Culinary Delights India Itinerary

17 Days 16 Nights

Itinerary Overview

The Culinary Delights India Tour will tingle your taste buds with the myriad of Indian cuisine from different regions of India. Visit historical monuments, markets, take cooking lessons, eat in various restaurants, and meet chefs, and other interesting people who will enrich this tour.

Day 1 Delhi

Namaste and welcome to India!

Arrive Delhi, and after immigration, baggage, and customs, exit the arrival halls. A Geringer Global Travel representative will greet you with a placard bearing your name.

You will be assisted and transferred to your hotel.

Hotel: The Claridges Hotel
Day 2 Delhi

After breakfast, explore Old and New Delhi. While Old Delhi speaks volumes about India’s history, culture, and traditions, New Delhi exhibits the picture of modern India. Join a local expert for an Old Delhi tour on specially customized cycle rickshaws. This tour is an extensive tour that covers 20 main sites that include palaces, mansions, elegant shrines, and colorful bazaars.

Lunch is at Sagar Ratna Restaurant for a traditional South Indian vegetarian meal.

After lunch, visit two of the important UNESCO World Heritage Sites of New Delhi. The first stop is Qutub Minar, the second tallest minaret in India. It is made of red stone and marble and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. The second stop is the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb, the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent, an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style and a precursor of the Taj Mahal.

Drive past India Gate, the War Memorial Arch, the Parliament House, the Secretariat Buildings, and the Vice Regal Palace, now the official residence of the President of India.

Dinner is at Punjabi by Nature for North Indian Punjabi fare in a contemporary setting.

Hotel: The Claridges Hotel
Day 3 Lucknow

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Lucknow. Lucknow is a 2500-year-old city with magnificent edifices, gardens, crumbling mausoleums, Imambaras, and ruins of what were once regal residences.

On arrival in Lucknow, check into the hotel and enjoy lunch.

After lunch, tour famous buildings like the Clock Tower, Asifi Imambara, Husainabad Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, and Asfi Mosque. Visit the ‘Chowk’, the oldest marketplace of Lucknow, known as a place that showcases the culture of the city and the best of handicrafts including Chikan embroidery.

Enjoy a culinary walk down the lane adjacent to Akbari Gate. Dinner will be a sampling of Awadhi dishes at famous eateries along the way. A culinary curator will explain the history and the recipe of these dishes.

Hotel: Taj Mahal Lucknow Hotel
Day 4 Lucknow

After breakfast, visit La Martiniere which was designed by Major-General Claude Martin as a palatial home. His contribution to Lucknow is immense. His architectural marvels are highly regarded. La Martiniere is now one of the most prestigious 18th-century schools.

Drive past Chatar Manzil en route to the Lucknow Residency, a place where speechless walls are known to speak the gruesome tale of the 1857 mutiny.

Lunch is at the Royal Café, which once served the American and the British soldiers during the second world war.

The evening is reserved for an Awadhi dinner workshop with the chef of the royal family. A local expert will explain Awadhi cooking of the various dishes. The learning session will be followed by dinner with the royal family at their residence.

Hotel: aj Mahal Lucknow Hotel
Day 5 Lucknow

After breakfast, take a half-day village excursion to experience the traditional mode of cooking using cow dung cakes or wood. Lunch is served at the site in the village.

Return to the hotel.

Enjoy drinks, a cooking workshop, and dinner at Chak House, a private home. The Chak family is a very old, celebrated Kashmiri family of Lucknow that has kept the tradition of the Kashmiri-Awadhi cuisine.

Hotel: Taj Mahal Lucknow Hotel
Day 6 Agra

After breakfast, drive to Agra (approximately 5 hours).

On arrival in Agra, check into the hotel and enjoy lunch.

After lunch, visit the massive Agra Fort, known as the Red Fort of Agra, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Dinner is at Peshawri Restaurant. Enjoy delicious kebabs, tasty Indian breads, and the inimitable Dal Bukhara.

