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Signature tours in India

Kashmiri

Kashmiri cuisine is essentially meat-based. Lamb, goat's meat and chicken form the basis of many a famous dish. It is flavored delicately with saffron and kashmiri chillies which are not too spicy but impart a rich red colour to the food.

The abundance of dry fruit like walnuts, dried dates, and apricots also inspire the Kashmiri connoisseur to use them lavishly in puddings, curries and snacks. Cottage cheese or chaman as it is called, is also a popular accompaniment to many meats and vegetables. Fresh water fish like trout found in the numerous fresh water streams flowing down from the Himalayas is also a delicacy.

Food is generally followed by a generous serving of fresh fruits like strawberries, plums, cherries and apples which grow here and not all over India due to the cool climate.

Punjabi

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.

Mughlai

Having reigned over India for so long, the Moghuls left a deep and long lasting influence on Delhi's cuisine. The Mughlai cuisine is literally 'fit for royalty'. With it's rich sauces, butter-based curries, ginger flavoured roast meats, and mind-blowing sweets, it has captured the fancy of food lovers all over the world. From a tangy shorba or soup to the rose petal strewn kulfi, Mughlai food offers a rich fare that is irresistible. Although available throughout the country, the best place to try this royal cuisine is in Delhi 

Bengali

Bengal's greatest contribution to the food heritage of India is a magnificent spectrum of sweets made from burnt milk and curd. 'Rasogullas', 'gulab jamuns', 'cham cham', 'malai sandwich', 'chena murki', 'anarkali', 'rajbhog' - the list of mouth-watering delicacies is endless. 'Mishti dhoi' or yoghurt sweetened with jaggery is a must in every Bengali home. Guests are always welcomed with 'sandesh' or sweets made from burnt milk and 'singadas' or crisp samosas.

Besides sweets, the Bengalis eat fish with great relish and most of the popular Bengali dishes are made from fish. A variety of styles are adopted to cook fish. They are at times marinated in spices, at other times cooked in curd. The cuisine of West Bengal differs from that of Bangladesh in that the use of coconut in this cuisine is much lesser and mustard oil is cooking medium instead of coconut oil. The spices differ from those used in the heartland of India, but are similar to those used in the interiors of the East Coast.

The specialty of Bengali cooking is the use of panchphoron i.e. five basic spices which include zeera, kalaunji, saunf, fenugreek and mustard seeds. Generally, Bengali food is a mixture of sweet and spicy flavors and dining with these gentle people is a definite treat.

Maharashtrian

The cuisine includes subtly flavoured vegetarian delicacies and hot, aromatic meat and fish curries. Their crunchy, crisp sweets are made mostly from rice and jaggery. The exotic 'Konkani' and 'Malwani' cuisines also have their origins in the coastal parts of this region and are sea-food based.

As in most of the other states of India, rice is the staple food grain in Maharashtra too. Like the other coastal states, there is an enormous variety of vegetables in the regular diet and lots of fish and coconuts are used. Grated coconuts spice many kinds of dishes, but coconut oil is not very widely used as a cooking medium. Peanuts and cashewnuts are widely used in vegetables and peanut oil is the main cooking medium. Another feature is the use of kokum, a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste. Kokum, most commonly used in an appetizer-digestive called the sol kadhi, is served chilled. All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis made of rice flour. Special rice puris called vada and amboli, which is a pancake made of fermented rice, urad dal, and semolina, are also eaten as a part of the main meal

The most popular dessert of Maharashtra is the puran poli, which is roti stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour and is made at the time of the Maharashtrian New Year. Other popular sweets are the ukdiche modak (these are served during the Ganesh festival), the panpole ras, and the shreekhand. Shreekhand, a sort of thick yogurt sweet dish, is a great favorite at weddings and the Dussehra festival. Flavored with cardamom powder and saffron, this aromatic dish is served with piping hot puris.

Goan

Famous for it's distinctive cuisine, Goa can boast of delicacies like the tangy pork 'vindaloo', spicy 'sorpotel' and the ever popular Goan fish curry with rice. Goa's luscious coconut and fish based dishes draw in people from all over the world. Goans often accompany their meal with one of their innumerable local wines or the local liqueur called 'Feni'

Goan food is simple but one has to bear in mind that most, though not all, of it is chili hot, spicy, and pungent. Rice, fish, and coconut are the basic components of the typical Goan food platter. Delicacies made from these three items can be expected in nearly every Goan meal. Besotted with seafood, the Goans find truly world-class prawns, lobsters, crabs, and jumbo pomfrets along the coastline and use them to make a variety of soups, salads, pickles, curries, and fries. An essential ingredient in Goan cooking is coconut milk made by grating the white flesh of a coconut and soaking it in a cup of warm water. Equally important is the ‘kokum’, a sour, deep red colored fruit that gives it a sharp and sour flavor. The famous red Goan chilies are also a must for most dishes, as is tamarind. Goans make their own version of vinegar from toddy. Then there are innumerable chutneys that are typical of the state.

Goa is not particularly known for its vegetarian dishes. While Hindus like lamb and chicken, Christians prefer pork. However, both prefer fish and seafood to any other meat. Pork is a must for any festive occasion in Goa and the most famous preparation is the vindaloo. It is a spicy concoction, lots of red chilies, garlic, cooked with chunks of pork, Goa vinegar, and hard palm jaggery and is best enjoyed with plain boiled rice. Another mouth-watering delicacy made of pork is the sarpotel. A curry with a thick gravy to the layman, this exotic concoction comprises boneless pork, liver, heart, kidneys, red chilies, cinnamon, cloves bathed in tangy toddy vinegar, which is needed to balance the strong taste of pig’s blood: another traditional ingredient of this revered dish.

