Indian food is a global favorite, but as you'll discover on this tour, the country's culinary delights vary enormously by region, religion, and culture. On this culinary tour of North India, you'll sample the region's most iconic (and delicious) food. Starting with the best street food in Delhi, you'll travel east to try the distinct Dum Pukht method of cooking in Lucknow. In the desert state of Rajashtan, learn how the arid landscape has influenced cuisine. Along the way, you'll enjoy cooking classes and demos, meals with local hosts, and more.

Highlights

  • Learn about Mewari, Mughlai, Lucknawi cuisine, and more
  • Sample food at authentic, centuries-old bazaars and restaurants
  • Admire the history and culture of often-overlooked Lucknow
  • Ride a boat on Lake Pichola in beautiful Udaipur

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Delhi Delhi
Day 2 Old Delhi Sightseeing Delhi
Day 3 Fly to Lucknow Lucknow
Day 4 Lucknow Cooking Class Lucknow
Day 5 Sightseeing Tour & the Royal Treatment in Lucknow Lucknow
Day 6 Lucknow to Agra by Train Agra
Day 7 Agra Sightseeing Agra
Day 8 Agra to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri Jaipur
Day 9 Jaipur Sightseeing Jaipur
Day 10 Cooking Class in Rural Pachewargarh Jaipur
Day 11 Drive to Pushkar Pushkar
Day 12 Pushkar to Kumbhalgarh via Ajmer Kumbhalgarh
Day 13 Kumbalgarh to Udaipur Pushkar
Day 14 Sightseeing in Udaipur Udaipur
Day 15 Fly from Udaipur to Delhi - Depart Delhi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi

India Gate, Delhi
India Gate, Delhi

Arrive in Delhi, where you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, there may be some time to enjoy some preliminary sightseeing. Delhi is divided into many smaller neighborhoods, or colonies, and each colony has its own attractions, such as temples, parks, restaurants, and shopping complexes. 

Day 2: Old Delhi Sightseeing

Red Fort, Delhi
Red Fort, Delhi

Begin your sightseeing tour in Old Delhi, with its ancient monuments, narrow streets, and bustling bazaars. Pass the dramatic Red Fort, and visit the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. It was completed in 1658 by Shah Jahan, who also built the Taj Mahal in Agra. Then take a trip down Chandni Chowk, the most famous market in Old Delhi and the center of the city of Shahjahanabad in Mughal times. You'll find everything here, from saris to silver jewelry. Take a cycle rickshaw ride through the crowded market.

There are many chances to try the delicious cuisine of Old Delhi while navigating through its narrow streets. Eat paranthas at the famous Paranthe Wali Gali, try mouthwatering jalebis at a 140-year-old jalebi shop, and wash these down with lassi and authentic chai. People come from all over Delhi to eat street food in Old Delhi, and you'll soon discover why.

Day 3: Fly to Lucknow

Lucknow
Lucknow

Catch a morning flight to Lucknow, where you'll be met and transferred to your hotel.

Lucknow was once the center of princely Awadh, among the most ancient of Hindu states of North India. Awadhi cuisine is famous for its richness. In the evening you'll take an introductory cooking class at your hotel. We say introductory, because under the Nawabi courts, it took at least 10 years to be considered a chef–and at least 20 to become a master!

Day 4: Lucknow Cooking Class

Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow
Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow

Continue your journey into Luckawi cuisine today, with a demonstration of Dum Pukht cuisine at the Institute of Hotel Management.

Dum means ‘to breathe in’ and pukht means 'to cook'. Dum Pukht cooking uses a round, heavy-bottomed pot, in which food is tightly sealed (usually with dough) and cooked over a slow fire. In this style of cuisine, herbs and spices play a critical role. Cooking slowly in its juices, the food retains all its natural aromas, producing rich and delicious flavors.

The demonstration is followed by lunch at the institute’s restaurant.

Day 5: Sightseeing Tour & the Royal Treatment in Lucknow

Lucknow
Lucknow

Take a morning tour of Lucknow, visiting its beautiful historic sites of the city. Learn about the history of the city at the erstwhile British Residency, with its poignant memories of the Indian Uprising of 1857. Also check out an amazing mango tree that has reputedly had 300 varieties grafted onto one main tree!

In the late afternoon, meet with descendants of Lucknow’s legendary Nawabs at the palace. Watch highly skilled chefs prepare a meal and learn about the techniques used in this variety of Lucknawi cuisine. Sit down to a sumptuous dinner with the royal family. Your hosts will be dressed in their traditional royal attire.

Day 6: Lucknow to Agra by Train

Dinner with a view in Agra
Dinner with a view in Agra

Spend this morning at leisure, perhaps enjoying some souvenir shopping. In the afternoon, head to the railway station to board your train to Agra, a journey of about 5-6 hours.

Arrive in Agra in the evening and be transferred to your hotel.

Day 7: Agra Sightseeing

Taj Mahal, Agra
Taj Mahal, Agra

At sunrise, visit one of India’s incredible monuments, the Taj Mahal. At dawn, experience the sun changing the colors on the incredible white marble monument. The mausoleum was built by Shah Jahan for his empress Mumtaz Mahal in 16332. The construction is believed to have taken 22 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working round the clock. A single ticket is valid for a three-hour maximum visit to the Taj.

Return to your hotel for breakfast and to freshen up, then continue seeing Agra's other sights. Check out the massive Agra Fort, a blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture, as well as the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah.

In the afternoon, embark on a food tour of Agra, to sample its delightful cuisine. Try food from some of the oldest and most well-reputed food joints in the city. As this is a walking tour you will get a close-up look at this ancient city, visiting some non-touristy markets and tasting some of the best local food.

