Culinary Tour India - 13N/14D

Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Cochin - Periyar - Kumarakom - Cochin


Indian cuisine is famous and relished all over the world and enjoys a reputation at par with other cuisines of the world. The culinary of Indian cuisine is a science, which has developed over thousands of years. The classic range of regional cuisines from North to South and East to West reflects the great size of India and its unparalleled cultural heritage. The Indian cuisine in both vegetarian and non –vegetarian. Indian food has an unmatched charm because of the extravagant spices used in Indian Cuisine, thus India is better understood as "HOME OF THE SPICES". The art of preparing authentic Indian Food does not involve an overdose of spices, but the delicacy and mixing of the right spices in the right quantities. India is a land of diverse religions, customs, festivals, culinary flavours, and climatic conditions. Thus, each part of India has added and enhanced the flavour of its dishes by blending spices, herbs and condiments to make the dish more exquisite, exotic and heavenly.

Here we, at India Holiday Mall, would like to share our expertise, knowledge and culinary experience of Indian Cuisine. This Cooking Tour Program gives a complete picture of various Indian cuisines from the Northern & Southern parts of India

Arrival Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi
Languages English, Spanish, German, Italian, French
  • Explore Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Humayun Tomb, Raj Ghat and Qutub Minar, Delhi
  • Visit Taj Mahal and Agra Fort - Agra
  • Amer fort, Palace of Winds, Jantar Mantar, City Palace - Jaipur
  • Visit to local vegetable market and cooking class - Jaipur
  • Visit to Samode (Optional)
  • Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, Dutch architecture, Mosques, Hindu temples and Chinese fishing nets - Cochin
  • St. Francis Church, the Mattancherry Palace, and Kathakali Dance, Cochin
  • Periyar national Park
  • Visit to Vegetable farms, vegetable market, and cooking class - Periyar
  • Enjoy Houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala

Tour Map

Tour Itinerary

  • Day 01: Flight to Delhi

    On arrival in Delhi, you will be greeted and escorted by our staff to your hotel. In its 3000 years of existence; seven cities have risen where the present capital of India stands. Here, you'll encounter a fascinating blend of the ancient and the contemporary. Where government buildings, medieval palaces, and bazaars exists beside a modern metropolis. Delhi is a city waiting to be explored.

    Overnight at the hotel.

    (Rooms will be available from 1200 Hrs.)

  • Day 02: Delhi

    After breakfast, enjoy a half-day city tour of Old Delhi.

    Visit Red Fort, the 17th-century imposing fortress built in red sandstone is surrounded by a huge 33m high boundary wall with exquisite palaces and beautiful gardens. Opposite of the Red Fort lies Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) made of red sandstone and white marble, Red Fort completed in 1656 at a cost of one million Rupees has perfect proportions. India's largest mosque where more than 20,000 people can kneel in prayer. The interior of the prayer hall is divided into aisles by arches. The walls and floors are of marble inlay panels.

    Also, visit Raj Ghat on the banks of the river Yamuna, Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial, where he was cremated following his assassination in January 1948. The memorial lies in the midst of landscaped gardens and made of a simple square platform of black marble inscribed with his last words "Hey Ram". An eternal flame burns 24 hours.

    Afternoon is at leisure.
    In the evening, we will organize dinner in a very famous restaurant called "Bukhara". Bukhara has played host to innumerable Heads of State and world dignitaries including Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Bryan Adams, Tony Blair and many more. A visit to the capital is not considered complete without ameal at the Bukhara. 'The Restaurant Magazine', UK, had declared Bukhara the Best Indian Restaurant in the world in 2004. It has also been voted the Best Restaurant in Asia and is the only Indian restaurant to feature in the list of 50 Best Restaurants in the World.

    Bukhara serves speciality cuisine from the North-West corner of the sub-continent– essentially meat, pulses, cottage cheese and other delicacies marinated in spices, herbs, and sauces and slow-cooked in hot clay ovens (tandoor) for long hours. The signature dishes of this famed restaurant are specially crafted to give you the most authentic taste of the numerous exotic ingredients that go into the making of these dishes.