For those with a sweet tooth, Goan cuisine offers the famous bebinca. The extract of coconut milk is added to flour, sugar, and other delectable ingredients are used to make this delicacy. Each scrumptious layer has to be baked before the next one is added, though not many people nowadays have the time to make the traditional 16 layers. Even so, a good bebinca is a mouth-melting dream. Other sweets include a soft jaggery flavored fudge called dodol made from finger-licking palm-sap jaggery, rice flour and coconut; the crispy delicate rose-a-coque that are flower-like waffles and can be eaten alone or drenched with cream or honey; the curled and sugared kulkuls spiraled around the tines of forks and deep-fried as Christmas goodies and Easter eggs known as ovos da pascoa. Similarly, during the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, cone-shaped dumplings called modaks are a favourite fare.

Gujarati

Gujaratis have truly perfected the art of vegetarian cooking. From the simplest lentils and vegetables, they create a mouth-watering variety of food. Gujarat is known as the land of milk and butter. Predictably so, yoghurt and buttermilk are a part of the Gujarati's daily diet. While in Gujarat, a 'thali' dinner - literally meaning a meal served on a silver platter- is a delight you must not miss. An endless procession of fresh vegetables cooked in aromatic spices, a variety of crisp, fried snacks and an array of delectable confections typically appear in the 'thali'.

In Gujarat, during winter when green vegetables are available in plenty, a delicious vegetable concoction called undhyoo is made using potato, brinjal, and green beans amongst several other vegetables.

The main dish of gujarati cuisine is the khichdi, a simple lentil and rice mixture. It is eaten with kadhi, a savory curry made with yogurt using bay leaves, ginger, chilies and finely chopped vegetables as garnishing, onions and pickle.

Using the same lentils and rice, Kutchi kitchens produce delectable items like the khaman dhokla, a salty steamed cake made from chickpea flour; doodha pak, sweet, thickened milk confectioned with nuts, and srikhand, a dessert made of yogurt, flavored with saffron, cardamom, nuts and candied fruit which is eaten with hot, fluffy pooris. These three delicacies have made their way into the favorites list of the rest of India too and can be found in restaurants all over the country.

Rajasthani

The ancient princely state of Rajasthan gave rise to a royal cuisine. The Rajas who went on hunting expeditions ate the meat or the fowl that they brought back. Even today, Rajasthani princely. feasts flaunt meat delicacies that are incomparable.

In contrast are the vegetarian Rajasthanis. Their food cooked in pure ghee is famous for it's mouth- watering aroma. Rajasthani cooking was also influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in the desert region. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred, more out of necessity than choice. Scarcity of water and lack of fresh green vegetables also had their effect on Rajasthani cooking.

Dried lentils and beans from indigenous plants like sangri, ker etc. are staples of the Rajasthani diet, as wheat and rice do not grow very well in the desert land. Gram flour is an integral cooking ingredient and is used to make delicacies and so are powdered lentils. Bajra and corn are used all over the state for making rotis and other varieties of bread. In Rajasthan, bajre ki roti (millet bread) and lahsun ki chutney (hot garlic paste) combined with spring onions are the staple diet of the locals as these are believed to be safeguards against the hot winds. In the desert belt of Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner, cooks still use very little water and instead use milk, buttermilk and clarified butter as alternatives.

The balance to using these milk products is provided by the appropriate use of digestives, especially asafetida, black rock salt, ginger and ajwain. The favored spices are fenugreek seeds, kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and aniseed. A distinct feature of the Maheshwari cooking is the use of mango powder, a suitable substitute for tomatoes, scarce in the desert, and asafetida, to enhance the taste in the absence of garlic and onions.

Hyderabadi

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is reputedly the spiciest and hottest of all Indian cuisine. The cuisine includes both the original Andhra cooking and the Hyderabadi cuisine with its Mughlai influence. It is the former which is red hot.

The vegetables and greens are prepared with various different masalas giving the same vegetable different flavours. Traditional Andhra cuisine also has many non-vegetarian dishes which are also spicy and unique in taste.

Hyderabadi cuisine is rich and aromatic with a liberal use of exotic spices and ghee, not to speak of nuts and dry fruits. Lamb is the most widely used meat in the non-vegetarian dishes. The biryanis (flavoured rice with meat or vegetables) is one of the most distinct Hyderabadi food.

Itinerary 

14 Nights/ 15 Days 

Day 01: ARRIVAL  MUMBAI                                                   

Upon arrival at Mumbai, Our correspondent will meet you at the Airport to transfer to Hotel. 

Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: MUMBAI

Leisurely Breakfast followed by the visit of ElephantIsland. It will take approximately 30 Minutes to reach ElephantIsland from Gateway of India by a ferry. After visit return to Hotel . Afternoon city tour of Mumbai visiting Crawford Market , Dhobi Ghat ,Gateway Of India & flora Fountain & Horniman Circle . Return to Hotel . Overnight .

Day 03: MUMBAI  / Delhi / JABALPUR

Early Morning  transfer to Airport to connect flight for Jabalpur . Upon arrival at Jabalpur check in Hotel Narmada Jaction . Afternoon vist of  Marble Rocks followed by ChausathYoginiTemple .Evening visit Lametaghat –Ashram Visit  . Return to Hotel . Overnight . 

Day 04: JABALPUR- BANDHAVGARH  

 After Breakfast leave for Bandhavgarh [ 175 Kms / 4 Hrs ], Check in and Lunch at Hotel . Afternoon Jungle safari Pm. Dinner .Overnight at hotel.

