Although Indian cuisine is not as famous as the top three world-renown cuisines, it has become more and more popular because of its rich flavors and the diverse vegetables in it. If you are planning your first trip to India and would like to have an authentic food adventure as well as visiting the must-see attractions, this 9-day India highlights and food tour will be your best choice.
In this tour, you will have rich food experiences, which include enjoying a special dinner in a fine restaurant, having a cooking class in a local person's home, and sampling some fresh street food.AH-IN-82
- Explore the Chandni Chowk by a rickshaw to discover ordinary people's life.
- Admire the unbelievable ancient wonder, the Taj Mahal.
- Explore the lovely 'Pink City', Jaipur, and enjoy a memorable dinner in the romantic Amber Fort.
- Meet and interact with locals to learn about the Indian culture and food.
- Witness an incredible ceremony and sample the fresh street food in Varanasi.
Itinerary in Detail
This sample itinerary provides inspiration, yet your preferences design the real journey. Following our Tailor-made Guidelines to create a wonderful India holiday in your own way.
Welcome to Delhi. Your guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals hall and take you to your hotel. Enjoy your free time for the rest of the day.
Start your Delhi tour with the sacred Jama Masjid, which is the biggest mosque in India. Feel the solemn atmosphere and discover how the Islamic and Indian architectural styles combine. Then, take a rickshaw ride through the bustling Chandni Chowk market, which is a great way to discover the local people's lifestyle in Old Delhi. The narrow alleys are filled with lots of small stores selling clothes, spices, papers, and cheap jewelry as well as street food vendors and tangled wires, all of which present you with a vivid image of the real India.
In the afternoon, go to see Qutub Minar, which is a great symbol of Delhi's triumph, and Humayun's tomb. Listen to stories about the splendid dynasties that were created by Indian Muslims.
In the evening, you will visit a local family. The family will show their hospitality with the home-cooked meal. Enjoy dinner with the family and have a chat to get a good idea of what their daily lives are like. They will also be happy to listen to your stories.
You will be driven from Delhi to Agra in the morning. Have a rest after checking in to your hotel. Then visit Mehtab Bagh (the Moonlight Garden) in the late afternoon for a classic view of the Taj Mahal. The garden is located behind the Taj Mahal and the Yamuna River flows between them peacefully. Watch the Taj Mahal as the sun sets. At this moment, the Taj Mahal is just like a beautiful lady sitting on the riverbank, wearing a sari made of the sunset glow.
In the early morning, you will visit the world's most elegant and extraordinary mausoleum complex, the Taj Mahal.
It is a miracle in the history of architecture, expressing the most beautiful emotions of a human being. The closer you walk to it, the more moved you will be by the spectacular ivory-white marble building and the emotion that sparked its creation.
Afterward, you will visit Itmad-ud-Daula's Tomb, which is often called the 'Baby Taj' as it is an impressive white marble building decorated with colorful mosaics and stone inlays.
Enjoy a barbecue lunch in a local restaurant. You'll be unable to refuse the delicious chicken and shrimps. In the afternoon, you will visit Agra Fort. It is a magnificent 16th-century fortress made of red sandstone, which is located on the Yamuna River. Imagine the luxurious lifestyle of the royal family in this fantastic palace. The sunlight in the afternoon makes the red color of the sandstone fort appear to be very bright, just like the glory of the Mughal Empire.
You will say goodbye to Agra and head for the 'Pink City', Jaipur, by car in the morning. On the way, stop at a village near Jaipur to find the most magnificent stepwell, the Chand Baori. You might wonder why Indian people make wells so romantic and interesting. Don't look at it for too long - you might feel dizzy because of its 3,500 steps!
Enjoy dinner in Amber Fort in the evening. It will be an exclusive experience to visit the fort at night. When you stand on the balcony and look down, it looks like a picture from a fairy tale. The sparkling lights on the ground look like stars in a blue-black sky. The buildings and the walls are lit up by the golden lights. The shadows of the mountains appear indistinctly behind the fort.
Enjoy your meal in an elegant dining room while listening to live Indian music. You will be impressed by the tender chicken meat, lamb with spicy sauce, and the special desserts rice pudding and honey balls.
Start with the glorious Amber Fort. You will find it is more fantastic than it seemed the previous night. The corridor with elegant pillars, the lovely colors of the patterns on the walls, the shining mirrors in Sheesh Mahal - any of them can make you feel as though you have gone back in time to the great dynasty.
In the afternoon, continue your trip to Jaipur's City Palace. The beautiful courtyard and the abundant exhibits highlight what life was like for the maharajas of Jaipur. Afterward, have a quick photo stop at the famous Hawa Mahal, which is a landmark of Jaipur.
In the late afternoon, you will have a cooking class at Ikaki Niwas to learn about some Indian cuisine. Your teacher will introduce some favorite dishes including three varieties of Indian bread and three main dishes. The most important thing is to learn how to use the various Indian spices. Try your hand to cook like Indians. Enjoy the dinner you cook. You will receive a copy of the recipe at the end of the class.
In the morning, you will fly from Jaipur to Varanasi, which is located on the west bank of the Ganges and is India's holiest city. In the late afternoon, take a boat ride on the Ganges River to see pilgrims washing their bodies, praying, and performing ancient rituals.
When the sun sets, you will head to Kashi Vishwanath Temple to experience the highly choreographed Ganga Aarti ceremony. The ceremony starts with the blowing of a conch shell to remove all the negative energy in the area. You will then see people start waving incense in the air and walking in circles around large lamps, all while chanting and playing music.
The highlight of a trip to Varanasi is enjoying a boat ride at sunrise when the temples along the river are bathed in the soft morning light. During the boat ride, you will see how much the local people rely on the Ganges River and watch them go about their daily activities. There, people wash their clothes, perform yoga, and give offerings of flowers.
After the boat ride, you will take a walk through the busy streets of the old city to go street food hunting. You will get a glimpse into the food ethos of this region as well as having a firsthand experience of the local people's passion for good food.
Finally, you will visit Sarnath. It is a sacred place for Buddhism. Buddha went there to preach the Dharmachakra after gaining enlightenment in 528 BC. It includes Dhamek Stupa, which was built at the site where Buddha is believed to have delivered his sermon to five disciples. Afterward, explore a superb collection of Buddhist artifacts in the Archaeological Museum.
Our Service Includes:
- Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
- Governmental taxes
We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.
We recommend to experience palace hotels, heritage hotels, or nice resorts in order to get the high-quality service and to your experience.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights
- Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
- Worry-free planning: Every step of your trip, you will be looked after by your 1:1 travel consultant based in Asia.
- No-risk booking: We refund as much as we can and adapt flexibly to unexpected changes.
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