Hotel: Hotel Trident Agra
Day 7 Jaipur

Visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise. The Taj Mahal was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 15th century as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is an architectural masterpiece of exquisite craftsmanship and perfect proportions.

Return to the hotel for breakfast, check out, and drive to Jaipur (approximately 5 hours).

En route, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by Emperor Akbar as his capital. Ponder the mysterious desertion of this capital city that was dramatically abandoned a few years after it was built. It was a veritable fairy tale city and its ‘ruins’ are still in pristine condition.

Stop for lunch at The Bagh, in Bharatpur.

After lunch, continue driving to Jaipur with a stop at Abhaneri Village to see Chand Baori Stepwell, one of the oldest surviving stepwells in Rajasthan.

Continue to Jaipur and on arrival, check into the hotel.

The evening is reserved for a special cooking lesson/dinner with Thakur Durga Singh, the current custodian of Dera Mandawa. He is a keen observer of history, culture, religion, and current affairs.

Hotel: Dera Mandawa Hotel
Day 8 Jaipur

After breakfast, drive just outside Jaipur to the ancient capital of Amer to see the fabulous Amer Fort. En route stop to take a photo of the Palace of Winds known as Hawa Mahal. Visit Jantar Mantar or the Astronomical Observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur, in the 18th century and is one of five such astronomical wonders. It makes accurate predictions even to this day.

Lunch is at Samode Haveli, a former residence of the rulers of Samode.

After lunch, visit the City Palace, a complex of exquisite palaces, gardens, courtyards, and decorative art. Afterwards, enjoy a fascinating late afternoon walk, mingle and talk with the locals while seeing some of the region’s culinary delights: pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa, and sweets from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops: jewelers and silversmiths and gold and silver foil makers.

Hotel: Dera Mandawa Hotel
Day 9 Hyderabad

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Hyderabad. Hyderabad is known as the ‘City of Pearls,’ a nickname earned from its days as a pearl and diamond trading center. Today, it is still one of India’s retail hubs, famous for its traditional bazaars, some of which have been operating for centuries.

Arrive in Hyderabad, and transfer to the hotel.

Enjoy a cooking demonstration and lunch with Parveen Khan. Parveen Khan’s mother, Begum Mumtaz Khan, was the doyenne of Hyderabadi cooking. She not only taught generations of Hyderabadi women but also consulted with hotels across the country.

After lunch, explore the old city and visit Char Minar, the decorative gateway referred to as the Oriental “Arc de Triomphe”. Explore Lad Bazaar where shops sell Hyderabadi embedded glass bangles, pearls, and cloth. Silver merchants, working in their tiny shops, make thin silver “leaf” by pounding sheets of metal.

Dinner is at Jewel of Nizam -The Minar, a fine dining specialty restaurant, that serves authentic Mughlai and Hyderabadi cuisine. The decor reflects the rich culture of the country.

Hotel: Taj Banjara Hotel
Day 10 Hyderabad

After breakfast, visit Golconda Fort, a fortified citadel, built in the 13th century and an early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty.

Lunch is at Paradise Restaurant, known for its Hyderabadi biryani.

After lunch, visit Salar Jung Museum which is one of the three national museums in the country and houses one of the largest private collections of art in the world. Salar Jung was the Wazir or Prime Minister to the Nizam between 1899 and 1949, and his collection of both Indian and European bronzes, textiles, jade, paintings, ivory items, and statues form the basis of this collection.

Enjoy dinner at Adaa Restaurant at Falaknuma Palace. Carefully crafted, slow-cooked Indian Hyderabadi fare recreates the wonders of the royal kitchens.

Hotel: Taj Banjara Hotel
Day 11 Kochi

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Kochi. Also known as Cochin, Kochi is a city in southwest India’s coastal state of Kerala. This city has served as a popular port for over 600 years and is known for its eclectic architecture and its array of religious monuments, museums, galleries, cafes, and antique shops.