 Day 05: BANDHAVGARH  

 Stay on Full Board . Am & Pm Jungle Safari . Overnight

Day 06: BANDHAVGARH  -  KHAJURAHO    

After early Breakfast , leave for  Khajuraho [ 5 Hrs ] . Upon arrival visit the eastern and western Temple  .check in at Hotel. Overnight .

Day 07: KHAJURAHO – Orchha – GWALIOR 215 Kms / 5 Hrs                                     

After Breakfast leave for Orchha  [ 3 Hours ] with enroute visit of datia , Visit of  Temple at Orchha and late afternoon continue for  Gwaliore . Upon arrival at Gwalior check in at hotel .Overnight .

Day 08: GWALIOR

After Breakfast  Full Day Visit  of Gwaliore Fort , teli ka mandir , SasBahuTemple , TansenMuseum . 

Afternoon visit of  SindhiaMuseum .Overnight . Overnight .

Day 09: GWALIOR = BHOPAL  Shatabdi Express 

After  Breakfast , leave for Gwaliore Railway station to connect Train for  Bhopal  Upon arrival at Bhopal  “The city of Lake “  , Half day city Tour of Bhopal visiting Jama Masjid , Gohar Mahal ,chowkAnd old Bazar . Check in at  hotel . Overnight

Day 10: BHOPAL

After Breakfast Full day excursion to Sanchi & Udaigiri caves. Excursion to Sanchi and witness the masterpieces of Buddhist Art which speaks of the  story of Emperor Ashoka’s becoming follower of Buddhism . Return to Hotel

Day11: BHOPAL – Ujjain – MANDU 285 Kms / 6 Hrs    

After Breakfast  , leave for Mandu  with enroute visit of Temple Town of  Ujjain . Visit of Mahakaleshwar and Bade ganesh Ji ka Mandir . Leave for Mandu .Upon arrival check in at Hotel. Overnight. 

Day 12: MANDU -   MAHEHWAR  41 Kms / 1 Hrs 

After breakfast , Full day excursion of Mandu  :   the capital of Parmar Kings with the monuments having  the combination of Hindu, Afghan and Mughal architecture. Bhoj Shala, Laat Masjid, the Fort and the lakes are the main tourist attractions. Return to Mandu for Lunch and post lunch at leisure to visit the Monuments of  Central Village Group, the Royal Enclave Group, and the Rewa Kund Group. You can easily spend all day in Mandu, wandering in and out of palaces, pausing to admire the beauty of the Champa Baoli, the former baths, and the huge 15th-century Jama Masjid, the finest example of Afghan architecture . in India. Then there are the beautiful Jahaz Mahal (ship palace), where the architectural illusion is completed by the two surrounding lakes; the HindolaMahal, or swing palace; the romantic Baz Bahadur’s Palace and Roopmati’s Pavilion; .Leave for  Maheshwar . Check in at  hotel . Overnight

Day 13: MAHEHWAR 

Full day visit in Maheshwar with boat cruise on the river at sunset.Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: MAHESHWAR –OMKARESHWAR - Indore /Mumbai 

After breakfast ; leave for  Omkareshwar [ 1 Hrs ] , the sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols, 'Om', Shri Omkareshwar Mahadeo temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at the confluence of Most Sacred Narmada and Kaveri . The devout Hindus come here to kneel before the Jyotirlingams - one of the 12 in India,  Am Free . Afternoon leave for Indore   , city tour of Indore followed by evening flight to Mumbai At Mumbai in Transit . 

Day 15: Departure from   MUMABAI 

Palace on Wheel -- Incredible India

Today, India has touched the heights in every field. Today, Luxury trains are the best specimen representing the talented people of India. There are many India's most luxurious trains with great facilities and services to make your stay comfortable. These are royal and pleasurable trains where you can get ranging from royal accommodation to restaurants, bar, lounge and shopping arcade. Moreover, it houses an attached private washrooms, personal attendants, restaurants and adjoining lounges, internal music system and internet connectivity that are available in these trains. 
A luxury train tour provides an innumerable of prospect of enjoying a comfortable holiday with your associates and loved ones. To get your tour enhancing and extensive, you must go with these train tour packages provided in plenty. Here is a list of luxury trains as below: 
Golden Chariot: It is one of the most fascinating luxury trains in India that provides you an opportunity to discover the beauty of South India. The train will enable you to get a unique experience of the alluring charm of South India from Karnataka to Goa and from Tamil Nadu to Kerala. This train starts from Mysore and covers Bandipur, Hassan, Nagarhole National Park, Hampi, Gadag, Badami and at last Goa in seven nights.
Maharaja Express: It is the most luxury train which is grabbing the hearts of its tourists domestic as well as international with its 7 star facilities and services. It provides you 4 tour route touching diverse themes that gives you a life-time experience. 
Palace on Wheels: India’s number 1 luxury train is "Palace on Wheels" that has many excellent facilities for those who are searching for a combination of luxury and royalty. It is the most popular among the whole number of the luxury trains with its exceptional interiors and architecture. It gives you seven days and night trip to explore the amazing destinations such as Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ranthambore National Park, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur bird Sanctuary and Agra. This train is furnished with traditional Rajasthan style art forms like hand crafted curtains and chandeliers.

Tour Itinerary 

Day 01 / Wednesday Reporting Time 16.00 hrs. Dep. 18.30 hrs. 
New Delhi: The journey of a lifetime begins at the Delhi Cantonment station where the guests are accorded a warm, traditional welcome before the Palace on Wheels pulls out into the night ... for a week-long luxury cruise through fascinating Rajasthan.