    The ambience of this restaurant is highly rustic with stone-clad walls, dark wooden beams, and oil lanterns. The ambience lends the necessary feel to put you into the mood of sampling the renowned tastes of India's cooking traditions. Guests to this restaurant must use their hands to eat the food served, and this gives the restaurant a distinctive appeal as everyone gets to enjoy the tastes of the delicacies the traditional way! Another unique feature of Bukhara is the open display kitchen, you can watch your meal being cooked as the chefs roll out tender parathas, naans and immerse meat kebabs into the clay ovens. All meals are served in traditional copper urns, adding a royal touch to your dining experience.

    Overnight in the hotel.

    *Red Fort is closed on Mondays.

  • Day 03: Delhi

    After breakfast, drive through Lutyens Delhi and see India Gate built of Bharatpur stone, commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the 1st world war. 13516 names of British and Indian soldiers killed in the Afghan War of 1919 are engraved on the arch and foundations. Photo stop at Rashtrapati Bhawan, once the Viceroy's residence is now the official residence of the President of India.

    Later in the afternoon, explore New Delhi. Visit the Humayun's Tomb, built by his wife Haji Begum in the 16th Century. An early example of Mughal architecture considered the predecessor of the Taj Mahal. The elements in its design a squat building, lighted by high arched entrances, topped by a bulbous dome and surrounded by the char bagh (garden divided into quadrants), water channels and fountains.

    Later, visit the Qutub Minar the landmark of Delhi, a huge tower of victory started in 1199 and completed in 1368. The minar is 72.5m high with a diameter at the base 14.4m and 2.7m at the top. The tower has 379 steps to the top. Later, visit Delhi Haat and have a look at some of the famous recipes from different states of India. The most popular and one of the delightful offerings of Indian cuisines can be found at Delhi Haat, where you can have the taste of real India. Delhi Haat has food stalls from almost every state in India, which offers the true authentic food of India. The place has special importance in the sense that quality food is coupled with a swanky market depicting the arts and crafts culture of India.

  • Day 4: Delhi – Agra

    After breakfast, drive to Agra.

    Agra stands on the right bank of the river Yamuna, was once the seat of the Mughal rulers, the zenith of art and an enshrined romance. Agra is a town famous for its beautiful medieval monuments. The passion of the Mughals for building endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world.

    On arrival, transfer to the hotel. After some rest, visit Taj Mahal – a poignant poetry in marble, stands serene and awesome on a raised marble platform, by the banks of the Yamuna.

    It is the most extravagant monument ever built for love, it is a tribute to the timelessness of art and love. The inimitable poem in white marble, one of the seven modern wonders of the world, the finest expression of the love of Emperor Shah Jahan for his queen Mumtaz who died giving birth to their 14th child, is located on the banks of the Yamuna River here. The construction of the Taj had commenced in 1631AD and had ended in 1653AD. Workers were gathered from all over the country and from central Asia. About 20,000 people were recruited to translate this dream into reality. The main architect was Isa Khan who was brought from Iran.

    In the afternoon, visit the Agra Fort. Built by the great Emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings, including the Diwane-I-Am, Diwane-I-Khas and Musamman Burj, where the Emperor Shah Jahan died in imprisonment, besides Jahangir's Palace, Khaas Mahal, and the Sheesh Mahal.


    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 5: Agra – Jaipur

    After breakfast, drive to Jaipur.

    En route, visit Fatehpur Sikri. It is a beautiful and deserted medieval city built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. The Mughals later abandoned this city for lack of water.

    Continue your drive to Jaipur. Jaipur is the City of Victory was originally Sawai Jaipur, named after its founder Sawai Jai Singh II (1700-1743). The sunset-pink tinge of its walls, buildings, temples and emporia gave it the name Pink City, the name in which it became famous throughout the world

    On arrival in Jaipur, check in at the hotel.

    In the evening, enjoy the dinner at Spice Court restaurant. Spice Court is a prime fine dining restaurant in the heart of the Pink City serving its guests for the last so many years. Spice Court Restaurant, is counted among the top 10 Restaurants of India. Countless Rreviews can be found in different travellers handbooks mentioning the exotic dishes and a very warm hospitality.

    Spice Court serves both Non-Vegetarian and Vegetarian Cuisines to its guests. For this, there are separate kitchens to provide comfort to vegetarian guests also.

    Cuisines of Rajasthan have been greatly influenced by the climate of the state as well as the war conditions, which were quite frequent. Because of inadequate water, lack of green vegetables and other problems associated with the climate, Rajasthani cuisine developed a style of its own, to suit the conditions. Long-lasting food, not requiring any heating, evolved because of the frequent wars fought by the state.