Upon arrival at Kochi airport, transfer to the hotel and have lunch.

After lunch, take an interesting walking tour which displays the various facets of the old town of Kochi. Walk through the narrow lanes and explore its different buildings, temples, and markets. During the walk, learn about the spices and produce of the local cuisine.

Dinner is at Sea Grill Terrace Restaurant. Enjoy a detailed discussion on Keralan cuisine with the in-house chef of the hotel.

Hotel: The Brunton Boatyard Hotel
Day 12 Kochi

After breakfast, take the Blue Bus Tour. Explore Kochi like a local. The bus will take you from the old-world charm-ridden Fort Kochi to the bustling Ernakulam city. Explore Ernakulam market on foot. This is where the locals come to buy everything from a needle to groceries to jewelry. From here go to the iconic Indian Coffee House to try some local delicacies and coffee. Walk towards the local ferry terminus and take the ferry back to Fort Kochi.

Experience a cooking demonstration and lunch at the residence of Nimmy, a professional culinary instructor for more than twenty years. She teaches the nuances of traditional Kerala recipes. She is also a food consultant to writers, chefs, and magazines.

In the late afternoon, enjoy a performance of Kathakali, the pantomimic dance-drama. It is a combination of facial expressions and body movements, which brings out the thought and emotion of the character. Kathakali is performed by men.

Dinner is at Malabar House, which specializes in innovative Keralan cooking using local produce and fresh seafood.

Hotel: The Brunton Boatyard Hotel
Day 13 Dewalokam

After breakfast, drive to Dewalokam (approximately 2 hours). Dewalokam is a working organic farm that produces fish, meat, eggs, milk, fruits, and vegetables. The homestay is Jose and Cinta’s family farm. A stay at Dewalokam is a truly unique way to relax.

On arrival at Dewalokam, check into the homestay and enjoy lunch.

After lunch, explore the farm. There are different options to experience. Enjoy a rafting trip, dips in the river, going for a waterfall hike, bird-watching trails and much more. Dewalokam offers you an opportunity to visit a local village school and interact with the staff and students.

Dinner is at the homestay.

Hotel: Dewalokam Homestay
Day 14 Dewalokam

After breakfast, spend the time with the family and explore the various activities they are doing on the farm.

For lunch, enjoy homegrown produce freshly cooked as you sample gourmet traditional Keralan food and join the professional chefs in Dewalokam’s state-of-the-art kitchen in informal learning to cook sessions.

Dinner is at the homestay.

Hotel: Dewalokam Homestay
Day 15 Alleppey

After breakfast, check out of the homestay and drive to Alleppey (approximately 3 hours).
Upon arrival at Alleppey, transfer to the boat jetty for checking into the houseboat.

Explore the backwaters of Kerala. Along the way, pass rice fields, tiny villages, boats transporting children to school, farmers transporting their produce to the market, and women completing household tasks such as laundry and washing utensils. Stop to visit local villages. At night, the boat anchors mid-stream, and meals are specially prepared by the crew from freshly bought produce.

All meals are on board.

Hotel: Houseboat
Day 16 Kochi

After breakfast, transfer back to Kochi. En route, stop in Kodungalloor for a Jewish Heritage Tour and lunch. Kodungalloor, located near Kochi, is literally the cradle of several religions. Apart from the first Jews of India, this is the port where the apostle St. Thomas landed which marked the beginning of Christianity in India. It is also the site of the Cheraman Mosque, the first Muslim house of worship in India. The Hindu Temple at this location since 1341 is dedicated to the Goddess Bhagavathy.

After arrival in Kochi, check into the hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.
The final dinner is at Flint House. Its exceptional ambiance and an authentic grill menu contribute to a great dining experience.

Hotel: CGH Eighth Bastion Hotel
Day 17 Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the Kochi airport to board the flight home.