Day 02 / Thursday Arrival 02.00 hrs. Departure 19.30 hrs 
Jaipur: The first stop of Palace on Wheels is Jaipur, one of the most well planned cities of the world of its time. This capital city of Rajasthan, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded by Maharaja Swai Jai Singh II, in1727 A.D. To explore the city, an air-conditioned coach takes you to Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, which is a remarkable five storeyed building along the main street of the old city in pink splendor with semi-octagonal and delicate honey combed sandstone windows. This is followed by a visit to Amber Fort, eight kms. away, where rides on caparisoned elephants add to the ambiance. Shop for Jaipur’s famous jewellery, handicrafts, carpets blue pottery and textiles. Near Ajmeri Gate is located Rajasthali - the only Rajasthan Govt. Emporium selling genuine handicrafts at fixed prices.

After lunch at a Palace Hotel, you are off to the City Palace, home of the erstwhile royal family. Right across the road from the City Palace is the Jantar Mantar, the largest observatory built by the Sawai Jai Singh II. The Luxury coaches will take you back to Palace on Wheels around 6.30 pm. Dinner on Board.

Day 03 / Friday Arrival 08.15 hrs. Departure 23.00 hrs. 
Jaisalmer: In the heart of the Thar Desert lies Jaisalmer, founded by Rawal Jaisal, in 1156A.D. Here the yellow sandstone fort is an imposing sight, towering magnificently over the city. Discover the painstakingly latticed havelis or mansions with their grand facades. The Nathmalji-ki-haveli, Patwon-ki-haveli and Salim Singh-ki-haveli are fine examples of the stone carver’s skill. 
Shop at Rajasthali-the only Rajasthan Govt. emporium, for fine pattu shawls, mirror work & embroidered articles, wooden boxes, trinkets, silver jewellery and curios. After lunch on board, go for an exciting camel ride on the sand dunes of Sam, before sipping a refreshing cup of tea. Enjoy the dinner and the cultural programmes at a hotel in Jaisalmer. The train leaves for Jodhpur at night.

Day 04 / Saturday Arrival 07.00 hrs. Departure15.30 hrs 
Jodhpur: Next morning the Palace on wheels is in Jodhpur, a city ringed by a high stone wall with seven gates and several bastions. This second largest city of Rajasthan, founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 A.D. is known for its rock-solid Mehrangarh Fort. The grand palaces within- Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana are impressive examples of architectural excellence. Near the fort complex lies Jaswant Thada, and a group of royal cenotaphs made of white marble.
After lunch at a royal Palace hotel, return to the Palace on Wheels. While in Jodhpur shop for the exquisite handcrafted articles including the famous breeches, embroidered shoes, metal curios, silverware, paintings and tie and dye fabrics.

Day 05 / Sunday Arrival 04.00 hrs. Departure 10.30 hrs 
Sawai Madhopur: One can almost sense a life of the wilderness, as the Palace on Wheels arrives in Sawai Madhopur, a city named after its founder Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. After breakfast a visit is arranged to the Ranthambhor National Park, wherein are located the ruins of a 10th century fort. This wildlife sanctuary is considered to be the country’s best for observing and photographing the activities of the tiger. The park, covering an area of 392 sq.kms. is home to more than 300 species of birds. The tiger, hyena, ratel, jackal and fox are among those constituting the carnivorous population here. Sawai Madhopur is known for its exclusive toys, ethnic ornaments and costumes. Upon return to the Palace on Wheels, you leave for Chittaurgarh, when one gets an opportunity to watch the colourful countryside passing by in the daylight.

Day 05 / Sunday Arrival 16.00 hrs. 
Chittaurgarh: After lunch on board you are in Chittaurgarh. Images of love and valour; scars of battles lost and won….thrice-beseiged, Chittaurgarh Fort is all this and more. Moving legends of honour and pride will echo in your mind as you proceed to Udaipur.

Day 06 / Monday Departure 20.00 hrs. from Chittaurgarh 
Udaipur: The Luxury Coach will take you to Udaipur, the Lake City, the next morning. It was founded by Maharana Udai Singh of Mewar, after the Sisodia dynasty was driven away by the Mughals, in 1559A.D. Perhaps the two most beautiful sites of Udaipur are the dream-like marble Palaces-the Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) and the Jag Mandir, which appear to rise from the blue waters of Lake Pichhola. After lunch at Lake Palace Hotel a visit to City Palace is exhilarating. The luxury coach then takes you back to the Palace on Wheels at Chittaurgarh, thus winding up a day full of delights.

Day 07 / Tuesday Arrival 06.30hrs. Departure 11.45 hrs 
Bharatpur: Early next morning, the Palace arrives in Bharatpur, the capital of Maharaja Suraj Mal. After breakfast pay a visit to the world famous bird sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the nesting place of thousands of Egrets, Siberian Cranes, migratory Water Fowl and other species of birds.

Day 07 / Tuesday Arrival 14.30 hrs Departure 23.00 hrs. 
Agra: Arrive at Fatehpur Sikri-the red sandstone Mughal palatial complex. Within the enclosure is a mosque built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar and dedicated to the Sheikh Salim Chisti, a muslim Sufi Saint who blessed him with a son. After lunch move on from the Red Fort and arrive at the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. A pristine monument of undying love. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Agra is known for its splendid marble inlay work like the Pietra Dura work on the Taj, leather goods and jewelry.

After dinner on board and a good night’s sleep, arrive at Delhi Cantt. at 6.00 hrs the next morning and let the pleasant memories of the past week linger on your mind for a long, long time.