Over 3-4 hours you'll visit around 7-9 food places, which will be equivalent to one meal plus snacks. This food tour can be enjoyed by vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians.

Day 8: Agra to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri

Today, head west to Jaipur, approximately six hours' drive away. En route, visit the abandoned Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. This was one of the capital cities of the Emperor Akbar. The whole complex is made of red sandstone and is an architectural masterpiece, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jaipur, designed by a young Bengali architect in 1727, is the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe. It's known as the Pink City because of the color of many of the old buildings. A combination of palaces, forts, other sublime architecture and influences from Hindu, Jain and Mughal styles make Jaipur an interesting city.

After your arrival in Jaipur, and before checking in to your hotel, enjoy a welcome dinner of Rajasthani cuisine at Chokhi Dhani Resort, a cultural village.

Day 9: Jaipur Sightseeing

Amber Fort, Jaipur
Amber Fort, Jaipur

Start a day of sightseeing in Jaipur with a quick photo stop at the Hawa Mahal. The five-storied facade of pink sandstone was created in 1799 to allow royal ladies to watch processions and festivities on the road through its 953 small windows, without being seen by the public.

Proceed to the ancient capital of Amber, famous for its massive hilltop fort. Amber was the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha dynasty for six centuries. Ascend Amber's hilltop fort by Jeep or car, and take a look around the interior and exterior.

Later, proceed to the City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture, as well as the fascinating Jantar Mantar, an amazing solar observatory by which you can still tell the time (if you know how!) Among the various forts and palaces of Jaipur, the City Palace stands apart, with its outstanding art and architecture. The Maharajah still lives here.

In the evening, discover the true culinary culture of India with an interactive cooking session in a family home. As well as gaining a better understanding of how everyday fare is prepared and eaten, you'll get a glimpse into an Indian house. It's a rewarding cultural and culinary experience where you can share stories, learn about traditions, and have lots of fun. 

Day 10: Cooking Class in Rural Pachewargarh

Rajasthani salad
Rajasthani salad

In the morning, drive to Pachewargarh. Explore the surroundings of this old principality of the Rathore clan. Mrs. Rathore will talk to you about the various customs and cultures of this region, and you'll enjoy traditional food here.

Visit a nearby village, accompanied by Mrs. Rathore, where you will see traditional cooking techniques still in use today. A platform is made out of mud, and firewood and dry cow dung is then used as fuel.

Return to your hotel kitchen in Jaipur and cook local dishes for your dinner. Enjoy your dinner over a local folk music performance.

Day 11: Drive to Pushkar

Pushkar

This morning, drive to Pushkar, a very ancient place. According to Hindu texts, Pushkar was created when Lord Brahma dropped lotus petals to earth to kill a demon. This resulted in the formation of three lakes in the desert land. The largest of these lakes is today revered as one of India's most sacred sites, and is bounded by temples and bathing ghats. In the afternoon, check out the perimeter of the small lake.

Day 12: Pushkar to Kumbhalgarh via Ajmer

Kumbhalgarh
Kumbhalgarh

Head to Ajmer this morning, to visit the holy shrine of the great Sufi Saint Khwaja Muinuddin Christi. The site is visited by thousands of devotees from all religions and sects, who come here to offer their prayers. Pilgrims throng the holy site with the hope of getting their wishes fulfilled by offering prayers to the saint.

After visiting Ajmer, continue driving to Kumbhalgarh. Check in to your hotel, then explore the huge Kumbhalgarh Fort. It's the second most important fort in Rajasthan (after Chittorgarh). This unconquerable fortress is protected by the Aravali Ranges, and was built by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century.

Day 13: Kumbalgarh to Udaipur

Udaipur
Udaipur

After breakfast, drive about 2-3 hours to the beautiful lakeside town of Udaipur. Known as 'the Pearl of Rajasthan', the 'City of Sunrise' and the 'Venice of the East', Udaipur is a beautiful place, and one of the most romantic cities in India.

In the afternoon, embark on a three-hour food walking tour. Sample Udaipur's delicious Mewari food in the traditional bazaars and authentic food joints, some of which are generations old. Try local favorites like mirchi vada, various types of kachauris with different stuffings, onion samosas, daal baati choorma (a signature dish of Rajasthan) and many others.

In the evening, enjoy a cooking demo so you can learn to make a perfect Rajasthani meal. Afterward, tuck into your creations.

Day 14: Sightseeing in Udaipur

Palace in Udaipur
City Palace in Udaipur

Today, focus on touring the beautiful cultural attractions of Udaipur. Although just a small city, there's a lot to see here. The central City Palace Museum was built as a palace in 1725, and is famous for its ornate decorations and gorgeous views over Lake Pichola. Sahelion-ki-Bari is a well-landscaped garden that was once restricted for women only (its name means Ladies' Garden), particularly the queens and their ladies-in-waiting.

The 17th-century Jagdish Temple is the largest and most beautiful in Udaipur. End the day with a scenic sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola, from which you can admire the views of the mountains on one side and the lake-side palaces on the other.

Day 15: Fly from Udaipur to Delhi - Depart Delhi

Delhi Airport
Delhi Airport

Today it's time to leave Udaipur and return to Delhi by air. You'll be transferred to the airport in Udaipur in good time for your flight to Delhi. There, you'll head to the international terminal for your flight home.

Map

Map of Culinary Tour of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh & Rajasthan - 15 Days
Map of Culinary Tour of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh & Rajasthan - 15 Days