    However, in spite of all the limitations, the traditional food of Rajasthan is as delicious as any other cuisine. Just like the arts and crafts of the state, the food was also considered as another form of art. The complex and exquisite methodology was used in the preparation of food for royalty.

    The royal cooks, who handled the food of the royals, passed on the recipes to the coming generations. Numerous additions were made to the original recipes. This led to the evolution of the Rajasthani cuisine of the present-day world.

    Rajasthani cuisine is predominantly vegetarian and dazzling in its variety. The spice content is on the higher side, even by Indian standards. Rajasthan locals also relish ghee, which is an integral part of many of the preparations. The most famous dish would probably be Dal-Bati, which is spicy lentils with baked balls of wheat with lots of ghee. The variety of sweet dishes is also immense and sweets are relished as much as the spicy curries in Rajasthan.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 6: Jaipur

    After breakfast, a half-day excursion trip takes you to Amber Fort on Jeep / Elephants. This city Fort is situated 130m high with the Aravalli hills all around it in a valley 11 km north of Jaipur. It was the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha Rajputs till 1037.

    En route, make a photo stop at the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal). It is a 5 storied building from the 18th century having 953 windows and niches made so that the ladies of the Royal family could see the processions and events in the city without being visible to the people outside.

    OPTIONAL: In the late afternoon, drive to Samode (40 Kms away). Group arrives at the village entrance where decorated camel carts await your arrival. The group will distribute itself and mount camel carts and the coach with baggage will drive up to the palace. The camel caravan escorted with 2 torchbearers to each cart and led by local musicians would commence its journey through the cobbled streets through the village. The group would get a first-hand insight into the quaint village lifestyle, the local village shops, and houses, curious children waving greetings from the rooftop and the friendly shy smiles from the conservative village belles. The trip is timed to reach the palace gate at sunset (40 minutes ride). On arrival, the entire palace is lit up. They disembark and by now the excitement is loud and clear.

    The group then walks up to the palace entrance gate wherein village elders receive them with garlands and the village belles in full local attire shower rose petals on the group.

    The ambiance created goes back to 600 years when the king and his lieutenants would sit on the cushioned floor and the dancers performed for entertainment. The group would be served drinks and dinner while the local dancer and musicians entertain. Members from the group would be invited to join the dancers. After dinner, coffee is served on the terrace. The group would be thrilled to see a firework show against the stark naked mountain.

    This dinner will be organized exclusively for the group. It includes illumination of the Palace, Folk Dances, exclusive Buffet Dinner on the terrace of the Samode Palace and some very impressive fireworks.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 7: Jaipur

    After breakfast, you will meet with a local family who will accompany you to a very exciting activity i.e. buying vegetables.

    You will enter the vegetable market square; you will see many ladies sitting around bamboo baskets, which are used by the vegetable vendors to display the fresh vegetables. Once you are in the vegetable market, you will walk through the alleys to bargain and buy vegetables from the vendors.

    Do not forget to bargain &also keep an eye on the neighbour’s skills to ensure that your hard bargain does not go in vain. Enjoy the experience and carry fresh vegetables to the local home.

    After buying the vegetables, drive to an Indian home to begin a cooking class - the cooking will be done in traditional Indian style. Guests can try their hand at cooking the Indian food. The dishes cooked during the class will be served for a late lunch.

    In the afternoon visit, the "Pink City" of Jaipur. You will visit City Palace, which houses the Royal residence and museums with collections of textiles and costumes, armoury, manuscripts, paintings, etc. Also, visit Royal Observatory (Jantar Mantar-1728-34) built by king astrologer Jai Singh II. The instruments are built of stone with marble facing on the important plains for measuring the harmony of the heavens. Each instrument serves a particular function and each gives an accurate reading.

    Overnight at the Hotel.