Gem of East -- Incredible India

6 Nights / 7 Days

Day 1: Delhi 
Welcome to India. On arrival, you are received and transferred to your hotel. Hotel check-in time is 12 noon. Delhi is the capital of modern India. Many dynasties and rulers have flourished on its regal soil over the last 3000 years. The legacy still survives in many monuments varying from the 13th century mausoleum of the Lodi Kings to the buildings of British India's imperial past like the Parliament House and the Presidential Estate. The rest of the day is free you to relax. Overnight in Delhi.

Day 2: Arrive Delhi / Bagdogra / Darjeeling

This morning you are transferred from the hotel to the airport in time to board your flight

Leave: Delhi                               at 1015 hours                by 9W-602

Arrive: Bagdogra                        at 1215 hours

Upon arrival at the airport, you are met and drive onward to Darjeeling (90 kms/3 hours). On arrival, check-in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Darjeeling.

Day 3: Darjeeling

At early dawn you set off for Tiger Hill, located about 13 kms from town and at an altitude of 2,590 meters. Tiger Hill offers a magnificent view of the sun as it rises over the Kanchenjunga peak in the eastern Himalayan mountain range. On a clear day, even Mount Everest is visible. While driving back to the hotel, visit the Tibetan Ghoom Monastery. This is probably the most famous monastery in Darjeeling and it enshrines an image of Maitreya Buddha. Note: A view of Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga can be impacted by weather conditions).

After breakfast, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Darjeeling. The sightseeing covers Lebong village, which was the highest race course in the World, the Mountaineering Institute (closed on Thursdays), the house of Tensing Norgay (the Everest hero) and the Botanical Gardens, a representative collection of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids. The afternoon is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Darjeeling.

Day 4: Darjeeling / Gangtok

Post breakfast this morning, drive to Gangtok (125 kms / 6 hours). En route visit the largest monastery of the area, Rumtek. Belonging  to the Kargyudppa  Sect of  Tibetan  Buddhism, this monastery is also the  seat  of His  Holiness  the  Late Gyalwa Karmappa, who has  the  largest following inthe west. During the return journey, visit the Government Institute of Tibetology.

Gangtok, at an altitude of 1780 meters, is the capital of Sikkim. The mighty Kanchenjunga provides a stunning backdrop to this quaint town. Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Overnight stay in Gangtok.

Day 5: Gangtok

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, post which you proceed for local sightseeing. Visit the Government Institute of Cottage Industry (closed on Sundays), the Deer Park, Tashiling, the Enchey Monastery & the market. Dinner and overnight in Gangtok.

Day 6: Gangtok / Kalimpong

Drive to Kalimpong this morning (80 kms / 3 hours). Kalimpong is a small and bustling bazaar town set amidst the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the Himalayas. Check into your hotel and enjoy lunch.

In the afternoon you proceed for local sightseeing. Visit  Zang-dog-phalri-Fo-brang Monastery with its facilities for debating and thanka  paintings. Also visit the Tirpai Monastery, Flower Nursery & Market. Dinner and overnight stayin Kalimpong.

Day 7: Kalimpong / Bagdogra / Delhi
Drive from Kalimpong to Bagdogra (79 kms/3 hours) airport in time to board flight for Delhi.

Leave: Bagdogra                        at 1445 hours                by 9W-2208

Arrive: Delhi                               at 1650 hours

On arrival at Delhi, you are met and are transferred from the domestic airport to International airport for your onward flight.

Rates available on request. 

Gourmet Tour

10 Nights/11 Days

Day 01: ARRIVE   DELHI
Today you will arrive at Indira Gandhi international airport, meet and greet by our representative. Assistance and transfer to hotel.

Overnight in Delhi.

Day 02: DELHI
After breakfast take a tantalizing tour of Old Delhi, with delights such as the Parathewali Gali-a whole street lined with shops specializing only in Parathas, a special flat bread which is stuffed with all kinds of vegetables, cheeses, spices and everything else the chefs fancy! Watch them create master pieces using exotic flours, spices, vegetables and other ingredients. These simple melt-in-your-mouth delicacies will leave you craving for more long after you return home. We continue our quest, still in Old Delhi and on to on to the famous bazaar- Chandni Chowk-bustling with commerce and enterprise. Spices are the specialty of Khari Baoli (Asia’s largest Spice Market), so be prepared to be assaulted by exotic smalls and fragrances. Very near the Red Fort is the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, also built by Shah Jahan. Take an interesting rickshaw ride through the famous bazaars of Chandni Chowk, which is adjacent to both the Fort and the Mosque. Also visit Raj Ghat – the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.

Lunch at Chore Bizarre Easily India's finest theme restaurant. People can't quite decide how to define Chor Bizarre - 'A pirate's galley', 'An attic', 'Really clever' and 'Quirky' usually rule the roost. Rightly so - 'Chor' means thief and 'bizarre' means totally bizarre!

Overnight in Delhi.

Day 03: DELHI/ JAIPUR (245kms/ Approx 5 hrs drive)
Morning: After breakfast, checkout from the hotel and proceed on a sightseeing tour of New Delhi. Visit the Qutub Minar, a Tower of Victory which was built in the 12th century by Qutbuddin Aibak. Within its spacious courtyard stands the Iron Pillar, which dates back to the 4th century AD and bears a Sanskrit inscription in the Gupta style. The pillar has puzzled scientists, as its iron has not rusted in all these centuries. The Tomb of Humayun – the magnificent structure in red sandstone and white marble is one of the finest examples of the garden tomb, and a precursor to the Taj Mahal. Its proportionate spaces, double dome and refined elegance are characteristic of Mughal architecture. Drive past to India Gate, the memorial of the First World War and the road that leads from there to Rashtrapathi Bhawan – the residence of the President of India, which is flanked by the houses of Parliament and the Government Secretariat buildings. After tour drive to Jaipur. Jaipur – the capital of Rajasthan is color washed pink – the color associated with hospitality in Rajput culture. This Pink City of fairy tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills and broad avenues are picturesque. The first planned city of its time, a formidable wall encircles Jaipur.

