and 5 -- Visit the holy city of Varanasi
We will visit and explore in detail the mesmerising temples the next morning after breakfast. We will leave later for the airport for our flight to Varanasi.
Varanasi is one of India's most important pilgrimage sites and the holiest of holy cities for Hindus. It is one of the world's oldest living cities, and has been a centre of learning and culture for well over 2000 years. This afternoon is yours to explore on your own and experience local life and traditional cuisine first hand. Evening cocktails with informal talk on the local Indian products and share your views and tips. Later in the evening visit the banks of river Ganges and join the evening prayers.
Street food is an essential part of the Indian culture and cuisine. There are a number of street food dishes from across the country that are famous, but nothing can beat the hot and crispy kachoris and samosas from Benaras or Varanasi. The holy city is situated on the banks of the river Ganges in the state of Uttar Pradesh and its food is defined by its culture and tradition.
The so-called City of Lights is one of the most colourful and fascinating places on earth. Strolling the ghats (riverfront, which is the site for prayers and cremations) or watching sunrise from a boat on the Ganges are a highlight, and confronting the reality and ritual of death can be a powerful experience.
We take a special sunrise boat ride the next morning along the ghats of the holy Ganges, and visit the many temples, mosques and historical monuments that Varanasi has to offer. After lunch we take an excursion to Sarnath, the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya.
The evening is for leisure and you may wish to explore the ancient city at your own pace.
DAY 6 and 7 -- Experience the unique culture of Lucknow
The next day, after the breakfast we will continue our culinary journey and reach Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, famous for Kebabs and biryani, and chikan embroidery work along with the Traditional Mughlai dishes.
Sprinkled with exceptional Islamic and British Raj--era architecture, stuffed with fascinating bazaars and famed throughout India for its food, the capital of Uttar Pradesh is charismatic. This bustling city, famed for its Nawabi era finesse and amazing food, is a unique mix of the ancient and the modern.
After check in at the hotel, the afternoon is free to explore the city of Nawabs or simply relax at the hotel.
In the evening we will have a simple cooking session and a talk about the kebabs of Lucknow with the chef of a famous restaurant. The city is famous for its mouth watering makhan malai, tundey kebabs and kakori kebabs, traditional Indian cuisine which is handed down from generation to generation. The dinner will comprise of famous Lucknawi dishes including its famous kebabs and biryani.
The next morning we visit the 18th century architectural highlights of Bara Imambara, a historical edifice with such a marvellous architecture that even modern architects seem to be perplexed by its design. The Imambara was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 and its designer was Kifayat-ullah who is said to be a relative of the architect of the Taj Mahal.
You'll also visit the Rumi Darwaza, an imposing gateway which was built under the patronage of Nawab Asaf-Ud-daula in 1784. It is an example of Awadhi architecture. The Rumi Darwaza, which stands sixty feet tall, was modeled (1784) after the Sublime Porte (Bab-iHmayun) in Istanbul.
Lunch will be arranged a local traditional restaurant to give you an insight into the local cuisine. Evening hands on experience and cooking demonstration of the traditional rich and delicious Awadhi cuisine.
DAY 8 and 9 -- Return to Delhi for onward journey
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for flight to Delhi. At Delhi airport you will be assisted with the transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel or explore the capital city of India on your own. In the evening enjoy farewell cocktails and dinner at a famous south Indian speciality restaurant.
The next day, we will transfer you to the airport, marking the end of memorable culture and gourmet tour of North India. Fly home with recipes, memories and flavours of India.
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