  • Day 8: Jaipur – Mumbai – Cochin

    After early breakfast, transfer to the airport to board the morning flight to Mumbai. On arrival, board another flight to Cochin. Cochin or Kochi, as it is called now, is influenced by medieval Portugal, Holland, and England. The city displays a blend of different people and architecture and it is one place where you can see a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, Dutch architecture, mosques, Hindu temples, and Chinese fishing nets all in one day. On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

    In the evening, enthral yourself with a special presentation of the colourful costumed Kathakali Dance Drama. This mask dance form is originally from Kerala and is 1500 years old. This classical dance has 24 mudras expressing the nine emotions of serenity, wonder, kindness, love, valor, fear, contempt, loathing and anger. Usually performed by males.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 9: Cochin – Periyar

    After breakfast, drive to Periyar. Periyar National Park is a unique wildlife sanctuary and is about 780 sq. km centered by Periyar Lake, an artificial lake fed by the Periyar River. On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

    Later, drive to a tribal village. This will be a very nice and interesting 1-hour visit whereby the clients will be able to observe the lifestyle of the tribal from close quarters. After the visit, drive to an Elephant Camp, where we will organize elephant bathing and elephant feeding sessions for our clients. We will also organize a 30 min Elephant ride.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 10: Periyar

    After breakfast, leave on a fascinating and informative visit to several neighbouring spice and tea plantations as well as smaller-scale spice gardens whose owners pride themselves on their adaptation of organic farming methods, including the use of methane gas produced from cow dung to provide energy for their household needs. A must for anyone who cares for taste and flavours, the spice plantation visit enables you to get a deeper understanding of how the spice used in everyday cooking throughout the world are grown, harvested, and processed before they find their way to your local supermarket.

    The visit also provides you with a first-hand idea of the wonderful world of spices and its history, cultivation, medicinal values, economics, etc. In the afternoon, attend an interactive session that moves from the understanding of spices to the next level of knowing how these spices blend into different basic masalas with their fine characters, the basic cooking methods and assimilating the techniques involved in culminating into an authentic recipe. From conquering the coconut to tempering the chutneys, the subtle yet unique balance of flavours in the cuisine is made clear to the aspirant with hands-on training on measuring, grinding and seasoning.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 11: Periyar

    An interactive morning session.

    No cuisine can be learned without knowing what to cook with. This session starts with a visit to vegetable farms in the Cumbum Valley, which is nourished by the waters of Periyar Lake. As the day proceeds, we proceed to the local vegetable market to see, feel and buy the vegetables the way a Kerala housewife would. In the afternoon session, it is time to apply the theory! Each one of you is at a personal cooking station where the chef guides you into an absorbing cooking lesson.

    The knowledge from the spice interpretation on the second day afternoon unfolds in front of you in the form of a dish cooked by you. Suddenly it all makes sense when spices to masalas to curry magic are born from your own hands. Suddenly all those recipes we have read in cookbooks are so wonderfully real and that understanding is to stay.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 12: Periyar – Kumarakom

    After breakfast, drive to the Jetty and board the Rice boat / Houseboat (Kettuvallom) on the World famous Backwaters of Kerala. Enjoy cruising for 02 -03 Hours. "Kettu" literally means to tie up and "Vallom" means boats. The boats played a major role in the economy of ancient Kerala, moving cargo and men from every nook and corner of the otherwise unreachable area, cutting across the length and breadth of the land. Later, drive to Kumarakom. It is undoubtedly the most invigorating, fascinating paradise in Kerala, God's own country.

    The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, its never-ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons, and backwaters, mangroves nesting birds of a hundred varieties can peacefully calm and invigorate your mind with renewed inspiration for your vocation and life. That is the pristine beauty of Kumarakom. The freshwater of the lake runs into the mainland making a labyrinth of lagoons, brooks, canals, and waterways. The backwater houses a variety of species of both fauna and flora. They are rich with marine life namely the exclusive 'Kumarakom Karimeen' (pearl spotted fish), Konju (tiger prawns), Njandu (crabs), Chemeen (prawns) and many more. On arrival in Kumarakom, check-in at the hotel.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 13: Kumarakom – Cochin

    After breakfast, drive to Cochin. On arrival, check-in at the hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy the half day sightseeing of Cochin, a city influenced by medieval Portugal, Holland, and England. You will visit St. Francis Church the Mattancherry Palace or "Dutch Palace", and the amazing Chinese fishing nets. You also see the Jew City with the Jewish Synagogue, constructed in 1568, with hand-painted, willow-pattern floor tiles brought from Canton in the mid-18th century by a Rabbi, who had trading interest in that city.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 14: Cochin Departure

    In time transfer to the airport to board the flight back home.

    IMP: Rooms will be available till 1200 Hrs only

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