On arrival assistance and check in at hotel.

Overnight at Jaipur.

Day 04: JAIPUR
Morning: Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel; later proceed for the excursion to Amber Fort, here you will enjoy the Elephant Ride to reach atop of the palace. This journey on embellished elephants is bound to enrich your memories with the Royal lifestyle of the Maharajas and leave you with a truly unforgettable experience. Inside the Fort visit the Hall of Victory or Jag Mandir – is the famed Sheesh Mahal- a room with all the four walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirror pieces, which were specially imported from Belgium during that period. Continue your journey: with the city tour of Jaipur – visiting Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence, part of it converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion known as Armory Museum, housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers. Later visit the Jantar Mantar. - World heritage site. Later in the evening get a session of “Authentic Indian Popular Dishes Cooking Classes” in the hotel. The Indian cuisine is as diverse as its culture, languages, regions and its climate. All classes will feature an entire meal from "Appetizers to Dessert" and feature "hands-on recipes". So bring your appetite and enthusiasm for a day of fun and enchantment. Learn easy delicious recipes and later enjoy dinner.

Overnight in Jaipur.

Day 05: JAIPUR/ AGRA via FATEHPUR SIKRI (235kms/ Approx 5hrs drive)
After breakfast drive to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri is an exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone. It’s forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons. The Diwane-i-Am – a vast courtyard in which the emperor gave daily public audience; Diwane-i-Khas – a large quadrangle which contained all the major functions of the Palace, Pachisi court, the Emperors private living quarter, Jodha Bhai’s Palace, Mariam’s Palace, Birbal’s Palace, Hawa Mahal and Panch Mahal are some of the important buildings of this residential complex. The Friday Mosque and the exquisite tomb of Sheik Salim Chisti are in the religious grounds set aside in a separate enclosure adjacent to the secular buildings. Later drive to Agra.

Upon arrival in Agra, check in at hotel.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 06: AGRA
Agra is famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire. Agra was their capital for nearly a hundred years from 1564. A pleasant town, with a comparatively easy pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by artisans who are hereditary craft persons. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes. Morning: Visit the Taj Mahal – the inimitable poem in white marble. Built over a period of 22 years, by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630, for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains, it is one of the seven modern wonders of the World. [The Taj is closed on every Friday]. Later visit the Agra Fort, built by three Mughal Emperors starting from Akbar the Great in 1565 AD, which is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings including the Moti Masjid, Jahangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal, Diwane-i-Am, Diwane-i-Khas and Musamman Burj, where Emperor Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor, died a prisoner. Dinner at Peshawri Restaurant: ITC Mughal. Discover a definitive dining experience with refined cuisine and impeccable service. Taste the authentic flavors of the northwest frontier cuisine at Peshawri. Barbecued specialties and freshly baked Indian breads are prepared in the restaurant’s display kitchen.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 07: AGRA/ LUCKNOW (Gomti Express Train:15.58hrs/21.25hrs)
Morning at leisure. Afternoon departure transfer to railway station to board the train for Lucknow. The heritage and the royal splendor of Lucknow have always enthralled people all over the world. The ambience of Awadh has commonly been related with the leisurely habits, fine etiquette, impressive architecture, rich food and refinement, the residues of Nawabi culture. Over the years the city has preserved this spirit of the glorious era that once reigned over Lucknow. Tours to Lucknow will make you experience the rich legacy of India. Assistance upon arrival at railway station and drive to the hotel.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 08: LUCKNOW/ VARANASI (BE-BSB Express Train: 23.15hrs/ 06.50)
Visit some of the major tourist attractions in Lucknow which are Asafi Masjid, Rumi Darwaza, Baradari, Residency, Shahnajaf Imambara, La Martiniere College, Clock Tower, Chhatar Manzil, Bada Imambara, Chhota Imambara, State Museum Zoo and Dilkusha. The most famous dishes of Lucknow are kormas, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis and warqi parathas. It is not just the ingredients that are special but also the way they are made by expert hands and the way they are presented. Just looking at an elaborate layout of Lucknow cuisine will make your mouth water. The most famous of all dishes are the Kebabs or the meatballs that come in different varieties. Some of the most famous (and delicious!) varieties of Kebabs are Kakori Kebabs, Shami Kebabs, Boti Kebabs, Patili-ke-Kababs, Ghutwa Kebabs and Seekh Kebabs.

Overnight on board.

DAY 09: ARRIVE VARANASI (Normal Check in time is 12.00hrs)
Morning: Assistance upon arrival and transfer to hotel.

Varanasi is one of India’s most important pilgrimage sites and the holiest of holy cities for Hindus. Known also as Kashi and Benaras, Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest living cities, and has been a centre of learning and culture for well over 2000 years. In the afternoon you will transfer for excursion of Sarnath. The place where the Buddha turned the Wheel of Law and delivered His First Sermon. See the Chowkandi and Dhamek Stupas, the ruins of 9th and 10th century monasteries and temples, the temple built by the Mahabodhi Society in 1931, and the Tibetan Temple. Visit the famous Sarnath Museum. In the evening, the grand ‘Aarti’ at Dasaashwamedh Ghat, conducted every sunset by five white-robed priests. These five young men sway in seemingly choreographed movements, worshiping the river goddess with incense, camphor, flowers and earthen lamps. Thousands of illuminated lamps are immersed in the waters of the holy Ganges and the floating lamps add a divine look to the river at dusk. Sit with some ‘sadhu’ and enjoy knowing their lifestyle from close proximity. You might even run into someone who is more than 100 years old! The Ghats also provide a good option for photography with serene temples and their bustling courtyards creating a perfect backdrop.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 10: VARANASI
Morning: Transfer for Boat ride at dawn down India's most sacred river, The Ganges. Sun rise at the holy river is a truly tranquil and breath taking sight with pilgrims standing waist-deep in water, praying to the rising Sun. Past these bathing ghats, see the "burning ghats" where the Hindus cremate their dead. This is done with great religious fervor which makes for a moving experience. After boat ride one of Varanasi’s highlights is the Samosa and launglata-take after a holy dip in River Ganges from the numerous shops mushrooming on roads and streets nearby. The traditional snack of kachori sold in the old city next to the ghats is also a must try. The 'paapri-chaat' is a hot favorite, with its tangy and spicy flavor of ginger and tamarind chutney accompanied by the cooling and soothing yoghurt. A variety of mango available only in summers called 'Langda aam' with its sour and sweet flavor is very popular, and so the fragrant 'Benarasi paan' added with aromatic essences of rose and 'supari' (areca-nut) along with other goodies.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 11: VARANASI/DELHI (Flight)
Morning is at leisure for own activity. Later check-out and drive to the airport in time to board the flight for Delhi. Arrive Delhi airport and connect your flight for onward journey.

Gourmet Tours

DELHI THE GATEWAY TO ROYAL INDIA

Arrive in New Delhi and be escorted to the IMPERIAL HOTEL for the night.


TEA ON THE TERRACE AT NEEMRANA FORT

On to Neemrana Fort, a fantastic nine-layered palace in the hills. Experience a Royal Indian high tea. Learn the secrets of 'Chai' and all the scrumptious accompaniments that go with it…fluffy pakoras, batter-fried fresh vegetables flaky samosas made of the lightest pastry, fascinating orange swirls called jalebis dripping with syrup…A special dinner at the fort follows. Overnight at NEEMRANA FORT.


A ROYAL WELCOME TO SAMODE PALACE

Today, drive to Amer Fort where you ride atop caparisoned elephants to visit its fantastic palaces and gardens. Then on to fairy-tale Samode Palace with its frescoed walls and halls twinkling with myriad mirrors. A grand banquet follows where we pamper your palate with the rich cuisine of Rajasthan . We top off the evening with a grand display of fireworks and folk dances. Overnight at SAMODE PALACE.


A SILVER PLATTER DINNER IN JAIPUR, THE PINK CITY.

On to the pink city of Jaipur to view its fabulous palaces. Then to Rambaug Palace where the famed chefs of Rambaug Palace show you the cooking techniques of Marwari cuisine…strictly vegetarian, refraining from the use of onions and garlic, cooking only with fresh vegetables  and spices such as fennel and fenugreek, ginger and asafetida, using yogurt as a base, accompanied by whole-wheat griddle breads. A royal silver platter dinner awaits you at night. Overnight at RAMBAUG PALACE.


A MOONLIT DINNER ON THE GANGAUR BOAT IN UDAIPUR.

Fly to the lake city of Udaipur and on to the fabulous floating palace situated in the middle of Lake Pichola. Start your morning with a cooking demo on the exquisite cuisine of Udaipur, influenced by the Moghul empire where generous amounts of whole spices…nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cloves and star anise are ground to a fine paste and spread on meats, sealed in pots and baked in clay ovens 'Dum phukt' style. Lunch is served in the Lily Pond gardens after which you take in the sights of this fairy-tale city. Enjoy a romantic dinner on board the Royal Gangaur boat while you are served with traditional Indian delicacies. Overnight at the LAKE PALACE

STUNNING TEMPLES OF RANAKPUR

Early this morning drive to Ranakpur to view the intricately carved Jain temples, and stop at Fort Kumbhalgarh for lunch with a view. Then proceed to Jodhpur where a royal dinner awaits you at the fabulous UMAID BHAVAN PALACE. Overnight at the UMAID BHAVAN PALACE.


A CAMEL SAFARI AND A TANDOORI FEAST ON THE DUNES OF OSIYAN

Today you visit Mehrangarh Fort with its dazzling palaces, audience halls and many layered balconies. After lunch, depart for the Osiyan dunes. Proceed on a camel safari into the dunes in time for a spectacular sunset. Learn the secrets of cooking with a Tandoor and later enjoy a fabulous feast around a bonfire to the accompaniment of gypsy dancers. Overnight in deluxe tents at OSIYAN DESERT CAMP.


JODHPUR THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF THE THAR DESERT

In Jodhpur today, our chefs await you to demonstrate their  specialties gently blending spices to create magical dishes. They use cardamom one of those rare, truly exotic spices whose perfume recalls the mysterious essence of the East. Nowhere else has the use of cardamom attained such culinary heights as in India, appearing in every recipe that calls for 'garam masala'. Your afternoon is free for shopping and sightseeing before your flight back to Delhi. Overnight at the IMPERIAL HOTEL.

AGRA, A WHITE BANQUET IN THE SPLENDOR OF THE MOONLIT TAJ MAHAL

By train to Agra to visit the world famous monument of love, the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort. Late afternoon attend a special cooking demo featuring the Royal cuisine of the Mughal court followed by an 'all white' banquet as you gaze at the moonlit Taj Mahal. Our chefs prepare only dishes that are white, using milk, cream, yogurt, almonds, rice…let your imagination run wild Overnight at AMAR VILAS PALACE.

THE HEARTY CUISINE OF DELHI AND A FOND FAREWELL TO INDIA!

This morning back in Delhi enjoy sightseeing and shopping in Delhi, followed by a Punjabi farewell dinner…layered 'parathas' griddle breads stuffed with grated radishes or pomegranate seeds, buttery mustard greens eaten with fresh corn bread, black-eyed beans simmered in cream, chicken cooked in butter… Later transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

THE FABLED KERALA BACKWATERS

Arrive in Bombay and connect to your flight to Cochin, then on to Coconut Lagoon, set on the fabled Kerala backwaters. Kerala boasts the best shellfish in India, the shrimp and crabs being of an unsurpassed delectability. The famous chefs of the hotel give a new meaning to your cooking styles demonstrating recipes like 'Thoran', 'Pachadi', and 'Avial' using the freshest fish, vegetables, coconuts and fragrant spices. Overnight at COCONUT LAGOON.

A BANANA LEAF LUNCHEON SERVED ON YOUR HOUSEBOAT

Take an early morning cruise on the Kerala Backwaters on board your personal houseboat, gliding along calm waters fringed with verdant greenery, glimpsing rural Kerala go by. Sample delectable local specialties served on banana leaves. Return to the resort for a cooking demo of traditional cuisine such as 'Pootu', a delicious concoction of crushed rice grains mixed with coconut and steamed in bamboo cylinders. Overnight at COCONUT LAGOON, Kumarakoam.

FRAGRANT SPICE PLANTATIONS REVEAL THEIR SECRETS

Drive to Thekkadi, on Periyar Lake, past mist-capped mountains and fragrant spice plantations, a journey as sublime as its destination. Attend a lecture on the use of Indian Spices in traditional Ayurveda, the ancient Hindu science of medicine where the properties of pepper, turmeric, chilies, ginger, cardamom and coriander are shown to cure ailments from digestive to skin diseases and headaches. Overnight at SPICE VILLAGE, Thekkady.

WILD ELEPHANTS FROLICKING AT PERIYAR

Awaken to the melody of a million tropical birds and take a boat safari on Periyar Lake to see wild elephants play in the mud. At the Spice Village, learn from our chefs how to make pungent lentil 'Sambar', crisp rice pancakes called 'Dosas', delicious stuffings, fluffy white 'Idlis' and scrumptious chutneys. The foods of Kerala get their very special character from the sweetly aromatic curry leaf and the coconut palm. Later take a walk through fragrant spice plantations of black pepper, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. Overnight at the SPICE VILLAGE, Thekkady.

TEA PLANTATIONS IN THE MISTY MOUNTAINS OF MUNNAR

Attend the famous spice auction of Kumily and experience first hand the bidding on spices; then on to Munnar, set amidst rolling blue hills, arriving at a tea plantation in time for high tea. Learn the secrets of 'Chai' and all its accompaniments. Savor sweet-dishes made from bananas steamed in their skins, rice 'Payasam' cooked in milk, crisp 'Wadas' and 'Bondas'. Spend the night at Mahindras Mountain Lodge.

COCHIN THE QUEEN OF THE ARABIAN SEA

Enjoy a morning tour of the tea plantation to learn the techniques of tea planting and harvesting followed by a tea tasting. After brunch, drive to Cochin, the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” and marvel at the historical sights. Visit the Dutch Palace, climb the stone steps into a distant world of palanquins and heraldry. Take the ferry to Mattancherry Island and it's quaint Jewish Town. Enjoy a fabulous dinner and overnight at the Taj Malabar, Cochin.

GOLDEN SANDS AND SPARKLING SEAS OF GOA

You will have time to shop in colorful Cochin before you transfer to your flight to Goa. At your resort enjoy a fiesta on the beach, sampling succulent shrimp and lobster and other Goan specialties. Overnight at the Taj Holiday Village.

GOAN CUISINE A FUSION CUISINE

On the Malabar Coast, today attend a cooking demo on Goan cooking .The Goans excel in preparing pork dishes, making their cuisine unique in India…exotic dishes like baked pork stuffed with peas, onions, ginger, mint and chilies, basted with vinegar. Learn the intricacies of making 'Baffat' and 'Pork Indad', curries using tamarind and sugar, vinegar and cloves, spicy red curries called 'Sorpotel' accompanied with 'Sannon', a fluffy white bread made of rice and toddy. After lunch drive to Old Goa to visit the ornate Portuguese churches. A sunset cruise on the Mandovi River is followed by dinner. Overnight at the Taj Holiday Village.


SUCCULENT SEA FOOD OF THE  MALABAR COAST

Today, watch our chefs prepare some of the countless fish and seafood curries that are renowned for their scarlet color and their large quantities of fresh coconut paste. Sample the famous Goan cockle curry cooked in coconut milk and limejuice, sprinkled with fresh coriander. Top it off with the amazing Goan cake, Bibinka. Later set off for a glimpse of the white sand beaches of Goa to experience a spectacular sunset over the Arabian Sea followed by a special Portuguese dinner with a Portuguese family. Overnight at the Taj Holiday Village.


BOMBAY AND A FOND FAREWELL TO THE FOOD OF THE GODS

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy your last morning in Goa on the beach, before transferring to the airport for your flight to Bombay. Transfer to the hotel Taj Mahal Bombay for a fabulous farewell dinner before flying back to the US.

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